By Jim Moore
I usually don’t have a problem ripping anything relating to the Dawgs, but their stadium? Can’t do it. I’ve always liked Husky Stadium.
Let me go one step farther. I’ve always LOVED Husky Stadium. That’s right, this Coug loves the place. There can’t be a better setting for a college football stadium in the country. And I think part of the reason I love Husky Stadium stems from childhood memories that I’ll get into later.
Saturday night’s game against Oregon is the last game at the Husky Stadium with the track around the field. That’s the part I’ll miss the least — with the track removed, every seat will be closer to the field. If you’re in the west end zone now, you feel like you’re miles from the action when the teams are at the other end of the field.
My memories of Husky Stadium go back to 1970. As a 13-year-old growing up in Redmond, I was a huge Husky fan. I didn’t know much about the Cougars then. For me, it was all Huskies, all of the time.
The Go 2 Guy will have plenty of memories of Husky Stadium, and not only those of WSU wins in the Apple Cup. (AP)
For several years my mom got season tickets so we could go to the games together. My dad didn’t like crowds, and my sister wasn’t into sports, so it was just mom and I who went to Husky Stadium.
I can still remember how excited I was when the season tickets arrived in the mail. I’d pull them out and look at them and think about those fall Saturday afternoons that were going to be so much fun at Husky Stadium.
I’d wake up on game day and couldn’t wait to hop in the car and cross what was known then as the Evergreen Point Bridge. We also called it the new bridge, and everyone knows it as the 520 bridge now.
We always parked at the Museum of History and Industry, and we’d sit on the Montlake Cut and have lunch before the game, watching the boats and yachts go by.
We sat in section 7, about halfway up, and I can remember how excited I was when the Huskies came out of the tunnel. I thought we had the greatest seats ever.
My favorite player was Sonny Sixkiller, and every time I see him now, I think back to those days when he was in his uniform, No. 6, that unbelievable quarterback from Ashland, Ore., the player that was better than Jim Plunkett in my eyes. I can’t believe that he’s 60 now.
I also loved Calvin Jones and Bill Cahill because whenever the other team had to punt, those guys were a threat to take it to the house.
In 1974 I made a hard decision to go to Washington State. A big part of me wanted to go to Washington, and I was accepted, but as I recall, my parents said I’d have to live at home and commute to school to save money if I went to the U-Dub.
I think freshmen have to live on campus now, but back then they didn’t have to. I might have that wrong, but that’s what I recall as one of the factors that led me to WSU. I also knew that I wanted to be a sportswriter and that Washington State had a good communications school.
Obviously, I’ve never regretted that choice.
In this post or column or whatever you call stories on-line these days, I thought about listing my most memorable games from Husky Stadium, all Apple Cup victories by the Cougars, most notably the one in 1997 that put us in the Rose Bowl. As you would rightly point out, it’s not a long list. In my lifetime, the Cougars have won only eight times at Husky Stadium.
But you know what, now’s not the time to be a smart-ass, wise-cracking Coug. I’m going to give Husky Stadium the respect that it deserves. When you roll out the red carpet for Don James and the 1991 co-national championship team on Saturday night, enjoy every minute of it.
Husky Stadium has been a very cool place.
Listen to Jim Moore weekday afternoons from 3 to 6 on “The Kevin Calabro Show.” You can reach Jim here and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo. He also writes for his website. On Sunday join Jim at the Clearwater Casino for a Seahawks’ viewing party at 10 a.m. Drink specials, give-aways, trivia contest and maybe even a Seahawks’ win over the Cowboys.
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