Cougar Football is set to hit mainstream radio on Washington's westside.
Imagine: Two radio stations, one so full of Husky Honks you can hardly drive to work in the morning without hearing the "Say Who!" chant upwards of five times. The other, Flying the Flag (figuratively speaking) for Mike Leach's WSU Cougars, with more pirate talk than you can shake a peg leg at.
Although it may not make the average college football fan buzz with excitement, ESPN 710's decision to pick up Washington State football games could have long-lasting repercussions for Seattle's sports media.
The move is timed perfectly to coincide with resurgences not only in Cougar football, but with the cross-state rivalry between WSU and the University of Washington, the Apple Cup.
Over the past couple years the station has done more and more to reach out to Westside WSU fans, beginning with hiring Jim Moore to co-host the Kevin Calabro Show. As a longtime columnist, the "Go 2 Guy" made his name by ribbing the Huskies, and supporting the Cougars through thick and thin. Mostly thin.
I was fortunate enough to intern on the Kevin Calabro Show last summer, and saw firsthand that Moore's passion is no act; a day didn't go by when I didn't receive a hearty "Go Cougs" at the beginning and end of my shift.
The association between 710 and WSU grew only stronger, as last year the station began to broadcast a weekly interview with then-coach Paul Wulff. Then, just this past week 710 announced it would broadcast WSU football games, with Jessamyn McIntyre as the sideline reporter. McIntyre was the producer of the Kevin Calabro Show, and a very gracious boss as well.
Everyone knows where KJR stands. Softy and the rest of the Husky Honks have that station locked down for the purple and gold. Now, if 710 wants it, they have the opportunity to build a rivalry that will benefit both stations.
There could be trash talk, events, the possibilities are endless. Both stations can play into the rivalry aspect and young Huskies or Cougars will grow up listening to one station for pleasure, and the other for masochistic pain.
The past two Apple Cups have been the most interesting in years, and all indications are that the malaise of past Apple Cups are long gone. Seattle radio would do well to play into the rivalry, and by taking sides, the two stations have already started.