This article was originally published on dawgman.com

Lee would agree
By Malamute

 If I'd had my druthers it would be a different world. I'm still haunted by certain Husky happenstances. You know if things had gone the other way, if fate had taken a different turn. Some of my Husky memories are not fit to carve in the hall of fame, not fit to preserve the memory of my devotion. But that's Monday morning quarterbacking in the fate department--and I'm one of the best at it. I'll give you a partial list of my druthers and haunting memories, followed by a session with Hilda and her crystal ball, turning a glass half empty into one half full.

I wish:
  • That Don Heinrich had completed that fourth and three against Cal (1950). We should have gone to the Rose Bowl that season. Instead, we only got a whiff of roses.
  • That Jim Owens (1957-1974), the most charismatic, most likeable Husky coach of them all, had retired before the NCAA let everyone and his uncle into the game (unlimited substitutions).
  • That Bill Douglas had not been injured in the game at the Rose Bowl against Illinois (1964). It may have cost us a win; however, Illinois had a darned good team, one led by Dick Butkus. An occasional Butkus sighting on our golf course brings back that memory.
  • That somebody had checked out our card stunts before we flashed "Cal Tech" at the Rose Bowl. Why should a school that produced diminutive running backs be able to lay claim to fame?
  • That the Huskies had won the national championship instead of Brigham Young--and that they'd beaten them the year after (1985). Polls and graduation!
  • That Billy Joe (1992) had not obtained that loan. As a result of the ensuing investigation, a snowball turned into an avalanche, with sanctions levied that seemed out of line to me. Goodbye to the burgeoning dynasty and to the greatest of them all, Don James.
  • That somebody had told Rick Neuheisel about the quiet-day rule. The Huskies may have suffered needlessly his first recruiting year, not collaring a few recruits they might have landed. Worse yet it was a stigma that Coach Neuheisel didn’t deserve. However, he’s erased most of it from my mind by beating Colorado twice, and has buried that flap with a vengeance.
  • That certain Seattle sports writers had taken jobs in places like Lincoln and South Bend and pitched their negativism there. In provincial, hick-town America, do they still hang coaches--and sports writers--in effigy? You know, is the virtual noose on the loose in the Palouse?

Actually, in past years, the bright spots on the Husky horizons have far outnumbered the dark ones. What's ahead? Will the memory of the game against the Cougs on Saturday be forever carved in their hall of fame or will it be one that’s fit to preserve the memory of my devotion? Well, after dwelling on the negative, I visited the old fortuneteller, Hilda, wanting to trade some pessimism for sanguinity. She looks old enough to have remembered the Dardanelle’s campaign, and as I sat down I noticed a bottle of tequila sitting on the table and wondered whether it had meaning.

"I see a new dawn emerging in the Husky crystal ball," Hilda told me, sensing that I was kind of down. "I see a five-star super stud giving a verbal commitment to the Washington Huskies. Farther down the horizon I see a BCS bowl game. Most of the stadium is bleeding Gurple and Gold, and in the center as always are Chris, Andy, Rick, 3D, Dave and Moni. Moni is holding little Jessica, who is waving a purple pom-pom."

For a moment, the weathered old woman lapsed into a trance, her green eyes rolled up inside their sockets. I shook her, asking her if there was more. Finally, after a convulsive twitch or two, she snapped to attention, saluted me with a swig from the bottle and continued on, a quizzical look etched in her florid face, "I really don't understand the rest."

"Never mind the meaning, the rest, please. What BCS bowl game will it be?" I asked, thinking of a potential national championship for the Dawgs.

Several gulps of tequila lit her fire. "Seated behind dawgman’s crew are Malamute and his wife and behind them an enigmatic looking fan wearing sun glasses, holding a policeman’s night stick. Now he’s standing and waving it menacingly in the air, exhorting those clad in purple and gold to make more noise.”

She hesitated a moment, "I don't understand that, but that's what I see, and there is more."

Obviously she saw an image of Lee Groinman; who else other than a gendarme on duty would be carrying a nightstick? Groinman’s more peripatetic than a wandering nomad, and shows up for all the Husky games, the quintessential Husky fan.

"That's enough," I blurted, aware of Groinman’s anger management classes. This guy can get carried away when it comes to rooting for our Dawgs, and I really didn’t want to think that he would have to return to Doc Janey for more of those emasculating sessions. Those were akin to a Nurse Ratched morphing McMurphy into Billy Bibbit. Since I admire Seattle's toughest cop, I didn’t want her diminishing my image of him by describing a scene rife with rage and anger, a conjuring that portended more sessions with a shrink.

Sensing my growing discomfort, the old crone wouldn’t be denied and I wasn’t able to shut her up. Instead, she began to regurgitate aloud, in a gravelly throaty voice, as if possessed by someone, sounding more like Rambo than Hilda, giving her imitation of Groinman, "This is Officer Lee Groinman...that's right, Seattle's toughest cop. There’ll be 18 inches of laser-honed, Tennessee hickory laid across your pointy little heads unless you make more noise for the Huskies. Hey, Mal and Aud, nice to see you at the (garbled) bowl…"

Back to her normal voice, she said, “It’s all fading away now.”

“What bowl game, Hilda, which BCS bowl game did Groinman mean? Where are the Huskies going to play?”

Having emptied the bottle of fermented cactus juice, she returned to somnolence, which left her unable to speak or utter a word. Sensing that no amount of importuning would rekindle the flames in her hearth, I left the joint, knowing why she always wants her cabbage before she serves dessert.

Now that I think of it, if she really had answers to questions like that, she wouldn’t be in the fortune-telling business, she’d be taking them to the Dow.

But, hey, I like to think that I’m a glass-is-half-full kind of guy; of course, she meant a BCS game for the Dawgs, and it’s going to be one played right after this regular season is over. I’m sure the redoubtable Officer Groinman would agree with that. And this, too: Let’s get it on, Huskies…and keep the faith, C-Dub.

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