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The Jokester from WSU
Richard Linde, 14 January 2007

I know for a fact that Jim Moore’s stuff (P-I) has to affect U-Dub recruiting in some way or another. (*)

Husky moms and dads at Picture Day tell me that kids tease their sons about going to “Probation Nation” and playing for “Paint Dry Ty,” negative phrases that Moore uses all the time. Hiding behind the guise of humor is an effective tool for forming public opinion if that is his aim.

Critical humor is a clever dodge, because, when you draw someone's ire, you can always audible the old switcharooskie play: “Now you’re playing defense, buddy,” like in can't you take a joke?

I guess most of the posters on dawgman.com can't take a joke. In a recent poll, where fans were asked, "Do you enjoy reading his (Moore's) bashing of our Huskies?," 75% of the respondents answered "no," 17% "yes," and 7% "sometimes."

Most of the time, Moore is a teasing jokester, whose humor is driven by a run-of-the mill education from a Cow College. Hee haw, hee haw. You have to feel sorry for a hayseed who lives in the big city. 

But Moore’s humor has a sardonic twist at times. Let’s just say that he gets carried away with his funniness. Seemingly the trick to his chicanery is to write five stories that seem witty and harmless, and then with the sixth story, rabbit punch the sucker and hit him below the belt, his editor that is.

Examples of sixth stories involve UW kids who are in trouble.

When one of them finds trouble, Moore is a Johnny on the spot, ready with a story, writing humorously, of course. In the story, Moore usually mentions the name of the lawyer (Mike Hunsinger) who in the past has represented UW players that run afoul of the law, the implication being that the UW has more of its share of student/athlete legal problems than other schools do and needs a full-time lawyer.

In fact, he even did a whole story on Hunsinger once. “Whenever a Husky football player is involved in a scrape with the law, I leap to attention,” Moore writes proudly. “These incidents happen so often, I'm thinking about suing Barbara Hedges for whiplash.”

A minority kid’s legal problem, in particular, doesn’t need further outing from a giggling Jim Moore, the Go-2-Guy, as he calls himself. It's okay to roast the "U," but not the kid, in my opinion.

I wonder if the Go-2-Guy ever made fun of Anthony Vontoure's troubled behavior? Two weeks before his death, both of us attending C-Dub's funeral, I promised Anthony that I’d take these guys on, using my powerful website. He said, “right on,” having taken his share of media abuse. 

Later, my website took a nosedive with the local media when I wrote that the "eavesdropping John Levesque was on Linda’s Tripp." I kept my promise to AV. However, I tried to copy Moore’s style. (#) 

Every bully has a cowardly side in the face of a strong adversary. Moore recently wrote, “Plus, no one's breaking laws anymore. That's bad news for Mike Hunsinger, a UW fan who used to represent every Husky who did, which meant he was very busy until (Tyrone) Willingham arrived.”

The coach has got the Go-2-Guy on the run, hoisting him by his own petard.

Moore appears harmless enough when taken singularly, but in the big league of Seattle journalists, the ancient lampshade he wears to their parties must be riddled with old cigarette holes. He's a popular dude with the anti-Husky crowd, but also serves as an ashtray because of his rural background.

He lacks that polished edge, his background in sports writing and "broadcasting" being horseshoe pitching tournaments, according to rumor:

Loud breathing in microphone.
Add country dialect. A bellowing Moore says, "Lars Hansen scores a ringer."

It’s with these columnists and editorialists where the negativity trumps the positives, inside the stories they write about UW. Jim wants to fit in badly and be a real journalist, not just some cow-college-cockamamie counterfeit.

Don’t get me wrong, Seattle journalists have a right to express their opinion, but what is missing from the local scene is a reasonable semblance of balance, kind of like Hugh Millen’s editorials that went unchecked.

So, do we need a check and balance on Jim Moore? Yes, because, at times, he goes too far, writing that sixth story we were discussing. Remember the story he did on Steve Schilling, the local lineman UW lost to Michigan? Many irate fans feel that Moore (a WSU booster?) had broken an NCAA bylaw.

Is the Go-2-Guy ready for the big time now that his shtick is on the wane?

Many national columnists who comment on college football may be unwitting adherents to the Paul Gallico school of thought. (For starters, add here: Art Thiel, Sally Jenkins, Rick Telander, the guys who wrote the script for ESPN’s “Playmakers,” etc.)

In 1938, Gallico, who was alarmed by what he perceived to be an increasing professionalism in college sports, wrote, "College football is one of the last great strongholds of genuine old-fashioned American hypocrisy...If there is anything good about college football it is the fact it seems to bring entertainment, distraction, and pleasure to many millions of people. But the price, the sacrifice to decency, I maintain, is too high." (Farewell to Sport).  

College football and America aren’t the hypocrites, it’s writers like Jim Moore who are the hypocrites – they are the mockingbirds who have sold their souls to join the seagulls who circle the old Montlake garbage dump.

Whew…that was a mouse-full and a fitting slam at Jim, for I am a UW alum and grad, who is not going to take it anymore.

I just hope Jim and his fans can take a joke. It’s my sixth story on him.


(*) Sportswriter Jim Moore writes a column for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Also see, "One Time Husky fan turns Cougar," by Derek Johnson, dawgman.com.

(#) That was a mistake, for I hit too close to home. A cagey veteran like Moore would never have punned a slang word, using it as a politically incorrect metaphor, especially in the Seattle area, which is super sensitive to political jokes about Bill Clinton.

Okay, I'll spell it out for you guys from the Palouse. "Tripp" is is a pun on "trip," which is a slang word. "Lynda's Tripp" is a metaphor for eavesdropping (in her case tape recording phone calls), and is politically incorrect because it reminds people of Bill Clinton's legal problems with Paula Corbin Jones, who his defenders called, "trailer park trash."

P-I reporter John Levesque eavesdropped on a cell phone call former coach Rick Neuheisel made to his mother about a job interview he had with the San Francisco 49ers.

Malamute can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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