Some good-natured boasts, insults precede Apple Cup for city employees
November 25, 2011
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 4:45 p.m. Nov. 25, 2011
The faithful donned crimson and gray or purple and gold, depending on geography, history or loyalty — and sometimes, a combination.
University of Washington Huskies and Washington State University Cougars, all city employees, gathered in a City Hall conference room Wednesday to spend lunchtime trashing the other team and singing fight songs.
The pre-Apple Cup rally is a tradition at City Hall. The boasts and good-natured — maybe — insults started early in the week, but the cross-Cascades competition unfolds Saturday at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.
Clad in team sweatshirts and caps, employees deciphered football referee signals, answered trivia questions about the rival universities’ and snacked on tailgate-party-style snacks.
The trash talk served as the appetizer.
“Do you know how to get rid of a Cougar at a party?” a UW fan asked. “Pay him for the pizza.”
Michelle Forkner, code compliance officer, started the event more than a decade ago, in the days she served as wellness coordinator at City Hall. The organizer nowadays is Administrative Assistant Theresa Schaap.
“Laughter is the best medicine you can have,” she said.
Schaap said the chance to unwind for a midday celebration is just as important to employee wellness as lessons about health problems.
The pre-Thanksgiving rally usually includes more Huskies than Cougars, UW supporters said, although in a fluke, the groups came evenly matched.
City TV Coordinator Tim Smith said the pre-Apple Cup rally last year set the standard. Employees held the event outside on the City Hall steps, decorated the eagle sculpture in the Huskies’ and Cougars’ colors, and attracted passers-by into the celebration.
Chai, a Woodland Park Zoo elephant, predicted the Cougars as the 2011 champions Tuesday. The pachyderm prediction follows a success — Chai correctly picked the Huskies last year.
Odds favor the 6-5 Huskies against the 4-7 Cougars. Still, the Cougars at the celebration dismissed the idea, and said defeat is not inevitable.
“Go Dawgs. Go Cougars,” Schaap said. “May the best team win.”