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Even for the Cougars, this collapse was epic

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Thank God this is over.

Washington State v Utah Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images

Good morning. I don’t know about you, but I have never been so happy to be finished watching WSU play football for a while. What began with such promise for the Washington State Cougars - a 10-point road win over the improved Oregon State Beavers - gradually devolved into a battle of attrition. While there were flashes of brilliance throughout the year, those flashes were too often overcome by a yawning talent gap, wafer-thin depth, costly turnovers and stupid penalties.

Coupled with mind-boggling yet all-to-familiar gross incompetence on behalf of the assclowns in stripes (like the time Joey Hobert gained 12 yards but was given credit for eight, leading to a punt, or the phantom offsides penalty that helped Utah score a touchdown), it was a toxic mixture that saw Utah score 38 straight points despite fielding the worst pair of quarterbacks WSU will probably face in the next five years. Seriously, Utah better hope that stud running back can carry the ball 35 times per game or they’re in deep trouble.

But enough of my crappy takes (many of which I deleted after thinking about it). Like we said before the year even began, this was basically a preseason for 2021. There’s enough there to be hopeful that WSU will compete for a bowl slot in 2021, especially if Max Borghi and Abraham Lucas return. And if I’m being honest, there are a few guys who I’d prefer to not see in a WSU uniform anymore but they’ll probably be back, too.

Ok, one more hot take - If you think anybody but Jayden de Laura should be the quarterback next season, please back away from the keyboard. He’s the best guy they have and it isn’t particularly close. Don’t @ me with garbage time stats piled up against prevent defenses and backups, lest I be forced to show you Exhibit Gary Rogers. (de Laura also has amazing hair which helps)

Provided this goddamn plague is behind us by then, the Cougs open the 2021 with two straight home games, starting on Labor Day weekend against Utah State, followed by Portland State. They’re also supposed to face the BYU Cougars in late October, which would be odd considering it’s right in the middle of conference play. This game was originally scheduled for 2013 I believe, so who knows if it’ll actually take place.

Here’s to the players, coaches and staff who had to deal with a season of tumult and isolation, during which the only constant was uncertainty. I can’t imagine what it was like for them, and I applaud every guy who stuck it out to the end.

The 2020 football “season” is over. Let us never speak of it again.

Football

Analysis: Washington State squanders three-touchdown lead, allows 38 unanswered points in 45-28 loss at Utah | The Spokesman-Review
It was fitting, perhaps, that the Cougars closed out an unconventional year with a game that was equally so.

From Southern California to Salt Lake City suburbs, families of Washington State players jump on opportunity to attend Utah game | The Spokesman-Review
According to Utah’s sports information department, each player got an allotment of four tickets. While Utah parents naturally outnumbered those of WSU, both teams had over 100 fans dispersed in the stadium seats directly behind their benches.

Basketball

Much better news on this front, as the Cougar women are now 2-0 in the Pac-12 after defeating 21st-ranked Oregon State.

Cougs Upset No. 21 Oregon State to Remain Undefeated - Washington State University Athletics
The Cougars collected their first win over a ranked-opponent in four seasons by knocking off No. 21 Oregon State, 61-55, in Beasley Coliseum.

This Week in Parenting

I mentioned last week that the nine year-old, after some COVID issues at his school, went to online learning Wednesday-Friday, because I guess the school district wasn’t prepared for this type of scenario after EIGHT MONTHS of the pandemic. Well, the news got even better this week, as the 12 year-old’s school closed down after Tuesday. Once again, despite being in this for eight months, he didn’t have any sort of school Wed-Fri. Amazing.

Luckily the younger boy did have a little work to do, stuffing 2-3 hours of work into an eight hour day. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!!! First, news trickled out that the DoD schools would be following national guidelines, and in-person learning wouldn’t resume until January 10. That lasted roughly 48 hours, when we were informed that now the kids are home until at least January 19. Why? Well, the powers-that-be spent a lot of words trying to explain the rationale, but did not succeed in providing concrete answers. Somehow, despite the months of data and experience, nobody knows what’s going on. Merry Christmas!

In less-maddening news, mom and the kiddos made a few batches of cookies last weekend, as dad did little more than hover around and snipe a cookie or two while they were otherwise occupied. They didn’t bake all of the cookies, however, and decided to stow the sugar cookie dough in the fridge so it would be ready for this weekend. Knowing dad’s penchant for consuming copious amounts of cookie dough, they weren’t taking any chances.

I thought posting an armed guard at the fridge was a bit much but I respect the commitment to the Christmas cookie preservation. Meanwhile, I was up in their bedroom a while back, and bent down to pick something up. I turned to my left and noticed some debris under their dresser, and told them that they would be cleaning that area over the weekend. The weekend came, and the dresser was pulled from the wall. What ensued did not go well for them.

Let’s take a little inventory. There’s a book (that’s probably overdue at the library), some Pokemon cards, various coins, an art project or three, remote control tank rounds, super balls, several Nerf bullets, Lego pieces, something that looks like a hypodermic needle (it’s a golf tee), pencils, Christmas bells, a few doses of tetanus etc. Oh, and there were also several open candy wrappers, minus the candy. Somebody’s got some splainin’ to do. Needless to say, that space under and behind the dresser is much cleaner now.

Beer

Best beer I had this week: This week marked the 76th anniversary of the Nazi counterattack upon Allied lines near a little town amid the Ardennes Forest named Bastogne. The town of Bastogne, Belgium isn’t necessarily an important piece of terrain, but it sits near a strategically important junction of roads. The Nazis threw 410,00 troops and thousands of armor pieces at the Allies, creating a giant bulge in the Allied line (hence the name).

Amid freezing temperatures and withering enemy fire, the Allies, managed to stall the offensive which the Nazis had named Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein (“Operation Watch on the Rhine”). On 26 December, General George Patton and his 3rd Army fought through to Bastogne, ending the siege. Why am I writing this? Well, one of the great tales (that is completely true) to emerge from this episode was Airborne Beer. It can be tough to find around here, but I had enough on-hand to tip a few back in honor of those who refused to give up despite the enemy and the awful conditions. The Greatest Generation indeed.

The 20 Best Beer Label Designs of 2020 • Hop Culture
In 2020, with COVID-19 keeping people out of taprooms, it was more important than ever to obtain brand differentiation. And many artists rose to the challenge.

Non-Sports

She Stalked Her Daughter’s Killers Across Mexico, One by One - The New York Times
Armed with a handgun, a fake ID card and disguises, Miriam Rodríguez was a one-woman detective squad, defying a system where criminal impunity often prevails.