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The Stage is Set;
Corrections Officer Lee Groinman, 2 December 2010

This is Officer Lee Groinman, and if this keeps up much longer, I just may be Washington’s Most Elderly Cop…

That last Cal game nearly cost me a decade or more, why it was nearly as bad as one of my previous trips to Cal, but we’ll not talk about that right now.

I couldn’t make this year’s Cal game due to circumstances out of my control, mainly my bank account. Ya’ see I planned on banking all my winnings off the BYU game and with my return on investment, why I’d just make that trip to Berkley. We all know how that plan turned out…

My Bookie in Reno, Mr. Timmy, fat off his Nevada, Reno win over Boise State actually called me direct. “Give it to me straight Groinman, the Apple Cup, what gives, the Dawgs gonna cover?”

I started to think of one of those Cal games we went to, the one where I flew down to Reno, met up with Mr. Timmy, then we placed bets all over town, “Dawgs  gonna cover?” “No sweat Mr. Timmy, trust me.”  Then we drove over Donner Pass…

Well sometimes things don’t go as planned…Take Jake Locker for instance…

That one trip Mr. Timmy and I made to Cal was the year of the great ‘Comeback Game’. October something, 1993. The Dawgs were down 23-3 midway thru the third quarter. My Bookie, Mr. Timmy not a happy camper. The game is out of control, it was the story of two halves. Damon Huard called it his ‘Best and worst game all wrapped up in one.’ I’ll say, he threw four interceptions and his buddies coughed it up three more times for a total of seven turnovers. The Dawgs look dead in the water. “We’re outta’ here Groinman! Our bets are fried, need to get back to Reno, cover this somehow.” Well Mr. Timmy was driving…

Cal is lining up for a 42 yard field goal.  This kick would seal the Dawgs loss. Their kicker is a guy by the name of Brien, rhymes with fine, he never misses…Kick sails wide right! We still have a shot. The Dawgs had scored a TD to make it 23-10, somewhat respectable, still there was barely six minutes on the clock, the winner of this game had the inside track to the Rose Bowl.

“Tell ya’ what Mr. Timmy, the next time the Dawgs punt, we’ll leave, I’ll fill the tank.”

Well the Dawgs never punted again. A fourth and nine on our own 25 yard line, holy crapes. Huard to Kralik for 10 yards and a HUSKY FIRST DOWN!  Huard starts to click, and the Huskies score quick, 23-17 Cal. Onsides kick time, no looking back now. The ball bounces off a Bear, lands in the lap of Kralik. Football Gods?  Huard’s got hisself another fourth down. Who else? Huard to Kralik for 10 yards and another HUSKY FIRST DOWN! The UW methodically marches down the field to the Bear 7 yard line. Huard then hits TE Mark Bruener at the 5 yard line and the bruiser takes it in for the score. All that’s left is the PAT. Dawgs win by one 24-23 with little more than a minute left on the clock. Win by one point, but the point spread be four…

Mr. Timmy not happy.

To this day, I can’t leave a game early, except of curse, this year’s Stanford game…

“So what’s it gonna be Groinman, the Dawgs gonna cover in the Apple Cup?’

‘No problem Mr. Timmy, this one’s good as gold. Dawgs win in double d’s, it’s gonna be solid. Trust me.”

 Mr. Timmy has decided to place his trust in Groinman, all bets are off…

Mr. Timmy sees a San Diego Holiday with the missus…

Seems I also predicted a double d, or double digit win last week against Cal. Good thing we had no conversations with Mr. Timmy…

 I didn’t get to make this year’s Cal trip, so I thought I’d do the next best thing.

Watch the game from prison…

These inmates of mine, what a bunch of smucks. I enter the TV room at just about kick-off time. These clowns are watching ‘The Food Network’ They’re learnin’ how to frost cakes.

Frost cakes? We got us a football game to watch!

Inmates these days, I know this is a scam. They’d been acting squirrelly all week, so we strip searched them all. Yup, both strip searches and cell searches, lookin’ at their junk and goin’ thru their junk. Airports can’t have all the fun. Found no contraband, but did miss kick-off, the smucks.

Food Network? Bunch of Jackwagons!

It’s time for my lunch break, I scheduled it late on account of the game, always good to have lunch after body cavity searches, but hey I got there just in time for Cal’s first half ending 53 yard field goal. I’m thinkin’ this just might not be my day…

The clock on that damn field goal, it should have expired, go back and look at the replay. The entire Cal drive for the field goal, the Cal time keeper was a bit slow on the draw. Cal probably had an additional three seconds total, I know, I’ve watched the damn thing three times!

But the good ol’ boys in the Pac 10 officiating crew, you know they wanted Cal to win, as did the boys in the home office, if there was a close call, it was in Cal’s favor, and what about that Mansion to Calvin catch? Holy CRAPES!

 Cal gets a gift 3-pointer as time expires in the first half. Well, it seems there’d be another score as time expired. As they say, paybacks are hell…courtesy Chris Polk.

I feel especially good right now, knowing that Larry Scott is not pleased…I just wonder if the Dawgs will get some home cookin’ on the road this week as the Pac 10 needs us in the Holiday Bowl. Just a thought…

My shift finally over, I beat feet on home. I’m drivin’ my Chevy road racer, pushing 80 mph, but not quite. As we all knew by now, this game was gonna come down to the end, another overtime? The freaking radio station I was listening to would go on these dawg-awful long commercial breaks, seems some Einstein was asleep in the radio control room,  entire Dawg three and out series were wiped out by commercials for;

‘Real Men of Genius…’

Einsteins, probably a former inmate of mine, an alumni…

Finally home, I rip into my driveway as Polk rams over for the winnin’ touchdown.

Yeah, I knew this wasn’t gonna be my day. But hey, I had it recorded…

So here it is, two down with one to go, the cougs. The Apple Cup. Of course the cougs will base their entire season on this one game, as they should. It’s all they’ve got this year except for a close win over Montana State and another over a very flat Oregon State team. I still can’t figure that Coug-Beaver game, and my wife’s a beav…I’ve also got my Aunt Bertha, she’s a dang coug. She has her Christmas card out for me already. If the cougs win the Apple Cup she’ll send me the Christmas card with;

GO COUGARS!! Written all over it. The cougs lose, I get no card.

Nope, no card from Auntie Bertha this year, No Sir!

Of course, she’s the typical coug who has never even been to a game, the only time she knows who they’re playing is of course, now, the Apple Cup. I doubt see even knows Wulffie’s name.

Oh yeah, then of course I got all my coug buddies, they’ve all got my phone number set on speed dial, the kind of buddies you only hear from after the rare coug win…just waitin’ to console me. The smucks, the stinkin’ buggers…

Now there is nuthin’ more than any gray-blooded cougar would want than to spoil our party, keep the Dawgs out of our Bowl. Nuthin’ more, they live for this moment, and they’ve done it before. More than once. I’ve said for weeks to beware of cougs. They’d probably be showin’ Chuck Nelson’s missed field goal on their big screen, like the ducks do, if only the cougs had a big screen…

Cougs still workin’ on the porta-potties…

But I can still taste the times when those buggers spoiled the party, that night in Spokane with the MG Roadster…Holy crapes….

Yup, this team is now becoming known for their winning ‘drives’ and last second heroics. Two winning drives now against USC, this one against Cal, the Oregon State last second win. Cardiac Kids if you ask me. As a former coach once said. “SCOREBOARD BABY!”  It’s like this team thrives on crunch time. Let’s not go there this week fellas! Get ‘er done, early and often!.

I know I’ve been hard on this team from time to time, but hey, they came up with yet another drive to win, the drive to win, to stay in the hunt for a Bowl Game. Jermaine Curse, err Kearse, all is forgiven…Yeah, this bunch may not be known as what they call ‘fast-starters’, as you’ve gotta kind of ride these kids a bit, from time to time, just to get them to respond, but then they do, and then they get ‘er done. Sometimes you just need the cattle prod…

I’ve known more than a few inmates with these same type qualities…

But we’re not going there this week. No Sir. This week is the reason for Jake’s return. The reason for this Bowl Season, it’s all about this Saturday, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

Nope, there’s no way the cougs win the Apple Cup. NO STINKIN’WAY! If there’s a Football God in Heaven there is no way the cougs win. Hell itself would have to frost over, the planets all be lined up. Ain’t gonna happen. Forget about it…

The three week march that started with Ucla, went thru Cal, ends now in Pullman. FINISH!

Dawgs win in DOUBLE D’S!

Trust me.  I’m a Doctor…


GRUMBLINGS:  So how about those Cal fans? A Bowl game on the line. Possibly the Holiday. The last game in Memorial Stadium, the only stadium they’ve ever known. The last chance to ‘be there’ as you’ve known it, a chance to say good bye. Forty four thousand fans show up, a third of them purple clad Huskies. Go figure…and Stanford’s worse…

Meanwhile, over on the message boards; nobody has ragged on Nick Holt lately, you notice?

Well now, here’s some happy camper grumblings for ya. Seems two of our featured Dawgs have found their homes, yup! Both Indy and Denali have been adopted! Still hoping that somebody will take in Lady Nila. Here’s a hint, female Malamutes make awesome pets.

 So here’s our featured Malamute of the Week;  SWIFT!      


Swift is the classic black and white Malamute, a striking young fella’. Swift was found as a stray cruising thru downtown Spokane. Probably stalkin’ cougs… Very nice dawg, likes other canines and exercise. Will help you walk off those extra Holiday pounds. Swift may not cut it as your standard Christmas ‘stocking stuffer’ but won’t your wife be surprised when she sees this fella’ sittin’ in the garage! Swift is now at the Holiday Kennel in Kent, WA. You can see Swift and his pals at www.wamal.com  Ready for adoption NOW!


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

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