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What is the state of WSU’s program?

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I guess we’ll see!

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NCAA Football: Northern Colorado at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning. Now that the torrent of recruiting news (both football and basketball) has subsided for the time being, there isn’t a lot of WSU-related content out there to be heard above the crickets. As such, we’ll go largely off the board today, as was the case a couple weeks ago. That sound you hear is everyone immediately going to another website, and I don’t blame you!

Before we go off-topic, there was another extensive 2020 football preview this week, and if you have a subscription to The Athletic, you can read former WSU beat writer Christian Caple’s view on the upcoming season. If you don’t, I will share the final paragraph here. I’ve subscribed to The Athletic from the start, and while my interest ebbs and flows, I encourage you to give it a try.

The past five years represented a monumental step forward for the WSU program, and Leach had a lot to do with that. But the infrastructure is in place for Rolovich to keep the Cougars on the positive side of .500 and do it with an entertaining offense that scores a bunch of points.

Football

It’s a new era at Washington State — but don’t call it a rebuild – The Athletic ($$$)
The Cougars are expecting a seamless transition from Mike Leach to Nick Rolovich, who brings his Run-and-Shoot offensive attack from Hawaii.

Ranking Utah's Opponents Leading Up To 2020 Season - KSL Sports
Utah will look to improve on an 11-3 season in 2019 but they will have a tough schedule ahead of them in 2020.

You Suck If...

Look, I’m not a smoker. Never have been, never will be. If you are a smoker, that’s fine, so long as you aren’t a nuisance to those around you. From the outside, smokers seem - seem - like the most miserable group of people on the planet. I don’t think I’ve ever met a smoker who tends to be in a good mood. I took this photo in the Abu Dhabi airport a couple years ago, and I’ll be damned if this smoker’s “lounge” doesn’t look like misery incarnate.

It’s one thing to crave one final lung dart before climbing aboard a long flight, quite another to literally stand shoulder-to-shoulder for the privilege of doing so.

But again, if people want to light up a cigarette on their own time, in their own space, I’ve got no problem. In the past, I was even fine with smoking in bars, because I made a choice to go in there knowing that I’d come out smelling like an ashtray. It wasn’t fun, but it was part of the deal. My problem lies with what nearly every smoker does when they are done with the cancer stick. I was walking into the store the other day, and a guy was standing behind his car, finishing up a smoke. Instead of placing the butt in an ashtray or other designated spot, he just threw it on the ground and got in his car.

Now, it would be one thing if this were a rare occurrence, but pull up to any left turn lane on a divided road, and take a look at the island. You’ll notice that it’s basically a giant pile of cigarette butts. It’s not enough that smokers pollute their lungs. It’s not enough that they pollute the lungs of unwitting bystanders. No, they have to make the rest of us just as angry as they seem to be by treating the world as their personal garbage can. Gotta get back to work after your tenth smoke break before noon? Just throw the butt on the sidewalk! Can’t bear to keep a spent coffin nail in your car? Just toss it out the window! Taking a long walk on the beach? No problem! Just toss your used cigarette at that turtle hatchling! I mean, it’ll biodegrade in a scant two years, so who cares that you’re littering with reckless abandon?!

So anyway, if you’re a smoker, fine. But if you’re a smoker who treats every piece of ground as your personal ashtray, you suck the biggest suck that ever sucked a suck. Please stop sucking.

This Week in Parenting

Friday night was set up to be a new evening for Team Kendall. The boys were having a friend over to stay the night, and then another kid asked to have the 8 year-old over to his house. Dual sleepovers! Mrs. Kendall and I hadn’t even finished dinner when this message came in:

I tried to use every trick I knew in order to convince him to stick it out. None of them went anywhere. He was pretty broken up about the whole thing, so we were sympathetic when he got home. Of course, he interpreted our sensitivity as weakness and immediately demanded extended bed time, along with insistence that his brother and brother’s friend be sent to bed the same time as him. Like Steven Keaton once said on Family Ties, give ‘em an inch and they will wipe you out.

Over the weekend, the boys presented a united front, asking that I install our unused television in their room. We utilize two TVs, one in the family room and one in the master bedroom, and apparently that’s not enough. Mrs. Kendall and I quickly quelled the rebellion, citing a litany of reasons why this was not going to happen. Among them, I said that I didn’t have a television in my room until I was in high school. Mrs. Kendall one-upped me by saying she didn’t have one of her own until college.

As we were getting ready to leave the house for the day, the 8 year-old executed the old Crazy Ivan, telling me, “I know why you didn’t have your own TV until you got older, they hadn’t been invented yet!”

Sick burn, bro.

Unsolicited Podcast Recommendation

There are books from here to the moon about lessons for children, but what about lessons for adults? Cautionary Tales is meant for exactly that. The episodes are all true stories that can teach us how we’re all a bunch of idiots when it comes to decision-making and other issues that would seem to be common sensical. You can access all of the episodes via your preferred podcast medium, or by scrolling through the menu here.

The boys absolutely love them as well, and they can teach kids how to be smarter than we adults are. The second season began recently, and is compelling because Mr. Harford weaves the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the story, and even talks about his own poor judgment early on. The episodes are all incredibly instructive.

Beer

Best beer I had this week: Celebrated a somewhat muted calendar milestone, and decided to break out Evil Twin’s Double Barrel Jesus for the occasion. I was lucky to snag one and have it delivered through the mail. It was as good as I anticipated.

Draft beer flows show where the economy is open - Axios
Beer flows tell where the country is really open.

Non-Sports

Two-fer this week. The New York times examination of how the virus spread throughout the country is some sensational reporting, with very informative graphics.

How the Virus Won - The New York Times
Invisible outbreaks sprang up everywhere. The United States ignored the warning signs. We reconstructed how the epidemic spun out of control.

Vladimir Putin’s war of fog: How the Russian President used deceit, propaganda and violence to reshape global politics - The Globe and Mail
Russia this week will celebrate a historic military victory with a massive parade, reinforcing how its current leader rebuilt it into an influential world power.