Greetings Cougar Nation. Hope you all are having a great week.
So, as the mighty header above indicates, today we are calling on you.
Why are we calling?
Because its high time that we, the WSU sports website community, step up to the plate.
What plate you ask?
THE MONEY RAISING PLATE.
And so, I announce to you all today, that sometime in the next few weeks, we will have a big, fat link at the upper right hand corner of this here blog. And that link is where you, me, and the rest of Cougar Nation will be able to donate our hard earned chump change for one huge goal of the football program you love - to help complete the construction of Phase III of Martin Stadium.
Not only will this next phase go a long way towards securing our membership in the coveted PAC-10 conference. But at the same time, you can feel really good about your standing in, and contribution to, the WSU football program. And oh yeah, when it's all said and done, one heck of a beautiful game-day setting, right in the heart of campus! A setting that you, Cougar football fan, can always be proud of.
Now, this is different than what you currently see at WSUCougars.com. That link is for a donation to the WSU Athletic Foundation. But this new link will be specifically for the renovation of Martin Stadium.
With that in mind, here are a few choice FAQs of what the heck we're actually talking about:
1) WHERE WILL THE PROCEEDS FROM THE DONATIONS GO?
Obviously, all proceeds will go to the WSU Athletic Foundation (who will also manage the account as noted below). This is all on the up-and-up. But as we already stated, each donation will be directed specifically for Martin Stadium Renovation, and nothing else.
The reason for earmarking these funds specifically toward football and the stadium is to not only support the next phase of the renovation. But because football generates the majority of revenues for the Athletic Department. And it is that sport - football - that is the primary focal point for the majority of the indicators needed to retain our standing in the Pacific-10 conference.
This message has been clear, right from the PAC-10 - upgrade Martin Stadium, or face a very unpleasant vote by the conference members.
2) WHO WILL MANAGE THE SITE?
In the coming days, I will be speaking with person(s) from the WSU Athletic Department to finalize these details. But in a nutshell, the link will send you directly to a Pay-Pal account managed by the WSU Athletic Foundation. The title of the account will be something like "Martin Stadium Online Contributions", or "WSU Football Stadium Contributions to Excellence", something of that nature. This will enable everyone from the online WSU community to see the fruits of their labor. And as far as keeping tabs on this money, we would like to get at least a quarterly report from the foundation on how it is going. Details like this will be ironed out shortly.
3) WHICH WEBSITES WILL PARTICIPATE?
This hasn't been finalized. But, our hope is that the link and advertisement for the account would be provided by ALL of the WSU fansites in the online universe. This includes Cougfan.com, Cougzone.com, Cougcenter.com, WitchesofEastman.blogspot.com, and the like.
The idea is to provide a quick and easy portal from which all readers and fans of WSU Football can donate what they can, when they are so inclined. This will benefit WSU, which should be the ultimate goal of all the fansites on the Internet. We are not doing this for any self-serving reason. We just want to help, and this is the way we want to go.
4) WHY IS THIS PARTICULAR SITE NEEDED?
Well, for several reasons.
First, our athletic department is in serious trouble (duh). From budget cuts handed down by the state, to the cancellation of the Qwest Field Apple Cup series, to the horrific economic times gripping this country, the fact that our beloved Cougar football program is running low on funds for an essential stadium renovation shouldn't come as a surprise. Don't you read the news?!? It is tough all over, and the WSU athletic department is feeling it too.
Second, in kind of a weird rule, the WSU Athletic Foundation is unable to solicit donations directly to the WSU family without prior consent. In other words, if you are a Coug fan, but haven't donated before, or haven't purchased season tickets? WSU's Call-A-Coug can't call you asking for help. You must go directly to them, showing your interest. But guess what? WE CAN SURE COME TO YOU. And so, here we are...
Third, solicitations for donations always seem to come at "inopportune" times, don't they? But in turn, these inopportune times can limit the level of giving. It is just the way it goes. But having a link to a quick donation site will simply streamline the process. It will make it fast and easy to give to something you care about.
Finally, embarrassment. Sounds funny to even say that, but it can be tough to tell the voice on the other end of the line that you can't give anything right now. In reality, maybe you can give something, just not much more than a few bucks. We believe this method of an online, viral campaign will be the way for you to donate what you can, whenever you can, without fear of embarrassment if you don't have much to give.
And, "how can $5 help" you may ask? It is such a small amount of money. Well, for exhibit 1A of how little things can add up fast, think of our last Presidential election. All the experts will tell you that one thing that really made the difference for our new President was that their campaign reached out to the little guy. They made it simple to donate $5 here, $5 there, all with the ease of a massive online campaign. And guess what? As insignificant as the donations might have seemed at the time, the whole thing worked!
5) WHAT IS THE DESIRED DONATION/CONTRIBUTION?
OK, not really. How about whatever you can give? Does that work?
Right now, in my situation, the budget is tight in the "BH" household. But, I know that I can at the very least sacrifice something insignificant, like a BH burger, each month to contribute to the cause. So, I'm going to donate 5-10 dollars a month until things change my way. I highly encourage you all to do the same.
6) Wait a minute. DOES WSU EVEN KNOW ABOUT THIS??
Yep. In fact, WSU likes the idea. We approached them late last year about something like this, and they reciprocated the interest. Unfortunately, circumstances prevented anything further. OK, we basically dropped the ball. You know, stuff came up! But our desire to help has never wavered. We are now focused on what needs to be done, and it is time to get rolling.
7) WHEN WILL THIS GET STARTED AGAIN?
In the coming weeks. In the next day or two I will be back in touch with the WSU Athletic Department to help formalize the concept and begin working on logistics. Given the severity of our current situation, my guess is that it will not take long to get something in place.
In the meantime, I hope you will begin considering who it is that you can solicit to give a buck or ten (million?) to the cause. And unlike half the regular stuff on this site, no, this isn't a joke. It is urgent for all of us to step up and give whatever we can.
There are no more excuses. We are going to do everything we can to help. And we know, dear reader, that we can count on you to do the same. And don't think that for one second that a small amount of money doesn't matter. It does matter, and it will help. So let's show the rest of the conference that we care. And let's cement our standing in a great BCS conference like the PAC-10! The time for talking and excuse-machine-cranking is over. IT IS TIME FOR ACTION!