Seen & Heard 10/8

NO WORD YET ON the length of the suspension that will be handed to Cougar sophomore linebacker <b>Will Derting</b> who was ticketed over the weekend for parallel parking under the influence, but given the circumstances surrounding his miscue, anything more than sitting out the Stanford game would seem way over the top.

Published reports say Derting simply got behind the wheel of a friends truck to re-park it, because the friend had left the rig's tail sticking out onto Wheatland Drive. While moving the truck, Derting bumped into a parked car. No damage was done to either vehicle, but police happened to be nearby at the time and gave a breathalizer to Derting, who blew higher than the legal limit.

I'm not here to defend intoxication, particularly behind the wheel, but facts are facts: Derting's drive was all of five feet. The public humiliation alone is punishment enough if you ask me.

SPEAKING OF DERTING, his nip-and-tuck battle with free safety Erik Coleman for the Cougar tackling crown continues to go back and forth. Derting, with six stops against Arizona, has 37 for the season and Coleman, with five tackles against the 'Cats, is at 36. Look for this contest to go right down to the wire --- and with the way middle 'backer Don Jackson has been playing of late, I wouldn't be surprised to see him atop the heap at year's end either. He has 34 tackles so far this year.

A HUGE SALUTE to Coug fan Tom Pounds (a.k.a. AlbuCOUGque) for his remarkable efforts last Saturday in Austin where Texas was hosting Kansas State. Tom gave the Cougar Nation huge air time on ESPN's GameDay broadcast by waving a giant Cougar-head flag in the background of Lee Corso & Co. for what seemed like most of the morning. Now that's what I call branding power. Way to go, Tom.

WORD OUT OF Pullman is that Adam Holiday, the kickoff specialist extraordinaire who played no small part in the Cougars' 10-win seasons the last two years, was back in town for a visit last week and offered some pointers to his successor, Graham Siderius. As you may have noticed Saturday against Arizona, Graham's approach and plant were altered slightly, and he boomed all five of his kickoffs into the endzone.

BALLARD HIGH QB Cole Morgan this week became the 11th prep senior to commit verbally to the Cougars. He originally verballed with Montana, but the great season he's putting together apparently convinced the Cougars to make an offer. He joins Ballard teammate J.T. Diederichs in the crimson fold, though Diederichs is considered a soft commit. Another teammate, coveted WR/DB Keauntea Bankhead, is believed to have WSU on his short list. If memory serves, Morgan will be the first Cougar signal caller from Ballard since ol' No. 13, Chuck Peck, was behind center for Jim Sweeney in the early 70s. Of note is that Ballard High's QB coach is none other than Jack Thompson. So far this season Morgan has connected on 57 of 83 passes for 770 yards and 10 TDs.

A week ago the Cougars landed their first verbal from outside the Pacific Northwest --- Ian Bell, a highly touted running back from Woodland Hills, Calif., with 4.5 speed in the 40 and a great pair of hands to boot. Widely considered one of the top skill position prospects from the Golden State, he chose WSU over Washington.

FORMER COUGAR GREAT Gail Cogdill was a standout receiver with the Detroit Lions back in the 1960s when renowned writer George Plimpton, who passed away last week, participated in the Lions' training camp. Plimpton's experience - -including his ill-fated series as the Detroit quarterback in a preseason game -- were chronicled in the novel "Paper Lion" and it's movie adaptation. Plimpton made a lasting impression with his teammates -- so much so that Cogdill just approached the Lions with the suggestion they retire Plimpton's No. 0 jersey.

THE DEBATE OVER the greatest Cougar victories of all time will no doubt be waged till the end of time, but I must say a hearty endorsement for the 1992 "Snow Bowl" over Washington has come from an unlikely place: The makers of the football video game PlayStation 2. Their recent TV ads have featured some of the most memorable real-life plays from college football history. And guess which game has not one, but two, plays included in the footage? Yep. The 1992 Snow Bowl. There's that unforgettable shot of Phillip Bobo, with C.J. Davis right beside him, sliding into the end zone snow bank with the TD pass from Drew Bledsoe. And there's also the memorable scene of Shaumbe Wright-Fair making like a face-down snow angel in the end zone after ripping off that long TD run late in the game. By the way, did Shaumbe have the greatest name in the history of Cougar football, or just what?

BEEN MEANING TO mention this for the last month: How funny was it during the WSU-Idaho TV broadcast that Rick Rizz of Seattle Mariners radio fame kept referring to color commentator Clete Casper as "Red." The real Red, of course, is Rizz's ever-smilin' red-haired Mariners sidekick, Ron Fairly. Said one Cougar fan the Monday after the game, "After a night of calling the Cougars with Clete, do you think Rizz will start referring to Fairly as 'Gray' or "Male Pattern Baldness'." Casper, you may recall, split time at QB with the great Ricky Turner on WSU's 1981 Holiday Bowl team. Clete is better known these days as Rick Neuheisel's apologist-in-chief.

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