And that’s another, Cougar, First “Chance”
Sometime early in the Summer of 2011, Chance received two calls in the same day from an old fling. Nahhh, it wasn’t one of those un-welcomed kinda awkward, silent calls you’d expect. It was good news… no, make that great news! See, Chance moved from Missoula, MT to Pullman, WA straight out of high school to attend the closest Pac-10 (now Pac-12) school and compete for Washington State University’s perennial powerhouse of a track team. She beckoned him, lured him in and has held a place in his heart since graduating 10 years ago. Well, “she” called. And when your first love calls, you can’t help but pick up the phone and see what she wants and how she’s doin’… right?!
But before we get to that, we need a little context to the story…
Summer 2010. Chance is on a Southwest Airlines flight makin’ a stop in Boise before heading onto Seattle to meet up with Blake Shelton for a week’s worth of shows up n’ down the coast of Washington State and Oregon. He’s still tryin’ to comprehend the CMT win, the CMT Studio 330 session (recorded with Reba McEntire and Steel Magnolia), tour dates with Dwight Yoakam, Jamie O’Neal, Grand Funk Railroad and all the dates (including Blake, Luke Bryan, CCR, Lynyrd Skynyrd and .38 Special) yet to come. On that flight sat a girl who struck up a conversation with him talkin’ of her internship at the capital in Boise for the summer, until she returned back to WSU in the Fall (see where this is heading?).
Anyway, that girl… let’s call her DB (to protect her identity) happen to also be finishing her Masters and working for the WSU Athletic Department after completing her scholarship in swimming the year prior. She asked what “what do you do?” Chance, still not accustomed to sayin’… “well, I sing for a livin'” told her he was a former high school math teacher who just happened to be in the right place at the right time recently and ended up out on tour with some of her favorite acts (luck of the draw, she was a country fan). They made introductions, realized they were both Cougar Alumni and chatted about Pullman and athletic careers for a bit. DB got off the plane, Chance went onto Seattle, tour schedule got busy… add another new friend on the new career path.
Skip ahead to Fall of 2010. Chance gets an email from DB… actually DB’s boss (then Director of Marketing) in the WSU Athletic Dept inquiring about shows and what it would take (logistics-wise) to get him back to his stomping grounds. Emails bounce back n’ forth, ground work is laid, and the picture starts to take shape.
Now, back to Summer of 2011 and the “tw0-call” day. The editor of WSU’s Alumni Magazine calls asking if he can do a review and write an article on former All-American Javelin Thrower, now country singer, Chance McKinney. On the same day, WSU Director of Marketing calls asking if Chance would be interested in performing at some point during the upcoming football season. Not bad, the ol’ fling still has a little interest… umm how ’bout yes, and yes.
So, here’s the result of a 45-minute SWA flight sittin’ next to a former WSU Alum…
October 15th, 2011. Homecoming Weekend. WSU v. Stanford. Chance McKinney and the CrossWire boys will be performing at the Pre-Game Rally as the Cougs try to knock of the #4 nationally ranked Cardinal of Stanford. CMCW will do a pre-game show in Hollingbery Fieldhouse from 2:30 – 4:00pm and then Chance has a little surprise at halftime for the 35,000+ fans there ready to support the Cougars of Washington State!
Think Pullman is ready for a little “Industrialized Country?” Think WSU and Chance have a nice little recipe for success in the future? Yeah, that’s what we think too!