History of fishbowl


Hunter McKenzie and Christian Lewis

Fishbowl is the largest sporting event in all of Gig Harbor. If you don’t know what it is, it is the rivalry football game between the Peninsula Seahawks and the Gig Harbor Tides. Many know what the game is, but most don’t know how the game we love came to be.

Way back in 1978, Gig Harbor High School was built because Peninsula High School was no longer big enough to handle all of the students. With two schools in the same town, the competitive spirits of students rose to develop a harsh rivalry between them. The first ever rivalry football game, which we now know as “Fishbowl”, was held in 1980. This was the first chance for the two schools to collide in an all out brawl for everlasting glory.

In the first ever Fishbowl, the Seahawks defeated the Tides with ease. The following year, was a different story. The Tides returned the favor by beating the Seahawks 41-6. After this loss, Peninsula proceeded to go on an 8 year winning streak. Joel Epstein, who earned a black helmet, and played varsity inside linebacker in 1988,1989, and 1990 during the long winning streak, said, “Losing Fishbowl wasn’t even a thought.” Even though during this time every Fishbowl was a close game, the students and players were confident that the Seahawks were going to win.

Although there is not a trophy that is presented to the victor, “Winning Fishbowl earned that team bragging rights for the whole next year,” John Selfors, who played quarterback for Peninsula in 1982,1983, and 1984, said.

“Fishbowl is one of the biggest games many of these players will ever be a part of,” Selfors said. On average the Fishbowl draws in 3000-5000 fans every year. Games like this, are the kind of games that affect a person’s whole life. Although Fishbowl has changed over the years, It creates memories that last a lifetime.

To date, the record of all 34 Fishbowl games, is Gig Harbor, 18 victories, and Peninsula, 16 victories. “I still remember my senior year, we won 10-7 on a last second field goal,” Epstein said, “Gig Harbor’s defense had their heads in the dirt and looked completely dejected. It felt so good!”