Apple Cup 2012: A thank you

William Mancebo

You all, as fans, made this Apple Cup special.

Take a bow. To everyone that made the trek to Pullman, cutting short Thanksgiving or rising early to hit the road: Thank you. To those of you who watched on television, cheered from your living room and followed along with us: Thank you.

As Washington and Washington State took the field, I wondered if they'd thrown a party that nobody would show up to. Martin Stadium was slow to fill in, and I wondered if the Apple Cup would be listless and boring. It's just not the same with the raucous crowd.

I never should've underestimated you. The crowd filled in, save for the top corner of the student section. And I didn't notice it until I was on the field with time winding down, but the "alumni side" was packed and loud. As I turned around to survey the scene, a full crowd greeted me in full throat, on its feet and making plenty of noise. You guys brought it.

After the game, Mike Leach and the team complimented the crowd over and over. Players talked about how the energy of the fans kept them pushing through, propelling them to a comeback. And as the Cougars mounted a comeback, the noise level and energy inside Martin Stadium rose.

The wall of sound down on the field was indescribable. It's been a while since I've seen and heard the stadium rocking like it was on Saturday. There's little doubt in my mind that the fans played a part in the Cougars' win.

Midway through the third quarter, I started to wonder if I made a horrible mistake. I wondered if the drive was worth it, if cutting short Thanksgiving to head to Pullman was the right idea. I later realized, along with tens of thousands of others, that the trip was the best idea. It was worth it.

Today was our biggest traffic day at CougCenter, and we've had plenty of massive days. You guys -- all of you -- make what we do worth it. We write because it's fun, despite the struggles of our team. The conversation and comments make everything worth it.

So thank you. Each and every one of you, whether you were part of the herd that celebrated with the team at Martin Stadium or in the gamethreads here. Take a bow.

We'll be back with lots more tomorrow. There's plenty to talk about and quite a bit for us to write about. We've got you covered, as always.

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