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Gonzaga is in the Final Four. Let’s complain about it.

Yeah, we’re salty. Or jealous. Or salty and jealous.

Xavier v Gonzaga Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Gonzaga has finally crossed its personal Rubicon, advancing to the Final Four of the NCAA tournament and forever erasing the perception that it was a nice little program that might never actually do anything of actual significance on the national stage.

Such a bummer, really. With Gonzaga kicking our collective teeth in for the better part of two decades before cancelling the series outright — only after, of course, squeezing one more payday out of WSU by strong arming the Cougs into playing the final two games of the series in Spokane — there’s not a lot of love lost on our staff for that miniature institution up north.

Step into our Slack chatroom as we talk about it ... and somehow end up connecting it to a proposed expansion of Martin Stadium.

brian_anderson [8:00 AM]

I've hated Gonzaga basketball nearly as much as UW football for most of my adult life. Putting on a "this is fine" face for the Final Four is tough. That Evergreen article Geoff O’Neil shared on Twitter that we're all reacting to pissed me off a lot. Spokane Cougs that root for Gonzaga over WSU, or instead of WSU, are as bad as jack huskies, maybe worse.

goldenthroat (aka Michael Preston) [8:01 AM]

I rooted for UW when they played this year. That's where I've gotten to with Gonzaga basketball.

sherwood [8:02 AM]

I've never really had a problem with Gonzaga in a vacuum. That is to say i've never really hated Gonzaga. It's a good story. I loathe Coug fans who root for them, but I suppose that's not really Gonzaga's problem. I won't root for them, but I don't break things when they win, either.

jeffnusser [9:34 AM]

For me, it's the "I root for the state" fans that annoy me. However, hardcore Zag Fan Since 1999 is the worst. As insufferable as Hardcore Mariners Fan Since 1995 was for a while.

brian_anderson [9:39 AM]

"WSU football sucks all the time, I root for Gonzaga basketball" is the thing that pisses me off.

scottcresswell [9:42 AM]

I'm rooting for the Zags too (sorry guys). My dad has been a season ticket holder for the last 20 something years, so I'm happy for him. The only college program I really hate is UW.

sherwood [9:45 AM]

I think a lot of the WSU fan hatred for Gonzaga is jealousy. That could have been us if we gave a damn. I had never really given it much thought until the first couple Tony teams talked about how annoying it was having all their classmates wearing Gonzaga gear on the hill. It hadn't even dawned on me. I don't hate Zag fans or begrudge anyone from Spokane for rooting for them. I mean, it's also mostly WSU's fault for sucking out loud for the last 30 years too, allowing people to not give a damn about WSU hoops.

I went to maybe three games my entire four years on campus.

jeffnusser [9:45 AM]

@sherwood I am 10000% jealous of Gonzaga. I will not apologize for it, either.

scottcresswell [9:46 AM]

Of course GU wasn't that good until I was almost out of college so I never saw people wearing GU stuff on the hill, which would be annoying.

sherwood [9:46 AM]

I did not care about WSU basketball at all until Dick Bennett showed up. And by then, I was 25 so it seemed almost fake that I was rooting for WSU basketball.

Washington State Cougars v UCLA Bruins
Kyle Sherwood’s hero.
Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

scottcresswell [9:48 AM]

If WSU had made a decent hire after Sampson the GU rise might never have happened

sherwood [9:48 AM]


scottcresswell [9:49 AM]

I went to Gonzaga Prep and even nobody there gave a crap about the Zags in the 90s. It was all about WSU or UW. GU was basically like Eastern except they had John Stockton

brian_anderson [9:51 AM]

There's an "I'm from Spokane" identity that keeps people from being WSU fans and that's all because Gonzaga basketball is a thing. I hate that Gonzaga basketball is a thing more than I hate the people, I just think of them like I do Jack Huskies. Spokane should be all about WSU if WSU did things right, they haven't, so it isn't. That is dumb and disappointing.

scottcresswell [9:52 AM]

It does really suck that they have hijacked the Spokane fanbase. People used to drive down to Beasley a lot more.

zane_rm (aka Zane Murfitt) [9:53 AM]

I'm fascinated and super annoyed by the fact that we don't win over joe sports fan in Spokane. I get it, we've not been good at any sports for an extended period of time, but when I lived there it felt more like disdain and they wanted WSU to suck/lose at everything vs apathy.

sherwood [9:53 AM]

I'm not sure i'd go to WSU basketball games right now if i lived in Pullman, let alone Spokane. The UW fanbase in Spokane is much much larger than it has any right to be.

scottcresswell [9:54 AM]

There are lot of kids in Spokane who grow up rooting for UW. Now THAT pisses me off.

brian_anderson [9:55 AM]

@zane_rm it is absolutely a thing that Spokane people laugh at WSU sucking -- and we aren't just talking basketball, they treat Gonzaga basketball as a thing during football season too. They literally don't root for WSU because they root for Gonzaga basketball.

zane_rm [9:56 AM]

@brian_anderson it's the weirdest thing ever. I wonder how long of a period of sustained success from football it would take for that to not be a thing anymore. Because the ship has sailed with basketball.

brian_anderson [9:57 AM]

If Few leaves and they start to be a middling WCC team, that fanbase would jump ship real quick. Probably be a fraction of what it is now in just a few seasons.

sherwood [9:57 AM]

Probably not long. T-shirt fans are fickle. But it has to be real success. This 8-5 stuff ain't winning anyone over.

scottcresswell [9:58 AM]

There's some of weird inferiority complex in Spokane where a lot of people think they are too good for WSU.

brian_anderson [9:58 AM]

Three 10-win seasons in a row didn't sell out Martin for every home game. It would take a lot.

@scottcresswell 100% agree with that too

sherwood [9:59 AM]

on the contrary, i think WSU should expand its football stadium asap.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - Washington v Alabama
Possibly from Spokane.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

zane_rm [9:59 AM]

that was the crazy thing from some of the people I met in Spokane, like a dude who was an overall nice guy, electrician that didn't go to college would go soooo hard in the paint at me about the Cougs. Saw him at Apple Cup decked out in UW gear — I was like, dude, come on.

brian_anderson [9:59 AM]

Huh? @sherwood ? Elaborate.

sherwood [9:59 AM]

@zane_rm: people love winners. Their gear is on more racks at Kohl's

@brian_anderson: we were at capacity for almost every game last year. They need to add enough seats to get to like 40k. They're gonna also be at capacity for almost every game this year too and we might suck!

brian_anderson [10:01 AM]

Where? Tiered level under the scoreboard?

sherwood [10:01 AM]

I think long term, they need to at the very least build a second club section on the north end and add a second deck under the scoreboard.

brian_anderson [10:02 AM]

That'd make things look bigger and better on tv, building more tiers that are smaller (a la Stanford)

sherwood [10:02 AM]

Stanford's stadium is literally exactly what i want martin stadium to look like

brian_anderson [10:02 AM]

Breaking up the north side into two tiers shoulda happened with the re-model

sherwood [10:03 AM]

They built the foundation for a 2nd deck during phase 2. I don't think it would cost a considerable fortune to add high value seats on top of the north deck.

brian_anderson [10:05 AM]

I think they'd have to chop the north seats down 25% to add a deck to the top, so it doesn't interfere with the Field House. Think I remember seeing that somewhere but it mighta been Sterk plans from like a decade ago.

sherwood [10:06 AM]

i haven't been into the Field House since 2011 when I moved to the south side. Is it still terrible? Do we need to get rid of it?

brian_anderson [10:07 AM]

I agree they for sure need another club level on that north side though. Corporate is starting to edge people out of suites. CAF is politely asking people to consider moving to loge boxes. That's what a source told me.

sherwood [10:08 AM]

Yes, that's absolutely happening. People signed 7-year contracts and WSU is begging them to vacate them.

brian_anderson [10:08 AM]

I like the field house, they improved beer and liquor service with a central garden area. TVs still suck, but when the weather is garbage it's where I usually go.

sherwood [10:08 AM]

The list for loge boxes is long as hell too.

brian_anderson [10:12 AM]

Yeah we looked at getting in on a couple next to each other and were basically laughed at. You don't even have a shot at getting all four seats in one box right now.

You could make the south side the corporate side and the north side just a huge party with like a dozen 16-person suites whose backs open up to a common area that runs the length of it. Then that common area is connected to second floor in the field house.

That'd be kinda how CU's is set up and it would kick ass. You walk out the back of your suite and are basically on a balcony overlooking the field house.

zane_rm [10:21 AM]

That would be awesome. Would we have to cut off a good chunk of the top of the student section to do that?

brian_anderson [10:22 AM]

I'm just an ideas guy, not a construction management guy

sherwood [10:23 AM]

No wonder we can't seem to take basketball seriously. We completely changed topics to expanding Martin Stadium halfway through a discussion about Gonzaga.