BY Art Thiel 01:04AM 01/27/2011

Water Cooler Cool: The weekend scene

Sunday night for Huskies-Cougars hoops? What, and miss Andy Rooney?


Matthew Bryan-Amaning will lead the Huskies against the Cougars Sunday in Pullman / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

Each Thursday, Art Thiel checks out the weekend sports scene locally and offers more casual sports fans some observations that can get them in and out of conversations without anyone catching on to your, ahem, casualness.

Whether at the water cooler, bus, lunchroom, frat kegger or cocktail party, you can drop in a riposte, bon mot or bit o’ wit to start a conversational conflagration, or put one out.  Then walk away.


Huskies basketball: UW at Washington State, 7 p.m.  (FSN/ROOT) — The traditional rivalry game has an untraditional eight-day layoff before commencement of unpleasantries. Why? Money. You silly. What did you think college ball was about?

Normally the rivalry match is the lone game in a conference schedule that usually has Thursday-Saturday pairings.  And the Saturday games were almost always in the afternoon.

But since the Pac-10’s rightsholder, FSN, discovered that Sunday night games have greater ratings than the busy Saturday afternoon slot, they dictated to the conference a schedule change. Doesn’t matter that the players end up with a lousy travel schedule coming back from Pullman, nor that fans who live more than five feet from the Pullman gym are unlikely to travel to a game that ends at 9 p.m. on a Sunday night.

Ratings, exposure and revenue dictate all in college ball. So even though you might be among those who would enjoy a little break from the ghastly outlook on the world provided by “60 Minutes,” it is nevertheless possible to take a higher road in this matter to test the limits of absurdity:

“So,” you ask your mouth-breathing friends affectionate toward college ball, “if a TV station asks the Cougars and Huskies to play in January an outdoor game at midnight on an asphalt court illuminated by a circle of car headlights for $1 million (hold your little finger up to your lips, Dr. Evil style), do you think that either school would even bother to ask the players if they would like fingerless mittens?”

“Water Cooler Cool” is published every Thursday as part of Sportspress Northwest’s package of home-page features collectively titled, “The Rotation.”

The Rotation’s weekly schedule:

  • Monday: That Was The Week That Was — A snarky, day-by-day review of the week just ended.
  • Tuesday: Wayback Machine — Sports historian David Eskenazi’s deep dive into local sports history, replete with photo eye candy.
  • Wednesday: Nobody Asks But Us — We ask, and answer, fun and quirky questions nobody else is asking.
  • Thursday: Water Cooler Cool — Art Thiel takes on the weekend for the benefit of the more casual fan.
  • Friday: Top 5 List — The alpha and omega of Northwest sports, at least as far as we’re concerned.


  • JD

    New TV Deals are coming soon, and we will be watching Pac 12 games 3 to 4 nights a week. I think you already know this, cause I do, and I’m nobody. Yes it’s about money, and everyone wants more of it at every level of these institutions, just ask every AD you interview this year. If the former writers at the PI had to put up extra hours and travel more than expected to keep your jobs, I’m sure you would have taken it at the expense of your families and other inconveniences. Didn’t get the joke, logic or entertainment value of taking a swipe at a news program. Wasted punchline to nowhere. I want this site to be a hit, so please get back to work.
    Go Dawgs!

  • Shony

    Z needs to start by firing Chambliss. See if that brings some urgency to the club.

    • Jerryj

      Firing the batting coach is a time honored  tradition  in baseball,  and in this case, I think they should try it again.  I mean,  it couldn’t hurt –  these guys are pathetic! 
      The only problem is, is that Ichiro will not be affected by this move – about the only advice that Chanbliss ever offered him was the correct way to pronounce some cuss words.  
      As we speak, Ichiro is heading steadily toward the Mendoza line – is there a God?

  • dinglenuts

    This will be another typical year for the Huskies under Romar.  Their lack of discipline and focus will lead to their now-yearly tradition of underachievement.