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Ducks Seriously Pwn Huskies
By Casey Anderson

From Wikipedia:

Pwn is…(a) slang term, derived from the word "own",  that implies domination or humiliation of a rival, used…to taunt an opponent who has just been soundly defeated.

A word does not currently exist in the Oxford English Dictionary that describes the all-encompassing destruction that Oregon’s football program has wreaked on the Husky Nation over the past five years. In an attempt to find a word strong enough, evil enough, powerful enough to convey the true nature of Oregon’s stranglehold on Washington, I was forced to scour the nether regions of society, to unearth a term that lately made its way to semi-mainstream culture via the sunless basement fringes of the electronic ether.

Only in a universe where newb dwarves are hack-n-slashed into giblets by merciless high-level dark elf clerics, where unsuspecting space marines are relentlessly fragged by headshot happy aimbots, can a competitor be so completely victimized, so totally bested by an adversary that an entirely new term must be invented to describe the subjugation. Time was, terminology like this could never find its unfortunate way from suburban basements to the collegiate gridiron; after all, there are black-clad, pimple faced nerds and muscle-headed, square-jawed jocks, and never the twain shall meet.

That is, ‘til now.

So, yes, Washington Huskies, you got pwned. Tyrone Willingham, you got pwned. Jake Locker? Utterly pwned. Ed Donatell’s defense? Uber-pwnage. Tim Lappano’s offense? Pwntastic. Special teams? Specially pwned.

It’s as though we Washington faithful forgot to make our monthly subscription payment at some point back in the mid-‘90s; where we once strutted, a feared boss with a myriad of weapons and an impregnable defense, we now find ourselves starting the game over, fighting off the evil Pac-10 hordes with a pointy stick and a shield cut from cardboard.

Meanwhile, as befits this day and age of instant gratification and winning-cum-finances, Phil Knight skipped the building stages, went the eBay route, and bought himself a juggernaut, a wizard with all the offensive tricks up his wicked sleeves, and a capable defense to boot.

Perhaps more importantly, Oregon’s Knight footed the bill for facilities that have left Washington in a galaxy far, far away. Friday night I was gifted a pair of tickets to the Seattle Seahawks pre-season game versus the Oakland Raiders, and, having never been to Qwest Field for a football game, it was a truly eye-popping experience. And not just the Seagals; ear-splitting guitar riffs and CG airplane races aside, Qwest Field is the shining castle on the hill to Husky Stadium’s tree fort. While I understand there are vast systemic differences between professional and collegiate football, and that no college stadium could possibly rival a state-of-the-art NFL facility in sheer technical sorcery, let alone monetary resourcery, my Husky jealously was warhammered home on Saturday night when Fox Sports Net’s broadcast of the Oregon/Washington game included yet another feature on Autzen Stadium and the University of Oregon’s host of upgrades to its athletic facilities. Autzen may not be Qwest Field, but it is certainly closer to NFL standards, by the widest moat of margins, than Husky Stadium is likely to be any time in the near future.

This presents a problem of flame-spitting dragon-sized proportions for the once-and-aspiring-future kings at U-Dub. After the 600 pound Trojan horse in the room gets its pick of west coast 5-star recruits, the remaining schools need every possible advantage to persuade young, impressionable, iPod sporting high-school kids to sign on the dotted fax. It’s hard for Husky fans to hear, steeped as we are in the lore of the McElhennys and Kaufmans of yore, but 17 year-olds don’t care about tradition. Forget the Rose Bowl in 1944 or the Rose Bowls of the 1960s, current recruits weren’t even born when the Huskies won the National Championship in 1991! Even Marques Tuiasosopo is only a vague blip in the Random Access Memory of current recruits. To a current high school senior, Reggie Bush is tradition.

In the early days of the dial-up modem, kids wanted to be students at the University of Washington at least in part because of the Huskies of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, when the Dawgs were beating up on the Pac-10 and taking on Michigan in the Rose Bowl. I wanted to go to the UW as much because of Steve Emtman as any notion of academia, and I wasn’t even an athlete. It’s an illogical reason to pick a place to go to school, but I was a kid, and my decisions weren’t based on logic. The times have changed for UW football, but not for kids – kids, be they athletic recruits or otherwise, are still as irrational as ever, and certainly the allure of the high-tech locker room, mammoth big screen, and glitzy confines of Autzen Stadium play largely into a recruit’s decision on which school they’d rather sign with.

Oregon is playing an iPhone, Xbox Live, high-definition brand of football, whereas UW is trying to convince kids to read history books and play with sixteen-sided dice. Worse, if you are a high school senior today, you’ve seen the likes of (ex-Washingtonian!) Jonathan Stewart run roughshod over the Huskies, racking up more yards than LaDainian Tomlinson in a game of Madden ‘09; you’ve seen Mike Bellotti’s imaginative offenses confound bland Husky defenses and bland Husky coaches for nearly a decade; you’ve watched Oregon own Washington since you were an eighth grader. And that’s own with a capital P.

Wake up, Washington! Assimilate, or be seriously pwned!


Casey Anderson can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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