Posts Tagged ‘Washington State Cougars’

How About a Little Cougar Lovin’?

February 13, 2012

Yes, I am hoping that title attracts the bulk of 18-24 year old men to this blog. And it should. But for a different reason. I’m talking about my alma mater, Washington State University and our proudest sports product, Klay Thompson. The 11th overall pick in the NBA draft last year is having himself quite a rookie season. And people are finally starting to take notice.

Don’t ask me how this kid didn’t make the rookie-sophomore all-star game, or how he’s relatively unknown outside Pullman, WA and Oakland, CA. And definitely don’t ask Warriors coach Mark Jackson. After a slow start this season, all Thompson is doing in February is averaging 10 points per game off the bench. Not just any 10 though. He discovered his long-range stroke and is hitting treys like Chris Brown hits…nevermind. He’s on fire, is what I’m trying to say.

Thompson was arguably the biggest recruiting coup in Washington State basketball history. Hearing we would have the son of a former first overall pick suiting up got things buzzin’ in Pullman. And Klaymania got off to an early start, when He’s a freshmannnnnn became regular in Beasley Coliseum as Klay’s sweet stroke started enveloping the student section.

By his sophomore year, he was far and away the best player in crimson and gray on the court every single night. And by his junior year, he was dropping 40+ points in pre-season tournaments, averaging over 20 a game during conference play and on a short list of candidates to even get consideration for National Player of the Year awards. Yet he stayed relatively anonymous, staying away from the spotlight, patiently awaiting his name to eventually be called in last year’s June draft.

The day Thompson announced he was foregoing his senior season at WSU to jump to the NBA, it was honestly like a natural disaster had hit the campus. Our snowy little town of 30,000 people (22,000 students to give you a better idea…) might as well have just been hit by a deadly, contagious disease. Oh, wait that happened too. Anyway, nobody took the news of Thompson leaving harder than me. Sure, I was graduating but I still was looking forward to him leading my Cougs on a final NCAA run.

Then, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in June, I received an e-mail. Then another. And another. And finally one from my Mom with the press release attached: Warriors select Klay Thompson 11th overall in draft. As in the Golden State Warriors. As in the team that plays 25 minutes from my house. I was giddy. I ran down the halls of the ship looking for my fellow Cougs. I found them. And we celebrated this little stroke of luck.

Now that little stroke of luck is coasting on the big stroke of Thompson’s right arm. He’s quickly becoming one of the best overall rookies of the 2011 draft. He’s helping the Dubs stay afloat in their quest to return to the postseason. He’s trying to be a savior for a franchise which, save for 2006, has been a league doormat for years because of bad coaching, a lack of star power, and failed drafts.

But as Thompson continues to sink three’s and make pinpoint passes and play suffocating defense, Pullman and Oakland won’t be the only places noticing the gold mine the Warriors stumbled upon. Forget former Warrior Jeremy Lin and all his hype. Thompson is the real deal and he’s here to stay. I assure you, if his clutch, late-game heroics continue, the Warriors will find a way in eventually. And you’ll have a young, silent assassin to thank. Go Klay Thompson. And as always, Go Cougs.

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Lookin’ Like a Bunch of Bums Out Here!

January 23, 2012

This isn’t how I expected to start Jam Shots off. I regret to inform you that the only news I have today is sad news. First of all, let me explain something. This is not ESPN or Sports Illustrated. I will not claim to be an objective journalist with no ties to any teams, while really just trying and terribly failing at masking my love for all New York teams and Tom Brady’s junk.

I am a 49er fan. I love the Dodgers and A’s. And my alma mater, the Washington State Cougars. Therefore, I hate the San Francisco Giants. And the Washington Huskies. It comes with the territory of being a die hard fan. That being said, I guarantee you my blog will be less idiotic and infuriating than anything Skip Bayless has ever said. And since we’re on the subject, I hate that guy too.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, we can get back to the bummer of the century. The NFC Championship game last night. The 49ers lost a sloppy game to the New York FOOTBALL (you know, in case you forgot that the New York BASEBALL Giants moved out over 50 years ago…) Giants in overtime. It was such an ugly game that it was kind of like watching your grandparents knocking boots on the kitchen table, but those blue and white bastards got the best of my Niners. An average person might think it’s just raining in the Bay Area today. False. It is the collective cascading of thousands and thousands of people’s tears. The city is flooding.

Normally, I’d go out on a tangent, blindly blaming players and coaches and Indian gods, but today I’m going to take the high road. Well, after I make you sympathize with me.

Let me tell you, I’ve now experienced a broken heart. Sorry ’bout it ex-girlfriends, deceased former pets (R.I.P. Josh, Maggie and P.J.), and the latest Indiana Jones movie. Nothing will compare to how badly that loss hurt last night. This might seem weird, but instead of putting in Win A Date With Tad Hamilton! and downing a tub of ice cream like usual, I microwaved 16 turkey meatballs and stuffed my face with them. I…I don’t know. I was hungry. Uhh, anyways…

I learned all about “DABDA” in high school psychology. And yesterday I flew through Denial (I mean, the scoreboard rarely lies), was too sad for Anger, too tired to Bargain and spent the rest of the night in Depression. Or a meaty, steamy, ball-induced coma. Either way, it was a low point. I didn’t even have the energy to send a death threat to Kyle Williams like half of the Twitter world was doing (Shameless self-promotion time! Yay! Follow me on Twitter @jamblinman).

And that ends the feel-bad-for-the-author segment of our program. Because after a good night’s sleep and a couple dead-fish anger jumps on to the couch this morning, I’ve finally reached the last “A” – Acceptance. The 49ers lost. And I’m okay with it. Forget that this Super Bowl game will undoubtedly out-lame the National Championship rematch. The truth is, none of us fans expected to be here. Going from 6-10 one season to 14-4 the next and being one kick, slip or tackle away from the Super Bowl is nothing short of a miracle.

So props to Jim Harbaugh and his staff. Props to Alex Smith and his resurgence. And props to the most incredible defense the NFL has seen in a decade. And cheers to the fact that they will be back next year. With a full offseason. Completely healthy. And most likely with a couple new wide receivers. Tom Coughlin, I hope you’re reading this; you might need to change your diaper now.

And one last thing – Kyle Williams basically cost us ten points. You’re right. Get off his back. Where were the 3rd-down conversions? Where were the defensive takeaways? Where was the ballsy play calling? Where was the coverage on the 3rd-and-15-turned-into-17-yard-touchdown? Williams is a good receiver, a ridiculous athlete, and he’ll be back catching passes in the slot for us next season. He’s the goat today, but he deserves his fans’ support, not their threats.

Whew. Okay. On to the next bit of news! Oh. Great. It’s still sad. JoePa, a college football icon, passed away early Sunday after his health started failing the day before. All I have to say about him is this: It’s unfortunate that his unbelievable legacy will be tarnished by the recent Jerry Sandusky scandal. It’s understandable, but unfortunate. Hopefully he will be remembered for helping to pioneer the sport of football rather than being a silent accomplice to the biggest creep in the history of the world. They are Penn State. R.I.P. Joe Paterno.

Lastly, today, I have a little bit of basketball news for you. I want to ask – how tall were you in high school? Even after a growth spurt, most people here didn’t break six feet. I, for one, still have my original driver’s license from when I turned 16. It lists me as 5’10” and 170 pounds. Here I sit, seven years later, at 5’10”, 170 pounds. I know. Embarrassing. Besides, I look like I was just booked into a mental institute. Three hours in line at the DMV will do that to a kid.

Anyways, back to the news. Imagine being not six feet tall in high school. Not seven feet tall. But seven and a half feet tall, dominating fools on the basketball court. That’s the life of Senegalese teenager Mamadou Ndiaye (good luck), who plays high school hoops in Southern California. Watch the tape. The dude literally takes four strides from one basket to the other, and towers over the opposing center (who looks to be no taller than Danny DeVito to begin with). If he went to the NBA today, he’d be the tallest player on any roster. That’s just ridiculous. All I’m going to say is if this kid doesn’t average 40 and 40 every game, something’s wrong.

Thanks for reading the first installment of Jam Shots. Hopefully tomorrow will be a brighter day and you don’t have to deal with my whiny, butt cramps about my team losing. Until then, enjoy the Monday Nic Cage Clip of the Week (because just like his acting, Mondays suck ass). Peace.


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