The gameday info sheet written by students, for Husky fans, and produced on these pages has created an absolute sh*tstorm over the past four months.
We’ve received compliments, complaints, national recognition, threats of physical violence, threats of legal action, and even threats on our lives in response to the work we’ve done to give Washington one of the best home court advantages in the nation. With a 17-2 home record and facing the prospect of our own mortality at the hands of internet tough guys, we must be doing something right, right?
This is the sixth season that Dawg Pack Dirt has been compiled, and the first year where opposing team’s fans actually wanted to kill us. I guess humor is lost on nine of the ten Pac-10 schools or something. Publishing phone numbers doesn’t help the matter, either, I suppose.
Regardless of whether you love or hate the tradition (and there are a large number of people on either side of the debate), the fact remains that Dawg Pack Dirt has been one of the most influential pieces of propaganda in college basketball over the past few years.
It has helped the Washington Huskies establish and maintain their dominance at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
It has helped UW fans become one of the more knowledgeable fan bases in the country.
It has riled opposing players and altered their abilities on Washington’s home court.
It has angered opposing team’s fans, who have in turn taken their frustration out on us (but unfortunately for them, we don’t play the game).
It has been the subject of an ESPN article, as well as various other publications on a local, national, and global level.
It has been lauded for its humor, and thorough approach to investigative research.
And most of all, it has been discussed, debated, and dissected by basketball fans all over the nation.
On message boards and websites, fans from every Pac-10 school have made Dawg Pack Dirt a point of contention this season. Fans from other schools outside the conference have chimed in their opinions, as well. If your college has yet to experience Dawg Pack Dirt, consider yourself one of the lucky ones.
And while there are a handful of crazies out there who probably would kill us if given the opportunity, most individuals have been more or less receptive to the work our students have done, often times wishing aloud that their students would come up with a similar creation of their own.
The work can be tedious and the backlash severe, as everyone involved with the Dirt has seen. One angry fan from an opposing school went so far as to call the employer of one of our writers demanding that that person be fired. I guess creative expression isn’t tolerated in some parts of this country.
Like it or not, Dawg Pack Dirt will remain as the tradition it has become over time, dating back to the day I came up with the catchy title and a few statistical references in Suzallo Library back in 2004.
Sure, we might change a few things (phone numbers, for one, will no longer be published on this website…I’m sure they’ll still be a part of the student edition of the Dirt, however), but the overall idea will be the same and I’m guessing the split reactions will remain, as well.
To our student writers, who will be graduating at the end of this school year, I want to personally give my thanks. You turned a stupid little creation I wasted my time with into something much bigger, and for that you deserve proper accolades. At the same time, you helped unite an entire school’s fan base and brought attention to our corner of the country, and more specifically, to the University of Washington.
This has been a crazy year, to say the least, and my only hope is that it continues for years to come.