The Cougars Won the Game That Was Never Played
A couple of days have passed since the disappointment of Tuesday's Apple Cup Diamond Classic baseball game between the Washington State Cougars and the University of Washington Huskies being canceled due to unplayable conditions in right field. ( I guess there is crying in baseball.)
I have heard different stories of how the Huskies didn't like the field conditions at Yakima County Stadium and refused to play to avoid risking injuries to any of their players. The umpires called the game canceled, and the Cougars won a game that wasn't played. Yes, WSU "Couged it" in the best way possible.
As I made my to the gates that night, I was greeted by the Cougar Cruiser, with Whitney and McKenna -- whose smiles brighten any baseball fan's day. They were handing out free SWAG (T-shirts, pullovers, etc.). Around the box office more Cougs were helping out. Tables were ready with WSU items to give to fans.
Then the big "Go Cougs" players bus caught my eye. Very Impressive. Larry, the bus driver, was more than glad to let me snap some photos. When I was finished chatting with Larry, I looked at the nondescript vehicle parked next to the Cougs' bus. The Washington Huskies bus had simple gold coloring and standard bus trim. Kind of disappointing, compared with the Cougars' ride.
I made my way back to the gate, where the crowd was growing. Lots of crimson and gray
and a few spots of purple and gold. I kept looking around for Washington Huskies students and their booths with their giveaways. I wanted to grab something for Todd E. Lyons, the designated die-hard Huskies fan here at the station. But I saw nothing. Where was the UW presence? Nowhere to be found.
As the gates opened to the long line of Cougar/Huskies lovers, the atmosphere felt like a Cougar home game in Pullman. The crowd was still filing in and the traffic was packed three lanes full, and more cars were coming into the north parking lot. There was good-natured trash talking between Coug and Dawg fans, and I thought the place was going to be rocking with energy.
As I watched the Dawgs take fielding and batting practice, a Washington player hit a mammoth of a shot over that now-infamous right field fence. Boy, it was an attention-getter! But after that hit, the Huskies gathered their equipment and went into the first base dugout. I didn't think anything about that since I was there watching the Cougs go through their pregame workout.
About 10 minutes before they called the game, I noticed that the bus carrying the Huskies had left the parking lot. I thought it might be going to refuel for the trip back to Seattle. That was about the time I also noticed that the first base dugout was empty.
A few minutes later, the announcer told the crowd that due to the unplayable field conditions, the game had been called.
The Cougars offered a special consolation treat for the fans who stayed around. The crowd was invited onto the field, where all of the Cougar players were signing posters, trying to make the experience as enjoyable as possible for the disappointed crowd.
By then, the Huskies were long gone.
I think UW let down their fans here in Yakima. They could have stayed for a little bit to meet the Dawg faithful, say they were sorry the game had been canceled and show their appreciation for the Husky faithful coming out to the park.
So the Cougars won by going the extra mile and making sure that their fans had a great time and experience, despite unplayable conditions. The Huskies slinked out of town like a dog feeling guilty about wetting the carpet or digging a hole in the backyard.
Maybe next time they should treat their Yakima Huskies fans with some respect ... or keep off our lawn!