claiming the cougs

I didn’t go to Washington State University and I didn’t go to the University of Washington. So technically, I’m not a Cougar nor am I Husky. For the record, I’m actually a Torero; I went to the University of San Diego (I know, lame mascot).

I don’t hate the Huskies or anything crazy like that; many of my close friends are Huskies. In fact, until a couple years ago I was completely neutral on the topic. But there have been a few turning points, and I’m no longer neutral.

The first whammy against UW occurred when they stopped their Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) with Washington Community Colleges. This program guarantees transferred credits and enrollment at any state university for residents completing their associate’s degree and earning a 2.75 GPA at a Washington Community College. It’s an important program for students who can’t afford a 4-year university. UW discontinued the DTA in 2004 and they are the only state university in Washington that has eliminated this program. They claimed it was due to over-enrollment so instead of increasing the GPA requirement, they eliminated the program all together. They would rather enroll students who will pay tuition for 4-5 years. This decision was socially irresponsible and it discriminates against low-income and minority students.

The second whammy against UW was their recent request for $150 million from King County taxpayers to renovate their stadium. This request is ludicrous. Why would we spend public funds on this? Traditionally, university stadiums have not been funded by taxes. Why start now? Can’t think of anything better to do with $150 million? Uh, I don’t think so. WSU is currently undergoing a similar renovation to their football stadium. The Martin Stadium renovation is estimated at $70 million and is being funded by student fees, extra fees on tickets, donations and income from leases on new suites and premium suites. The way it should be.

The last whammy against UW isn’t actually a whammy against UW, but rather a bonus for WSU. I admire the camaraderie and solidarity that I see between Coug fans. WSU has half the enrollment of UW – so naturally they are going to have fewer fans – but their fans are fierce! Cougs are hardcore fans for life. It probably has to do with being stuck in Pullman for years with nothing else to do. There is something about rooting for the underdog that makes me embrace WSU.

And so, I’m publicly claiming the Cougs!

8 Responses to “claiming the cougs”

  1. 1 Seattle Resident
    January 24, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    I’m UW alum and have always been a true husky. I’ve had season tickets for football and basketball since I graduated in ’86. You bring up a few good points. While I am a dedicated fan, this is absolute bullsh*t. It’s embarrassing to be representing UW when their acting as if they’re broke and don’t have the funds to simply sustain a stadium. It’s absolutely ridiculous. If this is truly the case then there was some real poor planning done with the funds generated from the past how many decades of games? 72,500 is the capacity of the stadium, which makes it the 15th largest on-campus college football stadium. Crunch those numbers for a minute. You know how much tickets cost, multiplied by the capacity, then by the games in a season, then by how many seasons we’ve gone since the last major renovation. Even if you assume that after all is paid for and the profit is only 50 cents per ticket (which we know it’s grossly more than that) It’s still BILLIONS of dollars generated! But yet we can’t pay for more than half the renovation cost. King County has many more things to worry about aside from the Husky Stadium. This is unreal!
    I thought I’d never say this, but “GO COUGS!” They have planned well and incorporated costs into fees added to tuition, and ticket pricing along with proper planning to make things happen. They didn’t depend on a county or city to buy them something, they did it with proper planning.
    Also, if this crap passes and we have to pay 150 million dollars to see the Cougar come over and light us up one more time in Husky stadium we might have some riots break out.

  2. 2 coug dad and step dad
    January 25, 2008 at 12:00 am

    I’ve never been so proud of you as I am right now. Looking forward to having you at the tailgate next fall. Reeeowww!

  3. 4 Shelby King
    January 25, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Yay! GO COUGS!!! I can’t believe the huskies were asking taxpayers to pay for their stadium! I’m glad to have you as part of the family! I’m sure Derek is too. 🙂

  4. 5 AMS (go dawgs)
    January 25, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    I cheer for the Cougars like any other good Husky fan, when they are not playing us. And while I agree with Kindra that the taxes proposed were way too extreme, I do hope they find a way to raise the money necessary to give Husky Stadium the much needed renovations it deserves (this is not just a matter of aesthetics but safety as well). I think that a strong fundraising effort could raise most of this money, in addition to the methods that Martin Stadium is taking. If the Seattle Art Museum can raise $180 million for renovations, UW should be able to raise at least twice that (to be fair 12% of SAM’s money did come from government sources). There is no lack of team passion amongst the alums as was proven when one of them offered $200,000 if they fired their coach and athletic director.

    However, before we totally rule out any state funding I think it’s important to look at all the real figures (and not Seattle Resident’s guesses and assumptions) about what Husky Athletics do for our state….

    The Husky athletic program supports 2,558 jobs in the Washington economy, generates $211 million in annual sales by Washington businesses, and creates $83 million annually in labor income in Washington State. Husky athletics also lead to about $12.5 million annually in tax revenue, about $8.2 million of which accrues to the State of Washington, and about $4.3 million accrues to local governments primarily in King County. Now add that all together and multiply that number by how many years since the last renovation and see what you get.

    The Husky athletic program had revenue of $60 million in 2007, and incurred $23.4 million in labor-related costs. The Husky athletic program had 200 full time positions, and 300 part time positions. The Husky athletic program spent another $33.6 million for goods and services, an estimated $23 million of which were made in Washington State. (These facts and more can be found at http://www.washington.edu/about/staterel/publications/2008%20documents/HuskyStadiumEconomicImpact.pdf)

    Therefore, it is unfair to assume the Huskies are wasting the “billions” in ticket revenue that Seattle Resident suggests when the figures above prove that much of that money is invested back into our states economy. Additionally much of the football programs revenue goes towards providing scholarships, travel expenses and state of the art equipment for smaller, less popular sports (particularly women’s sports) that are just as important but do not have the popularity needed to raise the funds themselves.

    Many people want the Huskies to play at Qwest field or another location to save money, instead of investing in the current stadium. This would be a shame. Husky Stadium provides its fans with benefits unlike any other stadium in the country. For example, you won’t see any Cougars tailgating by boat in Pullman, or enjoying views of Mt. Rainier, the Olympic Mountain Range and downtown Seattle from their upper level seats.

    I may not have attended the UW but as someone who was born and raised right across the lake from Husky Stadium, I consider myself a true Husky fan. It has been a privilege to watch some of the best teams in Husky history play in the stadium and I hope I am able to continue to do so throughout out my life. In my opinion Husky Stadium is so much more than a University Stadium. It is a landmark of the Lake Washington waterfront, and a symbol of the pride and excitement football can bring to a community. By providing the stadium with the renovations it deserves I hope we preserve this symbol for generations to come.

    Oh and in response to Seattle Resident’s concern about the Cougars coming over here and “lighting up up”, I would like to give the obviously fair weather fan one quick reminder. The Huskies have won seven of the last ten Apple Cups and in the 100 games that the Cougs and the Dawgs have played each other the Huskies significantly lead with a record of 64-30-6. The Huskies will come back, they always do, and when they do, I really don’t think there will be room in the 72,500 seat stadium for your negativity 🙂

    Thanks for letting me rant, I couldn’t help but stand up for my Huskies and the Stadium I have grown to love. Plus what’s college football without a little friendly rivalry. To sum everything up, here is a quote from the Seattle PI….

    “Washington’s ability to attract fans in an urban area speaks to the overall tradition, size, and influence of the university. Huskies are everywhere. It speaks also to the unique venue and experience that is Husky Stadium, the stroll down from the hill and through the campus, the mountains melting with the horizon, the boats, the lake, the rain, the chill, the thrill of old-fashioned football.” –John Owens, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

  5. January 26, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    You better be claiming the Cougs or else! I hope to see you at game next year. Go Cougs.

  6. 7 Gabe-to-the-Real
    January 29, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Good points about the UW. Especially disconinuing participation in the DTA… clearly for monetary gain. FYI: UW president Mark Emmert earns $905,000 per year. That’s not all. He also lives for FREE in the president’s mansion. Assuming as how this school is a public university…. I can only assume these things are paid in part if not mostly with…. YAY…. our tax dollars.

    Like you I’ve got no reason to care for either UW or WSU… but if you want more reason to hate the UW then read the front page of the last couple days of the Seattle Times (it’s a special report). Today is day three of the four day segment about the UW football program and the (I wish they were dead) low-life players, and how the school and city/state protected them.

    I’m ready to burn that mutha to the ground.

  7. 8 Gabe-to-the-Real
    January 29, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    one other thing i forgot to mention above:

    that rediculous rapper ‘the game’ used to go to WSU (before he was famous) and he got busted for drugs, and guess what….

    they kicked him out…


    just like that

    the UW harbors rapists, animal torturers, attempted murderers, drug dealers and addicts…. and sends them off to the NFL to make millions


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