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Nick, Jaslyn, Katie and I watched the Cougs smack Stanford around as a Halloween party!

Nick, Jaslyn, Katie and I watched the Cougs smack Stanford around as a Halloween party!

WSU went toe to toe in old style play with Stanford and I came away even more impressed. It was the best feeling loss for quite some time. We had shoulda, coulda plays throughout a near win over an elite team. It was damn good football mixed with frustration. The Cougars are big-time college footballers. Yay!

Pat loves fine desert living!

Pat loves fine desert living!

Today is a transition, sandwiching golfing utopia and high-level football. Stanford travels to Washington State University in a battle for PAC-12 north supremacy. Pat and I savored swimming and stretching in warm water and weather at his home before cruising to Sky Harbor today. The Nevada mountains below me are topped with snow as the sun shines brilliantly. It’s been a dreamy week. Lyn and Pat are such great hosts. A victory tomorrow would taste like dessert. We’ve enjoyed a resurgence of kick-ass football. Pullman boasts one of the most exciting teams in the country, with remarkable players. Rain and wind are expected to return, granting the Cougars a chance to redeem their season-opening slop-drop against Portland State.

With the looming time change, lunches on the golf range sound appropriate. I hope for rounds at Veteran’s Memorial, Canyon Lakes and perhaps Palouse Ridge/Wildhorse/Othello on the near horizon. Autumn golf in the north will beg patience and restraint. How low can I go?

I’m wondering if my exposure to warm desert golf will be a life-changing event for me. To follow masterful links with a soothing swim is a great way to live. Would it be awesome for a month or more?

I hit golf balls from small mountains and soon I will ski across bigger ones. I believe that core work, strength training and high energy cardio-vascular adventures like hiking, spinning, squatting, running and climbing offer me avenues to greater achievement, firing my body and soul. How many mountains will I summit this winter? How fully will I savor the fruits of life as I dance to the passage of time?

I sense a need to mix it up, see the world and greet new adventures with a fiery passion, recognizing the fleeting nature of life. Work has enriched me and play has treated me even better. My spirit soars and dances and blossoms in wild community. These are the greatest treats. Want to play with me soon?

Beaver Beatdown!

Beaver Beatdown!

PREGAME:

It’s another great day! It’s early, in Pullman, Washington. To me, this is the home of college football. There’s no place I’d rather be today, and I know some very cool places.

It’s the excitement! Muscle toned studs in their prime doing battle on the great American battlefield. So awesome! My competitive juices are already flowing, and I haven’t even had coffee yet. I’ve showered and shaved and trimmed and flushed, so I am primed. But, about that coffee…..

After a tough season, the Wazzu Cougars opened with what many called their worst game in years, losing to a lower tier team from Portland State. Doomsayers called for the coach’s head, projecting a dismal season. I only laughed. Though also disheartened by the sub-par effort, I knew a season is not about one game. I knew the Cougars were better than they showed. But how much better?

Well, last-minute victories over Rutgers and Oregon and a giveaway to Cal showed that these Cougars can play. How much more will they improve as the schedule toughens? That’s an exciting question whose answer will develop over seven weeks. Perhaps even weeks after that!

Family/friendly tailgates are special treats. I loved hanging with Nick and Jaslyn and visiting with so many cool people at Jim’s superb bash.

POST GAME:

Wow! We were treated to a half of Cougar offense that was near perfection. Luke Falk spirited the Cougar offense to six touchdown passes in seven possessions, plus a field goal. They moved the ball at will, executing beautifully on varietal passes and runs. Falk avoided sacks and found open teammates. The Cougars are so exciting!

Sometimes. They stumbled in the second half, after 45 – 17 at the break. They lost their edge, when they no longer needed it to win. The defense gave up a lot of yards, yet made great hits and plays. Special teams had success, like a fifty yard kickoff return, stopping a fake punt, and holding some kickoff returns in check. They also allowed a one-hundred yard kickoff return, a blocked punt and a muffed onside kick. But this win feeds momentum, excitement and imagined possibilities. Still, the Cougars must practice hard and play each play. Next Saturday’s game in Tucson is again pivotal.  GO COUGS!!!

About that being anywhere else thing.  Here’s a cool place I’ve been at least close to. Thank you great and powerful adventurers!

Is that Colchuck from Aasgard? Photo courtesy of Northwest Wildass Adventurers, Ltd.

Is that Colchuck from Aasgard? Photo courtesy of Northwest Wildass Adventurers, Ltd.

Running backs practicing pass protection before Martin Stadium scrimmage, 4/18/2015.

Running backs practicing pass protection before Martin Stadium scrimmage, 4/18/2015.

Yay! We’re undefeated! So are all the other teams, but still, our team has such potential! It’s a joyous time of year for college football, when hope springs eternal. Competition has become incredibly tough, so really good teams will still lose. But it sure is fun to hope for more!

My blood is crimson, so the Washington State University Cougars are the team for me. I’ve cheered them on for a lot longer than billions of people have been alive, and it’s still a privilege. Cougars are often underdogs, doggedly determined and loyal. I’ve been to a lot of cities, and I’d rather go to Pullman than visit most of them. It just fires me up!

Young talent is so exciting! I think it makes me feel younger. This years’ emerging stars are really pumping me up!

Peyton Bender is worthy of his crimson jersey. He tosses beautifully spiraling, accurate passes. He is another in a long line of majestic quarterbacks to come to Pullman.  I’m so excited to see him blossom!

Keith Harrington is the real deal at running back. He just gets it done! He’s fast, elusive and decisive. Hand it to him, toss it to him, just get him the ball!

Kyrin Priester is a special talent at wide receiver. He has to sit out a year after transferring from Clemson, and it will be hard to wait.  We have other good receivers, but this dude is good!

So I’m picking the gray team in Saturday’s scrimmage in Spokane. Of course, as a Cougar fan, I win either way!  GO COUGS!

Last night I learned to do squats correctly. I’m glad I’m able and willing to learn. My ego wants my drives to fly farther and my legs to run faster. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. But my legs can get stronger.

Yesterday I bought Qualcomm stock. Perhaps it will reward me, but maybe not. At least I have a financial plan that is likely to work out well.

I roll with the punches at work. It’s important for my mental health. The cycle of change has accelerated to unfathomable speed. Nothing is for sure or for long. Black and white precision is now mottled gray approximation. High level perspective is more fun than frenzied muddling.

WSU Cougar fans get to roll with the punches again too. Two losses replaced expected wins. C’est la vie! Will the crowd be big and supportive in the newly improved football complex? Will the noise be deafening for the opponents? We only have one week to practice for the mighty Ducks, so let’s get it on!

 

Connor Halliday fires a pass in Martin Stadium scrimmage, 4/19/14

Connor Halliday fires a pass in Martin Stadium scrimmage, 4/19/14

I don’t expect you to understand. Unless you’ve lived in Pullman, that is. Then you get it before I even say it!
GO COUGS!
There’s nothing like it. David slaying Goliath. WSU whipping USC. Which is more impressive?
It’s spring football, where hope fills the air. These guys are really growing!
Impressive athletes, top grade coaches and improved facilities: are we returning to the golden age of Cougar football? It feels like it to me! And the signs are everywhere:

Rose Bowl quarterback + All-Pro cornerback = Cougar greatness!

Rose Bowl quarterback + All-Pro cornerback = Cougar greatness!

Those gentlemen are Jason Gesser, the last quarterback to lead us to the Rose Bowl, and Marcus Trufant, perhaps our best cornerback ever. Marcus recently retired from a lengthy career with the Seattle Seahawks. They played in Pullman and won most of their games. They are two friendly men who truly know football. Marcus’ mother is very engaging too!
The stars may be aligning. Mike Leach, a talented head coach, has amassed excellent assistants. Together they continue to recruit progressively better athletes, both physically and attitudinally. Get on board or hit the road. Nobody’s dragging this pirate ship down!
Connor Halliday is throwing with precision. Vince Mayle leads a stable of remarkable receivers. Mike Breske ignites an army of awesome athletes on defense, including Darryl Monroe, Xavier Cooper and Daquawn Brown. Naming is almost unfair, because the breadth and depth of talent is impressive! I think Nick agrees!

Nick is lucky to be a Cougar now!

Nick is lucky to be a Cougar now!

Are the Cougars ready to kick some ass? I think so! Best time? When the Ducks and Huskies come to town! GO COUGS!

Go Cougars!  Nick and Jaslyn enjoy college life.....

Go Cougars! Nick and Jaslyn enjoy college life…..

What a fun weekend! The new season tickets for WSU football are under cover; what a great bonus for rainy or snowy games.  This one was gloriously sunny! From high up on the western 5 yard line, Annie and I celebrated a lot of great Cougar plays after hooking up with the Ericksons for some tasty tailgating.  Then we rescued Nick from his job for an enjoyable late dinner.

After dropping Nick and Jaslyn off on campus and Annie at Lauren’s apartment, I picked a spot to park my subcompact RV. Okay, it’s really a 4Runner. It makes amazing mileage compared to RV’s! Comfort is a relative thing.  A sleeping pad fits in the back. Next time I’ll park on a  slight downslope to level the bed. I might have opened the windows a little wider and perhaps put a little less air in the mattress. A 24 hour bathroom would have been nice, but I made it to one just in time!

Annie and I worked out at the WSU Recreation Center; it’s fun to have someone help me push a little harder. Nick couldn’t join us but he sure did inspire us! He’s added amazing amounts of muscle in the past month. We were so inspired by his physique that we toasted our arms and tortured our legs. I could barely stumble around.  Then we hopped on elliptical/stair hybrid machines for some cardio work.  I pushed to my theoretical maximum heart rate, near the end, at 166 beats per minute.  I suspect my heart will beat faster, but the machine was dancing and the readout said “maximum speed attained.” It may have translated to “slow down and quit abusing me!” Who’s to know?

Let the good times roll!

Let the good times roll!

American football seems like modern warfare!  The warriors can shake hands afterwards; maybe we are evolving…

Yes, the injuries are sad.  Head trauma is prevalent and debilitating.  Ex-players are hobbled by joint injuries.  Steroids are used to add muscle bulk, degrading health.  I am grateful that my son chose to quit football, related to concerns over the head trauma.  He’s a great student and his joints still work.  He’ll be grateful for this for the rest of his life.

But the excitement of football is undeniable!  Testosterone-filled warriors pound, race, chase and battle with chiseled bodies.  Their incredible athleticism adds to shows of grace, quickness, power and brute strength.  Is it modern warfare with fewer casualties?  Fans feel the excitement, sometimes with the vigor of the players.

It’s an improvement over dueling with guns.  It’s preferable to spears, clubs, arrows, cannons, machine guns, bayonets and knives.  It’s a huge improvement over the bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki!

Men need to battle.  Football is better than many other options!  Go Seahawks!  🙂

It’s been a great weekend!  I took Friday off to start early, joining my brothers Pat and Jim for some very challenging golfing tests.  The Palouse Ridge golf club offers panoramic views, sloping fairways and smooth, fast and hard greens.  There is absolutely no boredom here.  Extreme side-hill lies, British style bunkers, tall native grasses and well designed holes offer challenge, opportunity and danger.  My best advice is to bring extra balls, especially the ones you can hit with a club!

After golf, Annie treated us to oven fresh bread, roasted vegetables with feta and parmesan, red pepper vinaigrette chicken, cheesy cauliflower quinoa and chocolate pumpkin bars.  It was all so good!  ( :

On Saturday we enjoyed good sleep, burgers and sausages at Jim’s fifth wheel party and awesome sunshine in the student section of Martin Stadium.  We had an impressive view of the stadium expansion and saw some good plays by the Cougars.  Not enough to win the game though, as they fell to Colorado, 35-34.  As usual, Mike Leach’s post-game interview was entertaining and enlightening.  He’s changing a culture; I believe he’ll get it done.

After a short rest and re-fueling, Annie and I visited the Rec center to exercise.  We started with 25 minutes of fast paced lunges and weights and then moved to ellipticals, rowing machines and 12 percent incline treadmills, for 40 more minutes of cardiovascular training.  It felt so good!  We then had wonderful leftovers and chocolate applesauce oatmeal muffins, fresh from the oven.  Yay!

Tomorrow we hope to hike up Moscow Mountain.  What lucky people we are!  I hope we smuggle some muffins along!!!

It’s a Saturday in September.  It’s game day!  Even if I didn’t enjoy watching American football, the social spectacle would probably still draw me in.  I’ll join 35,000 others in Pullman today to celebrate the art of body slamming.  It’s right up there with boxing and head butting on my list of good things to do with my body.  But I’m always excited to watch other people do it.  For myself, I’ve always loved throwing and catching the ball, as well as using shifty moves and speed to avoid tackles.  The more brutal aspects are manly fun, but perhaps not worth limping around for the rest of one’s life.  Wars like these lead to many casualties.

It’s only a game!  This is a great lesson for those of us who’ve invested our egos in fanhood.  Can victory by “our” team validate our worth in any way?  Celebration of competition is fun and exciting.  Wanting to win is human.  Losing is smothered in beautiful lessons.  Achieving our best and watching others do so is magnificent.  Hoping to see such mastery draws us back, searching for more proof that everything is possible.  Let’s re-kindle our fires!  Go Cougars!!!

Washington State Cougars athletic logo

Washington State Cougars athletic logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cheering for the Washington State University Cougars is an experience like nothing else in my life.  I wouldn’t trade it!  Watching crimson clad warriors puts a spring in my step, belief in my heart and pride in my voice.  Sure, we’ve taken the underdog label to the extreme, but our tastes of success have included sweet apples, fragrant roses and San Diego sunshine!  Mike Leach brings us right back to the feeling of 2003; we’re the mighty Cougars again, expecting victory!  All Cougar fans have wandered in the desert of losses; those of us who’ve been around for a while have been there multiple times.  It yields perspective, that wondrous result of pain, that opens the door for the sweetest successes.  Go Cougs!!!

frankoshanko

I love health, humor, adventure, exercise, romance and competition. Well, I just love life! ( :

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