When most high school students are looking at colleges, they submit applications to a variety of schools. Some may be prestigious, like Washington State University. Other less so, like the University of Washington. Those "lesser" schools are called "safety schools", and they are a smart plan to have.
This week Coug fans were pretty disappointed when ESPN College Gameday decided it didn't want to come to Pullman. That was sad and all, but that was not the real issue. The real issue is Washington State fans are left with no traveling event to attend in Pullman, and that's clearly what the school needs to boost attendance for football games.
So WSU needs a safety school of sorts, a backup event to send flags to every week in hopes of luring it to the Palouse. And there is good news! College Gameday is not the only television show that moves from town to town each week, and you've probably watched this particular one with your grandma before.
In case you haven't heard of it, Antiques Roadshow is a television program on PBS where antique appraisers travel around the country to tell people how much the old stuff in their basement is worth. It even has a host, Mark Walberg (no, not the guy that Andy Samberg played on SNL).
One might say Walberg is Rece Davis, Desmond Howard, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit all rolled into one. And the one that might say that is me, right in the sentence before this. Pay attention and stop glancing down at the horrible MS Paint photo below. (made you glance)
Why Antiques Roadshow you might ask? Well, let Wikipedia fill you in:
When PBS decides on the taping locations for each year, it publicizes the chosen cities and airs the city and items to be appraised nationwide on PBS stations the next year, therefore raising the profile of various small to mid-size cities, such as Billings, Montana; Biloxi, Mississippi; Bismarck, North Dakota; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Hot Springs, Arkansas; and Rapid City, South Dakota.
Who wouldn't want Pullman, Washington to join the ranks of Billings, Biloxi and Rapid City? With the same status those cities enjoy, people are sure to flock to the Palouse and maybe even fill Martin Stadium while they are around.
Artist's rendering. Original photo by Bobak Ha'Eri, Wikimedia Commons
Logistics...you are certainly tired of that word. But there's good news here: Instead of guessing what is needed for the show to come to Pullman, like we had to do with Gameday, Antiques Roadshow lays out the guidelines:
According to the On Tour FAQ section on the Antiques Roadshow website, a city is selected for taping based on several factors, including the requirement of a minimum of 80,000 square feet (7,400 m2) of space, i.e. a large hotel ballroom, local/regional convention center, or something similar.
The new Football Operations Building checks in at "approximately" 75,000 square feet, according to WSU. Approximately means it could totally be 80,000, right? If not, there's always Beasley Coliseum and the Martin Stadium to supplement. I'm pretty sure Pullman can meet this requirement.
Call to Action
Now, the 2016 Antiques Roadshow has yet to be released as far as I can tell, but when it does we'll know exactly where to go to wave Ol' Crimson, and even have its value appraised.
Last year, there were shows in Tuscon, Omaha, Cleveland, Little Rock, Charleston and even Spokane. Heck, if they are heading to Spokane they can surely come down the road to Pullman!
But first we have to make Antiques Roadshow aware that we want them in Pullman, and the only way Cougar fans know how to do that is to wave giant flags at events. So get out there to various large hotel ballrooms, local convention centers or something similar and Wave That Flag for WSU's "safe" choice!