Pour one out for the Apple Cup.
No, really. Let’s all do it. Doesn’t matter what you’re drinking — coffee, tea, an appropriate apple cider, a cup of ice-cold water or something a bit stronger. Tip the glass and make a toast. Let’s salute the 113th rivalry game the state of Washington never got.
In any other year, of course, UW and WSU would have met in Pullman last night. The players would have warmed up shirtless — a probably needless tradition, even pre-pandemic — and, if we were lucky, a healthy serving of snow would have been dumped on Martin Stadium. A pair of first-year head coaches — UW’s Jimmy Lake and WSU’s Nick Rolovich — would have duked it out for state supremacy, while a pair of freshman quarterbacks — UW’s Dylan Morris and WSU’s Jayden de Laura — did the same. College football fans from Seattle to the Palouse would have sunk into their couches, attempting to stave off yet another food coma. It would have felt familiar, and comfortable, and indescribably satisfying — if, of course, your team came out on top.
But 2020, it seems, doesn’t have a merciful bone in its anthropomorphic body. And so, last Sunday, the Apple Cup was canceled due to the Cougars’ continued COVID-19 concerns. It’s possible the game could still be played on Dec. 19, provided the Huskies don’t qualify for the Pac-12 title game. Or maybe the sides could schedule a different glorified exhibition sometime in late December.
Until then, Washington will host Utah in a replacement game on Saturday — and that, at least, is something to celebrate. Because, in this absolute circus of a college football season, every game is sacred. Every game brings an opportunity to improve. And, for these Huskies, every game is an excuse to make a statement.
So pour one out for the Apple Cup — and then fill that glass again.