Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard all played an integral part in my childhood. Every Saturday from the age of about 10-years-old on, I woke up in unison with the Eastern Washington sunrise with hopes of catching Ol’ Crimson and Whitey on College GameDay.
Whitey entered retirement in 2012 honoring Steve Gleason’s #NoWhiteFlags campaign and Fowler – my favorite host – has since been replaced by Rece Davis; however, the production never lost its luster. Likewise, Washington State’s desire to host the event has not depleted a shred.
And courtesy of Oregon’s overtime 30-27 dethroning of no. 7 Washington Saturday in Eugene, Herbstreit’s social media accounts officially confirmed the Pullman pipedream later that evening.
“So you start to look at the drawing board for where College GameDay should go for Week Eight, and there’s really no debate,” Herbstreit said. “It’s been a long time. The 15-year anniversary is this Saturday for that beautiful flag – Ol’ Crimson – that’s been traveling around College GameDay. There is only one place for College GameDay to go. Oregon at Washington State, we will see you in Pullman.”
Indeed, College GameDay’s truck convoy will roll through I-90 making its way to the Promised Land for a Pac-12 North clash.
It’s nearly impossible to accurately frame the news into words, and I certainly was not elected a spokesperson on behalf of all diehard Cougs; however, I can say with confidence that I was not in the minority when assuming it would never happen. After all, the set has flirted with Pullman for years and balked more times than my broken heart cared to count.
Any college football fan with an ounce of savvy knows the upcoming Saturday is unlike any other. And for Washington State specifically, it is our time to show the nation what Pullman is really about.
“I can’t define it, I can’t tell someone who isn’t a cougar what it’s like. There’s something that happens at Washington State; you quietly and subtly become infected…Washington State is a passion. Being a cougar is a passion,” former WSU Head Coach Jim Walden once said.
The town we call home borders on the status of an underground club. From the inside looking out, you can’t explain it. From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it.
The cast and camera crew cannot possibly capture the Palouse’s magic to its entirety; therefore, it is our job to fill in the gaps. And while most won’t understand it, surely all can appreciate it.
Students and alumni – show up early, show up proud, and show up loud. It’s what Cougs do.
Our friends over at SBNation have a great piece from 2017 on the history of Ol’ Crimson and other facts surrounding the iconic College GameDay tradition started by WSU Alumni Tom Pounds in 2003.