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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chip off the Throwin’ Samoan block at WSU

APPLE CUP NOTES: Tony Thompson won’t duplicate famed Dad’s WSU heroics, but he’ll still leave disliking UW

HOWIE STALWICK; For The News Tribune
Last updated: November 25th, 2009 10:00 AM (PST)

Tony Thompson, the son of legendary Washington State quarterback Jack Thompson, plays tight end for the Cougars.

That did nothing to prevent the younger Thompson from delivering a mean impersonation – in more ways than one – of his rocket-armed father when he was a 6-year-old spectator at the 1992 “Snow Bowl” Apple Cup in Pullman.

“Unfortunately,” Thompson recalled, “I was a little immature and I was throwing snow balls at the Huskies as they came out.”

Yeah, the man said, “unfortunately.” The look in his eye told a different story.

Thompson, a fifth-year senior, worked his way up from walk-on to starter at Washington State. His career came to a premature end Oct. 31 when he suffered his fifth concussion in college during the game with Notre Dame.

“It does break my heart, because I do want real badly to play against the Huskies,” Thompson said. “But I understand that it’s a better decision for my overall health.”

Thompson, who regularly attended Apple Cups with his father while growing up in Seattle, said his “single best memory” of Apple Cups past took place last year. He got knocked out of the game with his second concussion of the year, but he joined the on-field celebration after Nico Grasu’s field goal in the second overtime gave the Cougars a 16-13 win.

“I couldn’t watch Nico’s game-winning field goal because I was too nervous,” Thompson said. “So I looked at the crowd, and I knew we had won by the crowd’s reaction.”

Thompson graduates next month with a general studies degree. He hopes to stay connected with the school, possibly as an intern with the Gray “W” Club, an organization that works to enhance the WSU experience for current and former athletes.

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