An Inside Look at Husky Fandom, Part I

WITH APPLE CUP week upon us and in an effort to better understand our cross-state rivals, <i></i> has enlisted the aid of a typical rabid Husky fan,<b> Lloyd Saint-Claire</b>, to share some insights into that purple and gold world called "Montlake."

Tippity-toe, Cougars!

Lloyd Saint-Claire here. I was terribly excited when offered me this column in the lead-up to the Apple Cup game, however, felt a bit the role of the rogue, as I am a monstrous Husky fan, having served as No. 3 stroke on the '73 Husky crew.

My friend, Chaz Van Horton, certainly gave me some razzing when I told him of my intentions in publishing here. Imagine how embarrassed I was when, in a Sea Breeze-induced alcoholic haze, he "blabbed" to the entire Sailing Club! Much chortling and good-natured ribbing was the result of Chaz' missive and I was the butt of many practical jokes as a result! Just this morning I went to the slip of my motor yacht the Galapagos Breeze to discover those old rascals Falcon Radcliffe and Julius Renfraw had pasted photos of Edward R. Murrow across the fly bridge! What chicanery!

Anyway, we are all looking forward to this week's big Apple Cup contest, however, be warned as my fellow Tyee Clubbers plan to give your folk a not-so-gracious welcome!

My friend Chaz Van Horton has run out and purchased an 18-inch x 6-inch purple felt pennant on a stick, emblazoned with the word "WASHINGTON," that he plans to hold up at various points in the contest. Also, occasionally I have been known, on big defensive stands, to state firmly in a loud and clear voice "Rah Rah Huskies!" Certainly this will contribute to creating a demoralizing atmosphere for the WSU rooting section.

The bulk of the Tyee Club (excepting those hoightey-toities located in the James Center) is based on the south side of the stadium, affectionately known as "The Library". I suppose this has something to do with our overall rowdiness, though I am still determining exactly how that connection works.

Tailgating festivities begin early on Montlake, Crimson Cousins. At 8:00 in the AM my friend Chaz Van Horton and his lovely wife Jess will roar up to our Broadmoor home in Chaz' '02 Laforza. We'll all pile in for the drive across the bridge to Carillon Point where my motor yacht the Galapagos Breeze is moored.

My fetch-man, Tran Duc, will have prepared a lovely tailgate spectacle. We're serving Grilled Dover Sole in a tomato tarragon sauce with Légumes Sophy-Jolie on the side. Sometime this week I'll swing by Cooper-Smith Vintage to pick up a nice White Zin.

The twins – Tanner and Logan – will be out from Connecticut where they are seniors and co-captains of the varsity crew at the Kent School (next year they will follow in the foot steps of their old man by rowing for Washington), so it should be a fun time all around.

You Cougs who make the trip across state for the game will notice much construction and new building going on at Montlake. Just last week, in fact, I was tooling down Pend O'Reille Road in my Jag when I noticed the softball team out driving pilings for some new facility or another. Now the street was horribly clogged with traffic so I tapped my horn and gave a "Yoo Hoo!". Coach Teresa Wilson immediately recognized me and was nice enough to come over and carry my Jag around the congestion.

Generally Lizzy and I like to celebrate Apple Cup by hosting a Wednesday-before reception for our Broadmoor neighbors, who are – like us – all monstrous Husky fans. We have a tradition in which we all gather round in the Great Room of my home and put together fruit baskets for the team as a way of saying "thanks" on a great season.

Much to everyone's disappointment this has fallen off the docket this year as my dear wife suffered a bit of a mishap last week. Lizzy had mounted my fetch-man, Tran Duc, to adjust the portrait of Governor Spellman in my study when Tran Duc sneezed, sending her plummeting to the floor. So, she will be taking it easy this week.

There will be an air of gravity to this year's Apple Cup. Serious times abound in The Kennel. The incredulous idolatry of the beer-and-pretzel crowd seated high in the upper decks of Husky Stadium has grown to the point that we lately hear the call for the resignation of Barbara Hedges, an absolutely wonderful woman who enjoys the full confidence and backing of we Tyees.

Now these blue-collar folks are not true Husky fans. Mostly they are drunks and rowdies who stumbled down from Lynnwood en route to Seahawks Stadium and passed out on the front door of Montlake. In response, some of we Tyees plan to engage in a bit of "campus activism" as we will be picketing outside Husky Stadium pre-game in support of Barb. I haven't engaged in such political spectacle since my undergraduate days in the early ‘70's when we would march up and down Red Square, protesting the decision to pull out of Vietnam. Oh those were the glory days of we campus radicals from the Phi Gamma Delta house!

Well my Crimson Cousins, I shall sign-off now but will dispatch another "Letter from Lloyd" here before the week is out. I look forward to seeing you all on Saturday and – as always – Rah Rah Huskies!

Lloyd Saint-Claire

Lloyd Saint-Claire has been a Husky season ticket holder since graduating from Washington in 1973. He lives in Broadmoor with his lovely wife Lizzie and is active in a number of charities, serving as Vice-Commodore of the Seattle Yacht Club, as a Trustee of the San Francisco Opera and as a former member of the UW's Board of Rowing Stewards. Lloyd and Lizzies twin boys – Tanner and Logan – attend school in Connecticut while their eldest, daughter Karen, is a senior at Bryn Mawr.

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