After the Washington band went back home after an accident, WSU wanted to do something. "It was let's play the (fight song)," said WSU band director Troy Bennefield.

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The rivalry between Washington State and Washington is unquestionably big for both schools, but for the Washington State band, brotherhood and camaraderie trumped rivalry Friday in Pullman.

The Cougar band spent Friday afternoon learning how to play “Bow Down to Washington,” the UW fight song.


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The Husky band was not in Pullman as planned, going home after one of its buses flipped Thursday near George en route to Pullman, sending 47 of the 56 to the hospital. Two remained hospitalized Friday with “injuries that are not believed to be life threatening,” according to a release from the University of Washington.

“The Huskies are missing their band, and that’s an important part of the gameday experience,” said Washington State band director Troy Bennefield. “We want to honor the camaraderie and their dedication and show our sportsmanship.”

“Yesterday, when we heard there was an accident and there was a possibility they might not come, it was, ‘what can we do? How can we show our support?” Bennefield said. “It was let’s play the (fight song). Since they are not here, we thought it would be the easiest and most impactful way to show our solidarity with them.”

Bennefield said he can feel for what the Husky band is going through.

“We are on buses all the time doing what we do, and are only one ice patch away from that happening to you,” he said. “We really understand what those kids are going through.”

Starting the party early

The line started forming outside the Paradise Creek Brewery long before it opened at 11:30 a.m.

It seemed everyone in town was wearing crimson and gray (the vast majority) or purple.

“This is our year,” said WSU alumna Alicia Beck, who made the trip from Bellingham with her husband Rick.

“We have an angel looking over us this year,” she said, referring to Tyler Hilinski, the WSU quarterback who died by suicide in January.

Scott Wilbur of Wenatchee came in with a mixed crowd. Each year, about 30 members of his extended family get together to come to the Apple Cup.

“It’s about evenly split between Huskies and Cougars,” said Wilbur, who sported a Husky jacket. “It’s always fun. We’ve always got a lot of side bets going on.”

And somehow, their family of cats and dogs coexist.