Whether it was an assignment given by a teacher or just for pure pleasure, senior safety Taylor Taliulu produced four vignettes this summer giving us, the fans, an insider look at Washington State Cougar football. Entitled "The Grind," Taliulu's short films were released week by week this summer in anticipation of the new season of football on the Palouse. Episode four was released yesterday afternoon, appropriately one month before the new campaign gets started against Portland State on Sept. 5.
The first episode of "The Grind" is purely a hype video. Highlights of WSU's wins against Oregon State and Utah and their heartbreaking loss versus Oregon are all featured in the episode. Even though the Cougars only won three games last season, there were plenty of moments that brought us to our feet in pure excitement (and sometimes pure rage). This video will have you remembering that this land-grant university located somewhere in Southeastern Washington has the talent to play good football.
Episodes two and three show how summer drills and workouts are going. In the second video, the team is working out under the sweltering Pullman sun. Lots of footwork is featured in the two-minute film, including brutal workouts in the sandpit, otherwise known as the "Leach Beach." The video concludes with Coach Leach's three expectations about his players on the field (brownie points if you know them without looking beforehand). While the second video had a strong emphasis on conditioning, video three takes you inside the weight room. It's no secret that Leach considers his new football operations building to be the the best in the Pac-12 and this video can only strengthen his argument, as it shows off the weight room in all of its glory. The video wraps up with members from the team huddled up, dancing, and doing some sort of battle cry. Whatever it is, I like it.
The finale shows the players having fun while off the field. When you train, practice, and play with the same guys month-after-month, year-after-year, it's important to build up good teammate chemistry with one another. Whether that includes hanging out at the Snake River, bowling at Zeppoz, or having dance-offs in the locker room, it is always nice to see the guys not take themselves too seriously and have fun.