Good day! Turns out that despite all the requiems being penned for the conference to which the Washington State Cougars have belonged for several decades, the sun came up again on Sunday morning. And as of Sunday, there are just three more sleeps until the Cougar football team opens 2023 training camp! Let’s take a look at the official schedule.
I don’t know about you, but this old person could have done without the bizarrely out of place dates written in script. Anyhoo, it looks like the Coug players will have to be early birds, as the first 11 practices begin no later than 9:15 a.m., which is a very good thing if you aren’t a fan of the Pullman August heat.
If you happen to be on the Palouse over a summer weekend, it’ll be your chance to check out one of WSU’s two scrimmages before school begins. Speaking of that, the fall term begins on August 21, and oh man do I wish I was one of the lucky Cougar students getting ready to start classes. PSA: never get old, kids.
One of the guys who was at Wazzu along with me in the late 90s (I don’t recall which one of us was more famous on campus) hit the gym in Coug gear recently. Well, I think he did. All I saw was the d-nozzle on his phone between sets. Don’t be that guy.
Before the events of the past week, I was gonna give y’all some Grade A #content regarding a possible Pac-12 move to reduce the conference schedule to eight games. I was ready to present the ups and downs from a WSU perspective, but then head stooge George Kliavkoff fixed the glitch for me by overseeing a formerly 12-team conference that will soon sit at nine teams, making it a certainty that the conference will move to eight games! Way to go, George!
And as far as Colorado’s departure, which in substance is largely a tempest in a teapot, but which adds more to the pile of evidence that the Pac-12 hired another commissioner who is completely feckless, I found a few other articles that you may enjoy. I thought they were good. First, Tom Fornelli nails the big picture with his take that Colorado’s move is largely meaningless in terms of college football as a whole.
Then there were a couple more takes from the west coast, which place the majority of the blame on the conference’s presidents. You won’t get any argument here, because it’s clear that many of them saw sports as a distraction, and didn’t value athletic departments nearly as much as they should. But they made up for it by hiring horrible conference CEOs. Great job all around, folks.
In the end, I don’t blame Colorado for moving back. It was among the dregs of the Pac-12 for nearly the entirety of its stay, and now it won’t have to travel as far to get its ass kicked by BYU and Kansas State as it did when it traveled to Pullman and Eugene to get its ass kicked. Congrats?
In more fall sports news, Cougar Soccer is also just around the corner! In advance of the upcoming season, WSU announced its themes and promotions for the home matchups. I’m sure most of you will flock to “Swifties on the Pitch” when the Cougs face Seattle U. However, the pros will skate past that scream-fest and show up to claim a pint glass at Socctoberfest. Well, that’s what I’d do, anyway.
This Week in Parenting
Mrs. Kendall was away on business for most of the week, which meant that the boys and I took our meals on front of the television, and watched shows that Mrs. Kendall isn’t crazy about. We decided to start The Office, from the beginning, and my word that first season was legendary episode after legendary episode. I had no idea Diversity Day, The Alliance and Basketball were all in that brief first season.
After one of our meals, while we were between episodes, the teenager announced to everyone that he was headed to sit on the toilet. I have no idea why he does this, but it always happens. Anyway, he’s often in there for what seems like an eternity while we’re waiting on him to start up a TV show or something. The 11 year-old finally had enough, declaring, “I don’t take nearly that long on the toilet because I wait until it’s right on the doorstep.” Boys.
This upcoming week is also their last week of school freedom, as 6th and 10th grade begin on August 10. But that definitely doesn’t mean things are quiet, unfortunately. The teenager starts football practice Monday, when the high temperature is 92 and the low temperature will be a chilly...80 degrees, with a heat index into the 100s.
We also found out this week that the 11 year-old did well enough in tryouts to be a part of the fall travel baseball team. Thankfully the schedule is rather light, but I haven’t conducted a college football-watching impact study yet. We had a parents meeting Thursday night (which took place on the heels of the high school parents football meeting, of course), and one of the seemingly 78 youth baseball staff members talked about how each team was free to solicit sponsors. The kid leaned over and whispered, “Dad, can the military sponsor the team?” I answered, “no.” He responded with, “Oh. Cheapskates.” Well then.
At the meeting, the initial high of, “hey, he’s on the team!” gave way to, “Welp, time to set the credit card on fire” reality. So on Sunday, we’re off to Dick’s to buy new shoes, as his current cleats are royal blue, and not dark enough to comply with the navy blue/white/gray/black mandate. Yippee. There’s also the navy batting helmet (matte finish only), blue belt and socks to get, as well as white and gray pants. Just make sure the pants don’t have piping, and the gray pants must be long while the white pants have to be knickers. Got all that? He also needs a new bat (he really does, that isn’t a rule or anything), which means I’ll be filing home equity loan paperwork this afternoon.
Which leads me to...
Unsolicited Podcast Recommendation
This is a sensational podcast for any of you who have kids participating in youth sports. I enjoyed it so much that I listened twice. Highly recommend!
Why Youth Sports in America Are in Decline - The Ringer
Derek talks to Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal and Tom Farrey, the executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Sports and Society Program, to see what’s going on and what we should do.
Starting to think that Elon Musk is not only an idiot, but that he’s also a really terrible person.
Tesla’s secret team to suppress thousands of driving range complaints
About a decade ago, Tesla rigged the dashboard readouts in its electric cars to provide “rosy” projections of how far owners can drive before needing to recharge, a source told Reuters.