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Gekko Chats: Q&A with Adam Jude, Seattle Times UW Beat Writer

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Gekko sits down with the man, the myth, the legend ... Adam Jude of the Seattle Times.

Adam Jude
Adam Jude

It was over a year ago that the Seattle Times introduced a new beat reporter to Husky fans everywhere.  Adam Jude, a University of Oregon grad and beat writer covering the Ducks took over a beat manned by former Coug, Bob Condotta and immediately became one of the most recognizable media names to fans in the Pacific Northwest.

Adam is a 1999 graduate of Mountlake Terrace High School.  He covered his first UW - Oregon game in 2002 (Huskies crushed Oregon 42-14).  When Adam isn't busy dodging tomatoes or dog biscuits thrown at him by bitter Husky fans, he is enjoying spending time with his wife and two young children back in the town that he was raised in.  You might occassionally find him digging through his old keepsakes and discovering treasures like this:

Please welcome Adam Jude to the Dawg Pound.

Gekko_medium
Adam, thanks for taking the time to do this Q&A. Most of our visitors know that you grew up in the area but made the decision to go to college at the University of Oregon. Can you talk about decision and what led you to Oregon?

Adam Jude:  I had my first byline when I was a 14-year-old freshman for the Hawkeye (http://www.thehawkeye.org) at Mountlake Terrace High. It was actually a shared byline with a good friend, Shayne Day, and we wrote about junior varsity girls swimming. I was hooked. I spent four years on the staff and twice we were named the top high school newspaper in the country, thanks to our amazing adviser, Vince DeMiero, who is still there … and still the best. I knew what I wanted to pursue in college and beyond, so that narrowed my college options. Vince, a Coug, had urged me to go to WSU, which has a good journalism/communications program. I looked closely at Northwestern, too, but I didn't really want to leave the Northwest (is that ironic?). I liked UW too, but it’s communications program didn't have the best reputation at the time (this was in the late ’90s). Oregon had a good J School and I liked the campus a lot. And then the UO came through with a pretty nice scholarship, so that sort of sealed the deal for me. … That, by the way, is way more than anyone should have to read about a two-star journalism nerd, but you asked!

Gekko_medium
When you made your decision to move on from your position with the Oregonian and move back to the Puget Sound area, you talked on your blog about the importance of coming home for you and your young family. How has that experience worked out for you and has there been anything that you've missed leaving Oregon?

Adam Jude:  I miss friends in Oregon. I miss the 5-minute commute to anywhere in Eugene. I miss the relatively "easy" living. But, overall, it’s wonderful to be back home. My wife and I are both from the area, so it’s great to have two sets of grandparents who are (usually) eager to help out with the kids. That becomes even more important for my awesome wife during football season, when she’s sort of a single parent.

Gekko_medium
You've been covering the Husky beat for over a year now. Obviously, your predecessor was a very popular figure for Husky fans. What successes and what challenges have stood out the most in your first year?

Adam Jude: Condotta left a long shadow, and I still feel like I’m lingering in that at times. That’s not a bad thing. Bob raised the bar for the beat, it’s fun and exciting and challenging trying to reach that. It does feel like Husky fans have warmed up to me a little bit, at least: A year ago, the "F*CK YOU, GO BACK TO OREGON" emails streamed in daily; now, I only see them every couple weeks. Progress, baby!

Gekko_medium
You've had the experience of covering coaches who have dramatically different philosophies on media and fan access to the program. Is Chris Petersen more similar to Sark or to Chip when it comes to access and, as a beat writer, can you describe your strategy for managing through all of the unique access philosophies?

Adam Jude: Man, great question. Sark, more than any coach I've covered, really seemed to enjoy the media stuff. That’s not a knock on him; he’s pretty good in interviews, and good at talking through (and around) issues, so he should play to his strengths. I appreciated that, especially coming from a rather, uh, difficult personality in Chip Kelly. I’m still getting to know Petersen and his style, but he seems like the type who’s going to walk the walk, not talk the talk. He’ll say what’s necessary in interviews, but not much more. Which is totally fine. I also respect that Petersen will say "I’m not going to talk about that" with some things, as opposed to giving half-truths to issues he may or may not be comfortable talking about. For readers, I think my writing that "Coach X ‘wouldn't discuss’ Issue Y,’ or something like that, can be pretty telling in its own way.

Gekko_medium
From the on the field product, to different camp and practice routines, to different rules governing player/media or coach/media interaction, every coaching regime is different. From the point of view of a beat writer, what excites you the most about the Chris Petersen program relative to your experiences with Chip Kelly and Steve Sarkisian?

Adam Jude: I think you would be surprised how similarly the coaches and the programs operate from the perspective of my job. As noted above, there are differences with how they interact with reporters, and how comfortable they are with the attention, but that is mostly little stuff — stuff that wouldn't matter to the vast majority of my audience. The access and the information/news they’re willing to put out there isn't all that different. To answer your question, in general, I am excited about getting to know a new coach and a new staff, the same way I am excited each fall to try to learn about new players, and what makes them tick, what motivates them, what makes them what they are. That’s one of the best parts of my job.

Gekko_medium
I can't let you go without the obligatory Oregon question. The 10-year losing streak to the Ducks is probably the most painful open sore that Husky fans feel. Do you sense that the Huskies have anything more than a puncher's chance to go to Eugene and end the streak this year? Why or why not?

Adam Jude: Let’s not forget that Chris Petersen is 2-0 against Oregon. Will that matter at Autzen Stadium on Oct. 18? Well, not really. Probably not at all. But it’s a good stat. Look, Marcus Mariota is as good a quarterback as this conference has seen in awhile, and his performance at Husky Stadium last year was as good as I've seen from a college quarterback. This is a stupid thing to say on this blog, but I wouldn't pick UW to beat Oregon right now. Not on paper. No reasonable person would. But that doesn't mean it can’t be done. Did I mention Petersen is 2-0 against the Ducks?

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Thanks to Adam Jude of the Seattle Times for coming into the 'Pound and sharing a little of his background with us. If you liked what you heard here, give Adam a follow on Twitter (@a_jude) and check out his Huskies blog on the Seattle Times.