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UCLA Football Opponent Deep Cut: Washington

Time to learn about the greatest of Husky traditions.

NCAA Football: Washington State at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

The Deep Cut is a companion piece to the Opponent Preview, in which I take a closer look at something related to the opponent, with a humorous slant.


The University of Washington is home to one of the truly unique events in all of sports: sailgating, or the act of tailgating on a boat. No where else is this possible!......ok you can absolutely do this elsewhere, hell you can do it in Tennessee under the watchful eye of Sunsphere, but this has a much better view than those places, so it is the clear best place to sailgate.

But just because this is the best place to sailgate, does not mean that there aren’t things you need to look out for to have a good time, so I went and complied information from a variety of sources, talked to multiple experts, and even did extensive testing so that I could provide you, dear reader, with the necessary knowledge to make your sailgating experience one of the best around.

  1. Choosing the correct boat is important. You want a boat that will provide you a lot of room to move around and interact with guests, similar to how a tailgate on land normally works. Too small a boat, and you could end up cramped and looking longingly at larger, more fun boats. My suggestion for a boat:
Look at all that leg room!

The Mark Twain is an excellent boat to choose for your sailgating experience. The paddle boat has a large amount of space along its 3 decks, and provides excellent views as it meanders around the river. Plus, there is a lot of space along the sides to hang all sorts of banners showing your team spirit!

If you are looking for an alternate experience, might I suggest;

The Davy Crockett canoes are small enough that you can easily glide between different sailgating experiences, thus getting to sample a multitude of food spreads and parties without being stuck in one location.

2. Food is always important for any tailgating experience, both on land or at sea. Bad food can ruin a tailgating experience, while good food can elevate it into a magical event. This goes double for sailgating, where you’re stuck on a boat and can’t leave to remedy the food situation whenever possible, so you need to make your choices count. Most experts I’ve read recommend doing something with seafood, as it plays to the nautical theme inherent to sailgating, and Washington is host to numerous fresh fish suppliers. My suggestion:

Harbour Galley, located right next to Fowler’s Harbor, is an ideal location to grab food for your sailgating experience. The lobster roll will put you in the sailgating mood with its light and airy flavors, while the clam chowder is hearty and full-bodied, and served in a bread bowl that will keep you satisfied all game long as you root for your football team of choice.

Plus, you can’t forget dessert! The main meal may be most important, but a good dessert can make or break your sailgating experience. A lot of sailgating guides skimp out on this facet of the experience, recommending simple things such as cakes or cupcakes, but if you want to really spice up your sailgate, consider getting some Dole Whips.

Dole Whips, served either as the soft-serve or combined with pineapple juice to make a float, are a decadent dessert option that will leave your guests hungry for more. Some may question a cold dessert during the autumn months of football season, but after one bite those complaints melt away (pun intended).

3. One of the more underrated aspects of sailgating is being surrounded by nature. Cruising around the Puget Sound is one of the natural wonders of the college football world, and no where else can you get that up close and personal with nature while getting blitzed on mojitos and yelling about how Alabama refuses to cover the spread for some reason. Yet exploring nature is always hidden on the list of what sailgating great, I assume only because those lists don’t assume that the average college football fan would care that much about nature. But I know that since my dear readers will be traveling to Seattle for this game, they’ll want to try and squeeze in an expedition during their trip, and of the many that are available, there’s only one that..ok you guys have figured out the bit by now:

The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage allows visitors to get up close and personal with nature as it takes you beneath the waves, and new advanced technology even allows you to hear what the fish are saying. Plus you get magnificent views of the Matterhorn, one of the most awe-inspiring natural mountains in the region. Carve out some time in your sailgating day to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

4. There is, of course, one thing you should be careful of while out on your boat, and that is an attack by pirates.

The good news is that, the later in the year you encounter the Dread Pirate Leach, the more ineffective he is, and as long as you just ignore his conspiracy-laden ramblings, you should be fine.

I hope this guide has helped you discover how to have the best sailgating experience you could ever possibly want.

Go Bruins!