Helmet Car now part of history

McClatchy news servicesAugust 9, 2013 

The Husky Helmet Car, which carried cheerleaders and band members around the track inside Husky Stadium after UW scored, will not be used at the revamped facility. It will be donated to a museum.

BRUCE KELLMAN/STAFF FILE, 2005

One of the biggest changes the University of Washington made when it revamped Husky Stadium was the removal of the track that circled the field.

But that necessitates the removal of a tradition.

UW announced Thursday that it will donate the Husky Helmet Car — which zipped around the stadium with cheerleaders and band members aboard after the Huskies scored — to the Museum of History and Industry & Seattle.

The origin of the Husky Helmet Car is traced to the 1977 season, when the Huskies won the Pacific-8 Conference championship and earned a trip to the Rose Bowl.

According to legend, several supporters hoped to drive the vehicle to Pasadena, Calif., and in the Rose Bowl Parade. The car never made the trip, but it is thought to have begun circling the track in Husky Stadium during the 1978 season.

The car was financed by UW’s athletic department and was maintained and operated by Husky Marching Band directors and members.

The car will be donated to the museum during a public ceremony at 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 15.

ARIZONA UNVEILS FACILITY

The lobby of Arizona’s sparkling new Lowell-Stevens Football Facility has a pair of interactive touch screens that show the history of the program, three glass cases with robotic-looking mannequins in full uniform and high ceilings that make it feel like a futuristic exhibit at Disney’s Epcot Center.

The $72 million facility, which is attached to Arizona Stadium, includes underwater treadmills in the training room, ventilated seats in the locker room and the Sands Club, an upscale lounge for fans that opens to seats in the north stands.

“It’s a new day for Arizona football,” athletics director Greg Byrne said.

The state-of-the-art facility puts Arizona on level ground with some of the top programs in the country. The facility isn’t quite on par with the Nike-backed complex at Oregon, but then no other place is.

“I don’t think you have to have the best, but you have to have a facility that shows a commitment to football, that it’s not a casual sport type of thing,” coach Rich Rodriguez said. “Maybe somebody has a bigger weight room or more bells and whistles, but it’s obvious that football is very, very important when you walk into this building.”

In the past, potential recruits were given limited tours of the football facilities, sometimes skipping the cramped locker rooms altogether.

“We never told recruits the things we didn’t have, but they knew,” Byrne said. “Those days are over.”

 

EXTRA POINTS

 

Florida cleared starting quarterback Jeff Driskel for practice after he recovered from an appendectomy. The Gators also reinstated suspended linebacker Antonio Morrison, who was suspended last month following his second arrest in less than five weeks. … Johnny Manziel’s family has hired an El Paso, Texas, attorney with experience in NCAA matters as the Heisman Trophy winner faces an investigation into whether he was paid to sign autographs. Attorney Jim Darnell has most notably represented Baylor when its basketball program was sanctioned in the early 2000s and former USC basketball coach Tim Floyd. … Former Grand Valley State quarterback Cullen Finnerty died of pneumonia caused by inhaling his vomit, an autopsy revealed.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK

Staff writer Todd Dybas contributed to this report.

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