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The idiomatic awards
By Malamute

A long time ago my English teacher told me to stop using so many cliché’s and idioms in my writing. “They’re trite, worn out sayings that everyone uses in day-to-day speech,” she told me. “They don’t belong in formal writing.” But occasionally I go for broke and leave in an idiom or two, not being able to let a sleeping dog lie.

So I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone, and use some idioms while presenting my awards for a football season that has been top drawer, a season that has been one for the books. What I mean to say is that after the football season is over, every Tom, Dick and Harry gives out awards to deserving teams, players and fans, so why can’t I? Idiomatically speaking, here are my awards, all of them straight from the horses mouth.

The top-dawg award: Marques Tuiasosopo and Washington Huskies. They are number one in my book.

The sucker-is-born-every-minute award: Those fans who buy into the BCS scheme of things.

The in-your-face award: Those sportswriters and coaches who continue to vote Miami ahead of Washington in the polls.

The Cinderella-team award: Oregon State, their on-field antics notwithstanding.

The throw-this-dawg-a-bone award: Prince Redoubt, the best mascot in college football.

The salt-of-the-earth award: Curtis Williams (God bless him).

The keep-a-stiff-upper-lip award: Willie Hurst during his tryout at slot back.

The he-who-laughs-last-laughs-best award: Willy Hurst after his return to tailback.

The saved-by-the-bell award: Washington’s fourth quarter heroics, for example at the Cal, Arizona and Stanford games.

The on-pins-and-needles award: Washington’s fans as they saw Cody Pickett take to the field against those Brees-y bartenders from Purdue. For those fans in Flori-duh (the Anderson’s, Frederick’s and Alexis’s excepted), boilermakers are bartenders who make boilermakers, which is a whiskey with a beer chaser. Breezy bartenders are chatty, wordy bartenders. Brees-y is a pun on the name Drew Brees. A pun is…oh, hell forget it.

The on-cloud-nine award: Washington fans who celebrated their victory under the flashing lights from fireworks that exploded over the north end of the Rose Bowl.

The bed-of-roses award: The Husky team as they celebrated their Rose Bowl victory.

The quick-on-his-feet award: Dave Samek as he dodged a headlock from Keith Gilbertson at the Rose Bowl.

The turn-over-a-new-leaf award: Ryan Leaf.

The green-with-envy award: Duck fans as they look back at the Huskies’ season.

The sitting-duck award: Next season’s Oregon football team?

The keep-something-under-your-hat award: The dawgman staff as they wait for a recruit to formally commit to the Huskies.

The nothing-to-sneeze-at award: John Anderson. Although he had the flu, his two field goals against Purdue were nothing to sneeze at.

The in-the-dawg-house award: Anthony Vontoure, who can tell you what it means to be chewed out.

The cast-the-first-stone award: In an attempt to rub it in, those fans from the Pac-9 who continually remind Washington of its sanction years

The raining-cats-and-dawgs award: Palo Alto, at the time of the Y2K Stanford game.

The turn-the-other-cheek award: Marques Tuiasosopo, who after suffering an injury that was a pain in the butt during the Stanford game in 1999, turned the other cheek.

The quick-on-the-draw award: Keith Gilbertson at the Rose Bowl, who said, "It's a good thing I didn't have a gun up there," when asked about Tui’s lateral to Todd Elstrom.

The catch-more-flies-with-honey-than-with-vinegar award: Rick Neuheisel, a player’s coach.

The make-hay-while-the-sun-shines award: Coach Neu. Recruiting wise, Rick Neuheisel comes up smelling like a rose. Most of the other teams in the country can’t hold a candle to his current class, and some may have bought a pig in a poke when it comes to their recruits.

The one-horse-town award: a tie between Pullman and Eugene.

The knee-high-to-a-grasshopper award: Rich Alexis, who set a freshman rushing record for the Huskies.

The unsung-heroes award: The men in the trenches. The bottom line is that thanks to the guys up front, Washington had the most yards rushing, 268 yards to Purdue’s 76. Washington won time of possession at the Rose Bowl, 35:53 minutes to 24:07.

The no-spring-chicken award: Old Dowg.

The get-under-your-skin award: A tie between SLBOB and DAVIDDAWG, who have been known to make each other foam at the mouse during an argy-bargy (argument).

The champ-at-the-bit award: Lee Groinman’s horse, Ol’ Paint. He can’t wait for next season to start.

The crammed-in-like-sardines-in-a-can award: Those fans trying to get from the Rose Bowl after the game to their cars parked on the Brookside golf course.

The looking-for-a needle-in-a-haystack award: Those fans who couldn’t find their cars parked on the golf course.

The mad-as-a-hatter award: Malamute, who should know better then to write something like this. But heavens to Betsy, let’s not make a federal case out of it.

Sorry about all of this, but I’m getting long in the tooth, and as they say, you can’t teach an old dawg new tricks.

Reference: Scholastic Dictionary of Idioms, Marvin Terban, 1996, Scholastic Inc.

Many thanks go to Chris Dufresne of the Los Angeles Times, whose story gave me inspiration for this article, along with the reference listed above. What I mean to say is that this article is nothing new under the sun. In writing it, I was hardly flying by the seat of my pants.

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