What started as a minor show of school pride and then turned into a tradition has now come full circle: ESPN’s iconic Saturday morning show, College GameDay, visited Pullman, Wash., for the game between the No. 25 Washington State Cougars and the No. 12 Oregon Ducks.
Way back on October 4, 2003, the WSU flag was flown by alumnus Tom Pounds at the GameDay broadcast in Austin, Texas, to display some school spirit. Soon, it turned into a campaign to entice the show’s producers to make the trip to Pullman. The Cougs were coming off a Rose Bowl appearance and were in the midst of their third consecutive 10-win season. In fact, flag appearance No. 1 came on the heels of WSU’s 55-14 beatdown of Oregon in Eugene that propelled the Cougs to No. 14 in the polls.
Since then, Ol’ Crimson — as the flag came to be known — has flown from each and every location at which the broadcast has originated. That was 216 consecutive appearances across 15 years, during which time WSU football has seen plenty of ups, but mostly downs, which meant the show never made it’s way to God’s Country in southeast Washington.
With the Cougs again on an upswing under Mike Leach and Oregon fresh off an upset of the Washington Huskies, ESPN decided it was finally time to pull the trigger. Appearance 217 came at Ol’ Crimson’s home.
Here’s a rundown of the entire week, culminating with Saturday’s bonkers show.