Athlon Sports recently came out with their rankings of the Pac 12 football stadiums, and to no surprise, they have Martin Stadium down in the cellar at 12.
Now I have never been a big fan of Athlon, mostly because they always rag on my Cougs, not that Wazzu has done much to deserve praise these past few years, but they never seem to quite capture the magic that is Cougar football; and that has never been more apparent than with their latest and not so greatest rankings of the Pac 12 Stadiums.
Now before I get any further, here are the rankings:
1. Autzen Stadium, Oregon
2. Husky Stadium, Washington
3. Rose Bowl, UCLA
4. LA Coliseum, USC
5. Folsom Field, Colorado
6. Memorial Stadium, Cal
7. Sun Devil Stadium, Arizona State
8. Reser Stadium, Oregon State
9. Stanford Stadium, Stanford
10. Arizona Stadium, Arizona
11. Rice-Eccles Stadium, Utah
12. Martin Stadium, Washington State
Now, I’m not so upset that we’re ranked last in the Pac 12, with being behind in the stadium renovation race, and our awful attendance over the last few years, I kind of expected it. Its what they had to say about our Stadium that hit a nerve with me.
“During a big game, Martin Stadium will pop to life and make fans forget the building is the smallest in the league. Or that it’s located in the Pac-12’s most distant outpost. The building has a metallic feel and getting to campus is virtually impossible, but the Cougars’ faithful hold their own during critical moments (see Washington game last year).”
The problem with these rankings is that, this is just one guys’ lousy opinion. He probably hasn’t been to a game in Pullman in ages. Maybe he hasn’t had a chance to check out the recent addition of the massive new press box/luxury suites, or the new concourses on the student side of the stadium, both getting rid of that “metallic feel” to the stadium.
Pullman is a true college town, and the fact that it is the Pac-12s most distant outpost is what makes it so magical and why fans and recruits fall in love with it. The atmosphere is unbeatable, with one of the bigger student sections in the country, it creates that deafening tone to a game, and that along with it being in the middle of nowhere, makes it one of the tougher places to come play a road game.
I guess you could say, one man’s cons, are another man’s pros when it comes to the whole stadium game. I am a little biased though, because I was raised on Cougar football Saturday’s. It’s what made me fall in love with sports in general I have been blessed to have seen some of the greatest games in Martin Stadium history, anywhere from the 2001 USC game, all the way up to last years Apple Cup. This place is special, and when we field a competitive team, Martin Stadium is second to none.