By Mason Kelley
Washington coach Steve Sarkisian stood in front of his team Friday night and said, “Life is about experiences.”
He told the Huskies that the things each person goes through create the memories people carry with them for a lifetime.
Then he asked a question: “What do you want your memory to be?”
He wanted his players to think about the future. Not about what will happen when the Huskies take the field against Boise State, but years from now.
"What do you want to be able to tell the people who are close to you a year from now, five years from now, 10 years from?" Sarkisian asked. "Twenty years from now, when you come back to celebrate this team, what do you want to talk about?"
He then told his team to hold onto that thought as he continued his speech.
Sarkisian told the Huskies to play fast. He asked them to play with courage. And said they should, “have fun, man!”
Then he told a story about his 8-year-old son, Brady. He is playing pop warner football for the first time this year and “he loves it.”
Since Washington’s season conflicts with youth football practices, Sarkisian is forced to hear about his son’s experiences over the phone.
The one thing that stands out in each conversation is the excitement Sarkisian hears in his son’s voice, even when he’s talking about how he had to run down and “kiss the fence.”
When the Huskies take the field Saturday night, Sarkisian wants his players to “play” football. They have put in the work. Now it is time to enjoy the game as much as Brady enjoys practices.
"You own it," Sarkisian said. "So enjoy it. Don’t make it one where you come back and say ‘I wish I would have.’
Instead, when the Huskies look back on the first game in the new-look Husky Stadium, Sarkisian wants his players to to say, “I’m so glad I …”
He left his team with a simple message, reiterating something he said earlier in his speech: “Let’s have fun, man.”