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In the Spirit of Christmas, an Appreciation of Coach Pete’s Culture-of-Not-Doing-Bad-Things

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Because it’s Yuletide, and that’s when you give thanks for the little things. Like a football team whose off-field behavior is refreshingly unlike that of Ivan the Terrible.

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Championship-Colorado vs Washington Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I’m gonna make this quick. I mean, you shouldn’t even be reading this right now; it’s Christmas, for Christ’s sake (get it?). Get off the computer and spend some time with that family of yours, you goon.

Wait no, s***, don’t go! Just read this and then shut off your computer and don’t look at it until tomorrow.

(Alternatively, if you’re spending the holiday with your only slightly bearable in-laws, I recommend saving this for later in the day when your tolerance is maxing out, and then sneaking off to read this as a much-needed recharge. Although I must admit, being in-law-less myself, you should almost certainly not take any advice from me on those matters.)

But it is the holidays, and the holidays are all about being thankful and appreciative and, as pre-Walking Dead Rick Grimes says:

Actually though don’t you dare criticize Love Actually.

And between being truthful, being thankful, and being a Husky football fan, here’s my Christmas truth:

Thank you, Chris Petersen.

While (not all, but too many) college football programs around the country are too busy supporting or making excuses for puke-worthy behavior by their players, let’s give an applause for the weight Coach Pete places on doing good things. And not doing bad things.

For real though, when did humanity get together and decide we have such low expectations for 20-year-old men so as to find this—pardon my Christmas-truth-inspired French—royal bullshit-ish behavior okay?

I know you guys don’t live under a rock, so I know I don’t have to go into detail about Joe Mixon’s punishment for breaking many bones in a woman’s face being that he had to redshirt for a year, or Dede Westbrook hitting the mother of his children, or Minnesota players feeling that their sense of brotherhood with teammates justified them boycotting the Holiday Bowl because, after they raped a fellow student, said teammates were—get this—actually punished? I especially love the parts where they have no understanding of due process, blindly stand behind the alleged perpetrators of the crime without having read the 80-page report, and don’t mention the woman once in their multiple media appearances until their final press conference upon ending the boycott.

And then of course there’s the Baylor fiasco, and the crud at Tennessee that we only forgot about because Baylor did the same thing worse and more recently.

So, this holiday season, let’s appreciate Chris Petersen.

Personally—and you have every right to disagree but you should know, in that case, I am judging you and you’re probably a questionable human being—I enjoy supporting a team whose off-field behavior doesn’t make me feel scummy doing so. The last Rose Bowl-winning Husky team is equally, if not more, remembered for being littered with criminals and those who would have been had they not abused the leeway given to star football players in an environment where they’re not held accountable. So yeah, that’s a bit of a downer on that legacy.

And unless Chris Petersen turns out to be the world’s greatest con-man (which for some reason I highly doubt is the case), I have a feeling Coach Pete’s teams won’t have have the same asterisks as so many others.

So, this Yuletide/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah/Christmas/Bowl season, let’s take a moment to say:

Meh, what can I say. I like having a program worth rooting for.

So Merry Christmas, weirdos. Do good things, don’t do bad things, and bow down to Washington.