Archive for the ‘2008 Election’ Category

Grippi Accepts, WSU Football Blog Concedes Defeat

November 6, 2008

Pullman, WA–Amidst a flurry of controversy surrounding the outcome of the election, the Grippi-Blanchette ticket today shocked the world by declaring themselves the victors of the highly contested contest for Washington State College Sportswriters of the Year. In a statement released on the Spokesman Review’s website, Grippi said:

Though there is no way I can make a victory speech as literate and as moving as our next president’s, I can make one that fits the tenor of the recent election held on the WSU football blog. Yes, I know we didn’t get a majority of the votes (though we did get a plurality, which makes us the winner – see Dino, I told you an Italian could win in this state), and yes, I know Bud Withers voted 22 times for us (thanks, Bud), and, yes, I’m aware Jim Moore thought he was ordering a new lite beer from Miller called Sedihawk when he accidentally voted for our esteemed opponent, but still we are thankful there are 89 people out there who had nothing better to do than waste their time … sorry … express themselves, in such a manner. We are truly humbled. And we promise to serve all Cougar constituents as well as we can over the next few months. Unless, of course, we win the lottery.

Following the announcement, Sedihawk and Brinkhater convened with campaign chair Longball, as well as the campaign’s lawyers, where they apparently decided to concede. Moments later, Brinkhater released the following statement:

After much deliberation, it became apparent to our campaign that Cougar Nation has spoken and spoken loudly. While we wish that the outcome of the election had been different, we wish to offer our congratulations to the Grippi and Blanchette campaign for the quiet–in fact silent–eloquence that they exhibited throughout what was a grueling 10 day campaign.

Now that they have won the election, Sedihawk and I promise to work alongside Grippi, Blanchette, and the Spokesman Review staff to provide Cougar Nation with the best sportswriting in the country.

In addition, it is also our intention to work alongside Vince Grippi in a new campaign to make sure that JT Levenseller is appointed as the starting quarterback of Washington State University’s football team as soon as possible.

Thank you.

While Brinkhater’s innuendo was interpreted by some writers and school officials as flip, sources close to both campaigns suggested that a collaboration between the WSU Football Blog and Sportslink was possible if not imminent:

“One thing we know now is that none of the previous rules of reporting and engagement apply,” the source said.

“This is a new age for print and cyber media folks alike and the uniqueness of this Cougar Football season only adds to the novelty and complexity of the current environment. One can only imagine what might be possible and forthcoming with this new, post-partisan coalition of WSU Sportswriters.”

Stay Tuned.

Polls Open, Jackson Makes Announcement

October 31, 2008

Pullman, WA–On Thursday, the venerable Keith Jackson held a news conference on the campus of Washington State University to announce his endorsement of Vincent Grippi and John Blanchette for Washington State College Sportswriter of the year.

In making his decision, Mr. Jackson cited Grippi’s loyalty to “old school journalism” as the primary tipping point in his decision.

The news appeared to overwhelm Grippi, who upon hearing the news, promptly stormed the podium and ran out of the room with the 2001 Sears trophy that accompanied Mr. Jackson to the event.

Elsewhere, Mike Price declared his support for Bud Withers on Thursday.

In his statement, Price described Withers as a “Great Coug” who “you can always count on for well-researched, straight stories that never include my drunken binges at the Sports Page.”

Neither the Moore-Yanity ticket or the WSU Football Blog picked up any major endorsements.

Both declined to offer any public comment, although a person close to the WSU Football Blog called the day’s events “crushing.”

Meanwhile, the final Gallup Poll showed a two-way race emerging as the Polls open:

Grippi-Blanchette polled at 35%, followed by Condotta-Withers at 25%, Moore-Yanity at 22%, and the WSU Football Blog at 18%.

Polls are open through Tuesday.

On Home Stretch, WSU Football Blog targets Seniors

October 28, 2008
Election 2008 Special Coverage:
WSU Football Blog Hits North Central Washington

Hartline, WA—”Hello Waterville-Mansfield-Almira-Coulee-Hartline Nation!” yelled a hoarse Brinkhater to the North Central Washington Senior Bridge Club convention at Almira-Coulee-Hartline High school.

“You know, when we announced our candidacy last week, I told you that help was on the way.”

“And today, I am here to tell you that it is: We play the University of Washington in four short weeks!”

Despite the duo’s on-going attempts at bringing some levity to their grueling 10 day travel schedule, the jokes were in short supply.

In fact, for the third straight day, both Sedihawk and Brinkhater tried frantically to be heard above the riff-raff.

On this day, calls for “more soup and lobster bisque” seemed to constantly deride the ticket’s message.

WSU Football Blog Campaign manager, Mr. Longball, was not happy with the day’s events:

“I keep trying to tell the guys to keep it simple: Attack, Attack, Attack. But they just don’t listen.”

“I mean, Brinkhater, for example, had ONE stinking job to do today. And that was to accuse Bob Condotta of being bought out by Washington Lobbyists. I mean, how hard is that?”

“And what does he do? He makes playing Washington a good thing in his first stinking line of the day, which completely convoluted our message.”

“I mean, I know that we’re trying, but we’ve got to become more DISCIPLINED if we want to be competitive!”

In the meantime, despite no official word of a formal campaign, officials from the Moore-Yanity and Condotta-Withers camp began an offensive of their own against the WSU Football Blog—which further seemed to unravel the duo’s darkhorse candidacy.

On Monday, officials close to Bob Condotta and Bud Withers released a statement accusing Brinkhater of representing the exact type of “Partisan Politics” that has killed competitive college football in the State of Washington over the past five years. The statement read:

“At this point, when the two Washington teams have one win between them, it is both pointless and juvenile to continue such sour grapes as we have continually seen from Brinkhater and his surrogates.”

“What we need now is the type of post-partisan journalism that can bring people together and keep local talent playing College Football for the Washington schools.”

“The WSU Football Blog does nothing to advance such possibilities.”

Meanwhile, early on Tuesday morning, the Moore-Yanity Campaign issued their own offensive on the WSU Football Blog and Brinkhater by noting that: “Eight short weeks ago, Brinkhater publicly noted that the fundamentals of the WSU Football Program were strong.”

“But given what we know now about the current State of the Program, how can you vote for someone who could be so tragically wrong and misinformed?”

Mr. Longball tried to counter the mounting twin offensives by noting Brinkhater’s perfect record this year on his weekly predictions, noting, “All you can ask for, is for our leaders to make appropriate adjustments as new information becomes available. And Brinkhater has done that as well as anyone.”

But off the record, several associates revealed what has become a mounting concern: Brinkhater’s inclusion on the WSU Football Blog ticket has become an inescapable liability.

“You know, like Jim Moore, Brinkhater is very, very popular with segments of the base,” one source said. “There are a group of devoted followers that really appreciate his early and honest critique of past decisions associated with the Doba era.”

But as another source noted, “His negatives are really, really troubling. You know, if it was just Sedihawk, we might have a really good chance at winning this thing. But Brinkhater brings a really high liability to the ticket that is currently killing us. “

As the day ended, the campaign showed the convention a four minute campaign video of Sedihawk taking care of his cancer stricken Golden Retriever, Barkley.

As the lights came up, several seniors could be overheard saying that they felt like they had “seen a window into Sedihawk’s soul.”

The question remains, however, whether or not such soul searching will be enough to save what once seemed to be a promising campaign.

Time is running short. The polls open in only three short days.

Victory Exclusive: Interview with David Gergen and Pat Buchanan

October 26, 2008
Election 08 Special Series

As a part of the Sunday Talk shows, Victory Bell sat down with David Gergen and Pat Buchanan to talk about the campaign for Washington State Sportswriter of the Year.

Victory Bell (V.B.):

Gentlemen, thank you for being here.

David Gergen (DG) and Pat Buchanan (PB):

It’s good to be here.


David Gergen, let’s start with you. What are your thoughts about the current dynamics of this race?


Well, I think that the dynamics are obviously fascinating. On one hand, you have this lingering question about whether or not there even is a race and whether or not an award even exists. Three quarters of the parties involved haven’t even acknowledged that there is a race, let alone announced any campaign.

But, the other fascinating point is how the WSU Football Blog has managed to turn this into an Italian Parliamentary Election. In American Politics, we’re used to a two-team race where the victor has to capture the imagination of the majority of the electorate. But here, it’s a four team race meaning that a ticket could win with only 25.1% of the vote.

Obviously, such math favors the underdog. So I think it’s a very savvy move by the WSU Football Blog to frame this as a four team race.




I totally agree with David here. This is a brilliant move undertaken by a bunch of poised, veteran political operatives. If the nation didn’t know about Longball yet, they do now. He is a tremendous force to be reckoned with as the manager of this complex, diverse campaign. What talent, what strategy!


Okay, so let’s talk strategy. What do you see as being the main dynamics of this race?


Well, clearly you have to say that the structural advantage lies in the Condotta-Withers camp. They have the largest readership, are quite competent and professional, one of them blogs actively, and they also represent both the Huskies and the Cougars. Collectively, those factors give them access to an enormous share of the electorate and market share (if you will), so they should really win this thing handily. The key for them is to not rest on their laurels, because the electorate is still quite vulnerable to believing what might be construed as “baseless attacks.




While I agree with David on the last point, I don’t think its right to underestimate the Grippi-Blanchette ticket.

With them, you have the second largest media market in the State, a dedicated and somewhat monolithic readership, and a host of experience.

They might just be content to let the others just go at each other, win the Spokane region, and walk home with the presidency… I mean, award.


So, David, what do you think about the Post-Intelligencer’s chances?


I like them. They have a hardcore partisan in Jim Moore who really resonates with the Cougar Base. Molly Yanity is young, but she brings the gender card into the debate. Will women flock to her and Moore because of gender? That’s a possibility and one that might make a big difference with a 25-30% threshold.

Plus, Jim Moore is not a beat reporter, so his record is not held to as much technical scrutiny as we would see in someone like Condotta.


But this is where I disagree with David. I think that the PI ticket is effectively toast.

The only meaningful cross-over that Moore-Yanity have is with Dog lovers.

And for that reason, I thought the WSU Football Blog’s move to put a photo of Sedihawk with his dog Barkley on their campaign announcement was genius–it split the Golden Retriever vote right down the middle.


So, lets talk about the WSU Football Blog. What is their strategy and what are their chances?


Well, their chances are paradoxically good but small. On one hand, they have the problem of name recognition which is why you’ve seen an all-out publicity stunt from the start of the campaign.

But, from what I’ve seen, their strategy might prove to be effective. Basically, they know that the major markets are out of their reach.

So, what you see them doing is hitting small, rural communities that tend to be highly pro-Washington State University. Their thought is that securing the support of those towns will get them from 16 to 20 points which I think is what they are polling now.

But, even with that approach, they’re still short about 9 points.


What they’re doing is taking a page right out of Karl Rove’s playbook. Each move they make is meant to take away the opposition’s strength. So, they go at Grippi’s methodicism because if they disarm that, Grippi has nothing to run on.

So, I think that you will see them take that bent at every turn that they can–especially against the Seattle papers.


Exactly. What I would add is this: What the WSU Football Blog wants is for the Seattle Papers to go at each other. If things get nasty enough, then places like Marysville, Tukwilla, Burien, and Spanaway may come into play.

And that may be exactly what the WSU Football Blog needs to steal this election.


Fascinating. Last question, what main political or popular figures are the campaigns targeting right now?


BoldGreat question, Liberty.


That’s “Victory,” Pat.


Whatever. I’d have to say that Jason Gesser and Mike Price are huge targets right now in this election. They carry so much weight with the WSU base. Gesser with the fantastic record on the field, Price carrying them to two Pac-10 titles. Their endorsements would be huge.


For me, there’s no question about the man that all parties are actively courting right now: It’s Keith Jackson. The man is a legend, perhaps the biggest name in WSU sports history. Whomever wins the support of Keith Jackson will win this election. There’s no question in my mind about that.


Thank you, gentlemen, for your time.

PB & DG:

Thank you.

WSU Football Blog Aims to Hit Home Run

October 25, 2008


ONALASKA, WA–“Hello, Logger Nation!” exclaimed Brinkhater to a capacity crowd on Day two of the WSU Football Blog’s campaign for College Football Sportswriters of the Year.

“Its good to be back in the place where all things that start off Purple and Gold grow up to see the light of Crimson and Gray! And on a clear day in Onalaska, legend has it that you can actually see Russia!”

According to campaign officials, the purpose of the Blog’s swing through the battleground of Southwestern Washington was for Brinkhater and Sedihawk to present a set of talking points which they hope will lead them victory in November.

With that goal in mind, campaign officials hoped that the two might be able to construct a narrative around the three pillars of their campaign: Experienced Leadership, Trust, and Fiscal Responsibility.

“In this day and age, any Tom, Dick, or Sherry can start a blog” noted Sedihawk, the Blog’s co-founder.

“You know that, I know that, and the American People know that.”

“But I also want you all to know and remember that Brinkhater and I started the WSU Football Blog before those large newspapers even knew what a Blog was. So, I ask you: when times are uncertain as these times are, who can you really trust to advance the cause of Cougar Nation when you need things done right?”

“Also too,” noted Brinkhater as the applause subsided, “You will hear all of the other candidates talk about their records of outstanding journalism and how they are worthy of your trust as such. But I ask you–I beseech you–how many of those other corporate, liberal media types have shown something even more important?”

What I am saying is, how many of them have adequately proven that they actually trust YOU?”

Amidst a chorus of boo birds, Sedihawk noted that other media outlets have made life miserable for those who wish to comment on their Blogs. Among the hassles he noted on opponent’s web-sites were constant mandates to disclose e-mail addresses, names, addresses and zip codes, phone numbers, and dates of birth.

“The only thing they don’t ask for is your Social Security number,” Sedihawk lamented to the crowd.

“But we at the WSU Football Blog have never done that!” Brinkhater interjected to thunderous applause.

“And we never will!”

“You have our word on that,” the two exclaimed in chorus. “And that is why we are running for College Sportswriters of the Year!”

While the two were supposed to include additional discussion of their record of Fiscal Responsibility, they apparently forgot to do so. And, instead, quickly dove into the crowd.

In other developments at the event, the WSU Football Blog also announced that fellow blogger Longball was appointed Chair, Adviser, and Manager of the campaign.

In the first definitive act in his new role, Mr. Longball addressed reporters after the event.

“These guys are really something. You know, at first, I was just a lonely guy who posted on the Blog every once in a while. But then one day, they asked me to join the team. Next thing I know, I have a new job and I’m getting regular offers from Fortune 500 companies just about every week.”

“So, the message we’re trying to put out there is that these guys are more than just outstanding sportswriters, they’ve also got a proven record of creating jobs.”

“So it’s my role in the campaign to make sure that America sees that.”

But sources close to the campaign suggest that doing so will be no easy task.

In only two short days, the trio has completely exhausted its limited budget and is struggling to find sources to supplement their weak cash reserves.

“The fact that Brinkhater still lives with his parents helps” a source close to the campaign noted, “but look what they’re up against: three multi-million dollar corporations. And their name recognition is barely polling in the double digits.”

Over the coming days, the trio plans to make their way up the I-5 corridor en route to traversing towns around the Olympic Peninsula including Hoquiam, Chehalis, Sheldon, Sequim, Quilcene, and Neah Bay.

“We will not stop until the entire state has heard our message.” Sedihawk promised.

But there’s only one week left. Stay tuned.

Breaking News: WSU Football Blog Enters Highly Contested Race

October 24, 2008

WASHTUCNA, WA – Professional sports writers beware. On Thursday, on a glorious fall evening in the greater Washtucna area, WSU Football Bloggers “Brinkhater” and “Sedihawk” officially announced their joint candidacy to be crowned top Washington State College Football Writers for 2008.

The two join an already talented pool of candidates that include the twin bills of Jim Moore and Molly Yanity of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Bob Condotta and Bud Withers of the Seattle Times, as well as the Vincent Grippi-John Blanchette conglomerate of Spokane’s Spokesman Review.

While the two announced that more specific details of their candidacies would be announced in the coming days, Brinkhater used the initial press conference to go on the offensive. Vincent Grippi, the top scribe of WSU Athletics of the Spokesman Review, was Brinkhater’s primary target.

“For too long now, WSU Nation has suffered the wrath of the stodgy, outdated ideas and journalistic methods of Vincent Grippi and his other colleagues from the State’s major newspapers. So, after careful consideration and with the full blessing of our families and spiritual advisers, we are here to declare our intention to run for–and win–the state’s top award for College Football Sportswriters.”

Pundits were shocked by the announcement. Nobody knew that the award existed, that it was up for grabs, or that there would be any type of public election. But citing a need for change, Brinkhater’s declaration “should serve as a warning for all mainstream media types that everything is on the table. And to my fans all over the globe, please be assured that help is on the way.”

Meanwhile, reaction began pouring in from all over Cougar Nation. “I had no idea you could even do something like this”, said Bud Nameck, WSU football sideline reporter. “But having said that, I can’t disagree with any of it. Brinkhater and Sedihawk really are a breath of fresh air. Each week I let them into my home with their columns and predictions, filling the deep void left by the lack of mainstream media’s ability to inform and entertain. I mean, I can read notebooks or get links to other stories about WSU pretty much anywhere. But I think that perhaps some of the old acts have grown tiresome. In these troubling times, we really need a change.”

When reached at his palatial Tacoma estate last night, longtime WSU football announcer Bob Robertson said “I don’t know who Brinkhater is, and quite frankly, I don’t care for blogs, message boards or the Internet in general. But where Vince Grippi of the Spokesman is concerned, well, he has a long history of being an honest beat reporter who gets the facts straight. OK, so he blogs about his family outings with his Dad when the Cougs travel to UCLA and muses about problems at his apartment in Pullman during home games. But who doesn’t want to read about that?”

When asked if his statement reflected his infamous dark sarcasm, Robertson quickly stammered into a play-by-play call of a three-yard gain by former WSU running back Frank “Magic” Madu, “weaving his way up the middle and lunging out to the 42-yard line!” When asked what he meant by the description of the Madu carry, Robertson replied “Who? What now?” before abrupty ending the call with his trademark “always be a good sport, be a good sport always” catch phrase.

In a prepared statement, WSU Football Blog contributors “Longball” and “Hooty McBoob” roundly endorsed Brinkhater and Sedihawk for the honor.

“Brinkhater has been an outstanding blogger on the WSU landscape for many wonderful years. And his record speaks for itself” said Longball. “We would be thrilled to see him and Sedihawk assume the top spot in WSU Nation.”

Said McBoob: “Who else on the planet has been able to acquire an amazing 46-2 record picking WSU Football and Basketball games? Even though I hate the sport of basketball, I cannot deny Brinkhater’s greatness. And Hawk, wow. Have you seen the stuff he’s done this year? And in our worst year EVER? The daily content is better than ever! And as Brinkhater himself has said, this is a time for change. “

Throughout the press conference, Brinkhater continued to fire shots across the bow of the Grippi campaign, calling the self-described aging and balding former athlete “out of touch with his audience.” Brinkhater then touted his own 46-2 record picking Cougar football and hoops games over the past two years. “I simply ask you all to look at the record, and compare it to Grippi’s. I think that when people open their minds and review our respective accomplishments, the WSU Football Blog will become the people’s obvious choice.”

The Grippi-Blanchette campaign had no immediate reaction, perhaps because there isn’t a true Grippi-Blanchette campaign. Vince Grippi appeared, like many others, to be completely unaware that there was such an award or that there would be an election.

When reached at his home late last night, after several moments of stunned silence, Grippi tabbed the situation as “outrageous” and refused to comment further pending a morning meeting with his Spokesman advisers.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 4th. Polls open for early voting starting the morning of Friday, October 31, 2008. Every vote counts.

’til then….stay Tuned.