Cougar football season brings mixed feelings


The wheat fields across the region are turning gold, and the sky's rich blue is bordering on the nearly cloudless state it takes in Eastern Washington's late summers.

For some, this means harvest.

Not me.

No, for me, the impending season has always meant Cougar football. Don't tell me about the last few Cougar football seasons. It's all about to change.


I promise.

But until that little hope of mine gets blown to smithereens, it's Pac-10 - I mean, Pac-12 - media time.

It started with the release Tuesday of a Pac-12 promotional video, featuring exhilarating footage of Martin Stadium on Pullman's perfect fall days, as well as an awesome shot of Drew Bledsoe's Snow Bowl pass way back in the day.

Maybe not so many highlights of the recent past, though I do think WSU coach Paul Wulff's boyish cheer and skip in the 2008 Apple Cup win is worth showing.

The three-minute video, which caught my attention on the Alumni Association's Facebook page, also includes footage of the Ducks' so-close-to-a-‘Natty' season, as well as that Purple school over on the rainy side, honoring their Holiday Bowl win.

Where the fall days aren't nearly so crisp (or dry) nor the tailgaters so friendly.

It's hard to be friendly when you're tailgating on a yacht, but then, what do I know? I tailgate in a tent trailer. And sunshine.

Wulff will also make heavy appearances on ESPN on Thursday.

He'll make taped appearances on ESPNU, Game Day, College Football Live, Sportscenter and SportsNation, and participate in social media chats, including an ESPN Social Media chat at 9:30 a.m. at ESPN's Facebook, on Twitter at at 10 a.m. and on an chat at 10:30 a.m.

In the Cougs' 10-minute version of media day on Tuesday in Los Angeles, Wulff said he was expecting a breakout football season and that spring and summer training has shown a new level of play. Apparently there might even be seniors, and there will be a better supporting cast - his words, not mine - around quarterback Jeff Tuel.

I think I'm not going to go there, because the blogs and armchair analysts and experts far outclass my little spoonful of football knowledge.

I'm not entirely on or off the "Keep Paul Wulff!" bandwagon. I was in Pullman for the Bill Doba years, and they weren't pretty. In fact, with the state that program was in by 2008, I'm not even sure Mike Price - plus Drew Bledsoe, plus Jerome Harrison - could've put it back together.

Until the official opinions start to support my own, I'll be "And that's another ... Cougar ... first ... down!"-ing away, even if I just see the first down on ESPN's play-by-play Gamecast (read: no video, but that's why I rely on YouTube, Twitter and Cougar friends) from the office chair on Saturday nights.

The nature of a prep sports job means I'll be missing much of my favorite season in Pullman, with a lone exception for my birthday game in September, a father-daughter tradition.

So on those Saturday nights, when games run past my 3 p.m. start time, callers, please. Bear with me. I'm doing my best, even if I'm a little distracted. The Cougars might've done something right - or very, very wrong. I might be singing the Fight Song — or crying in the corner.

But, either way. Football will be a welcome reprieve from the Mariners, right?


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