Monday, October 22, 2012
A Collector's Item
Bill always wore his T-shirt proudly, at home on game days and in Moscow at the Kibbie Dome when he'd accompany Willie the University of Idaho to watch the Vandals play a home football game.
Willie reports on Vandal home games for the Idaho Press Tribune.
Bill knows this morning that he owns a collector's item, and Willie knows that he'll be questioning a new coach for his game reports.
We all feel a tinge of sadness that "Akey's Army" at the University of Idaho has become defunct.
As of today, it's anybody's "Gesser" as to what will happen next with the Vandal football squad. Former Cougar quarterback and current Vandal offensive coach Jason Gesser has been named interim coach for the remainder of the season.
This news came so fast as everything seems to these days. Mid-afternoon yesterday, we read of Coach Akey's firing.
Less than an hour later, we knew who would replace him for the rest of the season.
Today, everything will be all things Jason Gesser. I wonder what the new Vandal T-shirt will tout.
D'ya suppose they're already rolling hot of the machines?
We're not disputing that the Vandals could use some improvement. We watched as Louisiana Tech set national collegiate records against the Vandals Saturday night in a merciful 70-20-something clobbering.
The Idaho squad won only one game this year and lost big time in others.
Still, we enjoyed the undying excitement their coach injected into the Vandals over the past few years. We have a Vandal football poster in the shop from a couple of years ago proclaiming: You're gonna love it.
One sportscaster once called him "the coolest guy in college football . . . maybe even the coolest guy on the planet."
Writing about a post-game interview with Coach Akey, the ESPN reporter stated:
After the victory, Akey stayed on the field with the mobs of Idaho fans that rushed the field to celebrate. He finally decided to head back to the locker room, but I still needed to interview him before my sportscast that night.
I cut him off as he was walking off the field. Many coaches would look right through me, but Akey took the time to answer my questions.
When we were finished, Akey grabbed on to me, gave me a bear hug, and thanked me for being there. I beg you to name another college football coach that would do something like that. You can’t.
I'd wager to say that most everyone saw that same enthusiastic spirit and warmth in Akey, and that's why it's sad this morning to know he's no longer the standard-bearer for the Vandals.
We wish him the best because we know he gave his very best in challenging situations that are hardly the best in the world of college football.
Good Luck, Coach Akey in your next endeavor. We've loved watching you. We'll treasure the T-shirt and may just put it on the wall next to that Vandal football poster.