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What did the Cougs say at Pac-12 Media Day?

Pickleball! Pineapple pizza! And more!

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Media Day Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, and welcome to an article being composed while watching overseas sports! Last week it was Wimbledon, and this week it’s the Open Championship. Nothing against this guy Harman, but I want him to shoot 75 so we have some drama down the stretch. Back here across the pond, the Pac-12 football world descended upon the Las Vegas blast furnace this week to talk about the lack of a media rights contract upcoming football season. Among the participants were Washington State Cougars head coach Jake Dickert, and players Cam Ward and RJ Stone.

Before we get to the WSU-specific sentiment, WE’VE GOT A CHIP-FILLED SHOULDER ALERT!

If there’s a more overused and meaningless phrase in sports, it’s the old “chip on the shoulder.” Every team that every wins anything, and many of its idiot fans, will cite all the haters, doubters and lack of respect that contributed to a block-sized shoulder chip, which powered the team to the title. Nothing to do with talent, coaching, execution. Nope, it’s all about the chips of disrespect. Such rubbish.

Where was I? Oh yeah, the Cougars at Media Day. New Spokesman Review WSU beat reporter Greg Woods has a trio of Coug-centric stories from last Friday, starting with Jake Dickert’s time on the dais, which was apparently topped by a a couch. The WSU coach didn’t say anything especially noteworthy, but there were a couple nuggets, such as the fact that WSU will honor former head coach Mike Leach before the September 9 home opener. It will definitely be less awkward than whatever Texas Tech plans to do.

After touching on NIL legislation (lol not happening) and the transfer epidemic, Dickert talked at length about new offensive coordinator Ben Arbuckle, without a doubt the most notable addition for the 2023 Cougars.

“I think it came from the vision of what we needed to do on offense and not restart,” Dickert said, referring to the departure of WSU’s previous offensive coordinator, Eric Morris, who took North Texas’ head coaching job. “When we’re trying to build a program, yes, continuity is everything and stability means a lot. There’s a certain amount of guys that have a style of offense that I think allowed us to take the step forward.”

Up next was Woods’ chat with edge rusher and 10th-year senior RJ Stone, who talked about pretty much everything but football. THIS IS THE CONTENT I AM HERE FOR!

Ron Stone Jr.: I mean, pineapple can go on pizza. I don’t know if that’s a hot take. Hot takes are tough because you don’t really know it’s a hot take until someone says something, and you’re like, oh.

S-R: Right, but pineapple on pizza still seems kind of extreme.

Um, pineapple on pizza is excellent and if you deem it “extreme” you need to get out more, as it’s on nearly every pizza place menu in the country.

Stone also took some time to work on the other side of the camera. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Stone at tight end and Brennan Jackson at fullback in a short yardage situation.

Finally, Caleb Williams may have a Heisman, but the pickle ball title resides in Pullman!

Solid commentary by that unsolicited announcer, who referred to Stone as a “Washington Coug.” Good job, good effort.

Woods used his final dispatch from Vegas to feature returning quarterback Cam Ward, and his development leading toward the 2023 season. Aside from running the offense, Ward seems determined to step into the role of team leader this fall.

Ward, though, doesn’t want to just toss slants to them. He wants to earn their trust, to push them to improve, to direct them. That’s the other part of Ward’s development: Blossoming into a leader.

By all accounts, Ward has already started to do so. He’s made conscious efforts to get to know his teammates better, which has resulted in a better bond, allowing everyone involved to connect on the field.

As is the norm, Ward’s progress and production at the game’s most important position will lead the way in determining the course of WSU’s upcoming football season.

This Week in Parenting

For the first time in many weeks, the kids had an actual semblance of a schedule last week, what with baseball camp, baseball games, football conditioning and Boy Scouts. Every year I greet summer vacation with the belief that things will calm down for a while. And every year, it seems like I’m driving their behinds to more events than I do when school is in session. The kiddos only have two more weeks until school’s reality comes rushing back.

In the meantime, since there’s everything and nothing on television, we’ve been working through the gold mine that is old Saturday Night Live clips. Among their favorites are The McGlaughlin Group (WRONG!!!), Will Ferrell as Harry Caray, and the Sensitive Drill Sergeant. The runaway winner, however, is GET OFF THE DAMN SHED!!

Take a few minutes and laugh your behind off.

Transitioning to music, the 11 year-old and I were driving around Spokane when Sweet Child of Mine came on the radio. I went to turn the station since it’s not among my favorite songs. The kid interjected, asking me to keep it it because he likes the song. No problem! So I decided to ask him to name the song. “Umm, Sweet Home Alabama?” Oh boy, try again. “Sweet Caroline?” Well, we’re getting warmer? I think? I told him to wait about 30 seconds until the chorus, and he nailed it on the third try. I then realized that I was his age when that song debuted. Good. Great. Grand.


I took a seminar class at WSU that focused on the development and use of the atom bomb, and was tasked with reading the Rhodes book mentioned in the article. I don’t recall a lot about the class, other than that book was very thick and the professor was a bit on the odd side.

I look forward to catching the movie in a couple weeks when the crowds are absent.

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