Apple Cup fans bundle up for possible 'Snow Bowl 2'


by OWEN LEI / KING 5 News

Posted on December 2, 2010 at 11:51 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 3 at 1:29 PM

Putting your fan loyalty to the side, who do you HONESTLY think will win the Apple Cup?

SEATTLE -- There's nothing quite like a decades-old rivalry to drive people to cross the state and sit in a snowy stadium in sub-zero temperatures for hours.

The 2010 Apple Cup between the University of Washington and Washington State University is doing just that.

Chester Thomas was shopping for WSU Cougar gear during his break.

"It's the only time between now and tomorrow morning that I'll be able to grab a bunch of Coug stuff to help to decorate our RV," said Thomas a 2008 WSU alumnus.

"Go WSU," said Vanessa Grant, who also was shopping at the WSU store in Seattle's Westlake Center. "I am trying to find jersey for my son to support his godfather."

"My whole fraternity's going," said UW senior Travis Bird, who said he attended the 2008 game in Pullman. "It was really cold."

And this Saturday's game promises to be even colder.

"We're hoping for Snow Bowl 2," said Dave Walsh, referring to the winter storm that came down during the 1992 game in Pullman.

Already in Pullman, several plows and loaders have been removing snow from Martin Stadium in anticipation of Saturday's game.

The Washington State Department of Transportation is warning Apple Cup fans traveling over the mountains to prepare for severe winter driving conditions, including very cold temperatures, compact snow and ice, and blowing and drifting snow on most rural highways in Eastern Washington, including US 195, SR 26, and SR 27.

WSDOT said it will have crews and snow equipment out, making Apple Cup routes a priority and shifting additional crews into the Palouse.

Fans on both sides told us how they keep warm:

"Handwarmers, gloves, scarves," said Thomas.

"Probably hot chocolate and lots of blankets and my family," said Grant.

"I had lots of fleeces," said Bird.

"There might be beverage consumption," said Grant Granger, smiling.

Employees at the Columbia Sportswear in downtown Seattle said they tend to sell more of whatever color the Huskies' opponent is wearing that week, and suggested people in the stands use their new line of jackets, coats and hats with a reflective lining, or boots with batteries inside that heat up on their own.

For Husky fans, securing a win against the Cougars means a chance for a bowl game.  For Cougars, a win helps show their last win -- beating Oregon State to snap a 16-game conference losing streak -- was not a fluke. 

"I was raised a Coug, but switched to the right side," said Grant Granger, who was buying a shirt from Husky Central in downtown Seattle. "Now that we have a bowl opportunity on the line, I'm am really excited."

But more than that, a win gives one school a year of bragging rights over the other.

Of course, in keeping warm, there's always the time-tested remedy of layers, but fans said that has one catch.

"Gotta keep it purple on the outside and layers of warm on the inside," said Granger.

Layers ... and gloves.

"They had black ones, but I had to go with the crimson and gray ones," said Thomas.

Because bad weather or not, the rivalry will likely be more heated than anything else.