One of the quirky things about being deployed is watching television via Armed Forces Network. American broadcasters allow AFN to air their programs free of charge, with one caveat. AFN is not allowed to show commercials. The result is way too many PSAs about how to drive in Europe, the dangers of gambling and making sure to do all the proper paperwork if you plan on marrying someone who isn't an American citizen.
There are also educational ads, one of which is called 'State Quiz.' State Quiz consists of three clues, with the most obscure clue first. If you can't guess the correct state after the third clue, you're either a complete idiot, a member of Security Forces (USAF Police), or both. Probably both. For example, the third clue for South Dakota includes a picture of Mount Rushmore. Saturday morning, amid the hot tracks that make up VH1's Top 20 Video Countdown, South Dakota's quiz came on.
Seeing the picture of Mount Rushmore got me thinking. If someone carved a WSU Athletics version of Mount Rushmore into, say, Steptoe Butte, which four faces would be on there? My only criterion was that there could be no more than two people from any one sport. Other than that, anyone associated with WSU Athletics is eligible.
My four are as follows (H/T to the WSU Hall of Fame home page for some of these stats):
Ryan Leaf - Regardless of what has happened since he left WSU, and regardless of how he acted while he was here, he was the number one reason we went back to Pasadena after a 67-year absence. As someone who was fortunate enough to be a student then, it was a semester-long ride I will never forget.
John Olerud - Looking back on his accomplishments, what he did at WSU is nothing short of stunning. He was the only Cougar baseball player ever to be named College Athlete of the Year. He's the only pitcher in NCAA history to win 15 games (15-0!!!) and also hit 20+ home runs in the same year. He was named Athlete of the Year by Baseball America...as a sophomore.
Sarah Silvernail - My one wildcard, or my Teddy Roosevelt if you will.* Sarah was probably the greatest volleyball player in WSU history. She was a two-time All-American, the 1996 Pac-10 Athlete of the Year, and was named Pac-10 Athlete of the Week six times. She led the Cougs to NCAA Tournament appearances in each of her four years, including the regional final in 1996.
*If you ever want to find out about what a tough hombre Roosevelt was, read that book.
Bob Robertson - Simply put, if I'm listening to a football game in heaven, I want Bob behind the microphone.
Also Considered (Meaning I thought about them for at least five seconds): Bobo Brayton, Mike Price, Mel Hein, Bernard Lagat, Jack Thompson, Rueben Mayes, Jack Friel.
Those are my four. Who occupies your WSU Mount Rushmore?
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