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Black Friday or Apple Cup? You can do both

From left, Daniel Gardner, Donny Parkin, and Matt Hulbert watch WSU score their first touchdown against Washington in the first quarter of the Apple Cup 2002. The three were at Capones, a sports bar in Coeur d'Alene. Parkin, center, drove from Seattle to watch the game in Cougar country. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
From left, Daniel Gardner, Donny Parkin, and Matt Hulbert watch WSU score their first touchdown against Washington in the first quarter of the Apple Cup 2002. The three were at Capones, a sports bar in Coeur d'Alene. Parkin, center, drove from Seattle to watch the game in Cougar country. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

There are deals to be had in stores during Black Friday sales, but there’s one tiny problem this year: the Apple Cup.

For the first time in a long time, the annual rivalry game between Washington State University and the University of Washington is about more than state bragging rights or who wins the bet between school presidents. This year it’s all about the Pac-12 North Division title.

What’s a football fan without a game ticket to do?

There are two options, really. Get up at the crack of dawn and finish all your shopping before kickoff at 12:30 p.m. on the Fox network, or be really strategic about where you shop during game time.

The key to knowing who just made a jaw-dropping touchdown or tackle is to do your shopping in a store with a large display of televisions, most of which should be showing the game if anyone has a lick of sense. As you browse the aisles, you can pop over occasionally to check the score or even stay put and watch for a quarter or two.

It’s unlikely that anyone will mind if you hang out for a bit, but setting up recliners with beer and chicken wings is probably out.

Most of the big-box stores sell TVs, so almost any of those would fit the bill.

But at least one retailer thinks the game will cut into Black Friday sales.

Huppin’s general manager Chris Del Pizzo said he fully expects business to die off during the game.

“Especially in the morning we’ll be really busy, and then it will pick up again after the game,” he said. “I’m sure the game will dampen it a bit.”

Del Pizzo said the game will be showing on the display televisions in the Huppin’s store at 8016 N. Division St. And he pointed out that people can always shop online from the comfort of their couch.

Remember that beer? As it turns out, there is a place where you can get a beer and watch the game while you shop. The Fred Meyer at Sprague Avenue and Sullivan Road in Spokane Valley opened “The Cork and Tap” last month after a remodeling project. It’s an area with some chairs and two big-screen televisions, which will most definitely be tuned to the Apple Cup, said store manager Steve Valentine.

“You can have beer and wine and some snacks,” Valentine said. “It’s been very popular since we opened it.”

So popular, in fact, during big games the space has been standing room only. The only catch is you have to drink your beverages there, not around the store.

And if you want to take a break from hunting deals, there are lots of restaurants and bars sure to be tuned in to the Apple Cup, including some in the regional malls.

You should have no problem watching the Apple Cup and rooting for your favorite team.

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