Happy Wednesday to you, Followers. Hope you're having a great week.
Well, today, we begin the delicate process of trying to define the title of this here "Blog".
So, if you want to begin to explore what we mean by "Cougalicious", then read on.
Followers, in each of my lectures to the faithful here at the compound, I am always careful to stress the importance of opposites in understanding our conceptions of reality. So, as we collectively seek to define what it means to be "Cougalicious", understanding what Cougalicious is not (or what is not Cougalicious--whatever you prefer) is fundamental to our discovery.
And in my view, there is nothing more un-Cougalicious than over promising and under delivering.
After all, us Cougars tend to represent the opposite of "oversell, under-deliver:" We're the underdogs that overachieve!
And so it pains me tremendously that two of the men that I most admire in today's Cougar-laden society--Paul Wulff and Barack Obama--have developed messaging campaigns that rank right at the top of the un-Cougalicious scale.
Take for instance, Mr. Obama. Here is a guy who for all intents and purposes inherited one helluva mess when he took the country over in January of 2008.
I mean, due to no fault of his own, he walked right into a massive banking crisis, a housing crisis, the American automobile industry in the crapper, and arguably WORST OF ALL, many of the biggest states in the union (which therefore provide a large percentage of tax revenue) were mired in catastrophic budget deficits of their own. For instance, California's budget deficit was somewhere near $40 billion (and state workers across the board were already being furloughed) and New York State's deficit stood right around $25 billion--with a host of layoffs to teachers and other public service employees underway....
On top of those deficits, each of those states were hit hard by rising unemployment, housing foreclosures, decreasing/stagnant wages--all of the things that make you KNOW that the tax base needed to fuel a quick and enduring recovery wasn't coming around any time soon. And I mean, ANY time soon.
Of course, all of the people on Team Obama knew all of this (and more), so here's the message they should have provided to all of us:
"We've inherited a budget crisis that is beyond anything that any of us could have possibly imagined. So, here's the deal: We're going to pass a trillion dollar "stimulus" package, that isn't going to stimulate the economy. What it will do, however, is save us from having our unemployment rate jump from 9 percent to 25 percent or higher like it did during the Great Depression, while saving important institutions in the process....Unfortunately, at this time, that is the best that we can do: We have to avert disaster before we can begin to address the root causes of the economic crisis."
Instead, the message that came from camp Obama was as follows:
"This stimulus package will save millions of jobs and create millions of jobs.... The unemployment rate will fall below 8% as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act."
Really, Mr. President? I mean, I know you didn't really believe that, so why the hell say it?
Of course now, Team Obama is polling with a 62% disapproval rating from Independents, which is a near death knell for any incumbent president. And a big part of the reason? Over-promising and under-delivering.
NOT Cougalicious, Mr. President.
Not Cougalicious at all.
Notwithstanding President O'Bama's gaffes in messaging, Mr. Wulff hasn't been much better. Of course, we all know the mess he inherited from his predecessor. And while Wulff, like Obama, has moments in which he articulates the tough road ahead with conviction and clarity, he too seems like he just can't quite keep himself from screwing it all up.
Then, in December of last year, he made the bold proclamation that we were going to go bowling this year, and in so doing, rendered a season that would match his previous three year win total (5-7) a total failure!
Then yesterday in the Seattle Times,Wulff suggested that NEXT YEAR's Cougar Team should have the opportunity to compete for a Pac-12 championship and a birth in the Rose Bowl!
I mean, on one hand, I get what it is that he is saying. After all, by virtue of being a member of the Pac-12, every team in the conference is granted that opportunity, right?
But beyond that, I'm at a total loss as to what the hell the guy is thinking?!
Seriously, does the man consider an "opportunity to compete for a title" being mathematically alive in November a la Price's teams in 1992 and 1994? Or is he thinking that the team will be alive on the last week of the season, a la 1997, 2001, 2002, and 2003?
Either way, what evidence in the world is out there that suggests that this team would be ready for that type of run?
I mean, don't you think that it's important to first show that you can really compete with the conference's elite BEFORE you think you can win it? Isn't it better to qualify for the Kraft Hamburger Helper Bowl before you start talking about contending for a ROSE BOWL?
I mean, REALLY, Paul, don't you think that a good answer to yesterday's question on a VERY public forum would have been "You know, right now the only thing I care about is getting this young team back above .500. As I've said before, this is a process, and the next step for this program is to assert ourselves as a winning program."
But instead, we're talking about "Championships."
Cheez and Rice.
So, what happens now if, say, Wulff gets his fifth year, wins 8 games next year, but finishes 4th in the Pac-12 North. Should we fire our coach? Should we consider our coach as exempt from having to cash the checks he writes?
Meanwhile, I don't know whether you all have noticed, but our ugly brothers to the west have won 9 of their last 10 games,while the Cougies, during the same span, are 4-6. Mind you, that 4-6 record isn't bad when you think about where we were not long ago, but looking at the Puppies numbers? I mean, 9-1 is a trajectory that's trending hard towards the top 10!!!!
So, to be Cougalicious, dear coach and dear president, how about a different approach? How about just telling it like it is in the "here and now" and hope that the rest of us have grown out of our diapers just enough to handle it?!!!
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