Oh, how we miss Chris Jackson's pre-game Apple Cup banter

NOT EVEN HAND-PICKED Cougar players are allowed to talk with reporters this Apple Cup Week. Oh, how times have changed. Back in 1997, when the No. 11 Cougars needed a victory over the No. 16 Huskies to secure the first WSU Rose Bowl berth in 67 years, WSU receiver Chris Jackson elevated himself to Greatest Mouth in Apple Cup History.

“I’ll be damned if I’m going to let the Huskies get in my way of going to the Rose Bowl,” he told reporters  the Sunday before the game. He said he didn’t have “an ounce of respect for them,” that they were cocky and overrated.

“I don’t respect them as players or people,” he noted.

And for good measure, Jackson added, “We’re looking forward to studying them pretty well and going out to put 40, 50 points on them.”

An already hyped up Apple Cup instantly became that much hotter. And Cougar coach Mike Price – who had cautioned his players just hours earlier not to give the Huskies bulletin board material -- was furious. He literally slammed his fist on his desk when Jackson entered his office for a “disappointed father” conversation.

“Chris was always a good talker, but not a bomb thrower,” the quarterback of that Cougar team, Ryan Leaf, remembered in his book 596 Switch. “It was out of character, and perhaps a statement of how much we wanted the win and how much we disliked the Dawgs.

“Chris’ punishment came in two parts, First, he had to apologize to the Huskies. And second, he had to run. And run. And run some more … I don’t recall how long CJ ran … but I think the order was until he puked or fell over or both.”

Asked by Cougfan.com in 2014 what he was thinking with the comments, Jackson said, “I was just really stating what the goal was. The (WSU) offense was rolling that last half of the season after the ASU loss (a 44-31 setback at Arizona State in early November). We were putting up 30, 40 points. So in my opinion, we had a good enough defense with a great D-line, if we handled our duties on offense, I didn’t care who we played.

While Price was steamed, Leaf said the rest of the team “was hell-yeah-right-on.”

Jackson said the team wasn’t bothered: "They liked it. They were like, ‘Let’s go out and do this’.”

Jackson proceeded to turn in a whale of a game in the dramatic WSU victory. He scored one of the iconic TDs in Apple Cup history, catching a second-quarter fade from Leaf over his left shoulder, juking one Husky DB and then lowering his shoulder to knock down safety Tony Parrish, maintain his balance as Parrish grasped at his feet, and race into the end zone for the final 20 yards of a 57-yard scoring play. A video clip of the play is pasted below.

OTHER NOTABLE APPLE CUP QUOTES:

"Nothing in my job -- not the Rose Bowls, not the Holiday Bowls, nothing -- is more important than beating the University of Washington." - WSU coach Jim Walden, 1982

“I’ve always felt that being a Cougar prepares you well for life. You learn not to expect too much." - UW coach Don James, 1983

"There are four important stages in your life. You're born, you play the Huskies, you get married and you die." - All-American WSU guard Dan Lynch, 1984

"I'll count every one of them (days until the next Apple Cup). I'm going to ask myself, 'What did I do as a football coach today to beat the Huskies?' " - WSU coach Dennis Erickson, 1987

"One game doesn't make a season, but the people who say that haven't participated in the Apple Cup." - WSU coach Mike Price, 1991

"I've really grown to hate 'em. I can't stand to look at them, talk about them or anything." - WSU center Robbie Tobeck, 1992

"To just think about losing this game makes me want to puke." - UW o-lineman Trevor Highfield, 1995

“I wouldn’t have taken a recruiting trip there even if they strangled me. I’d die first. (Pullman) is a place where you can go and have a good time, as far as there being a lot of drunk people.” - UW receiver Andre DeSaussure, 1998

 

 


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