KNKX Public Radio | By Grace Madigan
Published January 9, 2024 at 2:32 PM PST
The University of Washington football team fell to the University of Michigan 34 to 13 in Monday night's championship game.
Bars across the state organized watch parties, including the U-District’s College Inn Pub. The pub sits in the basement of a century-old building that is just a block away from the school’s main campus. Jen Gonyer is one of the pub’s owners and said she’s seen just how special this football season has been.
"This year, everyone who had tickets to the game, they all get up and leave when we expect them to, and then the place is just filled back up again with fans that I think were in town hoping to get into the game and could not," Gonyer said.
Gonyer saved the pub from closure during the pandemic with her husband, Al Donohue, and a friend. The three of them are alum of the University of Washington and were regulars at the establishment. Gonyer waited tables at the pub in the '90s, and Donohue remembers having his first drink at the establishment in 1989.
"It's a very important place. I have a lot of friends that this is where we'd go to connect when we hadn't seen each other for a while," Donohue said. "One of my co-workers actually met her husband here, and he proposed to her here 30 years ago. So that's the kind of place it is."
Donohue and Gonyer both sported Husky gear as they prepared for one last game day.
"I'm feeling pretty stinky because normally I get to wash this about six, seven games into the season," Donohue said. "And this is the 15th time I've worn it, and it has not yet been washed."
By kickoff, the pub was packed. The two pool tables were boarded up and turned into tables. Pitchers of beer and plates of nachos were hurriedly rushed out to tables.
Jack Wilson is an alum of the University of Washington, class of 1976. He was there watching with two of his college friends who frequent the pub. Wilson himself had only been there two times before.
"I came here on December 11, 1971, for my 21st birthday. And then I came back last week. And today, for this game," Wilson said.
The game didn't end the way Husky fans had hoped. But Arev Walker, a junior at the university, was still proud of the team.
"Everything they've done has been amazing, and it's been so special that they've gotten to give us this experience," Walker said.
Walker's friends Isabel Souza and Erin Schobbe felt similarly.
"If you're gonna lose a game might as well just be to the at the national championship to the number one ranked team," Souza said.
"I can't wait till we can beat them in the Big Ten," Schobbe said.
The Huskies will join UCLA, USC, and the University of Oregon in the Big Ten conference next season which includes Michigan.