STOP. HAMMER TIME!
Well, not really. Mark Emmert, the former anointed great football president of the University of Washington, has brought the mighty power of the NCAA down upon Oregon football. It was predicted by internet greats with inside sources into every corner of society that Oregon would receive deathlike penalties. One flamboyant internet personality bragged about meeting blondes from Oregon with secret information and implying that sources were tipping him off that Oregon would be dealt bowl bans, have players ruled ineligible, and be forced to forfeit or vacate wins.
Reality has shown, however, that once again those that claim to have been “in the know” didn’t have any more information than the layman. Some UW fans have refuted this revelation with the typical response exhibited by doomsday cult followers claiming that their calculations were just slightly off, not that they are worshiping a false prophet that has not the slightest clue what's going on. These types of fans make up most of what's left of Husky football. Somewhere along the line, UW fans need to take a long hard look at what they have become. In a little over 10 years, we've experienced the winning and then failure of the fruit baskets of Rick Neuheisel (33-16), the stop gap that was Keith Gilbertson (7-16), the abject failure of zero wins Tyrone Willingham (11-37), and now we find ourselves back with a coach who runs relatively lax practices, loves to recruit wide receivers, and has struggled in 5 years to recruit decent offensive linemen (Steve Sarkisian 26-25), sound familiar?
The roles are reversed now; this situation has shown that Oregon is our big brother. Instead of Husky fans rooting for their team to crush opponents into the ground, they jealously root against their more successful brother. Many UW fans have blindly followed the Oregon story hoping beyond hope that the Ducks would receive the death penalty so UW and Seven Win Steve might have a chance against them in the future. Different fan sites have censored their subscribers and actively discouraged actual conversations about the abysmal offensive line recruiting, the lack of progress in the win column, the loss of in-state recruits, and a UW sanctioned “journalist” calling two UW recruits “idiot”, all while peddling wild rumors about the Oregon football program ad nauseam.
This sanction ordeal is a black eye on the face of the UW football program, not because it included UW but because it didn’t. This situation revealed the horrible truth that UW fans prefer obsessing over Oregon rather than discussing, fixing, and cheering on Husky football. Washington football and its fan base is lower than it has ever been; yes lower than the 0-12 season of 2008. This Oregon situation should have been a minor story that was discussed on slow days or after a ferocious wiener dog race but instead it has been the story pushed to the forefront of UW football by UW journalists and those desiring to appear important and connected.
There's no doubt that Oregon likely got away with something here and that the punishment does not fit the crime. Hell, it would be difficult to find a smaller punishment for Oregon. Mark Emmert and the NCAA essentially just lightly spanked Oregon on the ass while whispering “naughty boys” in their ear. This was not a “fair” or “just” ruling; the final punishments were less than the self-proposed penalty by Oregon (three scholarships and probation). A more damaging punishment would be to only allow Oregon to wear one uniform all year or require them to huddle on offense.
The reality still stands that UW will likely win another off-season and pre-season championship and discussion about any real issues or criticism will be suppressed by those who like to pretend they have connections and talk down to people who desire actual discussion. Many UW fans are complicit in these actions, lapping up the “what I’m hearing” posts. But Husky fans need to ask themselves what's more important: Do they want to continue the little brother syndrome? Is it more important to UW fans that Oregon loses to some governing body? Or is paramount that UW wins by crushing the Ducks into the ground with a strong running game and ferocious defense?