Flyover Country: An Interview With The Vampire Who Is Killing the doogs Softly

This past Valentine’s Day there were plenty of opportunities to write cheesy love notes to our rivals in the Pac-12, but only corporate bloggers took that easy and creatively bankrupt idea and ran with it. Like a predator, or a paparazzi outside of wherever it is that Whitney Houston shuffled off this mortal coil, I waited. Alas, my patience was rewarded.

Bob Condotta is the excellent Seattle Times reporter with arguably the most miserable job in all of old media sports journalism. He writes about the Washington Huskies, who haven’t really been anything greater than “the doogs,” since October 22, 1994. How Mr. Condotta writes day after day about the doogs without turning to overdose quantities of booze and tranquilizers for relief is one of the mysteries of the Pac-12.

After all, it is well known in writing circles that continually confronting the edges of sanity can lead to a drastically shortened lifespan marked by substance abuse, psychosis, and even murder.

Comte de Lautréamont—died of a fever at 24.

Jacques Vaché—overdosed on opium at age 23.

Franz Kafka—starved himself to death at age 40.

William S. Burroughs—morphine addicted poet who covered up a murder in 1945 and shot his common law wife in the head in 1951.

Bob Condotta—somehow still sane and productive despite covering a topic fraught with both surrealism and reality twisting magical thinking.

So, many thanks to Mr. Condotta for going all Anne Rice for us and enduring an interview with the creature who is sucking the very lifeblood out of Washington football. He’s the wannabe Nosferatu who gave Ty Willingham his fourth year that led to 0-12. He’s the pale shadow of Barnabas Collins who paid a career assistant $1.8 million per year to start learning to be a head coach on the job. He’s Rutger Hauer’s Kurt Barlow of Montlake, caught hypocritically calling out Oregon for building athletics facilities in a time when the state’s support for higher education on the whole was waning, but who is now overseeing the remaking of Husky Stadium to the tune of nearly $300 million while the Washington Legislature burns down the larger University’s budgets.

He’s none other than Scott Woodward.

Say Extra Cheesy

The Most Fashion Insensate Vampire Ever

Though Mr. Condotta did an excellent job at capturing the words of this latter day master vampire, it’s left to yours truly to get behind the tryin’ to be pretty words and extract the monstrous meaning for long suffering Huskies fans that was spewed forth. Here is a link to Part One of the interview, the only section that should be of interest to Ducks fans.


Question One: Can you talk about the process of the firing of Nick Holt and two other defensive coaches after the Alamo Bowl?

Answer: As you know, my management style is [that] Steve [Sarkisian]and I talk every day, at least an hour or two on football every day. And he and I know each other well, we know our tendencies, we know each other, it’s almost like a partnership, a collaborative partnership. So there were no surprises. We talk on a daily basis, we see things, we talk about them, game-by-game, practice-by-practice, week-by-week. So there was no just culmination to this thing — it was pretty much we both knew it had to be done after the Alamo Bowl.

Translation: I am a micro-manager. I am in Steve’s ear every day because he has demonstrated through the hiring of Nick Holt, that he was in over his head. I gave Ty that fourth year. I know firsthand what awful coaching looks like and dang it, I have it going on again right before my very eyes. We’re a partnership alright, if lil’ Stevie doesn’t pan out, I’ll be summarily fired if Washington ever again hires a president with any football sensibility.


Question Two: Was anything decided prior to the Alamo Bowl?

Answer: No. To be frank with you, all signs were leaning to that there needed to be a change. But we had not come to any decisions. Steve and I talked face-to-face, like we always do, and we talk about these things and we talked about it after the game. We calmed down and then we talked about it the next morning and talked all through the weekend.

Translation:  When I say I am being “. . .frank with you,” all it means is that I wasn’t being honest with you before, or I am not intending to be honest with you now. When I say “We calmed down,” what I meant was that at a booth in the hotel bar after the game I said “Stevie, #@&!, are you trying to get us both *&%$^*#@ fired?!?!?” Through my hangover all weekend, damned Madeira Wine egg nogs, I kept yelling and yelling though my Windows Phone at Stevie, my handpicked man, who was just blowing it big time.


Question Six: The offers made to these assistants were very attractive. Can you talk about the thought process there?

Answer: We have retention money and budgets in our plans going forward and we are always prepared for this and we knew we had to invest because every other school in the Pac-12 had made huge investments in their assistant coach’s pools and we’ve had teams come after our assistants and pro teams come after our assistants and we’ve had to retain them, so we were prepared for it and ready for it from a financial standpoint.

Translation: I’m spending my TV money before I even get it. Though no Pac-12 school has stratospherically jacked their assistant coaching budgets, we had to. We’re freakin’ desperate here. Half of the staff was fired and the other half is led by the “football guy” who hired those idiots in the first place. Who was going to hitch their career to Stevie’s mediocre star without being paid double or triple the going rate and/or getting the title “Coordinator” or at least a small pleasure craft? Then again, overpaying is a Washington tradition. We paid $1 million per for Slick Rick. We paid $1.5 million per for Willingham when he was radioactive. I paid $1.8 million per for the unproven Stevie and then I gave him a raise and an extension. I even paid Nick Holt a raise and gave him an extension. Sub-textual note to self: Re-evaluate the wisdom of accusing the Ducks of throwing money at problems.


Question Eleven: What are your thoughts on the football program going forward and taking the next step to returning to the top of the Pac-12?

Answer: That’s where the next step is, where we are competing for championships. And we’ve made it clear that we want to get there incrementally and we have done that and I think we are building it on a solid foundation. You look at our program, whether it be our strength coach or our trainers or our support staff, or our assistants now, and the type of student-athlete we are getting here, I think everything is rising and I think it is going to continue to bode well for our success.

Translation: At 5-7, 7-6, and 7-6, we’re competing for championships. At this incremental pace, we’ll be 8-5, with a blowout bowl loss in a lower tier game in December of 2014. We are built upon a solid foundation though we just threw out half of three years’ worth of groundwork. What can I say? At least we’re rising faster than Oregon State is.

* * * *

The upshot is this: Woodward is a “soft” vampire who is busy afflicting Washington’s football program. He saps them. The UW program I grew up watching wasn’t a soft organization at the top. Mike Lude was a flinty eyed vampire who made more flinty eyed vampires. Don James was a mid-western hard case who coached from a tower like he was an all seeing vampire bat. Even the fans were pre-Starbucks Seattle, an aircraft manufacturing town, a fishing town, a timber shipping burg and not the misty tree in a soft shot filled with non-mysterious hipsters clicking away on laptops that they’ve largely become.


Mike Lude Arrives in Seattle During The Dark Ages

There’s always talk up north about a “Return to Dominance.” That won’t be happening with the soft crew that is the current Husky AD “brain trust” up there. They can’t become who they were when they have all but forgotten how to be what they were. The old line Huskies didn’t care what Oregon was doing. They wouldn’t have cared how much we spent on whatever or whomever. They’d fix their own wagon and then they’d fix yours too—and good.

Vampires themselves used to be malevolent.

Now? They are chest shaving Audi drivers. No one’s amygdala is overwhelmed by thoughts of a creature of the night sporting frosted tips.


I Am To Vampires What A doog Is To A Husky

Washington is definitely in their Twilight zone.

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Canard is what he is, a character. So lighten up.

  • ICamel

    Now that is some funny S$*#………..Stuf

  • Anonymous

     ICamel….that is precisely what was in my mind as I finished.  Heck,…I’m still laughing at his bio!

    Seeing the Sports World through Canard’s eyes is a new treat for us at and already….I can’t wait for more!

    Thanks Canard, as the only thing nearly as fun as watching Oregon win, is laughing at Washington.

    As a note to all…..we have a policy at that we will NOT write hit/negative pieces on Oregon’s players, coaches, or the university as we will let all the other media do that as they have.

    But all the other schools are fair game!  Think of Canard as our new version of what RaceBannon for the Huskies used to be….

    • dawgncarolina

      These two statements are mutually exclusive:

      1. “As a note to all…..we have a policy at
      that we will NOT write hit/negative pieces on Oregon’s players,
      coaches, or the university as we will let all the other media do that as
      they have.”

      2. “Think of Canard as our new version of what RaceBannon for the Huskies used to be….”

      Race was never afraid to rip UW when appropriate, even in the old days.

      But it’s cute that you aspire to have your own Race.

      •  It’s cute that puppies think 8-in-a-row and 0-12 are meaningless.

        • dawgncarolina

          0-12 had plenty of meaning, it got us free from Ty. 8 in a row has meaning too. I’m sure it will go 9. My guess is it won’t go 10. Only time will tell.

          Nice try at deflection, btw. Try to respond to the actual conversation next time, you’ll look smarter. Hope that helps.

          •  I think it’s pretty easy to figure this out. Comparing Canard to Race Bannon is a mistake. Canard has never been about flogging the program he roots for. Race Bannon has had to turn to that just to avoid insanity during the Gilby/Ty/Sark era because he’s not a doog.

            Mr. Fischer should stop calling Canard this site’s version of Race Bannon. Aside from a fondness for a cleverly turned phrase, they don’t share a common mission when writing about their respective programs or its rivals.

          • dawgncarolina


      • Josh White

        The huskies have been horrible for nearly a decade, and they will not get back to being competitive under sark & his band of pillaged and overpaid assistants. Come back in 3 years and I’m sure you will have a spin on why being mediocre was good because it helped you get away from steve. I remember how optimistic the purples were after Willingham’s 5-7 record in ’06 and the promising future with locker. How did that work out?

        Face it, nobody likes purple, especially modern day top athletes who have grown up knowing 2 facts:

        1. The Ducks are the most exciting and best looking team in college football. They are consistently a top 5 team and always dominate the huskies.

        2. The huskies are brutal, always lose to good teams like Oregon. And no matter how many uniform colors they try, even Nike can’t mask something that ugly. They always look as bad as they play.

        • dawgncarolina

           LOL. Yes, the UW’s recent problems are all about their school colors. Brilliant analysis indeed.

          • Josh White

            As for the struggles on the field, that could be tied initially to the Don James NCAA violation thing, then was a sustained run of bad leadership, bad coaching, bad recruiting, and horrendous facilities.

            But, I’m glad you agree about the ugly uniform theory too.

            Thank you, dawgncarolina, for visiting and sharing your views on!

  • Josh White

    Nice work here. I have often stood in awe at the fortitude and sheer guts Mr Condotta demonstrates in the face of the continuous adversity and humiliation that is his beat. Your translation of Woodward’s measured jibber jabber is spot on!

  • Coastal Duck

    FishDuck – Not sure ”
    laughing at Washington” goes far enough – I’m more of a smirker, myself. The sad/smirkable part of the doogie scenario is that IF they return to “past glory,” they will have no memory of 0-12 – it will be swept under the nearest dry dock.

    The Ducks’ fans, OTOH, fully remember “The Suffering.” We respect opponents (other than the doogs, of course) even though we may contribute to their Saturday Night Massacre nightmares.

    As for the article, I agree that it was sheer entertainment. I thought I had a pretty good working vocabulary, but Canard sent me to the dictionary more than once. On the bright side, I’m sure I’ll be able to finish the New York Times Sunday crossword in record time.

    Encore, Canard!

  • …. and ….. slow clap …. slow clap …. slow clap.

    Well, done, good sirrah!  And congrats on the most oodish avatar.

  • rowdydog

    Sounds like Envy to me… worrying about what we are doing in the big bad Seattle

    Seattle > Eugene. Always was always will be…

  • rowdydog

    fYI when you have money you can spend it… UW has money and power and a championship. Something Oregon will never have

    •  And more recently, owners of an 0-12 season…you must be so proud.

      • Rowdydog

         It is ok to go 0-12 when you finished a season 0-12. You did not get the message. Every Oregon Duck should bow their heads in our presence. We have owned you for decades and brief moment in years when the PAC is down does not count. All Huskies feel this way

        Dude your school is in Eugene Oregon LOL!

        • Josh White

          At least the dogs have been dominated 8 consecutive years in football, and also have to stomach that 25 point blowout in basketball..

          It’s ok though, just keep barking for sark, it seems to be working really well.

        • shenanigans

          Just to be clear; huskies think it’s OK to go 0-12, so long as you go 0-12. 

          Aim high, bro.  Aim high.

  • Comment (of course from a Husky) removed for inappropriate language .

  • Canard

    Please do not waste the internet with tripe like this.