The stakes and fun keep building

Photo: Jay Miller, left and Kelly Hinz have enjoyed a 12-year Husky-Cougar rivalry that escalates each year at Apple Cup time. (Photo courtesy of Gary Hintz).

Nothing better exemplifies the ongoing Cougar-Husky rivalry than the annual Apple Cup football contest, which will be played in Seattle on Nov. 24.

Boasting, bets and braggadocio typify the exchanges between partisans of the two schools, and yet two alums have taken their long-running barbs and challenges to new heights.
Kelly Hintz (WSU, B.A., ‘93) and Jay Miller (UW, B.A., ‘94) have been good friends and Apple Cup rivals for 12 years, ever since they met when both were employed as bouncers at a nightspot in Seattle. They have watched or attended the game together each year and have bet on their favorite teams, with increasingly substantial stakes. 

Over time they realized money wasn’t adequate compensation for winning, so they decided “embarrassing the other guy” would be more meaningful. Accordingly, two years ago the loser had to fly the flag of the other person’s school over his front door for the entire year.

However, the bet last year was the best so far, as the loser had to make a $100 donation to the winner’s school.   Unfortunately this meant the Cougar had to pay the Huskies. Hintz took this one comical step further and chose to make the donation in pennies (10,000 of them). 

These four boxes (100 pounds) of pennies were hauled up three flights of stairs on a hand truck and personally delivered by Miller and Hintz to a University of Washington athletics official.

The humiliation doesn’t end there. A photo of the donation presentation, framed with the sincere thank you letter received by Hintz from UW, has been hanging above the bar in his house for the past year, where all his friends and guests can see it. 

“This gives us all the opportunity to tell the latest chapter in a great story one more time,” Hintz said with good humor. 

And good humor is what it’s all about. The “document hanging ceremony,” after all, occurred at a party catered by the winning Husky and attended by a cadre of good friends from both schools.

This cheerful, competitive exchange will no doubt continue. At the party, their friends attempted to goad Hintz and Miller into an even more embarrassing bet for this year’s Apple Cup:

• How about a license plate holder with an outrageously positive statement about the other’s school?
• What about taking the other’s athletic director to lunch and giving a donation?
• What about painting the other school’s logo, full size, on your garage door? Wow! Sure makes you want your school to win!

This is what the Apple Cup is all about.

Gary Hintz is a recently retired financial consultant in Bellevue, Wash. All three of his sons, including Kelly, graduated from WSU.

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