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Best Seat in the House

Photography, sports and life as seen through the lens of Seattle Times photographer Rod Mar.

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September 14, 2008 11:10 PM

Huskies: Beheaded for Disaster

Posted by Rod Mar

At our son's soccer game on Saturday morning, my old buddy Dave and I were talking about that afternoon's Husky football game, in which Washington would face third-ranked Oklahoma.

"Whaddya think?", he asked.

Knowing he is a lifelong, dyed-in-the-wool Dawg fan, I knew he sensed more optimism than I did.

Before he could start imagining reasons why the Huskies could possibly beat the Sooners, I piped up, "I'd give you Washington and 30 points and you'd still lose".

Now, betting is not allowed by members of the newspaper (at least I don't think it is, but I wouldn't bet on it), so we couldn't really, officially, bet.

Other dads were around us. "Thirty?" "That's a lot of points, man." "I'd take you up on 30!"

Cut to two minutes left in the first half of the game later that afternoon, with the Huskies trailing 27-0.

My phone rings. Hey, it's Dave!

"Dude. I am actually considering leaving at halftime. I can't bear to watch this anymore."

I couldn't blame him. For Dawg fans, it was the bottom of the barrel. At least for the time being. It could conceivably get worse when Washington faces USC later this season.

Let's skip to the photos. It was a gorgeous day, and my new photo editor SuperKev asked us to make some pregame feature photos.

"Ahem. Sir? You appear to be wearing a covered wagon on your head."

(Nikon D3, VR 70-200mm lens @ 200mm, ISO 400, 1/1600th sec, f5.6)

We will not be having a headline nor a caption contest about this photo of a fan getting blown at by baritone players from the Husky Marching Band.

(Nikon D3, 14-24mm/f2.8 lens @ 14mm, ISO 640 1000th sec, f8)
Repeat. No headline contest. That goes for captions, too.

Husky quarterback Jake Locker is normally unflappable. That is, if you don't count unsportsmanlike conduct penalties like throwing the ball in the air after a touchdown. Really, the only way to make him lose his head is to try to rip it off.

This frame shows his face:

(Nikon D3, VR 600mm lens, ISO 320, 1/3200th sec, f4.0)

But this frame shows the violence of getting his face-mask pulled and twisted. And it's tighter. More impact? I don't think so. Seeing his face in the above frame is more compelling.

(Nikon D3, VR 600mm lens, ISO 320, 1/3200th sec, f4.0)

While the home team was getting beaten to a purple pulp, there was gold on the horizon as the autumn light was both plentiful and beautiful.

It was even pretty when Oklahoma's Jermaine Gresham beat Washington's Johri Fogerson and caught a touchdown pass to put the Sooners up 14-0 in the first half.

(Nikon D3, VR 200-400/f4 lens @ 220mm, ISO 800, 1/1250th sec, f4.0)

The light was even prettier when Washington's Devin Aguilar made a leaping reception in front of Oklahoma's Dominique Franks.

(Nikon D3, VR 600mm lens, ISO 320, 1/3200th sec, f4.0)

The sun is quickly fading on Washington coach Tyrone Willingham, who lost his third straight, against an admittedly tough schedule. He might last the season, but that's about it. One gets the feeling he didn't do enough to build the necessary goodwill with the alumni and the media to get the "Hey, he's a good guy, let's give him some time to build a program" extra year that some coaches garner.

(Nikon D3, VR 600mm lens, ISO 320, 1/3200th sec, f4.0)

By the end, the result was so forgone that even Oklahoma's touchdown celebrations seemed half-hearted.

Doesn't it make you want to say, "Now don't you let go of that football, young man?!!!"

(Nikon D3, VR 600mm lens, ISO 1600, 1/640th sec, f4.0)

By the end, the few die-hard Husky fans remaining didn't have a lot to smile about. Jake Sturm and Alysa Abercrombie sit in the bleachers with the score 55-7 in favor of Oklahoma. "It's pretty bad", said Abercrombie.

(Nikon D3, VR 200-400/f4 lens @ 400mm, ISO 3200, 1/320th sec, f4.0)

55-14? "Pretty bad" might be an understatement.

At least Abercrombie was still in the stadium. My buddy Dave? By that time he was home..trying to find the golden light at the end of the tunnel.

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