When I caught wind of ESPN's College Gameday planning to visit Seattle this weekend for the matchup between Washington and Oregon, only one thought went through my mind.
Let's get as many Cougs up there as possible, with as many flags as possible, and take that place over!
I admit, my first reflex is always to think of ways to tweak UW. Maybe that makes me childish; maybe it means I have an inferiority complex when it comes to college athletics. I will allow that both of these are possibilities. But the opportunity to both swell with Cougar pride by carrying on the Gameday tradition of waving the flag and also upstage the Huskies on their big day seemed like an opportunity too good to pass up.
Heck, with a 7:30 p.m. start in Pullman, you could show up to Gameday at the crack of dawn, make life miserable for some Husky fans for most of the morning, drive over the mountains, and still have a few hours to consume the requisite amount of beverages before the Cougs hit the field to shoot it out with Oregon State.
But then I started thinking.
Let's say hundreds of Cougs with hundreds of flags show up. Is there any way that doesn't look like the douchiest troll job in history?
I'm not even talking about the perspective of the t-shirt Husky fan who will get his community college panties in a bunch; I'm talking about all those people from all over the country who love what we do with the flag on a weekly basis. They love looking for our flag because of the commitment it takes to get it there every week, because it comes from a fan base the rest of the country doesn't generally classify as "rabid." It's never been about trying to upstage Gameday -- it's always been about, "Hey, come to Pullman! We'll be awesome!"
Which is exactly why there would be something cheap feeling about storming the Gameday set this weekend. This whole flag thing started as a way to try and get ESPN to Pullman for a game. It hasn't happened yet. So we're going to flood a Husky Gameday appearance because it happens to be close to so many of us who live on this side of the state? Because, as some Huskies have been saying, "I understand why you'd all want to come to Gameday on Saturday, since that's as close as it's ever getting to Pullman"?
It won't look like we're upstaging Washington, as we all love to do. It'll look like we're upstaging Gameday. And that's never been what this is about.
I hate to say it -- trust me, I really, really hate to say it -- but Saturday is Washington's day. And we should let them have it ... with the exception of the traditional appearances of Ol' Crimson and the gray flag. (Side note: Gray flag needs a cool name. Someone make this happen.) They will act as a reminder that we're still here, still waiting.
And that our day will come.