Updated Feb 28, 2012 - 12:43 pm
Rooting for Cougs comes with plenty of disappointment
Here it is three days later and I'm still agonizing over the Cougars' 59-55 loss to the Huskies in Pullman.
Why am I still agonizing? Aren't I used to Cougar losses by now? Did I really expect the Cougs to beat the Huskies?
These are all fair questions. And as usual, I either don't have answers or don't have good answers for any of those questions.
Kevin Calabro called it a good win for the Huskies, and I'm thinking: "Was it really?" Beating the eighth-best team in the Pac-12 isn't my definition of a good win.
The Go 2 Guy feels Brock Motum's pain. (AP)
If the Huskies want to call it a good win, I'll call it a bad loss for the Cougs, really bad. Believe me, when you follow the Cougs, you know the difference between good losses, bad losses and really bad losses.
Good losses are the ones in which the Cougs put up a good effort against a superior opponent, only to be out-talented in the end. But, man, what a fight it was, and you're proud of their performance. Maybe next time we'll get 'em.
If I'm being completely honest, good losses are also the ones in which I took the Cougs and the points and they covered the spread.
Bad losses are losses in which we were favored to win and somehow lost.
Really bad losses are any losses to the Huskies. It doesn't matter where they happen -- Beasley Coliseum, Alaska Airlines Arena, Martin Stadium or Husky Stadium -- every one of them is really bad.
Like any Coug, I hate losing to the Dawgs because it fuels their already over-the-top superiority complex.
And when it happens like it did on Saturday -- blowing a 13-point lead in the last 12 minutes by making 6 of 20 free throws -- it's the absolute worst.
Hey, guys, in case you'd forgotten, Washington is the team that can't shoot free throws, not you! You led the Pac-12 in free-throw shooting? What the hell happened?
Actually, there's a question I can answer -- I know what the hell happened. The Cougs started to think too much and played not to lose instead of playing to win. They looked tight, and I don't get that at all.
Really, if you're Washington State, what do you have to lose in that game? You're at home, you should be loose and carefree because the outcome makes no difference to you. Washington, with a conference championship on the line, should have been the tighter team.
I'm rambling, but it's just so damn frustrating. I'm sick of getting my hopes up and being let down again. Then to cap it off, we blow it in the worst way possible.
It would be one thing if Patrick Simon's attempt at a game-winning three had rattled in and out, but to have it come up three feet short was just so classic Coug. Hate to get down on Simon and my team, but come on! At least draw iron, Patrick!
I know, I know, Simon hadn't played and was colder than Sitka, but still.
I don't expect much, really I don't. I would just like to have my 7-year-olds experience a Cougar victory over the Huskies at some point. I don't want them to keep telling me: "We suck at everything, dad."
It's gotten so bad that I received an email yesterday from a fellow Coug who got a psychiatrist to break down our frustration. This is what the shrink wrote:
"Cougar fans suffer so much pain because they operate under an intermittent reinforcement program. That is, a win every now and then, with the interval unpredictable, maintains the behavior of the possibility of another win.
"Thus, we continue to suffer pain because we are always anticipating happiness. It's a law of behaviorism that Skinner discovered and validated.
Another way of saying it is that every now and then, even a blind pig finds an acorn in the mud hole, so the pig keeps on rooting around in the mud. So, unless we lose all of our games forever, we will continue to feel pain in our anticipation of happiness."
So there you have it. Now we're being compared to blind pigs. I want to tell the shrink that he's mixing his adages -- blind squirrels are the ones who look for acorns, not blind pigs, but I get the point.
Then there's this, an email from another Coug pal in Bend, Ore., Abe Lodwick's hometown. If you follow the Cougs, you know Lodwick as the senior lefty who's always been an OK player at best.
As my Coug pal explains: "Lodwick fits the classic profile of a Cougar student-athlete. Great kid, good grades, proud to be a Coug, will likely do well in his chosen career. But his actual athletic contribution was underwhelming. We always seem to get the "not much talent but tries really hard" kids.
"Like you, I am sick of always coming up short in these games. Wouldn't it be nice to actually have some guys with some legitimate talent who can step on some necks and win these kinds of games?"
The hell of it is, we might get another shot at the Huskies next week. If we beat Oregon State in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament, we'll likely play the Dawgs in the quarterfinals.
Jim Moore also writes for his website, www.jimmoorethego2guy.com. You can reach him at jimmoorethego2guy.com and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.
Bonneville Media encourages site users to express their opinions by posting comments. Our goal is to maintain a civil dialogue in which readers feel comfortable. At times, the comments can descend to personal attacks. Please do not engage in such behavior. We encourage your thoughtful comments which: have a positive and constructive tone, are on topic, are respectful toward others and their opinions. Bonneville reserves the right to remove comments which do not conform to these criteria.