The ongoing battle by various parties in the state of Washington to get the Husky men’s basketball program and Gonzaga men’s basketball program playing each other again has gone for way too long. These teams have not played since 2006-07.
This long of a civil war because of personal differences over the recruitment of Josh Heytvelt needs to be water under the bridge in the year 2014. For Washington, as attendance has declined at Alaska Airlines Arena coinciding with the declining play on the court they need a game every other with Gonzaga.
A visit from the Bulldogs would be a virtual sellout without any trouble and bring a fantastic vibe to Alaska Airlines Arena for a nationally televised game between the two schools.
Also, Husky fans and the basketball program need to understand that playing the Bulldogs and pushing themselves against top flight competition is what competition is all about.
In regard to Gonzaga, while their program and the fans think they have the pedigree of a Duke, Kansas, or Kentucky and don’t need Washington on the schedule. The reality is they do and need to understand their place in the big picture of college basketball. That place in the big picture is one of a strong program that will never get out of the West Coast Conference.
It is one thing for the Bulldogs to try and push schools like in Washington State into a terribly negotiated deal where the Cougars gave up their 2014 home game and moved it to Spokane. This was a byproduct of an ultimatum given by Gonzaga to play the game in Spokane or not at all.
But for the Husky athletic department this should not be necessary to restart this rivalry as if this program is as powerful as its thinks is then there is no reason to do not have a 1-1-1 format to this series.
These two schools should rotate between each others home courts for a year. For the third game it should be played at Key Arena. Moreover, for the Key Arena game split the tickets in half. This would create a visual on television that would be similar to the Oklahoma-Texas Red River Shootout.
The bottom line is the last thing fans of both schools should seriously ask themselves is do you really want the politicians in the State of Washington to intervene on an issue like this. The political leaders in the state of Washington have a hard enough time running the state without getting involved with sports issues.
These two schools have strong enough leadership that their is no reason to find a common ground that lines the pockets of both schools very nicely. Thus, let’s be honest at the end of the day these two programs can hate each other. However, they both can resume this rivalry by making this worth their while financially.