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Mailbag - "Asking Bea Arthur to the Senior Prom" Edition

Do you think she'd say yes?

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

  • One of the reasons marijuana was made illegal in the 1930s was that cotton farmers feared hemp as competition for their product, and lobbied to make growing it illegal.
  • Shakespeare invented the words "assassination" and "bump."
  • Ants always fall to their right side when intoxicated.
  • The name of each continent on planet earth ends with the same letter it starts with (not including directional words).
  • The average person in the US possesses two credit cards.
  • Ingrown toenails are hereditary.
  • The "pound" symbol is called an octothorpe.
  • The word "underground" is the only word in the English language that begins and ends with the letters "und."
  • Telly Savalas and Louis Armstrong died on their birthdays.
  • The muzzle of a lion is like a fingerprint - no two have the same pattern of whiskers.
  • The band "Steely Dan" got their name from a sexual device depicted in the book "The Naked Lunch."
  • Ramses Condoms got their name from the pharaoh Ramses II, who fathered over 160 children.
  • The word "therein" contains 10 separate words without rearranging any of the letters of the parent word: the, there, he, here, her, ere, in, rein, therein, herein
  • To "testify" is based on Roman men swearing to a statement made by swearing on their testicles.
To your questions.


If the line is John Ross being recognized as an honorable mention and the end of the year, would you take the over or under?

UWDP: As a receiver, I'd take the under. John Ross has electric potential with the ball, but he's done very, very little to distinguish himself as a receiver at the University of Washington. His career numbers as a Husky are 33 receptions for 579 yards and 5 TDs.  Outside of his ability to run really fast (which is definitely something, by the way), he hasn't shown great hands, or route-running, or blocking. He's a unique tool that any coach would look to utilize, but he hasn't yet done much within the natural flow of the offense. And in 2014, after getting dinged up, he was moved to cornerback, and not because of all of the talent at wide receiver.

That being said, I'm not down on him in any way. He was still young the last time he played offense. He's never been a "bad" receiver, just an unpolished one. To his immense credit, he was able to add a substantial amount of weight to what was once a very slight frame, and maintain his speed. That added strength should assist him be a more complete receiver, especially as it relates to fighting defensive backs at the line of scrimmage, and getting the ball in traffic. And blocking.

John Ross weighs almost 200 pounds now. Outside of Nik Little and Brayden Lenius, who are both 6'5", Ross is the heaviest scholarship receiver on the roster. I doubt anyone would've ever guessed that would ever be the case. Probably mostly due to injuries, Ross spent a good deal of the spring practices working as an outside receiver, as opposed to the slot position he's played his whole career. I think this is a great thing. I'd wager he's stronger than both Little and Lenius. He's definitely faster. If the other parts of his game have developed, he could be a valuable weapon as a split end, and it opens up more opportunities for Chico McClatcher in the slot.

I think he's got potential to take a big step forward in 2016. But the Pac-12 is always deep in receiving talent, and there are a lot of guys that are going to put up superior numbers simply based on the number of opportunities they'll get. The "safe" bet is the under, but it's one I'd love to lose, if I had to put money on it.

Ross could gain some all-conference mention as a returner. He's had three kickoff returns for touchdowns, and at least two that were called back. If he's still back there following his injury, he could do a fair amount of damage.

Darin Johnson:

Rank in order of increasing cause for concern: offensive line, outside linebackers, wide receivers, quarterback, unproven AD, athletic department financed.

UWDP: For the 2016 football season? Long term? Both?

For the 2016 football season, I'd go athletic department financing (it has no impact on this year), unproven AD, quarterback, outside linebacker, offensive line, and wide receivers.

Long term (10 years), I'd say outside linebacker, wide receiver, quarterback, unproven AD, offensive line, and athletic department funding.

The die is cast for the 2016 football season administratively. The money issues won't matter on the field. The marketing direction has been determined, and the athletic department is large enough, and cumbersome enough, that it isn't going to change direction mid-stream. Quarterback could (and maybe should?) be higher on the list simply due to the uncertainty of health and the fact that the norm is for the UW starter to miss at least one game a year, but that's in no small part a function of the offensive line. And receivers. I think Jojo Mathis is going to do big things at the BUCK position, even if he's less athletic than Travis Feeney. He'll be a better pass rusher and run stopper due to his size. Psalm Wooching, should he start all season, may not be as good as Cory Littleton, but I don't expect the dropoff to be extreme if it exists.

The offensive line deserves credit for what the Huskies were able to do in the running game - Myles Gaskin didn't gain all of those yards by himself. There's a mountain of potential in this group, but the pass protection, even though it improved as the year wore on, was disturbing. Fans are tired of hearing it, but this is a young group, particularly on the edges. I think it's set to be a strength for the offense, but probably not until late in this season. More likely, in 2017. But the receiving corps looks to be the weak link on offense. There are a total of 8 receiving TDs coming back from 2015, and three of those are from tight ends. The blocking on the edges was bad last year. Apart from John Ross's speed, there's just nothing distinctive about this group in 2016. A lot of young guys man the roster, so there could be some big leaps taken just based on increased experience and age.  But that's what Husky fans have to count on.

Long term, I think the football program is in good shape as long as Chris Petersen wants to coach here. I'm always going to be concerned about quarterbacks, because it's difficult to find "good" ones, and the flame-out rate is so high, even with the highly-recruited guys. Maybe I'm just beat down by the last 15 years, but the offensive line is a concern - until it isn't. In a year or two, this unit might be lower than it is today in forecasting the long term. I think linebacker and wide receiver are two of the easier positions to fill on a roster. I have faith there.

But the athletic department...Here at the UW Dawg Pound, the majority are in favor of the hiring of Jen Cohen. People have cited her ongoing relationships with boosters, her role in fundraising for the stadium remodel, and her impact in luring Chris Petersen here. Petersen is a supporter, so that's definitely a big positive. I'm not down on the hire, but I don't think it's the home run others seem to. For one, if she gets credit for the positives that happened while she was an assistant AD, fans shouldn't absolve her of the negatives that happened while she was an assistant AD, without evidence she had no responsibility in their existence. Not just the budget issues, either.

(time for a rant)

I don't think the marketing of the football program, or the gameday atmosphere are the biggest issues with Husky football attendance. In order, I think they are 1. The team isn't winning enough to attract casual fans that want to be part of an "event," and: 2. Game times and giant HD TVs make the living room couch a great place to watch a game without paying a premium price, without commercial interruptions, with the ability to check in on multiple other games at the same time, without the hassle or expense of commuting, and with better food and shorter lines to the restrooms. But what's happening in the stadium plays a part, and the direction of the athletic department is all wrong, in this fan's opinion.

For one, watching football - especially college football - live simply isn't a "family" event. Not from a season-ticket-selling perspective. It's too expensive. The games are too long. There's too much down time. It's a difficult game to understand as a fan. The weather is frequently "not good." The kickoff times, and days of the games, aren't known far enough ahead of time. On the seemingly rare games that kick off on a Saturday afternoon, lots of sports-minded families have their own games to attend. So, the crap that absolutely kills it at volleyball games (the fan cameras, the music choices, the video montages, etc.) doesn't have appeal to the demographics that actually buy football season tickets. I'm not suggesting families don't or shouldn't go. But that's not what's going to "fix" attendance. Realize that.

And while you're at it, fix the "Go, HUSKIES!!" cheer. Distribute fliers before the first few games. Make an instructional video. GET. IT. FIXED. It's not rocket surgery.

(rant over)

Jen Cohen has no track record in hiring or firing coaches. I don't think it's going to be an issue with football for a while, but it could very well be with basketball. Lorenzo Romar is a good guy. After falling in to the doldrums of recruiting, he has righted the ship recently. I don't want to have to see him go on anyone's terms but his own. But things need to get better in terms of wins and losses. With the quickness. Cohen may have to make a hard decision within the next couple of years for the long-term health of the program. And then find someone better. That makes me nervous, as it would with any new athletic director with zero track record.

What do you think the odds are that the "best possible candidate" was already working at the UW? Would anyone be a fan of this hire if Cohen had an illustrious career as an assistant AD at Ole Miss? Probably not. She checks the "continuity" box. which is okay, and she got a great endorsement from Petersen, which is great. Outside of that, she either has done some good things while also being part of a huge ongoing budget shortfall, or she's got no track record.

I think revenues have the potential to be a big problem going forward, and not just with the next couple of years that the UW already knows to expect losses.  For one, there's a non-zero chance that I'm wrong, and even if the team starts winning lots of games, fans don't come back to football and basketball games.  I don't think so, but we'll see.

Second, and maybe a bigger elephant, is that TV money could be a bubble that's going to burst by the time the Pac-12 has to renegotiate its contract. The Pac-12 Network isn't panning out. It's easy to pin that on Larry Scott, and he obviously has culpability. But the fact is that even Pac-12 fans don't really care. Enough to do anything about it, anyway. Or not in enough numbers to actually make an impact on the carriers. Maybe it's inertia, and changing carriers is just too big a deal to some people. Sunday Ticket is the reason lots of DirecTV subscribers cite - but if that's your choice, to me, you lose the right to complain.

But ESPN might very well be tapped out. Over the last 5 or so years, they've locked up the TV contracts of just about every conference out there, by outbidding (often times, only against themselves) the competition and overpaying. ESPN is losing subscribers, not gaining new ones. In 2023 when the current contract runs out, it's more likely than not that the means of distributing sports is going to be different than it is today. If that's the case, and if ESPN has overextended itself, does it mean contracts go down in the future? It seems possible. Clearly, the UW is spending what it makes, and then some. If revenues actually decrease, what does it mean for things like the basketball practice facility?

Howling Husky:

have you ever seen something so fake?

UWDP: The dead giveaway is that it's a size "large." I've stood next to Tyrone Willingham. No way he's a large.


Is it true that Mike Leach had cosmetic surgery on his nose in the offseason? If not, why not?

UWDP: Is his nose actually his worst feature?


I'm 41, will UW win another NC before I die? If yes please give the year. Thank you

UWDP: I don't really want to speculate on the year of your death.  Seems a little morbid.

As for winning a championship, yeah, they will.  Within the next ten years.  Take that to Vegas.


Out of all 314 SB Nation blog sites, in terms of viewership ( 'clicks', comments, Rec's, ....etc.), where does the pound rank.  Thanks Brad, GD.

UWDP: Chris Landon gets information about that, although I'm not sure if he's supposed to share it or not. If he can, maybe he'll do so...

The UW Dawg Pound has definitely increased in popularity over the last several years, though.

Atomic Dawg:

When will the Huskies offer Cody Kanouse and would he play OT or OG?

UWDP: As of right now, the Huskies have several offers out to offensive linemen. If they were to offer Cody Kanouse, it seems like it would be after failing to get commitments from any of those guys. But realistically, it doesn't seem very likely that Canouse will end up with a UW offer.

All for this week, folks.  The limo is here, and Bea and I have reservations at Sizzler!