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Saturday, December 14, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Huskies try, but they can’t beat Cougs in tailgating

The Cougar cheer squad whips up the tailgating faithful outside Martin Stadium last year. (John Nelson)
The Cougar cheer squad whips up the tailgating faithful outside Martin Stadium last year. (John Nelson)

The battle for state football dominance is at stake in the Apple Cup this week. 

But one thing is already certain: When it comes to tailgating, the Cougars are clear champions of the Pac-12.

We’ve checked out the party scene at Montlake in Seattle and also at the “College of Spectation and Inebriation” in RV lot 1 just outside of Martin Stadium on the Palouse, and there’s no comparison: WSU is the clear winner in tailgating.

Why? Let’s count the ways:

  • Cougar tailgating starts two full days before kickoff. Husky Stadium is game-day only. 
  • The size of the tailgating scene in Pullman is immense, spreading through eight contiguous parking lots. While the Husky tailgating scene is big, it’s spread out in various parking lots and is much more diluted.
  • You’re likely to see any number of former Cougar greats walking through RV lot 1, chatting up the tailgating faithful. Coach Mike Leach has even been known to show up.
  • Let’s face it: When it comes to partying, the Cougars are renowned, with an international reputation for hard drinking.

If you’re planning to attend the Apple Cup at 1 p.m. Friday at Husky Stadium, check out the one thing that makes UW tailgating interesting: The “sailgating” docks on Lake Washington, where rich alums park their yachts before the game.



John Nelson is a freelance writer.