My family has had Husky season tickets for 13 years. We started with 3 and then upgraded to 4 once I got older and my sister got interested. Husky games became more than just football games, they became family events. They were a chance to see my brother, who was here in Seattle while I was in Yakima. They became a chance to hang out with my older siblings, as we walked from our bleachers to Dempsey Indoor to Hec. Ed and back before the band took the field. Saturdays became day long events with the family and the Dawgs fit right in with family. It became routine, but not the kind of routine that you take for granted, the kind you cherish.
My sister would miss a game here and there because of coaching gymnastics, still she was more faithful than almost all Husky fans during this time. My friend Derek would come along whenever we found an extra ticket, which was often. My dad was there all the time. He loves the Dawgs, but something tells me he goes to these games more than just to watch football. My brother and fellow Good Guy, Matthew, was a constant. In fact, Matthew and I haven’t missed a home game since 2003. That changes this week.
As Matthew goes back to school to pursue his masters in teaching, he has to miss a game this Saturday. So, the streak of 46 games in a row together ends. This streak has seen the full tenure of 3 head coaches for the Huskies. The Seahawks have also gone through 3 head coaches during this span. The Mariners have gone through 5. We’ve seen some bad football together but we all kept showing up.
To make matters worse, my sister won’t be able to make the game this week either because of a gymnastics conference. Frankly, I’ll be a little lost on Saturday. I’m sure whoever takes the extra ticket will fill in just fine but they won’t have Matthew’s knowledge of the game or Rachel’s tenacity in walking straight into other opponent’s fans. The person who fills in won’t know the routine. I’ll be sure to teach it to them but it won’t feel quite right.
This week has the potential to be one of the greatest Husky games in the last decade. It could vault the Dawgs into the top-25 and give them momentum heading into conference play. I will be ecstatic if they win. But, it won’t feel quite right. It’ll feel better in a few weeks when we play Arizona State and each take our respective roles in the bleachers under the Husky-tron.
I know the saying, “streaks are meant to be broken.” But, I’d rather this one wasn’t. It’s the end of an era, just as the Huskies are trying to start a new era of winning. Maybe it’s fitting that we’ll have to start a new streak, just as UW looks like they’re turning the program around. In a time when the Huskies have gone through the worst spell in their history, loyal fans have been harder to come by. That’s what makes my brothers streak even more impressive.
Matthew, we salute you.