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The Biennial Stupid Quotes Awards
By Malamute, 16 February 2005

During the past two years, Husky fans have been bombarded with a litany of stupid statements from the media, from UW coaches and athletic directors and now, ahem, from the Neuhiesel trial, where columnists Art Thiel and John Levesque are being widely quoted. There have been so many ridiculous statements made over the past two years; it was kind of hard to know where to begin. However, we’ve managed to select our ten best of the dumbest of the dumb, and, of course, we comment on them.

1. An anonymous editorialist at the Seattle Times

Scene: All the while Rick Neuheisel coached the Washington Huskies, rumors continually surfaced about his potential candidacy for other coaching jobs. For example, while at the UW, the multi-talented Neuheisel was rumored to be a candidate for jobs with Notre Dame, UCLA, and the Cleveland Browns – in addition to the 49ers.

After UCLA fired Bob Toledo, an anonymous Seattle Times editorial (“Coach Rick Hamlet, December 14, 2002) speculated on Neuheisel’s potential candidacy for that vacancy.

Quotes: The editorialist wrote, “Cougar coach Mike Price is a different matter. His solid reputation and patient success naturally attracts attention. He has made Washington State University proud, and he has earned the right to seek new challenges and other coaching opportunities.

“But Price is the coach we want to stay put. His teams play hard for him and he runs a clean program. [Anonymous].

Comment: As irony would have it, given license to roam, Price shot himself in the foot at a nightclub in Pensacola, Florida (May 2003), in what is now known as the infamous Dance with Destiny.

2. Former UW AD Barbara Hedges

Scene: Currently, Rich Neuheisel Neuheisel is suing the UW for wrongful termination and the NCAA for tortious interference, or acts that led to his termination.

Quote: During the trial, Hedges was quoted as saying that she and Neuheisel were “joined at the hip.”

Comment: Beam me up, Scottie -- Fitzgerald, that is. Yeah, it was just like Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby being joined at the hip. Daisy drove the homicide vehicle and Gatsby took the fall.

3. Former UW coach Keith Gilberston

Scene: September 2003. The Idaho game (UW 45-14)

Quote: At half-time, a radio announcer asked Gilby about Washington’s lack of discipline—considering the penalties and the one turnover—and Gilby replied, “Who made you the coach?”

Comment: We’re going to miss Gilby.

4. Les Carpenter, Seattle Times columnist

Scene: The Neuheisel trial

Quote: “By the end of the day nobody looked good.

“Not Barbara Hedges, the former athletic director who exclaimed ‘Holy (expletive)!’ upon learning the NCAA was investigating her football coach for gambling.

“Not the NCAA investigators who sandbagged Rick Neuheisel like third-rate gumshoes, luring him to a meeting about a minor recruiting issue, then battering him into lying about the NCAA gambling pool that got him into this trouble.” [Carpenter].

Comment: “Third-rate gumshoes?” I thought everybody knew that. Where’s Carpenter been for the past twelve years?

Hedges uttered, “Holy (expletive)” when she heard Neuheisel was being investigated for gambling? Big deal. Hillary topped that one with her response to Bill when she found out about the Monica affair, this according to Secret Service agents and household staff members. "What do you mean?" she yelled, and then slapped him hard across the face. "What are you saying? Why did you lie to me? You stupid, stupid, stupid bastard! My God, Bill, how could you risk everything for that?" [Anderson].

Obviously, what this trial coverage needs is more demonstrative prose.

5. John Levesque, Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist.

Scene: After eavesdropping on Neuheisel’s cell phone conversation at the San Francisco airport and learning about Rick’s interview with the 49ers. 

Quote: Levesque wrote, “Lest you think I was prowling the airport in the foliage of a Ficus benjamina, I was reading the Sunday papers in the gate area when Neuheisel plunked himself down in a chair about 6 feet from mine. I'm sure he paid no attention to me. I didn't notice him until I heard his voice, recognizable to anyone who's watched UW sports.” [Levesque].

Comment: Geez, talk about gum shoes!

6. Art Thiel, Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist.

Scene: In his column yesterday, Art Thiel wrote about the trial and Levesque’s unbelievable encounter with Neuheisel, calling it a million-to-one shot. I mean did the "snitch" tell someone at the P-I that Rick was at the San Francisco airport after following him from Sun Valley?

Quote: Thiel writes, “Yet for all the missteps and misdeeds, none (the trial) of this would have happened if Neuheisel two years ago had not had a one-in-a-million encounter at the San Francisco airport with P-I columnist John Levesque following the coach's futile interview with the 49ers.

“If Neuheisel's first instinct at that unlucky moment had been to the truth that day, he might have been able to spare everyone this sordid affair by doing what he has done so well so often in his life -- talk his way out of everything else.” [Thiel].

Comment: John, while at the airport, why didn’t you just tell Rick that the jig was up, that you had overheard his phone conversation? You still had your story.

7. Ted Miller, Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist.

Scene: Two weeks before the 2005 signing day.

Quote: Commenting on the number of commitments to the recruiting class, Miller wrote “that total relegates the Huskies to the sewer of the Pac-10 recruiting rankings…”

Comment: "Sewer?" Ted, try "septic tank” next time; it sounds more antiseptic.

8. Barbara Hedges again

Scene: January 16, 2004. UW AD Barbara Hedges, 66, retires. She was expected to retire on June 30, 2004.

Quote: "Given the events of the last six months, given my desire to move the focus away from me and to help the university solve the problems we face right now, I thought it was important to move up my announcement," she said. "Occasionally, glitches are going to happen. That's what occurred."

Comment: Glitches? That’s like the Japanese saying that the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was just a glitch for them in World War II.

9. Rick Neuheisel at the trial.

Scene: The King Country courtroom at Kent, Washington.

Quote: From Art Thiel’s column yesterday. “Still appearing stricken, Neuheisel said one of his three sons came home from the grocery store upset because a baker made up a batch of parody cookies featuring images of Neuheisel and Mike Price, the former Washington State coach who was fired from his new job at Alabama after a drunken night at a strip club.

“The cookies read: ‘Dumb and Dumber.’

“Neuheisel testified he went to the store and bought up all the cookies so his son would no longer have to see them.” [Thiel].

Comment: Did Neuheisel ask his kids' dentist about eating mashed cookies?

10. UW attorney Lou Peterson in King County Superior Court.

Scene: Neuheisel under cross-examination from UW attorney Lou Peterson in King County Superior Court.

Quote: This one is from Angelo Bruscas’ column this morning. “Peterson began by asking Neuheisel if he had previously been admonished for gambling. When Neuheisel said he didn't recall other incidents, Peterson reminded him that he had been called into the principal's office in high school in Tempe, Ariz., for pitching quarters on school property.” [Bruscas].

Comment: Just quarters? Neuheisel has come a long way.

Next thing they'll tell us is that he played for marbles in grade school. The jig was up for me when all my ill-begotten "migs" fell out of the pocket of my corduroy pants in the classroom.

References:

[Anonymous]. Editorial, Seattle Times, "Coach Rick Hamlet," December 14, 2002.

[Anderson]. Anderson, Christopher, 'Bill and Hillary,' CNN.com, August 5, 1999.

[Carpenter]. Carpenter, Les, "Neuheisel lawsuit makes all look bad," The Seattle Times, February 15, 2005.

[Levesque]. Levesque, John, "I know what I heard; UW fans should, too," The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 12, 2003.

[Thiel]. Thiel, Art, "Height of UW folly revealed," The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 15, 2005.

[Bruscas]. Bruscas, Angelo, "Neuheisel insists Hedges knew," The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 16, 2005.

Richard Linde (a.k.a., Malamute) can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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