Apple Cup Diary

A trip to Pullman takes preparation. Mentally and physically. You have to be ready to take whatever it throws at you (even ice chunks) and keep on rooting, smack talking, and representing the Purple and Gold. Like riding a camel in Egypt, sure you might get hit with a little saliva, but riding a camel is what you do in Egypt.

When I went to the Apple Cup my freshman year in 2008, it was not fun. I wasn't ready for the freezing cold, the copious amount of booze, or all the crimson. Not to mention the outcome.

In fact, I'm not going to mention the outcome.

So this year, it had to be better. To ensure it, I got together a couple of my best and bravest buddies, and a girl for good measure, and headed over cow-lovin' country.

Scott and Phuong Scott and Phuong

5:00 Friday night: We were supposed to be leaving by now, but one of the best and bravest, Billy, felt it was necessary to take a 25 minute shower. He was already late after running into traffic on his way back from a snowboarding trip. His reason for the excessive shower: he was cold.

5:45: We finally hit the road. With our jackets, blankets, and pillows loaded into the back of my buddy Doug's Expedition, we embark on our journey. Doug's in the front seat. Billy's riding shotgun with me, Claire, and A-Bar in the back from left to right.

8:00: It's dark and snowy on the roads and our windshield is so screwy that headlights and taillights combine to make it look like a laser show. Fun for us in the back. Not so fun for Doug.

8:15: We swerve out of the way of a deer on the road. Less than fifteen seconds later we see a different deer on the side of the road. About 100 feet ahead of him is a sedan pulled over on the shoulder. We pull over in front of them, get out and see if they're okay. Sure enough, they had hit the deer but were all fine. Hurrying back into the car to avoid hypothermia, we embrace the open road once more.

8:25: After speeding up to pass a slow moving truck, we see the dreaded blue and red flashing lights behind us. The cop approaches Doug and asks whether he'd like a speeding ticket or a negligent driving charge for going 25 mph over the limit. Doug says speeding and the cop walks back to his car.

8:27: The officer makes his way back to the window, asks us if we'd been drinking or had any drugs (we hadn't) and promptly gives Doug a negligent driving ticket for $550 because his speeding had endangered the four passengers in the car. Not only was the cop a jerk who was out to give the biggest fine he could from the start, he tried to defend himself and come off cool like a junior high teacher trying to be your buddy after giving you a lunch detention. Please.

11:00: After dropping off Claire, Billy and A-Bar with some other friends, we meet up with another one of the best and bravest, Tahir, and head to my high school buddy Jeff's frat for the night.

This is what happens after a hard night of partying in Pullman. This is what happens after a hard
night of partying in Pullman.

12:00: Your guess is as good as mine. I must admit, the party scene in Pullman is great. Besides the game, it's the only reason to go there. Though one weekend of it is enough, for sure.

10:00 am Saturday: Wake up. Look at clock. Go back to sleep.

Noon: We drag ourselves out of bed and head to Adam's Mall for breakfast. Adam's Mall is like University Ave on steroids. That is, if steroids had the opposite effect. It actually took us five minutes to settle on a crappy looking Mexican place that looked like a poor-man's Memos. (For more on the debacle that was the bathroom situation, peep the video). My burrito was mediocre to say the least.

1:00 – Gametime: We spent these several hours alternating between taking shots of Captain Morgan's and walking aimlessly talking smack to every Cougar fan we saw. The only comebacks we heard were about poor Tahir's lazy eye and how the color purple said something about our sexuality. Not too original.

Billy after he got into a fight with the pavement.  The ground in Pullman could use some salt Billy after he got into a fight with the
pavement. The ground in Pullman
could use some salt.

THE GAME: We took our seats in the UW student section. We were feeling good with our heavy jackets and healthy buzz, but we might have been among the most sober in the crowd.

15:00 (First quarter): Erik Folk kicks the ball off and they don't run it back for a touchdown. It's a good start.

5:53: With the ball on the WSU 36, Chris Polk rushes for a 10-yard gain on 3rd and 4. The crowd is starting to sense Polk is going to have a big day.

3:15: After a UW timeout, Coach Sark does what we were all hoping for and goes for it on fourth down at the Cougar 19. Jake runs for a six-yard gainer and a Husky first. We're so confident right now. We know we're going to score. We know Jake is going to lead us to a bowl game. Sure enough, Polk rumbles in for a two yard score and Folk tacks on the extra point to make it 7-0. He had 54 yards on the drive. Quick tangent about the extra point: Martin Stadium doesn't have nets behind the goal posts. This means the ball makes its way into the crowd on field goals and extra points. It's really really cold. Let's just say I'm glad we were up high enough that we didn't have to worry about batting away or trying to catch those balls with our frozen hands.

6:42 (second quarter): Jake runs in a seven yard touchdown after converting on a 30 yard fake punt. We are rocking and the momentum is squarely in our favor and we know it. We also start noticing the iceballs raining down from the WSU student section directed at our band. The general sentiment is ‘not only is our team better than you, we're better than you too.' We're starting to get cocky and I'm thinking to myself, "this isn't last year's WSU team, they're not going to lay down and die."

0:28: Sure enough, the Cougars score and I'm starting to get a little nervous. I have bad memories about that Jared Karstetter guy…

Claire (right) and Nikki make a new friend Nikki and Claire make a new friend

Halftime: Dawgs lead 14-7, but it's certainly not a blowout like 2009 in Husky Stadium. The main goal of halftime is getting warm. I'm a little ashamed that I huddled in the heated bathroom for about seven minutes, sure, but trust me, it was worth it.

13:32 (third quarter): Did the crowd go buckwild after Locker's 66-yard pass to Jermaine Kearse to give the Dawgs a 21-7 lead? Yes. Did I miss it while standing in line for an elephant ear? Yes.

14:47 (fourth quarter): It's the first play of the fourth quarter and Sark decides to forego a gimme field goal and go for it on fourth down from the WSU 1. I'm shaking in my sneakers, and not from the cold this time. I turn to Tahir and warn him that going for this is a bad idea, that it's going to bite us in the butt. It's a one possession game, you take the points. Sure enough, Locker and Callier fumble the exchange and the Cougs return it to midfield. I'm officially scared.

13:28: The Huskies get a big defensive stop after the turnover. The momentum fades back to purple.

13:18: Chris Polk goes 57 yards for a huge score. At this point, I'm thinking the game's out of reach. My nerves are good. Polk isn't going to let us lose today.

Skip ahead to 4:26: 28-28. This is the defining moment for Jake Locker's career. Either he drives down for a winning score or he throws a pick and Wazzu takes the game and kills our chances at a bowl. At this point, I have my doubts. All I can think is, "we have four and a half minutes…give the ball to Chris Polk and let him get us into field goal range. Please God, let him get us into field goal range." Did I trust Sark to pound the ball? Not really.

1:28: Four Polk runs with a Jake run mixed in and we have the ball at the WSU 37. "Just keep riding Polk."

0:36: After Polk pounds the ball to the 12, we're thinking the game's in the bag. Except for that yellow thing that comes flying in after the play. Oh, no, we just shot ourselves in the foot, even though they're so cold right now we can't feel them. The crowd deflates. We're Couging it. Now we can't run the ball. But Locker proves why he's one of the greatest athletes in UW history. Bang, right away, Sark with the gutsy call and Jake puts the ball right where it needs to be: in Jermaine Kearse's arms. In the end zone. Dawgs 35-28.

0:00: We're storming the field!!!!! Watch out for ice balls!

8:30 pm: We're feeling great. The rest of Pullman, not so much. It's pretty dead in the town, so we head to meet up with some fellow Dawgs to celebrate the night and hurry up and wait until we can ditch this town!

making amends
My Cougar friend Zach and I put aside our differences to the shock of Tahir (short one) and Doug (tall one) Top Stories