Nickname For Seattle Seahawks Linebackers

There are nicknames all over the Seattle Seahawks roster. Running back Marshawn Lynch is known as “Beast Mode,” quarterback Russell Wilson is nicknamed “Dangeruss” Wilson (thanks to his @DangeRussWilson twitter handle), and the Seahawks secondary goes by the “Legion of Boom.”

The Seahawks linebackers don’t have a nickname, and they don’t want to be left out anymore. During my interview with K.J. Wright yesterday, he said the linebacking corps is now searching for a moniker.

Nickname Seahawks Linebackers

Seahawks linebackers Bruce Irvin and Mike Morgan run through drills at yesterday’s OTA

“We have to come up with our own nickname,” Wright told me. “We were talking about that. We have to get our own little creed going. So, we’re going to have something for the upcoming season.”

I asked K.J. if they’ve come up with any ideas yet, but he said it was going to be a surprise. That means either: 1) these guys put some serious thought into it, and they’ve come up with something awesome, or 2) they talked about getting a nickname, they tossed around a couple of ideas and now it’s sitting on the back burner. I’m honestly leaning more toward #2 myself.

To help find a nickname for the Seattle Seahawks linebackers, I took to Twitter after practice. I asked the “12th Man” (another nickname associated with this football team) if they had any suggestions for K.J. and the linebacking corps. To no surprise, the ideas started rolling in. Name after name popped up on my account. Here are a few of the nicknames I heard:

The “Sound Barrier,” the “Black and Blue Crew,” “The Sultans of Stuff,” the “The SeaWall,” “Pike Posse” or the “Century Club,” the “Department of Defense,” “Stop, Drop & Blitz,” the “Legion of Doom” and the “Legion of Vroom,” “The Hurt Lockers” or the “Shifty Assassins,” the “Backbreakers” and many, many more.

I shared a few of the nicknames for the Seahawks linebackers on my sportscast last night, and that brought even more names to the mix through email and Twitter. The outpouring of suggestions quickly made me realize the Seattle fans are determined to give the linebackers a nickname.

So, I’m extending the search…

I’d love to hear any suggestions that you have! You can simply leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. I’d love to hear your nickname for the Seahawks linebackers! If there’s a nickname you love that’s already been mentioned, let me know which one it is so I can add a tally next to it.

After I receive all of your suggestions, I’m taking the top nicknames directly back to K.J. Wright himself. I’ll do a follow-up story with him (depending on his availability) about what he thinks of your ideas. We’ll run that story on KOMO 4 News, but I’ll also share his thoughts right here on All Around Tim. Hopefully, by the September 8th opener against Carolina — we’ll have a nickname squared away for these guys!

Let’s hear your nicknames!

“Legion of Boom” | The Seattle Seahawks Secondary

The Seattle Seahawks had the sixth best pass defense in the NFL last year, allowing a little more than 200 yards per game. A big reason for that success was the Seahawks secondary — better known as the “Legion of Boom.”

Legion of Boom

Legion of Boom

Safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas, and cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman make up the “Legion of Boom,” and thanks to their rough and tough style, they’re considered one of the most intimidating defensive backfields in the NFL.

“It’s a mindset and the way guys play,” Sherman told me. “We play hard and try to bring some physicality to the game. The name kind of sticks with that, so it’s one and the same.”

Not only does the “Legion of Boom” set the tone with their big hits, they also make things happen with their big play ability. Browner, Chancellor, Sherman and Thomas combined for 275 tackles, 14 interceptions and 5 fumble recoveries last season. Thomas and Sherman also chipped in touchdowns for Seattle.

Here’s the good news for Seahawks fans: all four players are back in Seattle this season, and they could be around for years to come. At 28-years-old, Browner is the oldest of the bunch. The   average age of the “Legion of Boom” is just 25.5-years-old right now.

“We all want to bring that boom to the secondary,” Chancellor said to me. “We all want to be the first one to make a big play. We’re all very competitive and want to be difference makers back there. It’s instilled in our mentality, so it brings out the best in all of us.”

Cornerback Antoine Winfield is a 15-year NFL veteran, so he’s played with and against some of the best players in the league. He signed with the Seahawks over the offseason, so he’s only had two official practices with the team, but he’s already a “Legion of Boom” believer.

“I’ve played football for a long time, and they’re really talented across the board,” said Winfield. “The corners and both safeties — they’re by far the number one secondary in the league. The way they work, I see why they’re number one.”

Expectations are high for the Seattle Seahawks this season. In fact, they’re one of the early favorites to win Super Bowl XLVIII, and the “Legion of Boom” is a major reason for much of that hype. If the secondary can live up to its potential (which they have in the past), the Seahawks just might be playing in New Jersey on February 2, 2014.

What do you think of the “Legion of Boom?” Are they as good as advertised? I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out http://allaroundtim.com for more on the world of sports, music and travel.

Legion of Boom

Legion of Boom at CenturyLink Field

Seahawks Open OTAs With High Expectations

The Seahawks spent the offseason building their squad through free agency and the draft. They made every move thinking about how the group would look as a team. They finally got to see all their players together on the field for the first time as OTAs (organized team activities) kicked off today.

Seahawks OTA

The Seahawks open OTAs at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center

“It’s exciting to see these guys,” said head coach Pete Carroll. “They were excited to get out here. They’ve worked very hard to get to this point. It was a very, very good first day for us.”

It’s only one official practice, and it’s a little more than three months until the start of the regular season, but expectations are already high for the Seahawks. They’re currently pegged as one of the favorites to win Super Bowl XLVIII.

“Everyone’s going to be talking about how good we’re supposed to be, Super Bowl, all that kind of stuff,” said quarterback Russell Wilson. “You can’t pay attention to that. I think the biggest thing is just focus on the now, focus on the moment. We had a great practice today and let’s see if we can be that much better tomorrow.”

The Seahawks obviously aim to mute the outside world, but internally they’re not afraid to admit they have plenty of potential.

Seahawks OTA

The Seahawks offensive linemen working hard at practice

“We know we can be really good, but it’s up to us how good we are,” said wide receiver Golden Tate. “If you watch practice, we’re out here working. Guys are out here running around, making plays on offense and defense. Coaches are working hard. We’re just trying to do everything necessary to be a champion.”

Seattle targeted a championship last year, but they were stopped short in the divisional playoffs against the Atlanta Falcons. After adding guys like defensive end Cliff Avril and wide receiver Percy Harvin to a solid group from last season, it’s obvious why the Seahawks are the talk of the NFL.

“Coach said we have a lot of hype, but he also told us to make it natural,” Harvin said. “We don’t come out here saying we hope to lose, so with a good team comes a lot of talk, but we put all that behind us. We’re out here having fun, we’re competing and that’s how it’s going to be.”

Pete Carroll Seahawks

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll

Not everyone was in Renton for the Seahawks first OTA. Running back Marshawn Lynch was a no-show. These are voluntary workouts, but head coach Pete Carroll said after practice that he would love to have everyone in attendance.

Seattle returns to the field for their second OTA Tuesday, May 28th.

Do you think it’s too early for the Seahawks to be a considered a Super Bowl favorite? Is all the hype justified? I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out http://allaroundtim.com for more on the world of sports, music and more!

Seattle Seahawks

Doug Baldwin makes a catch during the Seahawks first OTA

The Trufant Dream: Three Brothers In The NFL

There’s a good chance you’ve heard the name Trufant sometime during the NFL season for the last ten years. First it was Marcus Trufant playing for the Seattle Seahawks, and then Isaiah Trufant joined Marcus in the league when he signed with the New York Jets three seasons ago. Now, it’s time for a third Trufant to explode on the NFL scene.

Desmond Trufant | Trufant Brothers

Desmond Trufant working out at University of Washington Pro Day

Desmond Trufant spent the last four years as a star defensive back at the University of Washington. He’s since played in the Senior Bowl, worked out at the NFL Combine, and most recently ran through drills at University of Washington Pro Day in Seattle. Desmond has been so impressive in his workouts that he’s now a projected first round draft pick. When he takes the field in September, he’ll become the third Trufant to suit up in the NFL, achieving one of the rarest feats in NFL history.

“It’s really cool,” Desmond told me after his Pro Day workout, which was attended by his brother Marcus. “I don’t know the last time there’s been three brothers in the league, and all playing the same position too (Marcus, Isaiah and Desmond are all cornerbacks). It’s big. We’re just looking forward to it.”

According to my research, only 26 families have put three or more brothers in the NFL (dating all the way back to the league’s debut in 1920). It’s an even more incredible feat to put three brothers in the league at the same time. You don’t have to look far to find the last brothers to do it: Rob (New England Patriots), Dan (Cleveland Browns/New England Patriots) and Chris Gronkowski (Indianapolis Colts) all played in the NFL during the 2011 season. Aside from the Gronkowski’s though, only seven other families have watched three or more brothers play in the NFL in the same season (or seasons).

It’s going to take some work from the Trufant’s to make that happen next season though. Marcus is a free agent after ten years in Seattle, Isaiah is an exclusive-rights free agent after two seasons with the Jets, and Desmond still needs to be drafted and signed (although that won’t be a problem). So, it’s not a guarantee that we’ll see ‘Trufant’ plastered on the back of three different NFL jerseys in 2013.

Marcus Trufant | Trufant Brothers

Marcus Trufant answering question’s at Desmond’s Pro Day

There’s some speculation that Marcus’ career is over. He might not find a team that’s willing to sign him (the Seahawks won’t comment on his status right now), or he might just call it quits on his own (even though he’s only 32-years-old). I honestly don’t think retiring is in Marcus’ plans though. When I asked him about the three Trufant brothers playing together in the NFL next season, he was really excited about the idea.

“It’s big time for our family,” Marcus told me. “It’s big for this city, because we were all born and raised here in Washington. It’s just love all the way around. We’re just trying to do the best wan can to represent.”

While Marcus was a first round draft pick out of Washington State in 2003, and Desmond appears to be a first round pick in 2013, Isaiah had a much different path to the NFL. After starring at Eastern Washington, he played in the Arena Football League and United Football League before he cracked an NFL roster. He didn’t even make his NFL debut until he was 28-years-old. He plays some cornerback for the Jets, but Isaiah is more of a special teams player in New York.

“Our parents raised us well,” Desmond told me. “We all went through good programs. We worked hard and had a lot of dedication, and it’s all paying off.”

Three brothers playing in the NFL at the same time would be a dream come true for the Trufant family. If it doesn’t happen, it’s still amazing to have three brothers play in the NFL at any point. We won’t know the fate of the Trufant’s for the next few months. Free agency started a couple days ago, the NFL Draft isn’t until late April and training camps don’t kickoff until August. It’ll be interesting to see how it all shakes out. Keep your eyes peeled to the transaction wire for the latest.

UPDATE: Desmond Trufant was selected by the Atlanta Falcons with the 22nd overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Do you think we’ll see all three Trufant’s playing in the NFL next season? I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to check out http://allaroundtim.com for the latest in the world of sports, music and food!

Trufant Brothers | Three Brothers In NFL

Marcus, Isaiah and Desmond Trufant

Desmond Trufant | 2013 NFL Draft Prospect

It seems like everyone is writing about University of Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant these days, so I figured I should join the party. We already knew Trufant was a rising star in Seattle, but now everyone is taking notice thanks to his offseason workouts. Trufant is doing so well that he’s now expected to be a top pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Desmond Trufant | 2013 NFL Draft

Desmond Trufant

Desmond Trufant just wrapped up practice at the Senior Bowl. His efforts there led NFL Network analyst and former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah to say Trufant had the best performance of anyone during Senior Bowl practice week (video). Jeremiah pointed to Trufant’s consistency from drill-to-drill, and he says Trufant showed the top end speed some people thought he lacked. Jeremiah added that Trufant “likely emerged as a first round pick” thanks to his performance at practice.

Everyone is starting to jump on the Desmond Trufant first round draft pick bandwagon. NFLDraftScout.com ranks him as the third best cornerback prospect in the 2013 NFL Draft. They project him to go in the first round. CBSSports.com and NFL.com aren’t quite ready to call Trufant a first round pick yet, but they might change their minds as the months roll on. We’ll see if Trufant can keep up his consistency leading up to the draft in April.

NOTE: From the time I started writing this post about 30 minutes ago, CBSSports.com has since updated their draft projection for Desmond Trufant – they now list him as a first round pick. That shows just how quickly Trufant’s stock is rising.

Workouts are workouts — games are games. Desmond Trufant has shown that he has plenty of skill on the field. Trufant recorded 36 tackles (4.5 for loss), 1 sack and 1 interception this season. He also defended 10 passes for the Huskies. I know his numbers aren’t mind-blowing, but it was more than enough for Trufant to be named first-team All-Pac-12 and a second-team All-America by FOXSportsNext.com.

Desmond Trufant has plenty of skills you can’t find on the state sheet. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing him several times. He’s a nice, well-spoken kid with a good head on his shoulders. Trufant was also the heart and soul of the Huskies defense. I heard Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian praise him over and over again this season. Trufant’s leadership skills are apparently off the charts.

Not only is Trufant a local kid (he went to Wilson High School in Tacoma), but football is in his blood. Trufant’s older brothers are Seattle Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant and New York Jets cornerback Isaiah Trufant. That means Desmond will be the third Trufant brother to make it to the NFL. That’s quite a feat. According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, only 348 documented sets of brothers have played professional football.

There’s no doubt Desmond Trufant will join his brothers in the NFL, but it’s unclear when he’ll be selected. If he keeps up the  rapid pace he’s on right now, Trufant will surely find himself as a first round draft pick with a large paycheck to back that up. But, it’s all speculation for now. The 2013 NFL Draft happens April 25-April 27th.

Have you watched Desmond Trufant play? What do you think of him? I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out http://allaroundtim.com for more on the world of sports, music and travel!

I Never Knew Fans Could Be So Loud

It’s amazing how much noise human beings can make when they’re all screaming at the same time. I hear it all the time at sporting events, but there are certain times that screaming explodes to another level. It’s an eruption of sound that goes beyond typical cheering. If you’ve ever heard that massive eruption, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

There are two moments that really stick out in my mind. The first happened on October 7, 1995. The Seattle Mariners were playing the New York Yankees in Game 4 of the American League Division Series. The M’s were facing elimination, and New York jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the third inning. Seattle started to rally in the bottom half, and eventually sprinted out to a 6-5 lead in the sixth. It didn’t take long for the Yankees to even the tally. Randy Velarde scored on a wild pitch by Norm Charlton in the eighth to tie the game at 6. And then came the unforgettable moment…

Edgar Martinez Grand Slam 1995 ALDS

Edgar Martinez right before his grand slam in the 1995 ALDS

Edgar Martinez walked to the plate with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth. Ken Griffey, Jr. was on first, Joey Cora on second and Vince Coleman on third. On the sixth pitch of the at bat, with a 2-2 count, Martinez took John Wetteland over the wall for a grand slam. I remember watching the ball sail over the fence in centerfield. That’s when I heard the noise — that complete eruption of sound. The fans were going crazy. I never knew people could make that much noise. It literally sound like I was standing right next to the engine of an airplane as it was getting ready for takeoff. I honestly never thought I would hear that sound again in my life.

NOTE: The Mariners went on to beat the Yankees that night in Game 4, 11-8. I remember people filing out of the Kingdome chanting “Ed-Gar, Ed-Gar” over and over again. It didn’t stop until we got into our car (blocks away) to drive home. Seattle beat New York the next night in Game 5 thanks to ‘The Double‘, which made Edgar Martinez a legend in the Emerald City.

I did end up hearing that noise again. It wasn’t for a particular moment though, it was over and over during in the same game. The date was January 22, 2005. I was at Qwest Field in Seattle, covering the NFC Championship between the Seahawks and Carolina Panthers. The crowd was amazing that night. Whenever Carolina had the ball, I heard that crazy eruption of noise. I can’t even explain it — it really doesn’t sound like people, it just sounds like a train tearing down the tracks at 400mph. I’m sure it was loud in the stands, but it was overwhelming on the sideline. I was working for a television station in Yakima at the time, and the sports guy from our sister station in the Tri-Cities was on the sideline with me. We were standing side-by-side and we literally couldn’t hear each other talk when the crowd was rocking. It was truly amazing. Since the Seahawks jumped out to a 34-7 lead midway through the fourth quarter, the fans literally started to party in the stands (this video gives you a feel for what the crowd was like at the end of the game). No one left the stadium. Instead they were dancing, laughing, hugging and high-fiving. It was the craziest scene I’d ever seen at a sporting event, and it’s one I haven’t seen since.

Seahawks Fans | CenturyLink Field

The Packers and Seahawks play on Monday Night Football at CenturyLink Field

The crowds at CenturyLink Field (formerly Qwest Field) in Seattle are notorious for noise. They made so much noise during Marshawn Lynch’s amazing touchdown run during the 2010 Wild Card game against the New Orleans Saints, that it registered on the seismograph at the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. That sound was possibly rivaled on December 23rd when the Seahawks played the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football. Red Bryant blocked a David Akers field goal early in the second quarter, and the ball was scooped up by Richard Sherman who scampered 90-yards for a Seattle touchdown. The TD gave the Seahawks a 21-0 lead over the 49ers, and many of the Seattle media members in attendance said the press box at CenturyLink Field was shaking because of the crowd noise. I’m guessing the crowd made that much noise after Golden Tate’s controversial game-winning touchdown catch on Monday Night Football against the Green Bay Packers. I was actually on the sideline for the game (literally feet away from the touchdown catch), but the moment was so crazy that the crowd noise didn’t even register to me at the time. I just remember turning around minutes later and watching people go nuts in the stands.

I love true human emotion at sporting events. I love watching people react during slow motion replays of game-winning field goals, or a wide shot of the crowd when a pitcher gets the last strike to cap a no-hitter (this video isn’t exactly what I had in mind, but it still fits what I’m talking about). I’ve even been caught in the moment plenty of times myself, and there’s honestly no better feeling in the world. It’s joy to the fullest. I really can’t wait to hear that eruption of noise again, because that means I’m witnessing something amazing that I’ll never forget.

Have you ever heard the noise I’m talking about — people cheering so loudly that it sounds like an airplane? I would love to hear your stories! You can leave them in the comment section below, or you can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out http://allaroundtim.com for more on Seattle, sports and travel!

Double Trick Play Leads To Touchdown

A trick play in a football game is always fun to see, but it’s a special treat if you get to see two or even three in the same contest. That’s why the 2007 Fiesta Bowl between Boise State and Oklahoma is so memorable. The Broncos stunned the Sooners on trick play after trick play. But, what happens when you get a double trick play rolled into one play? Get ready to have your socks knocked off!

Let me set the stage for you. It was Enterprise High School and rival Paradise High School duking it out for the CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) Northern Section Division I final on Saturday. The teams traded touchdowns in the first half, leaving the game tied at 21 with one play left before the break. Here’s how it played out:

Since the play-by-play announcer did a terrible job of describing the play, let me help you. Quarterback Zack Trueblood took the snap and pulled off the Statue of Liberty (fake the pass, hide the ball and then hand it to the running back), giving the rock to Brad Woods. In my eyes, Woods deserves all the credit on this double trick play. He somehow stays on his feet and forces the entire Paradise defense to collapse on the ball. That leaves Taylor Angley-Holman wide open for the pitch and go-ahead touchdown (reminiscent of The Play, but not nearly as dramatic).

The double trick play gave Enterprise a 28-21 lead at halftime, but the fun didn’t end there. Paradise eventually jumped out to a 35-28 lead late in the fourth quarter, but Enterprise drove 80-yards to score a touchdown to make it 35-34 with 25.6 seconds left in the game. Instead of going for the extra point and the tie, Enterprise went for the two-point conversion and were successful. The gamble paid off as Enterprise beat Paradise 36-35 for the championship.

Pretty cool stuff, eh? What do you think of this double trick play? I would love to hear from you. Leave a message below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out http://allaroundtim.com for more on sports, music and travel!

Double Trick Play Touchdown

Taylor Angley-Holman celebrates after an amazing double trick play

What It Was Like On The Field For Apple Cup 2012

It doesn’t get any bigger than the Apple Cup when it comes to college football in the state of Washington. It’s the University of Washington against Washington State University. It’s tradition. It’s pride. It’s a rivalry at its finest. Let’s be honest — it means everything to the Cougars and Huskies.

Apple Cup 2012 | Credential

My Apple Cup credential

I was on the field for Apple Cup 2012 in Pullman. I graduated from Washington State and I’ve covered the Cougars for my entire broadcasting career, but I worked especially close with WSU for more than five years while I was in Spokane. Now that I’m working in Seattle, I was on the other side of the coverage. My focus was more on the Huskies this season (although both teams were still a priority).

Apple Cup 2012 wasn’t much of a matchup on paper. The Huskies were 7-4 on the season, riding a four-game winning streak, while the Cougars were 2-9, losers of eight in a row. That’s why Washington was considered a 14-point favorite this time around. It was one of the largest spreads in the history of the rivalry.

The rivalry started slowly. WSU led the game 3-0 after the first quarter, but both teams added a touchdown in the second. Keith Price gave Washington its first advantage on an 11-yard pass to Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and then Carl Winston handed the Cougars a 10-7 halftime lead with a 1-yard touchdown dive.

Washington State was prone to massive let downs throughout 2012, and it happened again in the third quarter of the Apple Cup. Washington scored 21 unanswered points to take a 28-10 lead heading into the fourth. Bishop Sankey, who originally committed to WSU and then changed his mind to go to UW, scored two touchdowns in the quarter. On his final score, Sankey accidentally crashed into a photographer on the sideline (click here to watch the hit). The cameraman slammed backward to the ground and was clearly shaken up by the hit. When the photographer sat up, you could see a huge gash over his left eye. Blood started pouring down his face, so he was quickly surrounded by police officers on the field. They called for medical help, but no one gave him anything to stop the bleeding. I’m guessing it was a liability issue or something, but it was really strange that no one was helping right away. It wasn’t like the guy was going to bleed to death, but it was a significant wound. Since the officers weren’t doing anything, FOX sideline reporter Petros Papadakis finally gave the guy a towel to help stop the bleeding.

Jeff Tuel Apple Cup 2012

Jeff Tuel honored on Senior Day before the Apple Cup

After Sankey scored the touchdown to make it 28-10, I honestly thought to myself, “Here we go again.” As a Cougar fan, I’ve watched the team squander game after game in 2012. I started planning on my live reports to focus on the Huskies fourth straight win the Apple Cup, but this game was far from over.

Right before the Cougars started to rally, I realized that I forgot an earpiece I needed in the car (which was parked a good ways from the stadium). Since the game was going to lead right up to our newscasts, I needed to get the earpiece as soon as possible. I watched Carl Winston score from 2-yards out to make it 28-17, and then jolted to the car. As I was walking up the stairs at Martin Stadium, I thought to myself that this might be the start of huge comeback and I better hurry. I got my earpiece, and quickly started back to the field. Right before I got to the stadium, I heard the cannons fire to signal another WSU touchdown. Winston scored again, but it was under review. I made to the field in time for them to confirm the touchdown, and watch the Cougars convert a two-pointer to make it a 28-25 ballgame.

Apple Cup 2012 would come down to the kickers. With a little less than two minutes remaining in the game, Washington State’s Andrew Furney drilled a 45-yard field goal to make it 28-28, capping the Cougars largest fourth quarter comeback since 1985. It wasn’t nearly over though. Washington marched back down the field and set up Travis Coons for the game-winning 35-yard field goal with five seconds left in the game, but he missed. There was a strong, cold breeze blowing through Martin Stadium, and I remember seeing Coons’ kick hang up in the air and eventually fall wide right. This Apple Cup was heading to overtime.

Washington got the ball first in the bonus frame, and quickly gave possession to Washington State. On the very first play of OT, Keith price tried to make something happen when he shouldn’t have, and his pass was picked off by WSU’s Toni Pole. The big defensive lineman (he’s listed at 277 pounds) almost returned the interception for the game-winning touchdown, but he was stopped by a hustling Cody Bruns on the five yard line.

Apple Cup 2012 Mike Leach Trophy Presentation

Mike Leach hoists the Apple Cup trophy

The Cougars didn’t waste any time once they got the rock. Jeff Tuel completed a pair of passes to get Washington State to the ten yard line, and on first down the Cougars sent out their kicker. Furney easily drilled the 27-yard field goal, sending Washington State to a 31-28 victory (NOTE: I predicted a 31-27 Washington State win a week earlier — I have written proof and everything). The kick also sent fans storming onto the field to celebrate their first Apple Cup win since 2008. These weren’t just college kids who rushed the field either. I saw children, grandparents — everyone.

I talked to several Cougars on the field after the Apple Cup. Cornerback Nolan Washington was at a loss for words to describe how he was feeling and Carl Winston said it was a game he’ll remember for the rest of his life. On the other side, Washington usually has a 24-hour rule to move on from a game, but head coach Steve Sarkisian admitted that this Apple Cup loss would probably take a few days to get over.

The 2012 college football season is still going, but how can you not be looking forward to Apple Cup 2013? I know I am!

Did you watch the Apple Cup this year? What did you think of the game? I would love to hear from you! Leave a message below, or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out http://allaroundtim.com for more on sports, music and travel!

Sam Gordon | 9-Year-Old Girl Football Star

Sam Gordon is the latest internet sensation, and for good reason. The 9-year-old girl is a football star thanks to a video her dad posted on YouTube. Her skills have already been viewed more than two million times (and counting), and she’s making headlines across the country.

Sam — short for Samantha – plays in a boys tackle football league in the Salt Lake City area. According to her viral video, Sam (also known as “Sweet Feet” — although her nickname should be Icebox) ran the ball 232 times for 1,911 yards (more than 8.2 yards per carry)  and 35 touchdowns this season. On top of that, Sam also registered 65 tackles on defense.

You have to check this girl out!

NOTE: Sam’s dad took down the original video which received more than two million views, so this is one of the copies available on YouTube. The title of the video says Sam is 8-years-old, but all the articles I’ve read about her say she’s 9.

Sam isn’t shy about her football skills either. She said in a recent interview that ““most of the times it’s just really fun to be the one scoring the touchdowns rather than the boys.” And she also told her dad, “Some kids, right before the contact, they stop. I don’t. I just hit ‘em.”

I’m even intimidated by her now…

What do you think of Sam Gordon’s skills? I would love to hear from you. You can simply leave a message below, or you can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out http://allaroundtim.com for more on sports, travel, music, food and more!

Sam Gordon 9-Year-Old Football Star

Sam Gordon (far right)

VIDEO | Austin Rehkow Kicks 67-Yard Field Goal

I spent more than five years covering sports in Spokane before I was hired at KOMO-TV in Seattle. There’s nothing bigger than Gonzaga basketball or Washington State football in the Inland Northwest, but high school sports are a close third on the list. I saw a lot of crazy plays during prep football games in Spokane, but I never covered anything as remarkable as this. Central Valley High School kicker Austin Rehkow drilled an unbelievable 67-yard field goal to force overtime last night against Shadle Park High School.

With just :02 remaining in the game at Joe Albi Stadium, Rehkow (pronounced like Rico) lined up the 67-yard field goal. Before I saw the highlight, I thought for sure he had the benefit of using a tee (which is allowed in high school football in Washington — or at least it used to be), but he didn’t. Rehkow made the 67-yard field goal look as routine as a 30-yard field goal. I thought it was amazing. His kick tied the game at 55, sending the contest to overtime. Central Valley then beat Shadle Park 62-55 in the bonus frame.

Take a look at this kick!

The 67-yard field goal broke the Washington state record and is now tied for the second longest field goal in high school football history (the longest is 68-yards set in 1985 by Dick Borgognone in Reno, Nevada). The 67-yard field goal is also four yards longer than the NFL record of 63-yards set by Tom Dempsey and then tied by Sebastian Janikowski, Jason Elam and David Akers. The longest verified field goal ever made is a 69-yarder by Abilene Christian University kicker Ove Johansson in 1976.

Believe it or not, Austin Rehkow reportedly only has a partial scholarship offer from Eastern Washington University, but that’s it. That means no Division-I schools have come knocking on Rehkow’s door. After being featured on Good Morning America, SportsCenter and several others for his field goal, I’m sure Rehkow is getting a few phone calls from coaches today.

I covered Austin Rehkow when I was working in Spokane. He made our football highlights a few times, but not just for his field goals. Rehkow also doubles as a wide receiver for Central Valley (he caught a touchdown pass in last night’s game as well). I honestly remember Rehkow more for his skills on the basketball court though. Rehkow led the Bears to a the 4A state championship game last season, averaging a team-high 12.4 points per game on the year. In other words, the kid is a natural athlete. If someone was going to kick a 67-yard field goal in Spokane, I would have guessed that it would be Austin Rehkow (even though I would have sounded like an idiot predicting something like that).

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Austin Rehkow Kicks 67-Yard Field Goal

Austin Rehkow right before his 67-yard field goal