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Editorial written for dawgman.com, September 1, 1999

Purple Prose
By Rich "Malamute" Linde

The Huskies have come a long way since those dark, gloomy days in 1992. At least they were gloomy days for me. First, the Billy Joe episode, then those investigative stories in the Los Angeles Times' sports section about alleged booster violations. After reading countless front-page stories, all of them inimical to the Huskies, I knew Don James' burgeoning dynasty had imploded.

Then the quiet-day recruiting fiasco came along, and more bad news. However, the University preempted the Husky haters in the conference--and elsewhere--by sanctioning itself. Certainly their caviling and carping continued, however in effect, these pit bulls were muzzled. Husky haters never die; they just smell that way.

Now that the Pac-10 Conference has gone along with the self-imposed sanctions, most of this is behind us. It was a long time coming, but seemingly the Huskies have clawed their way out of the avalanche that buried them, and are doggedly climbing towards the top of the mountain. In part, we can thank Barbara Hedges for that.

She had some tough decisions to make, and not much time to exercise them. One month after giving Jim Lambright a vote of confidence she had to jettison him. Then with lavish contract in hand, she hired Rick Neuheisel away from Colorado. Keelhauled by some in the media, both Hedges and Neuheisel kept their grace and sanity. Even a few Husky fanatics and mavens mutinied; however, I suspect some of them were stowaways. The real-deal Husky fanatics are back on board, and the Husky ship is no longer rudderless.

If the Husky ship has not entirely weathered the storms, at least she has conquered the roughest seas. Thank goodness for Admiral Hedges, who kept her from capsizing, and kudos to Captain Lambo, who plugged a lot of leaks--there were just too many for him to repair. At times, he looked like Chevy Chase at Hoover dam, plugging one leak and creating two more. People who questioned his capabilities may have been right all along. Who knows? But he certainly had some tough shoes to fill, and he took over a program in full chaos. We could have been much worse off if it had not been for Lambo. Many believe he saved the program; certainly, his heart bled purple and gold.

This is Richard Neuheisel's captaincy, the Husky future in capable hands. But the ship's hold is somewhat empty. Let's give him time to fill it.

This all sounds like it's written by Chance the gardener in "Being There," with mouse (remote control?) in hand. I know I've mixed some metaphors, overcooked some similes and split some infinitives. Too many adverbs, adjectives and weak verbs make this article "purple prose," which is its title, as well as a bad pun. What I'm trying to say is this: The bad times are behind us, the good times are ahead; let's get it on Huskies.

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