You all know the story. Conducting his business through a network of spies and informants that would make the Kremlin blush (this article probably just got tagged by the NSA), old Saint Nicolas, aka "Santa Claus", keeps a master file on all the little boys and girls around the globe to determine those that will be eligible for the annual exchange that occurs tonight on or around midnight local time.
The List - as this master file is generally referred to - has long been thought to be the most covert of all secret files held by any nation. Many kids and parents, alike, have over the last several decades, attempted to breach North Pole security in an effort to access and to alter that list in hopes of improving their Christmas fortunes. However, the combination of the North Pole's geographic sequestration and the manual nature of The List itself (known in technical circles as "Hard Copy") has conspired to thwart the efforts of some of the world's most notorious hackers and phishers. Some of those famous include:
- Shawn Fanning
- The Mentor
- Edward Snowden
- Kevin Mitnick
Thanks to a well-placed Husky fan from deep within the Claus compound, this writer has become the first living non-North Polian to glimpse The List. In the version that I witnessed during my 10 minute preview, I was able to scribble several notes that project out how certain Huskies ... and Husky Fans ... are likely to fare this yule tide season.
The Nice List
Below are some of the names that I observed on "The Virtous" side of The List's ledger with Santa's Christmas wish included in parentheses.
Deontae Cooper (A Healthy Offseason)
Everybody's most inspirational Husky, the survivor of not one, not two, but three ACL rebuilds, came on to have a remarkable season that culminated in an amazing 100+ yard performance at Oregon State. Coop, you've earned the healthiest and happiest of holiday seasons.
Hau'oli Kikaha (A Future NFL Contract)
Another amazing comeback story, Kikaha returned from his second ACL to put up an all-conference caliber type of season on the Huskies defensive line and has restored his name to that exclusive list of draftable college players.
TrustNo1 (An injection molded ABS Plastic Snow Helmet)
...The holidays always portend the arrival of inclement weather in the Pacific Northwest and we all know how, errr, reliable TrustNo1 is on her feet outside, especially where sidewalks are present.
Kevin Smith (New Elbow Sleeves)
The senior Husky receiver, a comeback story in his own right, had a highlight reel style season as the Huskies biggest downfield playmaker. Less celebrated, but definitely the most noticed part of his game among scouts, was his ferocious blocking in the Husky rushing attack. For that, new elbow sleeves are warranted to - you know - lessen the impact of all that ass-kicking that he's been laying on opponents.
More 'Pound Highlights
More 'Pound Highlights
HuskyInExile (New Glass Tumbler Set)
...Our resident founder of "the Glass Half Full" club has been relentless in his kindness and good cheer, inspiring many a cynical Husky fan and keeping the positive "mo" in this blog going. It is only fitting that Santa help to restock his cupboards with more glasses that he can fill half-way.
Keith Price (His First Bowl Game Victory)
... Price entered this season as an embattled QB on a "downward" trajectory, but exits it as one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in UW program history thanks to one of the most efficient seasons ever seen in these parts. On top of that, KP demonstrated his leadership chops in one memorable impromptu press conference on the day of the Steve Sarkisian resignation. He's a special kid who comes from a special family (as I can personally attest after meeting several of them at the ASU game) and he deserves to go out a winner in his last game.
Eric Keisau (A Job ... somewhere)
...Santa recognizes what many Husky fans have overlooked ... that Eric Keisau has really done a bang-up job in whatever jobs he's held in his two years with UW. Often overlooked due to the fact that Sark did all the playcalling, Keisau was one of the architects behind the new offensive approach that, by any measure, produced the best offense in program history and the work he did in developing blockers out of his wide receivers will, I fear, become very apparent next season. We here at the 'Pound wish the Keisaus the very best wherever they land.
Marcus Peters (A Preseason All-American Designation)
...Peters entered the season as the understudy to the just-graduated Desmond Trufant and then went on to establish himself as arguably the best cover corner in the Pac 12 if not one of the best in all of the nation. By the time the season ended, opponents had all but abandoned attempts at attacking Peters deep as he led one of the better Husky secondaries seen in these parts over the past 20 years. A D that features each level anchored by Danny Shelton, Shaq Thompson and Peters is a pretty nice luxury for the new coaching staff.
Chris Petersen (A New Boat ... for commuting)
... Petersen, the great white whale for CFB programs everywhere, may have already gotten his Christmas wish with his new Montlake gig, but he's still on Santa's Nice List and for good reason. In his world, a four-loss season qualifies as "humbling". That's some clean living, right there. Apparently, a boat owned by a former UW coach has just hit the market.
The Naughty List
Steve Sarkisian (Ed Orgeron Under the Christmas Tree)
... While I've no ill will for the former UW coach who, in my estimation, did everything he could to restore our program to prominence, one cannot ignore what a naughty boy he's been in poaching coaches, flipping recruits and playing whatever role he played in the Tosh affair. Apparently Santa thinks that giving Sark back Coach O would provide for some fun and divisive drama down the road in Troy. We concur.
Ben Riva (P90X Deluxe Edition)
... At the end of 2012, Riva was viewed by many as the Huskies most effective offensive lineman and much was expected of him going into 2013. Husky fans were given some hope when Riva was switched to LT in the preseason, but he failed to hold on to that promotion. After getting switched back to RT, Riva went on to have an OK season, but one that failed to keep him on the steep trajectory that he was on in 2012. We believe that a new workout regime, a new coaching staff and a little good luck will result in a return to prominence for the Husky JR.
Josh Shirley (Iron Boots)
... The mysterious Husky OLB/DE has been one of the Pac's top pass rushers over the previous two seasons, but failed to make the requisite improvements in pass defense and run game support required for him to become an every down player, sacrificing much of his playing time to Cory Littleton as the season went on. A pair of iron boots may be just what needs to hold his ground on 1st down rushes by the likes of Stanford, Oregon and UCLA.
Kevin Gemmell (A Pair of Purple and Gold Pajamas)
... The celebrated ESPN Pac 12 Blog correspondent with an alleged affinity for the donners of Cardinal and White out of Palo Alto took notice of happenings here in the 'Pound and recently made reference to a certain 'Pound blogger as a "wise and learned gentlemen" (or something of that nature). Naughty, Naughty, Mr. Gemmell. It's a good thing that Jim Harbaugh isn't coaching at Stanford any longer.
Brad Johnson (The Spirit of Brotherly Love)
... While his wit is sharp and his knowledge of all things Husky is near legendary, the 'Pound's most accomplished Mr. Mom has exhibited a certain hostility for his own flesh-and-blood brother in their weekly "Brotherhood" column. In one venemous moment, he even made reference to his mother's desire to have drowned his brother during his adolescence. This man need's a good dose of Brotherly Love.
Lorenzo Romar (A Competent Big Man)
... The naughty Husky MBB coach tried to dance with the devil while holding on to his integrity in the recruiting of several high profile PSAs over the last two years. And, because there are no points for finishing in second with a recruit, he's paying his comeuppance this season. A big man (perhaps an Upshaw?) is on his list.
Cameron Van Winkle (A Three-pack of Sports Psychologist visits)
... This celebrated Husky recruit was tabbed as the next great Husky placekicker with both the leg to go deep and the accuracy to hit from all angles. After a burned redshirt, CVW struggled with just about every aspect of the game in losing the kickoff battle and then failing to reliably kick field goals. A dose of confidence and a few easy wins is what this young man needs to restore him as the next great Husky kicking hope.
Johnny Nansen (A lump of coal)
...Special Teams. Boooooo. Even Santa is pissed off at him. And that is a pretty hard thing to do.
Lear Pilot (A Shot of Jaeger ... and some Christmas Spirit)
... Lear is a longtime 'Pound member and noted debater. Always one to value the thrill of the debate over the point itself, Lear has unwittingly ascended to the prime antagonist position in 'Pound heirarchy. While some may deride this naughty position, I celebrate it. Every great story needs an antagonist ... and for that, we hoist our drinks to good ol' Lear and wish him a Merry Christmas.
And to all of our Husky friends throughout the world - and I know that I will get visitors from at least 70 countries today including Australia, Singapore, Romania, Argentina, Switzerland, Qatar, Ireland and Canada - I wish you all the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of Holidays. I've been fortunate to have been part of the explosion of growth that has occurred with this site over the past 12 months and I'm thankful to have so many great members that take an active role in creating what is becoming the greatest online community of Husky fans in the world.
Cheers and Thanks to you all.