TOP OF THE TOWN – It was a strange week in the current history of regional sports teams. The strangest was the surprising resignation of Washington Husky football coach Chris Petersen. Nobody saw that coming. Just as few saw the Huskies keep their strangle hold on the Apple Cup. This was supposed to be the year that the Washington State Cougars would take their Air Raid offense and soar over a Husky team that had not lived up to expectations and was just 3-5 in the Pac-12 North. And then how about those Seahawks?  This is a team that wins, but wins close enough to cause major heart attacks for its 12th men and women. And the Husky men’s basketball team, young and jumping around like Mexican Jumping Beans, show flashes of brilliance and flashes of Sisters of the Poor going against Notre Dame. Yet they continue to win, somehow. So go figure. The Husky dribbles allowed visiting South Dakota get within four points late in their game on Monday night and then reversed course and won by 20 points, 75-55, to shove their record to 6-1 and a 22nd ranking in the Associated Press poll. At times these Huskies throw the ball around like it’s a hot potato and then they turn it on and look like the Boston Celtics of the Bill Russell era. But back to Chris Petersen. Six years into his tenure as head football coach for the team residing along Montlake Petersen said hello I got to go. So he did, officially quitting after the 7-5 Huskies play in a bowl game to be replaced with defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake, who is itching to get busy with his first head coaching gig. The story about Petersen is that he didn’t really want to be a football coach. His day, Ron, a former high school coach, said in a Seattle Times story that, “He was the typical coach’s kid who gets exposed to all those things, so it was second nature to him. But he didn’t want to have 18- to 22-year-olds determining his happiness. So he said he was not going to coach.” Chris Petersen was born in Yuba City, Calif and was the quarterback at Sacramento City College. He later went to UC Davis to quarterback and it’s where he got his bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in educational psychology. He had no intention to be a coach, yet he relented when the Davis coach asked him to coach the freshman team. From there his coaching career took off and when he resigned at Washington he was earning $4.85 million a year. Petersen got burned out. Being a college football coach means you work year around, just not in season, and it finally got to him that there is more to life than football. So he said Hello and goodbye. Good for him. Maybe when his batteries are recharged he will reconsider and get back into coaching, but for now he’s content to spend time with his family, although he will continue to act in some as yet unknown capacity for the University of Washington. Before he left, Petersen again got the better of Mike Leach and his Air Raid, winning 31-13 at Husky Stadium. Washington was the underdog in this contest, but somebody forgot to tell Petersen, who for the sixth straight time beat Leach. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Washington hadn’t played well or very consistent this season and the Cougars were flying in their Air Raid.  But Petersen (and Lake) have Leach’s number. They rush three and keep eight back and have figured out that leach runs only a few plays and doesn’t deviate from that. So Lake said last year it was easy to defense the Air Raid and he hoped Leach would continue to coach at WSU.  Now Lake will have the head coaching reins an we’ll see if that still holds true next season, if Leach doesn’t move on to some other school, which is always a  possibility. In the meanwhile, the Seahawks are 10-2 and facing a good Los Angeles Rams team this Sunday night in Los Angeles. They beat the Rams 30-29 at CenturyLink when a last-second Rams’ field goal missed. But the Seahawks appear to be better and the Rams have slipped some, although they are still very dangerous. So we’ll see if the Seahawks will continue to give 12th men and women heart attacks with another close victory. One more win in their next four games will put the Seahawks in the playoffs. As for the young Mexican Jumping Beans Husky dribblers they host Eastern Washington tonight (Wednesday) and Gonzaga on Sunday, which should be interesting because the Zags are one of the better teams in the nation. Nothing is guaranteed when the Huskies take the floor. They can be good and they can be bad. If they are bad against Eastern they could get beat. If they are good against Gonzaga they have a chance.  But that’s enough for today.

Be well pal.

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Have a great day.

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