The War of Words

<b>STRAP ON THE HELMET</b>. With the countdown to the 2004 Apple Cup now officially underway, the insults and mudslinging exchanged by dogs and cats will soon be at its vitriolic best.

The fireworks will start with Husky partisans calling we Cougar faithful a bunch of hayseeds, and we Cougar faithful retorting that Dawgs are little more than insufferable, self-important poseurs. Decorum will proceed rapidly downhill from there.

But when you step back to ponder this annual rite of internecine warfare, you know there's more to all the name-calling than just rural vs. urban campus landscapes.

And as instructive as it is to know that WSU has produced such luminaries as Edward R. Murrow and Paul Allen, while the UW has gestated the likes of Ted Bundy and, say, Billy Joe Hobert, that doesn't fully explain matters any better than geography.

So, after weeks of study — and a bit of paraphrasing from a column once penned by the legendary Emmett Watson — I've come up with a list of differences that truly explain why crimson cats and purple dogs just don't get along.

Huskies blame the snow or the referees for their losses. Cougars blame themselves.

Cougars eat the fish they catch. Huskies hang the fish they catch on the wall.

Huskies fish from charter boats. Cougars sit on the dock and let the fish come to them.

On Saturdays, Huskies head for the yacht club and then the stadium. Cougars wash the car, get a haircut and then listen to the game on the radio.

Cougars name their kids after sports figures, entertainers and great humanitarians. Huskies name their children after sorority founders and dead Republican presidents.

Huskies wear dark suits, white shirts and subdued club ties. Cougars wear khaki pants, blue shirts and ties with personality.

Cougars, rightfully, think Bob Robertson walks on water. Huskies aren't sure who broadcasts their games.

Cougars donate to the poor and feel good about it. Huskies donate to the symphony so people will think they're sophisticated.

Huskies think Rainier is a mountain. Cougars know it's a beer.

After graduating, Huskies go to work for dad and later preach the virtues of the work ethic to explain their good fortune. Cougars pursue their own ventures and then attribute luck as the key to their good fortune.

Cougars relish their Cougar Gold while Huskies are hush-hush about their failed canned cheese product: Malamute Mold.

On the playground, Cougar children take the honorable route and apologize for pushing a kid off the see-saw. Husky progeny remain steadfast that "the butler did it."

Cougars educate farmers who feed the world. Huskies educate lawyers who … well, this is family website, but you get the idea.

So there you have it. A thoughtful, utterly objective, stereotype-free explanation of why Cougars and Huskies just can't say a kind word about each other come late November.

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