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Back home with heavy hearts
by Malamute, 17 September 2001

Being part of a traveling pack of wandering dawgs who joined dawgman's cruise from far off places such as Honolulu and Buenos Airies, itís a relief to be back home. 

Sixteen of our loyal fans failed to return, adding to the tragic events of the past week. Their friends and loved ones are in our prayers.  

Seemingly stranded on a ship at sea, we felt so helpless as the brave people in New York and Washington D.C. were literally digging themselves out from under this catastrophe. As we neared Miami, the Coast Guard took two suspected terrorists from our ship, the Fascination. 

Somehow football doesn't seem so important to us. As a nation we will join hands to rid the world of those who would deny us our freedom. It won't be an easy task; it will test our patience and our loyalty to this country. But the American spirit will triumph in the end. When we Americans join hands in a unified effort, there is nothing we can't accomplish. 

The inconveniences in air travel posed by this effort seem inconsequential in light of the ultimate goal. 

Other than spending a longer time at the airport, our return flight to Los Angeles went smoothly, without a hitch. No curbside checking or parking at the Miami airport were allowed. After waiting thirty minutes in a line, we checked our baggage at the front desk, making sure that fingernail clippers, scissors, files (etc.) were stowed in our suitcases and not in a carryon. About half the United flights out of Miami had been cancelled, so we felt quite fortunate.

Kudos go to dawgman, Susan, Chris, Moni, Lee Marona, Joe Kaiser and Coach Dick Baird for keeping us smiling during the cruise to Key West and Cozumel. It was hard for them, the tragic events of the past week always in our minds. 

One of the highlights of the cruise was a talk given to Husky fans by Coach Dick Baird, one of the greatest recruiters in Husky history. He is one of the most inspirational men Iíve had the pleasure to meet. A take-dead-aim kind of guy, itís no wonder he was so successful. He left the Husky program during the Neuheisel transition, no mark against him. Thatís the way things are done when a new coaching staff takes over.

Baird has a background in education and was loved by all  the kids he coached. Not surprisingly, a high percentage of his kids graduated from Washington. In Bairdís mind, school came first, then football. ďI made sure my kids understood that,Ē Baird told us.

Here's what Alan Grant (ESPN Magazine, "Running Man") has to say about Baird. "After three decades of coaching football, Baird, now 54, is a middle-aged white man who has a rare natural rapport with urban black kids. 'Inner-city kids can read you like a book,' he says, a lesson he learned in countless recruiting trips during his 15 years at UW. His honest approach led to an instant bond with (Corey) Dillon. 'I don't trust very many people,' Dillon says. 'But I felt comfortable with him right away. I could just tell he was one of those people who believed I would make it.'"

The picture above was taken of Husky fans on Saturday, woofing it up in front of the Gordon Biersch restaurant in Miami. Gordon Biersch has an inside brewery, so the beer was always flowing. 

We ate lunch with Gary and Deborah Elstrom  (pictured at the left), parents of  Todd Elstrom (Flanker),  and met a number of Husky fans during the trip. What a great group of people Husky fans are; they are the best fans in the world. Go Dawgs.

For another view of dawgfans and players, click on the thumbnails below to enlarge the pictures.

(First row).  Second picture from right are Joe Kaiser, Moni and Dave Samek; third from right is a picture-day photo of the Marona family, along with Braxton Cleman. The fourth picture from the right shows Jerramy Stevens and Paul Arnold.

Second and third rows: Sam Blanche (31), cheer leaders, Jamaun Willis (6), Neuheisel, Taylor Barton (12), Casey Paus (15), (Brooks 79), Kovis (53), Simmonson (70), Bachert (72), Newton (67)). 

Fourth row: Chris Singleton (42), Kevin Ware (84), Malamutes

group3.JPG (89988 bytes) dawgman and moni.JPG (42266 bytes) marona.JPG (50273 bytes) stevens and arnold.JPG (49132 bytes)

  blanche.JPG (62965 bytes) husky girls.JPG (62076 bytes) willis.JPG (56252 bytes) neuheisel.JPG (46188 bytes) barton.JPG (26337 bytes) paus.JPG (37107 bytes) linemen.JPG (55850 bytes) singleton.JPG (57333 bytes) ware.JPG (41463 bytes) malamutes.JPG (37671 bytes) malam1.JPG (21962 bytes) audfasc.JPG (22727 bytes)


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