That was the sound of Husky fans and Cougar fans living in peace and harmony for one weekend – one historic, memorable time in Pullman where the Cougs didn’t disappoint, and the Huskies didn’t mind!
Unless you’re living under a rock, you saw the incredible sight yesterday morning: The Cougs, showing up en masse for ESPN’s College Gameday’s first visit to the Palouse in 15 years, representing their school in a stunning fashion. Ol’ Crimson’s return home, after appearing on 216 consecutive episodes all over the country, was only the start of a remarkable day.
And this is how it ended: A capacity crowd, celebrating together on the field at Martin Stadium after a win over Oregon. Extraordinary bookends to a Saturday in Eastern Washington – a Saturday where most of the usual heckling and teasing from Husky fans disappeared.
Because the Dawgs actually wanted the Cougs to win.
It was one of those rare occasions where the Huskies needed a little help from their in-state rivals in order to regain control of their own destiny in the Pac-12 North. Plus, you could argue that Dawg fans loathe the Ducks even more than the Cougs, so it was a double bonus to see Washington State take care of business and hand Oregon its second loss of the year.
Either way, it was funny watching the game last night, noticing someone watching the game intently, asking him if he was a Coug or a Duck, only to have him respond, “I’m a Husky. Go Cougs.”
And yes, we now face a legitimate question going forward: Do we go back to the normal practice of Huskies rooting against the Cougs and Cougs rooting against the Huskies, or do both sides root for each other over the next month, in the hopes that Apple Cup would be one of the most epic meetings in the rivalry’s history?
A neutral fan would root for the latter: Imagine both the Huskies and Cougs, 7-1 in Pac-12 play, facing off on Thanksgiving weekend, with the winner going to the Pac-12 Championship game?
I’m guessing there are at least a few fans of both sides that would hope for the same.
Either way, it was nice to see – on a weekend where fans didn’t have a Seahawks game to unite them on a Sunday, most college football fans in this state were united anyway last night. And it happened on one of the best overall days in Washington State football history, in terms of national spotlight and attention.
So, great win, Cougs – from both sides of the state – both sides of the aisle. It was a weekend to remember. One where all of us – at least, most of us - stood united.