Why I love UW football
In life everyone remembers their first love. They remember the first time they laid eyes on something and instantly fell in love.
Well for me that happened when I was a little kid and it wasn’t towards a girl.
Instead it was towards Washington Huskies football which despite a horrid decade I still love.
In the following article I’d love to tell you five reasons why I love Huskies football.
1. Connects generations in my family:
Unlike professional sports teams in this area the Huskies program has been here since 1890. My grandpa who is no longer with us was born in 1936 and my dad was born in 1961. I bring that up as the Sonics didn’t exist until 1968 (grandpa was 32 years old, dad was 7 years old).
The Seahawks didn’t exist until 1976 (grandpa was 40 years old, dad was 15 years old), and the Mariners until 1977 (grandpa 41 years old, dad was 16 years old). Meaning my dad grew up without Seattle sports while my grandpa didn’t experience pro Seattle sports until he was in his 40′s.
While the Huskies had won a share of the national championship in 1960 before my dad was even born and when my grandpa was 24 years old.
I remember going out to my grandpa’s house and him talking to me about those great Don James teams (pick any team they were all great) especially the 1977, 1984 and 1991 teams.
He would also talk about those back to back Rose Bowl championship teams with Jim Owens.
I grew up with Husky football being a solid foundation in my family. When the Huskies had the miracle win at California in 1993 (trailed 23-10 with 2 minutes left in the game, won 24-23) I remember my dad had me and my siblings rub my grandpa’s Husky carpet which was shaped like a Husky football.
The Huskies scored a touchdown so we kept rubbing it then the Huskies scored again with the win.
I was eight years old but that memory will never go away. When I think of my late great grandpa I think of Husky football, when I think of Husky football I think of my late great grandpa.
2. Husky football unlike any Seattle sport has tradition:
The only other team in this town who had a resemblance of tradition was the Sonics who left town. The Seahawks and Mariners have combined been to the title game just once.
While the Huskies have won the Rose Bowl seven times, won an Orange bowl and most importantly won two national championships. They have posted an undefeated season (1991) and have had two 11 win seasons in 1984 and 2000 (11-1).
The Huskies all-time record is 668-416-50 (.611) which includes this recent six years of crap that we had from 2004-2009.
The Huskies have also won 15 conference titles which spans several decades starting in 1916 and going through to 2000. The Huskies have won a conference title in every decade starting in the 1910′s expect for the 1940′s.
3. The beauty of the stadium and surrounding area:
No other stadium offers what Husky Stadium has to offer. The Stadium boasts a beautiful view of Lake Washington, and in the background you can see the mountains like Mt. Rainier.
If you walk to the Stadium you can see the beautiful campus with all the trees.
Growing up as a kid the stadiums I was going to was the Kingdome (a dump), Key Arena (no longer suitable for the NBA), Rose Garden (bankrupt) and the Tacoma Dome (not a professional sports venue) so you see why I fell in love with Husky Stadium so much.
4. The great players that have came through the program:
In college as I mentioned in my #1 reason generations are connected. Well that is true with the players whenever a player today breaks a record that brings back memories of another former great.
I was born in 1985 so my first favorite player for the Huskies was Napoleon Kaufman.
Kaufman to this day is my favorite all-time guy because he was my first favorite and when he interacts with me on twitter even I have to pinch myself and think “wow I’m talking to thee Napoleon Kaufman“.
Kaufman a man who we named our Husky after back in 1993 (lived to be 15 years old).
Kaufman best represents the Huskies in my opinion. He was totally unselfish as he could have left for the NFL after 1993.
Instead knowing he had no shot at a bowl game his senior year (still on probation) he came back to get his degree passing up millions. Then in the NFL he passed up millions again to do gods work which is to become a pastor.
To me Kaufman is what my generation loves about Husky football. For my dad it was Sony Sixkiller and for my grandpa it was Hugh McElhenny (pro football hall of fame).
Over the years now with facebook I’ve had a chance to meet and talk to several former players from the 1990′s and they are truly great people.
5. I was raised a Husky fan and I’ll die a Husky fan
I remember going to my first game in 1995 which was the last tie in Huskies history as the Huskies blew a 21-0 fourth quarter lead to the eventual Rose Bowl champions USC Trojans to tie it at 21.
I also remember going to the Apple Cup at 10 years old in 1995 and watching Rashaan Shehee run crazy on the Cougars as the Huskies won a thrilling applecup 33-30 over Ryan Leaf who made his first career start.
I remember thinking I had missed out on our run since I was too young to enjoy the early 1990′s but when the Huskies won the Rose Bowl in January of 2001 I was so pumped.
That is still the most thrilling experience as a Seattle sports fan that I had when the Huskies won that Rose Bowl. During the Gilby and Willingham era I still remained a true fan. I still went to games even though the football was tough to watch.
Now that Husky football is starting to be respectable again I naturally want more. I’m also grateful the Huskies are past that awful chapter in their history. I witness the shocking Holiday Bowl win in person and still get goosebumps thinking about that win.
I’ve made a promise to myself and my father that the next time the Huskies go to a Rose Bowl we’ll both be at the game watching in person.
Unlike pro teams which we had to witness first hand the Huskies won’t pick up and move. Husky football was here before me and it will be here after me. Husky football will live on forever and I’m excited to enjoy many many more years of Husky football.
Those are my five reasons why I love the Huskies.
The Huskies are my true passion when the Seahawks or Mariners lose it hurts but not like when the Huskies lose. When the Seahawks or Mariners win I’m happy but not like when the Huskies win.
I love my Huskies and I’m excited for this new generation of fans who will add the name Keith Price to their list of favorite Husky players growing up.
Husky football has tradition and most importantly connects generations of familes together.