It’s time for your favorite article of the entire 30-day batch: “Ice Bath Time Machine”. How do I know it’s your favorite? Because I went forward in time to my 3rd term as President of America, where I rule the land (we absorbed Canada btw) with my Benevolent Iron Fist©. And I witnessed Future Me issuing a mandatory poll to Husky World (in the future I banned referring to a fanbase as any kind of “Nation” because a) it’s gotten stale, and b) there is only one Nation: the Nation of America as ruled by my Benevolent Iron Fist©. Like I was saying, the answer to Future Me’s mandatory poll to Husky World asking “which article is your favorite?” was answered thusly: Ice Bath Time Machine. Future Me was pleased. So am Present me.
Doing all this time travelling, I’ve noticed a strange thing: Besides Future Me, there are also multiple versions of me existing simultaneously at different points in history, and specifically during the early 1990’s where I’ve travelled several times to that National Championship era of Husky Football. This has created a paradox that doesn’t yet threaten the Space-Time Continuum, but has caused different versions of time-travelling Me to act rather bizarre. And mischievious. And that mischief appears in this article. But that’s the risk one takes with travelling around hither and thither and yon in time. So it goes.
To mark the end of the Pac 12/10/8 conference as we know it we’re going to relax the rules a little bit, and then a little more. Let’s celebrate some All-Conference Huskies this time - and some who made All-American too.
But just bear with me, I’ve been time travelling and my brains are kinda scrambled.
1. Any player picked in a previous edition of this article is ineligible for selection.
2. Players’ UW careers must have occured while I’ve been going to Husky games (began mid 1980s).
Players cannot have earned All-American or All-Conference honors.
Yes, the last rule has been struck. And there are now two levels of competition: one similar to past convention, and one a little more ... experimental.
Let’s begin shall we?
Ed Cunningham, Center, 1988-91
When operating the Ice Bath Time Machine, a stop during the 1991 National Championship era is non-negotiable. As we head into the 2023 season, the Dawgs are reloading the interior OL. Center Ed Cunningham started every game in 1990 and 1991, winning 2 Rose Bowls and a National Championship, was voted All-Pac-10 in 1991, and was a 3-year Academic All-American.
After his playing days, Cunningham became a sports commentator and producer of several documentaries, including “New York Doll”, “The King of Kong: A Fistfull of Quarters” (I’ve seen this one, it’s fantastic), and the Oscar-winning “Undefeated”.
Ink Aleaga, ILB, 1994-96
I started going to Husky games as a kid in the 80’s. That’s a lot of games and a lot of names to hear called out on the PA at Husky Stadium. But the name I remember hearing the most is Ink Aleaga. No lie. I could deduce the reasons - 3-year starter, 37 games at ILB in Jim Lambright’s defense, the name itself - but I really don’t know for sure why it’s ingrained in my brain more than any other. Aleaga earned All-American and All-Conference honors twice each, and was a team captain in 1996. He must’ve made a lot of tackles for the PA to put that name so firmly into my memory all these years later.
Hakim Akbar, Safety, 1998-2000
Akbar was a hard-hitting safety in the mold of Lawyer Milloy and Tony Parrish. “The great safety tradition was something I looked at... When it came down time to decide, [Washington] was the right fit for me.”
Playing in 33 games over 3 years at strong and free safety, and earning All-Pac-10 in 2000, Akbar led the team in tackles his junior (final) year and finished his career with the 2001 Rose Bowl win over Purdue, capping an 11-1 season with UW ranked #3.
With the UW secondary searching for an identity, Akbar would bring immediate presence and restore the Safety position to the strong pedigree it has enjoyed in the past.
Elijah Qualls, DT, 2013-16
For reasons I can’t figure, it’s Qualls’s name I hear omitted most often during talk of that run of D lineman that included Danny Shelton, Vita Vea, and Greg Gaines — and that’s a shame - so I’m putting him on this list. This was the period when Pete Kwiatkowski’s defense grew to one of the country’s best, and Qualls was a 6’1” 330lb rock on the D line, using his “brawling style and violent hands” to soak up double teams, stuff the run, and keep the players behind him free to make plays. Remarkably, in high school he racked up 1,800+ yards and 23 TDs his last two years as a running back. Wow.
Which Husky would ride shotgun in the DeLorean with you back to 2023?
This poll is closed
This article usually gets feedback asking What does it matter? if this list doesn’t have Steve Emtman or some other legendary Husky on it? I get it. People miss the fine print regarding the rules. But it would get boring if we just listed the four or five most celebrated Huskies of all time, year after year.
But now that we’ve relaxed the rules, lets add some of those Huskies that have amassed all sorts of All-America plaudits, long-standing records, and general larger-than-life-ness. So in the second race of the day, here are our contestants. But with a bit of the mischief I warned you of.
"Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads."
This poll is closed
RB COREY DILLON - but he has to wear a full-body rubber sweat suit every game and must use Gaelic Football rules while carrying the ball.
DT STEVE EMTMAN - but he has to play barefoot, without a helmet, and doesn’t get to play on 3rd or 4th down.
FS LAWYER MILLOY - but he has to lineup as nose tackle every series of the second half.
ILB (1977-’79) and current Seattle MAYOR BRUCE HARRELL - but he has to make Kalen DeBoer Deputy Mayor.
Thanks for playing and Go Dawgs!!