One of the more interesting storylines of the 2017 college football season was the University of Washington vs. ESPN. More specifically, the dispute was centered around Huskies coach Chris Petersen’s criticisms of late starting times to accommodate television. To put it rather mildly, Petersen was perturbed at 7:30/7:45 p.m. PT kickoffs which meant 10:30/10:45 starts on the East Coast.

ESPN promptly hit back during the Cal-Washington game on October 7, complete with graphics and commentary stating that its ratings for late night games are higher than earlier kickoff times. It was strange for a network to fire back like this, showing its wrath during a game broadcast.

It caught the attention of Washington athletic director Jen Cohen, who received text messages from fans and later saw the telecast at home. She told the Seattle Times that she was “extremely disappointed” at the tone of the broadcast and also seeing ESPN’s use of cupcakes to demonstrate the weakness of its non-conference schedule. Cohen said she had to muster all of her strength to prevent herself from attacking back.