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Comments on the Cal Washington game (UW 36-24, 21 Oct 2000)

Call me a Bardolater
By Malamute

The fourth quarter of the Huskies’ game against Cal had as much drama as the last act of a Shakespearean play. From Cal’s standpoint it was a tragedy, as in Macbeth." From the Huskies’ perspective, it was a comedy, as in All’s Well That Ends Well."

No, this is not a Fan’s Corner article about William Shakespeare. It’s about football, specifically the game against Cal. However, since many of the lines from Shakespeare’s plays have deep meaning, let me apply some of them to the Cal game to see if I can make sense out of a most perplexing game. This guy Shakespeare gives me food for thought.

Let me quote some of his famous lines and then interpret them, vis-à-vis the game.

Quotation: “To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles.”

That quotation is from Hamlet.

So, to be, or not to be: How well did Washington’s marquee man respond when the option was taken away from him, when he suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and when he took arms against a sea of troubles?

I would say that Marques Tuiasosopo performed brilliantly. Under constant bombardment by a sea of troubles, he neither fumbled the ball nor threw an interception, while passing for 225 yards and two touchdowns. He took arms against a sea of troubles, not only by what he did do, but also by what he didn’t do: He didn’t give the game away. He played as brilliantly as the week before, when he turned the ball over just once in a defensive-minded game. His touchdown-to-interception ratio (9 to 8) has improved in the defensive struggles over the last two weeks.

As for Cal, well they self-destructed and were “not to be.”

Quotation: “This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

In this quotation from Hamlet, the Bard is saying: If our field goal kicker is true to himself (consistent), he cannot deceive or be false to any man on the team.

So, is John Anderson being more consistent? Yes. Off to a shaky start this season, at least by his own standards, his field goal kicking helped keep the Dawgs in the game against Cal. He made three out of four field goals, two of them coming off tough angles. The first one, a 42-yarder, his longest of the year, put points on the board after a drive had stalled--so critical from the team’s point of view, so mentally challenging from the quantum world kickers live in. Making all of his try-for-points, he was to thine own self true.

Quotation: “Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.”

That’s another line from Hamlet," which clearly applies to Rich Alexis’ fumble (a rich gift) and later to his touchdown run in the fourth quarter that proved “unkind” to Cal.

Much like Mo Shaw did for the Huskies, Rich Alexis is becoming Washington’s Sherman tank, getting most of his yards up the middle, cannonading and bulling his way for the tough yards. In two of his runs, however, several other players came to the fore. Certainly, his 16-yard run late in the fourth quarter proved unkind, which made his previous gift wax poor. But on the fumble recovery and run, let’s give some credit to Marques Tuiasosopo who stripped the ball away as Cal’s runner went into the end zone; it went to no avail but still was quite an effort. On Alexis’ late touchdown run, credit two key blocks on that play thrown by Ken Walker and Todd Elstrom.

Quotation: “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”

That line from Hamlet applies to the Cal team as a whole, as it performed before a hostile audience.

Let’s credit the Husky fans that helped sustain the deconstruction that took place in the fourth quarter. They turned Husky stadium into a din of inequity; call it the fans’ factor. They played a key role in Cal’s collapse, adding mo to the mojo the Huskies were working. Yes, something was rotten in the state of Washington, at least from Cal’s perspective.

Quotation: “I took by the throat the circumcised dog, And smote him, thus.”

This quotation from Othello clearly applies to Cal; Tom Holmoe might have used the line against our Dawgs as bulletin-board material, a motivator of some kind to take the Dawgs by the throat.

Well we smote Cal, thanks to the many heroes in the game, heroes that were actors on the stage, some of them sung, others unsung in this defensive tempest.

Quotation: “When the hurly-burly 's done, When the battle's lost and won,” all’s well that ends well. Macbeth.

As you like it, that quotation speaks for itself. So much for Cal, this Bardolater is off to Palo Alto.

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