Cherry blossom season.
Views of Mt. Rainier from Red Square.
Head football coach Chris Petersen.
For millions and millions of reasons, life is very good when you’re a Washington Husky.
Huskies fans don’t even have to tailgate. Why would you, when you can “sailgate” instead? Are there orcas splashing about, high-fiving one another with their tails, and bald eagles flying in synchrony overhead?
There might as well be.
But let’s focus in on what’s happening on the football field and in the program in general.
Games are being won against good teams, such as the matchup against an ascendant USC squad last Saturday.
And, yes, I am fully aware that the Huskies have a no good, very bad loss to Cal from a few weeks back. There was the three-hour weather delay. There was also the fact that Cal is a decent team. And Cal has had Washington’s number a few times in recent memory; that’s a thing that happens in football, even to great teams like Washington.
In fact, the way the Huskies beat the Trojans is a perfect metaphor for the Pac-12 Conference in general. The former big dog in the conference—USC—has lost its way and is trying to get back to what it sees as its rightful home on top of the mountain. Unfortunately for the Trojans, they’ve been supplanted by a pack of wild DAWGS who are hell-bent on making sure that does not happen.
What Petersen is building is only going to get better. On the recruiting trail, the Huskies are hunting down the top players from Washington State, Hawaii, and California. Homegrown prospects are staying home. California kids are choosing to come north rather than stay in their home state. Hawaiian players are opting for fleece and flannel instead of board shorts or green hoodies, in many cases.
Take the recent example of Sav’ell Smalls, a 6’3”, 227-pound, five-star outside linebacker from Burien, Washington. This is the kind of kid—best in the state, best at his position in the country—who would have always gone to a school like Alabama, which is notorious for pulling in the top talent from any state they choose. Well, guess what? Smalls likes what he sees at Montlake enough to stay home.
Another example is Dylan Morris, the superstar quarterback recruit from Graham, Washington. How many amazing quarterbacks do the Huskies need? One per year, plus a backup or two. It’s an embarrassment of riches. Keep feeding the pipeline.
So when you walk around thinking about how good you have it, Huskies, make sure you attribute it mostly to one man. His name is Chris Petersen. You are beyond lucky to have him.
Let him notch a few more wins and achieve a few more accomplishments.
And then, let’s start the comparison.
Someday he may supplant a certain former coach. His first name starts with D. His last, with J.
There. I said it.