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Day 22: Best Game Day Tradition

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Besides winning.....

NCAA Football: Stanford at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

T minus 22 days until Husky football.

NCAA Football: Washington at Washington State
Good run, Lavon.
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

What’s your favorite game day tradition associated with Husky football? That’s what we’re going to try to determine here. The rules are, there ain’t no rules. Inside the stadium, tailgating, or feel free to provide your own personal traditions in the comments below.

Option #1: Sailgating

Husky Stadium is one of two venues in the country - the other being Neyland Stadium in Tennessee - that give you the option of taking a boat right up to the stadium. Whether you are one of the fortunate few with a slip at the docks of the WAC, or anchor out with the rest of the unwashed masses, it’s certainly a unique way to spend a few hours before kickoff. Especially on a nice September afternoon. It’s something that every Husky fan needs to do at least once, and something that visiting fans frequently comment on should they make the trip to Seattle for an away game. There are “booze cruise” charters one can book that sail up through Portage Bay and the Montlake Cut, and people bring their own boats of all sizes for a floating flotilla water party.

Option #2: The Air Raid Siren

Lots of schools have cannons, horns of various pitches, canned animal noises, or music to celebrate their teams. Husky Stadium instead has a World War II-era air raid siren that sounds when the team enters the field, scores, and after wins. It’s loud, it’s shrill, and it’s probably annoying as all get-out to opposing teams and fans who are frequently found cowering under their seats each time it goes off. It’s conspicuous in its absence (see: almost all of the 2000’s). And it can be heard for miles around.

Option #3: Tequila

Not just the drink. Before, during, and after the game you’ll hear this 1958 ditty by The Champs played by the Husky Marching Band and the Alumni Band in and out of the stadium. They travel the parking lots with the cheerleaders during prime tailgating hours beforehand firing up fans, and you can count on hearing it during breaks in the game as well. Husky fans have added to certain parts of the song (“Rooooooose Bowl!”) and most everybody knows the shouted “Tequila!” refrain.

You can probably substitute Carlos Santana’s “Everybody’s Everything” here. It’s played just as often as “Tequila” and is equally as catchy. But it’s not necessarily unique to Husky Stadium.

Option #4: “Everybody stand up, and Bow Down to Washington....”

Opposing fans mock the UW fight song, which is a great sign. It’s slow, and can certainly be construed as arrogant. That’s the sign of quality. Some fans prefer an “alternate” version to the lyrics that mention WSU, but personally, I feel no need to reference a school the Huskies play only once a year and beat on 2/3’s of those occasions in my school’s fight song. But to each their own.

(A bit of editorializing before the verdict......)

You are, of course, free to mention “The Wave” here, since it is reputed to be invented at Husky Stadium. I hate the wave, and refuse to participate in it.

There are a couple of traditions that haven’t survived, either through retirement of icons, or the remodel. The first is Lou Gellermann’s “Hello, Dawg fans” before each game. I loved this. I loved the tone of his voice when he said it each week, and the underlying message that “It’s a great day to be a Husky. For you guys on the other side of the field, not so much.” This stopped when Gellermann retired after the 2007 season. I’d love to see it brought back. Have the Husky Legend for each week do it. Have a different former player do it each week. Have a “lucky fan” chosen to do it. It’s the sort of thing the jumbotron is actually used for in the stadium (since it doesn’t show replays), so bring it back.

The second is the “Go!” “Huskies!” chant. Unfortunately, it didn’t survive the remodel. I know it’s not necessarily unique, but it was a huge part of the noise that made Husky Stadium inhospitable to visitors. I’ll always keep the vivid memory of it during a game against Colorado in 1989. The Buffs were national title contenders that year, and traffic on I-5 kept my dad and I (as well as others) from getting to the game as early as we normally would. But you could hear the chant miles away, and as we approached the stadium, you could almost see the noise. It’s been a huge part of stadium-shaking dominations and comebacks in the years since. I get how moving the students has impacted the ability to make this work, but the athletic department needs to figure out a way to get this fixed. Pass out fliers. Use the big screen. Whatever. We need it back.

(editorializing over)

The Verdict....

The air raid siren. It’s a nails-on-a-chalkboard sound. Opposing fans have mentioned (here and elsewhere) how much they hate it. It’s unique, and everybody knows what it means. Touchdown, Washington!!

What do you all think? Vote, and add your own in the comments.

Poll

What is Your Favorite Game Day Tradition

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    Sailgating
    (87 votes)
  • 50%
    The Air Raid Siren
    (227 votes)
  • 13%
    Tequila
    (59 votes)
  • 9%
    "Bow Down to Washington"
    (44 votes)
  • 7%
    Other
    (35 votes)
452 votes total Vote Now