Now trust me this is NOT because I am a cheap bastard and only own one bike shirt. Ask my wife how many get washed each week lately! (She washes I fold). But this is the COUG jersey!
Yep, for those who may not know, that is short for the Washington State University Cougars. The premier 4 year college in Washington. Now there may be some who think the number one school is that glorified Community College on a lake in Seattle. But those of us who know better know the best Is in a small town called Pullman, sitting on the border between Washington and Idaho.
I attended the school in the 80’s. When I applied and was accepted, I had no idea what an amazing place I was going to.
There is just something about being a COUG. We are not a rich school, like the CC in Seattle or the slimy green team in Eugene Oregon. We have to fight and earn every dollar we get for the school. Plus, when recruiting, the wheat fields of the mighty Palouse are not as exciting as the beaches of California, the girls and sun of the Arizona schools, or even the city of Seattle. Location wise we are probably the arm pit of the Pac !2 (though maybe Utah takes that prize now).
Because of our location, it may not be the first choice for an athlete to go to. Which means the ones we get want to be there. They generally have more heart and pure joy of the game (in my opinion) than other schools. But since we don’t usually (Drew Bledsoe, Mark Rypien, and Marcus Trufant not withstanding) get the highest caliber, guaranteed to go to the NFL players, we have to work harder.
Sometimes, like last November, this results in wins in the Apple Cup (our game with the cross-state rivals:
But other times, we can go YEARS without brining this trophy home:
But we never give up! Its part of the bond that ties us all together! Anyone can be a Husky fan, but it takes intestinal fortitude to be a COUG! We’ve also coined the term for completely falling apart and losing a game we should have won. That would be to COUG IT! And we do it well….
HOWEVER, None of that stops us from being the loudest, the most exuberant, and in my case, the cockiest fans anywhere! I don’t care if we haven’t won a game all season, I am fired up before the Apple Cup!
But what does all this have to do with the Jersey? Well, the truly best part, the most magical, and in my opinion unique part of being a COUG is that you will find us world-wide! And if one COUG sees another, whether at an airport, a wedding, a funeral, a business meeting, climbing a mountain or, yep, riding a bike, they will yell GO COUGS! Its amazing! I can be at the point of exhaustion, and I will hear someone yell it! It’s good for another 20 miles, and I hear it EVERY time I wear it!
I NEVER hear anyone yell go Huskies (the glorified community college’s mascot!) Now my wife and I will yell GO BEAVS, (she went to Oregon State) but it just doesn’t happen aside from us.
YEP, I ride with the WSU to show pride in my school, to give and receive GO COUGS! in my travels, share high 5’s and Pullman stories. I do it to experience the true joy and magic of being a COUG! And I will guarantee I will be wearing that shirt (or a new one when this one falls apart) on every big ride I go on!