The 2008 Apple Cup stands alone in the historic rivalry between Washington State and Washington. Not because it was some epic clash, even though it did end in double overtime. No, the 2008 Apple Cup will be remembered because it was perhaps two of the worst major-conference teams ever assembled, playing for a trophy.
There are a lot of nightmares for both WSU and UW fans stemming from that 2008 campaign, and we must keep in mind a key part of the Apple Cup that is often forgotten: It brings Cougs and Huskies together, not just to shout and yell and belittle, but to laugh and talk and, sometimes, commiserate. In the spirit of that, I reached out to a Husky to talk about 2008, figuring it would be therapeutic for both of us.
My Husky friend declined to give their name for the story when I brought up the idea of publishing the conversation, so I'll refer to them as Jack Husky from this point forward.*
*also because this is made up
Me: So, 2008 huh? Rough year for us Cougs. But obviously it was tougher for you guys.
Jack Husky: Yeah, I'm not sure I'll ever get over what happened that year. Like many traumatic experiences, it us burned in my memory and has even changed the way I view the world.
Me: Wow, dude. That is pretty profound. I do have to admit, it does help Coug fans a little bit to know that the Huskies suffered more that year.
Jack Husky: You guys just love to watch us be miserable. I suppose that's part of the rivalry, but it does hurt my feelings sometimes. Coug fans obviously don't realize how much 2008 really hurt Huskies. I'll never forget that fateful day in October when I knew things would never be the same.
Me:The Jake Locker injury? Yeah, the 0-12 season looked signed, sealed and delivered at that moment, even with hapless WSU on the schedule. As for myself, I try to remember when things get really bleak that it is just football .
Jack Husky: Jake Locker? 0-12? Yeah, those are just football. What the hell are you talking about?
Me: The 2008 season football season, man. The Crapple Cup. 1-10 WSU vs. 0-10 UW? What are YOU talking about?
Jack Husky: Clearly something far worse. Something you COUGS obviously don't understand. I'm clearly referring to the greatest disaster of 2008. None other than Coors Brewing Company's inexplicable decision to discontinue the greatest beverage on God's Green Earth: ZIMA.
Me: Uh, what? I mean, WSU fans just make that Zima reference as a joke. Are you serious?
Jack Husky: OF COURSE I AM SERIOUS. I remember the day exactly when I heard the news. I just didn't know what to do.I went to every store I could find and bought up their entire supply. There were a few nights I binged on two or three bottles of the stuff, crying myself to sleep in a drunken stupor. I wrote letters. I couldn't taste food for months.
Me: But..I...aren't there a hundred other products to fill the void at this point?
Jack Husky: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Nothing but a bunch of Zima knock-offs. Look, I love a good Smirnoff Grape, but never, ever would I stack it up against the best malt beverage the world has ever seen. I would not besmirch the name of such a legend.
Me: Well, I have to admit, seeing Zima go has been rough on Coug fans. Only because our younger generations don't even get the Zima jokes anymore. It really doesn't work the same with Smirnoff Grape, so I guess I can see where you are coming form.
Jack Husky: Well, I don't get how drinking something as wonderful as Zima could be considered a joke, but I'm glad you can see my side in some sort of way. I'm glad you can relate, that you can feel my pain despite our differences.
Me: So...Mission Accomplished?
Jack Husky: I suppose so. Now, if you don't mind, I must go. I have to write my daily letter to Coors Brewing Company. I saw the other day that JNCO Jeans are attempting a comeback, so there is still hope for my beloved Zima.