Saturday is a big day for the Huskies. For the first time, the University of Washington will host ESPN College GameDay as they take on the second-ranked Oregon Ducks.
But there is some controversy. Husky fans are worried a sea of crimson flags might overtake the purple and gold’s moment of glory during the broadcast.
The Washington State Cougar flag has flown at every ESPN College GameDay broadcast, regardless of where it’s been hosted in the country, for nearly a decade.
“Certainly, there’s been talk of people saying, hey if you live in the Seattle area, get up and go to Seattle and fly your flag and show your pride,” says Nusser.
Being a huge day for UW, Husky fans were understandably concerned about a crimson takeover. Some Husky fans reportedly offered cash bounties to those who prevent Coug flags from popping up during the broadcast.
ESPN GameDay Host Chris Fowler has indicated they’ll do their part to ensure Coug flags get to remain in the shot, despite threats from any Huskies.
“@coug123 @CollegeGameDay flag carriers will be protected if needed! It’s a tradition. WSU flag(s) will be there,” Fowler tweeted.
Nusser tells Dori the whole thing started in the early 2000s in an attempt to get GameDay to come to Pullman.
“What started out as that turned into this weekly tradition of shipping these flags all over the country and people getting up at the crack of dawn to get prime placement in front of the camera to the point now where we are, I think, 138 or 139 consecutive weeks being on College GameDay,” says Nusser. “It’s become sort of this point of pride for WSU fans.”
Dori, a self-acknowledged man divided with two Husky daughters and one Coug, says he thinks it’s dumb to try and keep those couple of Coug flags off the broadcast. But he also thinks Cougs shouldn’t try to ruin the day for the Dawgs.
“I think if you keep up the tradition that you’ve been doing for years and years and years at every venue. I think it’s a cool tradition. I think it’s really funny,” says Dori. “If you’re going to take away from the University of Washington’s day, when ESPN has never been to Seattle before, then I think it’s kind of a punk move by everybody else who does that.”
Nusser agrees and encourages his fellow WSU fans not to be punks. “Let’s go do our thing because it’s a tradition, and we love it, and our day will come hopefully come sooner rather than later when they do finally make their way to Pullman.”