First, Ryan Leaf. It just continues to "get away" from him, doesn't it? This time, indicted on burglary charges, controlled substances, etc, etc, etc. Not good.
We've all heard the knucklehead stories about Leaf, far too many to mention here. We have a friend who played golf with him at Coeur D' Alene once, and the guy was such an immature baby and he played so poorly that he walked off the course mid-round. There's another story of him getting completely bombed with Kerry Collins at a celebrity golf tournament several years ago, and not recognizing Johnny Unitas, told him "hey old man, GET ME A BEER!"
But Ryan Leaf is a difficult nut in the WSU universe. It's difficult because Leaf gave us all something special on the field in that breakthrough '97 season. If you are reading this, it is very likely you lived and died with that 1997 team, and were either at the Apple Cup in Husky Stadium or made it to Pasadena for the classic vs. Michigan. So much glory that year, and he was a gigantic part of school history.
When the bad news comes in bunches on the guy over the years, while it's tempting, we don't want to totally push him in front of the moving train. But at the same time, the guy has redefined the spoiled brat/super privileged who has blown it on every conceivable level that it boggles the mind. How could someone so talented, so lucky to have what he had, just piss it all away? Maybe someday he'll write a book (OK, he'll have someone write it for him) and shed some light on where it all went so wrong?
Meanwhile, the Cougs are losing a linebacker. Marshall Pirtz, a young, hard-hitting linebacker who was somewhat behind on the depth chart, is leaving WSU. NOTE - it's a premium article but the headline states he's "leaving for more playing time". Pirtz played on special teams last year in his redshirt frosh season, and recorded just four tackles on the year.
Pirtz signed as an undersized, somewhat overlooked prospect out of Boise. I still remember watching the recruiting film on Pirtz after signing day, and being awfully impressed with the kid. He was undersized, but could run, and flat-out HIT people with a passion. Doba loved him at the football dinner that year, throwing out the "he loves to hit with his face" line when describing him. Pirtz had put on some weight, and was up to 244 lbs in an effort to get ready to play the strongside linebacker position. Coming into spring he was listed as the backup to Andy Mattingly on the depth chart. But for whatever reason, it didn't quite work out. Good luck to Marshall.
Next, the stadium fund-raiser/scholarship effort. It continues to drag on and we do not have a final answer for you. I will leave it to BH to give a more extensive update, hopefully next week. Not bad news....at least not yet....but it is what it is at this point, which is still not full-blown reality. Believe me when we say we are trying to get it going. But we will update you all when we get it figured out.
Anyone out there been reading Buster Sports? They have been writing a ton of new content on the upcoming PAC-10 season from Nick Daschel. His latest in his EIGHT part, "Five Things to Watch" segment says this about potentially the worst game for the upcoming season:
Here is all you have to know about the Sept. 19 game in Pullman between SMU and Washington State: combined, these two teams beat one Division I school in 2008. And that was an 0-12 Washington, by the Cougars, in double overtime.
It's awfully easy to look at the '08 records and dismiss both squads the following year. You know, they sucked last year, they'll suck again. I think we all believe that WSU is going to be better, maybe not in pure W/L record, but it will be a better product on the field. And I'm sure they believe the same thing at SMU. But whatever. It's preview season, and it's an easy choice for U-G-L-Y game of the year.
I guess he could have looked at the huge showdown of 2-win Idaho at winless UW on September 12th? Weren't those teams a combined 2-22? And WSU did in fact beat UW? Oh well.
Finally, some of you may have noticed it was a slow week around here. Well, that is sort of by design. First of all, it's May. There isn't a ton of Coug news out there. Second of all, we have lives too. I wanted to get the next "fish wrap" out there, but things come up. You know how it is. But don't sweat it, we aren't going away. At least not for a while.
ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY WEEKEND, and as always, GO COUGS!