Seen & Heard 11/19

SEATTLE -- News flash for <b>Nakoa McElrath</b>. Hey, big fella, there's a building just a short walk from Bohler Gym called the <b>Edward R. Murrow</b> School of Communications. It's one of the finest communications schools in the nation. And guess what? Public relations is one of the disciplines they offer there. Go ahead, take a class, we'll all be glad you did.

And while you're at, you may want to enroll in Econ 101, too. Why? Because your little temper-tantrum following the Apple Cup is likely to cost you huge dollars when the NFL draft comes around. Your so-so practice habits, chronicled deftly by the Spokesman-Review, and even those four balls you dropped in crunch time against UCLA and ASU won't hurt you in the eyes of NFL scouts as badly as a foul attitude made public.

Don't get me wrong, folks. I wasn't exactly enamored with the Cougars' play-calling Saturday, either. But I'm sure as heck not going to be spouting off about it to reporters if I'm one of the players. And to have the audacity to duck out of sight before my head coach hears about it all?

McElrath's little on-field diatribe toward Gesser in the second quarter also gives me fits.

It's all sorry behavior, plain and simple. And last I checked, there was no "I" in the word TEAM or in the word COUGARS.

Nonetheless, if Apple Cup finger-pointing is the pass-time of the day, then let me join in with some arrows for Fred Shavies and Al Genatone. They're to blame for Nakoa's bad acting in Seattle.

You see, if Fred hadn't stripped the ball from UCLA's Cory Paus three weeks ago, and if Al hadn't scooped it up to run 73 yards for the winning TD, then the Cougars would have lost to the Bruins. And if that had happened, a certain receiver who earlier in the game dropped an easy shoulda-been TD pass that hit him right on the numbers would have justifiably become one of the biggest goats in the history of Cougar football.

And we all know that giant goats don't tend to trash-talk their head coach after a loss. So shame on you, Fred and Al. Your UCLA heroics ended up giving McElrath a inflated sense of himself.

Can you tell I'm a little upset with McElrath's lack of judgment and loyalty?

Well, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

I'm so put-off that I vote to let him play only on special teams in the Sun Bowl. And it's not disciplinary reasons that drive me to such a recommendation. It's role modeling.

If McElrath plays receiver in the Sun Bowl, he will -- presuming he solves his bout of the dropsies -- very likely break the WSU single-season records for most receptions and most receiving yards. Those records are held, respectively, by Mike Levenseller and Tim Stallworth -- two all-time great Cougars in EVERY sense of the term. I'd hate to see their proud names supplanted by McElrath's.

And speaking of Stallworth, can you believe the Seattle Times last week left him off their list of the five greatest receivers in Cougar history? Were it not for a blown knee in Game 6 of his 1989 senior season, he would today own virtually every receiving record in school history. The guy was a game-breaking sensation. In fact, Hugh Campbell is about the only Coug grab-master who might rate higher than him.

I'm also puzzled as all get-out how the Times could put Chad Eaton on the list of five-best WSU defensive lineman and leave off his Palouse Posse mate DeWayne Patterson? Patterson made second-team All-American, set WSU and Pac-10 records for sacks and was basically a game-altering kind of force. Eaton was solid, but he was no Patterson. He wasn't even a Don Sasa, for that matter.

ESPN's Jim Caple had this to say about WSU's loss to the Dawgs: "And they had only themselves to blame, repeatedly failing to take advantage of so many scoring opportunities that it was like watching Trekkies attempt to hit on Hooters waitresses.

Start making plans folks for New Year's Eve in El Paso. The Sun Bowl is December 31. Kickoff is 11 am Pacific Time. CBS will provide TV coverage. The Cougars' opponent will be the No. 5 team from the Big Ten. If the season ended today, that would be Iowa. But there's still a lot of ball to be played so Purdue, Ohio State, Michigan State and Penn State could also be the opponent. Here's the link to important visitor El Paso information:

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