The "Mighty Huskies" of yesteryear have nothing but memories of their dominance of the now mighty Ducks, and one side would like to keep it that way, while the other is saying extra prayers, counting their lucky stars, and hoarding local rabbit's feet in an effort to turn the tide of a tsunami of humility that's been pounding them since the turn of the century.
Few are opposed to a "10," but Husky honks fear it more than drinking from the tap at a Tijuana night club. Then again, maybe they're used to it? Maybe they're like John Bender in the Breakfast Club ; beyond fighting it, resorting to choosing the means by which they're beaten opposed to giving their assailant the satisfaction of knowing it hurts.
Obviously I'm opposed to such violence, but when it comes to Washington, few outside of a 20-mile radius of Seattle would argue against further pain for a fan base that spent the better part of the late twentieth century dancing atop an ivory tower built on the corpses of the conference's lesser foes. Sure, Huskies have little love for fans of the green and yellow, but even in the midst of 9 straight defeats they're able to summon their inner Zach Lodge (Think Bradley Cooper in Wedding Crashers) while rationalizing their inferiority, by means of "unrivaled history."
They'll point to the National Title in 1991. They'll reference the seven Rose Bowl victories. And continually cite their school's location, as if an 18-22 year-old college student needs anything more than a fake ID, bad music and the opposite sex to have a good time on any given night. The fact is; today's Washington fan would likely trade any or all of the for a victory this afternoon over an Oregon team who's had their number, and a fan base who never lets them forget it. And they think this is their year.
Keith Price is in the zone.
And Head Coach Steve Sarkisian finally has the players to rival Oregon's talent, and the system to keep up with it.
That's what they're saying, and that's what they're banking heavily on to get from beneath a man-sized webfoot. And it's possible.
In recent years this game has been a mismatch. Oregon has been too much for Washington to handle, and such has been proven out on the field. But this year does feel a bit different. They've got a senior quarterback, playmakers on the outside, and ex-Duck Justin Wilcox appears to have a defense at least capable of offering resistance against an Oregon offense which has built a reputation on making teams look silly. However, they're still a 14 point dog, still the team on a 9-game losing streak, and still…the Huskies. Not the Huskies your grandparents knew, not the Huskies your parents grew to hate, and not even the Huskies you might remember from the not-so-long ago past, but rather the Huskies who went 0-for (That's winless boys and girls) in 2008, the Huskies who begged for sanctions prior to Oregon's "slap on the wrist," and the Huskies who now hate you like you used to always hate them.
It feels pretty good doesn't it?