Oertel leaving coveted legacy at WSU

DOM WILLIAMS wanted it. So did Gabe Marks, Brett Bartolone, Peyton Pelluer, Beau Glover and a host of others not just on the football team but on some of the women's teams as well. Washington State athletics has an heirloom. And Sunday, the keeper of it -- outgoing Cougar linebacker Eric Oertel -- made his decision: the "Burger Shirt" is headed to the secondary.

Glover, the rising third-year sophomore who turned heads in spring ball, is going to inherit the gaudy yellow T Oertel bought as a joke shortly after arriving at WSU in 2011.

"After thinking about it long and hard .. I've come to the conclusion of who I want to represent the Burger Shirt for the next few years. This kid is always down for the cause and I know he will wear it well," Oertel tweeted Sunday.

Check that. Glover will inherit the shirt on one condition.

"You have to PROMISE to pass it down to a fellow teammate when your time here at WSU is over like mine is now! The shirt goes to my boy @bglov29. I know I'm leaving soon But all Cougs know.. Once a Coug Always a Coug!" Oertel tweeted.

Forget the Bohler and Niemi awards, the "Burger Shirt" is the hippest sporting honor on the Palouse.

"He deserves it," Oertel told Cougfan.com via Twitter direct messaging. "He won because every time I see him outside of football-related activities, he's having a good time! He's positive, and I see myself as a positive person as well, which is why I thought the shirt fit for him."

Oertel will graduate Saturday with a degree in criminology. This summer he'll head home to Wisconsin to enter a local police academy and, if all goes as planned, hit the streets as a police officer in early 2015.

Bequeathing the shirt was something he'd been talking about since early fall.

"It honestly became a pretty big thing," he says.

The shirt, which exalts the glory of hamburgers and fries, has been a Pullman fixture since shortly after Oertel arrived at WSU following a star-studded career at Lutheran High in Racine, Wis.

"It's really just a shirt I bought 3 1/2 years ago and it just started as a joke, but then it ended up being that every big occasion on any given weekend, the shirt would make an appearance," Oertel said. "Anytime any big event would take place, everyone knew that they were going to see me in that shirt."

For a video interview with Oertel about what WSU has meant to him, CLICK HERE.

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