The beauty of the underrated PAC 12 conference is that there are many quality ranked teams. The PAC 12 is the conference that is overlooked by ESPN for the power conferences like SEC, Big 10 and Big 12, but the twelve teams that play on the pacific coast are no slouches. The PAC 12 has 4 teams ranked in the top 25, featuring #3 Oregon, #8 Oregon State, #10 USC, and #20 Stanford (current rankings)
I had previously missed my first chance to see the University of Washington Huskies play the Stanford Cardinals, who were ranked #6 at the time. To my dismay, I was sitting in class while my peers rushed the field in celebration. When the rankings came out on Sunday, the Huskies cracked the top 25. A position we soon relinquished.
I knew I had to go to the USC, the first game I wasn’t tied down with orientation or class. Taboot, my great friend Tynan was going to be in town, so it would be even more fun. I acquired tickets through the student ticketing office. Tickets cost $20 each to sit in section 126, which was right behind the sold out “Dawg Pack”, the dedicated student section.
Come gameday, I woke up with a bit of a hangover and little sleep because the night before Tynan and I went to a Macklemore and Ryan Lewis concert. After a brunch and some mimosas, Ty and I met up with my friend Ian at my apartment to drink some beers and watch some college football. With a solid buzz and some portable drinks, we went out to brave the misty, cool Seattle weather.
One negative aspect of college football at UW this year is that Husky Stadium is under construction. This means all the student fans are trying to catch the buses that run to Century Link Stadium downtown. We knew there would be a great deal of kids, so we decided to leave at 2:30, 90 minutes before the game started. Wrong! The first bus stop we tried was packed, and every bus that passed was so filled it wasn’t even stopping to pick up more. But we are clever. We decided to walk up University Ave to the next stop. Wrong again. The entire street was filled with kids waiting for the few precious spots on the bus. Even more demoralizing were the faces and chants we were given as filled buses passed with inebriated skulls.
After 45 minutes of frustration, we formulated a plan. We decided to wait on the other side of the street so we could take a bus all the way up the Ave to the end, where there would certainly be no one waiting. Our plan worked, and we got on the bus with about 10 minutes until kickoff. The bus filled entirely at the next stop, meaning we were the lucky riders who got to stare at those still waiting with laughter. The bus was rowdy and the game had started before we even got off the bus. Once at the stadium, we entered and made the long walk around to our seats.
Century Link is a beautiful stadium. Once inside you feel on top of the players and part of the action, something not every stadium can boast. Not to mention, Century Link is constantly ranked number one for loudest fans. We got to our seats midway through the 1st quarter to a small Husky deficit. Finally, I was at a Husky football game. It is hard to compare Big East football to the PAC 12, so I was ecstatic to finally see some high quality offenses. Okay, I should use the singular; Washington’s offense is anything but high quality.
Huskies hung around for the first quarter, ending at 10-7 and some high hopes. The second quarter we didn’t fair as well, with some turnovers and a blocked punt. Feeling somewhat demoralized, we decided to leave with a couple of minutes left in the second quarter to grab a beer. Unfortunately for us, during college football games only beer served is at the beer garden, which is located on the other side of the stadium. Any surprise they keep it as far away as possible as the students? Did that stop us? No.
After a bit of a walk we entered the queue that formed just to check ID’s and get into the “beer garden”, which was really just a roped off section of grass with a beer stand. To get a beer took pretty long, and lets not even discuss the stadium prices. If you are trying to drink beer on a budget at a stadium, you’ll go home sober. We each bought two beers and claimed our plot of land. After mingling with some people around discussing sports, and us it was time to head back to our seats, with a piss break pit stop.
The rest of the game was fun, but nothing extraordinary to report. UW made it close but inevitably lost to a team with too much fire power. After the game we hit up the best deal in Seattle, the hot dog vendors that line the stadium with 2 for 5 deals. Ian and I go to the same vendor every time that has a variety of sausages and footlongs all under the 2 for 5 deal. We quickly inhaled our sausages to beat the long bus lines we encounter on the way out. With some wobbly legs we made it on a bus where we snatched up seats. We got back to my apartment at 8 to sober up a little bit and head out to Capital Hill for some nightlife. Ian unfortunately needed to go back to his place and recover. The rest of the night was… interesting to say the least.
I’ll leave you with this, the first bar we drank “Unicorn Jizz” and by the end of the night Ty wasn’t allowed in bars.
Overall, it was a great time seeing the Huskies play a top tier team. Prices for students are fair so you can do this within your budget, but if you want to eat or drink in the stadium, good luck. I must say it is hard to beat the college football atmosphere and Husky fans definitely make the game exciting. It doesn’t have to be a Husky game, but everyone should experience a big school’s sold out football game! I will get to see U-Dub take on #8 Oregon State in two weeks for my second ranked game this season.