What does Notre Dame have that Washington State doesn’t? Other than a 28-point Vegas handicap on Saturday?
That’s easy. A TV network.
It was back in 1991 that NBC signed an exclusive deal to televise all Fighting Irish home games, an unprecedented development and a clear signal that Notre Dame would separate itself from all other college football powers. And that’s exactly what’s happened.
The Irish haven’t been in the national championship conversation in 15 years.
Here’s their mistake: NBC only airs games, and on any Saturday you can find 20 of those on your dial even without the benefit of a satellite dish. Why should we pay particular attention to Notre Dame, unless we’re looking for fashion tips from Charlie Weis? Now, if the Irish had developed alternative programming, they’d really have something to set them apart.
Which is exactly what the Cougs need to do: launch their own cable channel, 24 hours a day.
It would generate desperately needed revenue and divert attention from the football scoreboard until coach Paul Wulff can figure out how not to spot opponents a three-touchdown head start every game.
Naturally, we have some programming ideas for The Coug Network …
3 p.m.: Dirty Jobs – Roadkill collector, catfish noodler or WSU football coach?
4: America Has Talent – If that’s the case, then was Bill Doba’s staff recruiting in central Asia?
5: Two and a Half Men – The Cougars’ remaining healthy offensive linemen try to figure out how they’ll block four pass rushers Saturday.
5:30: The Daily Show with Jim Sterk – Wazzu’s athletic director once again tries to explain why he needs to add seats to a stadium that can’t fill more than 22,000 of them at the moment.
6: The Deadliest Catch – Endless loop replay of Jared Karstetter’s fourth-quarter reception in the 2008 Apple Cup.
6:30: Charlie Rose Bowl – Discussion of whether it will take the Cougs 67 years to get back to Pasadena in the postseason.
7: Mad Men – It’s another Saturday in Section 7 of Martin Stadium … and Section 8 … and 10 …
8: Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader? – It’s another Sunday through Friday on the Internet threads.
8:30: Parking Wars – All hell breaks loose in the Beasley Coliseum lot when WSU decides to auction some choice tailgating spots to Husky fans for every home Apple Cup.
9: Real Housewives of Whitman County – “You’re moving us where? And the mall’s in a different state?”
10: The forgotten – “Say, whatever happened to the quarterback who won the Apple Cup last year?”
11: The Amazing Race – Former WSU player and secondary coach Ken Greene feels the need to spill his story about his infidelities and tries to put his marriage back together in this … wait, this was a REAL show. Sorry.
1 a.m.: So You Think You Can Dance? – Paul Wulff decrees that end zone celebrations are OK, regardless of penalties, just in hopes of motivating his team to reach the end zone in the first quarter.
2: Sit and Be Fit – The only way to stay off the injured list? Play yourself off the two-deep.
3: Survivor: Pullman – The marketing department dreams up a new campaign to keep the student body in its seats after halftime.
4: Monk – Former Cougar coach Mike Price discusses his lifestyle since that fateful night in Pensacola.
5: Jon & Kate Plus 8 – A rare Vegas betting line favors the Cougs.
6: Mercy – USC coach Pete Carroll takes a knee – before halftime.
7: Disaster Date – Freddy Fratrat finally gets Suzie Sorority to go out with him, and sets the mood with two tickets to the Stanford game.
8: The Smoking Gun Presents: World’s Dumbest Criminals – “So let me get this straight. You’re in jail for 45 days for theft and assault. You get out and drive the 15 miles back to Pullman with a suspended license. You couldn’t maybe, I don’t know, call a couple of teammates to come get you?”
9: Tyler Perry’s House of Pain – Jim Sterk finally finds a buyer for Martin Stadium’s naming rights.
9:30: Cougar Town – Moving the Apple Cup to Seattle permanently doesn’t look like such a bad idea when the local attendance average drops below Pullman’s non-student population.
10: Punk’d – It’s the ultimate in practical jokes when the Cougs convince Idaho to mothball the Battle of the Palouse just when the Vandals would own them.
11: The 700 Club – Wazzu opponents compare total offense statistics.
Noon: Lost – It’s kickoff time, Coug fans.