I already had this post written before I even got to Pullman.
This was definitely going to be a coronation of sorts. My last game in Martin Stadium was the 2008 Apple Cup. But after six college football seasons in faraway places, I was back in Washington, and the logical step in my mind was to buy Cougar Football season tickets.
Portland State was a nice transition into regular Martin Stadium visits. The seemingly guaranteed win was going to be a showcase for the upgrades that I hadn’t seen in person.
The weather forecast was not desirable, but that didn’t matter. I was just happy to be in Pullman. So happy that I gladly paid for a room at a Pullman hotel that doesn’t come close to approaching its star rating on Priceline.
Pregame was great. I met the infamous B-Lot crew (minus Sherwood) that has roamed this site’s comments for almost as long as it has held a grassy spot on Grimes Way. I brought special beer for the occasion. We enjoyed it. Everything was gravy, except for the weather.
After Fireball shots out of the trunk of a Mazda, my Dad and I made our way to the stadium gates. I’m a total newbie as a season ticket holder, so unsurprisingly it took two tries to find my entrance.
But we made it in, and thanks to our generous neighbors we had garbage bags to keep our legs dry. I proudly introduced myself to the people around me as the new guy. We all cringed through an ugly first half that saw the Cougs with a two-score lead they couldn’t possibly relinquish.
Then the second half happened. Portland State tied the game. My Dad and I decided that this meant we needed to stay in Pullman another night (we were going to drive back to Yakima), in hopes of having a shred of fun on the trip.
The game got worse. The Cougs lost. I wandered back to the concourse in an angry daze. I wanted to yell and scream profanities, to break everything in sight, but there were children and police officers around.
Then I realized I was soaking wet and cold. The football gods wanted to extract every shred of misery they could for Coug fans. It wasn’t enough to lose to a middling Big Sky team, it had to be on a Labor Day weekend game that more resembled an early November contest. Oh and hey, the starting quarterback was hurt, too.
My Dad and I talked on the drive out of Pullman and we came to an agreement: There was little-to-no fun had in Martin Stadium yesterday. We were soaked as soon as we sat down on the wet benches and we stayed there for most of the next three and a half hours. The whole second half was miserable, as the slow burn of the Portland State comeback was becomingly increasingly concerning.
But really, the day would have been much better with a Cougar win, regardless of the weather. That’s all I really needed for even the slightest bit of enjoyment. Beating an FCS team is a low bar to set, but Mike Leach’s squad managed to trip over that bar, fall flat on their face and break their nose in the process.
(P.S.): Thanks toand his friends, as well as the B-Lot crew, for saving what would have otherwise been an all-around shitty day.