When most of us slip on a patch of black ice in a parking lot or stumble over a crack in the sidewalk, the most mortifying part about it is if a handful of strangers are close enough to stare or snicker.
Unfortunately for Washington State coach Ken Bone, he had a far larger audience.
TV cameras caught Bone slip and fall to the ground midway through the second half of the Cougars' 75-65 loss to rival Washington on Sunday night when he ran onto the court to try to get the attention of a referee while signaling for a timeout. Credit Bone for being able to laugh at himself on the bench afterward and for being good natured when asked about his memorable tumble by reporters after the game.
"That was quite a spill," Bone said. "I hit the deck hard, but I'm fine. I'll bounce back just like I hope we do."
Bone's fall was an obvious metaphor for the second-half woes of his team.
Washington State led 47-37 with 12:16 remaining before the Huskies at last began playing to their potential, ripping off a 15-2 run to regain the lead and ending the game on a 38-18 finishing kick. Worse yet for Bone, it was a technical foul on his counterpart Lorenzo Romar for arguing a call that seemed to wake the crowd up and give Washington some energy.
Terrence Ross began to heat up. The Cougars went cold from the perimeter. And on the rare chance the Huskies missed, they cleaned up the offensive glass.
The victory for Washington raises its record to 4-1 in the Pac-12 entering a pivotal two-game homestand against co-conference leaders Cal and Stanford this week. Washington State (9-8, 1-4), meanwhile, will return to Pullman in hopes of salvaging its season — and finding Bone a less slippery pair of shoes.