In the background of the photo at the top of this here story, you'll see a bench. It's a metal bench, not unlike the ones you'll see at any stadium in this fine country. You'll also note that it's a tad bit out of place: Benches aren't supposed to be in the air, being carried up the stands during the middle of the game.
I was standing on the sideline opposite the student section late in the fourth quarter during the Apple Cup. It was easy to get lost in the moment as the crowd exploded, building to a boiling point as the Cougars stormed back. Washington State had tied the game, coming back from 18 down. The students were delirious.
As I looked up, I saw a bench in the air. It was a bit surreal, and certainly unexpected. The students had ripped the bench, which was metal and anchored in concrete, from its supports and were surfing it up to the top of the stadium as crowd management employees looked on. I've been in Martin Stadium for plenty of games, and plenty of wild ones, and this was new to me.
And again, the game was still going on. This wasn't in celebration of a win: It was ripping a bench up because, you know, YOLO or something.
Eventually, the bench made it to the top of the stadium, where about six people in blue jackets came to retrieve it. And with that, the bench made its trip home, carried down the stairs and off to some bench graveyard. As soon as it was taken away from the students, like a toy taken away from a kid who misbehaves, a second bench was ripped out and the process was repeated.
It would've looked silly had Washington State lost, but the Cougars did end up winning. And that's how we found out the goalposts in Pullman are more sturdy than the metal benches, with metal pole supports secured in concrete, in the stands.
Photo via djelusich, a commenter at CougCenter.