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Weighty Matters on his mind
22 May 2010

This is Officer Lee Groinman

Ya’ know, back in the day, I had an old Coach, a good ol’ boy from West Texas. Whenever we were due to have our toughest, nastiest, and barf-inducin’ work out, why he’d get up on the bench and start spittin’ and screamin’,

 “It don’t get no better than this boys!

Why this is better than nut-cuttin’ time!”

Yup, this week has made me out and out giddy. Washington’s most giddy Cop. Something just doesn’t hang quite right there…

But here you have it. The Jones kid from Oregon is ready to end the drama, Sark is hintin’ at another commit, the hammer is about to land on SC, the UW Coaches tour is in full bloom, Groinman’s bike is freshly washed and waxed, and I’ve got a three day weekend in mid week!

And the weather looks, reasonable?

You know it was startin’ to look bad for SC when Pete Carroll said he’d be ‘surprised’ if SC was hit with anything substantial. Then I hear they started to mess with their web site title.

“We Are SC” became “We Are SCrewed” Then somebody said it was being called “We Are SO SCrewed”. Yup that’s kinda’ foretellin’ if ya asks me…

As they said back in the sixties, “You don’t need a weatherman to tell which way the wind is blowin’.”

The wind was blowin’ my bike with a vengeance on my trip home, but that was after all the fun was done. It was worth the price, more on that later…

But I gotta tell ya this, the best thing about this week is the announcement by Woody that the Husky Stadium redo is gonna finally be kicked off. Construction bids and plans are due on July 1st! That’s a little more than five weeks, then we’ll start to get a clue as to what she might look like. One thing Mr. Woody, we can’t be doin’ no downsizin’! At least not into the sixties, I heard Woody mention somewhere in the 68 thousand range.

Sixty eight thousand seats just won’t work. Do you realize that in 1968 the Dawgs won all of three games? Oh sure we had two ties to go along with those big three wins, two ties? Yup we tied Rice and California. We actually played RICE! We did show our might in ‘68 with a big 37-7 win over Idaho, but our biggest win of the year was a thrilling 6-0 shutout of the visiting UCLA bruins. The following week we traveled to Spokane where the cougars went on and posted a 24-0 win. Folks, in 1968 the cougars shut us out. Do you need me to tell you that we don’t need nothing to do with anything about 68.

Oh, so how about the 69 thousand range you ask? The 1969 Dawgs. These boys weren’t exactly Joe Naimath’s New York Jets. In 1969 the Dawgs were 0-9 heading into the Apple Cup. That’s zero as in z. Well we ‘salvaged’ the season with a thrilling 30-21 victory over the hapless coug. The game did actually draw 55,677 fans.

The seventies you say. Now we’re talkin’. 1970 brought Sonny Sixkiller and a six win season. We had 3 losses by a total of 13 points. We lost to California 31-28, USC 28-25, and Stanford 29-22. We did beat the duck by two, 25-23. Gotta love a 2 point win over the duck. The season was highlighted by a ravenous crowd that witnessed a 61-20 win over the UCLA Bruins. Sixkiller was hot! It was Groinman’s first ever game seen live. First time I was ever in Husky Stadium. I was branded for life. 1970 and Sixkiller showed what the future could be like. ’68 and ’69, not so much… I can do the seventies…

Mr. Woodward says that the average attendance over the last few years does not warrant a Stadium with a 70 thousand seat capacity. Mr. Woodward, may I remind you that the last few years were anything but average. Woody didn’t factor in the Willingham, or Ty factor in all of this. You show me a Stadium with 70 thousand good seats and I’ll show you a Stadium with 70 thousand butts in them. As proof, I just bought my three season tickets last week, so there. I am looking to sell one if anyone is interested, we could split them up or actually sit together, you wouldn’t have to talk to me or nuthin’…

The way I see it, last year was like 1970, it showed what could be, now we’re sittin’ on what will be. Ya’ gotta love it!

So I’ve got my annual ‘mini’ vacation in May. Just seems to happen that way. The UW Coaches tour is scheduled for Yakima, just like last year. I still feel a bit guilty about last year’s Coaches tour in Yakima. Ya’ see I crashed the deal. I just showed up at the Yakima Country Club, dressed in my biker gear and nobody said squat to me. I just walked in and sat at the bar. The Lady Dawg softball team was playing Georgia, on their way to the National Championship, live on the big screen. I saw Coach Romar and started talkin’ to him about Brockman’s draft status. Romar lit up, I think he was bored. Anyway I got Romar playin’ this dice game and I took him for three or four rounds. Then I ended up in the ‘big’ room where Sark was givin’ his talk. Then the question and answer session started and I, well kinda’ dominated the deal, I mean nobody else was sayin’ nuthin’. I saw some of the staff talkin’ about me, who I was, where’d I come from, and of course, did I pay? Somebody said, ‘I think he’s with Romar.’

Well when it came time to leave, I gave the bartender a two dollar tip…

Still, I feel bad about that deal. So this year I thought I’d actually be official and pay my fee and ride my bike over to Yakima, I’m on vacation! The cost for the event was 60 bucks for dinner and the talk. The 60 bucks included brews and wine. This could get interesting. I wonder if Dick Baird might show up, maybe MC the deal…

My bike was itching for the ride…

The morning weather looked iffy at best. I wondered about the mountain pass. I decided to pull into the Poodle Dog Restaurant in Fife for some breakfast. Maybe Mark Emmert is there eating his usual strawberry waffle with chocolate milk. Hope not, he’d probably stick me with the bill.

The waitress sets a coffee cup before me at the counter. It’s Donna Dee, went to high school with her. “Hey Lee, what’s up sugar boy!” “Hey Donna Dee, you lookin’ good, ya’ own this joint yet?” “In your dreams Lee!”

“Say Donna Dee, was Emmert in here today?” “Nah, not today Lee, but yesterday he was, just came in for his Nesquik.”

“Oh, dang. Thought I might catch him.” Donna Dee looks at my helmet and gloves. “Say, where you headin’ Lee, going for a ride?” “Yup headed over to Yakima, maybe get some sun.” “Oh cool, why If I wasn’t wearin’ this skirt I’d hop on your bike and go with ya’ Lee!”

“Never stopped ya before.”

“Naughty boy Lee, so what will you have today?”

“I’ll take the Denney’s scramble.”

She stuck a fork in my nose.

So I grab the sports page that was sitting on the counter.

 “Oregon Hoops Star Spurns Huskies.”

What? Wasn’t Terrance Jones sighted on the UW campus just the other day? What was that all about? Just sayin’ Good-bye? For the life of me, I’ll never figure this stuff out. This just drives me nuts, darn near grinds my beans. What a bummer. I feel even worse for Romar. All that work down the drain. Maybe I’ll get him in another game of dice tonight, maybe let him win one, just one of course…

I look at the plate glass window of the Poodle Dog, rain drops drifting down.

So far, this trip is just not the way I planned it. Donna Dee then asks, “Did you plan this trip, or is this just another ‘spur of the moment’ Lee kind of thing?”

I decided to go for it, rain be damned. I had the gear, chaps and all. Still ya get wet. I think I’ve got a leaky zipper on those leather chaps. I say good bye to Donna Dee she says “hey Lee, when you get back I’ll show you how to ride that thing!”

After dodging some of the rain showers I pull into Yakima’s Apple Tree golf course. Beautiful place, the sun is shining and it’s a bit windy. I go to the front desk and of course, they don’t have my name on the list. “That’ll cost ya’ another five bucks Mr. Groinman!”

The event is held upstairs, the view is an impressive 360 degrees of golf course, orchards, and brown hill sides. The servers are quick and cute.

Here comes Romar, he’s already gone thru the food line, the little pig has doubled up on the prime rib and has two hunks of salmon piled up on top. He looks at me and says “I got one thing to say to you Mister! And that’s NO DICE!”

“Sorry about your kid in Oregon, that bites Lorenzo.”

“Forget about it, one kid does not make a team, it’s not like anybody died or nothing. Wait ‘till you see Izzy, our new 7-foot center. That kid can run with our guards!”

Well I see Romar is now happy, I asked him if he was gonna use the extra scholie for someone else now. “Hell NO!”

I walked across the room towards the bar where Strength Coach Ivan Lewis and Matt Ludwig were hangin’ out. Ivan looks at me, and it was kinda’ like we’d seen each other before. “Hello Bud, how you doing? My name is Ivan Lewis, Strength Coach.” “I know who you are Bud, I’m Lee Groinman, jail-house cop.”

“Oh sheet, you need a new beer Lee?”

I congratulated Ivan on his impressive win at the Spring Games hot-dog eatin’ contest, “It was a gutsy win Lee, but I deserved it.” I asked Ivan about the new recruits comin’ in especially the lineman. “Dude, we got some freakish high school athletes comin’ in, I mean these guys are already freaks! And now I get to WORK THEM! Ivan looks around, shakes his head and says “FREAKS!”

“So Ivan what about Mykenna Ikehara, that boy gonna keep his weight and strength up?” “Lee, Ikeharar is 270 pounds of unreal strength, you don’t want any of that stuff, his kinda’ strength, it’s nearly unnatural.” Ivan tries to make his point. “Lee just ask any D-lineman, they hate going up against him.”What about Chris Polks shoulder, I hear he’s not even lifting yet.” Ivan looks perplexed, he rolls his eyes. “That’s a bunch of crap Lee, Chris will be ready, now if he can beat out Cooper, that’s another story!”

So now it was time for Sark’s talk. Sark spent most of his time talking about Deontae Cooper, the new kids, and the opener at BYU. “I’ll tell ya this about Cooper, we had 15 spring practices, and Deontae broke a run of 50 yards or longer in ten of those practices! And Jesse Callier maybe even better! Then we got Nick Montana, you may have heard of his dad. Nick just picks everything up.The other players just love him. He’s gonna be a STUD! And Price is an amazing athlete! We red shirted one kid last year, and he was, without a doubt the stand out of Spring Ball. Will Shamburger, you are gonna love what he brings, nothing is  set in stone, but he will probably start at BYU.”

On the opener at BYU: “It’s high altitude, it’s gonna be hot, they are one tough team to beat there. They have older athletes. Then they are havin’ their quarterback reunion thing. Big time TV audience. We’re gonna kick their butts.” Sark said it…

Sark went on to talk about Jake Locker. “Jake comes into my office, I’m on the phone. He has Ten, his dog with him. Ten jumps up on the couch and takes a nap. “Coach, I’m stayin”. “You can’t stay now, I’m busy, I’m on the phone.” “No Coach, about the NFL, I’m staying.”


Sark was asked about playing Nebraska and facing another tough schedule. “I got my arse sacked eight times at Husky Stadium! I’ll play ANYBODY in OUR HOUSE!”

The purple crowd roared.

After the event was over I saw that Ivan Lewis, Lorenzo Romar plus Sark were having one last beer near the bar. Well, when in Rome…

I get one last Corona, Ivan’s nodding his head in approval. “Ya’ know Lee, I gotta tell ya’ this. There’s not one team on our schedule that we can’t beat.” I nod my head. “Can you name me one team that we can’t beat Lee?” “Hell no, and I like how you talk.” “Good, in fact, we’ll be doin’ some serious butt-kickin’ this fall, and it will be fun.”


It was time to go. The bike trip home awaits. Well I didn’t get the news I was hoping for this week. No Terrance Jones, no new commit, nothing on USC. The Stadium issue is one we’ll have to wait on. Patience is a virtue as they say.

I was headed towards the pass, my bike is runnin’ strong. My legs and feet are getting a bit numb, it’s cold. A rain squall appears on the horizon. This is not the way I planned it. I pull my bike next to this tree and this big ol’ rock. I walk off the stiffness and stretch my limbs. The sun is startin’ to set over a pinkish-gray mountain side. If I were a smoker it’d be time for a Camel.

My left, shifter foot is starting to get its feeling back, it’s warming up.

Damn, I hope I didn’t pee my boot…

Guess I won’t find out until I get home.

As they say, patience is a virtue…


Groinman’s tip of the week: Now that’s something I haven’t used in a while. In talking to both Ivan Lewis and Matt Ludwig they both stated how shocked they were regarding Andru Pulu. They both felt it was totally out of character for him and that it was a terrible mistake. They say that Andru is really a good kid who just screwed up that night.


Lee Groinman can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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