For the past few years I have ignored my Husky roots, mostly because I held no passion for the football team. I arrived at the University of Washington the same year Sonny Sixkiller took the field. Those were the days! Then, a few years after my tenure, we had Warren Moon under the skillful leadership of Don James. I was a Husky through and through and I’m embarrassed to say my loyalty wavered through poor coaches and players about whom I just didn’t give a damn.
The fact that my son defected to Washington State and became a Cougar also tainted my thinking. A couple of Mom’s Weekends in Pullman gave me an understanding of the tight community and sense of belonging WSU brings to its students.
There is not much that would be mistaken for culture and only a handful (if that) of non-WSU activities worth enjoying in Pullman, so the students bond in a way that a Husky couldn’t possibly understand. I get it. And, for those years that I traveled over the mountains, always in awe of the beautiful rolling hills of the Palouse, I wondered if I had missed something by choosing to be a Husky forty plus years ago.
Today I realized that I had not missed a thing. I needed to be a Husky. I grew up in a small tight knit neighborhood (much like the WSU community) and I needed to expand my horizons. The University of Washington was exactly what I needed to grow up, to learn about life, people, society and maybe even get an ‘education’ along the way. I developed my social conscience at UW as I protested the Vietnam war, gained insight into the hearts and minds of humankind through my psychology studies and learned to love football.
Could I have learned that at WSU? Maybe, but I wouldn’t trade my Husky days for anything. I love my Cougar friends and, of course I love my Cougar son, but I am a Husky and I no longer feel the need to apologize. We have a great coach and a young, eager team on the rise—much like the Cougars. So, the rivalry can officially resume with two teams heading in the same direction.
Today we fight the big fight—The Apple Cup. And, today I am a proud Husky.