Yes, the electorate yet again said there isn’t much use for him but I bet I know how to get some extended value out of Dino Rossi: Make him the official Husky-football mascot and the home-game 12th-man in perpetuity for the Seattle Seahawks. What better representative of both programs than a guy who has been the state’s most conspicuous loser of recent years?
After playing second-half schmucks against the Ducks, the UW Dawgs have lost their most recent three 138-30. Curiously, some still ask, presumably with straight faces, whether the Huskies still could win their final three and become bowl-eligible at 6-6. Yes, and the Republican nominee for the White House in 2012 could be Dino Rossi.
More likely the Dawgs could lose the final trio and wind up 3-9: perilously close to the lows of the Ty Willingham era.
True: The Huskies played well enough during the first half in Eugene Saturday (Nov. 6) to set up an effort to beat the betting spread, which was 35½ at game time. But they succumbed to a pumped-up Duck offense during a 35-10 second half and the “O” in Oregon continues to stand for the losses accumulated by the nine-win, perhaps national-championship-bound UO program.
Husky leader Steve Sarkisian after the 53-16 defeat praised stand-in redshirt freshman quarterback Keith Price, as well he should have. After all, it obviously wasn’t the fault of the steady Price that once-vaunted Dawg “receivers” dropped easy balls on key pass plays.
Oregon team personnel and their many fans scarcely seemed to doubt the outcome, even when Washington pulled to within five at 18-13 early during the third quarter. Ducks mentor Chip Kelly this season may be channeling the coaching ghost of Barry Switzer. The latter was fond of saying (occasionally adding various expletives) during his Oklahoma Sooners era of audacious offense: “Let’s put up a quick 50 and get the [bleep] outta here.” The Ducks routinely put up 50-plus.
The remaining Husky games could be identified less in terms of opponents, more as the Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda series. After the Nov. 18 home game against UCLA, one can anticipate Sark saying: “We coulda won that one” for various reasons. Nine days later it’ll be that the Dawgs “woulda” beaten Cal in Berkeley if only for some as yet unknown shortcoming.
Then comes the “shoulda,” against a Washington State team that by then will be two weeks rested and so ready for a second 2010 win that the Cougs may claim the Apple Cup by . . . at least a point or two.
As for the Seahawks, Dino Rossi, in a perverse way, could’ve appreciated some of the numbers prior to the 41-7 Seattle defeat at Qwest Field at the hands of the New York Giants. At game time Sunday the Hawks actually were in first place in their division (and still, at 4-4, are tied with idle St. Louis for the nominal “lead”).
Yet not only were they an embarrassing (but, as it happens, wildly underestimated) seven-point bet to lose to New York. They also were listed at 22 (down from last week’s 16) in The Seattle Times' power rankings of the NFL’s 32 teams. It was kind of the dissing-equivalent of Rossi getting picked by various experts to lose last week’s U.S. Senate election even when a few polls had him a point or two in front of his opponent.
It was among the worst home moments in Hawk history. For a while it kind of reminded some of us who were there on Nov. 4, 1979, of the 24-0 loss to the Rams, the day when Seattle actually had minus seven yards of “total” “offense.
Neither local program looks to be moving up anytime soon. Charlie Whitehurst, starting for his first time as a pro, could be a legitimate sub for injured Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback. But neither can survive for long with injured receivers and an offensive line mostly composed of total strangers.
The Hawks probably don’t have a victory opportunity until Dec. 5, when they welcome Carolina (now 1-7) at home. Winning that would leave them at just 5-7, assuming they lose at Arizona and New Orleans and at home against Kansas City.
So the nascent era of Seahawks coach Pete Carroll looks a lot like that of the UW's Sarkisian. Both lost veteran starting quarterbacks. Both of the latter already were injured and, hence, underperforming. Neither coach has been able to placate his fan base.
Through it all, then, Dino Rossi actually looks pretty good by comparison. Did he lose again? Of course. But, unlike the HuskyHawks, he didn’t lose by much, certainly not by five touchdowns.