Anyone who knows me very well, knows that I am a very emotional guy. If you don't believe me, ask Cindy or the kids when they see me get choked up and teary eyed when I see someone win money on Deal or No Deal. Maybe a manager or former manager can confirm by telling you how emotional I get when I so passionately try to get my point across. Well, I am very emotional right now as I share with you my feelings about going back to the Palouse, the name they give for the region in which Pullman, Washington and WSU sits so beautifully.
I think blogs are suppose to be somewhat short, so this will be tough, but there are so many things to talk about when I speak of my little over 9 years of my career and life there.
It is where I was able to connect with the greatest college Athletic Director and administrator of all time, Jim Livengood. Many have told me how good I have it, and all the credit goes to him. Only he could convince me that cold February day back in 1989 that WSU was right for me and my family. Jim has allowed me to fulfil all of my dreams as an equipment manager.
It is where I have met so many of my very best friends and people who have helped me get to where I am at today. Without these people I would be nothing! Just as much as Jim has allowed me this opportunity, guys like Jeff Bopp, who still makes me laugh today with his funny stories and sayings. Like JOOTP (just one of the perks). He has been one of the best perks of my career. Thanks Jeff.
Jim always said surround yourself with good people and everything else will work out. Well I must say I hit a home run when we hired JT Galloway from the golf course. JT is like a brother to me and is one of the best people I have ever known in my life. I will NEVER be able to repay JT for all that he has done for me. He is one of those rare people who has NO enemies. I am so proud of him. Thanks JT.
How about maybe the best student manager ever, Paul Lopez. I have told the story to so many about how rough those first few years were at WSU. Without Paul I don't think I could have made it. Maybe one of the best honors I have ever had bestowed upon me was the day he asked me to be the Best Man in his and Mary Ann's wedding. To this day, I talk to Paul almost daily and he continues to be one of my best friends, even though he is a Sun Devil. Thanks Paul, thats all.
Probably the most exceptional person I have ever had the privilege of knowing and working with is Brad Wilson. I tell people all the time, if you look up the definition of exceptional, his mug shot would be right there. Brad understands life. He is funny as all get out. He is a leader with no enemies. He is everything I wish I could be. I became a better person when I met Brad. Thanks Wilson.
One of my favorite stories is the day I met the Russell Athletic rep, Bob Cook. To say we didn't get off to a good start is an under statement! Today, he is everything that the definition of best friend means. He is without a doubt, the best rep I have ever had, and no doubt he is the best friend I have ever had. There is no fun like Camp David fun. There is no friend like Bob. Some of the best times in my life have been spent with Bob. He is the big brother I never had. Thanks Bob for EVERYTHING.
There are countless others who I worked with and met during my time as a Cougar in Pullman that mean so much to me, but I would have to write a book to mention it all. I still tell stories all the time about Jaguar Basketball (thanks B Rose and B dub), Cougar Pawthentics (thanks B Rose and Sean Scanlon), THE ROSE BOWL (thanks coach price and ryan leaf), the Page (thanks Bob), the perks, (thanks Ernie), the managers (too many to list), and on and on and on.
But the best part of it all is why I am excited right now, and why I am so emotional right now. You see, the best part of Pullman is because I got to work side by side with my real brother, my real best friend, and MY Best Man, Milton. He is the reason they invented the word PROUD. You see, he had had to deal with my wrath of passion more than anyone. The biggest compliment either one of us have ever received is the day players at both Sam Houston and WSU said they didn't even realize we were brothers when I left to go else where. We just got things done and didn't worry about the other stuff. He sealed the deal for me at WSU. Thanks Milty! I love you.
The bonus is I get to see Milty's family. Lisa, Megan and Trevor. I can't wait!
But everyone who knows me, and knows my emotions, knows that when the ball is kicked off tomorrow at 2pm in Pullman, all this stuff is forgotten. My emotions will be with my team, my guys, my school, my passion, Wildcat Football. Win or lose, after the game I will be right back across that field to give Milty a big hug, tell him I love him and how PROUD I am of him.
Can I get some Kleenex please!