Say it ain’t so, Mickey — as in Mouse!
Yet, it just might be. The 16-year streak of Washington State University’s Ol’ Crimson flag being proudly waved on ESPN’s College GameDay is in jeopardy being broken.
Mickey Mouse’s parent (company), Disney, is hosting the season kickoff show Saturday at its Magic Kingdom Park in Orlando, Florida. It’s verboten under Walt Disney Resort property rules to have “flags, banners, signs, horns, whistles, large megaphones and artificial noisemakers” inside park grounds.
This streak is extremely important to Cougar football fans. It’s an opportunity to have a little national notoriety every Saturday morning during the football season. It’s a sign of success.
And, as all long-suffering Coug fans can attest, consistent success is something that unfortunately escapes the WSU football team. Too often, the Cougars “Coug It” — as in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
This sad reversal of fortune occurs even when the team is excellent is invited to a post-season bowl game.
Take, for example, the 2013 New Mexico Bowl. “The Cougars dribbled away a 15-point lead in the last three minutes and somehow lost to (Colorado State University), 48-45, defying logic, odds and — most of all — good sense to put an ugly blemish on what had been a pretty nice football season,” wrote Seattle Times sportswriter Bud Withers describing yet another “Coug It” experience.
Yet, despite the inevitable heart break, true Cougar fans stay true to the Crimson and Gray. It’s something the fans are proud of — like that 16-year streak.
The streak of 225 straight appearance on GameDay is a product of incredible team work and effort. The streak started on Oct. 4, 2003, when WSU alum Tom Pounds drove from his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to a game between Kansas State and Texas in Austin, Texas. The next week, another Cougar alum asked if he could wave the flag on the set of a game between Purdue and Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin.
And there you have it, “Boom!” — to quote the great football philosopher John Madden — the streak was on its way to infamy,
While the folks a Disney might not fully grasp the importance of this streak, they need to trust us. It’s important. Very important. Make an exception to Magic Kingdom rules.
The Ol’ Crimson flag must wave.