Archive for the ‘Martin Stadium’ Category

Faced With an Entire Grove of Lemons, Longball Tries to Serve Up a Vat of Lemon Aid.

September 16, 2008
That, Cougar nation, is Gladys the cat showing her disgust as Amieable and I play a board game called Sink The Titanic. Discovered deep in Papa Longball’s closet, Sink the Titanic is a relic from the 1970’s, a magical era not burdened by political correctness, or good taste. It is also an apt metaphor for what our 2008 season has amounted to so far… high hopes on the maiden voyage of the HMS Wulf, only to spring a gaping leak and quickly begin sinking, uncontrollably, downward into the abyss. Glub, glub, glub…

As my friend, and former Cougar special teams dynamo, Joe would say, “We’re all going over Niagara in a barrel full of swords.” But not so fast, my friends. Unlike the Titanic our Cougs are not going to settle permanently into the cold, dark depths, never to rise again. On the contrary, while our play on the field has been abysmal in an unprecedented and unnerving fashion, there are many signs that brighter days are ahead. The brightest sign of all? This…

This is the crib of my soon-to-arrive niece, Keelin. As you can see, she is already a dyed-in-the-wool Cougar fanatic! Now do you hear a peep out of her about the struggles of our offense, or the gaping holes in our defense, or the staggering set backs on special teams, or the countless turnovers? Nope. In fact if you ask her (and if she could answer), she’d say Coach Wulf and company ought to have things turned around just in time for her first ever game at Martin Stadium.

With Baby Keelin in mind I took in our first home game of the season with an eye to the future. Its a good thing too, because the present was forgettable at best. On her first trip to “Ol Martin, not only will baby Keelin see an exciting team with a quick strike offense and ferocious, ball hawking defense, she will see a pristine and picturesque facility where she will never have to face the indignity of a trip to the Honey Bucket! When she first arrives she will be greeted by a giant bronze Cougar lurking over the crowds in the Northeast concourse. The statue hasn’t been installed yet, so for the benefit of our imaginations, Keelin’s future auntie Amieable stands in for the beast…

Ferocious!

Now legend has it that as the Titanic sank, the band played on…

And despite the absence of all hope, the Cougar Marching Band was in the field house giving it their all. I can’t wait for Keelin to do her first shark attack!

On this day the old folks in the South stands mostly failed to show up (I guess there were some partially cloudy conditions on Snoqualmie pass and a 2 for 1 special at Granny’s Buffet in Spokane. Who can compete with that?), but the North stands were packed, much as I imagine they’ll be when Keelin first lays eyes on the assembled Crimson Nation.

If you think Jahvid Best had wide open spaces to run through that day, you should see all the room the students had as they grazed the concessions behind the North stands. Baby Keelin will never know the thrill of being slowly crushed in a massive wave of putrid, drunken humanity pressing forward relentlessly towards a lone concessions attendant who will sell his last hot chocolate in the souvenir mug right before you finally get to the front of the line.

Now while the upgrades to the stadium don’t seem to be helping us out much when it comes to turnover margin, or total yards, they sure make losing more comfortable. And while we shuffle from our seats, to the expanded concessions and the new restrooms and back in slightly less nauseating discomfort then we are used to… the ongoing construction reminds us that this is a work in progress. Just like Martin stadium, with its missing statue, and other rough unfinished edges, this football team still has a LOT of work to be done. But just ask baby Keelin, it will be done, and just in time.

This week, we should be able to take a bit of a breather from all the heart wrenching disappointment and eek out a narrow, but thrilling win over Portland State. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to do some serious high fivin.

As always, Go Cougs!

TV Games Announced, and More

July 10, 2008

Quick-hitters for an early-July Thursday…..

FSN has announced five, count ’em, FIVE games for TV next season. Okie State on 8/30, home opener vs. Cal on 9/6, USC on 10/18, and the Apple Cup on 11/22 are the home games that will be shown to the masses. The road game at Baylor on 9/13 will also be shown, making the total of five games. That’s a really, really good start. If we are pretty good next year, ABC and FSN can select additional games that are attractive, etc. But to have five already set in stone is a very good thing if you ask me. Here’s a link to the WSU release.

The old Martin Stadium scoreboard is slowly coming down. The official MartinStadium.org site has some new pics in the photo gallery of the work. I also found this on Cougfan’s message board (tip of the hat to “DamCoug” for this one):

Tear that thing down! All I can say is MORE Homer Simpson WOO-HOO! And will the dancing football make a glorious 2008 return?? I miss the old cougar animation that would run in place over a super-imposed football field. What I’m really interested in is how the school will have their own production truck. Could that ultimately lead to things like streaming highlights over the web of home games? Hard to say but the possibility is at least there.

Speaking of the stadium, Cougfan had a good read on a $400k bronze Cougar statue that will appear at Martin this fall.

The Cougar will be two and a half times larger than life and will be descending a rock at a 30-degree angle with its back 14 feet off the ground. The sculpture will sit on a pedestal near the new Stadium Way entrance, roughly where the old Butch’s cage used to be located.

COOL. Can’t wait to see it. It will be a great addition to that Stadium Way area, with the new entrance as well as the court yard in that section of the stadium. It sounds as though the unveiling will be November 8th. You can bet it will become something of a campus icon. Maybe something like this, at Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville?


Have you seen the football helmet quiz floating around the web? It lists 50 helmets and you have to identify the school. Some are roll-your-eyes simple, but there are some curve balls in there. We did pretty well, our own Hooty topping out at a perfect 50 out of 50. I got a 48, missing a couple. Check it out here.

And on that theme of a quiz and/or test, there is an NCAA football officials test out there. As AOL Sports Fanhouse colleague Adam Jacobi accurately says in his headline, “Take the NCAA Official Exam, Prepare to Fail“. This sucker is HARD. The Pac-10 refs still suck, as the link shows with the video of the Oregon State – UW game blown call last year that almost gave UW a chance to pull that thing out. But give it a shot and see how you do. You can take the test here, and feel free to post your results in comments.

We’ve updated the links on the far-right. We now have a permanent link to the 2008 Pac-10 schedule, with helmets. Also added a current commits list linked from Cougfan, so you can always get up-to-the-moment WSU commitments.

Finally, one more new link appears, and for good reason – ESPN’s Ted Miller, a former Seattle P-I NCAA football writer, has set up shop running a full-time ESPN Pac-10 blog. I know Ted has been ripped in the past by some Coug die-hards for his past UW coverage, but he’s no “homer”. He is more dialed in to the Pac-10 than any writer in the country, and will be something worth reading on a daily basis. (end slurping all things Ted Miller).

Gary Rogers is RIPPED

July 4, 2008
You won’t like me when I’m angry.

I know from his diary he says that everyone has been working hard, but geez Gary Rogers. You’re like, HUGE. As the picture shows from Cougfan, I mean yeah, he’s been a thick 6-7, 240 before:

But to see him now? It’s going to be like trying to tackle the goal post for opposing defenses. I guess he’s taking this whole #1 QB thing pretty seriously. Rogers has a new diary up on Cougfan by the way, so give it a read here.

The new scoreboard has been press-released by DakTronics. They have included a new picture of it, which is updated from the version we were showing off around here. Looks good. Can’t wait to see and hear it in action this fall, as a new sound system is included to enhance the gameday experience.


The video display will be 53 feet wide by 25 feet high, same as the version we were showing before. But to get an idea of the sheer size of it, it will be slightly larger than the video screen at Safeco Field, which is 46 feet wide by 26 feet high. Cool.

The East-West High School classic is underway tonight. WSU recruit Cory Mackay has been turning heads in practice and looks like he’s getting ready for the tight-end position on the next level, as he’s already up to 240 pounds on his 6-4 frame with 4.6 40-speed. Sounds good to me!

Coach Wulff has decided on the new helmet scheme for next year. We’ll see the script Cougars on the home helmet, while the crimson road helmets with the logo will remain the same, at least for the ’08 season. All bets are off when we become a NIKE school in 2009. Stay tuned for a WSU Football Blog “Uni Watch”, where we’ll go over some previous combo’s and run a poll to see which threads YOU want to see on these guys.

Speaking of NIKE, is there any doubt they are the most powerful entity in sports apparel? This story is making the rounds, about the Team USA team picture. Check out the picture, and the player on the far-left, Dwight Howard.

Notice anything different about him compared to the rest of Team NIKE….er…I mean Team USA?? Could his positioning with his shoes hidden behind the seated Coach K and his hand over the NIKE logo on his shorts have ANYTHING to do with Howard being the only Adidas guy on the team??? Nah…probably just a coincidence!

Kyle Weaver spoke to KJR a couple of days ago. He touched on a lot of things, mainly the NBA and the draft experience, but towards the end of the interview he had some good little tidbits on next year’s team. He too is hearing good things about the incoming talent, including DeAngelo Casto, who apparently has been wowing them in summer workouts already. Cool.

Speaking of Cougar hoopsters and the league, our own D-Low has found a home. Sort of. He’ll play for the Dallas Mavs summer-league team, with a hope for an NBA future if he can impress. Good luck D-LOW!

Sigh. Yes, the NBA. Which brings me to the last point on hoops, of course, the Sonics. A dark day for Seattle sports fans. I know you are sick of it, and I won’t say anything else about it. But looking at that Team USA picture above, it’s not hard to picture Kevin Durant eventually in that lineup by 2012. And seeing how Durant has a 7-year, $60 million dollar deal with Nike, you can bet he won’t be covering up the logo. And, oh yeah, he WON’T be a member of the OKC Thunder or Barons or whatever they are going to call themselves. He’ll be where he can maximize his exposure as the next great superstar, and you better believe that won’t happen rotting on a losing team in the dust bowl.

My new favorite team? Anyone who’s playing OKC.

Finally, breaking news from Cougfan tonight – the earliest verbal in WSU football history has happened. This time a JUNIOR-TO-BE has committed to WSU? Unbelievable. Tight-end Aaron Dunn from Shadle Park in Spokane has committed to WSU for the class of 2010. Here’s his bio from Scout.com:

Starred in both football and basketball for Class 4A Shadle Park as a true freshman and as a sophomore last year. He earned honorable mention accolades in football and was the only-non senior on the first team All-GSL squad in basketball his sophomore campaign. Dunn is also an outstanding student, with a near perfect GPA.

Starting as a frosh in both football and basketball is pretty remarkable. I don’t care what level that is, let alone a 4A school like Shadle. And that Dunn, the 6-6, 220-pounder, took home the MVP for the tight-ends group from the WSU summer camp, it sounds like things just went from there. Good news!

If there is any doubt about it, this staff is busting butts, on the recruiting trail and at the WSU camp that drew raves from high school players and coaches. These guys are hungry and driven and are bringing a lot of energy to everything they do. You have to believe that this staff is going to make everyone forget about the crap that was going on under the prior regime.

Happy 4th!

WSU Football Blog Exclusive: Kaddy Reports From the Columbia River Dinner

June 10, 2008

A HUGE hat-tip to our own Kaddy, who had the privilege of attending the Friday night Columbia River Cougar Club dinner. Among the attendees were both head coaches, Paul Wulff and rockstar-Tony Bennett. Read on for the full deal (great job Kaddy!):

The Columbia River Cougar Club dinner & auction has a history of being the single biggest annual fundraiser for WSU Athletics, and this year was no different. I had the privilege of attending this event for the third straight year, and it might have been the best one so far. Last year, the highlight of the evening came during the live auction, when honorary guest Drew Bledsoe was auctioned off to the higher bidder as a gold partner the following day. When his price tag reaced $6000, I didn’t think anything could top that this year. Well, I was wrong.

This year, someone in the crowd paid $9,000 to golf with Bennett the next day. (That someone happens to be the same person that donated the $2.4 million scoreboard to Martin Stadium, and the same someone that financed the entire construction of our indoor practice facility.)

As you might have guessed, this year’s highlight quickly turned into the Tony Bennett show, as he got the party started with a few comments to the crowd. The questions came up surrounding his decision to stay at WSU, naturally. Tony said he felt obligated to interview with LSU, since his wife was from there, but he had zero interest. He also told President Floyd that he wanted to stay at WSU, but ONLY if Jim Sterk was still there – more on that later. He even ended his time on stage with the punchline of a joke aimed squarely at Ty Willingham! This really warmed up the crowd for Paul Wulff, who spoke next. Wulff started out explaining how the APR system worked, and how the end-result is a little misleading. He pointedly stated that it was by no means a death sentence, and that he and his staff have already addressed it and moved on. You can tell how far CPW has come…he was very comfortable in front of the crowd. He brought all the coaches to the event, and lined them up on stage – Bruiser is still the shortest, but coach Todd Sturdy isn’t much taller.

As usual, I got caught up in the Cougar love fest, and went home the proud owner of some nice Cougar memorabilia, including (but not limited to) a football helmet, an autographed Bledsoe jersey, and yes, a much lighter checkbook.

A note of interest: KJR’s Ian Furness, the MC for the evening, went through a Q&A session with Jim Sterk on stage, and it quickly became apparent that Sterk is now a hot commodity amongst the Athletic Director community. Furness asked him straight up if he planned to stick around Pullman, since it was clear that he had suitors after him, and Sterk said he wasn’t going anywhere. I personally believe that we have one of the best AD’s around.

The Cougar Celebrity Classic was the next day, with somewhat crummy weather. I golfed with one of the Grad Assistants who works with the linebackers. He said that Cory Evans helps with all the other linebackers with their assignments….he’s a really sharp kid. Stripling is the first substitute, and while he doesn’t know many of the plays, he’s such a great playmaker that he always seems to find the ball.

There were a couple of updated photos of the stadium remodel – the north side in particular (I don’t believe you can see these anywhere else??):

(Editor note – let me just say, BEAUTIFUL renderings. That north side of the stadium is going to be something we can be proud of. I wish the interior shot would have included the new scoreboard rendering, but man, when this little stadium renovation is done, we are going to have a very cool, intimate, on-campus gameday experience that will be nothing but an asset to the university!)

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the organizer of the event, Todd Thrasher, who did a wonderful job. He was hung over as hell the next day at the golf course, but managed to keep a smile on his face in between trips to the can!

Last but not least, a picture of our table guests with the most handsome coach our wives have ever seen (note the positioning of the female guests in regards to coach handsome?).


Great job Kaddy!

Did EA Get it Right?

May 29, 2008

Video-game dork alert. You’ve been warned.

EA Sports will be releasing the newest version of their stellar NCAA Football series, NCAA Football ’09, in mid-July. Part of the hype surrounding the release has some web sites with an early build of the game, and they have been showing off some screens of what things will look like this year. For WSU fans, I have to say it looks promising.

For the first time on the “next generation” machines (Xbox 360 or PS3), Martin Stadium will make an appearance. For the first couple of releases on the new machines, they went with a “generic” stadium that really looked nothing like Martin. But this year they’ve finally got it right. Part of the issue is that EA really took the next step with these stadiums, where in some interviews claiming they personally went to as many D-1 stadiums they could and took tons of photos from every conceivable angle. Even to the extent that they say the setting within 1 mile around the stadium would be accurate. So did they get Martin Stadium right?

First, this shot facing the practice field. You can see that they got the stands right, and the entrance is in the right spot. But it looks like they missed the Cougar Pride banner over the tunnel. Oh well. Still, it looks pretty accurate. You can even see the roof of the Field House.


Here’s a shot facing stadium way.

Look to the top-left, and you can see the practice bubble. The press box looks pretty good as well (compare this shot with the shot in the header of our site and you can see they did a good job). The WSU banner is gone in reality, isn’t it? Has that thing ever been recovered? It doesn’t look like they got the renovations into the game, as this year things will look drastically different on the Stadium Way edge.

Another look towards the practice field (Florida at Martin Stadium?? WTF?).

Again you see the press box and that looks perfect. They also got the CUB, and you can even see some lights reflecting off the windows. Pretty cool. Unfortunately they have our old scoreboard as well. Oh well, maybe next year.

Another look towards Stadium Way.

To the bottom-right, you can see a group of fans in Florida blue. Nice touch, having the visitors section in one area. But they are on the wrong side of the stadium. SO FAKE!

Now for a couple of in-game shots. First, Andy Mattingly leaps into the air to try and knock down a pass.

This is where you can get a good look at the stadium. You see the lights off the CUB, you see the scoreboard, heck, you even see the lighting standards lining the practice field. Very cool. Unfortunately, you also see some mistakes here. Grey/gray helmets on the road uni’s? We haven’t done that since 1999, except for the Apple Cup road games. Maybe it’s a limitation in the game and they can’t have various helmets per team. Personally I am not a big Crimson helmet fan, so I wish we would go back to the one helmet at home and on the road. I LOVED our look in the Apple Cup! But not only the helmet on the road uni, but you can see something else in this last shot:

Again, a good look at the stadium and it looks good, even though the scoreboard is outdated. You can see the Field House to the top-right as well. But the numbers on the shoulders are odd. I must have missed how we moved those around, unless we’re changing things this year? Weird. They had it right last year.

Finally, according to EA, we’re GOING TO THE ARMED FORCES BOWL! We’ll face off against the hated San Diego State Aztecs, the 3rd seed from the Mountain West. It’ll be SO ON.

So there you have it. It’s not perfect, but it is better than it has been in years past. It is nice to see them giving WSU a little love.

So why a post about video games? Because it’s May, that’s why. What, do you want to rehash all the off-field garbage that has been the off-season of ’08? Neither do I. But I also bring this up because we’ll be simulating each game this season, the week before each game is played. It should be interesting to see how things play out in the video game realm and compare it to reality. We will upload a few videos from each game as well. I know ESPN does this sort of thing with the biggest games of the week, but we’ll do it for our Cougs.

FINALLY, saw Indiana Jones over the weekend. In a word: “Meh“. If you are a fan of the Indy series, you might get a rise or two out of it. But for the most part, I thought it missed the mark. And that’s from someone who LOVES the original. Believe me, I really wanted to love this one too. But it missed. It’s hard to say why. Maybe because he’s 65 and has lost a few steps, maybe the story wasn’t that great or the villain wasn’t anything to fear (Cate Blanchett with a Katie Holmes hair cut and bad Russian accent?). Maybe Shia Lebouf pretending to be Fonzie was a mistake. I don’t know. Maybe it was the lame ending. Or worst of all, maybe it was all the CGI that Lucas and Spielberg mixed in. That was one of the beauties of the previous movies, in that they were gritty, dirty, and full of great stunts and excellent acting. Sure it was fake, but it felt somewhat “real”. Not this movie. It might be worth a matinee if you are looking for something to do, but I wouldn’t go with a premium time to see it.

Ropati Hits the Big Apple; Martin Stadium Updates

May 3, 2008

I guess there is a potential NFL future for 6-7, 305-lb defensive tackles. Ropati Pitoitua is the last of the WSU free agents to land in an NFL camp, as the big fella has landed with the NY Jets.

Now will he survive? Hard to say. He could be a fit in a 3-4 defensive scheme at nose tackle. We all know he has the size and has at least flashed the potential. But he’s not exactly blessed with pure athleticism in that body of his. His last 40-time was a 5.27, not exactly blazing speed. But if his job is to simply take up space and try to occupy a couple of blockers, well, who knows. He’s probably just a training camp body at this point.

He was always intriguing with his size, but he never seemed to put it all together. Health was the biggest thing, with those bad wheels of his, with high ankle sprains in ’04, breaking his leg in ’05, and missing time in ’06 and ’07 with knee and foot injuries. Both he and Aaron Johnson showed so much promise early in ’04 as a pair of monsters inside that looked like they could be a hell of a tandem, but it just wasn’t to be.

Here’s what SI had to say about him:

POSITIVES: Nice-sized defensive lineman with an average game. Keeps his feet moving up the field, plays with good pad level, and wraps up when tackling. Brings down opponents on initial contact.

NEGATIVES: Lacks quickness, explosion, and speed. Rarely gets penetration, displays minimal ability as a pass-rusher, and consistently handled by a single blocker.

ANALYSIS: Pitoitua possesses the size and growth potential to be a run-stuffing lineman in a conventional system, but he does not consistently play to his numbers and shows little fire in his game.

Maybe part of Ropati’s problem was that he simply played too high? It’s hard to stay low when you are that tall, but as a d-tackle that stood straight up in the middle of the line, those knees were easy targets from opposing linemen. That said, when he was on the field he did produce. In his career he recorded 20 tackles-for-loss including 8.5 sacks. Not bad for a guy who only started about half the time. Good luck Ropati!

Kaddy pointed this out the other day in comments, but more weekly photos are popping up on Martin Stadium. While still very much a construction zone, it is looking better by the week, no question. That end-zone area off Stadium Way is going to look completely different this year. I can barely recognize it right now:

I also like the aesthetics of the brick and steel. It adds to the college building style throughout campus and blends in well. It’s not like it has the look of some modern arena that looks out of place. The area that could be one of the best features is that courtyard area out by the track. Sterk has touted this area as one large meeting or gathering place, and it’s an area that should be well utilized. There’s a ton of space out there, so it could be a very underrated part of the gameday experience:


I know, it’s hard to get a good “feel” from these construction pics. Some of you have seen these, but some of you haven’t, so, here’s some artist renderings that aren’t exactly easy to find online:


With the adding of the new scoreboard and sound system on the other side of the stadium, and all of a sudden you’re talking about a cool setting with much-needed upgrades right in the heart of campus! And that’s just the first two phases. Phases three and four are currently in fund-raising mode, and they will be really dramatic in terms of adding seats, suites, etc. Here’s the final concept from field-level:
Compare this rendering with the picture in our header for the blog, and you start to get the idea of what kind of a change we are talking about.

ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND!

Hang in There Mr. Mayor

April 21, 2008

A sad story might be taking a turn for the better about Glenn Johnson, the voice of your Cougars. He was hospitalized on Sunday with stroke-like symptoms and very little was known. Now, however, the news is heading in the right direction. He’s now doing much better per his wife, and the diagnosis sounds as though it was merely a severe blood-pressure spike with some short-term memory loss.

Aside from him improving, here’s the best part from the article:

“Johnson’s wife, Kathy, told the Associated Press his prognosis is good. Johnson’s speech apparently has not been affected.” SWEET!

I can’t wait to hear “and that’s another….Cougar….FIRST DOWN!” And of course…..”HERE….COME……THE COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOGS!” A crisp fall Saturday in Pullman just wouldn’t be the same without the Mayor, so, get well soon, rest up, and we’ll see you in early September.

Did you all see the article and video about the current state of Martin Stadium? This latest phase is really coming together. I really enjoyed the first phase last fall, as I know many of you felt the same, but this next phase is really doing to make things look different. Mix in the Cub renovation and man, the gameday experience could be a lot different this fall. I’m thrilled with the eye-candy talk, re: scoreboard. $2.5 million, including a new sound system? Very nice. Still no pics of the actual scoreboard, but most of you have seen the powerpoint.


Finally, Cougfan has an article about recruiting in the state of Washington and how the new WSU staff is going to go after it. It’s a premium article so you know the drill, we won’t link to it here. But it goes in line with something I’ve been thinking about and have discussed with my UW brother-in-law for a while now. The bottom line is the state of Washington is a HUGE factor, for our success and UW’s.

Think about this. Go look at the rosters from our glory 01-03 run. Yes, Gesser was a huge part of that, the MVP in school history. But remember the offensive line? Tyler Hunt, Derrick Roche, etc, all in-state guys. How about on the other side of the ball? Acholonu, Jeremy Williams, Marcus Trufant, Rien Long, Erik Coleman, Will Derting, etc. All guys from in-state, all major factors in our best of times.

Now think back to the last few seasons. Who were our better players? Jason Hill, Michael Bumpus, Jerome Harrison? How about Alex Brink or Josh Swogger? All out-of-state guys. Now you do have to add Mkristo Bruce and Scott Davis in there, both in-state guys. But in truth, they were part of the Price era. Bruce was a redshirt in ’02, and Davis was part of the ’03 class but was fully committed to WSU in ’02, when Price recruited him.

It’s as if the struggles of our program didn’t just happen because Price left. We were suddenly losing out on the in-state guys, the gems that were discovered by turning over rocks. It’s as if our tough times of late have coincided when the absolute core of the team came from out of the state. Now, one could argue that Doba did a better job on in-state kids the last few years.

It’s easy to look at our roster right now and realize that Brandon Gibson is our best player and if he stays healthy, he will most likely be a first-day NFL draft pick in ’09. How about Andy Mattingly? He’s got the look of a defensive MVP for ’08. Kenny Alfred is an excellent center and some have pegged him as having an NFL future since his true frosh season. And Gary Rogers, if things keep going in the right direction, in this new offense could simply EXPLODE next year. All four kids, all probably regarded as our best players, all from Washington.

Maybe it makes a lot more sense about how Wulff has talked so strongly about recruiting the state, how important that is. That isn’t just chatter for press releases or message boards. It’s as though he totally “gets it” in how important Washington is to the program. And the best part for that effort is how well regarded Wulff is among high school coaches in Washington. Remember, the press release when Wulff was hired had quotes from an in-state high school football coach. His reputation while recruiting for EWU is outstanding, and clearly an asset for the future of this program. It might not happen overnight, but it WILL happen with Wulff! Just have some patience and enjoy the steps in the rebuilding effort.

Life Experiences Build a Winner in Wulff

December 16, 2007

I know many of you that read our blog or the usual WSU coverage online already know a ton about Paul Wulff. But the Spokesman today hit a HOME RUN with the background story.

I believe that people really need to know what we’ve got here in coach Wulff. His hiring was big news in eastern WA, and in some pockets of Seattle, but otherwise it was barely a blip on the radar. But there’s just so much more than meets the eye with this guy. Again, Vince hits an absolute home run today with his story, and the accompanying unsolved murder story is a real eye-opener.

Seriously, can you imagine dealing with all this at such an early age? Maybe some of you have, and if so, you know the pain. But wow, wow, WOW. He’s really a moving story.

By the way, I wrote about it at AOL Sports today as well. Some of you know that I don’t write there as much as I used to based on the direction things have taken over there, away from the team-centric coverage and more big-picture stuff. But this story about Wulff, it’s just too good to ignore. I want the people on the national level that read that site every day to understand what we have in Wulff. AOL Sports gets 20-25 million hits a month, so they’re going to have to read about him now! Someone’s got to stick up for all things WSU, and as long as I can represent over there, I’ll throw stuff like this in their faces.

Other quickies for today:

We’ve got a new Cougar in the fold. Kamiak’s Skylar Stormo calls it a “dream come true” to get a scholie from Paul Wulff and WSU. A good 2-sport athlete with decent size at 6-4, 225, he reportedly runs a 4.8. Not blazing but not too bad either. He’ll likely play TE at WSU. You can check out his Scout.com player bio here. WELCOME TO THE FAMILY.

Here’s a look at the “new” Martin Stadium. Some of you have seen this, but some of you have not. I also included a shot of the new scoreboard. I particularly like the young alumni seating area down below, where tickets are capped at $99 the first three years after you graduate and you get to sit between the 30’s. That’s something that Sterk and company really need to do, and that is reel them in young and get them involved. Make the younger alums feel important, like they matter, and get them spending money early on. That’s the genius of what Oregon State has accomplished. They have Reser to name the field as their “sugar daddy”, but much of what has been done in Corvallis was based on getting those middle tier donors. They reached out to that group and they all feel part of the program, and it’s something that we must do as well. Note that I stretched the images a little bit so the resolution will probably be a little off, but you get the idea.

Speaking of scoreboard, here’s a really good shot I found that someone took at the end of the Apple Cup. If you look closely in the bottom towards the middle, you can see Alex Brink, Bobby Byrd and Chris Baltzer in a group hug. Byrd and Baltzer were Brink’s best friends on the team, so I thought that was a pretty cool shot.

That’s really it. Not much new news floating around out there. I did find KXLY’s recap of the ’07 Apple Cup. It never gets old does it? And from a few different angles, Rick Lukens was right, Brandon Gibson couldn’t have been more wide open! I’ve got that game on my DVR and the week after xmas I’ll try and pull some highlights for your viewing pleasure, but for now, enjoy: