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Blogging about gardening in zone 4, marriage, our golden retriever and life in general.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Back in the game

This afternoon my dad retakes the football field as a collegiate head coach. After three years of being out of the game, he'll lead the Idaho State Bengals onto the field at Martin Stadium in Pullman, for an afternoon showdown against Washington State University. 

Man, there is so much emotion wrapped up in those two sentences. Dad is finally actually coaching again. He and my mom grew up 12 miles from Pullman. He was recruited by Washington State, but chose to start at the University of Idaho as a freshman. WSU drubbed Idaho so badly in 1975 that my dad's brother Pat, who was being recruited by WSU, refused to speak to the 'Cougs coaches. Pat signed with Notre Dame instead, married a girl from the east coast and has lived in Massachusetts since.  

Football is a game, don't get me wrong. But sometimes it has life-changing consequences.

Dad was on the staff at WSU last year. Let me make it clear: he made $24,000 as the glorified water boy. He couldn't interact with college athletes. He wasn't coaching. But he and my mom had fun being 'Coug fans. Even if the 'Cougs only won two games last year; one of them an overtime victory against Montana State. 

A long time assistant, and good friend of his, is the head football coach at WSU. Paul's WSU teams have won five games in three years- he's on the end of a one-year contract extension. Saying he's on the hot seat is like saying I've got small fingers. Duh. 

My sister and her boyfriend are seniors at WSU. It's amazing how much this university, which I didn't attend, has been in my life lately. Can I call myself a bandwagon 'Coug fan if I became a fan when they sucked? 

The sportswriter for the Spokesman Review out of Spokane has been a longtime favorite writer of mine. His article this week gets to the amazing irony and sometimes gut-wrenching coincidences that come with college athletics. You can, and should, read it here.

Don't get me wrong, it won't be a close game. The 'Cougs have been terrible, but the Bengals have been worse. But it's awesome to see dad get another chance to do what he loves, and is so damn good at. 

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