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WSU still searching for O-Line answers

Very little clarity up front

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Jack Ellis/CougCenter

Good morning, and Happy Easter! Ya know what burns me? When we lived in Germany, my kids had no school on the Monday after Easter. Here in Florida, they were off on Good Friday. They’ve always gone to public school. When I was growing up, I never had any sort of off day around Easter, AND I WENT TO CATHOLIC SCHOOL K-12!!! WHAT THE HECK, MAN??!!

You know what else burns me? Anything and everything surrounding the new Pac-12 media deal. There are like 8-10 people who know what’s going on, and none of them are named Jon Wilner, John Canzano, Stewart Mandel, Max Olson, or FirstNameBunchofNumbers with a cactus emoji on Twitter (aka the hayseeds who tweet nonstop about this BS even though they will never see one red cent of media revenue). And noted Big-12 mouthpieces Dennis Dodd and Brett McMurphy showed their true colors months ago, pathetically deciding to regurgitate whatever Brett Yormark tells them. So I encourage you to do what I’ve done since this all began - don’t click, don’t read, don’t speculate, and don’t pretend like you have a stake in the outcome like all those Big 12 dopes seem to think. Once the deal is done, we can parse it to our heart’s content, but do yourself a favor in the meantime and ignore all the nonsense.

Where was I? That’s right. In addition to Easter, it’s also Sunday at The Masters, where due to weather conditions, they’re trying to cram in two full rounds, in order to avoid playing on Monday. One of the famous descriptive phrases regarding The Masters is, “A Tradition Unlike Any Other”, a saying that we could also apply to WSU when it comes to questions and tumult along the offensive line. We’ve harped on it seemingly ad nauseam, but offensive success in 2023 will hinge on how those five spots gel and perform.

Colton Clark featured the offensive line in his Saturday story, and it seems to me like there’s potential for stability and competence, particularly on the right side if Fifita can round into form. Beyond that, hoo boy. Jarrett Kingston’s injury and subsequent transfer really hurt WSU at the tackle spot, and newcomer, JUCO transfer Esa Pole seems to have big potential at left tackle. But as always, one injury could lead to catastrophe, as we saw last year when Kingston went down at Stanford. That created a cascading effect that saw guys playing out of position, which led to worse play and more injuries. WSU can’t have a repeat of that in 2023, or Cam Ward has no chance to realize his full potential.

This quote in particular sounded a bit of an alarm for me:

“You’re starting to see it – one-step balls and fades, getting (the ball out), so we don’t have to block for very long,” McGuire said. “I think that’s been huge for us. Those receivers have done a really good job and those quarterbacks have done a really good job of feeling the pocket, getting rid of the ball on time.”

Sounds a lot like what we saw last year! That didn’t go very well!

On the bright side, the big guys up front know how to lighten the mood at practice!

Athlon Sports seems to have similar thoughts, as it identified needs at offensive line and linebacker for WSU as we enter the post-spring transfer window. I’m not sure how much faith one should place in gaining impact players in May, but you never know. As an aside, it’s odd how much of Athlon’s CFB content now revolves around Colorado. Like, you’d think they were a perennial title contender or something. I know they have Deion Sanders now and all, but man, there’s a lot of Buffalo content on there for some reason!

Speaking of 2023, the folks at College Football News decided to make a springtime projection of every team’s record next season, and the Cougs are in a very familiar spot. What surprised me was not the final overall and conference records, but the route CFN thinks WSU will take to get there. A 4-0 start to the season, followed by losses to ASU and Cal down the stretch are probably not how I will forecast WSU’s season, but you never know!


If WSU isn’t having a star-crossed season, I don’t know what to call it. That continued this weekend when, after taking two straight from UCLA, the Cougars went to Tempe and lost three in a row. WSU now heads over the Cascades for a midweek clash against Seattle U.

This Week in Parenting

After a three-week visit, the grandparents flew home on Tuesday, but not before getting willingly hornswoggled by the 11 year-old. He is tasked with 30 minutes of reading at home after school every day. One day when I got home from work, I asked if he’d completed his reading task. My mom says, “He told us that he got it done at school.” I was, let’s just say, a tad skeptical. “Dad, I did it I swear!” To which I replied, “How have you been looking in the credibility department lately?” “Bad.” Needless to say, he was off to his room for half an hour.

In his defense, he had a rough week, health-wise. First was a sore throat which caused him to miss a couple days of school, then a bout with pinkeye which nixed last Monday as well. This exposed what is apparently a broken system regarding reporting an absence to the school. First, I called, and selected the button for “report an absence.” Naturally, this led to a recording, which said to go online and use the absence reporting system. Ok, let’s try that. “You do not have access to this page”, read the school website.

So I called back and talked to someone in the office who said, “You just need to email his teacher and they will let us know.” I’d already done that, in order to solicit homework assignments, and received a response. Good to go, right? Nope. About 5 p.m., Mrs. Kendall received a call from the school, informing her that our child was absent. NO F***ING S**T! And here I thought government processes were laughably inept.

Saturday night, we decided to watch a movie. Since we have no idea what’s good nowadays, I default to 80s classics, so we sat down and watched Stand By Me. What a great damn movie. One of the more famous scenes is that of Chopper at the junk yard. For some reason, Buda the golden doodle began jumping around a bit later on, which led to a chorus of, “Buda! Sick Balls!” from the kids. Because of course.

Speaking of Buda, I’m thankful for a couple things today, the fact that we bought pet-resistant carpet, and that hydrogen peroxide exists. It’s been a week!


Among the eleventy billion grievances I have about societal malfeasance, people who dress for flights like they’re sitting on the couch and watching Netflix is in the top half. Have some damn pride and dignity. Get rid of the gym shorts, yoga pants and flipflops. I ain’t about to wear a coat and tie, like the author, but I almost always have a collared shirt. Wearing a pair of khaki shorts or jeans and closed-toed shoes shouldn’t be too much to ask. Just make sure those shoes stay on your feet.

Get dressed up for your next flight - The Washington Post
An airplane isn’t a gym, so stop dressing like it.

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The agency set up a programme in the cold war to resettle foreign spies in America. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it may get busy again | 1843 magazine

Trading on Patriotism: How Extremist Groups Target and Radicalize Veterans | The issue of extremist groups has gained attention after the riot on Jan. 6 aimed at preventing the peaceful transfer of the presidency in 2021, violence that was spearheaded by several groups that actively recruit veterans.