Where’s Minshew?

The photo of the Cougars playing in a blizzard (Talkback, Winter 2022) reminded me of another game, much more recent, that was also played in an incredible, blinding snowstorm. And it was the Apple Cup game of 2018.

The QB that year was Gardner Minshew II, a truly spectacular character and player, and full of fun and great passes. He had led the Cougars to a great year. But, perhaps especially, being a southerner, he could NOT deal with the blowing snow, the blinding whiteout, and the Huskies ended up winning the Apple Cup. I believe the snow was lots thicker than in the storm shown in your photo from 1955.

I was surprised all that remarkable year that there were no write-ups on this player who gave the whole Cougar fandom so much fun. I have not lived in Washington since my graduation, following my husband to the Bay Area for a position at Stanford. I mention this only to say that the Stanford publications talk of their teams a lot more than do you. As I say, I was truly surprised that more stories on Minshew’s year were not published in your magazine at least. And that was such a season full of excitement and cheer!

Helene Falknor Wilson England ’51


Quarterback Gardner Minshew about to release a pass at the 2018 Apple Cup. Snow blows around.
WSU quarterback Gardner Minshew throws a pass at the snowy Apple Bowl of 2018.
(Courtesy Pete Caster/The Lewiston Tribune)


Thank you for the letter, Helene. Gardner Minshew was certainly a shooting star through Cougar football. And that mustache is incredible. Since Washington State Magazine is quarterly, and we have a pretty lean crew, many of the articles are planned and completed a few months in advance. By the time Minshew had made his mark on WSU football, he was on his way to the NFL. That said, we always love to follow up with Cougar alumni athletes, like this issue’s story on legendary WSU and Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson, so it’s possible Minshew could pop up in a story.

I also want to thank you for the story idea. Readers often ask where stories come from. While there are many channels, a number of stories come from readers, and we love to hear from all of you. If you know of a fascinating Coug story or would like to hear more about a topic, please tell us: magazine.wsu.edu/contact

Larry Clark



Collaboration Hall at WSU Tri-Cities at sunset
Collaboration Hall at WSU Tri-Cities opened the first day of fall classes in 2021.
The building features state-of-the-art science teaching laboratories, interactive classrooms, study and collaborative areas, an open atrium, and an outdoor amphitheater. it received a National Design-Build Project/Team Award in 2022. (Courtesy WSU News)