Apple Cup Alumni Face-Off - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Apple Cup Alumni Face-Off

SPOKANE, Wash. -

When Washington State University and the University of Washington take the field on November 25th, it won't just be for the Pac-12 North title. The Apple Cup represents an opportunity for bragging rights between the East and West sides of the state.  Both institutions have very proud and passionate fans and alumni, and they're never shy about sharing that with the opposition. 


In that spirit, we put the best of WSU up against the best of UW.  We compared the distinguished graduates and former students between the two universities in six key categories: sports, writing, broadcasting, business, science, and entertainment.  Here are the results:


This year's Apple Cup figures to be one of the best in the history of the football rivalry, but what about former players?  UW boasts the likes of Warren Moon, Jake Locker, Lincoln Kennedy, Corey Dillon, Steve Emtman, and Al Worley.  WSU can count Drew Bledsoe, "The Throwin' Samoan" Jack Thompson, and Steve Gleason among its former players.  But the deciding factor in this one?  Ryan Leaf.

Advantage: Washington

Kidding!  We love Ryan Leaf.  Besides, Washington has to claim Hope Solo among its former Huskies, so stop judging.

Washington has earned seven NCAA team national championships, most recently golf in 2016.  Washington State lags behind with two national titles, with the last one coming in 1977 (Indoor Track & Field).  In baseball, the Cougs had the great John Olerud in their batting order, but the Huskies counter with 2-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum.   Since we're big fans of Hoopfest here in the Inland Northwest, we're going with a 3-on-3 basketball game to decide it.  UW could put together a lineup of former NBA slam dunk champ Nate Robinson, Naismith Hall of Famer Bob Houbregs, and former Indiana Pacers sharpshooter Detlef Schrempf, who may best be known for his rejection of Jean Ralphio in "Parks & Rec." 

WSU, though, isn't shaking in its sneakers with a lineup of "Splash Brother" Klay Thompson, Craig Ehlo, and Gene Conley.  Yes, GENE CONLEY!  You know, the guy who won 3 championships with the Boston Celtics from 1959-61 and -- AND -- the 1957 World Series with the Milwaukee Braves.  Besides Otto Graham, Conley is the only athlete to ever win championships in two of the four major American sports.  Take that, Bo Jackson.



Washington lists eight Pulitzer Prize winners among its graduates.  Or is it amongst?  We don't know.  We didn't go to Washington.

Washington State, meanwhile, doesn't have a single Pulitzer winner, but it does have "The Far Side" creator Gary Larson.



Whoa, Nellie does Washington State have some heavy-hitting broadcasters!

We can say unashamedly that we love ourselves some Keith Jackson.  Arguably the greatest play-by-play broadcaster in the history of college football, Keith was there for many of the game's greatest moments.  He was also a regular on ABC's "Wide World of Sports," covering Evel Knievel's successful jump at Toronto's Exhibition Stadium in 1974.  He contributed to coverage of ten Summer and Winter Olympic games. Whoa Nellie, indeed.

That alone would be enough to give WSU the upper-hand, but when you throw in Edward R. Murrow, the iconic newscaster whose name adorns the University's broadcast college, UW never had a chance.

Good night and good luck.



This is a tough one.  Unfortunately, the Evergreen State's most recognizable businessperson bypassed both UW and WSU to attend Harvard.  That would be, of course, Bill Gates. The Microsoft founder and multi-multi-multi-billionaire has two parents who both graduated from the University of Washington, William H. Gates Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates.  But don't start chalking this one up to the Huskies just quite yet.  One of Microsoft's co-founders and fellow billionaires, Paul Allen, went to Washington State where he joined Phi Kappa Theta.  So who do you choose: Gates' parents or his co-founder?  We call this one a draw.



Pardon the pun, but this is a no-brainer.  Philip Abelson graduated from WSU with a B.S. in Chemistry in 1933.  He then earned a Masters in Physics there.  Who is Philip Abelson, you ask?  Oh, the father of the nuclear-fueled submarine.  No big deal.  As if that wasn't enough, his nephew John (also a WSU grad) co-founded Agouron Pharmaceuticals, which developed a drug to cut the death rate of AIDS patients in half.  Sorry, but there's really no topping that, Washington.



What do Al Borland, Dwight Shrute, and Bobby Ewing all have in common?  The actors who portrayed them (Richard Karn, Rainn Wilson, Patrick Duffy) all attended the University of Washington.  And it doesn't end there.  Joel McHale, known best for his leading role in NBC's "Community," also is a Husky.  So is Anna Farris (actress married to Chris Pratt).  As is Ken Jennings, owner of the longest winning streak in "Jeopardy!" history.  And then the Huskies deliver the devastating 1-2 punch of Bruce Lee and James Caviezel.  One is a martial arts god, and the other portrayed Jesus Christ in "The Passion of the Christ."


And there you have it. Washington State wins by the slimmest of margins, 3-2 (and one tie).  Here's to hoping the Apple Cup is just as competitive on Friday!

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