“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein.
Albert Einstein didn’t know when he was defining Insanity that he was describing this era of Cougar football. The inability to adapt to different cultures and change is barbaric. The ability to adapt and overcome is called civilization. This is something we have struggled with for almost a decade now and it is what has set other teams in the Pac12, as most have adapted and embraced their new Coaches, our team has fought change time and time again and continues to reap the results.
Now this is not to bash on Marquess Wilson, or tear down his career at WSU. I loved watching this kid in a Cougar uniform burn past defenses and set records. I never got to see any other side of him though. I never saw leadership, and I never saw him go to battle for his teammates. Think about it, when did you ever hear anyone say “did you see that block Marquess just made?”. I think Marquess was very much like the staff that brought him in and that’s the environment he thrived in. Unfortunately what’s good for one, often isn’t good for the many.
Paul Wulff spent his time at Washington State building up something that I believe had peaked last year: “Close but no cigar”. There are a few games I can think of last year where we got out to an early lead but lack of mental toughness and actual toughness cost us the games. I know Wulff’s coaching style and understand what he was doing, but in a league like ours, it wasn’t going to get much further than it did last year. He tried to get the best out of his players but he always accepted their performance as good enough.
That’s what Wilson was raised in and he did well. Marquess is a star, no way around it. Problem with this type of star is, they HAVE to be THE star, treated like an NFL prospect and most of all trusted to do things their way. Sometimes when you’re the best in your environment you stop pushing yourself. That’s what I feel happened here. Well, a Coach came in who doesn’t accept that style, who doesn’t care what personal agendas are in place. The long term success of this football program have been placed as the #1 priority and no longer would everything be designed to go to Marquess or go through Marquess. These kinds of Coach’s always butt heads with the stars and although it stings it has to happen.
Marquess’s statements were shameful and weak. Pointing the finger at someone besides yourself when you are having a down year is down right sad. Look, this isn’t grade school football anymore, people are gonna come at you, coaches are going to push you, attack you and test you. It’s the price of being good. People that crack under that kind of pressure are obviously not ready to be elite. Saying things like “This was supposed to be our year” only proves that you expected to just walk into the year, do the same thing but this time it just happens to work. All of the sudden we’re good again? As far as I could tell, YOU were still on the field and still very much capable of making this “Our year”. You are the one who wasn’t performing, You are the one who gave up! When multiple sportscasters comment on your demeanor on the field and how poor your body language is, I find it hard to blame anyone but you and the effort you put in. Even if you don’t like your Coach, if you claim to care about your teammates and the school you represent, you put the effort in for them and yourself. There’s a lot more to play for in college football than the coach so that is no excuse.
These are the type of players that have plagued our football team for almost 10 years now. Punks and the mentally weak! Well everyone, this isn’t going to fly anymore. You can’t expect anything, you have to earn it now and sorry some people just don’t make the cut. I have watched too many players come through Wazzu with an undeserved sense of accomplishment and do absolutely nothing. Whereas teams who have had success with their new coaches have all bought in played the role they were asked and have experienced success. Look at ASU, they were sharing snaps in games with two quarterbacks and still winning. No one is too big for that team.
Let’s move forward Cougs. Believe in what Mike Leach is doing here. Look at the game vs UCLA. Outmatched by a team who has had success this season but we fought hard the entire game and proved, if to no one but ourselves, that we can play with the best of them, again. This is what happens if you play tough, if you never give up. If you don’t let past plays measure your success for the next. We have a long way to go but it appears we finally have accepted this mindset and if we can really build on this and make this our style we have nothing but a bright future.
Sorry this had to happen but Marquess, move on, do what you gotta do for your career but don’t bring down the rest of us with you. We really do wish you the best and hope you have success in the future but you gotta grow up and let this go. For your former teammates, and your former school.
Always, Go Cougs!