3,258 days is a lot of days.
Washington hasn't beaten Oregon in football since 2004. Perhaps not coincidentally, that was Oregon's last losing season. I was still an undergrad. Rick Neuheisel was Washington's head coach. There will come a day when Washington beats Oregon again. It would be nice if we can stretch the streak to 5,000 or even 10,000 days until that happens, but it will happen at some point. When it does, it will be a sad, sad day for this world.
While the streak has been universally good, there has been one annoying drawback. We have a whole generation of Duck fans who have come around in this time. And these fans are soft. They are misled by small sample sizes and a little streak into thinking that maybe USC is our rival, or that maybe Oregon State is the team we really should be hating.
I say poppycock.
To those of us that grew up in the '80s and '90s, it was this game that defined our season. It defines us as fans. It was Washington who was the national power, and Oregon the annoying fly that was swatted away en route to another trip to Pasadena. Washington ruled the Pacific Northwest, they crushed Big Ten teams at the Rose Bowl and won a national title. We were nothing, and that's exactly how we were treated. The Pick? The Catch? Those moments are remembered the way they are precisely because of who they came against.
We love that the success of this program has brought in a massive number of new fans. But things won't remain this way forever. You think Washingon--WASHINGTON is going to be irrelevant for another decade? Don't wait until they beat us to learn how to hate the way you already should. USC isn't a rivalry, its just a big matchup out of circumstance. Oregon State is a rivalry, but in a friendly, little brother kind of way. But Washington? There is a hate that was passed down to us from our parents, and from their parents to them. We will pass it on to our children.
At ATQ, we started Happy I Hate Washington Week to keep the hate strong through this time, and make sure new fans knew the importance of this game. Let the hate run through you. Let it give you strength. And, when the Ducks get the victory at Autzen on Saturday, check off the first--and most important--item of the season checklist.