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Originally published Monday, November 24, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Jerry Brewer

Jerry Brewer: Go ahead with your sports gossip — it's all the fun we have in Seattle

In this year of repetitive misery, it's only appropriate that our CD keeps skipping at the same point on the coaching carousel, too.

Seattle Times staff columnist

During this unsanctioned Jim Zorn Appreciation Day at Qwest Field, we hit the coaching gossip trifecta. Mike Holmgren, Jim Mora and Zorn on the same field, at the same time, in a city so dry on victories it's been forced to use speculation as an oasis to escape this dreadful football season? This was the filet mignon of diversions.

Imagining what could be, or how you'd like it to be, is infinitely more enjoyable than accepting what is. After a weekend that began with the Huskies falling to 0-11 and ended with the Seahawks slipping to 2-9, why analyze real games when there are plenty of fake ones to invent?

The return of Zorn, the local quarterbacking legend who tumbled into an NFL head-coaching job last winter, offered the chance to realize what a bizarre year it has been off the field, too.

The best football coach in the city, Holmgren, is on a nightmarish farewell tour. The favorite-son coach, Zorn, is in Washington. The young hotshot, Mora, is the Seahawks' coach-in-waiting, or so we've been told, and in many hopeful or delusional minds, he's the Huskies' best chance at resurrection. And the coach-a non grata, Tyrone Willingham, is trying to exorcise Keith Gilbertson for his don't-look-at-me farewell address.

Willingham couldn't make it to Qwest on Sunday, perhaps because it was an event for coaches with an upside, but he was certainly in the region, creating a superfecta of what ifs.

What if Holmgren hadn't announced his plan to leave the Seahawks? What if Zorn had been promised an offensive coordinator job in the future? What if Mora hadn't been a candidate for the Redskins job that spurred the Seahawks to define his future? What if Willingham had spontaneously combusted last December?

Maybe the puzzle pieces would fit instead of looking like they were jammed into place. Maybe our sports diet would consist of more than junk-food innuendo between raw servings of losing.

Or maybe everything would still be in disarray, and coulda, shoulda, woulda would remain the unofficial new state slogan.

What's certain is that, in this year of repetitive misery, it's only appropriate that our CD keeps skipping at the same point on the coaching carousel, too.

For Mora, that means he cannot avoid rumors that he's about to pull the coaching pump fake of the century.

The speculation just won't go away. Mora has issued a statement dismissing his candidacy for the University of Washington job, but the scuttlebutt adamantly maintains that he could still return to his alma mater. The story seemingly has no legs, but it'll likely squirm around until the Huskies hire their new coach.

The rumormongers either suffer from a worse case of denial than Shaun Alexander, or there's legitimate reason to have hope. Huskies athletic director Scott Woodward is keeping his search as quiet as possible, and the Seahawks have no interest in addressing something they consider a nonissue, so you're left to believe whatever you wish to believe.

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Even though the Huskies reportedly offered their job to Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, who then leveraged the love into a coach-in-waiting agreement with the Longhorns, the Mora whispers continue.

By the way, Mora's agent, Bob LaMonte, attended the game Sunday, which will only fuel speculation. Never mind that LaMonte is also Holmgren's agent and might've been in town for a routine check-in with his two guys. At this point, everything will be perceived as a sign.

It's gotten so out of control that it's unfairly hurting Mora's standing with Seahawks fans. The man hasn't done anything other than his job, and because the Seahawks secondary (along with their entire defense) has struggled, there's this foolish perception that he's suddenly the wrong man to replace Holmgren.

Zorn's success hasn't done Mora any favors, either. A recent Seattle Times poll asked which Jim should've been made the next Seahawks coach. Seventy-one percent of the 1,637 voters favored Zorn. Twenty-nine percent went for Mora. Sadly, voters weren't given the option of Jim Forman, aka Parka Boy at KING 5, but rumor has it that if he were a candidate, Woodward was prepared to visit Seahawks owner Paul Allen and trade Danger Jim for Prodigal Jim.

After all the talk, we're bound to be hit with the long-anticipated outcome.

Nothing.

Holmgren can't reverse his sabbatical decision. Zorn can't switch jobs. Mora can't, well, you know.

We think.

If nothing else, arguing otherwise gets you through the week. It sure beats analyzing missed field goals in the Apple Cup or crunchtime interceptions from Matt Hasselbeck. It sure beats our sports life, period.

So, gossip away. Just make sure Pinocchio isn't your trusted source.

Jerry Brewer: 206-464-2277 or jbrewer@seattletimes.com. For more columns and the Extra Points blog, visit seattletimes.com/sports

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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About Jerry Brewer
Jerry Brewer offers a unique perspective on the world of sports. Also check out Jerry's Extra Points blog, where he talks with readers about his columns.
jbrewer@seattletimes.com | 206-464-2277

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