Rick Neuheisel is arriving in Seattle this week for his return to Husky Stadium and even though he didn't leave under the best of circumstances most close to him insist that he is a changed man. What has changed about Rick is that he has reportedly learned a life lesson from his time in Seattle and has marched the straight and narrow ever since.
I didn't mind the old Rick except for the Clintonian way he went about his business.He lived a life which resulted in death by 1000 paper cuts.Despite that I thought he did a lot more good than bad while at UW and most of the good things he did were out of the public eye. Washington may never have had a more compassionate head coach when it came to helping out people in need.
His return was marked by a public apology to Husky fans for his past conduct which really impressed me. He didn't have to do that but he did. Like a man going through a twelve step program Rick is coming to terms with his past so he can have a better future. While Neuheisel is happy at UCLA he does have regret for his time at Washington. Like he said on his way out he never really appreciated what he had up here until it was taken away.
Testimony to Rick's regret are all the friends he made and left behind when he comes up to visit here each year during the summer. Rick left part of himself behind in Seattle and rather than crawl away in shame he faced it straight on.
That brings us to this weeks question. Will you boo Rick Neuheisel when he steps on to the field on Saturday? I don't think many will and I won't be surprised if many more boo the current head coach Tyrone Willingham.
Do you you really think Tyrone will be coming back to visit life long friends once he packs up the moving truck in coming weeks? Do you think Tyrone will ever apologize for his performance as head coach at Washington?
For my money I will take Neuheisel with all his warts and blemishes. He may have been a piece of work at times while he was here, but I give the man a tip of the hat for sticking with it, and trying to improve upon his flaws.
I advise that you provide a polite round of applause for the last man to take us to a Rose Bowl.