PULLMAN — Sometimes, in the grand scheme of things, football is just a game. One Washington quarterback, blessed with a golden right arm and exceptional mind, has put things into perspective. Would he love to make an impact on the field? You bet. Would he rather impact the lives of others? Without a doubt.

2015 Union (Camas, Wash.) quarterback Nolan Henry (6-1, 175) already possesses the maturity and headiness any mother could ask for in her son. Henry has big dreams — dreams that include the likes of football. But that being said, football isn’t the end goal here, football is just an accessory.Nolan-Henry1

“I would love to play quarterback for a big time school,” Henry said. “I feel I can compete with just about anybody out there. I could be one of the top recruits in the country.”

And he can.

Henry already has accolades galore. He was named the top underclassman quarterback as a freshman at the Northwest Elite Camp in 2012, beating out 94 other candidates. He’s been named the MVP or “#1 Rated QB” in four camps already this season as a sophomore.

His work on the field this season has not gone unnoticed. Henry is receiving letters from Washington State, Colorado, and Arizona State, as well as constant interest from Portland State and Eastern Washington.

Henry has unofficially visited Washington State three times already, and says he really likes what he sees.

“The turnaround they’ve produced under Mike Leach is awfully exciting,” Henry said. “Seeing the numbers they’re putting up and the points they’re scoring… that’s awfully attractive to a quarterback. I’d love to play in that system.”

Henry himself isn’t used to posting outrageous passing numbers. In fact, he owns the school record for completions in a game with just 17. In the system Henry is accustomed to, running the ball comes first. And second. And third.

Henry owns school records for pass completions in a season (113) and completion percentage as well (63.1%). He only threw for nine touchdowns last year, but again, he’s a “victim” of the playbook.

BbUahibCQAAgx01While this 2015 prospect does admit the offensive scheme he plays in is inhibiting his ability to draw scholarship offers, he opines he can, and has, competed with the best quarterback prospects in the Northwest, and believes his game is up to snuff.

“Brett (Rypien) and I are good friends. We always go toe-to-toe in camps and such,” Henry said. “I’m always right there with him. We’re always neck and neck in different competitions.”

Rypien of course holds offers from several big-time schools already, and will surely rack in more and more as time passes.

“Brett is looking for a big time school. He’s looking for something big,” Henry said. “When choosing a school, I’m going to take absolutely everything into consideration, starting with academics.”

He continued.

“Would it be cool to play for a program with tons of tradition and history? Sure. But for me, I’m looking at life after football and I want to plan for it. I’m an education guy first.”

Though he is not born into a military family, Henry said he’s going to take a good look at the military institutions, as well as Ivy League schools in his college search. He boasts a 4.3 GPA, as well as an 1820 on the SATs. Scoring an 1820 on the SATs as a sophomore is pretty spectacular.

“I’m a man of character and I feel those institutions can provide me with the solid building blocks for life,” Henry said. “They can give me the tools to be a good man.”

Henry was quick to point out the Cougs are making quite an impression too, and will get a long, hard look.

“It’s awfully attractive over there,” Henry said. “I’ve received hand-written letters from Leach and some other letters from the staff. I really like what they’re doing over there. I mean, I’ve gone three times.”

As if Henry’s words weren’t enough, this past year he raised twenty thousand dollars for the people of Liberia. Henry was recently invited to the Elite11 competition in Pasadena, Calif., but will be foregoing that opportunity to bring supplies to the people of Africa, as well as help build the children a basketball court during his visit.

Henry is “Elite” in his own right.

No, this isn’t about a blown save (or three of the last five for that matter). That has absolutely nothing to do with it.

This has nothing to do with being sub .500 against a team with a 22-44 record.

This is about a bigger picture.

The ownership has shown complete and utter apathy toward the entire process. Jack Z himself has said he’s only really met the majority owner from Nintendo twice in his five years of running the team. They don’t come to the games, they don’t finance enough to put out a good product, it’s just terrible.

Chuck Armstrong and Howard Lincoln are a disaster in themselves. They have virtually no track record in baseball, and are too apathetic toward this product.

HigherupsArmstrong and Lincoln reportedly make it to less than a game a week, showing no interest in the product that THEY’VE CREATED from the ground up. All the failed general managers… Bill Bavasi and his horrific trades… the firing of Pat Gillick after three years out of four winning at least 90 games… it’s all those two. They don’t seem to have a grasp on any of it.

On top of all that, the Mariners have had 8 managers in 11 years, none of which have worked out. Piniella was a god, and Pat Gillick worked well with him, but again, Pres. Armstrong and CEO Lincoln decided to gut house. Since then, the Mariners have been the symbol of futility in the northwest, and nothing points to that turning around. The young talent is fizzling out, and the offense continues to sputter.

The front office put all it’s chips in an outfielder than hasn’t played in 100 games since 2010, instead of going out and signing Michael Bourn, who is having one hell of a season in Cleveland. bavasi0616%20004

Now, the team is so mangled that young talent, whom isn’t close to being major league ready, is being reached for to save jobs. Everyone is just hoping to put some ass’ in the seats and win 75 games with the excitement and infusion of ‘top prospects.’

To me, that’s bullshit.

I don’t care if we don’t bring in some bigger names to run the front office, and I know Jack Z is a big name, but bring in a president and CEO that will fight for the team and show a vested in interest in the product they have complete control over.

For that to happen, ownership may have to be forced out, and let’s be honest, that’s a tall order and glass of water right there.

This isn’t about ‘The Bartender’, but boy do I need a drink.

PULLMAN — Rien Long, the celebrated Outland Trophy winner from Washington State’s glory days a decade ago, has been out of the public eye since his NFL career was undone prematurely by injuries. Today, seven years since he took his last NFL snap, the pain of losing that career so quickly makes it almost impossible for him to even watch a game on TV.

But he hasn’t lost his ability to laugh (he’s pursuing a career as a standup comic) or love (he raves about his 10-year-old son Gavon).

Pro ball, though, still gnaws at him.

“I mean, I made ‘The League,’ but that wasn’t enough for me,” Long told me in a phone interview from his home in Nashville. “I wanted to play through the first contract and earn the big bucks. I wanted that second contract, the big one.”

Long was a fourth-round draft pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2003 following his first-team All-American junior season at WSU in 2002.

His first contract with the Titans was a four-year deal totaling $1.67 million. After three productive seasons with the Titans, he entered 2006 with 9.5 sacks and 39 starts under his belt. The future looked bright.

Then the injuries started.

“It sucked, you have no idea,” Long told me in a phone interview from his home in Nashville. “I headed to Clarksville (Tenn.) for my fourth camp and blew out my right Achilles on the first day.

“I worked my ass off for six to eight weeks,” Long said of the rehab process. “Then, I get out of the walking boot, first day out of it I re-tweaked (the same Achilles) pretty good. Back to the boot I went.”

Long had surgery and the 2006 season was lost. But that soon became the least of Long’s concerns.

“I got that surgery, but it never healed,” he said. “It developed the MRSA infection and there was an open wound there for six to eight months. It destroyed my Achilles. The infection just ate it up.”

The Titans put him injured reserve for 2007 and then waived him.

After rehabbing for almost a year and a half, Long again began to train in earnest for another shot in the NFL. That’s when he tore cartilage in his left knee.

And then came the scariest chapter in his injury odyssey.

Shortly after tearing up the knee, Long’s football career — and nearly his life – came to a permanent end in a grisly car accident.

“Heath Ledger and I died on the same night,” Long said of his January 2008 accident. “Thing is, I somehow made it through it.”

Long said he was driving his Ford Mustang, the self-proclaimed ‘fastest car in Tennessee,’ too fast on a slick highway on-ramp. The thrill-seeking Long lost control and hit a rock wall at more than 80 miles per hour.

“I crushed myself in my own car,” Long said. “I died in the ambulance, I died a couple days later in the hospital, but I’m still here.”

He was in critical condition with multiple injuries and spent 10 days at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Living, breathing and on the mend. But the NFL career was, for all intents and purposes, over.

“It’s like having a big snickers bar,” Long said. “You take one bite of it, then somebody bumps you and it falls in a pile of dog crap. I wanted that whole snickers bar.”

Long tried to resurrect his career in the humblest of ways, working out for the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League. Unfortunately for Long, his legs were not the same, and he retired shortly after joining the league.

“I can’t watch football anymore,” said Long, 31. “It’s like having a really hot girlfriend, and now I have to watch her with somebody else.”

He attention now is focused on acting and stand-up comedy – so much so that he’s in the process of moving to Los Angeles to pursue the dream.

Wherever he goes, however, the rolling fields of the Palouse aren’t far from mind. He says he dearly misses Pullman and Cougar football. “I miss the whole town, I miss it so much,” Long said. “I miss the whole experience. I miss the football. I miss my teammates. You can’t get that anywhere.”

PULLMAN — A year older now with a full season under their belts, head baseball coach Donnie Marbut believes his young pitching staff is ready to make waves in Pac-12 play in 2013. On offense, inexperience and new faces have many asking whether or not a lack of run support will leave the Cougs in a proverbial pickle.

Cougar baseball is young — very young.

The Cougs lose their top five hitters from last year’s 28-28 team: Derek JonesTaylor ArdKyle JohnsonPatrick Claussen and Tommy Richards. So a logical question is this: Where will the runs come from in 2012?

Head coach Marbut isn’t worried. He’s confident the team will find runs aplenty.

“Your good players have to step up and play good for you to win,” Marbut said. “We’re going to have a much more balanced lineup this season.”

Marbut said last season’s lineup was top heavy, anchored by two very accomplished hitters in Ard and Jones. This year, Marbut believes the team will be consistent across the board, scrapping up wins the nitty-gritty way.

“I like this team a whole lot,” Marbut said. “We expect to be a post-season team every year. We want to play for championships. We haven’t done that yet, but it’s our dream to go to Omaha and bring home that championship.”

Top returners on offense are infielders Adam Nelubowich (.254, 36 RBI in 2012) andIan Sagdal (.251, 20 RBI), designated hitter/catcher Collin Slaybaugh (.296, 16 RBI), catcher P.J. Jones (.303, 20 RBI) and outfielders Jason Monda (.275, 18 RBI) andNate Blackham (.265, 10 RBI).

Among them, they produced just six home runs last season, with Nelubowich setting the pace at four, followed by Monda and P.J. Jones with one each. By comparison, consider that Derek Jones and Ard accounted for 21 last season.

But power help is seemingly waiting in the wings, says Marbut.

Sophomore outfielder Yale Rosen of Oak Harbor may fill the void. The 6-2, 208-pounder saw limited action last season as a true freshman, getting just 23 at-bats and hitting a paltry .087. But over the summer he really made a statement.

“He’s one of the reasons we feel good about this club,” Marbut said. “Derek Jones is the all-time leading home run hitter at Washington State. (Rosen’s) got all the power Derek had.”

Marbut said Rosen’s accomplishments this past summer in the New England Collegiate Baseball League led many to believe he’s poised for not only a breakout season, but also a bright future down the road.

In 30 games this summer, Rosen batted .330 while driving in 36 runs, all the while adding 12 long-balls.

Rosen was named a top pro prospect out of the summer leagues by Baseball America.

The pride of Kallispell: Joe Pistorese posted a 2.44 ERA in 12 starts last season.

“He had a great summer — a marvelous summer, really,” Marbut said. “He had his freshman struggles as everyone does, but he’s ready to play now.

Another promising Cougar who appears ready to play this season is shortstop Trace Tam-Sing. The junior from Bellevue played in only six games last season due to injury after starting 24 as a freshman in 2011 when he hit .254 in 71 at bats.

On the mound, Marbut said the Cougs expect to showcase a front-end rotation highlighted by a three-headed sophomore rotation of Joe Pistorese (2.44 ERA, 4-3 record in 66.1 innings in 2012), Tanner Chleborad (4.24, 4-3, 74.1), and Scott Simon (4.09, 2-3, 50.2). Pistorese is a lefty, Chleborad and Simon righties.

“They were young. They were really, really young,” Marbut said. “A year older, these kids have seen it now. They know what to expect.

A sophomore-heavy rotation isn’t uncommon in college ball. Because of the extensive Major League Baseball draft, a lot of young, accomplished arms elect to leave for the pro game earlier rather than later, leaving senior starting pitching a scarce sight in collegiate baseball. All three were drafted out of high school.

“In a perfect world, you’d love for a player to be there for all four years but that’s just not the reality,” Marbut said. “We were fortunate to keep them all as recruits and now we have a chance to have a really good, well, probably the best rotation we’ve ever had here come next year if they continue to progress.”

Junior J.D. Leckenby out of Buhl, Idaho, looks to be the Cougars’ closer in 2013. He started 14 games last season, going 4-7 with a 4.50 ERA and a team-high 80 innings. As a freshman in 2011, Leckenby appeared in 18 games, all out of the bullpen, and posted a team-leading 2.28 ERA among relievers.

The Cougs will open up the season February 15 with a three-game series at Western Carolina, and then come home for two four-game series’ against Eastern Michigan and Cal State Northridge.

The Cougs have an exhibition game scheduled against the San Francisco Giants in Scottsdale, Ariz. on March 13, though a start time has yet to be set. WSU has 14 true freshmen on the roster, but  unfortunately won’t have prized pitching recruit Mitch Gueller, who signed a letter of intent with WSU, isn’t among them. He was drafted 54th overall by the Philadelphia Phillies in June and accepted a $940,000 bonus to sign with the franchise rather than head to college.

The path has not only opened, but cleared out in an almost eerie way. In the span of one week, David Gilbertson and Jeff Tuel bowed out, respectively electing to forego and stop fighting for fifth seasons. And Cody Clements, per multiple sources, is transferring. That suddenly puts Austin Apodaca front and center against Connor Halliday for the right to quarterback the Cougs in 2013.

Apodaca, a freshman scout teamer this past season, looks poised to give Halliday a challenge when spring ball commences in March.

He’s athletic and strong armed, and turned in solid work on the practice field over the fall.

Apodaca points to the work this year of two second-year freshmen for inspiration in the possibilities that can come from a young gun at quarterback.

“I’ve got to have that moxie,” Apodaca said. “You look at guys like (Texas A&M’s) Johnny Manziel and (Oregon’s) Marcus Mariota. Those guys set the standard. They’ve got that moxie.”

Both Mariota and Manziel beat out prohibitive favorites at the quarterback position at their respective schools this year. Both put up gaudy numbers in 2012 as redshirt freshmen. Apodaca hopes to do the same.

“Coach Mike Leach always says it’s great to have friendships and everything, but at some point you have to compete,” Apodaca said. “I don’t want to sit here and ‘wait my turn.’ I’m going to go in with a chip on my shoulder and fight for that job.”

As a senior at Silver Creek High in Longmont, Colo., Apodaca passed for almost 4,000 yards en route to a 12-2 record, leading the Raptors to their first ever state title game.

Leach believes he could start next season if he continues to grow.

“They’re both going to battle for the job,” said Leach, referring to Halliday and   Apodaca. “Nobody is the favorite. They’ll have to compete every day.”

Leach added he likes Apodaca’s winning ways and physical tools.

“He’s a guy that has always won,” Leach said. “He has a good arm and has the mobility for big play potential. I like that.”

Apodaca also believes those keen attributes will help him compete at the highest level.

“Manziel and Mariota can both run and hit their playmakers,” Apodaca said. “I believe that’s one of my strongest traits. I’m mobile, and I can get the ball out pretty quick.”

Apodaca will undoubtedly have his work cut out for him, as Halliday will enter spring ball as the favorite in most pundits’ eyes. The fiery 6-4, 181-pounder became a fan-favorite with his let-it-fly mentality, though his decision-making and consistency have come into question.

Halliday, for his part, believes Apodaca will provide the competition he needs to take the play at the quarterback position to the next level.

“He’s a good player,” Halliday said. “For a 17-18-year-old kid, he possesses an arm as good as anyone I’ve seen at that age. Hopefully he comes in and helps me out like Jeff and Gilby did for the last couple years. I want to help him grow into the position.”

Coming out of high school, Apodaca was seen as a quarterback that could control the game with precise, dead-eye accuracy. While he agrees with some of that, Apodaca and fellow Coug quarterbacks believe he was underrated. Apodaca was rated as a three-star QB and the 58th ranked player at his position nationally.

“He’s got all the tools, man,” Halliday said. “The kid has a cannon. He can make all the throws.”

Tuel agreed.

“Austin has a gun,” Tuel said. “If that kid hits the film room hard and continues to develop into the position, he could be great.”

But Apodaca doesn’t believe his physical tools will be what set him apart from the competition this spring and then later in fall camp. Rather, he points to a not-so-tangible attribute that will propel him to the top.

“I grasp the concept of this offense as good as anyone,” Apodaca said. “Not to sound cocky, but I believe I can grasp offenses in general as good as anyone in the country. I understand that mental part of the game.”

A scout team quarterback often throws off a card – he’ll make pre-designed throws into double coverage for example because his main goal is to help the defense succeed. So he doesn’t always have a chance to shine or go through his reads. But Apodaca stuck out this season running the scout team offense, winning scout team player of the week twice leading up to the BYU and Oregon games.

From this chair observing practice all season, he got visibly better in 2012. Apodaca earned himself a permanent spot on the travel squad before the Utah game, and was the full-fledged scout team starting quarterback by season’s end.

In 2013, Halliday won’t be Apodaca’s only competition. It’s rare for a true freshman to take the reins but the Cougs have a verbal commitment from Tyler Bruggman out of Phoenix. Bruggman is a   highly touted pocket passer who, by default, may be thrust into competition this fall.

Aside from those three quarterbacks, only walk-on Jesse Brown is expected on the roster at the quarterback position in 2013. Another walk on, freshman QB Conner Johnson out of Spokane, was being looked at more at h-back in the latter half of the season.

In closing, several sources including some inside the football program tell me that redshirt freshman quarterback Cody Clements is transferring from Washington State. According to one source, Clements will enroll at a junior college in California for one year, and then will weigh his options. Clements has thus far been unavailable for comment.

Also reportedly transferring from the program is third-year cornerback Brandon Golden. The Covina, Calif. product was buried on the depth chart this season and didn’t play a down in 2012.

“I would kill myself if I lived in Pullman. Come play at LSU!”

That is a tweet from an anonymous LSU fan, encouraging Washington State verbal commit Vince Mayle to instead play his college ball in the SEC.

Fans and boosters have continued to get more aggressive toward recruits as social media and athlete accessibility gradually expands.

Social media has also become an essential, if not a necessary tool for many prep athletes to get their names out to college scouts and coaches. Of the 22 listed on the 2013 Cougar commit list, at least 16 of them have Twitter accounts. All 16 accounts have posted links to their highlight films, posted pictures of themselves on the gridiron, and/or listed “D1 recruit/bound” in their ‘About Me’ sections.

“That’s the original reason I even tried Twitter,” said Mayle, a frequent user of the social media mega-site. “I just
made one to post highlight film for coaches.”

In recent years, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have allowed adoring fans to follow their favorite athletes and watch their every move. But for Mayle, many of his ‘tweets’ are not to give insight on his day-to-day happenings, but instead are responses to crazed fans attempting to sway him in one way or another to play for their respective school.

“It’s all just so amusing,” Mayle said. “Twitter is just too direct. People can be so childish.”

Mayle averages almost 32 tweets a day, the majority concerning college sports and the recruiting cycle. He said he enjoys the interaction between himself and football fans encouraging him to succeed, though he added that fans out to instigate conflict take the luster off enjoying social media.

“Recruiting has nothing to do with Twitter for fans,” Mayle said. “Recruiting should be intimate between coach and player. Fans don’t realize they’re not having any impact on the recruiting cycle… not for me at least.”

Twitter has become a way of life for many prospects. The power to disperse and manipulate information has
allowed several student athletes to turn their recruiting cycle into a cynical peanut gallery, placing several schools on opposing sides, encouraging fans to lobby for the ‘rights’ to their services.

In 2011, Upland, Calif., WR Kenny Lawler toyed with Oregon State, Washington State and Cal fans, milking the spotlight for everything it was worth.

“Where mah #Coug fans at!? #GoCougs,” Lawler tweeted.

He continued.

“Let me here it from da Beavers!! #OSU.”

Lawler bellowed toward Cal and Arizona State fans as well.

Lawler eventually chose Cal over several other Pac-12 schools. He faced a backlash from fans of other schools, as did Keivarae Russell when he chose Notre Dame over nearby UW and other schools.

“UW fans n blog members ya’ll actin just like Oregon fans with the ignorant remarks made on articles of my commitment lol,” read a Facebook post by Russell last December after the Mariner High cornerback verballed to the Irish.

Jake Worthen, West Recruiting Analyst for Scout.com, said fans communicating with prep athletes at its most innocent form are no detriment to recruits’ wellbeing, though the few fans taking it to the next level must understand they’re walking a thin line between pressure and a violation.

“… High school athletes don’t understand the kind of dedicated fan bases that (are) out there,” Worthen said. “Some of the athletes enjoy the attention that comes with the recruitment process, but likely aren’t aware of the risks it carries.”

Worthen agreed social media pressures on student athletes has increased in recent years, but noted Pandora’s Box has been opened and probably can’t be closed.

“I don’t see a solution,” Worthen said. “I think it would lay most with parents and coaches monitoring what their
players are doing.”

Worthen would like for fans and boosters to give players their space and realize that these student athletes have a tough decision at hand regardless of the pressures they receive from extraneous sources.

These student athletes are 16-18 year olds making a decision far more dense than simply where to play football. They’re deciding where they will be receiving an education for the next 4-5 years, as well as selecting an environment that suites their personality and caters to their needs. Social media is a device used to stay informed and it should remain that way.

The Mariners have accumulated a wealth of sub-par talent this offseason. Whether Seattle is bringing in the prehistoric likes of Raul Ibanez, or wrangling in guys more washed up than the Aral Sea — i.e. Jason Bay — almost everybody can agree the team has certainly had an underwhelming winter.

The Emerald City means a great deal to the citizens of Seattle, though the Yellow Brick Road that lures free agents to the Northwest seems tainted and scuffed beyond recognition at this point.

Moves must be made to get Dorothy up and skippin’ again.

At this point, save a blockbuster trade or Michael Bourn signing, the Mariners appear to be headed into Spring Training with a group of guys that will need to be sorted down to 25 tediously.

All that being said, the team might as well continue to spend on hit or miss guys that could translate into gold. Seattle still has almost 20 million available at their disposal. Surely the team can’t just let that money sit in limbo.

The departure of Jason Vargas leaves the Mariners with a glaring hole in their rotation — the team has zero left-handed starting pitchers.

Unless General Manager Jack Zduriencik intends on getting one of his highly praised left-handed prospects James Paxton or Danny Hultzen in the rotation for April, the team will need to address the issue before time runs out.

‘Z’ has already shown he’s willing to bring in damaged goods with the signing of right-hander Jeremy Bonderman, albeit he being a Kennewick, Wash. resident.

So, why not do it again?

The Mariners need to pursue former Oakland A’s standout left-hander Dallas Braden.

Most will remember Braden for his awe-inspiring perfect game thrown in 2010, but truth be told, Braden has had a very successful career, perfect game or not.

In 2010, the year before he blew out his shoulder, Braden posted a 3.50 ERA, as well as maintaining a very respectable 3:1 K/BB ratio. Braden was an inning-eater, consuming 192.2 innings in just 30 starts. That puts him deep into the seventh inning on an average outing.

This isn’t to say that Braden could come in and emulate the success that Vargas posted in Safeco on a nightly basis; it’s merely to suggest that another southpaw to compete this spring could only benefit the squad.

But we dare to dream.

Comparably speaking, Braden and Vargas are very similar to each other when they’re at their finest. In 2010, Braden posted a WHIP of 1.157, good for sixth in the American League. Vargas by association, posted a 1.178 WHIP in 2012 — his best season as a pro.

Braden has the potential to fill a palpable hole in the Mariners rotation and could do so at an extremely valuable price. It would more than likely cost Seattle about 1.5 million to bring Braden in, though with the right incentives, the M’s may be able to bring the left-hander in on a Spring Training Invite option.

Regardless, the team has the money to pay Braden either way.

Braden will be 30-years-old in a couple months, and surely isn’t sold on ending his career incapacitated.

Braden had his shoulder surgery May of 2011 and unless modern medicine has taken an enormous step backwards in recent years, he should be ready to go come February.

No one is suggesting the Mariners should stop shopping for a big splash in the trade market with the likes of a Giancarlo Stanton and Andre Ethier dangling in front of them, just submitting that the team can’t be static. Seattle has to continue to add pieces to increase competition when pitchers and catchers report in just 40 short days.

Braden could be nice addition, as a lefty has become a necessity in the city that never sleeps.

Braden can’t repave the Yellow Brick Road, though a little elbow grease from his newly constructed left arm would go a long way toward giving it the shimmer it has lacked for far too long.