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<  Danny, Dave and Moore

Partying, marriage and a Washington State-Cal pick

AP02092803889
Devard Darling was catching passes for the Cougs the last time they beat Cal, a 48-38 win in 2002. (AP)

By Jim Moore

The last two weeks I've written about drunken escapades from my past when the Cougs played Idaho and Stanford. This week I've got a completely sober story about Cal.

Why? Well, I can't think of a specific drunken escapade involving Cal in the 40 years that I've been watching Cougar football. I'm sure there must be a few, but I've either forgotten or was blacked out when we played them a time or two. I'd like to forget the last eight games against Cal because we've lost to them every time. What I recall is this: it doesn't seem to matter whether we're expected to beat them or lose to them, we always somehow end up with the L.

Oddsmakers think that could change this year, favoring Washington State by 1.5 points, which amounts to a very slight nod in our direction. After seeing the 55-17 loss to Stanford Saturday night, I'm not so sure we should be favored over a Cal team that might be 1-3, but it's playing at home, and its three losses were to ranked teams in Northwestern, Ohio State and Oregon.

A quick aside: As I watched the Cougs fall farther and farther behind Stanford Saturday night at CenturyLink Field, I wondered if I made the right decision to go to the game.

I skipped my kids' Five-Star youth football game at Mount Si so I could meet up with some buddies in the exhibition center before the game. I also skipped out on a dinner party my wife wanted me to go to. She reasoned that I could go to the dinner party, tape the game and watch it when we got home later that night. But I wanted to go to the game. It is, after all, Cougar football, a big priority in my life. And the Cougs were in Seattle. I'd truly be a pathetic fan if I couldn't drive 15 miles to see my favorite team. Personally, I can't imagine scheduling a dinner party when the Cougs are playing, but that's just me.

Anyway, my wife's cool and normally understands the Cougs thing, but she wasn't all that happy about it this time. Which reminds me ...

When I was married the first time, we used to have Cougars viewing parties all the time at our house on the Sammamish Plateau. Had a hot tub on the deck. I'd bring a TV outside and we'd drink margaritas and watch the Cougs.

One night I guess we had a little too much fun. My recollection of how things spiraled out of control is a bit fuzzy, but I do remember one thing very clearly. My wife stood directly in front of me and I can still picture her trembling when she screamed in my face: "I'm so sick of you and your (expletive) Cougars!"

Thirty years later, I feel bad about whatever happened that night. I have since apologized to my ex-wife for some of my stupidity in those days. She deserved better.

But I think I've learned. Here's proof:

I can't stand that "Dancing With the Stars" show. But my second wife loves it. So for her birthday, I got her a present – dancing lessons for the two of us. We're going to learn salsa starting on Tuesday, which is the worst possible day for this class because I had already committed to speak at a Pierce Country Cougar Club function at the Emerald Queen Casino on the same night. I didn't want to back out of my commitment but then I got to thinking ...

I'm going to have one person mad at me either way – my wife or the Pierce County Cougar Club President. I feel bad about it, but I chose to bail on my Cougar commitment because I finally understand the meaning of "Happy Wife, Happy Life." I also know all about "Unhappy Wife" and whatever that rhymes with, none of which is good.

I'm not sure why I wrote all of that, but if you're still with me, you might want to have your wife read this post because you're apt to look like Husband of the Year in comparison.

As far as the Cal game goes, I think we can win and certainly hope that happens. If we lose, our bowl hopes dim in a big way. We've got red-hot Sean Mannion and Oregon State next week followed by the crazy-hot Ducks in Eugene on Oct. 19.

We're 3-2. If we're going to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl or the We'll Take Any Bowl, we have to win this game.

Cal has a quarterback issue or a controversy or whatever you want to call it. Best thing about it? Neither Jared Goff nor Zach Kline appears to be very good. Cal is also missing three defensive starters.

Again, I can't tell you why Vegas likes us by the slimmest of margins in this game, but I'll trust that they're usually right.

Prediction: Washington State 34, Cal 31.
Season record against the spread: 3-2.

Washington at Stanford

This is where I'm hoping the unbeaten season ends for the Dawgs. This is where I'm hoping a three-game losing streak starts, followed by losses to Oregon next week and Arizona State the week after that.

But these Huskies appear to be better than those 7-6 versions we've seen so much of in the past. Stanford's favored by 7, but this one's going down to the wire in what could be Coach Sark's last game as Washington's head coach. Hey, rumors have to start somewhere.

Prediction: Washington 31, Stanford 28.

The Go 2 Guy also writes for his website, jimmoorethego2guy.com, and kitsapsun.com. You can reach Jim at jimmoorethego2guy@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.

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