As we close in on opening day, tell me about the one thing you are most excited about for this Husky season. It can be a storyline, a player, a game, an experience. Anything related to the upcoming season.
Gabey Lucas: Honestly... while I’m excited to have a competent staff with lots of talent and to just see that on the field I’m less excited for college football as a whole than I think I’ve ever been. And unfortunately that’s bleeding over to UW, which sucks cuz it’s not Washington’s fault.
Obviously CFB’s been slowly turning into just a massive machine over the last 40 years and especially the last 20 and especially the last 10 and then five, but how that’s just sped up exponentially and then blown everything to shreds just makes me not give a shit. It’s so existentially pointless, so Sisyphean, that it just feels impossible (for me anyway) to be as invested as I used to be because it truly does not matter. Like at least in the past we knew there was this whole media-CFB industrial complex and everything was just about making Fox and ESPN execs the most money, but there was at least a veneer of CFB being what we gave a shit about in the first place — even if inside we knew it was just an out of control capitalism-fueled arms race.
But now they’re not even trying. So I still care about Washington, but because I find it neurologically impossible to care about CFB as a whole, as an entity within that category Washington still suffers in my “giving a crap” category.
Sorry for being a downer lol.
On the plus side it’s kind of freeing.
Andrew Berg: I hear what you’re saying and I don’t think you’re wrong, but I also think those kinds of visceral reactions are very personal. I have felt mostly the same way about college sports over the last couple of years. I don’t dislike that players are finding a way to earn an income and I don’t dislike the idea of improving the postseason structure, but taken together, the experience of being a fan has merged so much with the experience of following a business’s profits or the financial markets that it takes a lot away. With all that said, those feelings haven’t bled over into my Husky fandom, at least not yet.
Gabey: Oh for the record I obviously completely am onboard with players earning an income because I am not a monster. The explosion of sham NIL collectives etc. kinda blows but it was completely predictable and honestly has very little to do with my feelings so much as the TV companies blowing everything up to make a quick dollar.
I think the way you put it though is really true, and I’d never thought to articulate it that way.
And you’re right that it’s a super personal reaction that I’m sure some people share, some people don’t, and I don’t think my gut response is “correct,” it’s just all-consuming for me personally.
Andrew: With all that in mind, the thing I have liked the most about Husky football from the time I moved to Seattle 15 years ago was the community it created. It was originally a way for me to bond with classmates even though I started grad school in the 0-12 season. I’ve been going to the same tailgate for about 13 years. The regular host is so dedicated that he drilled anchors into the pavement to tie down his tent (I’m not going into any more detail because I don’t want (a) him to get in trouble, or (b) anyone to try to steal the spot). So the thing I’m most excited about isn’t even necessarily a specific game, it’s just the experience of going back to that spot with that group of friends and burning a few Saturdays sitting in an oppressively hot OR cold tent, drinking beer, watching out of town games on a TV in the back of a truck, and eating 6x more snack food than I intended to eat.
Coach B: I’m the same way Andrew. I was always a big football fan, but the community that I built after moving to Seattle mostly revolves around UW, particularly UW football. Tailgates and the collective passion for UW is what has kept us in touch for so long, and I’ve recently hit the point where younger family and friends are now joining us as they start attending UW themselves. Having those regular gatherings at UW games is always my favorite part of the fall.
I have mixed feelings about some of the bigger changes in CFB like most, but I’m trying to stick with the positive spin. The tradition and history of CFB always resonated with me more than the more corporate NFL vibe, so the realignment is tough to adjust to. It is what it is, but at least I’ll always have the personal connection to UW to lean on.
How about you? Let us know in the comments what you’re most excited to see as we head toward the Kent State game and the rest of the season.