EUGENE, Ore. -- During ESPN's "College GameDay" Saturday, Oregon flags were not the only ones waving in the air.
ESPN has never brought "College GameDay" to Pullman, Washington -- home of the Washington State Cougars.
For the last 15 years, their fans have brought Pullman to "GameDay" by waving their flags in the background of every broadcast. Flying next to the Wazzu flag Saturday morning was another flag, bearing the number three to honor Tyler Hilinski, an athlete close to the heart of fans in the Pac-12.
Crimson flags waving in the wind were a reminder of what Hilinski meant to Cougar nation.
The 21-year old was on track to becoming Washington Sate University's starting quarterback this season -- when he took his own life in January.
His mother, Kym told herself she wouldn't miss the chance to fly a flag for Tyler if ESPN brought "College GameDay" to the West Coast.
A flag that bore the number three fluttering in the wind was proof she did not miss her chance.
"We've been flying the flag and it's Tyler. I feel him everywhere," Kym Hilinksi said. “It's important that I’m here today."
The Hilinski family started a foundation called "Hilinski’s Hope" to raise awareness and erase the stigma attached to mental health.
"I think the most important thing is to reach out to each other and be kind," Hilinski said.
Springfield resident and Cougar fan, Craig Murphy is no stranger to waving the Wazzu flag during a “College GameDay” broadcast.
“This is my 9th time waving the flag," Murphy said. "Once in Iowa, once in Nebraska, six times here and once up in Corvallis."
Murphy said this time was different.
"Getting to meet Kym this weekend…she's just an incredible lady and it's just an honor to be with her today," Murphy said.
The barriers of rivalries broke down, even for a fleeting moment as fans across the conference have come together to honor number three.
"I think when tragedy hits, there's not really rivalry. We're all are one group and we support each other and help each other and that's a pretty beautiful thing," Hilinski said.
To learn more about Hilinski’s Hope foundation, click here.
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