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Old college pals trade good-natured verbal shots

KIRKLAND, Wash. (AP) _ Seattle center Robbie Tobeck once took a swing at Buffalo quarterback Drew Bledsoe.

Not on the field, of course. They were college roommates at Washington State, where Tobeck snapped the ball to Bledsoe.

It was one of those things where, as roommates, maybe you're around each other a little too much,'' Tobeck recalled Wednesday.Then as soon as you did it, you feel like the biggest jerk in the world. You go out and apologize.

``You're never good friends until you've had at least one good argument.''

Twelve years later, they remain the best of friends. That much was evident when Bledsoe was asked during a teleconference with Seattle reporters if he had any good dirt on Tobeck.

I've got to go way back,'' Bledsoe said.He was a horrible roommate when we were living together. He was kind of messy.''

He told a story about an argument that started during a card game. According to Bledsoe, Tobeck kept insisting that a football field is 40 yards from sideline to sideline.

I don't tend to argue much, but he would get me into arguments all the time,'' Bledsoe said.We got into a good argument once. As was usually the case, I was right and he was wrong.''

A regulation field is 53 1/3 yards wide.

``He was going to insist the sky was green, even though you can see that it's blue,'' Bledsoe said.

Eventually, things escalated and Tobeck let Bledsoe have it. The incident happened during football season, but fortunately the starting quarterback wasn't sidelined by his starting center.

Shoot, look at the guy,'' Bledsoe said.If he would have hit me hard, it would have been a pretty good story. He probably would have busted me wide open.''

To hear Tobeck tell it, Bledsoe deserved what he got.

That's the thing I've been cursed with _ being right all the time,'' Tobeck said.He gets a little jealous of that sometimes.''

At least their verbal shots were the good-natured kind, not the hostile sniping that sometimes goes back and forth in the news media. And each had plenty additional tales to offer.

Tobeck told how he and Bledsoe once borrowed a friend's convertible and drove it from Pullman, Wash., to nearby Moscow, Idaho. Tobeck was behind the wheel on the way over, but Bledsoe crashed the car on the return trip.

We were going a little too fast,'' Tobeck said.And you know that in Pullman, all the roads are elevated above the wheat fields. Well, we hit some rocks, we go sliding and go airborne.

We landed about 12 feet into a field,'' Tobeck said.There was dust. The tires came off. We tried to fix it and just give the car back. The guy says, 'Hey, my car's not the same. Did you guys wreck it?'''

Bledsoe described how Tobeck arrived at Washington State as a running back, but then was moved to fullback, linebacker and defensive line before finding his spot on the offensive line.

``He kind of devolved down the evolutionary chain of football,'' Bledsoe said.

They've gone bungee-jumping and played pickup basketball together, and they still speak frequently. Tobeck received a call this week after Bledsoe noticed the Seahawks list him at 6-foot-4.

The 6-foot-5 Bledsoe teased Tobeck, insisting he's really 6-1.

``He goes, 'Who does your measuring and weighing? I looked at the program and they've got you 6-4. Are they blind?''' Tobeck said.

On the field, Tobeck gets the final laugh. Their NFL teams have matched up twice before. Tobeck played for Atlanta during two victories when Bledsoe, with New England, was on the opposite sideline.

Every time we've played each other since we've been in the league, I've won,'' Tobeck said.I'm just looking forward to another big win. He didn't bring that up? That's shocking.''

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