NYC Gameday Experience

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Ol' Crimson Flying in NYC
Ol’ Crimson Flying in NYC

As always, Washington State was well represented in the background of GameDay.

Being a longtime Cougar, getting the chance to wave Ol’ Crimson at GameDay was a real treat.  I remember seeing the flag real early on during the run and started a small tradition of my own of making sure I saw the flag flying at GameDay on Saturday morning before I could do anything else that day.  I met Tom Pounds at a Cougar home game in 2005 and have been interested in waving the flag ever since.  When I saw the announcement that ESPN was going to broadcast from Times Square, I immediately knew I had to go to New York City and join the list of Cougar fans that have waved the flag.

Once my daughter and I arrived in Times Square and we spotted the flags, we found a whole bunch of Cougars hanging around.  Lots of “Go Cougs” greetings and high-fives were exchanged all morning long.  It doesn’t matter whether we know each other personally, it really is a Coug thing!  When I finally took hold of that flagpole, it was the greatest feeling to know all those Coug fans worldwide who watch the show were seeing the flag and I was holding it.  Thrill of a lifetime for a Cougar!!

I was really impressed with how friendly everyone was—not just the Cougars present, but everyone that was there.  I’m sure you know this, but fans of college football nation-wide are very aware of our Ol’ Crimson mission.  Lots of fans from other teams—Clemson, Penn State, Florida State, Ohio State, to name a few– came by to take pictures with us and ask “are you the Cougar guys who take the flag everywhere each week?”   With apologies to Tom Pounds, I was asked about a dozen times if I was THE guy who got this started.  I was happy to explain that this was my first time, and that Cougs all over the country were stepping up each week to keep the flag flying.  One other thing—whoever thought about getting that Freeman High School flag there to put up with Ol’ Crimson was a genius.  A moving moment for all of us, and we were able to explain to other fans what we were doing by honoring Freeman High.  Everyone thought it was a great gesture.

The most personally gratifying thing to happen to me was to recognize that one of the other Cougar fans there was one of my best friends from living in the dorm (Orton Hall) during our freshman and sophomore years.  We hadn’t seen each other since we were standing in the line for Commencement in 1978.  Totally random that we were both there that day, as she lives in WA.  She and her sister were in town to see a ballet.  It was really nice seeing her and getting caught up just a little bit.  Cougs and friends forever!

Gordon Frank ‘78

NYC Flag Wavers also were interviewed in this SI article