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Codes for Cap'n Coker
By Richard Linde, 20 November 2001

Cast of Characters and legend:
Phillip Francis Queeg Former Captain of the U.S.S. Caine, "The Caine Mutiny," by Herman Wouk.
Dawgman David Samek, Publisher/Editor of dawgman.com, a popular Washington Husky web site.
Captain Larry Coker Coach of the Miami Hurricane football team, and Captain of the U.S.S. 'Cane.
Captain Rick Neuheisel Coach of the Washington Husky football team.
Admiral Hedges Barbara Hedges, Athletic Director, University of Washington.
Coxswain Barton Taylor Barton, quarterback, Washington Huskies.
Coxswain Pickett Cody Pickett, the Caldwell Cowboy, quarterback, Washington Huskies.
Coxswain Dorsey Ken Dorsey, quarterback, Miami Hurricanes.
Officer Lee Groinman A fictional police officer working for the Seattle Police Department. As an avid fan of the Washington Huskies, he writes for dawgman.com.
E.T. Charles E.T. Frederick, wide receiver, Washington Huskies.
18" of laser honed hickory Officer Groinman's nightstick.
Ensign Anderson John Anderson, place kicker, Washington Huskies.
Bos'n Alexis Rich Alexis, running back, Washington Huskies.
Butch Davis Former coach of the Miami Hurricanes, now coaching the Cleveland Browns.

The following is a missive sent from Phillip Francis Queeg to Larry Coker. After perusing several Internet message boards, Queeg has intercepted  three code words, "ET," "dawgman," and "Groinman" that he believes relate to the upcoming battle in Miami between the men of the good ship Washington and the men of the U.S.S. 'Cane.

Now hear this, Captain Coker, 

I have some urgent news; the good news is that I believe I have broken the U.S.S. Washington's secret code. Along with the good comes the bad, so batten down the hatches and check your belaying pins. 

But first let me congratulate you on your new command as Captain of the U.S.S. ‘Cane, which is based in Port Miami. As you know, the U.S.S. ‘Cane lost the “Battle in Seattle” last year; shortly thereafter, its former skipper, Captain Butch Davis, mutinied and left the ‘Cane in high seas, presumably floundering for its title hopes during its next campaign.

Speaking of mutiny, as the former captain of the U.S.S. Caine, I’m still haunted by Lt. Maryk’s words: “Captain, I'm sorry, but you're a sick man. I'm relieving you as captain of this ship under article 184.” That was mutiny, Captain Coker, and I fear another ‘Cane mutiny is in the making.

Where? Right after the "Whammy in Miami II," after the battle between the 'Cane and the men of the good ship Washington.

How do I know? 

Well, I am privy to scuttlebutt appearing on several U.S.S. Washington message boards. I have analyzed the intercepted messages and have decoded them. In the main, these messages consist of three code words (ET, Groinman and dawgman), which frequently appear on these boards. It's all in the codes, Captain. Our very being depends on codes. That's why I'm in here.

IMHO, you are faced with some formidable, daunting odds, much like filling an inside straight in the Bahamas, much like finding out who ate the strawberries. Here is my reasoning.

An Armada: The U.S.S. Washington’s Skipper (no pun intended) will cast off from Seattle as part of an armada, Admiral Hedges in command. Another battleship, “Raze-the- Canes” will augment the Washington’s forces. After landing in Miami by air, a former swab named dawgman (a code word), who has enlisted a group of motley sea dawgs, will captain it. I fear you will be outflanked and outmaneuvered. The cut of his jib shivers me timbers (see picture).

Training Exercises: Earlier this year, Captain dawgman docked in Key West and Cozumel for training exercises. Once on board "Raze-the-Canes," his sea dawgs will be more than ready to man the bilge pumps and tie a clove hitch. An obedient bunch, there will be no sea lawyers among them debating admiralty law.

A Mutiny of Floridians: Three young swabs jumped ship, leaving the South Florida seas, and are now in Port Seattle training for battle. A young swab called “ET” (a codeword) is the latest mutineer, following boatswain  Alexis to Seattle. As you know, Bos'n Alexis cannonaded the ‘Cane during the “Battle in Seattle.” Another mutineer, Ensign “Howitzer” Anderson, can lob shot with uncanny accuracy. All three of these men, who are most familiar with the South Florida waters, can lay out a course with precision using a compass rose. There will be no need for celestial navigation.

Hurry-Cane Port, Dawgfish Starboard: This is a tactical maneuver (fake left, go right) that an Officer Groinman (another code word) sent to Captain Nueheisel, who plans to use it as a form of tacking. I believe that either coxswains Pickett or Barton will shout "about ship" to engage the tactic.

A Triple Whammy: In 1994, the two ships met in Port Miami, the 'Cane losing the battle called the "Whammy in Miami." The men of the good ship Washington scuttled the 'Cane, sending it to dry dock for repairs. Before the battle, the U.S.S. 'Cane had won 58-straight battles defending its home port. The loss at the "Battle in Seattle" was a double whammy, if you will pardon the expression. I have not heard of a triple whammy; however, this could be it.

The Code Words (ET, Groinman, dawgman): I'll try to anchor down these code words using a decoding scheme. As of now, I believe that the swab called ET is an extraterrestrial; several intercepted communiqués saying that ET is “out of this world” support this notion.  As a consequence, I have tried to contact Area 51, but to no avail. The word “Groinman” has something to do with 18” of laser-honed hickory. This may be a secret weapon that is being developed for the U.S.S. Washington. Lastly, dawgman may be a spy, doubling this duty with his Captaincy. The word “dawgman” supports my perception that he is a spy, as in “dogging” someone. They say that Captain Neuheisel may put a spy on your Coxswain, Mr. Kenneth Dorsey. If so, dawgman must certainly be that spy. 

Working on this cipher has sent shivers up me spinnakers. Last night I was awakened by this visage: 

The Miami Herald (25 November 2001): “A ‘Cane Mutiny on the way? As if using a club made of laser-honed hickory, ET, who is out of this world, along with the men of the good ship Washington, battered the U.S.S. ‘Cane, sinking its title hopes in the ‘Whammy in Miami II.’ For the 'Canes, its memory will forever 'dawg' their 'man,' Captain Larry Coker.”

Let its portent neither set us adrift nor run us aground. 

I shall lend ballast to your forthcoming endeavors; may your course always be set true. 


Phillip Francis Queeg, Captain USN, Inactive Duty


Your weaknesses and vulnerabilities surface during battle. You can’t hide them anymore. God's made many so imperfectly, both mentally and physically. He's given some a bad roll of the dice, some crapping out. Once they know about them, they take advantage of them. My doctor explained it to me. It’s as if you were tied naked to the main mast, the secret codes decrypted for all to see. It's all in the codes, Captain--God, the encoder; battle, the decoder.

I have another hearing tomorrow. I’ll hide the steel balls in my dresser. It’s better that way. They’ll ask about the strawberries. They always do, and I’ll give them the same answer, the one I always give: 

"The strawberries, sir? 'Ah, but the strawberries! That's, that's where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes, but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt, and with, with geometric logic, that, that a duplicate key to the wardroom icebox did exist.'"

Author's note:

This article is dedicated to the men of the U.S.S. Washington who ended Miami's 58-game home winning streak in 1994 and who scuttled their BCS title hopes last season. 

Picture of Officer Groinman, courtesy of dawgman.com.



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