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In one fell-swoop, in a parody of the movie, “The Godfather,” Derek Johnson spoofs the NCAA infractions committee, satirizes the 2K2 negative recruiting battles and pokes fun at the fruit-basket scandal that torpedoed Don James and his Washington Huskies.

Don’t they call Don James the Dawgfather? And certainly Washington’s football program can’t be trusted, according to some in the media; Husky haters and Internet flamers say that too.

In this hilarious spoof, “The Dawgfather,” the Pac-10 families are at war and the Pac-10 is cracking down. Should you read it? It’s an offer, you can’t refuse.


The Dawgfather

By Derek Johnson

The undertaker meekly took a seat amid the dimly lit office.  Across from him sat the Dawgfather, who was situated behind his desk, wearing a tuxedo, and with a cat upon his lap.  The Dawgfather’s lawyer and advisor, Gilby Hagen, sat unobtrusively off in the corner.  From outside the window, the faint sounds of a large crowd could be heard.  It was Picture Day at Husky Stadium, and as required by tradition, no college football coach could deny any reasonable request. 

The undertaker’s name was Bonasera.  He cleared his throat to speak.  Don James Corleone listened attentively, his fingertips slowly rubbing behind the cat’s ears. 

“I believe in the University of Washington.  The UW has made my fortune, and I raised my son in the Husky tradition.  I gave him freedom but—I taught him never to dishonor his family…  He played high school football, I didn’t object.  He became quite good at it, received attention for it.

“Two months ago, he was being courted by a couple of college football recruiters, not a Pac-10 school, and they took my son for a drive.  They made him drink whiskey.  And then, they tried to get him to give a verbal commitment…  He resisted, he kept his honor.  So they beat him, like an animal.  When I went to the hospital, his nose was broken, his jaw was a’shattered, held together by wire.  He couldn’t even weep, because of the pain.

I -- I went to the police, like a good American.  These two men were brought to trial.  The judge gave them a suspended sentence.  They went free that very day!  And those two bastard, they smile at me.  Then I said to my wife, for justice we must go to Don James Corleone.”

The Dawgfather nodded while continuing to pet the cat.  He inquired as to why Bonasera had gone first to the police and not him.  James expressed disappointment that he couldn’t even remember the last time he had been invited to Bonasera’s house for a cup of coffee.  Nevertheless, he agreed to help, to send one of his guys to retaliate on Bonasera’s behalf. 

As the Dawgfather ushered the undertaker to the door, he uttered these words;  “Someday, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me.  But until that day, consider this justice as a gift on my team’s picture day.”

Grazie, Dawgfather”


The undertaker left and Gilby Hagen pulled out a notepad and pen.  Casually he asked, “now who should I give this job to?”

The Dawgfather paused to smell the rose on his lapel.  “Give it to Emtman.  I want this done professionally, by someone who isn’t going to get carried away.  I mean, we’re not murderers, despite what this undertaker says.”

Hagen refers to his notepad and speaks as James stands at his window looking out.

“Virgil Sollozzo called.  Now we’re gonna have to give a day sometime next week.”

The Dawgfather nodded solemnly.

A few minutes later, Gilby Hagen and James emerged into the bright sunlight of Husky Stadium.  Throngs of people were milling about across the playing surface.  The smells of hotdogs and coconut suntan oil were in the air.  The melodic hum of boats could be heard coming off the water.  It was a beautiful August afternoon adjacent to sparkling Lake Washington. 

The team gathered to take a group photo.  The Dawgfather had a look of concern etched upon his face.  He began craning his neck in all directions, before turning to his eldest son, Sonny “Lambo” Corleone. 

“Where’s Rick?”

“Pop, it’s early”, responded Lambo.

James shook his head and began to walk away.  “We’re not taking the picture without Rick.”

The team dispersed and went back to the task of visiting with the fans.  Don James Corleone wandered about, greeting several guests.  This included a terse, momentary embrace of Don Bellotti and Don Price, who had come to pay their respects.

Sonny Lambo Corleone learns that an investigator from the Pac-10 is out in the Husky Stadium parking lot, and recording license plate numbers in a book.  Piping mad, he charges out there to confront them.

“C’mon!  It’s our team’s picture day.”

The investigator says nothing but shows his badge, and Lambo spits on it, after which he storms off in disgust.  “Goddamn Pac-10 don’t respect nothin’.”

Soon Michael Rick Corleone arrives on the scene, accompanied by a lovely lady.  The group photo is taken.  Following this, many greetings ensue amid the cluster surrounding the youngest son.

Three days later, to prepare for the meeting with Sollozzo, Don James Corleone, Gilby Hagen and Sonny Lambo meet in the Don’s office.  Gilby Hagen begins by briefing the other two from notes pulled from his briefcase.

“Now according to my sources, Sollozzo is known as “The Turk”.  He is supposed to be good with a knife, but only in matters of business or some sort of reasonable complaint.  Uh, his business is football recruits.  He has training camps in Turkey where they train year-round.  They are built for speed, and for strength, and they are savage hitters.  Now, Sollozzo needs cash, and he needs protection from the NCAA, for which he gives a piece of the action, I couldn’t find out how much.  The Bellotti family is behind him here on the west coast.  Now they have to be in it for something.”

The Dawgfather turned toward Lambo.  “Santino, whattaya think?”

“There’s a lot of money and victories in those recruits.”

Gilby Hagen continued.  “Well, I say yes.  There’s more money and victory potential with this than anything else we’re looking at.  Now if we don’t get into it, somebody else will.  Maybe one of the other Pac-10 families, maybe all of them.  Now with the money they earn, they can buy more NCAA and political power, then they come after us.  So even though we are coming off a Rose Bowl season, we still have to look forward.  The WAC and Big West conferences are gaining strength as well.  If we don’t get into this, we could risk everything we have.  Maybe not now, but, ah, ten years from now.”

The Dawgfather looked ruefully toward the far wall, in deep contemplation.

The next day, Sollozzo was greeted out front by Lambo, and brought into the Don’s office.  Present at this meeting were Don James Corleone, Sonny Lambo, Gilby Hagen, Bobby Hauck Clemenza and Jim “Tessio” Walden. 

After being seated and having a drink, Sollozzo got right down to business.

Bene.  Don James Corleone.  I need a man who has powerful friends.  I need $10 million in cash.  I need, Don James Corleone, those NCAA officials that you carry in your pocket, like so many nickels and dimes.”

The Dawgfather adjusted his tie.  “What is the interests for my family?”

“First selection of the players, plus thirty percent.  In the first year, your end should be thirty-to-forty million dollars.  And then it would go up.”

The Dawgfather slightly leaned forward.  “And what is the interest for the Bellotti family?”

Sollozzo’s eyes widened for a moment before he glanced toward Gilby Hagen.  “My compliments.”  Gilby subtly nodded back.  He turned back toward the Dawgfather, paused for a moment, then stated resolutely, “I’ll take care of the Bellotti’s, out of my share.”

James responded.  “So I receive players and thirty percent for finance, political influence and NCAA protection, that’s what you’re telling me?”

“That’s right”, responded Sollozzo.

“So why do you come to me?  Why do I deserve this generosity?”

Sollozzo looked surprised.  “If you consider ten million dollars in cash just finance, te salute, Don James Corleone.”

The Dawgfather gets up and pours Sollozzo another drink.  “I said that I would see you because I heard you were a serious man, to be treated with respect.”  He sits back down.  “But, uh, I must say no to you, and I’ll give you my reasons.  It’s true, I have a lot of friends in the NCAA, but they wouldn’t be friendly very long if they knew that my business was illegal recruits instead of gambling, which in truth they rule as a harmless vice, but shady recruiting is a dirty business.”

Sollozzo’s eyes hardened slightly.  “If you’re worried about security for your ten million, the Bellottis will guarantee it.”

Sonny “Lambo” Corleone forcefully spoke up.  “Aw, you mean to tell me that the Bellottis will guarantee our investment!”

Don James Corleone put up his hand and gave a disgusted glance toward his son.  Bobby Clemenza and Gilby Hagen look at each other, in recognition of Lambo’s faux pas.  The Dawgfather turned back toward Sollozzo.

“I have a sentimental weakness for my assistant coaches, and I spoil them as you can see; they talk when they should listen.  But, anyway, Signor Sollozzo my no is final, and I wish to congratulate in your new business, I know you’ll do very well—as best as your interests don’t conflict with mine.”

Several days pass and preparations become more intense for the upcoming season.  After practice one afternoon, Don James Corleone decides to take a break, and his son Fredo drove him to the Pike Place Market.  Their shiny black car pulls right alongside one of the vegetable stalls.  The Dawgfather emerges from the vehicle to pick up some fruit.  Dressed in a fedora and trench coat, he is looking dapper and gives a warm greeting to the vegetable stand owner.  He begins pointing out which fruits he wants to purchase, as a ferry horn sounds in the background, and a light breeze arrives off Elliot Bay.

Suddenly, two men dressed in black rush up toward him.  The Dawgfather’s eyes widen in realization of what is about to occur…  They are in his face before he can really react at all.  The two men are from the Seattle Times.  They inform the Dawgfather of breaking news; that there have been reports that some UW recruits received free fruit baskets, and that the Pac-10 has put the Washington Huskies on five-year probation.

The Dawgfather is stunned and aghast.  He looks like he is going to be sick.  He attempts to grab hold of a light post.  He staggers for several steps, before his legs betray him and send him tumbling backwards into the vegetable cart.  He sprawls violently to the ground and the cart caves in.  An avalanche of oranges and apples scatter and roll in all directions.

In the following days, Don James Corleone resigns in protest over the Pac-10’s sanctions.  Shockwaves are sent up and down the west coast.  Sonny “Lambo” Corleone ascends to the rank of Don.  The scramble and quest for power takes on a new dimension.

Tom “Gilby” Hagen is intercepted by Sollozzo on the street, and taken to an abandoned diner in West Seattle.  In the darkness he is seated upon a chair.  The glowing light of a nearby lantern illuminated Sollozzo’s deep-set eyes and fleshy nose.   He cuts right to the chase.

“Your boss is now out of the picture.  We drummed up the charges and ran him out on a rail.  Washington has become too powerful, and something needed to be done…  Now I know you’re not in the muscle-end part of the family, Gilby, so I don’t want you to be scared.  I want you to help the Corleone’s, and I want you to help me.”  He hands him a drink, before continuing.

“So now it’s up to you to make the peace between me and Lambo.”  Sollozzo leans forward.  “Lambo was hot for my idea, wasn’t he?  And you knew it was the right thing to do.”

“Lambo will come after you with everything he’s got.”

“That’ll be his first reaction, sure.  That’s why you gotta talk some sense into him.  The Bellotti family is behind me with all their people.  The other Pac-10 families will go along with anything to prevent a full-scale war.

“…  It’s good business, Gilby.”

Gilby Hagen nodded.  “I’ll try.”

A few hours later, save for the ailing Dawgfather, all the Corleones gather in the Don’s office.  Lambo Corleone is in buoyant spirits.  He has opened the season with a couple of strong victories, and is looking for more.

 “Hey listen to this, the Turk wants to talk.  Eh gosh, imagine the nerve on the sonofabitch, eh?  Craps out last week, wants a meetin’ today.”

“What did he say?” inquired Gilby Hagen.

“What did he say, Badda-beep, badda-bap, badda-boop, badda-beep, he wants us to send Rick to hear the proposition.  And the promise is that the deal is so good that we can’t refuse.”

“Lambo, we ought to hear what they have to say.”

“No; no; no!  No more!  Not this time, consiglieri.  No more meetin’s, no more discussions, no more Sollozzo tricks.  You give ‘em one message, I want Sollozzo—if not it’s an all-out war—we go to the mattresses.”

Your father wouldn’t want to hear this!  This is business, not personal, Lambo!”

“Putting us on probation wasn’t personal? You..”

Gilby changed the subject.  “There is this Captain McLuskey, he is a police captain who is guarding Sollozzo.  He is on Sollozzo’s payroll, and for big money.  While Sollozzo is being guarded like this, he is invulnerable.  Now nobody has ever gunned down a police captain—never.  It would be disastrous.  All the Pac-10 families would come after you, Lambo.  The University of Washington would be outcast!  Even the old man’s political protection would go running for cover.  So do me a favor, take this into consideration.”

Lambo slams down his pencil and his face is strained but resigned.  “All right, we’ll wait.”

Suddenly from the other side of the room, Michael Rick Corleone interjected.

“We can’t wait.” 

He was seated in the deep chair, with his arms stretched out upon the chair’s arms.  “We can’t wait, I don’t care what Sollozzo says about a deal, he wants to ruin the University of Washington, that’s the key for him.  Gotta get Sollozzo.”

“Rick is right,” interjected Bobby Clemenza.

Lambo walked to the middle of the room.  “What do you do with this cop that is guarding Sollozzo here?”

Rick continued.  “They want to have a meeting with me, right?  It will be me, McLuskey and Sollozzo.  Let’s set the meeting.  Get our informers to find out where it’s gonna be held.  They’re gonna search me when I first meet them, right, so I can’t have a weapon on me then.  But if Clemenza can figure a way—to have a weapon planted there for me—then I’ll kill them both.”

Clemenza, Tessio and Lambo all burst out laughing.  Gilby Hagen shrugs.

Lambo approaches Rick.  “Hey whataya gonna do, nice college boy, eh?  Didn’t want to get mixed up in the family business?  You’re taking this very personally.”

Rick stared back.  “It’s nothing personal, it’s strictly business.”

A black car picked up Rick in front of the Nickerson Street Saloon.  After some time they found themselves seated at a table at Stella’s in the University District.  It was Rick, Captain McLuskey and Sollozzo. 

McLuskey, in Police uniform, was the only one who ate any food.  Rick and Sollozzo talked in Sicilian.  Rick wanted a guarantee that Sollozzo and the others would make no more attempts to get Washington put on probation.  Sollozzo refused to make that promise, insisting that he only wanted a truce, and a deal struck with Lambo.

Rick asked abruptly if he could go to the bathroom.  He entered into the stall and reached behind the toilet to locate the gun.  The loud rumble of a Metro bus went by, as Rick tried to maintain composure despite the queasy diarrhea of fear running through him. 

Rick emerged back into the dining area and sat at the table.  Sollozzo, in Sicilian, again went into the parameters of the deal he had in mind.  Rick’s eyes darted about and his breathing was shallow.  In one continuous motion, he reared up and fired the shots point blank into Sollozzo and McLuskey.  Sollozzo fell backward and was motionless.  McLuskey grabbed his throat, plunging violently headfirst into the table, knocking it over sideways.

Rick dropped the gun and scurried from the establishment.  Jim “Tessio” Walden was there to pick him up, and away they fled across the Montlake Bridge.

Soon after, Don James Corleone had returned from the hospital.  Bobby Clemenza, Tessio Walden, Gilby, and Lambo are standing around the bed.  In a quiet, calm voice, Gilby Hagen is briefing the Dawgfather.

“Since McLuskey’s killing, the Pac-10 has been cracking down on most of our operations- and also the other families.  There’s been a lot of bad blood.  Through our contacts in the newspapers, we’ve been able to put out a lot of material about McLuskey being linked with Sollozzo in the rackets.  See-- things are starting to loosen up.”

In a strained voice, the Dawgfather spoke.

“Where’s Rick?”

Lambo and Gilby glanced at each other with apprehension.  Gilby turned back toward the Don.

“It was Rick, who killed Sollozzo.  But he is out of the country, and safe.  Everything is OK.”

The Dawgfather winced and looked as though to cry.  He motioned with a dismissive wave of his hand, and the small group dispersed from the room.

Several days later, in the countryside of Sicily, a car comes driving up wildly, its horn blaring in the hot afternoon sun.  Out for a walk, Rick Michael Corleone and his two bodyguards gather near.  One bodyguard, Fabrizzio, opens the door to help the man out.

{In Sicilian} “I kiss your hand, Mike Lude Tommassino.”

Tommasino has a strained look upon his face.  {In Sicilian} “Rick, why are you so far from the house?  You know I am responsible to your father for your life.”

{In Italian} “I’m with Calo and Fabrizzio”.

The former Athletic Director shook his head.  “{In Sicilian} “It’s still dangerous.  We’ve heard from your brother Lambo in Seattle—your enemies know you are here...”

Meanwhile back in the United States, all hell has broken loose.  The Pac-10 has unleashed a backlash against the Washington program.  Operatives working in certain newspapers blare headlines of cheating and scandal on Montlake.  Notre Dame annihilates Washington 54-20. Nebraska then massacres the Dawgs 55-7.  Oregon strikes at the last minute for a devastating loss.  Dissent rises, recruits steer clear, revenues begin to decrease, and boosters begin to plot…

Sonny Lambo Corleone gets into a war of words with the heads of other Pac-10 families.  He lobbies for Washington to be admitted to the Cotton Bowl instead of Oregon.  Angry diatribes dominate the headlines up and down the west coast.  Lambo Corleone then leads the UW right into an ambush, as Air Force dismantles the Huskies 45-25 on national TV.  A beat-up, strife-ridden UW team, straggles back toward Seattle.

On the other side of the world, in a small village in Sicily, Michael Rick Corleone is teaching his young niece how to drive in his circular driveway.  The car is going in circles, kicking up dust, smacking into birdbaths and statues.   Laughter and joyous cursing is heard coming from the doddering vehicle.

Rick gets out of the car laughing, his blonde hair tussling in the countryside breeze.  {In Sicilian} “It’s safer to teach you English!”

Mike Lude Tommasino pulls up abruptly in his car.

Rick turns toward him, as he emerges from the vehicle.  {In Sicilian} “Salute Don Tommasino.  How are things in Palermo?”

“Young people don’t respect things anymore.  Times are changing for the worse.”

Rick’s face grew serious and he put his hand to Tommasino’s chest.  {In Sicilian} “What’s wrong?  What’s bothering you?”

Mike Lude Tommasino looked peaked.  For a moment he just shook his head.

{In Sicilian} “Bad news, from America…  Your brother Lambo…  They fired him.”

Rick could say nothing.  His vacant eyes stared straight ahead.  His lower lip quivered.

Back in Seattle, a meeting had been called together in a private banquet room atop the Space Needle.  Present is Don James Corleone, Gilby Hagen, and the heads of the other Pac-10 families.   Don Price, Don Bellotti and Don Erickson all sit together, directly across from the Dawgfather.  Don Toledo is seated at the head of the table.

Don James Corleone is the first to address the room.

“Don Toledo, I want to thank you for helping me to organize this—meeting here today.  And also the heads of all the Pac-10 families, who have come from as far as Los Angeles and Tempe.

“How did things ever get so far?  I don’t know.  It was so – unfortunate – so unnecessary.  Bellotti lost a coach, and I lost a coach.  We’re quits.  And if Bellotti agrees, then I’m willing to let things go on as they were before…”

Don Toledo spoke up.  “We’re all grateful to Don James Corleone for calling this meeting.  We all know him as a man of his word—a modest man—he’ll always listen to reason.”

Bellotti leaned forward.  “Yes, Don Toledo, he’s too modest.  He had all the judges and politicians in his pocket.  He refused to share them.”

Don James Corleone shook his head and stood up.  “When did I ever refuse an accommodation?  All of you know me here--  when did I ever refuse?  Except one time.  And why?  Because I believe that Turkish recruits are gonna destroy us in the years to come.  Even the police departments that have helped us in the past are gonna refuse to help us when it comes to this.  And I believed that then, and I believe that now.”

Toledo’s voice grew more authoritative.  “Times have changed. It's not like the Old Days -- when we can do anything we want. A refusal is not the act of a friend. If Don James Corleone had all the judges, and the politicians on the west coast, then he must share them, or let us others use them. He must let us draw the water from the well. Certainly he can present a bill for such services; after all -- we are not Communists.”

The Dawgfather spoke quietly.  “I hoped that we would come here and reason together. And as a reasonable man I'm willing to do whatever's necessary to -- find a peaceful solution to these problems...

“Toledo sounded resolute.  “Then we are agreed. The traffic in Turkish recruits will be permitted, but controlled, and kept within the Pac-10 and away from the WAC and Big West Conferences.  Don James Corleone will give up protection in the West -- and there will be the peace.”

The Dawgfather had one last bit to say.  “My youngest son, he was forced to leave this country, because of this Sollozzo business.  I have to make arrangements to bring him back safely, clear him of all these false charges…  But I’m a superstitious man—and if some unlucky accident should befall him—if he should be accused of giving away free apparel to players, or of communicating with recruits during a quiet period, or of waving to recruits from a driveway when there should be no contact, then I’m going to blame some of the people in this room.  And then, I do NOT forgive…  But – that aside, let me say that I swear, on the souls of my grandchildren -- that I will not be the one to break the peace we have made here today.”

Don James Corleone and Don Bellotti met each other at the end of the table, and embraced.  The whole room applauded.

In the car that night, driving back to Montlake, Gilby Hagen and the Dawgfather are quietly talking of the results of the meeting.  Hagen takes out his notepad to ask questions.  As the Dawgfather listens, he has a deep-set scowl upon his face.

“When I meet with the Bellotti people, should I insist that all his recruiters have clean records?

The Dawgfather shook his head.  “Mention it, don’t insist.  Toldeo is a man who’ll know that without being told.”

Gilby looked confused.  “You mean Bellotti...”

“Bellotti could have never outfought Lambo.  But I never knew until this day… that it was Toledo all along...”

Two weeks later, the Dawgfather and his son Michael Rick Corleone, are sitting alone in the family garden.  The Don is looking older now.  It is a lush and quiet backyard, dappled and rippling with sunlight and a gentle breeze.  A view of the 520 Bridge can be had in the distance.  Rick has now officially been placed as the head of the Husky family.  The Dawgfather is counseling young Rick.

“So--Toledo will move against you first.  He’ll set up a meeting with someone you absolutely trust- guaranteeing your safety.  And at that meeting, you’ll be set up.”  He drinks from his glass of red wine as Rick watches him.  “I like to drink wine more than I used to -- anyway, I'm drinking more...”

“It's good for you, Pop.”

“I hope you don't mind the way I -- I keep going over this Toledo business... “

Rick shook his head.  “No, not at all...”

“It's an old habit. I spent my life trying not to be careless -- women and children can be careless, but not head coaches.”

Rick seems to read something on his father’s face, and reaches across to pat his shoulder.  “What’s the matter?  What’s bothering you?”  The Dawgfather doesn’t respond, and Rick followed up.

“I’ll handle it.  I told you I can handle it, I’ll handle it.”

“I knew that Lambo was going to have to go through all this.  And Fredo-- well…”  He leans in toward his son.  “Fredo was, well…  But I never—I never wanted this for you.  I work my whole life, I don’t apologize to take care of my family.  And I refused, to be a fool, dancing on a string, held by all those big shots.  I don’t apologize, that’s my life—but I thought that when it was your time, that you would be the one to hold the strings.  Senator Neuheisal, Governor Neuheisal, or something.”

“Another pezzonovante (big shot)” responded his son.

“Well -- there wasn't enough time, Rick. Wasn't enough time...”

“We'll get there, Pop -- we'll get there...”

(then, after kissing Rick on the cheek)  “Now listen -- whoever comes to you with this Toledo meeting -- he's the traitor. Don't forget that.”

Three days later, Rick is sitting in his office, and Jim “Tessio” Walden” drops in. 

“Rick, Toledo wants to arrange a meeting. He says we can straighten any of our problems out...”

“You talked to him? “

“Yeah -- I can arrange security. On my territory. Alright?”

“Alright... “

After Tessio leaves, Gilby enters into the room. “Rick, do you know how they're gonna come at'cha?”

“They're arranging a meeting in Ballard.  Tessio's ground, where I'll be ‘safe’”.

Gilby looked quizzical.  “I always thought it would've been Clemenza, not Tessio... “

“It's a smart move -- Tessio was always smarter. But I'm gonna wait -- after the football season.  And then I'll meet with Don Toledo -- and Bellotti -- all of the heads of the Pac-Ten Families... “

Rick sets out to put a fence around the state of Washington, and recruits like crazy in California.  He injects a new enthusiasm and brings new blood into the program.  In fall camp, he does well in preparing them for the season that looms before them, and the plan of revenge he has in store.. .   

Three days before the season opener, Tessio Walden approaches them as they emerge from the office.  “Time for the meeting, they’re waiting.”

Gilby shakes his head, responding, “Rick says to go on ahead, he’ll go in a separate car.”

“But he can’t do that, it’ll screw up all my arrangements!”

“I can’t go either, Tess.”  Gilby gave Walden a knowing glance, then stepped back.  Three Husky linemen approached and formed a menacing circle around Walden.  Encircled, he turned toward Hagen.

“Gilby, can you get me off the hook?  For old-time’s sake…”

“Sorry Walden, can’t do it.”  He motioned for the linemen to take him away.

THE FOLLOWING IS A COLLAGE OF CLOSING IMAGES AND SEQUENCES:   Organ music can be heard, as if for a baptism...  A close up of Rick’s concerned face on the sidelines during game day.  A baby is heard crying.  A referee is mumbling inaudibly in Latin at midfield to the captains.  A policeman waits outside a courthouse.  A Washington Husky wide receiver is breaking into the clear for a touchdown.  The Huskies rout Michigan 33-17.  The organ continues to play.  Rich Alexis rumbles into the end zone from 5 yards out…  The Huskies rip California 45-10.  Bobby Clemenza, carrying a package, heads up the stairs.  Don Erickson is getting a massage…  The Huskies destroy Oregon State 49-17…  Paul Arnold scores on another long catch.  Rick’s face contorts as he yells at a referee…  Washington pounds Arizona 56-0.  A referee is mumbling inaudibly to game captains…  Don Toledo is emerging from a courthouse and descending the front steps… Washington massacres UCLA 38-9.  The organ continues to blare…  UW annihilates Arizona State 47-0…  The Husky defense is fired up…  Terry Johnson blind-sides Carson Palmer for a big sack…  UW beats up on USC 31-14…  The organ sounds begin to rise to a crescendo… 

… Early morning arrives at the Bellotti Estate..  In a plush room and amid a giant bed, Don Bellotti awakens slowly, then with befuddlement feels something amiss and pulls back the covers, then frantic as he sees blood and beside him a severed Duck’s head…  Washington edges Oregon on a last-second John Anderson field goal…  In Autzen…  The organ continues to play…  Rick’s concerned face…  Blizzard conditions in the Palouse…  Don Price accesses the Huskies a 15-yard penalty for being forty seconds late to arrive from the locker room…  A baby is heard crying…  Reggie Williams hauls in four touchdown receptions…  Washington scores a whopping 50-7 victory over the Cougs… 

It is early December.  Outside his office window, Lake Washington is quiet and sloshing with mini droplets of rain falling from the dreary sky.  Gilby, Bobby Clemenza, Stevie “The Boot” Emtman and Rick, are all sharing a quiet toast to a Rose Bowl berth. 

Rick’s wife is just outside the office, fixing herself a drink.  The door is half-open. She turns her head to watch, as they embrace her husband, calling him Dawgfather. 

Clemenza kisses Rick’s hand as Emtman shuts the door, blocking Mrs. Neuheisal’s view]

The screen blackens to indicate...


Thanks to J. Geoff Malta and his website. 


Derek Johnson can be reached at uwsundodger@hotmail.com




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