Well, it was cold.
But UW's first practice of spring also was a pretty festive occasion. The fans who turned out seemed to have a good time. There was a bit of a buzz. Overall, it seemed clearly worth doing -- for the fans, for the media, for the team.
Every player I talked to liked the idea of performing in front of fans.
And certainly there is real value for the members of the media, who now get to report on what they see, not just what they are told.
For the fans? Well, about an hour and 15 minutes into Tuesday's practice, I heard one guy turn to his buddy and say, "You know, this is really pretty boring."
And I could understand his point. Music fans attend concerts, not rehearsals. And so on.
However, while I don't expect that many of the fans who showed up at Practice One also will show up at practices two through 15, I think most folks with an interest in UW football would enjoy dropping by now and again. For one thing, these things should get a little more entertaining next week as the team gets into full pads. But also, there's some fun in just being down on the floor of Husky Stadium -- so much closer to the players than the the normal view from the upper deck or end zone seats -- even Tyee seats, for that matter.
Since few casual fans will care enough to show up, these open practices probably also have some value as a place where the truest of the true believers can meet among themselves and share their hopes for better days.
Finally, it remains a nice gesture even for the fans who never take advantage of it. It's better to feel a part of part of the program you love, rather than feeling blocked away as just another distraction.
On that basis, it's nice that Steve Sarkisian has the welcome mat out again, even for those who never walk through this newly unlocked door.