Apple Cup!

** Apple Cup may as well be a National holiday in our household.  I’ve seen the good, the bad, the ugly, and the LEGENDARY. **

Originally published November 26th, 2011

There are three days that feel like Christmas morning to me every year.  The first one?  Christmas morning.  The other two are Opening Day and Apple Cup.  Apple Cup is a different “gift” every year.  You can’t wait for it, but you’re afraid you’re going to open it and get socks or a really ugly sweater.  As a Coug, I’ve gotten a lot of ugly sweaters.  But, I’ve also gotten some of the best memories and seen games that will go down in history.  That’s the thing about Apple Cup.  Throw away the record and forget the favorite, just watch and know that you’re going to see something unforgettable every year.

My first Apple Cup was my first year as a Coug.  1992.  I can still remember waiting at the student entrance for hours in the snow.  It was the kind of weather that was so miserable that you couldn’t help but love it.  It was my first time taking the field after a game and it’s an experience that will stick with me forever.  I remember telling my grandpa during that break that I had been at the game.  He said he thought he’d seen me on TV, but figured his grandson was smarter than that.  I wasn’t, and it was amazing.  I cherish my ticket stub to that game and only wish that I’d had a camera with me.

I was at the forgotten Snow Bowl II in 1994 with my girlfriend (and later/still my wife).  I remember students throwing near-frozen jelly donuts from Daylight Donuts (everyone remember the $1/bag nights?) into the crowd.  I remember hot chocolate that was frozen 15 minutes after you bought it, and another Cougar win.

I was at a heartbreak of a game in 1995 at Husky Stadium.  I watched Ryan Leaf bring us oh-so-close but we came up short.  I saw that same Ryan Leaf lead us to the Rose Bowl in 1997, the second time I took the field after a win.  I called my friend Ted from the game screaming into the phone, “Do you know where I am?!”  We were on the @*#!ing field.  My wife and I were close to tears. 

Apple Cup is so much more than a game.  It’s about tradition and pride.  It’s about remembering the good times.   It’s about feeling young again.  It’s about being part of something bigger.  I’m a Coug.  For Cougs, that’s ’nuff said.

I can’t wait for tonight’s game!  I just hope it’s closer to the shiny bike I got in 2007 and not the embroidered sweater with the bells that I got in 2003.

Go Cougs!

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