Selections were based on position, so some great ones -- like running back Junior Tautalatasi, quarterback Bunny Aldrich and defensive backs Hamza and Husain Abdullah -- had to be relegated to honorable mention because there were so many good options at the position.
Nicknames played a role in some of the selections. And so did sound -- as in whether the name sounded like one that belonged on the gridiron. "Biff Bangs, Buzz Brazeau and Basil Kimbrew, for instance, are names that just say football. They're names that say 'I'm a head-crackin', down-in-the-dirt, tough-as-nails ass kicker,'" says Jack Evans, Cougfan.com recruiting analyst emeritus.
The choice for the single-greatest name in Cougar history is Shaumbe Wright-Fair, the star running back of the early 1990s. "A hyphenated last name as virtuous as Wright-Fair is legendary enough," said J.C. Witter, Cougfan.com managing editor emeritus. "Combine it with a first name that translates to mean 'strength of a lion,' and you've got perhaps the finest name in football history, college or pro."
Quarterback Samoa Samoa was runner-up for greatest name, followed by Kyle Stiffarm, a walk on from Clarkston who was a special teams fixture in 2000 and ’01.
"A strong case certainly can be made for Samoa Samoa," said Witter. "It's truly unforgettable, while Stiffarm speaks for itself ... And if we were looking solely at first names, then Mkristo Bruce would have to be at or near the top of the list."
THE SELECTIONS AT THE two kicking positions offer particular intrigue. Placekicker Romeen Abdollmohammadi not only unseated our 1998 pick at kicker (Don Sweet) but is top cat when it comes to the longest last name in WSU grid history. While a full review of every letterwinner over the last 115 years remains to be done, Abdollmohammodi’s 15 letters far outdistances some of the long-name contenders who come immediately to mind, like early ‘90s receiver Calvin Schexnayder; early ‘70s defensive back Fran Kachaturian; 1950s end Don Steinbrunner; and 1930s tackle George Theodoratus.
At punter, we have the perfect intersection of name and position with Francis Polsfoot, the Pride of Montesano who played for the Cougs in the late 1940s. He was more known for his work at end but his punting skills were good enough to earn him double duty in the NFL.
The current Cougar team placed a lone member on the list: senior defensive back Chima Nwachukwu (pronounced Watch-uh-koo). Incoming freshman receiver Blair Bomber was seriously considered for the team, but it was decided that selectees had to have taken at least one live snap in crimson.
Without further ado, here’s CF.C’s Cougar All-Name Team ...
Samoa Samoa (1979-80)
Shaumbe Wright-Fair (1989-92)
Don LaBomme (1981-83)
Benton "Biff" Bangs (1914-17)
Cotton Sears (1984-86)
Tyrone Daisy (1970-72)
Love Jefferson (1996-98)
Pili Tutuvanu (1981-84)
Buzz Brazeau (1969-71)
George Theodoratus (1932-34)
Silas Stites (1914-17)
Sam Lightbody (2001-04)
Romeen Abdollmohammadi (2006-07)
Junior Tupuola (1981-84)
LaVerne "Torgy" Torgeson (1948-50)
Tuneai Alipate (1985-88)
Dennis Dobberpuhl (1974-75)
Ropati Pitoitua (2004-07)
Hack Applequist (1912-15)
Spud Harris (1976-78)
Adesola Moronkola (1995-98)
Chima Nwachukwu (2007-10)
Bull Durham (1914-16)
Basil Kimbrew (1973-74)
Francis Polsfoot (1947-49)
Kyle Stiffarm (2000-01)
William Henry "Lone Star" Dietz (1915-17)
Golden Ruel (1979-81)
Hamza Abdullah, Husian Abdullah, D.D. Acholonu, Swinton "Bunny" Aldrich, Ah’I Ahmu, Hjalmer "Jelly" Andersen, Ollie Arbelbide, Leon Bender, Bobo Brayton, Mkristo Bruce, Phillip Bobo, Boone Borden, Walter Camp, Clete Casper, Ace Clark, Greg Craighead, Dave Crema, Dolph Cooledge, Devard Darling, Bob Drinkwater, Dan Doornink, Wale Dada, Max Dodge, Turk Edwards, Tali Ena, Tuffy Ellingsen, Riley-Fitt Chappell, Dick "Rimrock" Hanley, Walter "Fat" Herreid, Orin E. "Babe" Hollingbery (coach), Orin E. "Buster" Hollingbery Jr., Al Hoptowit, Fran Kachaturian, Tomasi Kongaika, Billy Knotts, Amin McWashington, Herbert "Butch" Meeker, Singor Mobley, Bill Moos, Laurie Niemi, Roosevelt Noble, Augustin Olobia, Pace Paletta, Skip Pixley, Russ Quackenbush, Konrad Pimiskern, Eason Ramson, Gottlieb Ribary, Colonel Sapp, Don Sasa, Tony Savage, Moe Sax, Calvin Schexnayder, Skylar Stormo, Harlan Svare, Don Sweet, Junior Tautalatasi, Kitrick Taylor, Rico Tipton, Faafeta Tupai, Tupo Tuupo, Dexter Tisby, Talmadge “Duke” Washington, Clyde Warehime, Hap Wolf, Lincoln Walden-Schulz, Butch Williams.
Special thanks to Steve Witter, Paul Sorensen and Kelly Stopher, who assisted CF.C editors in this endeavor.
NO CAPTION NEEDED TO SPELL THIS OUT.