By Mad Son
I haven't felt this optimistic about a football season since 2003. In 2003 Washington was still a national football power. We were still heavily overrated then; people still expected Washington to win. Back then the nation and I didn't realize our precipitous slide had already begun. That was the first year in Washington's 7 year bowl-less streak.
In those 7 years Washington won only 23 games and endured Gilbertson, Willingham, and one year of Sarkisian. By the time Sarkisian arrived everyone with half a brain had closed their eyes and hearts to numb the pain. There were those who continued to watch Washington football as naively as ever this whole time while we were eclipsed by other teams in the Pac - and those people continued to blindly support Sarkisian. While the rest of us had wizened up they would have left us mired in mediocrity until no one alive remembered when Washington was elite and demanded respect.
But then a miracle occurred. St. Haden drove the snakes out of Washington.
And then, somehow, another miracle - St. Woodhen lured Chris Petersen to Washington and for the first time in history a former Boise State head coach is who we thought he was.
Chris Petersen is the real deal. Despite his undue loyalty to Jonathan Smith we get better every year. He understands what it takes to run a program - recruiting, strength & conditioning, coaching, and culture. No area goes overlooked and everyone buys in or goes home. There is a critical mass of great players where they make each other better and they do get better every year. This team gets better every year, remember that? Most importantly of all this team expects to win.
Washington is back dammit.
Now the fans just have to understand it.
We as fans have been scarred. We exposed ourselves to abuse time and again until we were weathered to naught but broken fragments of the once proud fans that imperiously lorded over the peasants of our conference. It is time to resume our rightful place atop the conference with USC. It is time we as fans expect to win again. It is time we demand to be a part of the national conversation. It is ok to be excited about Husky football - not because of irrational love but because you look forward to dominating and humiliating our hapless opponents each week. Last year's playoff run was just beginning. Petersen is not going anywhere until we are national champions again.
Our fourteen years in the desert are over. Washington is back and you should be too.