It’s been a pretty bad week for Husky fans. On the heels of the debacle in Tempe, word came that Don James had passed away. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends and all those left with a hole in their lives by his passing.
The death of a beloved sports figure is kind of a complicated thing for fans, in my mind. Life and death and all of their trappings are so much more important than sports. It sometimes feels silly to claim grief as a fan when others actually knew the person. It feels like we need to push sports completely aside in these times, like the football pales in comparison to the gravity of his death. I never met Coach James, and I don’t even remember his teams terribly well. His personal influence on me should be next to nothing.
And yet the impact Don James made on me is huge. I hear it when my dad talks about those Rose Bowl winning teams, and I remember it, hazily, in memories of childhood Apple Cups in the snow and my dad yelling as Napolean Kaufman broke down the sideline. I witness it on Saturdays in the fall as I walk into Husky Stadium with my family. At those moments, there is no place I’d rather be, and that is due largely to Don James’ legacy.
I never met Don James, but without him, a huge part of my life might not exist. That pales in comparison to the hole his wife and loved ones are experiencing, but his loss shouldn’t be diminished for those of us who are just fans. Instead, it’s just another testament to the full life Coach James led, on the field and off. He was a man who touched thousands of lives in countless ways. To me, that sounds like the definition of a life well lived.
Thank you, Don James. We appreciate everything you did, and we are thankful your impact does not end with your death. We will remember you every time we walk into Husky Stadium and with every moment of joy Husky football brings us.
Last week was awful. It’s time to move on. This week the Huskies play an opponent that is extremely different than the three previous weeks. They play an opponent that is bad. Cal’s defense is awful and their offense has struggled as of late. The Huskies should be able to regain their confidence and get healthy during this game. I expect a heavy dose of the run game, as well as a focus of getting the ball to ASJ and Kasen. The only way I see this going bad is if Cal gets out to a lead and the Huskies lose their confidence like last week. I’m guessing that won’t happen. On a night where the school honors the best coach ever to grace Husky Stadium’s sidelines, this year’s Husky team will pound a conference foe just like James would have.
UW 38 – CAL 13
Last minute entry! Cal is really bad. Haha you suck Cal! Dawgs win big because I see no other possible outcome.
UW 33 – CAL 17
The Huskies were terrible last week, and it’s generated the expected despair from fans. Luckily, Cal is really terrible right now. They’re missing over half of their starting line-up to injuries, and they probably wouldn’t have been great to start. The one good thing they’ve had going for them, a dynamic passing attack, has faded as true freshman Jared Goff has lost his accuracy and confidence after getting pounded for much of the season. This is a game the Huskies will have to work hard to lose, especially since it’s in Seattle. I hope to see the Dawgs figure out what they want to do on offense. Can the line function with Erik Kohler filling in for Dexter Charles? Will they find a balance between the run, downfield passing and perimeter passing? This should be a good week to find answers. The Huskies are a much better team than they showed last week, and a blowout would go a long way to reminding the players of that.
UW45 – Cal 16
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UW 35 – Cal 17