16.Nov.2009 Washington Post Game Thoughts
1. My biggest gripe with Saturday’s game is that Riley didn’t pull the subs after the 3rd quarter. While at the game, I turned to my friend and assured him that would be the case, but reserves didn’t enter until well into the 4th quarter. Riley hasn’t offered a good explanation yet, simply saying (paraphrase alert) that they could have done it sooner but chose not to. The obvious followup question would be, “why, Mike?” or “What if Canfield and/or Quiz was lost for the year in the 4th?” These are important, valid questions that need to be asked and nobody is asking them. They aren’t meant to be antagonistic, but instead to hold the head coach accountable for bad decisions. Also, Katz, Wheaton, et al. need experience, so why not give it to them? And Riley ponders why his teams start slow. The only possible explanation I can think of is that Riley wants Quiz and Canfield to gain numbers for national awards, which would then boost exposure and recruiting. This theory gets a boost when you consider the defensive side of the ball subbed early in the 4th.
2. The Beavers scoreboard graphics are so cheesy. Again, my friend and I were laughing and scratching our heads’, this time at the animations. I know, I know, this has little to do with football, but the fact of the matter is we played so well there’s little to critique. So, if you haven’t been to a game this year, this is what you’re missing: a goofy, chainsaw-wielding beaver that makes Hanna Barbera look like a Picasso cuts down a tree and says, “make noise, rock Reser!” It’s just bad, man. Really bad. And begs me to ask a two part question:
a. Do the Beavers genuinely believe these in good taste?
b. Do the Beavers simply not have the money for better animations?
I really can’t say if this is a matter of taste or finance, but based on the goofy beaver on our helmet, the goofy beaver on the 50 yard line, and the bra fiasco, I have to think it’s a matter of taste, and that is scary. Growing up a NY baseball fan, for decades I had to watch Mr. Met, the lovable buffoon who sports a baseball for a head, as I rolled my eyes and looked across town at the class that is the New York Yankees. It seems every team I like has a bunch of goofballs in charge. This isn’t too surprising given my circle of friends, but there’s a difference between hanging out with dorky buffoons and rooting for them as a nation of critiques looks on. The Beavers just make you want to hide, from their team name to their school colors to their bras and now their graphics. The alternative is to embrace the quirkiness. I’m really really trying. And failing.
3. Reser still wasn’t sold out, and it wasn’t very loud. The former, I have no idea why that happened, but the noise issue was likely due to the Beavs having this one rapped up early. People seemed bored. To the fans’ credit, many didn’t leave until there were about 7 minutes left in the 4th.
4. The Beaver’s defense played a great game. The D has been the weak link all year, and I said in my pregame notes that the threat of the big play was still “omnipresent”…by this I meant that I felt they could be gashed for a 70 yard (blown assignment) TD at any second. My agita was based on the lack of pressure and guys like #28 lurking in the backfield…and honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten over the angle of pursuit that Pankey took on Gerhart last year at Stanford. Anyway, I’m still not comfortable with this unit nor am I ready to crown their coming of age, but I tell you what, I no longer think we lose by 50 at Oregon. To my credit (and I hate having to pat myself on the back) I did say there was no need to carve the prediction in stone as the defense could be an entirely different unit by that game. As we all know, these units always play best at the end of the year. I just didn’t see any signs of this one doing so, mainly because the right personnel wasn’t on the field. Now it is. Better late than never, Banker, but why do fans see things coaches do not? I’ll never understand that one.
5. Reser pisses me off. How is there no bridge from sections ~115 to the 21 and 22 sections? This is the second year in a row we had to exit the stadium, walk around its entire circumference, and wait in line to enter the bleacher area. I realize the stadium is a patch job and all, but a bridge, even if retractable, makes much more sense and wouldn’t be very difficult to implement. Just build it over that giant, cheesy helmet from which the players run out.