Why being a WSU fan means so much

Student section and fan support are necessary in athletic success 



Butch T. Cougar crowd surfs in the student section during an NCAA college football game against Oregon, Sep. 24.

BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor

Everyone wants to see their favorite sports teams succeed, but not everyone is willing to put in the effort to actively support their favorite team in person. At any level, seeing the support of friends, colleagues and any type of fan positively impacts athletic performance on the field of play.

WSU is home to one notable fan that often stands out from the rest, Brenden Potts, a prominent staple of the crowd in several sports for Wazzu. He notably supports women’s basketball and volleyball. Potts was even the winner of a giveaway for an all-inclusive trip to Las Vegas to watch the women’s team in the Pac-12 Tournament.

The Cougs have had some other significant fan moments in their recent history.

When the Oregon Ducks came to town in 2022, WSU was projected to lose significantly, but what happened was an incredibly close game that the Cougs led for most of, with their first sell-out crowd since 2019.

Prior to the game, even opposing players such as Ducks center Alex Forsyth warned teammates about the potential noise and impact of the fans. 

“It’s deceiving because their stadium doesn’t hold a whole lot. But I told [teammates], ‘It’s probably the loudest place I’ve ever been when there are fans in there’,” Forsyth said.

After the game, several players and head coach Jake Dickert were grateful for the team’s support and how many fans showed out for that game. 

“Our student section is one of the craziest in the Pac. We definitely felt that energy coming from the crowd. Love you guys,” linebacker Travion Brown said postgame

The game against the Ducks was not the only one that students went to during the season, as the football edition of the Apple Cup had a packed student section and several other home games boasted impressive showings from the ZZUCRU. 

WSU volleyball is yet another sport that has consistent support, deservingly so. Against the Huskies on Nov. 25, 2022, Bohler Gym packed 3,005 feisty fans in the largest crowd since its remodel. 

Having a capacity crowd certainly kept the atmosphere electric and the energy potent. 

“I think when I played was the last crowd this big. Kudos to the fans who are in town for coming out,” head coach Jen Greeny said

The submission from WSU athletics for WSU’s basketball student section for the 2013 Naismith Student Section of the Year is still on Youtube and is a perfect example of what the current section should look like just a decade later. Also in 2013, ESPN ranked WSU as the 13th-happiest fan base in the country, third highest in the Pac-12. 

That ranking was potentially solely due to a fan that went viral from that year’s game against Stanford, as despite the Cougs getting blown out, a fan thoroughly enjoyed his popcorn in the cold and rain.

It is not just 2013 for fans, as the tradition of singing “Back Home” by Andy Grammer after the first quarter continues to be a mostly beloved aspect of gameday in Pullman.

If a fan wants to have a direct impact on the success of their favorite team, then there is no excuse for not showing up when it matters most: on game day. Being a part of the student section of a football, baseball, soccer, volleyball, basketball or any other sporting match means so much to fans of the Cougs.