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Football’s second season is upon us
The Washington Huskies frittered away a couple of 14-point leads, then scored late to beat the WSU Cougars 35-28 and sew up a bowl bid (Holiday Bowl) with a 6-6 record. You know how I feel about any team reaching a bowl game with a 6-6 record, but that’s fodder for another column down the road.
In case you forgot — I don’t think a team with a .500 record should even think about a bowl game, let alone accept one. I think it’s telling your players, ”It’s OK to be average — we can still go bowling.”
There are advantages of bowl games for a program like Washington’s, which is trying to regain respectability. For one, they get three weeks more practice for the youngsters and that means next year’s Dawg quarterback, Nick Montana, will get extra time to execute the offense.
Second, teams that go to big bowl games make money for other teams in the conference. Downside to that is that the so-called “other” bowls just pay enough to meet team expenses on the road and most colleges lose money when they the take band, rally squad, etc.
By the way, the WSU Cougars should keep Paul Wulff as coach as he has done a great job recruiting and the Cougs will be a factor in the Pac-12 next year.
It’s been a while since the old desk was clear and when you can’t find pens and pencils, it’s time to clean up.
■ Horses — According to reports, Emerald Downs attendance for the 90-day season was down 8.5 percent, but president Ron Crockett said the track did better than he anticipated in these tough times and he will keep the plant going, even though he must reduce costs again.
Isn’t there a sports bar, or a restaurant with a meeting room, or a near-by casino willing to pipe in racing from Emerald Downs so Olympic Peninsula horse race fans don’t have to go to Bremerton for the nearest off-track betting parlor?
■ Hawks — Seattle still is tied for first place with the St. Louis Rams after a come-from-behind win over woeful Carolina, but remember the Rams took a 20-3 win earlier in the season and that means the last game of the season against the Rams at Qwest will be a dandy.
Not sure Seattle should be anywhere near the top of the heap in the NFL West, but then again, it’s a rather weak division.
■ Mariners — The winter meetings opened this week in Florida and M’s general manager Jack Zduriencik doesn’t figure to be a major player unless he can find a big, consistent bat to help the woeful Mariner offense.
The M’s have the majority of their payroll already lined up and they have a solid core of young players arriving and they will be given a chance to show what they can do for new skipper Eric Wedge.
But if Mr. Z can find a left fielder who can hit .300 or a catcher who can hit .250, he will be come a major player in the meetings.
■ Chapman — Congrats to Peninsula Pirate coach Andrew Chapman for his team’s third-place finish in the NWAACC soccer wars and for being named Coach of the Year for the second time in his eight seasons at the helm of the Pirate ship.
He took a young team to the playoffs for the sixth season in his eight years, third time in the past four
years and he had five all-stars.
Yes, he’s old enough to be my son, but alas, no relation. Way to go, Mr. Chapman.
■ Grapplers — The Olympic League wrestling season will be very competitive as all of the teams except PT and Bremerton will be battling for playoff berths.
Len Borchers is in his fourth year for the Sequim Wolves and he has a team that could finish in the middle of the pack this season.
Port Townsend coach Joey Johnson is in his 20th year and he just keeps producing Redskin champions. Even though with a young team, Coach J has high hopes.
Port Angeles coach Erik Gonzales is in his ninth year and he has some great returnees led by 189-pounder Nathan Cristion and 171-pound sophomore Brian Cristion.
Watch two seniors, 140-pounder Andrew Symonds and heavyweight Dan Jenkins, who are back from injuries.
Look for Klahowya’s Eagles to dominate the league, as they finished eighth in state last year.
Columns by KONP 1450 AM sports announcer Scooter Chapman appear weekly in the Sequim Gazette. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.