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August 25, 2011

The Pres' Palouse Park Bench - Soccer Starts The Ball Rolling


All this week, I'm working the morning shift. At some point during my schooling life at WSU, Glenn Johnson told us wide eyed and aspiring journalists that, at one point or another in our professional lives, we would have to work the morning shift. We had to be willing to be gathering news and putting together stories in the wee hours of the morning. I knew this was going to happen eventually and it was something I was going to have to adjust to.

Now that I've done it for a few days, I can say without equivocation that I really dislike the morning shift. There is just something odd to me about sleeping during the day and working when it's dark. I know there are a ton of people out there who are night owls and love working overnight. But I've found out through this change in shift for a few days that I'm not a big fan of it for sure.

Working into all hours of the night just isn't for me. It makes me feel a bit like a vampire and not one of those ones that sparkles and has no acting skills whatsoever. But there is a point to me telling you that I dislike working at night so much. It's because I know many of the offices in Bohler Gym are occupied until well into the evening at some points of the year. The various coaches whether they be for football, soccer, basketball or whatever are up until all hours of the night watching game tape, finishing paperwork and making game plans. It's all because they love their job and everything that goes along with it.



Sometimes it's hard to remember that these coaches work as hard as they do. And it's even easier to forget exactly how much work it takes to get everything ready for games, especially football. Countless hours of watching game tapes, planning, players meetings, practices and recruiting. It's almost a completely endless cycle of being on campus or on the road. Many coaches' families rarely see them during the season because they are so busy.

But that's not to say the players don't put in nearly an equal amount of work themselves. Because remember, they have to do something the coaches don't have to: go to school. Imagine having to pour over and memorize a game plan while also having to study for a huge mid-term. Personally, I know there's no way I could've done both. So the fact that a guy like Jeff Tuel has time to both practice almost every day, go to position meetings, memorize his play book and study for a psych exam is amazing. Or at least to me it is.

It's so easy to forget how hard coaches and players work to try and produce the best results possible. This is the hardest working week of my life and it might just a modicum of how hard the work of coaches and players is on a week by week basis.

In fact, I might violate one of my old rules again and I'm going to read a little bit into the practices at fall camp. I know by saying this it might lead to an inevitable jinx but no one has suffered any catastrophic injury or even one that suffered a minor setback. Feel free to sling rotten tomatoes at me if someone tears a knee ligament within the next few days.

But multiple observers, including virtually every reporter on the ground and even just various people who have been there to watch, are talking about how much faster and bigger and stronger this team is than last year. Here's the kicker though: I want to believe in this team. I really do. But you'll pardon an old (not terribly old, I still get ID'd at bars) fool if he guards his feelings at least a little bit. I've tried to have a little quiet confidence in this team for a few years but every year, they break my heart like an old girlfriend meeting the much handsomer, nicer and better guy after I break up with her. It's just a recipe for heartbreak every single year.

So while I trust that the team really is bigger, faster, stronger, I have to guard my feelings a little bit because I don't know if I can stand another heartbreak. So at least it's a good thing that the Wazzu soccer team got off to a good start in the land of pineapple and the late Don Ho. Even after falling behind 1-0 in the early going, a fantastic hat trick performance from Eileen Maes gave the Cougars the 3-1 victory. Falling behind early in a soccer game makes any comeback tough as you're constantly pressing and giving up consistency on defense in the name of trying to score. And given how hard the conference schedule is sure to be, any non-conference wins are essential to get.


Who Cares Pick of the Week: The final Who Care pick for the foreseeable future. So we'll really make it one no one cares about. Preseason NFL football!

Seahawks 24, Broncos 21


Dunderhead of the Week: Whoever was doing landscaping work while I was trying to sleep. I realize that during the day is prime time to landscape but hey, people are trying to sleep at the wrong time of day here!






+++++++sponsored by Greg Davis Sports Photography+++++++++

The 2011-12 athletic season is nearly here…and you know what that means…It's time for a whole new season of Cougar Athletics! Baseball, track and field and rowing, just to name a few, are playing their 2011 seasons. If you need "game action" photographs for your newspaper, magazine, web site, blog, etc., then Greg Davis Sports Photography should be your choice for all things "Cougar" and "Pac-10 Conference"! Coverage for specific athletes or upcoming events is also available. Check out the images from games, practices and events from last season, and be sure to come back often for uploads from all of this season's action.


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