Jan. 9, 2007
By Jason Krump
Washington State University Athletics
Being a Cougar doesn't just mean a person attends, or graduates from, Washington State University.
Pat Handly is a great example of this.
A native of Arkansas, Handly has always been a college football fan. As a youth, he was an Arkansas Razorback fan.
In the `50s, Handly moved to Washington for his profession as a logger. He took up residence at the west side of the state, Quilcene, Wash., but despite this, he found purple was not a color of his liking.
"I tried to be a Husky, but it just didn't work for me," Handly said.
Instead, Handly found himself drawn to a color similar to the Razorback Red, and that was the Crimson and the Gray of WSU.
Despite living on the west side of the state, Handly, who said listening to Bob Robertson's call of games got him started being a Cougar football fan, became a season ticket holder in the mid-80s. Since that time, he has attended all but one Cougar home football game.
And, in spite of the distance between Quilcene and Pullman, Handly has made the trip across the state to Pullman, and not by the usual method.
An avid motorcycle rider, Handly would take his bike back and forth across the state. At one time, he even had then head coach Dennis Erickson check out his ride.
These days, Handly drives a Crimson Dodge Viper to and from the Palouse. As with many people, the drive from the west side to Pullman can be an adventurous one when the calendar turns to November.
One November, Handly's drive to Pullman was uneventful; however, the drive back was anything but.
Hitting wintry weather at the Cascades on the trip back, Handly found himself in a predicament where he could not drive his Viper across the pass.
So he found other means to make it across the mountains. Handly called a flatbed truck company to load his Viper on the back of the truck and take it to North Bend.
Through all his experiences attending Cougar football games, one sticks out for Handly.
At one game in the early `80s, Handly, who was wearing a crimson and gray shirt, just happened to run into President Glen Terrell in the restroom. The President complimented Handly on his shirt, and after a lengthy conversation, President Terrell extended an invitation to Handly for a get together at his home after the game.
"I could go to Husky games until I am 200 years old and never have a chance to meet the President," Handly said. "Where else would you have experiences like that other than at Washington State? It has been a great experience being a Cougar and all the great people that I have had the opportunity to meet."