Flag displayed for 200th time on ESPN

Ol’ Crimson has appeared on every College GameDay show since Oct. 18, 2003


DES MARKS | Daily Evergreen File

Students show their Cougar pride at the 2015 Apple Cup on Nov. 27.

RYAN MOSHER, Evergreen reporter

This weekend in Fort Worth, Texas the Ol’ Crimson Booster Club, a non-profit organization, will wave a Cougar flag for the 200th straight appearance on ESPN’s College GameDay. This was made possible by Tom Pounds, a WSU alumnus who graduated in 1981 with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Pounds originally organized and continues to orchestrate the appearance of his own hand-made flags at every College GameDay show. The tradition started in 2003 as a showing of school spirit, and has evolved into a staple of the broadcast, and a true point of Cougar pride.

“That piece of cloth that I made was no longer my property, but it really belonged to the Cougar nation.” Pounds said. “Now even if we wanted to stop, I don’t think we could.”

Pounds, who teaches science in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has built a network of almost 200 WSU alumni and fans around the country to make sure the Ol’ Crimson flag is at every taping of ESPN’s show.

The flag-kit gets shipped from site-to-site via UPS. As ESPN announces the location of the next GameDay show, coordinators of the club contact people on the list in the city where the show will be broadcasted. As one of the alumni or fans responds, the flag-kit is sent from where it was the previous Saturday to where it needs to be the following Saturday.

The kit includes three nylon flags, and a cloth flag sent with the flag-kit for signatures of the flag-wavers, autographs from ESPN personalities and WSU sports figures. Signature flags are retired every year.

Ol’ Crimson Booster Club even wrote a manual in 2003 to inform the flag-wavers what to do and how to do it. Many of these flag-wavers have done multiple shows over the years. The current all-time leader is Andrew Pannek of Spokane, with 13 appearances under his belt.

For the 200th straight GameDay appearance, Pounds is planning to make a special one-time flag to wave in addition to Ol’ Crimson. Pounds said he will be attending the event in Fort Worth, after encouragement from members of the booster club. Pounds first waved the flag a few weeks before he started the consecutive-streak, which began Oct. 18, 2003.

“You’ve got to wait to watch the show for the unfurling of the 200th show flag,” Pounds said.

To watch the Ol’ Crimson Booster Club wave the Cougar flag for the 200th consecutive show, tune into ESPN College GameDay from 6 – 9 a.m. Saturday at Texas Christian University, for their match-up against West Virginia.