clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

A Descent into Quarantine-Induced Insanity, Plus Exactly One Football Thought Pt. 1

New, 38 comments

Today’s topics: A big old rotation of interior defensive linemen and I face my new nemesis.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 28 USC at Washington
Washington Huskies Head Coach Jimmy Lake, shown here admiring my dedication to consistent hand-washing.
Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hi. How are you doing? Pretty good and/or bad? That’s all cool. I too am doing.

Anyhoo, we’ve got minimal sports content and, in my case, a lot less to do... So... I’ll be chronicling my descent into madness and couple each piece with thoughts on a single football (and maybe softball?) aspect for the next while until either A) this pandemic is over or B) I die of this pandemic, whichever comes first. So, presenting:

A log of Gabey Lucas OBE*’s handwashings and the accompanying “thoughts,” which she puts into quotes simply because, after they reach a certain level of incoherent devolution, can we really consider those involuntary brain spasms thoughts? Or are they mere clusters of primordial instinct?

  1. 8:02 AM: Time to start my day with a tried and true hand-washing! Hooray for public health!
  2. 8:06 AM: I guess I should’ve thought about how I had to pee before washing my hands the first time, then I could’ve consolidated the “start the day” handwash and the “wash your hands after going to the bathroom like a civilized lady” handwash. Oh well, just went to the bathroom so time to wash my hands again!
  3. 8:55 AM: Breakfast time? That means handwash time babay!
  4. 10:58 AM: Oh my goodness, how have I already spent two hours on my phone reading about the history of Slavic nation-building from 880-1613? That’s like 13 whole minutes longer than my normal morning internet rabbit hole. Welp, now that I’m about to transition to doing stuff on the computer suppose it’s time for hand-washing!
  5. 11:33 AM: I sure do love drinking two litres of water before lunch even if it means constantly having to pee and wash my hands, thereby striping them of valuable oils that keep my skin pain-free. Take that Covid, you sick bitch.
  6. 12:12 PM: Wash wash wash! Huh, that’s a new rash on my knuckles.
  7. 1:00 PM: I didn’t know it was possible to feel each individual pore on your hand.
  8. 1:59 PM: Dearest hand lotion, blessed art thou among toiletries. May you be present at the hour of my death, which I pray is soon. But also not from Covid or something crappy like that. Something absolutely stupid, like trying to free solo the Space Needle without any experience rock climbing. Amen.
  9. 2:16 PM: HOW DO I HAVE TO PEE AGAIN GOOD GOD I DON’T HAVE ANY SKIN LEFT ON MY HANDS TO WASH.
  10. 3:27 PM: Ya know what, I sure have been typing a lot and keyboards are like Spring Break in Cancun for germs. Down the drain you go Covid, I’ll see you in Hell!
  11. 3:43 PM: That rash sure is progressing quickly. Good reminder to moisturize... Wouldn’t want to ruin my handmodel-quality hands.
  12. 4:56 PM: During Elizabethan times didn’t they think that too frequent body-washing allowed Satan to enter your body? Are we sure they were wrong? Because this knuckle rash is Satanic. It’s at my thumb now. My thumb!
  13. 5:40 PM: Now that I think about it, didn’t the Gestapo use excessive hand-washing as a torture technique? My palms feel like pine bark. Ponderosa, too, none of that soft Lodgepole crap.
  14. 6:11 PM: Modern society needs to reconsider the idea that plagues are sent as punishment from God. I mean, I know plagues themselves are caused by germs but who says this rash isn’t God punishing me for that time nine year-old me took two short bread cookies after church before everybody else got one?
  15. 7:10 PM: Ya know, if I undercooked this venison wad for dinner I could just die of botulism. Don’t need to strip more oils from your hands then.
  16. 8:57 PM: I would rather get roundhouse kicked in the jaw by Philip Jennings than wash my hands one more time. And not like, 1986 Philip who’s barely hanging in there. We’re talking 1981 Philip who stabbed a guy with a grilling fork for being a pervy creep.
  17. 10:42 PM: Last handwash of the day, and then we get to do this all again tomorrow! Maybe I’ll just have an aneurysm in my sleep instead...

*Note from The British Royal Family: Gabey does not have an Order of the British Empire. We do not endorse this title and are urgently recommending Washington AG Bob Ferguson pursue legal action.

**Note from Gabey Lucas: Eff you, British Royal Family. The world’s on fire — I can do what I want.

***Note from The British Royal Family: Ugh, fine, whatever. Good God Americans are so petulant...

****Note from Gabey Lucas: What does “petulant” mean?

And with that out of the way, our daily-ish football thought

That is: Hoh boy the interior defensive line is gonna be mega-funzies next year. Plus they won’t even be fully responsible for the success of the run defense due to crappy linebackers (more on that another day, unless I die first)!

Today I’m just thinking about the 0 and 1 techs, so Levi Onwuzurike will be excluded since his body type is more in line with 3 tech and other variations thereof despite his significance to the team.

But on the topic at hand: Last time we saw them, Tuli Letuligasenoa was right in the process of realizing his true form (ass-kicking, primarily) and Sam Taimani was also showing the future defensive interior line wouldn’t be limited to just one star. Even with just these two in the mix, the 2020 situation — assuming CFB happens — would be pretty alright. Sure, the depth would obviously be a little thin so they probably would be limited in their ability to maintain their ceiling of play throughout a game, but the potential any given snap with either of those guys on the field would be quite high.

The addition of Jacob Bandes and Faatui Tuitele* more or less fixes that problem — in fact, I’d argue that a rotating two of Bandes/Tuitele and Tuli/Taimani each has one primary problem that the addition of the other two fixes. With Tuli and Taimani being the clear first two up next season, their main issue would just be the aforementioned depth and endurance throughout a game and season. Bandes and Tuitele, meanwhile, have even more star power than their one-year-older counterparts and, were the other two not in play, would at this point in their careers probably be able to fill in fine. Not all-star level yet, but fine. Their weakness at this point would obviously be the adjustment period that comes with youth, and the fact that young players are seldom reliable to hold down the fort when thrust into roles the magnitude for which they’re not yet ready. Combine these two weaknesses — Tuli and Taimani’s eventual need for rest plus Bandes and Tuitele’s need to learn and grow — and the four of them are kind of in the perfect position. The former two get two high-level “backups” to relieve them of potential overexertion and keep them fresh, while the latter two won’t be overwhelmed by being thrown into the fire prematurely.

For the last two years or so, the recruiting misses in 2016 and 2017 (thanks, USC) have meant UW’s defensive interior was just barely hanging on until reinforcements arrived. Couple that with Pete, Lake, Malloe and Kwiatkowski’s rightful propensity for frequent rotation of that personnel, and there was little room for error or rest. Now for the first time since 2017, they’re finally in a place where there’s multiple personnel to both play at a high level and rotate liberally so that such a level can be maintained.

Sure, the 2020 interior defensive line will still be young. But there’s two guys who are experienced and talented enough where we already know they’re able to be pillars of the line, and then there’s two guys who are in the same position as the former were last year, just even more talented somehow and with more wiggle room to learn.

I know the last couple months have been anti-climactic at best and disheartening at worst — both for UW football and, like... the world — but 2020 is the year where I for one am gonna be unbearably psyched for the defense, and that starts with me being unbearable psyched for these four.

*Although it’s worth noting that Tuitele was known for his versatility in high school and has dropped 10-ish pounds from about 300 to 290 or so, so it’s not out of the picture that he ends up playing more in a 3 technique role or even wider out sometimes. But since his skillset and historical body type put him right in the conversation for being in this group, I’ve included him anyway.

Do good things (like here, for example: washington.edu/together), don’t do bad things, and bow down to Washington.