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The Coaches Tour...

This is Officer Lee Groinman; that's right, Washington's Most Amped Up Cop...

Next year, it could be interesting...

How can anybody not be amped up when our Washington Huskies just came off the Spring 'Game' with no new significant injuries? That is, without a doubt, the best thing about the Spring Game.

That, and the fact that I had just traded in my old Torque Monster. A two-wheeled V-twin, for an older, but larger Torque Monster. I sign the papers at the local Harley dealership with the wife Gloria, and Gloria asks;

“Lee, someday will you be trading me in for an older and larger model?'

"Now Gloria, let's not get the horse between the barn and the wagon, but it's always good to have your options..."

So it was time to ride. And what better time to take a trip on over to the sunny side and take in the Yakima Coaches Tour, live at the Yakima Country Club? And on my day off, a combination that I just couldn't refuse...

Some days life is like that, other days can generally bite rocks...

I find my 'new' ride as comfortable as an old horse, it's like the ol’ bugger was tailor-made for my arse. It’s got a custom made Mustang seat too, just right for my back hide.  This bike is a Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide. I call it the ‘Mule’.  The wife Gloria calls it the 'Super Wide', just to be a smart arse I quess, a competitive thing I suppose...

Yup, there are times in my life when all is right with the world, usually when I’m ridin’ the ‘Mule’. Sometimes I think that the best thing about ridin’ a Harley is just thumping down the road while listenin’ at yourself…

Yeah it’s a complicated matter, even harder to explain. Kinda’ like ya’ had to been there, like explainin’ a color, like justifyin’ a season ticket purchase. Somethin’ like that…

So the Coaches Tour starts at 6 pm. At 6 pm I'm just gettin' off the freeway to head on up to the Yakima Country Club. Gonna be a few minutes late. I've had all day to get there, and I planned on being early, but there ya’ go,, doing my own plannin' again. Havin' too much fun foolin' around with my new HOG, that and the extended early lunch at the "Wood Shed".

My waitress, ‘Hillbilly’ says that you can bring all you friends up here, we need the money! Why you can even park your bikes out back and sleep in the meadow, right along side with the Elk herd.”

I’ll tell ya’, my kinda’ place. Another offer I can hardly refuse….

But how I do digress…

I hit the freeway exit ramp and spy the white stretch limo, headin’ in the general direction of the Yakima Country Club. What the hell, I go for it. I jump thru a bit of traffic, a ’66 Ford Pick-up and cut in front of the limo. I figured it was Coach Sark and Co. I turn on my 4-way flashers and give the limo the escort they so richly deserved…

I was right, it was Sark’s limo. I’m on a roll now, this just could get good…

The limo dumps Sark and Co at the front door even before I have a chance to take off my leather chaps, well, there was free parkin' just over the other side of that hedge over there, don't you know...

Sark giving a press conference 'Yakima Style', that's right, two dudes, and one with the camera...

The spread was impressive, a prime rib buffet with all the trimmings, nice folks, a packed house. Coach Romar was there too. Romar stated that this past season was 'unusual'. Truth is stranger than fiction I suppose...

I was really hoping that new coach Tosh Lupoi would be in tow, him and my Coach's Tour favorite, Strength Coach, Ivan Lewis. How's that 'Meat Loaf ' song go? One Out Of Two Ain't Bad?

I'll tell ya' this folks, that Tosh Lupoi is one shy dude...I walked up and welcomed him, in a barely audible voice he replied 'thank you'. Tosh was either yappin' on his cell phone or texting all night. Cell phone before and after dinner, texting during dinner. The only time he stopped was when Sark 'formally' introduced him to the crowd. Sark then asked him to stand up and be recognized, Tosh kinda' half stood up and gave a half wave, then went back to his texting...

Recruitin', it never stops...gotta’ love it…

But I'll also tell ya' this; that Sark has really improved his public speakin'. Why the first time I heard him speak, some, what, four years ago now? He was very punctuated and clipped, it was an effort for him, now he's like an old hand, or ham as it were...

 

Sark was on a roll. He let his mind run wild. Sark did spend some time reviewin’ last year’s team, and his time spent here at Washington, and was gushin’ about the new stadium, "The Biggest Home-Improvement" anyone could imagine, and Sark gets to pick out the door-knobs, all by himself...Sark did spent most of his time lookin' forward to, and talkin' about this comin' year. As it should be...

Sarkisian quipped that fans don't think that he can appreciate good defense. "You think I enjoyed watching that Alamo Bowl? Danny Shelton says hi". "Changes had to be made, and we made 'em. You'll see a whole different look at linebacker. We just have to get Cooper Peuller's shoulder cleaned up a bit, he'll have surgery soon."

Why do we wait until May to have Coop's surgery? Just askin'...

Sark hardly mentioned the offensive line as I recall...no worries.

Dexter Charles and James Atoe are being counted on big time. Sark likes the incoming O-line class, Shane Brostek, the Hawaiian Manster, and Jake Eldrenkamp may not redshirt...

I’m likin’ James Atoe, he’s the man…

But Sark did give a glimpse into the mind of Sark...

"Wide receiver, after the quarterback position, is the second most important position on the team."

I assume he's talkin' about the skill positions...

"I want a receiver who DEMANDS a double team on every play..."

So do we then play three or four at a time? Plus one out of the backfield?

Next year could be interesting...

'Splains all the offers out there to all those receivers I suppose…

Sark did mention Austin Seffarian-Jenkins and Kasen Williams as 'freaky game-breakers', he mentioned that Austin was runnin' in the 4.6 range at 272 pounds, and that Keith Price has played as well as anybody he'd ever seen at this point in his career. "Just need to keep him healthy."

Heard that one before...

The thing that stood out to me the most was when Sark was talking about Chris Polk and the tailbacks. Said that Polk was abused of course in the NFL draft, and that New England got the steal of the draft. Sark was also talkin' about the experience and style of tailbacks Jesse Callier, and the explosiveness of Bishop Sankey, but he couldn't keep his thoughts and mind off of new comer Erick Wilson, the tailback out of Junipero Sierra High School in San Mateo California...

What? A two-star? Lord Have Mercy... That's right folks, Sark kept gloating over this Erick Wilson tailback, makes me wonder what's up. Sark mentioned him numerous times. He did mention Shaguille Thompson once or twice as being a 'special' player who will make a difference on the defense, and NOW! But Sark was just gloating on Erick Wilson. By the sound of things, this Erick Wilson will NOT be redshirting...

The sleeper of last year’s recruitin’ class? Groinman here says Mr. Erick Wilson. Just a hunch…

Next year could be interesting...

Sark mentioned that every member of the team had come in and spent an entire fifteen minutes with the staff, going over what they had to accomplish individually over the summer to help themselves as well as the team. Sark then said that the coaching staff was now out on the road hittin’ the recruiting trail. Tosh Lupoi then looked up from his smart phone, and shrugged his shoulders while giving Sark the 'look', as if to say; "What in-the-hell do you think I've been doin', trollin' for chicks?"

After Sark finished his talk they had a short question and answer session. I had my hand up the entire time, but they had me on 'ignore' as I was still wearin' my leathers and stuff.  I did take off me helmet for supper as we were indoors and all...

Sark was asked about the tough early schedule; "We play our toughest teams early, and that's a good thing, we aren't there yet depth-wise, so it's good to play those tough teams early in the season. When I first got here we had L.S.U. on our schedule, it was an early season game, our teams mind set then was 'Oh hell no', we've changed it up some. Our teams mind set now is; 'OH HELL YES!!'

Enter Crowd ERUPTION!

Sark was then asked about which team on next year's schedule he'd most like to beat; "Can I even go there? I don't know, I just wish I could remember what color they pretend to be and in which half..."

Next year could be interesting...

The evenin’ now comin’ to a close…

On my way out the door. I cornered Sark, he was standing next to a table and a wall. He had no clear escape route. I approached him, leathers and all, his eyes widening. I think Sark maybe allergic to leather...

"So Sark, tell me, you gonna put Antavius Sims back on defense, or does it depend on the health of Deontae Cooper?

Sark relaxes a bit; "No, Sims is gonna stay at tailback, his hips are just too stiff to play on the D." "And Deontae Cooper?" "No prediction on Cooper from me, we've been this close before, but he's lookin' really good!" Sark says with a devious grin...

Next year, it could be interesting...

I was hoping that Antavius Sims could be that special dude on defense. Oh well, some days...

GO DAWGS!

Now out and into the night, I spot Damon Huard walking toward the Torque Monster.

"Puyallup sucks, Fife rules!"

"Yeah, and I'm Damon Huard, Brock's little brother, just like any other day..."

It was time to ride, time to go home...

I'd left my brand-spankin' new River Road ridin' gloves under the table...yup, go figure.

Good day...

Oh, and let's now give up for this year’s Husky Crew Team, those fella's are rippin' it up! Could be the Crew Team for The Ages!

GO DAWGS!!

 

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

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