CougarsRock's Favorite WSU Story

Today's story comes from CougarsRock. If you'd like to participate in this series, you can find more information here or email me here.

I have way too many great stories to have a just one favorite. My first Apple Cup ('82) will always be memorable as we beat the Huskies, rushed the field and tore down the goal posts. I graduated in '85 and had attended all the Apple Cups with the Cougs going 3-1 during my time in Pullman. Every Apple Cup has fond memories though one I'll discuss here and never forget is the '88 Apple Cup in Pullman.

After graduation, I ended up in Portland mostly surrounded by Ducks and Beavers. In '88, Tom, a good friend and Duck with whom I attended a number of UO games with, agreed to go to Pullman for Apple Cup. It was his first time to Pullman and we would be staying with one of my best friends, who lived in the house directly across from Beasley Coliseum. Being almost the closest house to campus with a lawn that served as a parking lot made for a great place to stay for the weekend.

The first thing that made the trip memorable was the road trip and the music. As we got on the road in Tom's Toyota pickup, we put a new cassette in his stereo from a band that neither of us had heard of and that Tom had recently won as a door prize. The band was The Blasters and the album was "Hard Line." Fortunately for us, it turned out to be a great album and one we both enjoyed because it got stuck in the cassette player and it was the only thing we could listen to all the way over and back. I believe the speed limit was 55 in those days so we spend a solid 12+ hours listening to that tape over and over again (You can hear some samples here: http://www.allmusic.com/album/hard-line-mw0000838669).

Now it would be a lie if I told you I remembered much of the actual game. Based on looking up the facts, I know the Cougars were coached by Dennis Erickson and featured Timm Rosenbach and Steve Broussard on offense. The Cougars were 7-3 coming into the game while the Huskies were 6-4. The Huskies were looking for a 3rd straight Apple Cup win and a needed 7th win to get to a bowl game. The Cougars were looking for their first bowl game since 1981. You can read all about the highlights here: http://www.wsucougars.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/111406aad.html

What makes this game very memorable is the role I played in this Cougar victory. Down 31-26 in the fourth quarter with the Huskies prepared to punt. I sat in the front row as I usually did, on the student side, pretty much even where the Husky punter stood. Back then I used to have huge megaphone, all custom Cougar painted and decorated, that I'd bring to every game so I could make my voice heard (It also served as a great place to stash beverages but that is another story). Because I sat in front of the cheerleaders with the giant megaphone and was always very vocal, it wasn't unusual for the cheerleaders to follow my lead back then. As far as my recollection go, myself and a small group of friends in the early 80s either started, (or revived and helped promote) the now famous "That's another Cougar First Down" cheer. Besides that one, another of my favorite old school chants, and one that you don't hear often enough, is "Block that Kick" and that's how I made a difference in this game and helped lead the Cougars to victory.

From my front row seat, with the snow falling, the Cougars behind, and the hometown crowd slightly subdued, I pointed my megaphone at the Husky punter and started the "Block that Kick" cheer. As the group nearby joined in and the roar of the chant grew louder, the ball was snapped when Shawn Landrum came off the edge, laid himself out for a perfect block which we recovered at the 13-yard line. After moving the ball to the 5-yard line, Rosenbach ran the ball in and after a failed two-point conversion, the Cougars found themselves up 32-31 with nine minutes to go and sent the fans into a frenzy in what would be one of the more exciting Apple Cups finishes of all time as the Cougars held on to a the one point victory by holding the Huskies scoreless the rest of the way.

While the memory has somewhat faded, I'm not sure if Landrum makes that block without our cheer pumping him up while getting in the head of the Husky punter.

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