PULLMAN, Wash. – Once it’s springtime on the Palouse, expect to find sport management students Justus Reimer and Jack Foley at the Bailey-Brayton Field cheering on the Cougs.
Our should we say, ‘chairing’ on the Cougs.
“We had a marketing project for our sport marketing class,” Reimer said. “I played baseball in high school and one of my favorite things was when we had two strikes, we would tell the pitcher to ‘throw em the chair.’ And I thought ‘Hey why don’t we do that for WSU baseball and get the crown involved and make a chair chant.’”
Their passion for the good old-fashioned strikeout more than holds a candle to Seattle’s once infamous Kings Court behind former ace Felix Hernandez. It’s the same principle too. But in place of holding ‘K’ signs, they hoist the more cumbersome chair.
Wazzu’s baseball program was once one of the finest in the nation winning 20 division titles in a 25-year span between 1970 and 1995. But as far as pennants go, they haven’t picked one up since 1995 – dropping in morale as result.
“We’ve been to a lot of games in the past and the crowed wasn’t really factor, so we really wanted to incorporate that element into WSU baseball,” Foley said.
Junior pitcher Bryce Moyle is part of the project too, though he’s gotten an opportunity to enjoying it from the mound.
“I got 0-2 (count) on the first guy I faced,” Moyle said. “Hearing them and all the energy from the stands fuels me. It gives me some juice.”
Gimmick or battle cry, it’s caught the attention of first-year head coach Brian Green and Co. in less than a week after debuting in a four-game sweep over Niagara.
“They’re part of the family. We’re four and one here at Bailey-Brayton this season and they’re a part of that,” Green said. “Everyday they come in I give them a high five and tell them thanks for coming.”
After being embraced by Green, the crew made a twitter account branded ‘@TheChairLeaders.’ The account has gained almost 400 followers in just a couple days.
“Athletics supports it, but it wasn’t athletic driven. This was just something that was born organically and has just taken off,” season ticket holder Brandon Chapman said. “It’s infectious. Think about the recruits that are gonna come in. They’re gonna see this and be like ‘hey, this is a fun play to play, right?’”
From Athletic Director Pat Chun to University President Kirk Schulz, it’s been nothing but love from WSU Athletics. In fact, Senior Associate Athletic Director Chris Park gifted the group plastic crimson chairs before Tuesday’s bout with Gonzaga.
“It creates and presents a distraction and I like how our fans are doing it right now. It’s fun and it’s a positive distraction. It’s a homefield advantage and to have it is huge. I just hope to see it get bigger and bigger,” Green said.
Washington State begin Pac-12 play Friday in a three-game hosting of California. Due to the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus, attendance will be limited to players, staff, credentialed media, and family according to Washington State University’s website.
Season ticket holders who have questions or are interested in a refund are encouraged to call 1-800-GO-COUGS or email firstname.lastname@example.org.