Every year, Washingtonians gather to support their college football team. Known as the Apple Cup, this game has become a sports fanatic's dream molded into its current shape since its beginnings in 1892.
The Apple Cup started as the Governor's Cup in 1900, which was the first time WSU played the University of Washington. In 1962, the name was changed.
“In 1962 it became the Apple Cup because the Apple Commission thought [it would be] a good medium for their organization,” said Richard Fry, a former sports information director at WSU.
This change, however, allows people to recognize this game, said Jason Krump, spokesman for the athletic department. People understand what the name implies.
“The state of Washington is known for its apples, so it really gave it a great identity to that and a uniqueness with all the other rivalry games in the nation,” he said.
In Fry's book "Crimson and Gray: 100 years with the WSU Cougars," he said the first game played after the school opened was soldiers against students. The students ended up winning this game.
He also said that the first game to be played in Martin Stadium was in 1982. According to the Alumni Association, before this transfer to Martin, the Apple Cup was played in Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane between 1950 and 1980.
In an article written by Conor Laffey, he said when the Cougars were moving on to the Rose Bowl in 1997, the rivalry between Eastern and Western Washington took a break.
“For ten minutes everyone was a Cougar,” Laffey said in the article. “The Husky fans stopped seeing crimson and gray as hated colors, but embraced the Cougars as they sent them off the field with applause.”
Krump said the Apple Cup creates a commonality between the people of Washington.
“Sports is a unifying thing in a lot of ways,” he said. “A lot of people who wouldn't necessarily have a lot in common, sports brings that commonality. The entire state of Washington is gonna be ... in that one game.”
The Apple Cup is seen as a tradition year in and year out. Every year the game takes place in either Seattle or Pullman. The winner gets to take home the cup.
“It's one of those tradition things,” Fry said. “There are a number of those around the country.”
Krump said the feeling behind that Apple Cup, however, sets it apart from these other games. The Cougars are more like a family all coming together to celebrate this time of year.
Cory Rice, a writer in WSU sports information, reported on the 1992 Apple Cup. In a win for the Cougars, 42-23, the game took place in snow and a negative 18 degree wind chill.
“The game would emerge as yet another unforgettable quarrel between the Cougars and Huskies,” he said in the article.
Fry has noticed there has been a change to the Apple Cup over the years.
“The kids are bigger, stronger, faster,” he said. “The quality of play has improved over the years because the players get better.”
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