The Coug Fan

So today was an interesting day.  All starting with a football game Friday night.  You see, I am a Washington State University fan.  We are the Cougars (COUGS for short).  Our Mascot is Butch the Cougar.

Game Faces!

Game Faces!

Our cross state rivals are the UW Huskies.  This means every week, I root for two teams.  My COUGS and whatever team is playing the Huskies.  Therefore I was VERY happy to see the Dawgs (as they are called) lose to UCLA.  The day is always brighter when this happens.  It was questioned today though, whether I was more of a COUG fan or a Husky hater.  So I thought I would clarify First off, WSU is a beautiful campus in the middle of NOWHERE.  To get there from my house its a 300 mile trip one way, through wheat fields and tumble weeds.  MANY times over the years, I, and my friends, have done this round trip in one day.  Get up at the butt crack of dawn, drive like the wind, yell for our COUGS and then drive home.  No one but a true fan would do this.

There have been games we’ve won and lost, but regardless, we keep going.

When I am in Spokane, I will drive 70 miles, after work, just to be at the campus and have a burger at The Coug.

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Just walking around the Campus, breathing the cold crisp air in the winter or the warmth of spring and summer, brings a smile to my face.  Each time I am there for dinner, I make sure to buy a pitcher of beer for some group in the bar.  Its tradition, and someday they will do the same.

My buddy Rob and I flew to L A and drove like a bat out of hell for an Arizona Wildcat game in 2001.  We were loud, obnoxious and full of Coug spirit.  There weren’t many of us in the stands, but let me tell you, we made our presence known.

All year round, I cycle through UW.  Whenever possible I wear the Coug jersey.

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Why?  Because when I wear it, at least one person yells GO COUGS!  This happens any where I go, we Quite often, in down town Seattle, the GO GOUGS is followed by a high 5, with complete strangers.  This  is what it means to be a COUG fan.  I have never seen this happen with the purple wearing fans of the school in Seattle, but hey, maybe they do winks or something.

I have sat in rain, freezing cold and blazing heat to watch my team play.  I have sat in Husky stadium, surrounded by the enemy, and it has never kept me quiet.

When I was in College, back in the 80s, the Dawgs were a powerhouse.   Being a COUG and living near Seattle, meant having no choice but to deal with Husky fans.  When the Cougs would win our rivalry game (which we did 3 out of the 4 years I was there) the papers would do headlines such as “Huskies fail to execute”  “Huskies let victory slip away”  Never COUGS WIN!!

I have seen us lose games we should have won (We call that Couging it) and I have seen us pull out miracles, such  as coming from behind and winning the 2012 Apple cup

COUGS WIN!

COUGS WIN!

It’s why we NEVER say the game is in the bag, and we urge on the team to the very end.  A buddy of mine told me that some Dawg fans friends of his were so mad after that game, they didn’t talk to him for a week.  Me, when we lose, I am already talking up next year!

I hear time and time again, from Huskies, that they “Root for the Washington team, no matter what.”  Well yall go ahead.  I am a Red Sox fan, so I want the Yankees to lose every game, I am a Seahawk fan, so ANYONE in the NFC west I want to lose.   So, if I had my choice, the Dawgs would lose  every game (one year, not that long ago, they did, and I loved every 0 – 12 weekend!)

I have even enjoyed games we’ve lost.  One Applecup in the 90s we were at Husky stadium, and we lost.  The students stormed the field.  The police told them NOT to try to tear down the goalpost or they wold be maced.  They didn’t listen and they got maced hard!  Shoot watching the news, they were using firehoses to knock them off.

Parents were calling in, complaining that the police “dared’ their darling kids to try it….  And I think thats the crux.  MANY of the huskies I have met over the years are very nice people, and some are very good friends.  But when it comes to their team, they are spoiled and think they are entitled.  To them losing is a personal affront.

Folks, not everyone who went to WSU is a COUG.  I work with one who couldn’t stand the place.  It’s a small town, and you have to make your own fun.  For those who are lucky enough to BE Cougs, they understand how magical it is.

We’ve turned out Players, like Marcus Trufant, Rueben Mayes, Mark Rypien and Drew Bledsoe.  But more importantly, it’s turned out some the best people in the world, Stacy, Jim, Dave, Scott (The Mudsucker), Jenna, Kristina, Rob, Pete (the Immortal one), Wally, Terry, Barb, Terry (yep there are 2 Terry’s)  and many many others.  Those I know who will wear Crimson and Grey, yell go Cougs, and feel the magic.

So yep, I will make sure to let people know I am happy when the Cougs win AND when the Dawgs lose.  The Apple Cup is just around the corner and it means I amp up the Cougness.

Thanks for reading!

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5 Responses to The Coug Fan

  1. jimdev7 says:

    GO COUGS! That’s all I’ve got to say about that!!

  2. It always amazes me how wrapped up people south of the border get with University sports. We have nothing like that here in Canada when it comes to school sports.

  3. Rick Sherman, '79 says:

    What a great article! You’ve explained the almost unexplainable – the magic of being a Coug. My wife and I met at Wazzu and my son is a senior and fourth generation Coug. We may have over-couged my daughter, however, as she chose to go to the second best school in the Pac-12, Oregon State! We’ve grown to love OSU and Corvallis but “once a Coug, always a Coug.” We get strange looks as the only people wearing full Cougar gear at Beaver football games. Our house is painted gray with crimson trim.

    We were in England and getting a family photo taken in front of Windsor Castle (holding a Cougar flag, of course) when someone with a heavy European accent yelled “Go Cougs”. Incredible. I was at a wedding this summer where the couple ended each of their vows with “Go Cougs” and walked back down the aisle as man and wife with a string quartet playing the Cougar fight song. That just doesn’t happen at the “other university.”

    You are right that not every WSU grad is a Coug, the game is never in the bag, and we never root for that other school no matter what. Never. Go Cougs!

    • Rick I love it! My wife is a BEAV! and I firmly believe it is the second best PAC 12 school. I also understand the over Couging a kid, my oldest went to Western In Bellingham since I said I’d pay for anywhere BUT that other school. Glad you enjoyed the post! It was fun to write!

      Go COUGS!

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