The University of Washington and Washington State University (WSU) are fierce in state rivals, but make no mistake, the line in the sand gets completely removed when it comes to life-threatening accidents.

Band members and chaperones from the University of Washington were on their way to the Apple Cup on Nov. 22 to take on Washington State when one of their buses flipped over on an icy highway as it was traveling to eastern Washington. Forty-seven of the 56 people on board were taken to a local hospital, where two remained hospitalized overnight with non life-threatening injuries.

Due to the accident, the school announced that the band would not take to the field for the game.

“The health and well-being of our students is our top priority, and it became evident that our band members need to recover and return home,” UW athletic director Jennifer Cohen said in a statement.

So, to honor the University of Washington, WSU’s band stepped up and learned how to play “Bow Down to Washington” to honor their rival.

“The Huskies are missing their band, and that’s an important part of the gameday experience,” WSU’s band director Troy Bennefield told the Seattle Times. “We want to honor the camaraderie and their dedication and show our sportsmanship.

“Yesterday, when we heard there was an accident and there was a possibility they might not come, it was, ‘what can we do? How can we show our support?” Bennefield continued. “It was let’s play the (fight song). Since they are not here, we thought it would be the easiest and most impactful way to show our solidarity with them.”



“We have this rivalry, but we wouldn’t wish this on anyone,” Dean Luethi, the director of the WSU School of Music, told The Spokesman-Review. “The band travels to provide spirit. If we can provide that just for a moment, that’s great. If we can help their band, why not? This moment transcends our rivalry.”

And, it transcends sports, too.