The Zone. The Mountlake Boulevard Zone…

This is Officer Lee Groinman…

That’s Right, Washington’s Most Pleased Cop….

Imagine if you will, a warm September Friday afternoon, Seattle Washington. The University of Washington football team is on a roll. You step inside a quiet little neighborhood bar…but not just any bar, and not just any neighborhood. The ‘Pub Mountlake’ bar in the quaint Mountlake neighborhood…

The air around Mountlake is still and warm, but you can still feel it, the tension, the tension of this particular Friday afternoon, the rare Friday evening game just hours away just seems to add to the surreal feel.

To me, it felt like 1991…’All I Saw Was Purple’…

The Huskies had gotten off to three easy as a cup cake wins, then escaped with an overtime win in the Arizona Desert. The next two weeks could define this UW team, a pretender or contender? How good is this team? The next two weeks would provide some answers, starting on this gorgeous Friday evenings date with Stanford, and culminating with the following late Saturday afternoons battle against the Ducks…

Two weeks that shall live in infamy…

We might just need the upcoming bye…

But the tension, you could smell it, you could taste it, the tension before Stanford. Stanford, the reigning bully on the block…

I step in off the sidewalk of Mountlake Boulevard into the Pub Mountlake. I’m early, way early, but still a good crowd. I order a Coors light from ‘JB’. No, not Jake Browning the quarterback, ‘JB’ the bartender…

JB puts my frosty mug on a coaster in front of me…

“That’ll be four dollars Lee, or should I start a tab?”

“What would you suggest JB?”

“Right, but I gotta ask Lee…”

Well I gotta tell ya’ this…Ya’ see it always grinds my beans when I read some poster who starts a comment like ‘I got a bad feeling about this one’ or ‘I got a feeling he’s going to Stanford’, or the latest one. ‘I hate to pee in the Kool-aid’… Now why would someone want to pee in Kool-Aid??

Cheerios I get, but Kool-Aid?

So many feller’s are trapped into their ‘feelings’… These are the type of fellers who can’t attend a game ‘cause the wife has some distant cousin getting married that day….or some soccer game with a neighbor kid…

Every time I see one of these ‘Feeling’ posts, I get that sickening song; ‘Feelings’ stuck in my head….

That 1974 song by Morris Albert, rated as one of the ten worst songs from the seventies…

“Feelings, nothing more than feelings…

Feelings, whoa whoa whoa…feelings….”

Paybacks are hell, you ‘feeling’ suckers…

But that being said, I gotta tell ya’ this…

Something didn’t feel right, something about the ‘Pub Mountlake”… maybe we aren’t that good, we had some bad luck in Arizona desert, but got that overtime victory anyway…Was Arizona any good? We’re we any good?

I still felt like I was back in 1991, but something wasn’t right…

That’s when I saw it, the culprit. My keen cop eyes honed in like a Hawk…

‘It’ was a gal, a barmaid gal…with green hair…

An omen? An omen of things to come? This just won’t do!

My senses might have been distorted from the long walk in the warm sun. But here she is, wearing a very stylish black outfit with, you got it…green hair…

Maybe it was that stylish black outfit, maybe it was the warm sun…I’d barely touched my beer, but my glass was nearly empty…yeah, the black outfit. That was it. I felt like I was back in the late forties...

The Pub Mountlake Zone…

“What can I get ya’ there mista? You look kinda’ thirsty. Seems I’ve seen the likes of you before…”

“Now, now, now, you just wait a minute there Missy! Why, why, you seem to have green hair on you there Miss Missy, and this is a Husky bar, why, well, it just don’t set right, you prancing around in a Husky bar all painted up in green hair!

And why am I sounding like Jimmy Stewart?

“Oh so see how you are Mista’?”  “You don’t like me prancing around?”

“Why, why no ma’am…I mean yes ma’am! I mean well, how’s a fella supposed to get his game face on with a gal like you stirring up the goods, and, and, and, with you, you with your green hair!!”

“I might have to issue you an infraction of some kind there Miss Missy!”

“Well I’d hate to get written up before kick-off Mista’! Whatever shall we do??”

“We need to get some Husky colors in that hair…this sure isn’t Eugene…”

“Why you silly goose! I’m no duck! I’m from Alabama!”

“Alabama, how long you live in Alabama?”

“120 years.”

“Wow, Missy, I had you pegged for not a day over 95…”

“So you from Washington Mista’?”

“Yes Ma’am…been here 140 years…”

“You got some wise-ass in ya’, don’t cha’ Mista’?”

“Yes Ma’am!”

“By the way Mista’, my name is Megan, glad to meet ya’…”

Megan sticks out her slender hand…

“Mine’s Lee, glad to meet you too Megan…”

“Tell ya’ what Mista’ Lee… I’ll do my hair up in purple if I can dye your gray goatee in purple…”

Purple goatee huh…yeah right…

So the next two weeks, those that lived in infamy, the Arizona game in Tucson, and the Duck game in Eugene, became the ‘Tale of Two Cities’…Arizona threw everything they had at us, including the kitchen sink. We made enough mistakes to lose that game, a game in a state where we hadn’t won in for a decade…An overtime win, an Arizona was done, and still is…done for the year...

The Oregon game in Eugene was a different story…A 12-game losing streak was ending…

We all knew it…and the Huskies showed a well-balanced attack…

35 points in the first half…35 points in the second half…I like that kind of balance…I can live with it…

So the rest is history, part one of the UW season is in the books. A blowout win against Stanford on that magical Friday night, followed by another blowout win in Eugene the following Saturday…

The bonus points are that I haven’t seen a duck shirt around these parts in a month, the one duck in my facility can’t even speak to me, let alone make eye-contact…He now wears a Mariners jersey….

Well it was all good, those ‘two weeks in infamy’... then the bye week, we had a chance to catch our breath...

Now part two of the season. First up is the Oregon State Beavers…

BE THERE!!

And I got a good ‘feeling’…yup, I’m gonna party like its 1991…

And I’ll be the guy in the purple goatee…

GO DAWGS!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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