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WATCH: ESPN Commentators Call Washington Huskies Football ‘Soft’

But East Coast Bias is all in our heads, right?

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Among college football fans, few traditions are more time-honored and widely shared than that of railing on the biased media that obviously hates your team. From Boulder to Blacksburg, and from Columbus to College Station, nothing brings fans together quite like the prospect of feeling unfairly marginalized.

Usually, these biases or either imagined or greatly exaggerated. But on Saturday, ESPN doubled down on its war against the Washington Huskies and Chris Petersen by overtly attacking both the program and the head coach, the latter in a remarkably personal manner — all while Washington led the Golden Bears 31-0 with roughly 18 minutes left to play.

It began early in the morning during ESPN’s College GameDay show, when Kirk Herbstreit took the breathtaking stance that Washington “should be thanking ESPN” for putting their games on television at all. Fast-forward to late in the third quarter of the Cal vs. Washington broadcast — when, may I remind you, there was actual football happening — ESPN reporters Mark Jones, Rod Gilmore, and Quint Kessenich took it a step further, calling Washington “soft” for having played a weak non-conference schedule (represented by actual, edible cupcakes) and declared Petersen to be “irascible and cantankerous.”

Washington’s now overt feud with ESPN will assuredly continue to be one of college football’s major storylines in the coming weeks and will no doubt spark an unholy number of hot takes, every one of which will annoy Washington’s drama-adverse head coach to no end.