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Stuff and Shenanigans Pre-Thanksgiving Special Edition: On Tristan Vizcaino

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What is even going on with our feelings for our boy Tristan? Why do we all secretly agree he’s kind of totally rad? What’s a good name for your burgeoning prog-rock band? That and more.

NCAA Football: Oregon at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Usually I reserve these sorts of posts for the offseason, when we’re all too starved for something football-related that anything even vaguely satiating that appetite helps.

But after the up-and-down insanity of this dude’s every game, this entire season, and the Utah craziness, it felt impossible to not dedicate this week’s shenanigans pretty much entirely to our boy T-Vizzy.

That being said, to satisfy those of you who come here for the edumacated, best-served-chilled takes that I like to hand out, here’s an abridged version of those from this Saturday:

  • Hoo-boy the DBs look not-completely-dominant and it’s less fun than when they were completely dominant. Still getting the job done but they’ve spoiled us the last couple years and first 34 of this year so if we can have that back I would be muy grateful.
  • Jake and the offense is capable of a comeback? Weird... I like it.
  • Still am not completely confident in this offense’s ability to be clutch though... Give me a few more of these end-of-game drives and then I will.
  • Kyle Whittingham is secretly Boise State era Chris Petersen. Think about it. The fake punt, onside kick...? All that was missing was a hook n’ ladder. It must be something in the Mountain West water.
  • Mountain West Water would be a good band name.
  • Although, a band called Mountain West Water would probably be full of wannabe-country hipsters from Orange County whose lyrics consist of 29834 references to Joy Division in an attempt to sound intellectual.
  • Maybe Mountain West Water isn’t a good band name after all.
  • But neither was Creedence Clearwater Revival, either, and they still rocked pretty hard...
  • If you're feeling worried based on last Saturday's game — which is a completely normal response I'm feeling too — just remind yourself that, if it weren't for the fact that Kyle Whittingham for one night turned into The Boldest Motherf****er in the World™, the Utes would've been out of the game by the fourth quarter. Granted, they would have also been out of that game had the Washington defense executed better after that onside kick and fake punt and/or had the offense taken advantage of the turnover and/or had Jake made a few more mid-range throws, but c’est la vie.

Which brings us to the topic we're all here for/you aren't here for but I'm forcing you to read anyway: Because Utah would have also been put away with one of the above things plus an extra four points the Dawgs left behind in the kicking game.

Oh Tristan. T-Vizzy. Viz-Dawg. Tristan "Robinson" (Viz)Cano. The Cask of AmonT-izcaino.

Whatever you choose to call him by, this dude has given us so many mini-heart attacks that Big Pharma Inc. is currently lobbying for him to receive five more years of eligibility on account that he "got us rollin’ in cash from all these cardio meds we're selling, bro!"

Sure, entering the year we all knew kicking would be an interesting development after the departure of Cameron Van Winkle. But we also know Vizcaino from his kickoff duties and general badassery and, I think, for the most part assumed it wouldn’t be too much of a change.

Oh how false we were...

For the younger generation of readers, you know how, when you were playing Mario Kart this weekend when you told your family you couldn’t meet up for dinner because you were on a date but really you were just preparing for your friends’ annual MK tournament growing up, you would spin out every corner on Cheep Cheep Beach and over-correct, then end up going crazy the other way, rinse, wash, and repeat, until you finally hit the straightaway but by that point had dropped eight places?

Well, if you trace that pathway, turn it horizontally, and add an X and Y axis, that’s pretty much VizDawg’s season. In this instance, the Y axis’ high and low data points are labeled as “He’s The Raddest!” and “Oh no....”

If you’re older and don’t understand that reference, well, once again, c’est la vie.

I'm not gonna go over the specifics. We remember ASU and last week, and the other missed field goals that didn't end up mattering.

We've all felt the adrenaline-fueled butterflies when he lines up, the stomach drop when a field goal is missed, and the relief when it's made.

There is no reason for any sane person in the history of humanity to enjoy this.

And yet...

I can’t help but totally. Flipping. Love T-Vizzy.

At this point, hoping for his success is an emotional investment completely independent of Washington’s football success and how his performance affects them.

And it sure sounds like this is a common sentiment. For all the pulling out of hair that Washington fans have done over this year’s kicking game, repeated over and over is the opinion that, really, we all like Viz, want him to succeed, and also maybe want him to be our best friend too.

Even Twitter, which is a terrible place full of horrible opinions, reactionary hot takes, and general vitriol and hatred, seems to be on his side (albeit going crazy with his inconsistency).

And I cannot explain why. Do we all just get overly-maternal about kickers since their struggles are so in the spotlight it hurts? (My gut answer to that is “No,” because the Seahawks fans among us know Blair Walsh isn’t getting a drop of this good will.)

Is it just because, now that Joey Julius is out of college football, VizcaiNOPE is the most fun kicker to watch on kick return coverage?

In his four years, he’s made ten tackles on special teams, including three this season. And you know how most kickers, if called upon, just look like absolute weenies and/or legit get out of the way of the returner?

Vizzy ain’t about that life. That dude has wrecked returners and multiple times chased them down. Chased down dudes whose job it is to be un-chase-downable. What freaking kicker does that? Nobody.

I don’t know if that’s why I — and a disproportionate amount of the usually-filled-with-rage internet — are so invested in his success: because he’s proved over and over again that he’s an unlikely badass.

But for whatever reason, seeing him make that game winner — even if it wouldn’t have been necessary had the Dawgs’ had those previous four points — may just be my vote for highlight of the season so far.

For whatever this kid puts us through, I’ve decided I officially don’t care. T-Vizzy is The Man. I can’t put my finger on why. He just is. Fight me.

And just remember, for however the whirlwind of field goals missed and made torments us: c’est la vie.

Line of the Week

Despite leaving four points on the board earlier in the game, this ought to have been 100% Vizcaino’s reaction to hitting the game-winner against Utah:

Do good things, don’t do bad things, and bow down to Washington.