If you listened to the KOMO post game radio show last Saturday night, you might've shaken your head. In listening to commentator Damon Huard, he gave the impression the Huskies just beat Texas A&M on the road. Some might view his rah-rah antics as accentuating the positive. But to me it's the football version of Pollyanna Mariner announcer Rick Rizzs.
(Can we get this side of the room to chant BRING BACK! ... And over here, you guys chant CHUCK NELSON!... here we go... [As Steve Sarkisian can attest, these chants are great at all occasions, including memorial services.])
Washington's meager victory over hapless Hawaii stirred up some reasons for concern. The lack of effort and fight, the offensive line's inability to block effectively, and the defensive front 7 surrendering too many yards. It wasn't what many of us expected from Petersen's debut as the new head man of the Huskies.
The game wasn't enjoyable to watch. It's harder to care when the team you're rooting for doesn't get after it and play with desire.
But because it's the first of four games against dreckfest competition (Eastern Washington, Illinois and Georgia State still to come), perhaps this played a psychological role wherein the Husky players are biding their time until the September 27th showdown vs. Stanford.
It also might beg the question as to whether last Saturday was more Petersen's fault or former coach Steve Sarkisian's for what he left behind. But it's too early to burrow down that rabbit hole.
In thinking back to Washington's 1990 Rose Bowl team, the season started with humdrum wins against San Jose State and Purdue. At the time, it looked like our boys might be bound for a return trip to the now-defunct Freedom Bowl.
But in that season's third game, the world changed. Washington destroyed USC 31-0 and never looked back.
Don James always said that the most dramatic improvement for good football teams comes between the first and second games of the season.
With Eastern on tap for next Saturday at Husky Stadium, Washington needs to have a better showing. If nothing else, they need to look like they're getting after it and having fun. Chris Petersen is getting paid $3.6 million to figure it out. And in listening to KOMO's post game show, I don't believe they had anyone call into the show. This is the Seahawks town, and the Huskies have a long ways to go to win back the hearts and minds of those they lost from a decade of Wllingham and Sark.
Should the Huskies find their way through the next three games to go to 4-0, and then knock off Stanford in the thunderous din of Husky Stadium, then and only then will Damon Huard will have something worthy of gushing over.