A take on Team Leach – by Charlie Hodges

It is November and it is a time to contemplate on what we’re thankful for. The Pirates of the Palouse will be a year old at the end of this month and what a ride it has been. It has been truly a pleasure to meet such an outstanding and magnificently diverse group of people: those who post regularly on the Facebook Page, those who subscribe to the Pirates of the Palouse Daily, those who follow the Twitter Feed, the Blog, those who message me privately and those who simply like to read postings. We have a serious group of knowledgeable sports fans that could collectively crush any other sports centric site. I mean that, collectively we are amazing. Y’all know your stuff! And it has been fun to see friendships grow through posts between people that didn’t know each other  a year earlier. We have something here and I am thankful to be a part of it. Very thankful.

I cannot fight the feeling that a few years from now these current difficult times will be simply a memory that we’ll look back on with nostalgia. There have been a few Saturday’s too many where my heart was broken and my voice was hoarse from yelling at the TV, the radio, or the play by play written on the internet with those annoying X’s and O’s with arrows.

However, no great story begins without an inciting incident, something to overcome, something to conquer. This current football season is that part of our story. The next year is the second act and it will be exciting. I believe! This is a real life example of Joseph Campbell’s Heroes Journey. Keep the Faith. We are going to get there!

And finally I am thankful to be a Coug…Big Time.

Today’s post by Charlie Hodges is a take on Team Leach.

Swing’em!

-Erik

 

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A take on Team Leach – by Charlie Hodges

Despite what people say, think or believe, I am not nor ever have been the leader of the Facebook group Team Leach. No one was ever paid to be in the FB group Team Leach and no one from the FB group Team Leach was ever paid to be a blogger or post material on any website, group page or whatever.

The FB group Team Leach continues to be a topic of conversation almost three years after it was formed as a protest to the suspension, and then ultimate firing, of Mike Leach.

For disclosure, let me say that I’m no longer a member of Team Leach. I was hired to organize a rally and then did PR work for one month. All other work I did for the group was volunteer.

After all of these years though, I thought I’d give my two cents a question. “What is Team Leach?”

Answer: “Team Leach” is more than Team Leach.

When the Facebook Group Team Leach started, the membership rose to over 60,000 people. That’s SIXTY THOUSAND. The posts moved on the group page so quickly that if you left for 15 minutes, it would take about 30 minutes of reading to catch up with what you missed. It was a totally organic movement of people who support Mike Leach. Plain and simple.

Numbers that strong, and the group’s ability to quickly raise $10,000 for the rally, got the attention of the school’s administration. The money was raised before I came onboard thanks to the hard work of all the administrators.

Emails from Team Leach members flooded the University and politicians in Austin. The barrage was so strong, there was an order from the governor’s office to the Tech University System administration to: “Make Team Leach go away.”

For a number of years, Tech tried to eliminate the Facebook group. Their efforts have been unsuccessful.

Opponents to the Facebook group point with glee that membership has fallen well below the tens of thousands of previous levels. On paper, that’s true. But it wasn’t because a majority of people simply left. It was because Facebook changed it’s page structure and most of people who were listed as members just went off the page. That led detractors and some at Tech to believe that because the numbers are gone, the overall Team Leach concept is no longer effective.

They are wrong. Why? Because Team Leach is much more than a Facebook group.

“Team Leach” is the thousands upon thousands of Tech grads and Texas Tech fans who are still upset the University fired Leach and are still vocal in supporting the coach and opposing the administration through other venues other than the Facebook group. A good many of those who support the coach and oppose the administration show up to Tech football games and cheer for the Red Raiders; able to separate the current football team from what happened three years ago. And just about all of them demand massive leadership changes at the Texas Tech University System.

“Team Leach” is the thousands who read Swing Your Sword and Double T Double Cross and feel that Tech did Mike Leach wrong.

“Team Leach” is the thousands of Wazzu fans who are glad Mike Leach is coaching the Cougars, but are sick and tired of hearing about Tech this and Tech that.

“Team Leach” includes those who support coach but don’t like the Team Leach Facebook group. That’s understandable because you can’t have a highly-charged, emotional movement go on for so long without people getting upset.

Most importantly, “Team Leach” is the scholarship at Texas Tech University for junior or senior level students who want to become coaches. Coach is still very supportive of the scholarship. On a side note, and for the record, friends of coach with Tech ties recently made a strong donation to the Washington State Athletic Fund.

And last but definitely not least, the Pirates of the Palouse are most definitely “Team Leach”.

If you support the WSU program and want to see it succeed, you are “Team Leach”. Even if you’re critical of the coach, you’re “Team Leach”. After all, both groups of people want the same thing, Washington State to be a winning successful program.

“Team Leach” has become the lessons we learn from simple acts kindness: Showing care and compassion for a Tech grad seriously hurt in a wreck, comforting friends who are sick, spending hours on the phone with a friend whose spouse died or providing a shoulder for the family that lost a child.

“Team Leach” is not about a Facebook group. It’s about Mike Leach, the coach and the teacher. People are attracted to and have come to love the quirky pirate whose loyalty, humor and outlook on life falls, most of the time, outside of the box.

People simple like Leach. They like him a lot and want him to win.

We are all that emotional body called “Team Leach”. That isn’t going away. It isn’t going to die. It’s going to continue to support Mike Leach.

So to all who read this who support Mike Leach and Washington State Football: You are “Team Leach”.

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A parcel of perspective

Today we have a very special Guest Blogger named Keri Kuczek. There are days we all get wrapped up in outcomes and metrics and minutia that continually attempts to entangle us.  I know I have made the mistake of forgetting what is truly important more often than I would like to admit. When I read Keri’s blog the opportunity to remember what truly matters in my life came knocking with a parcel of perspective under its arm. Thank you Keri.

Keri is a graduate of Texas Tech, she is an art teacher and she resides in the hill country of Texas.  She loves football as well as all things that are beautiful.

Her first year in college coincided with Coach Leach’s second year as head coach.

Swing’em!

-Erik

 

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One thing I have learned after my wreck in October 2010 is that certain things are “meant to be.”
People are meant to meet each other, and some people are just destined to be friends.

When I went to my first Texas Tech football game in the Fall of 2002, I was thrilled by the energy and
fun of the game. We had a winning season that year, and the students were involved in all of it. As a smaller school in the

Big 12 without the resources of many of our competitors, we had a renegade
coach, and we were a bunch of renegade students who loved him. We both seemed to defy definition.

Our coach, a graduate of law school, who had never played college football was leading, by instinct.
Our students, many underrated, were proud to see this scrappy spirit take a larger stage. We walked
with pirate swagger.

Keri Kuczek

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In December 2009, I was devastated to learn that my coach and I were betrayed by my school. I was
sad that someone who

had brought so much to us was sent away by a handful of people who claimed to
act for us as a school. At that time, I became a pirate for life. I started my own Facebook page to try to
bring my Captain back.

In October 2010, I was involved in a horrible wreck. My truck rolled, and I suffered a severe traumatic
brain injury. I was in a coma and in ICU. A friend of mine told Mike Leach about my injuries. While
I was still in a coma, Mike Leach called my family frequently to offer his support and to check on my

progress. He did this without press conference or recognition. He also told us to call him if we needed
anything. At a time when my family and friends wanted to focus their energies on strength, they took
the “Team Leach” motto and modified it to “Team KMFK.” We raised our pirate flags and rallied in that
hospital. United.

Keri in the Hospital

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was later transferred to a neurological rehabilitation facility in South Austin. Unlike you see in the
movies, it takes a long time to fully come out of a coma. There were several weeks when I was awake,
but unable to c

ommunicate anything. Later, I started regaining my words. Mike Leach called me several
times. One time when he called, my mother told him that I was scared to talk to him because I didn’t
have all of my words back. He said “that’s ok, I’ll just do the talking.” I sat there and listened as he
told me how proud he was of me, how sure he was that I was going to pull through all of this, and how
strong I was. Just like a football coach, talking to a player, he encouraged me and motivated me. It’s
like he knew what I needed to hear. It was like he needed to talk to me as much as I needed to hear him speak. Thank you, Coach.

Keri Kuczek

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s what he did. When his life was filled with turbulence, he still connected with me. He called. He
included me in some of his writings. He signed my book as we met for the first time at a book signing
in Dallas. Now, we are friends. I admire him for his ability to motivate. He motivated his team, the
student body at Texas Tech, and he motivated me. He told me how much he was proud of me, and how
sure he was that I could overcome my obstacles.

Keri Kuczek and Mike Leach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking back, I am sure that we were meant to be friends. Our separate adversities changed our paths,
and we were meant to work together.

He is famous for saying that “pirates function as a team.” I am glad Mike Leach is on my team. He will
always my friend and my Captain, and I will always be his #1 fan.

 

-Keri Kuczek

 

 

 

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Pirates of the Palouse Took Las Vegas….

It is Friday! Are you wearing your Coug gear? I am. This week’s Guest Blogger is Becky Timmons from Team Leach with her take on last weekend in Vegas.

Swing’em!

-Erik

 

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Pirates of the Palouse Took Las Vegas….by Becky Timmons

Shortly after walking into Preston Smith International Airport in Lubbock, Texas last Friday, I got my first
Go Cougs! from someone who was on the flight with me to Las Vegas. That was the first of the many I
would receive, continuing when I hit the ground in Las Vegas.

We checked in to our hotel and headed straight for the tailgate party sporting our Team Leach and WSU
Coug gear, and were welcomed with open arms. The excitement there was incredible. Being former
students of Texas Tech, you can imagine our surprise to see Bill Moos there. I already liked him very
much, but he earned another point in my book that evening.

As the game started, the first thing I noticed was that the stands on the visitors’ side were packed…filled
with the Cougar faithful….while the stands on the home side were sparsely populated. We even
saw swords and one guy with an eye patch. I’m just sorry we missed the decked out pirate with the
CJK5H sign because I would have loved to shake that person’s hand. I would be anxious to hear what
Coach Leach thought about the crowd that night as he considers the fans a very important part of the
big picture. No first down went unannounced as the crowd spontaneously broke into a rendition of
Glenn Johnson’s “And that’s another Cougar first down!” We spoke with many people who seemed
a little surprised that we would travel from Lubbock to see a WSU game. I imagine most will come to
understand that a little better in the months ahead. I mean, why wouldn’t you? That was the first
evening of one fantastic weekend.

Saturday, my friend Suzy (a.k.a. The Sword Wench) and I decided to go check out The Strip and we saw
Cougars and heard “Go Cougs” often. The Cougars were on the prowl everywhere we went. We were
exhausted by the time we got back to our hotel, but more excitement was in store and I suppose our
adrenalin levels were taking care of the weariness. After a shower and a change of clothes, we were off
to Margaritaville to meet our new Coug friends.

The 12-Volt Room was already rocking when we arrived. It was great to finally meet, face to face, so
many folks that I already considered friends. It really was like a family atmosphere, everyone having a
wonderful time. The only problem…it didn’t last long enough. I’m quite sure that we could have partied
all night. The passersby down on street level had to be wondering who was having so much fun up
there, until the performance of the Fight Song. Now they knew. We sold quite a few cookbooks and
flags to benefit The Mike Leach Scholarship, even sold a flag to Tom Pounds! That was epic!

The flight home was full of folks talking about their weekend and the game…it was a direct flight to
Lubbock and there were quite a few Coach Leach/new WSU fans on it. The conversation on this end
always gets back to how he was screwed and how angry folks still are. But alas, Coach really is back on
the sidelines. I saw it myself.

Many of us would have followed wherever Coach Leach went, just because it’s so much fun. You guys
are making it incredibly enjoyable with your spirit and excitement as well as the way you have embraced
Coach, his family, and his fans from afar. Expect Team Leach members as well as fans from many other
places to be a regular presence at most every game. There are hundreds of people who have not yet
been able to attend a game, but are most definitely going to make one. You may even see alumni from
Big 12 rival schools, just because they know a good thing when they see it.

The plan is still coming together, that’s a given, but the excitement is already palpable. Keep that
excitement because I am confident that Coach will git ‘er done and it’s going to be a fantastic voyage
with the Crazy Pirate at the helm. Always remember that you are all a part of the equation in Coach’s
mind. Keep up the good work, Wave the Flag, and Swing your Swords! Oh, and Go Cougs!

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Could History Repeat Itself? – By Tom S. Pounds

Cougariffic! That is my new word for the upcoming weekend. WSU Students, Alumni and Fans will be in Vegas for the UNLV matchup and it is going to be an awesome time. And speaking of awesome…the Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Party on Saturday night is nearly sold out! If you don’t have your tickets yet you can get them here.

Today’s guest blogger is non other than Tom S. Pounds! He founded the ‘Ol Crimson Network which is responsible for putting the Cougar flag on ESPN Game Day.  A tradition that has transcended WSU Football and become a national expectation.  ‘Ol Crimson on ESPN Game Day. He’ll also be at the party Saturday night.

The Ol’ Crimson Booster Club is always in need of funds to keep the flag flying on the College Gameday show.

Donations are always welcome via PayPal to:  Wsu_ocbc@yahoo.com

Swing’em!

-Erik

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Founder of the 'Ol Crimson Network

Tom S. Pounds
Founder of the ‘Ol Crimson Network

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Could History Repeat Itself? – By Tom S. Pounds

September 28, 1991, a day I will not soon forget – a Saturday I am keen to remember now that certain Cougar forces are converging once again.  For it was on this Saturday I was in Las Vegas and witnessed Cougar legend Jason Hanson kick his record 62-yard field goal against UNLV.

In an age before streaming audio, small satellite dishes on each house, nation-wide sports access to cable, etc; being away from Pullman made it difficult to listen or watch Cougar football on a weekly basis.  1991 found me living and working as an engineer in Las Vegas so, when the Cougs scheduled UNLV you can bet I was excited to be able to see the team play, live!

In my naivety, I did not order tickets from the athletic ticket office in Pullman; instead I just showed up on game day at Sam Boyd stadium and bought some nice 45-yard-line tickets.  Once inside, it took me less than 5 minutes to figure out that the WSU section was in the south end-zone and even less time to abandon my seat so that I could be with my fellow alums and fans.  I felt welcome and at home.

By the second quarter, WSU had the game in-hand.  If I recall, the team was up by about two touchdowns and I had struck up conversations with a few Coug alums around me as the game was played.

While talking, it was almost without notice that the field goal unit had lined up to kick.  Our attention was drawn to the kick.  From the opposite end-zone we could see that the ball was on-target through the uprights but we had to wait for the signal from the referees as to whether it had the distance, or not.

From that vantage point it was hard to tell that the ball was kicked from our side of the 50, but I distinctly remember that it seemed to last an awfully long time in the air before the refs made the call.

The kick was good– another 3 points added to our soon-to-be victory.  I was proud to sing the fight song, again, with the WSU crowd.

Fifteen minutes later, halftime found me at the snack bar as the announcement came over the PA system that the NCAA record had been broken.  I remember the whole stadium cheering loudly — UNLV fans were a class act.  I realized I was part of something special.

Friday, September 14, 2012, will hold a likely opportunity for WSU to beat UNLV.  This time my ticket will be in a section with WSU alums and fans.  Maybe Andrew Furney can kick a 65-yarder and repeat history.

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Cougar Linebackers are on the Prowl – Happy Cougmas

Happy Cougmas! I am ridiculously excited and I know I am not alone.

Chris Anderson posted a new poem on the Facebok Group Page called “Twas the Night before Cougmas”
Twas the night before Cougmas, and all through the Palouse, not a Coug was stirring, not even Bill Moos. The beer mugs hung in the Coug with care, as football season would soon be there. The Cougs were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of Roses danced in their heads. GO COUGS!

Ferhat Guven has a new post called “Superman Wears Mike Leach Pajamas.” You can find his post on Sports for Dorks (their link is on the right hand side).

How are you celebrating? Are you drinking Swashbuckler Ale? Are you eating Cougar Gold Cheese? Are you as excited as I am?!

Today we begin the festivities by presenting our Guest Blog Post a day early for Game Day and we are excited to have a Cougar Football Alum Anthony McClanahan help kick off the Cougmas Season.

See you in Vegas.

Swing’em! – Erik

 

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Cougar Linebackers are on the Prowl:  by #41 Anthony McClanahan

It is the day before the game. After an early day walk through, I take a midday nap.  This usually helps me to clear and calm my mind.  Today though, my body won’t allow me to rest. I can’t sleep!  I keep tossing and turning and thinking, “Over Red, Mac go!”  I see the blitz designed by Coach for me; Zeus; Anthony McClanahan #41.  I see a gap blitz open so wide, a baby could have crawled through it!  I see my big heavy hands grab the QB and drive him to the turf.  I am now sweating and begin to get chills, as I hear the crowd yell, “Go Defense Go!  Go Zeus Go!”  I’m now looking up at the ceiling, as my roommate, Ron Childs is shaking me over and over, yelling, “Zeus, Zeus wake up, wake up!”

It’s only a dream. I suddenly bounce up and realize it’s only the day before the 92 Apple Cup.  It’s midday and my body is in an earth quake zone.  I’m pumped up and we still have hours and hours before the big game.  See, I’m a LB.  We have to game plan each down.  We tend to study every offensive player.  We always know their every move; from the O-line to the RBs and WRs.  We watch it all!

Let me tell you what the boys are doing right now, it is the same thing every Friday.  From the time a LB wakes up, until the time we lay down, we are going through game day situations.  All LBs do one thing the same.  It is called Preparation for Battle!  The trenches are won by the D-line.  The space behind them is OURS.  It’s usually that 5 yard space from the ball and we let nothing get behind that.  LBs are ruthless beasts that rage havoc on RB’s.  We do it with the intent to get the ball back in 3 plays.  We hit hard and swift.  Big plays can happen fast and we predicate ourselves on being great tacklers.  We are LB’s!  There is no such thing as a big play, just big hits and we are certain to put a pounding on a few offensive opponents.

“Childs, where has all the time gone?”  The sun is now going down, the walk through’s are over, and the evening meal has passed.  Our media friends have all gone back to their rooms.  No more autographs and giving “Dap to Butch.”  It is time to lay it down and count the number of big hits Ron and I will get tomorrow.  We both lie down and start a chant, “Hut 1- hut 2- hut 3,” and by the 4th hut, we are both sound asleep.  The next morning came and we all know what the outcome of the 1992 Apple cup was!!!

Well tonight, August 30th, 2012, begins a new era of Linebackers. It begins with Travis long #89, now playing Buck; Eric Oertel #21 as strong; Daren Monroe #13 as Middle; and Chester Su’a #45. Prepare for war boys!  We take no prisoners at LB.  It is all about the 3 and out.  We run sideline to sideline and seal up all gaps.  I am almost certain, that these boys have what it takes to be a 92′ hard core group of LBs.  We had a strong group of warriors back then.  Boys remember….We take no prisoners!  Give BYU hell!

See you at the top!  Zeus is loose on the Palouse!  Go Cougs!

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Insights into Mike Leach

I am pleased to announce the return of Charlie Hodges as a Guest Blogger. He is the owner of Charlie Hodges Media, a media services firm based in Fort Worth, Texas that specializes in Crisis Communications, Media Relations, Project Management and Video Consulting.

Before starting CHM almost four years ago, Hodges spent almost 30 years in the news media. For seven years, he worked for CBS Radio in Dallas and his stories were regularly featured on CBS Radio News. He is also one the responsible parties for “Team Leach”…he’s kind of a big deal.

Remember, today is the last day for Early Bird pricing for the Vegas Party. Select the Events page at the top to get your tickets.

Swing’em!

– Erik

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Insights into Mike Leach

by Charlie Hodges
It was before the 2009 Texas Tech Red Raider football season My son and I were on the field at Jones Stadium in Lubbock to do a series of interviews for a radio station I was working for at the time. I had not met Mike Leach before but was looking forward to the interview.I had my audio recorder, microphone and a set of headphone ready so I could make sure the interview was being preserved digitally. I also had a pair of reading glasses ready to go so I could read the recorder’s display. They were the break apart at the nose glasses that wrapped around my head.

Before every interview, I was able to put on the headphones and put on the glasses. Technically, things were going like clockwork. Interviews were great.

“You’ll have to wait for a while to talk to Leach,” said Tech’s media rep.

“Fine.” I relaxed. My son was talking about how cool it was to meet all of these football players.

All of the sudden, “Charlie, here’s Coach Leach.”

I turned around. “How are you doin’?” It was coach. “Where are ya from?”

I had no time to set up anything. It was hit the record button while exchanging pleasantries and get into the interview. He was a busy man and I didn’t want to hold him up.

So, here I am talking to coach with headphones and glasses around my neck. I felt like an idiot, because basically I looked like an idiot to be honest.

We’re talking about football. He’s giving me what are stock coaching answers, at least stock answers for Mike Leach, about his football team.

But something was amiss. While football words were coming out of his mouth, his eyes were focused on my throat. You could see the wheels churning behind his eyes. “What in they world is around this man’s neck?”

Rather awkward encounter for a first meeting with someone. The interview went well. He gave me a couple good soundbites that were hilarious and we went on.

That was when we met. We became friends after he was fired. And I’m proud to say I’m a friend of Mike Leach. I tell you that story because it is the best example I can give about the nature of Mike Leach.

Insight 1: After being told it would be a while before we talked because coach was busy, he broke away from what he was doing so I wouldn’t have to wait for an interview. In my experiences with him, Mike Leach doesn’t put himself ahead of others.

Insight 2: He actually started a conversation with me before the interview. Many coaches of his stature would be, “I’m busy, let’s get this over.” That was not Mike’s attitude at all. In fact, I was pushing things so I wouldn’t keep him. The Mike Leach I know is not pompous, full of himself or thinks he’s better than you.

Over the year’s we’ve been in public settings, I’ve never seen him turn down an autograph, picture or chance to at least say thank you to someone for a nice comment. (The only thing I’ve seen him turn down was a tequila shot. “Give them to these people, I’m sure they’d put them to good use,” Leach said.)

Mike was even civil to a man at a book signing who was down right rude. “Chancellor Hance sends his regards,” the jerk said. “I’m sure he does,” Leach said back smiling.

Those who say Mike Leach is rude, distant or anything like that puzzle me. I just write it off as someone who doesn’t know him or knows an idiot who got caught on the wrong side of Mike. You can count those people on one hand.

Insight 3: There’s more going on in Mike Leach’s head than one can fathom. This man is smart. He’s really smart. If you have a chance, go to Leach and challenge him to a mock debate. You take something you passionately believe and know. Doesn’t matter what it is. Give Leach the other side without any study or preparation time. He’ll kick your ass.

Insight 4: Mike Leach is truly a friend. We don’t go hunting together (I don’t hunt) and we don’t play golf (he doesn’t golf). But we have had fun together. Get to know Mike Leach, and he’ll make sure you have fun. The members of Team Leach who have met and talked to Mike know what I’m talking about. He made all of them feel special, and to Mike, they are.

The more I learn about Mike Leach, the more respect I have for him

As time goes on, I hope Washington State fans will see and appreciate this side of Mike Leach I’ve come to know. He will expect your players to excel on the football field and, more importantly, off the football field. He is not your usual football coach, and that’s a good thing.

You have a man who will teach a football team how to win, teach an entire University some important life lessons and all of us how to live life to the fullest. That, Washington State football fans, is why you have a large group of Texas Tech supporters coming along for the ride.

 

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Pirates of the Palouse and a Free Hertz Gold Card Membership!

What you are about to read is classified as awesome.

We’ve been working with fellow Coug John L. Martin from the HERTZ CORPORATION and he has worked out a sweet deal and some fantastic car rental pricing for the Pirates of the Palouse.

First – everyone gets a FREE HERTZ GOLD CARD MEMBERSHIP.

This free membership is a $60 value and it is quick and easy to sign up. Follow the directions below and be please sure to share that you now have your Gold Card with the Facebook Group!
Pirates of the Palouse Complimentary Membership in Hertz Gold

  • To Sign up for Hertz Gold, visit hbrgold.hertz.com
    • Enter: Pirates of the Palouse, LLC
    • The CDP Number: 1950870
    • Pin code: hbrgold
For reservations, please visit Hertz.com or call 1-800-654-8216. Be sure the Business Rewards CDP# is on every reservation so you can start enjoying all of your benefits. (The CDP Number: 1950870).

If you have any questions, please call our Customer Service Department at1-800-654-4405, or email us at hertzbusinessrewards@hertz.com.

Enjoy your travel with Hertz; we’re glad to have you with us!

Second – He has worked out special pricing for each of the games!
See below for the BYU game and Las Vegas!

Pirates of the Palouse
WSU vs. BYU
Salt Lake City, UT
August 30, 2012
CV# 04VG0001

Rates available from all Salt Lake City locations
for rental start dates Aug. 23 – Sept. 6, 2012

Daily Weekend Weekly

Car Class Per Day Per Day 5-7 Day
A-ECONOMY $45.00 $30.00 $173.00
B-COMPACT $49.00 $33.00 $196.00
C-MID-SIZE $53.00 $34.00 $203.00
D-STANDARD 2/4 DR $57.00 $35.00 $230.00
F-FULLSIZE 4DR $60.00 $36.00 $246.00
G-PREMIUM $67.00 $47.00 $319.00
I-LUXURY $87.00 $77.00 $399.00
Q4-MIDSIZE SUV $64.00 $45.00 $299.00
L-4WD/AWD SUV $83.00 $73.00 $369.00
R-MINIVAN 2WD $83.00 $75.00 $375.00

Pirates of the Palouse
WSU vs. UNLV
Las Vegas, NV
September 14, 2012
CV# 04VG0001

Rates available from all Las Vegas locations for
rental start dates Sept. 7-21, 2012

Daily Weekend Weekly

Car Class Per Day Per Day 5-7 Day
A-ECONOMY $34.00 $19.00 $149.00
B-COMPACT $38.00 $21.00 $169.00
C-MID-SIZE $42.00 $23.00 $179.00
D-STANDARD 2/4 DR $45.00 $25.00 $189.00
F-FULLSIZE 4DR $47.00 $26.00 $199.00
Q4-MIDSIZE SUV $59.00 $59.00 $249.00
G-PREMIUM $69.00 $69.00 $289.00
I-LUXURY $89.00 $89.00 $329.00
L-STANDARD SUV $64.00 $70.00 $269.00
R-MINIVAN 2WD $64.00 $70.00 $269.00
U-CONVERTIBLE $68.00 $70.00 $269.00
T-LARGE SUV $94.00 $89.00 $489.00
T6-PREM X-CAP SUV $99.00 $99.00 $499.00

Reservations
To reserve your special meeting rates, please
provide your CV# to your corporate travel
department, or your travel agent, when making
reservations. You can also make reservations
online at Hertz.com or call Hertz directly:

•In the U.S. and Canada: 1-800-654-2240
•Other: 1-405-749-4434

At the time of reservation, the meeting rates will
be automatically compared to other Hertz rates
and you’ll be quoted the best comparable rate
available.

A big thank you goes out to John L. Martin!

And I am looking forward to seeing you guys in Vegas.

Swing’em!

-Erik

 

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Celebrity Guests Announced for Vegas Party!

We have great news to report for the upcoming Pirates of the Palouse Party at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville in Las Vegas.We are proud to announce that we will have a celebrity round table with Tom S. Pounds,  Anthony McClanahan,  Singor Mobley and Deron Pointer!

Additionally we have decided to extend the Early Bird Pricing until Friday August 10.

Now along with the Pirates of the Palouse T-Shirt, a wrist band, a drink ticket, the exclusive hotel offer at the Cosmopolitan, and the opportunity to celebrate Cougness with fellow fans in Las Vegas… you will also get to meet the man responsible for the Cougar flag appearing on camera on ESPN Game Day and celebrated Cougar Football Alumni.

It is going to be a great weekend in Las Vegas, come pre-funct with us Saturday night by getting your tickets here or by clicking the Events page at the top of this blog.

-Swing’em!

Erik

 

 

Tom S. Pounds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Pounds founded the ‘Ol Crimson Network which is responsible for putting the Cougar flag on ESPN Game Day.  A tradition that has transcended WSU Football and become a national expectation.  His father, Johnny, played football for legendary football coach Babe Hollingberry. ‘Ol Crimson on ESPN Game Day.

 

Anthony McClanahan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anthony, aka #41, aka Zeus, developed the 41 Sports program, the “41” originated from his football number from his days at WSU (1989-1993) where he played as starting linebacker and still holds many records to this day. During his collegiate career at WSU, Anthony worked alongside athletes such as Drew Bledsoe, Mark Fields, Mike Pattinson, Torey Hunter, Singor Mobley, Justin Debeaumont, Darron Pointer, Marlin Brown and Paul Wulff just to name a few. Anthony was coached by Mike Price and Bill Doba and not to mention his amazing mentor, Judy Doba. Anthony then went on to play for the Dallas Cowboys, Amsterdam Admirals and Calgary Stampeders and was also on the hit T.V. show, Battle Dome Warriors.

 

Signor Mobley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Singor Mobley was a key member of WSU’s fabled Palouse Posse defense of the early 1990s. Mobley was a rock on the Eskimos’ defense for much of his CFL career, leading the team in defensive tackles twice (2004 and 2005), setting an Eskimos team record by returning three fumbles for 129 yards in 1995 and being named the Eskimos’ nominee for outstanding defensive player in 2003. He appeared in four Grey Cup games, winning the big game twice, in 2003 and 2005.  Singor also played in 44 games for the Dallas Cowboys in 3 years.  He finished his Eskimos career playing in 158 games and recording 602 defensive tackles, 78 special teams tackles, 24 pass knockdowns, 21 sacks, four forced fumbles, 21 tackles for losses for 70 yards, 21 fumble returns for 266 yards and two touchdowns and 15 interceptions for 360 yards and three touchdowns.

 

Deron Pointer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of Drew Bledsoe’s favorite targets in the early 1990’s, Deron Pointer was Listed in the WSU record book 14 times for kickoff returns and receiving. He set a WSU record when he caught passes for 255 yards against Arizona State in 1993.  Drafted out of College by the Indianapolis Colts, Deron played for the Rhein Fire (WLAF) in 1995.  Washington natives might remember Deron leading the Curtis Vikings to a State Championship in 1990.  Deron scored a touchdowns on a 67-yard interception return and an 8-yard reception in Curtis’ 25-0 victory over Kentwood for the Kingbowl AAA football title.  Deron’s dad is a longtime NFL Referee and yes…his aunts are the actual “Pointer Sisters!”

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Is it Cougar football yet?

Happy Friday! I can tell that we are only 41 days from the beginning of the Coach Mike Leach era because I can hear the blood pressure starting to thump in my ears. I should probably get that checked. Anyway, remember to get your tickets for the Party that we are throwing at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville  in Las Vegas. Early Bird pricing is still in effect for a short time.  Get information and tickets here.  

I am thrilled to announce Lew Wright as today’s Guest Blogger! He is graduate of Washington State University and a member of the Pirates of the Palouse. Lew Wright has covered Cougar athletics for over a decade. His work has been published in a number of national and local print and online media including: New York Times, Washington Post, Business Week, LA Business Journal and a number of Southern California newspapers. Editing credits include a sports blog, book of poetry and corporate newsletters. He was a regular on “The Locker Room” with Toby Howell on KGA 1590am, talking Cougar football for a couple of seasons. And for the past year and a half, his focus has been on the operation of his Fastframe franchise which celebrated its 22nd anniversary this month.

Swing’em! – Erik

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Lew Wright
WSU Grad and a Pirate of the Palouse

About a week ago I was honored to receive an invitation from  Chris Klug and Erik Hill to submit a post to the Pirates of the  Palouse blog. Chris and Erik placed the toughest parameters possible on acceptable content. None! With the help of one of my former editors the decision was made to dive into my favorite summer topic.

Is it Cougar football yet?

There are still too many weeks before Washington State opens up their 2012 Pac-12 campaign against one of the top pre-season picks of college football independents, the BYU Cougars, in Provo, UT on August 30th. Heck, fall camp is still weeks away.

This is the time of year Cougar Nation ponders the pending success of Cougar football. It’s what we do.

2012 will be the second season for Pac-12 (formerly Pac-10) football following conference expansion. Both geographically and logically, WSU is part of the Pac-12 North division.

Conventional wisdom acknowledges Cougar football is now in the hands of one of the great offensive minds ever to patrol the sidelines of a college gridiron, Coach Mike Leach. However, the same voices consistently set aside that fact and rely on recent history to influence prognostications. The majority
predict Washington State will finish 5th or 6th in the Pac-12 North.

Despite a smattering of experience and research, my prediction for the Cougs in 2012 probably won’t be referred to as either conventional or wise.

Washington State could have been good last season and was only about 10-12 plays away from winning at least six games. A few calls going their way, perhaps 7-wins. When it came to getting a break or having luck go their way, the Cougs had little of either over the course of a 4-8 campaign in 2011.

“I’d rather be lucky than good,” sums up my view of Cougar football in 2012. Let’s save the discussion for the necessity of being good to take advantage of luck for another time.

With much of the heavy lifting done to rebuild the WSU football program by former WSU Coach Paul Wulff, the reins have been handed to the very capable Coach Leach.

Leach inherits a roster and fan base itching for success. And if performance on the field in 2012 comes close to matching the expectations of re-energized folks known as Cougar Nation, the Cougs should be bowl eligible in November.

Will Washington State earn the right to play in the Pac-12 Championship game at the end of the season? Stranger things have happened.

Realistically, no one in Cougar Nation should be so bold as to talk championship talk. But the off-season is all about hyperbole laced with the words like “can or might” rather than “could have or might have”.

In the early days of July, I see reason to be optimistic given the history of Coach Leach.

Leach doesn’t rely on luck. He takes advantage of it. The guy has relied on breaking down the opponent, then craft game plans which have proven successful by befuddling outstanding competition.

All that said, here’s my prediction for the Pac-12 North:

Stanford        11-1    8-1

WSU               9-3     6-3

Oregon           9-3     6-3

Cal                  7-5     5-4

OSU                5-7     4-5

UW                  5-7     3-6

 

Here’s where some of reasoning/craziness comes from.

Stanford Wins Pac-12 North
I’m a believer in the defense Stanford Coach David Shaw will field this year coupled with a mind-numbing running attack. The lone loss for the Cardinal may be early on when they travel down to LA to meet potential national champion USC.

WSU sails into post-season play
WSU should be able to win a couple of Pac-12 road games against OSU and ASU with their only home loss coming at the hands of Oregon (in Seattle). If the Cougs take advantage of their schedule and get off to a 4-0 start, going 5-3 the rest of the way with the scoring potential of the Air Raid offense will be very
possible.

Oregon starts strong then fades
Coach Chip Kelly may end the 2012 season wishing he’d taken the NFL Tampa Bay job as a result of luck not going his way. The toughest teams on the Ducks schedule are their last four games, three of which are away from home cooking and Autzen Stadium. Oregon could stumble down the finish losing three of
their last four.

Bears bowl bound…barely
Cal will be tested early on with their third and fourth games on the road against two national champion contenders, Ohio State and USC. They may struggle at home against both Stanford and Oregon. Despite a tested QB, solid running game and potentially good defense the Bears have been predictably unpredictable under Coach Jeff Tedford.

Beavers struggle early
Since returning to Corvallis from the NFL, Coach Mike Riley’s Beavers have underachieved over the early part of their schedule. With a home game against Wisconsin and a road trip to play UCLA, the Beavers may stagger to a record of 2-4 midway through the season. The highlight of their season will likely come
in The Civil War season finale with a win over the Ducks.

UW schedule spells doom for Dawgs
As for Cougar cross-state rival Washington, their schedule opens up brutally with four opponents certain to be Top 25 caliber: LSU, Stanford, Oregon and USC. Similar to OSU, the Dawgs could find themselves 2-4 at the halfway mark. Traveling to Arizona in week 7 is an unlikely opponent to begin a winning streak with. An upset victory over Utah in mid-November won’t turn down the volume of moaning Husky cohorts.

2012 may not return Washington State to the elite of college football with the first in a series of 10-win seasons. But it’s likely Cougar football will return to that conversation for the first time in 10-years.

GO COUGS!!!

-Lew Wright

NOTE: Many thanks to editor, colleague, Coug and son, Lew Wright, Jr., for contributing to this post.

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A Husky with a Ph.D. in Cougar athletics!

The Football Season is approaching and excitement is building. If you are coming to the UNLV game in Las Vegas be sure to check out the events page on the site or click this link Vegas Matey, Vegas! to get your tickets for the Pirates of Palouse Party at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. Ticket prices go up  at the end of July and they are selling fast.

This just might be one of my favorite Guest Blog posts to date and a Pirates of the Palouse First, a Husky is our Guest Blogger! Please welcome Ann McGonigle for this fantastic post!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anne McGonigle is a University of Washington (bachelor’s) and Harvard (master’s) graduate who has had the good fortune of earning the equivalent of a Ph.D. in Cougar athletics by virtue of her long-time marriage to Cougfan.com publisher and co-founder Greg Witter.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

By Anne McGonigle

On Behalf of Cougfan.com

I knew from the moment we started dating that my future husband, and his entire family, loved Washington State. Half his non-work wardrobe had a Cougar logo on it.  I could see the gleam in his eyes when he coaxed me to the L.A. Coliseum in 1990 for what turned out to be Drew Bledsoe’s first-ever action as a Coug. Listening to him talk on the phone with his brother, cousin and sister (all Cougs) is always smile-inducing because no conversation is complete without some talk of Cougar football or basketball .

 

Now, it’s important to note that I’m a University of Washington graduate. I love the Huskies.  It’s true. Greg Witter, the executive editor and co-founder of Cougfan.com, is married to a Dawg.  Scandalous, isn’t it?

 

Through marriage, however, I’ve come to like the Cougs (even though I’m still a little miffed at how I was treated at the 1994 Apple Cup at Martin Stadium). In a show of family solidarity, though, I rushed the field at Husky Stadium in 1997 to celebrate WSU’s Rose Bowl-clinching win. In Pasadena six weeks later, I had to get in the face of a Michigan fan to tell him how obnoxious he was and that it was total B.S. for him to be sitting in our section.  When our son, Ryan, was born seven months after that, people started asking if we named him after Ryan Leaf. OK, I thought, this Cougar thing is starting to get a little weird; my husband would simply say, “If we were going to name him after a legendary Cougar quarterback, his name would be Throwin’ Samoan Witter.”

 

Little did I know at the time, but this Cougar mania was actually just beginning, because shortly thereafter, Greg, his cousin John, and good friend Jack Evans decided to start a website devoted to nothing but Cougar football.  They were going to call it Cougfan.com and write articles for it late at night after the kids were in bed.  It was a cute little hobby then.  Now it seems like a lifestyle.  Some men golf in their spare time. Others get into softball leagues or fish or play cards.  My husband does Cougfan.com.  One night he was reading our then-toddler daughter to sleep when he looked at the clocked, sprung to his feet, tucked  the baby in bed, and uttered something about Bill Doba and the Chat Room as he raced to the computer. Quiet dinners have been interrupted by phone calls from Tony Bennett and others that I’m sure you’re familiar with but I’m not. When he was little our son Ryan would be in tears when the Cougs lost, and now he writes periodic Q&As for CF.C.

When Barry Bolton joined the team to run CF.C’s day-to-operations a number of years ago, it was pretty clear this “hobby” was now officially out of control. Just how out of control?  So out of control that in 14 years of operation it’s never been profitable. All the revenue is put back into writers, editors, photographers and some marketing.

So why do it?

A few years before CF.C was launched, following consecutive Cougar losses that had him seeing red, I asked my dear hubby a similar question about his love for a team that seemed to bring as much frustration as joy. He turned that inquiry into a column. This is part of what he wrote:

“The Cougars are a microcosm of real life. They are peaks and valleys, trials and tribulations cloaked in crimson shirts and gun-metal gray helmets. Being a Cougar fan builds character. We’ve gone through heartbreaks, blowouts, revolving coaches, untimely penalties, more than our share of bad bounces and a plethora of wouldas, couldas and shouldas. We hope and we pray and we hold our breath. Sometimes the disappointment weighs on you like a bad habit … And at those fleeting moments when we’re tempted to swear them off ….”  He then recounted a series of glorious plays and moments in Cougar history.

Through Greg, I’ve met countless Cougar fans. You’re all just like him. You love, and I mean love, WSU. You love Pullman. You love The Coug. You love The Bookie. And you love those Cougs. I once asked Greg what the heck they do to the students over there because I’ve really never seen anything like this Cougar loyalty. It is incredibly unique.

And just when I thought I’d seen it all, you go out and hire Mike Leach. Through Greg, and before that through my dad who was an old high school teammate of Jim Sweeney’s, I have paid attention to what’s going on in the Cougar Nation for about 25 out of the last 40 years. When you made it to the 1998 Rose Bowl I’d thought I’d seen the ultimate. And then when you went back to Pasadena five seasons later I really thought I’d seen it all.  But this Mike Leach thing is something else altogether.  You guys look and sound like you’ve won the lottery. I half expect our son to show up at the dinner table wearing an eye patch.

When Greg came home after the attending the Leach introductory event in downtown Seattle in December, he said the atmosphere bordered on a religious tent revival.

As a Husky fan, I have to tell you this does worry me.  Not that I have anything against Paul Wulff; from what Greg tells me, Wulff did a very good job of rebuilding the foundation of the program, and he’s a great guy on top of it.

But the Leach hire strikes me as something that has the power to permanently engage all you Cougar fans and, thereby, transform the football program from an occasional winner to a consistent winner.  And by the word engage I’m not suggesting you don’t already bleed crimson, because that fact is very clear to me. I’m talking about the things that build long-term success, like buying season tickets even if you can only make one or two home games a year, donating regularly to the scholarship fund, and attending all the special dinners and events.  At the U of W, the level of alumni engagement doesn’t need to be as great because the location of the school guarantees huge corporate support and generates serious fan interest among non-graduates. WSU’s location limits that kind of easy, natural corporate and non-alumni fan support.

I saw an article on Cougfan.com a week or two ago where Bill Moos was talking about the need for Cougar fans to have “skin in the game.” That’s what Mike Leach’s presence has the power to do and do quickly: Get lots and lots of Cougars backing the team with tangible support. Leach is a celebrity. Matthew McConaughey makes references to him on the Jay Leno Show for God’s sake!. His book is a New York Times best seller. ESPN announcers talk about him.

Leach is a transformative figure.  My husband gave a speech at a Cougar event a couple of years ago. He practiced it so many times I can almost remember it by heart. He talked about critical junctures in the history of WSU sports and how important it is to recognize and seize those moments while they’re unfolding, not in hindsight.  The most critical of them came right after World War II, he said, when legendary Babe Hollingbery wanted $8,000 a year to come back and re-start the Cougar football program and WSU was willing to give him no more than $7,000. Babe didn’t return, and it doomed WSU to decades of mediocrity at a crucial time in the sports evolution.

Letting Mike Price leave for Alabama was a similarly critical juncture and WSU has been paying dearly for it ever since.

So now here comes Mike Leach. Hiring him was only the first step, however. The next step, the true critical juncture, in my view, belongs to you fans. Are you going to step into the big time and give your new coach and athletic director the support they need to transform WSU into a consistent winner? My fellow Huskies hope you’ll sit on your wallets and not take full advantage of the opportunity.  If I see a sold out CenturyLink Field on Sept. 29 that’s 90 percent crimson and 10 percent green I’ll have a good sense of which direction you’re headed.


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