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Care and feeding of Muckety-Mucks
In a rout either way, run the damn play
Malamute, 8 March 2008

All of the donors to the UW athletics program described by a recent article appearing in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer are successful businessmen.

Hence, an unusual thought comes to mind: Maybe, the UW should run its football program like a big business and treat its clients like paying customers and stock holders, i.e., like something of value.

First let me say that UW boosters are well aware of the NCAA restrictions placed on “representatives of the institution’s athletics interests.” A common goal with them is to see that the athletics programs fly high and dry and not crash and burn.

With Dawg Days in the Desert on hand (March 10th and 11th), here are some suggestions aimed at the wining, dining and caring of the muckety-mucks and, er hum, their egos.

  • Appealing to the state legislature for stadium funding is a waste of time. We don’t need any pawky politicos playing political football with our venerable stadium. * The Huskies need to think Microsoft Stadium, and tap into a local lode of gold, starting with a five-letter name for logic circuits. Better yet, secure the stadium’s crumbling financial support to two suspension bridges, both built like the one they have in San Francisco -- that is, two golden "Gates," one supporting the north side and the other securing the south.

  • Coach Willingham needs to be made more available to the media, especially to the P-I which, upon losing the services of fair-minded columnist Ted Miller, needs to cotton up to the Huskies to avoid the perception of being anti-Husky. The P-I has a soft belly, so cash in on the situation. I've already got the Go 2 Guy on the run.

  • UW bigwigs need to accept the notion that allowing fans, donors and boosters more access to the athletics programs is a good thing, instead of a perilous act of self-immolation.

  • Open up practices to the media and fans, with some exceptions made during a game week. At open practices, make it clear that the big-bucks' donors have more privileges than the small-change givers. To get to a coach on the sidelines, for instance, allow a fatcat to wade through a thud tempo if he's into the Pamplona scene. Alas, money buys privilege. This will drive the purveyors of class-warfare issues bananas.

  • Allow boosters and fans to stay at the team hotel on road trips. Familial chores make for good bedfellows.

  • The coach's incentive plan needs to be tied to fund raising if it isn't now. Tie up Ty, lest he be hanged in effigy.

  • The school president, the athletics director, and especially the head football coach need to mingle with the supporters of its athletic interests at UW sponsored events and functions. For example, a coach giving a talk at such an event needs to stick around for awhile, rather than bolt for the nearest exit after his jabberwocky. A coach speaking at a function needs to mingle with the high-rollers at the cocktail hour, and, yes, they will mingle back. A frightening thought, isn’t it?

  • And for pity’s sake, coaches, don’t drink alone at a bar, a la Gilby at Berkeley.

  • Junk the wooden faces, smile at the alums and think Gatorade.

  • Allow deep-pocket boosters to fraternize with coaches, such as encouraging more golf outings and allowing them to mingle with coaches at and after practice. Yes, and accept their X’s and O’s graciously. “Hey coach, do I have a play for you!”

  •   In a rout either way, run the damn play.

  • The coaches need to provide the insiders with some harmless tidbits of gossip and info to take to the Internet. Make a high roller feel like a pit boss, an inside guy.

  • This is the 21st century, dudes! Wakeup and think google, you yahoos. No more Internet half-brain stuff out of the AD’s mouth. Blog but don't flog. Think subservience and remember that the customer is always right.

  • Allow for season tickets donated back to the university to be deducted on income tax returns. This is a general category called "stop robbing Peter to pay Paul."

Here are some of my druthers.

The AD needs to schedule more OOC patsies like Ohio State does, a school the BCS system continually rewards because of its won/lost record. The Pac-10 schedule is tough enough. Either be a patsy or else schedule patsies. A winning record sells both PSAs and seats.

Come up with an economical repair plan for Husky Stadium this year or move to Qwest Field. This notion can be expressed more mundanely, without italics. *

Dawg Days in the Desert

Forecast for Indian Wells and the other desert locations: 84 degrees and sunny on March 10th and 11th.

* Mal's homilies in italics. ;-)

Malamute can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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