After googling inspiring quotes about patience, I couldn’t find one that adequately expresses the appreciation I have for the Washington senior students who have endured three seasons of barely being bowl-eligible.
For them, this is their final chance to be a part of something special.
Without a doubt, college is one of the most eventful, memorable, and enjoyable times of a person's life, but there’s no better cherry on top of a college experience than having a team to rally around, one whose hope triples that of the previous years combined.
National recognition and respect belongs to the Huskies for the first time since their current standouts were playing football during grade school recess with their friends.
Fanhood has been taken to a new level for these unsung Husky heroes. Their endurance has them battle-tested. Like a long, steep hike on a hot summer day, the reward for the process can be breathtaking.
So how do these guys feel about the beginning of conference play?
Lane Covington, a Political Science major and one of my roommates, gave me his take on bleeding purple through thick and thin. He shared his experience of getting to watch Chris Petersen his first two years at Washington from the student section. He watched Petersen take the talent he was given, bring in his kind of guys, and transform a program, a coalition, that fits his eye.
For Lane, watching the metamorphosis of Washington has spoken to his fanhood. After hearing his input, I imagine it’s had a similar impact on seniors campus-wide. For those seniors, growing up during some of the hardest times in Husky history, watching a team lose every game right around the time they started high school, but still choosing to invest time, money, vocal chord strains, emotion, and heartbreak set them up for, potentially, one of the sweetest endings to a sort of ‘Cinderella Story’ of fandom.
I imagine Lane feels like what I must have felt like when I went to Disneyland for the first time: endless possibilities that all result in thrills and chills galore.
But it’s important to remember that, like Disneyland - main attractions can shut down and sometimes the lines can get really wrong.
If the road to the top was easy, wouldn’t everybody be there?
The fact of the matter is a 3-0 start to the season against Rutgers, Idaho, and Portland State is standard for top-10 teams. Pac-12 play is riddled in parity; it’s grueling, painful, and inconsistent.
But Husky fans can stand firm in their fanhood because regardless of the result, this is an experience unlike any other. It’s the blessing and curse of being a Husky fan in my generation. I wasn’t alive for the ‘glory days’: Don James had won 100 games at Washington before my parents ever had met.
For all Husky students, this is a crazy dream. Please don’t wake us up.
However, the seniors deserve a round of applause. Their dedication to this program makes college football as fun as it is.
Don’t call them heroes, though. They’re all just along for the ride.