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The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Jake Dickert squashes ESPN beef

Dickert’s comments were in response to jabs at WSU by ESPN College Gameday member Pat McAfee
Fans+hold+up+a+sign+mocking+ESPN+College+Gameday+at+a+game+against+Oregon+State+September+23%2C+2023+in+Pullman%2C+Wash.
BRANDON WILLMAN
Fans hold up a sign mocking ESPN College Gameday at a game against Oregon State September 23, 2023 in Pullman, Wash.

Jake Dickert, WSU’s head football coach, responded to ESPN’s Pat McAfee in this Monday’s press conference, after McAfee called out WSU and Dickert on ESPN’s College Gameday segment Saturday. 

The feud’s genesis was before the WSU vs. Oregon State game on Sept. 23. Dickert thought he heard Lee Corso call the game the “Nobody Watches Us Bowl” on the ESPN College Gameday cast early that morning. 

Dickert defended the Cougars in the media press conference after the game, causing a social media snowstorm over the weekend of the Pac-12 rivalry game.  

“The facts say people watch the Cougs. And people watch the Cougs more than every team that’s left over in the Big 12. Coach Corso, he’s at the point now where they give him the sheet, he reads off of it, and they try to make a joke, but it didn’t even make sense,” Dickert said.

In reality, Corso called the game the “Nobody Wants Us Bowl.” Dickert said that he called Corso the day after the WSU vs. OSU game to patch things up. He added that he talked about his comments with Corso, saying he “meant no disrespect” to the longtime host or ESPN as a whole, as it was a misunderstanding.

McAfee re-lit the flame of the Dickert-Corso interaction on the set of the same ESPN College Gameday show a week later on the campus of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. 

“Who Cares,” McAfee said multiple times while the Ol’ Crimson flag was shown on the broadcast. “I want a West Virginia flag flying up there every single time. We don’t get it, Washington State gets it, and all of a sudden, Washington State’s going, ‘Now Big Beav’s up there!’ Like, shut up! Washington State, [I’m] sick of you! Waste of time on this show… Were you guys showing this flag when they were 1-11 in 2009? How about 2-10 in 2010? You were? That’s wild. So when they sucked, [College GameDay] was showing them every single week on the biggest college football show? Wow! Handle success, Ryan Leaf.” 

When asked about the comments Dickert stood up for his team.

“I’m going to defend our team; I’m going to stand up for the team. I never took back what I said, I took back the absolute tone and how I said it,” Dickert said. “Cougs, I feel the passion and I love it. Let’s place that passion back on the games.” 

Dickert intends for the beef to shift to this week’s task, a road battle against the UCLA Bruins at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

Although this misunderstanding/argument has come to a presumed end, and national attention will slowly die out, there is still a greater point that seems to be missed. 

McAfee is in his first full-time season on the set of College Gameday and recently inked a lucrative deal to switch his self-titled show/podcast to ESPN. He made a point that WSU and former quarterback, Ryan Leaf can’t handle success. 

This point is just hypocritical, as McAfee has achieved recent big-time success of his own (and has been critical of negative feedback), yet he attacked WSU and Dickert for being prideful in their hot start. 

At the core, Dickert had good intentions with both messages and was attempting to defend WSU from a shot by McAfee’s colleague, Corso. This again was a misunderstanding and later resolved. 

So for McAfee, the question lies: did he have context to the fact that this was a misunderstanding that was later apologized for? Or was this blind allegiance to a long-time host/new work partner, with an attempt to put WSU down for clicks?

Either way, McAfee seems to be the one that can’t handle the recent success. 

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About the Contributors
Zach is a junior multimedia journalism major from Clarkston, Washington. He likes football and grew up going to Cougar football games.
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2023 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.

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  • AngusOct 4, 2023 at 5:09 pm

    Well said!