By Derek Johnson
When a plastered Steve Sarkisian unraveled ten days ago at a USC booster function, he set into motion much guffawing from Seattle to San Diego.
The Danny, Dave and Moore Show offered no resistance to that temptation. Each day last week, as the trio took to the radio airwaves, host Danny O' Neil kicked things off by mimicking Sark's drunken "Let's Goooooooooooooooo!"
"God, I wanted to strangle him," co-host Jim Moore said wryly. "Okay, maybe the first day it was okay, maybe the second day it was okay. But the third and fourth day? Shut the hell up, Danny."
Here at Hardcore Husky, we've been downright gleeful over Sark's downfall-in-progress. For five long years we were subjected to his sub-par coaching, lack of integrity and excuses.
But Moore is a WSU alum who doesn't harbor those sentiments. "I always rooted against Sark more so because he was the Husky coach," Moore said. "I rooted against him just like I rooted against Willingham and every other coach you've ever had. You're our rival school.
"But I don't know what to make of Coach Sark," he said. "He might have a problem with alcohol. It might be that on that night he just had too much to drink. I know Danny and Dave were joking around about it, and a lot of people are having fun at Sark's expense. We've all been there and had those kind of nights... But my concern is that if he has a problem with alcohol then it's not funny anymore."
Turning to the topic of Cougar Football, Moore's mood seemingly soured.
"Three years into the Mike Leach era, I haven't really seen the results," Moore said. "I'm skeptical but still hopeful, is probably the best way to put it. The first year, going from [former coach Paul] Wulff to Leach we went 3-9. Okay, so that was understandable. The next year, going to a bowl game was great, but how the bowl game ended wasn't great. I didn't feel like our coach was accountable for what happened there. Okay, so you give him a pass for that.
"But then you come out last year and go 3-9," Moore said. "I didn't necessarily expect us to be Texas Tech all over again [after hiring Leach]. But I didn't think we would be this terrible either, when you're paying a rock star coach $2.7 million a year. I had higher expectations. But I'm still hopeful that in year four with his guys we can get back to being a 6-6 type of team again.
"Even though I'm not a big Mike Leach supporter, and I'm not even a small Mike Leach supporter, but I'm trying to hang in there with him," Moore said. "Because I'm wrong so often about so many things, that I hope I'm wrong about Leach and that he will lead us back to prominence.
"...I love college football. I love Pac-12 football and I love the Cougs. I want to be joyful about my team again, and I hope that I can get to that point again. Am I rambling? I feel like I'm rambling. It feels like I'm doing the damn radio show."
So while Moore bides his time waiting for his Cougs to return to relevance, he'll man the microphone at 710 ESPN. Weekdays at 3PM, with co-hosts Danny O'Neil and Dave Wyman.
"I'm really grateful to be working with those guys," Moore said. "I'm also grateful that the station gave us the opportunity. I think a lot of stations wouldn't give a show to a couple former sportswriters and a former football player without having at least one polished broadcaster. So it's really nice they took a leap of faith and we feel fortunate to have the jobs that we have."
One common refrain Moore hears from listeners is their belief that he and Wyman hate each other.
"Dave takes some shots at me but when he swings at me it's not malicious," Moore said. "You know, guys just give each other a hard time. I know he has a good heart. Or at least I think he does."
Moore added that he'd want no part of Wyman in a fight. That's Moore being true to himself, as a self-professed beta male.
"Oh God, and I'm proud to be one," he said. "I've never wanted the spotlight or anything. I just appreciate having the job I have. I really mean that. I feel really lucky. I didn't know what I was going to do when the [Seattle] P-I closed. I was fortunate to get this job. I didn't expect to work in radio, because I've dealt with stage fright for most of my life. I still get nervous everyday at 3PM. My hands sweat and my pulse races faster. Once we get going I'm okay. But I don't think I'll ever get to the point where it's second nature."
Then Moore paused.
"But as long as Danny is there I feel okay," he said. "Because I don't think I'll ever stumble as badly as he does."
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