Update: Follow the Apple Cup 2011.
On the field in the 2010 Apple Cup, Washington and Washington State played a fantastic, entertaining game. Off the field, in the stands, some ugly actions tarnished the effort put forth by the players. To be clear, it was, and always is, an emotional game. But that doesn't excuse fans interjecting themselves into the game.
As I stood in the end zone with time winding down, I turned to the person next to me and said "watch out, this could get ugly." He agreed, and we both kept our heads on a swivel. Judging from the actions earlier in the game, it seemed like such an emotionally charged game could have an aftermath that rivaled 2002. It didn't get that far, fortunately, but those watching live, or hearing about it later, saw something I'm not proud of.
As Washington defensive tackle Semisi Tokolahi was carted off the field with his leg in a cast, after suffering a serious leg injury, snowballs, or, more accurately, ice chunks, came raining down from the stands. This is a kid that likely just saw his season end, in the heat of a hotly-contested game. And yet fans were trying to pelt the sophomore with objects that could serious harm.
After Washington scored what proved to be the game-winning touchdown, while officials were reviewing Jared Karstetter's first down catch, water bottles came flying from the stands onto the field. Some went sailing onto the Washington sideline, others onto the field itself.
Finally, as I was leaving the field, walking a stone's throw from the governor, UW president and our own president, chunks of ice came flying from the stands. One narrowly missed me and the group I was with. Never, and I mean never, is it right, or justifiable, to throw anything at players or fans.
I'm sure it was a small minority. I know both sides in attendance took part in throwing snowballs. That doesn't make it okay. No matter how frustrated you may be with a loss, it's just a game -- and a game that doesn't deserved to be tarnished by the actions of few.
I'm disappointed in those that threw snowballs and bottles, casting Washington State University in a poor light. It's taken eight years to repair the black eye that was the 2002 Apple Cup. There's no reason to resort to the same tactics that left that bad mark.
This isn't an invitation for a debate about which fans are worse or who started what. That was already done in another thread. I just hope that we, as fans of the Cougs, can be better than this.