Andrea Ancich frosts University of Washington themed cookies at her Marysville home for her flight to the College Football Playoff National Championship in Texas. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Andrea Ancich frosts University of Washington themed cookies at her Marysville home for her flight to the College Football Playoff National Championship in Texas. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

It’s a dawg’s life: Local Huskies fans howl with excitement for big game

UW fans will find camaraderie wherever they go: Bars, arenas and couches. Or a showing at the Historic Everett Theatre.

EVERETT — Piccola Pizza in Snohomish is usually closed on Mondays.

But owner Ricky Andrews, a linebacker for the Washington Huskies in the 1980s and later the Seahawks, will make an exception next week.

And he expects a crowd.

Andrews expects it to get loud on First Street as his Huskies face the Michigan Wolverines for all the marbles. Kickoff between the undefeated teams is set for 4:45 p.m. PST, after lots of pregame coverage by ESPN.

It holds promise to be the best action-suspense-drama-thriller at the movie theater.

At least, if it’s anything like the prequel.

The national college football championship game will be on the silver screen at certain Regal Cinema locations, including at Everett Mall. Reserved seating is $20.99. Popcorn not included. The Historic Everett Theatre is offering a live screening of the game for $15 at the downtown venue on Colby Avenue.

At sports bars and living rooms around the state, TVs will blare, fans will yell, beer will spill — but, hopefully, no tears in the U District. Tickets for the free massive watch party at Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle were gone in a flash.

Some lucky dawgs will be at NRG Stadium in Houston, watching the University of Washington’s purple reign on the field.

“I am looking forward to being there,” said Andrea Ancich, of Marysville. “Just being there with 50,000 other Huskies fans, being in the building and being part of something a little bigger than us.”

She, along with family members and friends, booked plane tickets, a car and lodging in Texas in December when the Huskies made it to the playoffs.

“We were hopeful and optimistic,” Ancich said. “We decided to put it out there to the universe.”

It paid off. She figures the Houston trip set her back maybe $700, a deal compared to what some fans shelled out this week after the Huskies defeated the Texas Longhorns in a game that, like many others this season, caused heart palpitations and night sweats in even casual fans. Some packages were $2,000 to $6,000, not including game tickets that were fetching over $1,000.

On Thursday, she baked Huskies themed cookies for the trip, with the first batch going to airline attendants on her red-eye flight Friday to get the party started.

Andrea Ancich puts sprinkles on her University of Washington themed cookies. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Andrea Ancich puts sprinkles on her University of Washington themed cookies. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Ancich, 45, has gone to Huskies games since age 4.

“Forty-one years,” she said. “We were even in the stands for COVID, because you could pay to have your picture be in there.”

That cutout is now in her classroom at Lake Stevens High School, where the school colors are also purple and gold.

Listen for Christy Dahlgren Ely in the stands at Monday’s game, joined by her husband and three daughters.

Ely, 54, of Edmonds, was a UW cheerleader at the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day 1992 when the Huskies defeated the Wolverines, 34-14.

Andrea Ancich’s Rose Bowl ticket from her scrapbook. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Andrea Ancich’s Rose Bowl ticket from her scrapbook. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

“I saw Mario Bailey catch that ball, the whole thing,” she said.

She’s part of the loud crowd.

“I still know most of the songs,” she said. “I’m pretty good at yelling. I usually stomp my feet. I slap the back of our metal bleachers. I make noise.”

Ely still has all her cheer outfits. Over the years, her daughters have worn them for Halloween and tailgates.

She tried on her Rose Bowl uniform Friday for the first time in years. “It doesn’t button in the back,” she said.

So, no, she won’t wear it to Houston.

“I’ll wear one of my jackets for good luck,” she said.

Christy Dahlgren Ely poses with her UW cheerleading uniform she wore at the Jan. 1, 1992 Rose Bowl game. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Christy Dahlgren Ely poses with her UW cheerleading uniform she wore at the Jan. 1, 1992 Rose Bowl game. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers was in the marching band in the 1970s as a sousaphone player, drum major and bass drummer. He met his wife, Elaine, a piccolo player and tenor drummer, in the band. They marched in the 1978 Rose Bowl.

He didn’t go to the Jan. 1 Sugar Bowl game in New Orleans to see the Huskies defeat the Texas Longhorns, 37-31. But this time, he’s making the trip.

“I could not miss this game,” Somers said.

He plans to meet up with UW friends and also have a coffee date with the county executive in Houston.

Bill Rucker, a UW grad in the 1960s, has been to hundreds of Huskies games and four Rose Bowls.

“But this Sugar Bowl game in New Orleans was the most exciting and memorable of them all, right down to the very last second,” said Rucker, 83. “Walking 2 miles back to our hotel on the Mississippi at 1 a.m. in wild and crazy downtown New Orleans added to the adventure.”

He was joined by 12 family members. He’s staying in Everett for Monday’s grand finale.

As for Andrews, the former player said he had the option to attend the Houston game. These days, that’s not for him.

“I like playing, not sitting,” he said. “I’ll enjoy it from here at my place.”

Around the county, fans can go to about any bar or restaurant for camaraderie.

Beardslee Public House in Bothell is among family venues where all ages can gather. Happy hour is 3 to 9 p.m.

At Regal Everett, about 65 people watched the Sugar Bowl game earlier this week at the theater at Everett Mall. Tickets are available for Monday’s game. Just Sports in the mall still had Huskies shirts and caps available for sale this week.

Don’t want to see the game? That’s OK. Other Regal screens will show the latest movies, such as “The Color Purple.”

Preston Dwoskin, 32, plans to watch the action on the 75-inch TV in his Marysville living room with his dad, Rob.

“We are going to sit on the couch and watch it from there,” he said. “If they win, there will be a party in the state of Washington.”

Dwoskin is no stranger to bowl games. In 2019, he organized the first Buddy Bowl game at Everett Memorial Stadium. The now-annual exhibition football game is intended to raise awareness about school bullying.

Some betting sites are favoring Michigan for the win, by about 4 points. Dawgs fans say don’t bet on it.

“The Huskies are going to go out and pound Michigan,” Dwoskin said.

This article has been update to reflect a change in the Historic Everett Theatre’s price to watch the game.

Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterbrown.

How to watch:

Kickoff: 4:45 p.m. PST

See the game on ESPN or a streaming service with ESPN, such as Hulu and YouTube TV.

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