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
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
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
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
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.'"
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.
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.
another view of dawgfans and players, click on the thumbnails below to enlarge the
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.
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)).
row: Chris Singleton (42), Kevin Ware (84), Malamutes