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Willingham Lines Up Excuses For Impending 0-12 Season

By all accounts, Tyrone Willingham is on the hot seat. I mean, I don't know how warranted it is. He got so much goodwill after the Notre Dame firing and even more after Charlie Weis got a mega-contract extension for doing essentially the same job Ty did before him. When he arrived at Washington, the team that was a National Champion not so long ago was 1-10. After a 2-9 first season, Willingham seemed to get the team back on track early last year, only to sputter and lose six of the last seven games and end up 5-7.

To be
fair, his star QB's season-ending injury corresponded to that losing streak. But the team is a big question mark this year and if they falter, the calls for his head will begin (sound familiar...)

When you factor in Ty's memory of how his third season went at Notre Dame, you can understand if he's a little on edge. He's got fans, boosters and reporters double-guessing him so often, his family dinners probably resemble the Will Ferrell "I Drive A Dodge Stratus" SNL sketch. So I suppose you can't blame the guy when he starts making excuses in advance to cover his own ass in case his team loses.

According to Donnie Webb:

"I'll be all over the weather report trying to figure out which door they open in the Dome to create the wind," said Willingham. "You laugh. No, when you play at some other places, you know that's important."

Willingham said there are differences playing in Dome stadiums such as the structure of the building and the lighting. Then he went a step further.

"The wind is different," Willingham said. "Some people would say, what wind? Always in a dome, you open certain doors. Things happen. It's a totally different environment."

Willingham didn't stop there. He then laid out preemptive excuses for each one of his team's impending losses.

Boise State:
"Trick plays are just classless. Run it up the middle and beat me like a man, you know?"

Ohio State:
"I'm not sure exactly how, but those buckeyes on the helmet send a signal to the brain that affects hand-eye coordination."

"There's just too many people in the Rose Bowl. It's overwhelming. Really gives the home team an unfair advantage."

"How can one team have so many halfbacks on a roster? I'm not saying it's illegal, I'm just saying..."

@ Arizona State:
"I know its sunny there but I swear they're pumping extra heat onto the field. It's not out of the question."

"YOU try playing a team in those uniforms. It's distracting how ugly they are. I wouldn't be surprised if that was the idea."

How do I know Bob Stoops isn't feeding his brother information to use against us? How do I know?"

@ Stanford:
"Harbaugh's a great guy but I know what's like for former players. They want to get back in the game so bad. I'm not saying he disguises himself as a player and goes in every fourth drive, know...I'm just sayin'..."

@ Oregon State:
"Remember what I said about Oregon? Well I guess its a statewide thing now."

"They just overwhelm you with all that liberal, hippie propaganda, its bound to get into the heads off some of my players, especially the freshmen. It's distracting and unethical."

Washington State:
They come in here taking about how much they want to beat us. Their fans talk about how important it is. People start calling it a rivalry. It places too much emphasis on the outcome of the game. It's unnecessary."

@ Hawaii:
"When you fly there, they make the planes circle the island for another two hours. I swear, I've seen it! Just to keep you cramped a while longer, make you uncomfortable. It messes with your body and your head."