Nov. 23, 2012; Pullman, WA, USA; Washington State Cougars running back Carl Winston (3) and wide receiver Andrel Lintz (87) celebrate a touchdown against Washington Huskies during the second half at Martin Stadium. The Cougars would go onto beat the Huskies by a final score of 31-28 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Washington State Football: Sports Festivus 2012


It’s time for ACU to celebrate the tradition of Festivus for 2012, the Seinfeld born holiday that brings about your “grievances and feats of strength”, in this case for our Cougar football team. First, if you don’t know what Festivus is, perhaps it is best that you take a look at the video below and have a chuckle.

November 3, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Utes wide receiver Reggie Dunn (14) tries to evade the tackle of Washington State Cougars safety Anthony Carpenter (4) during the first half at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Now, let’s get serious with this for a moment. It’s time to air our most primary grievances for the season that was in 2012:

The general lack of mental toughness shown throughout the entirety of Cougar Nation

In all fairness, this got better toward the end of the season, but I was very disappointed in the mental toughness of our program. This isn’t limited to our team, rather it’s an inclusion of our team as a whole, certain and specific players and the Cougar fan base. Here’s the low-down on each groups main grievance:

Football Team:

Colorado and Utah were not just losses, they were a total debacle in their own way. Against Colorado, a 17 point 4th quarter lead was blown in the span of 7 minutes. Meanwhile, the Utah game was just embarrassing to all of us.

Marquess Wilson:

The blow up between Wilson and the program has been documented all too well. This grievance isn’t so much about that as it is the lack of toughness that this kid showed in games this previous year. After getting at least 3 touchdowns called back early in the season, he never really played like the superstar of his freshman and sophomore seasons. He dropped more critical balls than he caught and his attitude brought the entire team down with him when he decided any game was over.

Connor Halliday:

After a record setting beginning to his career as Cougar signal caller against ASU in 2011, Halliday had a real chance, several really, to make his mark as both the leader of this team and the future of the program for the next two years. Instead, his somewhat uninspiring performances left a question of whether or not he’s even going to beat out either freshman quarterback next season. Yikes!

Washington State Cougar Fans:

This complaint is two-fold. First fold is the non belief in your football team. I’ve gone about this at length earlier this season, but our fans have some of the most brittle minds around when it comes to supporting their football team. Contrary to what our student section generally shows and what Mike Leach and the team say about the fans being tremendous supporters, I’m of the opinion that we have far too many flakes in the stands. The Apple Cup was a huge exception to this point, but too many people are leaving at halftime of Cougar football games.

Second fold is the response to Mike Leach’s comments after the Utah game. The disgrace wasn’t the comments of Leach, but the comments towards the coach after that. His comments were critical, but they were true and needed to be heard by the team. Too many people crucified Leach and many threatened to end their support of the Cougars until a coaching change is made… again. Really, Coug fans? Did I mention brittle minds already? We’re in a day and age where too many fans are offended when a critical statement is made by the coach of their team, instead of prioritizing and supporting a change in the culture of their program. You want a winning team? Learn to have a winning attitude!

Enough negativity! Now for our feats of strength.

Football Team: 

Just where they had failed earlier in the season, the Cougar football team changed their fortunes by continuing to fight against UCLA and Washington to end the season. The Bruins took a 30 point lead to the halftime break, yet WSU came back and took it to 8 before it was over. Meanwhile the Huskies took an 18 point lead to the 4th, then couldn’t hold off a Cougar rally.

Carl Winston: 

The senior running back ran for 3 touchdowns against the Huskies to help the comeback. Winston went through a very tough season in which his work load was almost demolished due to the air raid and other, more speedy running backs. His determination was unflappable however and it paid off in the best game of his career in the Apple Cup.

Dominique Williams:

Without going into stats, here’s all you need to know about Williams. He struggled throughout the season to become anything more than a decent 4th option behind Marquess, Marks and Barolone but against Stanford he made a catch over his shoulder in the back corner of the end zone that changed his mindset. When Marquess left, Dominique stepped in and stepped up to become the bonafide #1 deep threat on the team.

Jeff Tuel:

The kid continued to struggle with injuries. He never gave into them though. He returned and won his spot back as the starter.

Defense:

One of the most shorthanded groups in the country greatly improved over the last several seasons in just about every statistical category, even while moving to a new scheme.

 

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