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(1) Bill Moos vs. (8) Shawn Swartz: Coug of the Year 2011 Quarterfinal

I dread this matchup.

See, Bill Moos was a perfect number one seed when I drafted up this bracket back in May. But how can you vote against Shawn Swartz? The WSU Track and Field star who is bravely fighting leukemia is about as inspirational as they come. We could be looking at the classic 8-1 tournament upset that causes you to trash your brackets.

I work with chemotherapy on a quasi-daily basis, and sometimes when I head up to the infusion suite I wonder what I feels like to be on the other end. To be fighting a disease that could realistically kill you... to have no idea what the future holds (positive or negative)... to take medicine that is basically going to trash any sense of normalcy in your body. The thing is: I can't even comprehend what it's like. The only thing I can really know is that I hope it's never me, and I really really hope it's never someone I love. All I can really do as I take medicine up the stairs is take some shred of solace in knowing that I'm a small part of the battle against it.

Before you vote, though, remember that Coug of the Year and being an exceptional individual aren't mutually exclusive. Shawn Swartz doesn't need to win Coug of the Year to be validated as a hero. Voting for Bill Moos doesn't mean you love cancer, nor should it make you feel guilty. It just means you think Bill Moos fits whatever set of metrics you prefer in determining the most important Cougar Athletic figure of the year. Moos has kept our football fanbase together through some of the worst seasons in program history, and has almost 100% of us in the Cougar Nation believing the future will be markedly better than the present. In all sports. That's not an accomplishment to take lightly. It's because of Bill Moos that more people like Shawn Swartz will get to carry out their dreams in a WSU uniform.

With that in mind, let's take it to the poll. May the best man win.