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Cougars set to face Huskies and honor George Raveling

It’s reunion time once again.

Washington State University Athletics

Good morning. After more than a week of idle time, your Washington State Cougars basketball team is back on the court Sunday afternoon, facing the multiple lottery pick-having last place-occupying disappointed bag men refund-wanting Washington Huskies.

This showdown is part of the year-long Boeing Apple Cup Series, and I got to wondering exactly what this whole thing is about and how the Cougs are doing. I learned that if it weren’t for the annual football massacre, WSU would probably be in the lead. Currently, Washington holds a 145-140 advantage. The main reason UW leads? You guessed it, the football game carries the biggest amount of weight in the scoring system.

Hey Boeing, one thing I noticed about that scoring system - it doesn’t list women’s basketball. I assume this is an unintentional omission, and that the women’s games are worth as much as the men’s, but you might want to correct the score sheet. Additionally, why does the losing team get any points? That seems quite inane. Anyway, if the Cougs scratch out a win over the Huskies on Sunday, they will garner 30 more points. And while the Huskies would still get 15 because reasons, it appears that WSU would take the series lead, provided that point total is current.

In addition to the game, WSU is once again honoring a great from its basketball past at halftime. Instead of a former player, they will recognize former coach George Raveling. Raveling arrived at WSU in 1972, becoming the first black head coach in conference history. Along the way, Raveling revived basketball on the Palouse when he led the Cougars a 14-4, 3rd-place Pac-10 finish in 1980, followed by WSU’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in nearly 40 years. Unfortunately, 5-seed WSU fell to Penn in the first round.

Raveling had the Cougs back in the Big Dance in 1983, following another 14-4 season. This time, they were able to get a win, beating the Weber State Wildcats 62-52. That would be the end of the road, though, as WSU lost a close game to top-seeded Virginia and Ralph Sampson. Following that season, Raveling departed for Iowa, replacing Lute Olson. That swap had some pretty big implications for the Cougars, as they lost one of their best coaches in program history, while Arizona brought in a guy who would tilt the balance of power in the conference for the next two-plus decades.

Raveling finished the WSU portion of his great career with a 167-136 record, those two tournament appearances and two conference Coach of the Year awards. I mostly remember him from his time coaching USC, followed by several appearances in Pullman as a TV analyst for Cougar games. Additionally, Raveling was the first person I heard say, “Pullman isn’t the end of the world, but you can see it from there.”

Probably my favorite bit of George Raveling trivia is the fact that he owns Martin Luther King, Jr.’s original typed “I Have a Dream” speech. I wonder what kind of reception that would fetch at Antiques Roadshow. The WSU-Washington game tips at 3 p.m., and can be seen on ESPNU. Here’s hoping Mr. Raveling is greeted by a good crowd and a rousing ovation. Oh, and a WSU win would be pretty great too!

Finally, 10/10 would absolutely love to see George show up in an appropriately-sized version of that bell bottom suit.


John Blanchette: George Raveling lifted Washington State basketball into the spotlight – now the program will return the favor | The Spokesman-Review
George Raveling’s name goes up in those same rafters on Sunday at halftime of the Cougars’ game with rival Washington, and as appropriate as Klay Thompson’s day of tribute was last month, this one’s an even better idea.

Kyle Smith bracing for first Apple Cup as Washington State coach | The Spokesman-Review WSU (13-10, 4-6) and UW (12-11, 2-8) play at 3 p.m. Sunday (ESPNU) at Beasley Coliseum. The Cougars will put George Raveling’s name in the rafters during a halftime celebration for the Hall of Fame coach.


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This Week in Parenting

Not a whole lot to report, but I will say how funny it is observe the difference between boys and girls. We had some friends over Saturday night, and they have two girls aged seven and five (or so). While the girls quietly played with Legos or drew pictures, our boys were busy trying to show our guests their pocket knife / light saber / Nerf gun stockpile, barely giving them time to have any adult conversation.

Finally, even the girls gave in to the madness. I was trying to watch the Dayton game between dodging sniper rounds, but eventually we were all drawn into a full-on Nerf gun firefight. The funniest part was how the youngest girl would just walk up to someone under the guise of needing new bullets, only to empty her magazine into that person’s stomach. I’m pretty sure the boys will be cleaning up bullets for the next couple weeks or so, and we will undoubtedly find some more when we eventually move out, such as our last move when one was discovered upon removal of the washing machine.

Oh, and there’s this from last Thursday. I can’t tell if he’s on the cutting edge of fashion or the precipice a cliff (you have to expand for the full effect).


Best beer I had this week: There’s a bar in Bruges called 2be, and in addition to a gigantic (and totally awesome) beer wall, they have a rather large cellar full of beers. I took a flier on Brouwerij Van Den Bossche’s Buffalo Grand Cru, 2014 vintage. I wish I’d bought 10 of them.

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