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Battle of wills at WSU

Sun., Nov. 11, 2012

Those baseball fans who watched wounded warrior Marine  Cpl. Nick Kimmel throw out the first pitch in Game 2 of the World Series – a perfect strike – were given a glimpse of what a right and proper attitude can do.

Kimmel, a former Moses Lake High School baseball player, lost two legs and one arm in Afghanistan. His remarkable recovery, which is ongoing, is an object lesson in pride and determination.

I wish Kimmel could visit a WSU Cougars football practice. His never-say-quit attitude, in going from near death to meeting the challenge of a life without limbs, just might add enough humbling shame to a team that seems to lack a focused and united spirit. 

The Cougs are not a bad team, and Mike Leach is certainly not a bad coach. It seems rather a matter of wills. Many books have been written about coaches like Leach, coming in and battling against the wills of young men and ultimately winning.

To butcher some of Tennyson’s lines, a Cougars locker room motto ought to be, “Ours is not to question why, ours is just to do … (and win).” And then put a full-size picture of Kimmel next to it, a Braveheart who doesn’t know quit.

It’s time the players stopped fighting Leach and started fighting the other teams in the conference. If they do, I can see WSU fighting for a national championship in four years or less.

E. Hank Buchmann



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