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Times reporter Bob Condotta keeps the news coming about the Montlake Dawgs.

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February 13, 2008 1:07 PM

My response to The Sporting News

Posted by Bob Condotta

I'm admittedly a little hesitant to write about anything on here that involves reexamining the past, understanding the desire of most of you to move on.

But Matt Hayes of The Sporting News left me with little choice with this column penned earlier this week in which he tries to make the case that The Seattle Times has a vendetta against Rick Neuheisel.

I get the reasoning --- the Times broke the gambling story in 2003 that eventually led to Neuheisel's firing, then were viewed as piling-on with the series that ran last month.

I didn't write or make any of the decisions on the series, which is why I haven't written much about that in this space, and if Hayes had left it there, I would have, as well. My intent isn't to get into any of that since that wasn't my story.

But in his column, Hayes refers to e-mails written by Times staffers years ago in response to a story he wrote about Neuheisel in 2004 as proof of our vendetta.

As the author of one of those e-mails (and a reply or two back), I feel it my right to respond (and yes, I note the irony here given other recent events).

I wrote an e-mail in response to this story he wrote in 2004 that included a timeline that featured the following statement concerning Neuheisel's 2003 interview with the San Francisco 49ers --- ''Terry Donahue, Neuheisel's coach at UCLA, offers him the 49ers coaching job, which Neuheisel declines.''

I wrote to tell Hayes that we had an on-the-record comment from Donahue denying that Neuheisel was ever offered the job --- he cited no sourcing for his contention that Neuheisel was offered the job, and since some saw his story as refuting some of what we had reported, figured I'd point that out.

I got the Donahue comment in the summer of 2003 in the wake of Neuheisel's firing when the 49ers issue became a key point and we were trying to ascertain exactly what happened.

In his column this week, Hayes writes that we referred to ''NFL sources'' --- his quotes --- as if we had some vague, shadowy contacts for our information.

No, we had Terry Donahue, then the general manager of the 49ers, on the record.

Hayes responded that, well, we only had Donahue through a spokesman and that Donahue wasn't the one who made the decision and that you can't really go with what they say on the record anyway.

(We got it through a spokesman because it was a Friday in the summer time and Donahue was on vacation and didn't want to do a phone interview. Not ideal, but I don't really know the difference in a yes-or-no question. We relayed the question, a spokesman asked Donahue, and Donahue said no, he wasn't offered the job.)

And it's Hayes' story (or the timeline that goes with it, which I assume he okayed) that said Donahue was the one who made the offer.

Donahue wasn't our only source for saying Neuheisel didn't get an offer, however. No one at UW ever believed Neuheisel got an offer --- in February of 2003 or now --- and another who asserts that, as well, is former Husky quarterback Hugh Millen, now a talk show host in the area.

Millen said at the time and continues to say that Neuheisel was never offered the job.

Millen also provides a lot of specifics to back up his contention, such as that there was a two-tier interview process where Neuheisel first had to meet with Donahue and Bill Walsh and then with owner John York, and that the initial interview went so poorly that Neuheisel didn't even get to the meeting with York other than a quick meet-and-greet on his way out of the building. Millen has said that he has it on good authority that Walsh said that it was ''evident in the first five minutes that Neuheisel was in over his head.'' That's a lot of detail to just make up out of the blue.

And to make clear, Millen said all this in the days after Neuheisel interviewed for the job in 2003 when the information was freshest and before events happened later that led to a lot of spinning.

So when I wrote to Hayes, it wasn't vague ''NFL sources'' I was citing, but our on-the-record denial from Donahue, plus the comments of Millen, plus many others, like the source who told me Neuheisel asked the UW to delay sending out a statement saying he had never interviewed for the job, apparently so he could wait to see if an offer was coming before issuing his denial that any of it had ever happened at all, which of course proved to be a lie.

And according to a story by Bud Withers of our staff, who covered Neuheisel's trial in 2005, Neuheisel said on the stand that he was never offered the job.

Hayes also says we said Neuheisel was never offered the job at Notre Dame. I don't remember making a big deal of that fact. I could point out that Neuheisel said at the time "there was never an offer,'' but I'll concede how worthless such denials can be (especially from Neuheisel). Most around UW do believe Neuheisel had an offer and was parsing words in his denial, but that far from showing loyalty, turned it down mostly because his wife, Susan, had no desire to live in South Bend, Ind.

In one of our e-mails, I pointed out to Hayes that I guess you could call that loyalty, but the truth is also that Neuheisel and the Huskies negotiated a new contract in the wake of the Notre Dame talks.

For the record, Neuheisel got two contract raises and/or extensions during his time at UW, as well as his original contract, which took six months to complete due to haggling over details.

Neuheisel got a raise of almost half-a-million dollars, including incentives, in the fall of 2001 in the wake of the 2000 Rose Bowl season, his second year at UW.

Four months later he interviewed for the Notre Dame job and talks began on yet another contract, the one that would include the infamous $1.5 million loan as well as a six-year extension. So in the first three years and nine months he was UW's coach, Neuheisel got two raises and one extension, all while going from 11-1 to 8-4 to 7-6.

Call that loyalty if you want, but it's also unmistakable fact that Neuheisel was getting increasingly well-compensated for staying.

Also a fact is that Neuheisel was reported to be involved in at least five other jobs during his time with the Huskies --- Cleveland Browns, Alabama, Notre Dame, UCLA and the 49ers. Notre Dame is generally thought by most to be the only job he was ever offered.

Far from viewing him loyal, many around UW were irked that Neuheisel's name kept popping up for other jobs with Neuheisel usually responding to the speculation by saying "you can never say never,'' or that he planned to stay for the ''foreseeable future'' --- whatever that meant.

It was beginning to impact recruiting near the end of his tenure, with players such as Johnny DuRocher and Kellen Clemens each saying the fact that they had no idea how long Neuheisel would stay around played into their decisions to go elsewhere.

As for the lying, anyone who thinks that played no part in Neuheisel's firing wasn't very close to the situation. The trial obviously showed that mistakes were made by everybody (though it's often lost that the two sides agreed to a settlement and that the jury never decided anything. Everybody at UW was hoping it would go to a jury but the NCAA mess-ups ultimately forced the settlement).

But to conclude the way the trial ended showed the lying didn't matter is to miss the role it played in laying the foundation for everything that unfolded.

I'll grant this much --- when it came to Rick Neuheisel's time at UW, the truth was often as hard to find as a running game.

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Posted by ??

2:52 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Are you referring to the running game in 2000 that led the Pac 10? Nice shot. You're transparent. I bet its nice to have the platform to try and clear the air, too bad all that have been attacked with one sided stories by your paper don't have the same privilege.

Posted by Dave

2:56 PM, Feb 13, 2008

You know Bob, I don't necessarily disagree with any of your points, but a 32-paragraph blog post containing multiple slams on Neuheisel and ending with another one that is a stretch anyway (running game comment) is an awfully funny way of showing that you Times guys DON'T have a vendetta against him.

Posted by jh's rear-end

2:58 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Slick Rick sucks big wang.

Posted by Bob Condotta

3:01 PM, Feb 13, 2008

On the running game --- Neuheisel's last team had the lowest rushing per game average in UW history (74.5 yards). The 2001 team had the fifth-lowest. So his last two teams had two of the five worst rushing seasons in school history.

Posted by Robotic Jason Taylor

3:03 PM, Feb 13, 2008

?? are you referring to the running game that was generated mostly by a Qb? Or the one that never produced a 1,000 yd rusher?

Props to Bob for to taking Hayes to task.

Posted by jh's rear-end

3:04 PM, Feb 13, 2008

that's why slick rick sucks. he'd rather play patty-cake than run the football and play defense.

Posted by Dave

3:10 PM, Feb 13, 2008

How were the first two years on the running game Bob?

Posted by Bob Condotta

3:13 PM, Feb 13, 2008

The first two years were pretty good --- 189.7 in 1999 and 211.7 in 2000. But there were definitely diminishing returns there as the years went on.

Posted by whocaresaboutRN

3:15 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Enuf already about RN and rival newspapers!! You all sound like his ex-girlfriend....Good Lord!!

Posted by ??

3:16 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Jason Taylor: I'm actually referring to the one that produced 4 players with over 5yds/carry. It was TB by committee. You should do the math and see how many yards that would equal if 1 of them got all the carries. Try it.

Posted by Dave

3:19 PM, Feb 13, 2008

So two of his teams could run (better than anything we've had since up until this year's 203), and two of them couldn't. I dunno Bob, it still seems like an awful long way to go just to get in one more dig at Neuheisel.

Posted by Texas Dawg

3:20 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Bob- you are right on. Stick with the facts on this one. I think Neu wasn't very good here- on a professionalism level- he certainly won here. I think we will be back and I bet he wins at UCLA.

I don't think you or the Times has something against RN, but I do think that a combination of things have left the program where it is now.

RN+Gilby+Ty= A struggling program.

Posted by SpokaneDawg

3:33 PM, Feb 13, 2008


Does anybody else foresee a strange chemistry between Patrick Cowan and Neuheisel? Remember how Neuheisel mishandled the recruiting of elder brother Joe Cowan while the Huskies' head coach? Cowan's dad is a Flaherty award winning former QB who still holds Husky record for passing yards in a bowl game and won the Flaherty award. He has been diplomatic about the whole thing, but I gotta believe this will be fun to watch. Read the story here http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sports/2002525090_uwnotes28.html

Posted by Dave

3:39 PM, Feb 13, 2008

That is an interesting point, I think I read somewhere that McLeod Bethel-Thompson is also transferring away so it'll be interesting to see how RN is able to handle the QB situation there. For a guy with a great rep as a QB mentor, he certainly didn't coach up Paus and Stanback very well.

Posted by Steve C.

3:41 PM, Feb 13, 2008

The running games for the 1999 and 2000 seasons were built entirely on players recruited by Jim Lambright, including key performers at QB, TB, FB, TE, and OL. As those players left, so did UW's running game.

Posted by bayareahusky

3:48 PM, Feb 13, 2008

...and to expand on the post above, I've heard it stated by quite a few people that when RN left the O-line was in absolutely horrible shape, arguably the most important piece of a good team's offense...basically he is a good motivator and can win games with good kids, but he can't build and maintain an entire team at a high level...btw, every time I run into a Colorado fan they always bring up how shady RN was there as well, I think it is a pattern that will continue

Posted by Josh

3:49 PM, Feb 13, 2008

I have a vendetta against Slick Rick. He's an overrated recruiter who could never close the deal on the big studs and a below average coach. His success came in his first few years at Washington and his first few years at Colorado, when he was playing with disciplined and well coached kids recruited by someone else. You'll see the same thing at UCLA, initial success due to Karl Dorrell then the gradual slip to below average.

Posted by MelloDawg

3:49 PM, Feb 13, 2008

In terms of a vendetta, had Hayes replaced the words "Rick Neuheisel" with "University of Washington football," I would have agreed 100%.

Posted by bingbong

3:50 PM, Feb 13, 2008

bob, i think you have a lot of the same feelings about this hayes article that many of us have about the times rose bowl article. hayes is just doing his job, right?

Posted by fix it!

3:52 PM, Feb 13, 2008

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F-CK!!!

This thing is maddening!!!!

Posted by guch

3:58 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Just curious, you can call something as on the record from an individual if you get the info second hand?

Posted by Times versus UW

3:59 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Yeah, the wonderful folks at the times and PI hate our guts as fans and hate the institution as a whole. You see, with their political views, anything traditional (Mom (or the traditional family unit), apple pie, church, college football, etc....) They're all bad things. Deconstructionism is the term I believe the educated elites like to use. Anyway, we're just dumb morons with our chins dragging the ground. Thus, we're bad. We enjoy football, the university supports it, so they attack the institution. It's not complicated stuff. Just frustrating. And in their defense, it's not just the Times and PI attacking everything traditional, it's pretty much the entire media/entertainment complex. But again, they're all smarter than all of the uneducated masses, so I suppose we should just nod, wipe the slobber from our chins and shuffle back in line.

Posted by Guest

3:59 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Josh,

I don't like RN either, but I think the one place he can be successful would be UCLA - because he loves the place so Goddamned much.

He has some talents. He can be charismatic, and he can motivate. He has helped develop some QBs. But he gets bored. He doesn't seem to have the work ethic to pay daily attention to meticulous detail and he doesn't seem to have the stomach to make tough changes when things are going wrong (discipline-wise, effort-wise and winning-wise) in his programs.

The one place where he may stay involved and do his job 365 days per year would be UCLA. So maybe this time may be different.

Posted by KC

4:06 PM, Feb 13, 2008

"I'm admittedly a little hesitant to write about anything on here that involves reexamining the past, understanding the desire of most of you to move on."

thats like the pot calling the kettle "black." what was your "investigative" piece on then?

Posted by MelloDawg

4:08 PM, Feb 13, 2008

True or False: The Seattle Times has an editor that went to UO.

True or False: One of the writers of the recent 2000 Husky Football smear campaign WENT to Purdue.

It's not a conspiracy if they're all out to get you...

Posted by BhamDawg

4:10 PM, Feb 13, 2008

The problem with RN's recruiting was that he couldn't stand losing some of the top skill position players to other schools and forgot about balance in the class. He ended up short on the OL's, DL's, and LB's that are the basis of good teams.

Posted by Husky Legend

4:12 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Bob,

I have to agree with bingbong. It seems like you are getting the same feelings from the Hayes article as most of us did from the Times 2001 Rosebowl articles. Now you can see why many of us are not happy with the Times.

Posted by Guest

4:12 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Mello,

Don't be delusional.

Posted by Kman

4:14 PM, Feb 13, 2008

I am so freakin tired of hearing old news brought up again and again and again by the Times. We all know RN was slime. We all know the 2000-01 team had a FEW players with issues.

But bring up old news and slamming on players that havent been gone for sometime is just bad jouranlism.

I would rather read about how well our CURRENT players are progressing this offseason. Maybe little tid-bits of news that are NEW!

Of course it feels like the Times has a vendetta against UW...... if you were on the outside looking in, it would appear so.

MOVE ON SEATTLETIMES!!!!!
Little fact about the news business, if you are reporting old news, you are not a good paper.

Posted by Bob Condotta

4:17 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Also, the editor people refer to as being an Oregon grad is Michael Fancher, who is retired and not actively involved in decisions anymore (he writes a blog about issues concerning the media now).

Posted by JD

4:32 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Bob, I want to thank you for all you do! I love reading both of your blogs and think you do an amazing job. Keep up the good work!

Posted by Dawg in the Couv

5:06 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Couldn't agree more, JD. Thank you, Bob for the effort you put in to this. I for one was not appalled by the Times story...a little late, but who really cares. For everyone complaining about this stuff written about this stuff in the past....FORGET IT. It's in the past. Anyone have the countdown to the first practice (or are we still waiting for the Spring Game date to be set)?

Like Pumba from Lion King always says..."you've got to put your behind in the past..."

Go Dawgs!!!

Posted by MelloDawg

5:09 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Guest,

I know, it's a reach to suggest the writers' schools and the articles are related, just having some fun.

---------------

Still doesn't make the article series anymore necessary.

Posted by Husky19

5:10 PM, Feb 13, 2008

To ?? and Dave,

Interesting, we slam Baer for having 2 of the worse defenses in UW history (#1 and #3) but Neuheisel having the #1 and #5 worse rushing attacks in UW history is/was ok???


You win ball games with Defense and a good running game so, yes; I believe that it is comparable. Also, the 2000 rushing success was all because of Tui and not because of coaching and scheme. Many of the runs he did were not called in the huddle, but in fact were scrambles on PASSING plays that broke down.

There is no vendetta when the facts are the facts. Under Neuheisel, the ground games got worse and worse, the players were talented but mostly played as individuals (taught to be like this from their head coach) and lacked toughness, heart and desire. The OL was depleted and he won recruiting wars for a top OL with a pre-existing back condition. Wonder how we won that recruiting war? He took a gamble (ironic choice of words) on a player with a known injury and it didn't pan out. Seems to me that he literally and figuratively gambled quite a bit at UW!

Posted by Yakima Sundodger

5:22 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Kudos to Bob. There just comes a time when a person has to respond. It's amazing RN still has defenders but any school who hires him - including UW - deserves the grief he brings. Time to move on.

Posted by Michael K.

5:22 PM, Feb 13, 2008

What little ground game we did have was Tui. He'd get the ball past the line of scrimmage and then toss the option to Alexis. If you want proof on who was responsible take a look at Alexis' rushing totals after Tui left!

Posted by alex

5:28 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Bob...lost some respect for you here...first, having a quote from a spokesman is not getting it from Donahue...you seem to only see grey here and it is very black and white to me. Second, you should know better than to use Millen as your star witness, not exactly a neutral party. Finally, I get calls from competitive firms at least 3x a month...the smart thing to do is be respectful and listen to what else is out there...I still haven't left, but i haven't closed any doors either, which in the longrun is the most logical way to handle that situation.
Kind of disappointed to be honest. In all honesty you kind of made Hayes point for him.

Posted by Hammtime

5:34 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Bob,

What has happened to the Times? It was once my favorite paper....was.

No, it wasn't the series on the criminal Dawgs that has me upset. Although there was a definite tone and agenda to the series - enough to make Fox News look truly "fair & balanced."

No, it wasn't the FAILURE of the paper to report these serious criminal offenses when they FIRST happened but instead looked the other way like everyone else. Oh, and then report them eight years later as if it were all the sudden news. Anything else from 2000 you guys might think is newsworthy NOW?

No, what finally broke the camel's back and made me realize how far the Times has sunk is this "he said, she said, we said so they said" junk. When a NEWSpaper resorts to this type of coverage and information it falls to being nothing more than a gossip magazine.

How disappointing and sad.......

Posted by Dave

5:36 PM, Feb 13, 2008

h19, never said the two bad running game years were ok. Go back and re-read my posts in this thread if you want. I won't rehash it again. BTW thought your comments on Punahou in the other thread were fine and interesting context.

Posted by Keep Going Times!!!!

5:37 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Bob & the Times,

You want to regain some credibility? Expand your investigation into the UW.

Expand it to the high school level.
Expand it to other universities.
Expand it to the Pro's.

You only uncovered the tip of the iceberg. Otherwise, you guys aren't any better at reporting than your average community college. paper.

Posted by Bob Condotta

5:44 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Hammtime --- This is just the blog, a place to discuss this kind of stuff. This isn't in the paper or on-line. Out of thousands of posts I've put on here this year, this is the only one of this kind.

Alex ---- Never said he couldn't look around, just said one could argue whether that's really loyalty.

Posted by Mike D

5:50 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Can somebody please explain to me why the Seattle Times owes anything to the UW?

You can't, because it doesn't.

So quit complaining about bad UW pub. The Times reports stories of interest...which is what all of these are. I'm a Husky fan, I hate to read negative pub just like the next guy, but the best way to not have this reported is to NOT CREATE THE REASON FOR THE STORY IN THE FIRST PLACE.

As for this response, I've read Condotta's articles since I was in high school. He's arguably the most objective sports writer I've ever read. End of story, Hayes (and Neuheisel) are choads.

Posted by Bob Condotta

5:51 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Alex --- Also, how is having it from Donahue through a spokesman worse than having it from no one at all? TSN has never said who their source is on this. I'm telling you exactly who ours is.

Posted by Dave

5:57 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Bob you have to admit he has a point on that. You have it from hearsay, not straight from Donahue. Hearsay is sometimes reliable and in this case it probably is, but that isn't quite the same thing as a direct quote.

Posted by jed

5:58 PM, Feb 13, 2008

That RN's success here and at Colorado was with players recruited and developed by a previous coach( Lambo at UW and McCartney at Colorado) there can be no doubt. Many at CU were shocked and somewhat relieved we hired Neuheisel.

That our early running success at UW was directly related to the unbelievable deceptiveness and timing in the back field of Tui also is absolutely undeniable to anyone who followed the team. Locker is very fast, big and an elusive runner but he is a long way from the deceptiveness that Tui had. It is unclear whether he will ever be as skilled at the multiple option type offense. Tui had a gift which I doubt you can ever completely teach; to a degree he came with that gift. Dixon at Oregon this year was similar- virtually impossible to stop. Look how Oregon fell apart after Dixon was lost to injury

Posted by Bob Condotta

6:03 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Dave --- I respectfully disagree that it's heresay. I called the PR guy and he relayed the question to Donahue. He then gave me a direct quote from Donahue saying no. So are all comments from spokesmen heresay? And as I said above, isn't that better than an unnamed source?

Posted by Eastcoast Dawg

6:03 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Bob cut the crap your the true wessel at a seconce rate paper. Do the leading papers like the NY times, Washington Post or LA Times make these tabloid reports. You are who you are a low grade tablode reporter. Don't pretend to be anything else.

Eastcosst Dawg

Posted by Dave

6:08 PM, Feb 13, 2008

If we are really slicing the technicalities shouldn't it be attributed to the spokesman? If Bush's press secretary says something do you not attribute it to the press secretary? That is his spokesman.

Of course it is better than an unnamed source so you win one little point over Hayes on that sub-sub-issue, but you use unnamed sources from time to time as well.

You do great work Bob but I think something got under your skin a little bit here and this piece is not your finest.

Posted by smokeminside

6:19 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Husky 19, while I still can't fathom your Angotti comments, I agree with you here....RN deserves every bit of bad press he gets and I hope UCLA chokes on him.

As far as the newsworthiness of all this goes, there are many reasons UW football is where it's at now. I think the most important one is RN. I don't begrudge the Times reminding us of that, and I'm sure the Times will be there to report UW's success in the coming years.

Posted by Bob Condotta

6:22 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Dave --- You make a good point that we all use unnamed sources. In this case, I was just making the point that when Hayes questioned the veracity of our sources, I pointed out that we had it on the record from the person he claimed made the offer while he had it anonymously. That's all. And we did attribute it to Donahue through a spokesman at the time.

Posted by Dave

6:24 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Thanks Bob, and furthermore they were definitely better than the Beavers that year ;)

(just trying to insert a little levity)

Posted by Bob Condotta

6:28 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Dave --- Thanks for your input. I think everyone missed my point on that Beavers-Huskies post a while back. All I really was trying to say was that in retrospect, one could argue that OSU was probably more talented than UW that year, just looking at it from a purely physical standpoint. Obviously UW won that game, one of the greatest games I've ever seen, and deservedly so. Neuheisel did a great coaching job that night. But if you just objectively looked at the two rosters and what each did later, you might conclude that OSU was more talented. My point was mostly just what a great win for UW that was and the unfathomable at-the-time thought that if UW hadn't beaten OSU, the Beavers might have won it all.

Posted by Texas Dawg

6:51 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Bob,

Thanks for taking this one on head on. And... thanks for ignoring most of the ones who post insults, etc. on here.

I think there is room for honest discussion on here, however, if people go to insults then they aren't looking at it objectively, and they aren't people that we want on this blog for sure.

I do disagree with the Times for looking at 8 years ago, but that has no effect on the fact I think your blog is the best husky news I get. Thanks again for your work.

Posted by jon

6:59 PM, Feb 13, 2008

I'll grant this much --- when it came to Rick Neuheisel's time at UW, the truth was often as hard to find as a running game.

great truth, love the reporting, nice response.

It deserves to be long, since the attacks were personal against you in nature (somewhat)

Posted by Posidawg

7:00 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Regardless of what people think, I am very impressed with the amount of time you put into your blog. We haven't had anything like this, and I for one thank you.

Everything you responded to was exactly the way I remember it happening at the time. I felt Rick got a raw deal from Brand, but he didn't endear himself to the fan base with all of his flirtations with other jobs...the same fate that befell Bender. We probably would have kept Bender one more year if he hadn't burned his bridges earlier.

The rumor I heard about the Notre Dame job was that Rick was asked by them if he was interested. Supposedly he jokingly told them "he would be if they paid him 5 million a year. This got ND excited and the scheduled a meeting.

No one knows for sure what happened except Rick. I can honestly say that if he ever writes a memoir about his time coaching, it would be a best seller up here.

As far as the 2000 team goes, they weren't that talented, except at QB. Tui and Rick never panicked when they were down. I don't think of that team as being a typical Husky team though. Owens/James/Lambo teams were about running the ball down your throat like a Big-10 team. The 2000 team took their best weapon and built the team around it. If Tui would have went down, I don't think that team would have been .500. Just my two cents on all this.

Posted by Der Dawgvater

7:19 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Thanks for the rest of the story Bob. Appreciate your work

Posted by Pheel

7:54 PM, Feb 13, 2008

The only thing I get out of all of this is Slick Rick is still a weenie and the Times never should have ran their recent stories.

Posted by Vendetta...Who? Us?

8:25 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Would the Times please consider hiring Matt Hayes so that readers and fans could benefit from balanced reporting about Husky Football, past, present and future?

Fair and balanced, baby! (It would be like FOX vs CNN, where FOX is Matt Hayes and the Sporting News and the Clinton News Network is, was, and always has been the Seattle Times.)

Posted by Kharri

8:44 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Sorry but Seattle Times has no credibility in Seattle, and their vendetta is against UW not Neuheisal.

Posted by Spickard

8:48 PM, Feb 13, 2008

The interesting thing that no one at the Times is addressing is the Ted Miller issue. The point is that you can cover a subject in a way that tells the true story, usually by telling ALL the facts and refusing to shape the story through admission and innuendo.

The investigative report by the Times was good work, and then was completely bumbled in its final execution. It didn’t NEED omissions and innuendo. It didn’t NEED a snarky, unbiased tone. It could have been handled in a way that criticized the guilty while still reflecting the complexity of the situation. Rather, it implied that if you disagreed with the tone, you were OK with Jeremy Stevens raping young girls, etc. It implied that anyone who didn’t like the way things were said was willing to sell integrity for wins.

That's journalism? No, it’s agitprop.

In the process, we have been instructed by the Seattle Times to question Husky Football in general, so of course people feel the need to defend themselves from what (again, of course) feels an awfully lot like an attack. It feels like Stephens' (and the rest's) reprehensible behavior is being used by the Times to score some Woodward and Bernstein fantasy league points.

Does the Times owe the UW anything? Of course not, unless of course no one of us owe any level of decorum to anyone else.

This brings us to Bob. Bob, you are very good at what you do. I love your articles. I was a big fan at the Tribune and was disappointed when you left.

What's interesting is that it seems like you get defensive about criticism of the Times in the same way people here get defensive about Husky Football. You can deny that there's an edge to the criticism of Neuheisel, but it's obvious. This writer at the Sporting News may have been off on some things, but not on the Miller/P-I issue, which was really the most damning thing, and something that the Times (which you represent) has noticeably avoided addressing.

In the same way that the Seattle Times does not allow the 2000 Huskies and fans of that team to wash their hands of the stink of that season, you, as a fellow employee of the Seattle Times, can't wash your hands of the stink some of the very real issues involving the tone and willful omissions of this article.

Finally, all of this would be easier if the Times would simply come out and say things like “We question the role of big-time college football in society” or, by extension “we question the role of big-time Husky Football in Pacific Northwest society.” The problem is that in doing so, the Times might have to admit that they are drinking from the same trough as everyone else, and benefiting from it too. In the end, it’s not just covering the news, it’s selling newspapers, and Husky Football sells when society values it. Talking frankly about that rather than hiding behind a code of journalism would go a long way towards healing this rift rather than making it fester…but the festering sells papers, doesn’t it?

Posted by Fernpatch Dawg

9:17 PM, Feb 13, 2008

In Bob's defense, there have been numerous times things have been reported by others (like D. Walker coming here being a done deal to name a recent one), and he waited to check out the sources first. True, he reported that there were rumors out there, but also stated that they were just that... rumors with no credible source. I may not always agree with Bob, but I prefer to have the news a little late, so long as it's right. For that, I respect the man.

Posted by Fernpatch Dawg

9:20 PM, Feb 13, 2008

On another note, on thing that is a bit disconcerting about RN at UCLA is that he loves the place so much, he probably won’t go out looking for other “bigger/better” jobs. Thus, less lying. Notice I said “less”. You can take the leopard to a new jungle, but the spots all look the same. His spots will show soon enough.

Posted by losingcredibility

9:39 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Bob,

Are we getting a little defensive these days?

I guess you reporter types don't like others digging up the past(see 4 part Husky articles).

I agree with many of the posts that state they used to really enjoy reading the Times but not anymore. The Times needs to clean house. Lets get rid of yellow journalism and get some unbiased reporters.

If I hit this web site, I make sure to hit the PI or News Tribune 3 times. My attempt to give them more revenue via online advertisments.

LC

Posted by Fernpatch Dawg

9:44 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Wow, I almost got three posts in a row. That’s amazing! Is anybody out there tonight or is everyone too busy watching TV?

One of the big problems with the Times articles on the 2000 team is the way it ended. During the first articles, it built this big case about how things were mishandled by several people. The UW didn’t do… the police/courts never… media didn’t… But when it came to the big crescendo at the end, the air went out of the tires! There was no big so what now! I think that’s what infuriates people (myself included) about the series. At that point it made it old news that shouldn’t have been rehashed. The final article is a joke in itself. Poorly written, paragraphs and ideas that start and go nowhere. It’s like some journalist notebook converted into coherent sentences by a secretary, but they aren’t complete thoughts. It’s a joke of reporting, certainly not a Pulitzer prize worthy article as one deranged media source put it (can’t remember the exact one now, and can’t find it either, so I may be off on that point).

Also, when the editor comes out and says (to the effect) we have to have a purpose by bringing these things up yet has none in the culminating article, that’s a major problem. Now the whole nation is just waiting for the UW to do something great again… I can hear it now “they’re just a bunch of thugs and losers”. Great, next time we attain glory that’ll be our label. All because of a bunch of 8 year old dirt that had to be dug up and RE-smeared on our faces. Shame on the Times for getting out the shovel… especially bringing up people who have passes on from this life. How deep can you dig before you bury yourself? I for one think it’s time to move on from this and all other past issues and focus on the present. Sure we realize mistakes of the past and learn from them to make better choices in the future. Something I tell the kids in my 5th grade class every day. Move on, make better choices and don’t look back!

Posted by Chris

9:46 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Bob,
I couldn't stand Neu. But I have a really hard time not believing that the Times does not have a vendetta. That 4 part series you are so proud of was pretty sensationalist, was timed very conveniently against signing day and fund raising and really tried hard to dig up the past. Yes, there are legitimate cases on how these incidents were handled. But that was some of the most one sided reporting I've seen, has me worried that the Times is heading down the path of tabloid journalism. So you can't get too upset with other media will take pot shots at this. All in all the Times has to be pretty happy with the publicity, so take the negative with the postive. I've always liked your blog and writings, can't say I'm that much of a fan with your newspaper anymore.

Posted by Chester

9:47 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Bob, don't you think your being a little self-rightous? The Seattle Times is notorious for NOT providing both sides of a story but then you hammer the Sporting News for not taking your side.
You do a great job covering the "football" aspects of the Husky football, focus on that.

Posted by Sumari

10:11 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Simple question Bob.

Why did the Seattle Times make the conscious decision to cooperate with the NCAA (as they broke their own rules) to suprise Neuheisal rather then report on the fact that Neu was being investigated for gambling, a course of action which would have sold many many papers?

That right there tells me all I need to know.

Posted by Bob Condotta

10:23 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Losing credibility --- Not trying to come off as defensive and if I did, sorry about that. Just trying to set the record straight about a few issues that I think have been misinterpreted. If I couldn't take criticism I'd never read this blog. That's almost all I've gotten the last three weeks. This is about the only time I've ever written anything of this sort so not like I've done this a lot. I said my piece --- this will be the end of it.

Chester --- Basically same answer.

Sumari --- Not saying I agree with your characterization of what happened, but I can't answer that either way as I don't make those decisions. All I wrote about in this essay today were issues I was directly involved with.

Posted by Got Bob's back

10:32 PM, Feb 13, 2008

I think all the people that bad mouth Bob just need to relax. Bob gives us one of the best sports blogging opporunities (Geoff Baker being the other) on the website. How bored would som eof us be if we could not write and share our opinions with each other about the Football and Basketball programs on a minute by minute basis.

He is simply defending the comapny that he works for. What if he decided to bad mouth the times? The company that writes him a check every two weeks. All the haters just need to relax and appreciate the forum that Bob creates for us to discuss.

Keep up the outstanding work Bob

Posted by Blue

10:50 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Bob, maybe you are being defensive, but what's wrong with that? Seriously. The guy sorta-indirectly brought you into the article he wrote and you just decided to "set the record straight". We'd all do the same if we felt we'd been wronged. I suppose that's being defensive, but why that's bad is lost on me. Frankly, I enjoyed reading your side of the story. It was insightful and I think you were right in posting it. Take care.

Posted by tucannonriv

10:56 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Wow Bob. This may be your longest post ever. Methinks the lady doth protesteth too much.

It's not ironic that you spend so much time and energy trying to defend yourself against a column that didn't name you. It's pathetic.

Posted by Dave

11:07 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Posidawg @ 7:00, Tui was the heart and soul for sure but don't forget, there were 12 future pros on that team plus C-Dub and the notorious Jeremiah Pharms. Now there were other Husky teams with as much talent that didn't do as much, that is also true. '96 and '97 come to mind. But the 2000 team did have a pretty fair amount of talent to go with their inspired play.

Posted by condottarulz

11:13 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Bob,

I love your work on the blog, but I'm not real impressed by "sources" consisting of a second-hand spokesman and self-interested UW staffers denying the existence of something they would not want to admit if true (i.e, RN had the UCLA offer). That being said, unlike Hayes, at least you have a source...any source. I'd be interested to know Hayes' background because he writes like a real RN apologist. There must be some connection. His 2/10/08 entry curiously opens with the comment that he was in LA "spending time with Rick Neuheisal" which is interesting.

Finally, I can't say I was too impressed by David Boardman's "resposes" to self-selected paraphrased questions. Were any letters to the editor ever published in response to "Victory and Ruins", or do we just get watered down paraphrased questions, self selected by Boardman, and his meaningless pre-meditated responses?

As for reliving these events, the following thoughts come to mind through Word Association:

Dana Ricardson: Incompetent
Myles Brand: Egotistical
Rick Neuheisal: Arrogant
Barbara Hedges: Worthless
David Boardman: Weak
Tyrone Willingham: Integrity

Posted by Former Subscriber

11:19 PM, Feb 13, 2008

I tried to post a rational entry but your second rate system gave me repeated errors. Here are the cliff notes:

The Times shows public disdain for the greatest institution, of any kind, in the Pacific Northwest. Turn in your credentials and allow someone without prejudice or hatred toward UW cover this program.

Posted by tucannonriv

11:24 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Spikard - you nailed it

Bob - Why no response on the Ted Miller issue spikard brought up? You seem quick with a retort re: a running game (or lack thereof); but the silence is deafening when it comes to Ted Miller, and his having exposed the Times' agenda.

Posted by Bob Condotta

11:31 PM, Feb 13, 2008

Since I'm still awake and at the computer I'll address a few of these.

Tuccanriv --- As I explained at the top of this, I didn't write the stories Ted responded to so it's not my place to respond back. I'd be speaking out of turn and without any knowledge about why those stories were written the way they were. I did write the stories at issue here, so that's why I responded.

To those who seem to think this is another attack at the school, if anything, this would be regarded as defense of the school's point of view on most, if not all, of these issues, though that's not my intent at all simply because all I'm trying to do is get at what really happened. Had Terry Donahue said Neuheisel got offered the job, I would gladly have written that. But he didn't.

Posted by boobie

1:32 AM, Feb 14, 2008

The Times has it out for Ty and the UW Football team. I wish you would move the entire staff to Alabama where you folks would be destroyed. Pathetic tabloid crap.

At least the National Enquirer Enquirer asks that one source be named. You didn't bother to do that. Pathetic attempt at rationalizing your anti-Husky drivel.

Posted by Whiteoake Husky

1:41 AM, Feb 14, 2008

Bob, well I think that went about as well as could be expected. Let's get this straight, some reporter is palling around with the weasel and decides to write an article defending his buddy by attacking your credibility and you feel compelled to defend your honor by clarifying your sources for what you wrote? Who's the reporter and who's the spin doctor here?
Ain't it a bitch when editorial pieces get presented as a news article? Kind of how I feel about the tone of the series written by the Times. I know, you didn't write that stuff, but you're a member of the organization and get tarred and feathered by association. This time it is Matt Hayes' turn to do the tarring. He chose to insinuate that your work was half-baked. Your citations are very explicit and definitive.
So what? In this matter, fact is buried by bias and soundbite. At least you got an official rejoiner in print. After Neuheisel has crashed and burned in LA, someone may take note. However, this blog has taught me recently that when it comes to sports, emotion trumps facts and reason. I doubt anyone of import will pay any attention.
I wouldn't want your job monitoring this blog. Tough crowd.

Posted by wtf

2:00 AM, Feb 14, 2008

Good job Bob, Now we know you will write whatever it is that keeps your bosses happy.

You lackey. You again fail, have fun while the circulation of your hack paper continues to go down.

Posted by Mike Hunt

5:07 AM, Feb 14, 2008

Blah, blah, blah.
Who cares, the times is a rag, RN is a crook.
How about writing a 50 part special about how Billy Joe Hobert is a POS. Or is he working at your "newspaper" now too?

Posted by Tarn

6:13 AM, Feb 14, 2008

My money is on the fact that the Times' reporters will not let up on the Husky program until Ty opens practices to them. It's a squeeze...

Posted by rjkeats

7:23 AM, Feb 14, 2008

Bob:

Rick Neuheisel was was WORST thing to ever happen to UW football. Dragging UW through the mud eight years after the fact is one thing. Attempting to glean truthful, contemporaneous information from a liar of a man, and waste of a coach is quite another. Everything you said about RN is true and I agree that it supports UW. UW, along with CU and shortly UCLA are victims of RN and his delusions of grandeur (but we did make some horrible decisions completely on our own). Nevertheless, he was an awful coach, an awful recruiter (although his players looked great on the internet) and he is the single # 1 cause for the bottom dropping out of UW football. Thank god we were able to start the building when we did. Don't worry about what these jerks are saying, Bob. Your blog is excellent and I'm an avid reader. Keep posting prodigiously.

In Jake I Trust. Go Dawgs.

Posted by Bill

7:39 AM, Feb 14, 2008

You're covering your a#@ Bob.

Posted by Urple

8:16 AM, Feb 14, 2008

Why the long response Bob? You say you aren't being defensive, but yet you go toe to toe on every aspect of what the Sporting News wrote?
Your responses to the UW 4 part series on your blog were basically a paragraph, and never mentioned highlights from others views.

And why are you continuing your bias in your responses? Lots of people are asking questions or expressing views, such as FernDawg, and you aren't replying. You take the easy responses.

And why does it matter if the Seahawks were going to the Superbowl to not release the 4 UW stories? My guess is you were already selling papers, and waited until a slow time to release... Why were the 4 UW articles on the front page and not in the sports section? That does help sell papers...

Posted by ILiveInHoth

8:21 AM, Feb 14, 2008

No vendetta, huh?

Saying there isn't a vendetta and then releasing the victory and ruins just as Neu gets back in the Pac 10 are contradictory stances. - as a former 49er would say "If it looks like a rat, smells like a rat . . ."

Speaking of the 49ers, coaching job offers are never really offers until they take the job. Of course everyone is always honest about coaching jobs. Does anyone recall the Nick Saban Alabama saga? You would have thought he didn't even know Alabama had a football program and I'm sure Pete Carroll has never been offered any NFl jobs either, and if I knock out a few teeth tonight the tooth fairy will give me 100k each.

Posted by Bob Condotta

8:27 AM, Feb 14, 2008

Urple --- Don't know how much more clearly I can state it. I didn't write that series so I can't really comment on it. All the questions asked of the series I don't have the answers for because I wasn't in those meetings, didn't conduct those interviews, etc. Not passing the buck, but I'd be out of place to answer those. I wrote long on this because I figured it was the detail that would make my point better.

Posted by Andy H

8:54 AM, Feb 14, 2008

Bob, I'm not a huge fan of the times because it seems to me like they have a vendetta against the school itself.

However, I totally agree with the statements you make here about Neuheisel. This Sporting News guy is off his rocker.

Bob, wasn't Jim Mora with the 49ers at the time of Neuheisel's interview? I always assumed that's where Millen got his information. And if so, I would definitely trust him to know what's going on.

Posted by HuskyBCS09

9:19 AM, Feb 14, 2008

We are all bitter in one way or another, but lets move on. My predictions for the Pac-10 for 08:
1. USC
2. ASU
3. UCLA
4. UW
5. Oregon
6. Cal
7. Stanford
8. Ore St
9. UA
10.WSU

Whats yours?

Posted by GDawg

9:53 AM, Feb 14, 2008

Husky 19, Cody Pickett threw for 4,400 yards one year, that's a lot of O

Posted by BhamDawg

10:28 AM, Feb 14, 2008

Cody Pickett's passing yardage was a direct result of having no running game which reqiured passing on virtually every down. The only option was to pass since the only strength on the team was in the receiving corps led by Reggie Williams. Cody was a decent QB but not great as evidenced by his difficulties in the NFL. He probably would be better at another position than QB.

Posted by Huskiebob

11:22 AM, Feb 14, 2008

Ricky does not seem to know how to tell the truth and because of that, I as an avid Husky fan lost faith in him. Over time the one thing that became apparent was Rick is loyal only to himself. He certainly has a feel good personality and is exceptional at telling people what they want to hear but his consistent inability to walk his talk and lie was his downfall. Always wondered how such a supposedly smart guy could do so many stupid things.

Posted by BhamDawg

11:49 AM, Feb 14, 2008

RN was the Bill Clinton of football coaches. This is coming from a Democrat.

Posted by guest

11:55 AM, Feb 14, 2008

Husky BCS09,

I hope you are right and I am wrong, but here are my thoughts-

1) USC
2) UCLA
3) OSU
4) UA
5) UO
6) ASU
7) CAL
8) UW
9) STANFORD
10) WSU

Bob,

As one of your defenders, I honestly thought you came across as a bit irritated with Hayes (if not defensive).

But I loved your blog entry and really like getting the "behind the scenes" view of the program from you (or other insiders you interview) every once in a while.

Posted by chris

12:03 PM, Feb 14, 2008

Spickard –

I wanted to acknowledge your 8:48 post. It's the best post I've seen on the investigative series. I agree with everything you said, except that "good work was done, minus the final execution". I haven't seen any indication that a proper amount of research and diligence was put into gathering all information and perspectives on the incidences described. So I'm not sure how you can speculate (unless you know something I don't) that good work (I assume you mean research) was done.

Besides that, spot on that the article could have framed the incidences among bigger questions of football in society, etc. and told the full picture of the state of the program at the time rather than segmented cases. Help the readers connect the dots!

As for the Sporting News article – I don’t see any evidence the Times has a vendetta against Rick. I don’t think they have a vendetta against the UW program either, though I have to question the overzealousness they’ve used to reportnon-or-minor issues, basically creating their own stories and subsequent debate (more hits to the website!).

Posted by Joe_L

12:32 PM, Feb 14, 2008

"Expand it to the high school level.
Expand it to other universities.
Expand it to the Pro's."

What not expand it to The Times?

Posted by Guest

12:32 PM, Feb 14, 2008

Spickard,

I typed a response last nt to your 8:48 post as well, but it got eaten by the "captcha" thing and I had not been smart enough to save it first. Essentially it said-

I think your criticisms are all very vaild and spot on - although I did think the series was well written and generally have defended it.

I read Miller's column that was in response, and it would be nice to see the Times author's thoughts in response. But it would not be right for Bob to speak for them and it is not realistic to expect that of him.

Posted by MPM

1:13 PM, Feb 14, 2008

Good job refuting untrue implications from The Sporting News.

But everything after Bud Withers' account of the trial looks more like anti-Nueheisel ranting than pro-clearing-the-air.

Not that I mind a good anti-Nueheisel rant, but it hardly refutes implications of bias.

Posted by Steve

1:40 PM, Feb 14, 2008

Can't we all just get along! Can't we all just agree what a major F%^& Up it was to hire Neuheisel. He was the single worst thing to ever happen to the UW.

Oh, bye the way, can't wait to see how messed up UCLA is going to be in 5 years!!!

Posted by youcannothaveitbothways

3:15 PM, Feb 14, 2008

Bob: I really like your blog and read it daily. In the past, you have always said that you are not a columnist and therefore don't share your opinion. Well now you have because "This is just a blog..." You have an opinion about the journalism over at the Sporting News, and you must have one about Times v. Miller, either your paper treated Miller fairly or it didn't. You read the articles. Whose right? It is really, really weak to say that the SN did not treat the Times fairly but refused to answer whether the Times treated Miller fairly. Maybe you should go back to your "no opinions" rule.

Posted by screwthetimes

3:54 PM, Feb 14, 2008

I find it freaking hilarious/ironic that someone writes a piece damning the Seattle Times "crack writing staff" and you feel the need to write a rebuttal. I wonder if the Times would let anyone write OP-ED rebuttals for your stupid 4-part series on how U-DUB is such a terrible place to go to school? Don't even try to suggest Dr. Emmert's statement, was anything of the sort either. You guys are laughable, keep at a Bobby!

Posted by wayupwaydown

4:36 PM, Feb 14, 2008

Wow, a lot of energy and bile thrown at the Times and Bob.

I am not a UW alumn. I am a college FB and BB fan though who lives here and I do go to games.

The original Times piece on the Rose Bowl team was timely and relevant to what has been going on at the UW. With many folks wanting Ty's head, I thought it was not only important, but fair to do an in depth report on how the FB program got to this point. For those of you thinking the Times has a vendetta or something, well the truth hurts I guess. But maybe by bringing it all up, it will make people pause and think about what they want form the UW FB program.

I am one that thinks it is important to study and understand history so as to not repeat the mistakes of history. As much as I like college sports, I still have to remind myself that college's, and especially state funded universities are supposed to educate students.

As far as this blog piece that many of you are upset with, the way I read it stood up for the UW in their decision to get rid of RN. He was not a great hire no matter what he did to win a Rose Bowl. Indiana has a good BB team this year. Do you think Kelvin Sampson was a good hire today?

Keep up the great work Bob.

Posted by Spanaway Dave

6:47 PM, Feb 14, 2008

Bob,

You do good work, keep it up.

I understood the value of the series.
I understood you didn't write it.
I understand this is a blog.

I understand your stories are a little different than a blog.

I understood you were merely correcting factual misstatements by the Sporting News columnist regarding what you had written.

I understand Rick Neuheisel was a bad hire, a sleazy liar, and someone who bent the rules as much as possible ... sometimes breaking them ... leaving the UW football program in ruins.

I also understand the difference between sharing a story and pursuing a vendetta. Vendettas are driven by agenda and don't usually let the facts get in the way.

Pointing out a lie, as well as the fact that this is a frequent occurrence, is simply an observation of fact.

Some knuckleheads here don't understand that.


(3rd attempt)


Posted by Mike in Raleigh UW '82

9:07 AM, Feb 15, 2008

Excellent write up on the Sporting News. Not sure why they bother discussing College Sports, or much of anything else besides baseball. They seem to be consistently off the mark and well behind the curve.

It doesn't take a vendetta to make slick Rick look bad. A simple clarification of the facts leaves a pile of rotting garbage.

Good point on the running game.
Nice work.

Posted by Dan

12:02 PM, Feb 16, 2008

Isnt it nice how Neuheisels does great with other coaches players? But when he get his own players his teams blow. I saw it first hand at CU. Here is hoping that UCLA gets probation. Serves them right for firing Dorrell!

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