Moore: I'm not warming up to Apple Cup plan

TALK ABOUT A hot-button topic, moving the Apple Cup for the next six years to Qwest Field. You've got Cougs and Dawgs agreeing that it's the worst idea ever, then you've got Cougs and Dawgs who hated the idea initially but are understanding that it's a financial necessity.

Columnists are weighing in, Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times writing Sunday that it's the prudent thing to do, Art Thiel of saying the same thing last Friday on "The Kevin Calabro Show" on 710 ESPN Seattle. Calabro agreed too.

In his Sunday column, John McGrath of The News Tribune in Tacoma said he was also in favor of the move, citing great college football rivalries such as Army-Navy and Oklahoma-Texas that have prospered with games at neutral sites.

If you look at it as a clear-thinking human being, Washington and Washington State must move this game to Qwest Field. You've seen the numbers – each school will get roughly $2 million vs. $800,000 when the Apple Cup is at Husky Stadium and $240,000 when it's at Martin Stadium.

But I don't look at much of anything as a clear-thinking human being, and certainly not this. Regardless of the benefits, I don't want the game moved to Qwest Field. I can't stand the thought of that.


Neither can a Coug fan named PJ, which I think stands for "Pummel Jim" because that's what he did in his email:

"Fire Jim Sterk now!" PJ wrote. "Here's a memo to Sterk: Winning brings money. Your job is to win and win the right way. Don't give me this fiscally responsible B.S.

"If you were responsible, you wouldn't have shelled out $1.5 million to a coach who bolted the next year. If you were responsible, you wouldn't have let Mike Price coach in the Rose Bowl."

"Get rid of Sterk and bring in Bill Moos."

In this space or any other space, I'll never advocate the firing of Sterk – he's a sacred Coug who should stay as long as he wants. When you hear him say, as he did in a Q&A with, that it would be "fiscally irresponsible" if he didn't consider the Qwest Field move, you want to get on board with him.

I'm sorry, I just can't. I suppose that 100 years from now after another century of games being played at Qwest Field or whatever the stadium will be called after they implode it and build a new one, probably in 2016 if not sooner given the way of the disposable world these days, fans will have a hard time fathoming that the Apple Cup was once played at Husky Stadium and Martin Stadium.

They'll look back on it as being quaint Apple Cup lore, kind of like we do when we see black-and-white pictures of the games from the 1920s.

They'll be at the Coug and the Ram, hoisting beers and talking trash, and I'll be hoping that Jason Gesser's great-great-great grandson beats the Dawgs to make up for his great-great-great grandfather who never did.

But that kid isn't here yet and I'm not dead yet, and it bothers me to think that there will never be another Apple Cup like the one in '92 with Bledsoe and Bobo and all of that wet snow blowing into Dawg fans' faces in the west end zone at Martin Stadium.

If I can reminisce for a second, it's amazing that I remember much of anything from the Snow Bowl. I went to Sea-Tac the morning of that game to sell my tickets to fans who were getting on CougAir flights to Pullman. I planned to go to an Apple Cup party at my neighbor Brian McGinnis' house to watch the game.

But then I got to the airport and found out from a buddy and rabid Coug, Mark Magnussen, that a seat on his supposedly sold-out flight was available. Called my then-wife, who told me to go, so off I went.

Which leads to another story as to why the then-wife would later become the ex-wife – she'd had her fill of drunken Cougar escapades, I do believe.

I didn't eat anything that day, and I drank 151 before and during the game. Looking back, not a good combination. I remember celebrating the shocking win and getting to the Pullman-Moscow Airport for the flight back that I never made.

I ended up in a crumpled, puking heap in an airport bathroom stall, waking up in the middle of the night to see a Pullman police officer looking down at me.

Figured I was headed to jail for public drunkenness or something like that, but he was a cool cop who told me that a room was available at the Quality Inn, and if I wanted it, he'd take me there.

That's where I stayed for the rest of the night and most of the next day, with then-wife wondering what had happened to her then-husband who was supposed to be home the night before.

Naturally the Horizon Air flights were booked on Sunday, and the weather was so bad in Pullman that I couldn't get out until Sunday night and had to take a bus to Lewiston to fly to Seattle.

When I got home, the reception was as icy as the one the Huskies got at Martin Stadium, and I was banished to the guest bedroom. The next morning, still shaking off a vicious hangover, I boarded a flight to Sacramento to cover a Sonics-Kings game that night, and I couldn't wait for the noise in Arco Arena to end because my head was still pounding from the 151.

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