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THE MORNING PAPER: Apple Cup at Qwest edition

I don't know if you're all Apple Cupped out, but if you're not, here's some of what's around as more people weigh in on the "probable" (as Grippi put it) move of the Apple Cup to Qwest for at least six years.

Before I get on to the links, just a couple of thoughts. No, I'm not going to continue pimping the idea of the game. You know how I feel about it. But as time has gone by in the last 36 hours, I've found myself sympathizing more and more with those of you who hate it.

I've been examining why I like the idea, and a lot of it stems from this: Born and raised and now once again living in Western Washington, I have loads of friends -- and family members -- who are Huskies. The thought of all of us partying it up outside the stadium because we now all can go no matter where the game is, then going to our separate sides of the stadium, then meeting up again afterwards and eventually driving home sure sounds like a heck lot of fun to me. The convenience factor isn't small, either. So in a way, yeah, it's kind of selfish.

But I just can't get one nagging thought out of my head. What if it sucks?

I don't think it's going to, but what if it does? As Plaster96 pointed out in another thread, once you open Pandora's box of that kind of revenue, it's tough to put the genie back in. (How's that for an awesomely mixed metaphor?) We're trading the known really special thing we have in Pullman for the unknown of this arrangement. And that's scaring the hell out of me more and more. I really don't want to look back in 16 years, when Joshua is a freshman, and say, "Son, you should have seen it when this game was in Pullman the last time. Both teams were terrible, but boy -- was that place rocking like only Martin Stadium can. When that last field goal went through, the place just exploded as crimson flooded the field. I took it easy on your poor grandpa, though -- he bought the tickets ..."

I'm not one to normally live in fear and I tend to embrace change -- moving four times and changing jobs three times in the first five-plus years of your marriage will do that to you -- so I'll continue to be cautiously behind the move. But I reserve the right to apologize profusely and ask for your forgiveness if it turns out I'm really, really wrong.

OK, on to the links. First off, it sounds as if Paul Wulff and the players are rather ambivalent about it. Wulff, a Coug through and through if there ever was one, understands both sides of the issue:

"Does the value outweigh the negative?" Wulff asked. "That’s the bottom line. That’s where it’s at. And that’s been my only part in this process."

Does it?

"At the end, today’s day and where we are, economy-wise, and some of the other things you could do scheduling-wise, it could," he said. "And if people knew all the facts, the details of it, it might."

John Blanchette has a solid look at it here, saying even though the cash considerations are probably making it inevitable, it still sucks.

If Jim Walden can’t work up a good froth over it, what’s the point in the rest of us even trying? ...

"Emotionally, I’m against it," Walden said, "but as much as I hate to see it go, that’s just the way it has to be."

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the sound of surrender.

He does have a factual inaccuracy, though -- the Cougs are 6-8 in Apple Cups in Pullman since 1982, not 7-7. And I'll point out again that we're 5-8 at Montlake over the same time span.

Bud Withers talks to some former Cougs and Huskies about it, and the most interesting take is from former UW AD Mike Lude. He thinks that there's no way the programs aren't going to get short shrift from a third party taking its share of the cut:

"I know about negotiating with third parties," Lude said. "It's a bad idea. It grieves me to think that those two institutions, with the great rivalry ... after all, it IS intercollegiate athletics."

Lastly, there's one area columnist -- the venerable Art Thiel -- who thinks this is a smart move:

In a time when jobs, budgets and programs at both state schools are being slashed, the chance to capitalize on a mutual asset to help preserve athletic departments is a no-brainer.

Although the biannual opportunity for traveling UW football fans to skid off a frozen highway into mud bog that was a lentil field will be sorely missed, it is what must be sacrificed if we are to engage in the ritual soul-cleansing clash of 0-12 and 2-11 titans.

An easy choice, really.

That's your roundup for this morning. We'll check in later with some other stuff. See you then.