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November 18, 2007

The Cougar Lounge - A Surly Fruitcake

"I'm really enjoying it. Coach says it puts stuff back into our bodies that we need. It seems to be working."

- Washington quarterback Jake Locker, identifying the benefits of drinking chocolate milk after practices - although his definition of "working" may need to be explained as the Huskies are currently tied for last place in the Pac-10.



"You have to tell each receiver what they're doing and to sit there in college, where you don't have pictures on the sideline after a play, it becomes very hard to make it all fit."

- Former Washington head coach Rick Neuheisel explaining the complexities of the so-called "West Coast offense" - no pictures after the play. But the Lounge thinks he could take one with his cell phone since we know he knows how to use one of those.




"It was appalling to see them play with the kids' heads like that."

- Former Wazzu defensive back James Hasty, the father of current Husky running back J.R. Hasty, who quit the team over a perceived lack of opportunity to compete for depth chart spots behind starter Louis Rankin, then re-joined it, indicating, apparently, that playing with kids' heads does not qualify as "appalling" any longer.


"I felt like I was given a raw deal. I think I was one of the better defensive linemen we had out of six or seven, probably third, but they had me as their fifth guy. I felt like I was proving so much and getting back so little. Last year, I was getting "scout team player of the week" every other week."

- Former Washington defensive lineman Derek Kosub , who was truly appalled by his perceived lack of opportunity and quit - then stayed quit - but opened up a can of worms. "Scout team player of the week" - is that like being the most orangy Oompa Loompa?



"It was incorrectly reported, based on internet speculation, in Wednesday's edition of The Republic, that Carissa McGee of Las Cruces, N.M., was a possible ASU target."

- A retraction, er, uh, explanation, in the Arizona Republic last week. That dang internet is at it again - nefariously using its wily ways to hypnotize "real" reporters and force them to ignore researching and print untruths in the paper!



"Should I pick up the phone and say I'm too busy to talk right now because we're kicking Kentucky?"

- Gardner-Webb head men's hoop coach Rick Scruggs asking his team what he should do after his cell phone rang at halftime when the Bulldogs were up by 11 over the Wildcats, on their way to a 16-point upset win in Lexington.



"That's bad vernacular, but they're all D-girls."

- The head of programming at NBC Ben Silverman, labeling his counterparts at ABC and Fox as "D-girls" - the derogatory industry slang for cute young development executives with little power.








An obscure city ordinance forbids the Lounge to talk about - as much as the consensus of the clientele would like to - hoop season until after a little slog through the snow of customary banter regarding the upcoming Apple Cup or, some piffle about football, in general, is acceptable. So, since the Apple Cup in Seattle is the next-to-last thing [before volleyball] that Cougar fans and well-wishers want to think about after last week's demolition derby loss to Oregon State in Pullman - Pac-10 piffle it is - and there is no finer piffle available this holiday season than the variety that occurred in Corvallis two weeks ago when the Pac-10 football officials screwed up a call in a Pac-10 football game [yes, we know - shocking - we hope you were seated when you read that]. But that's not the funny part - that comes later.


In order to avoid making glaring, potentially game-altering errors and the possibility of looking like buffoons, the Pac-10 wisely instituted an instant replay system to correct officiating errors, but alas, the poor officials operating said system in Corvallis during the OSU-Washington game were out to lunch with Benny the Beaver, enjoying a nice ham sandwich when the phone rang in the replay booth. So a play that should have been reviewed was not and while the Huskies did not win the game - they got a little closer to that scenario than many of the world's mostly sane people would have liked. Tom Hansen, the commissioner of the conference and a Husky, didn't see it as a federal crime - he likes ham sandwiches - so he only gave the officials a reprimand. Then the director of the conference's instant replay system, Verle Sorgen, pooh-poohed the mistake saying "it wasn't that egregious, unless you are an Oregon State fan."

Whooooaaaa Nellie! That's when OSU athletic director Bob DeCarolis got his knickers in a twist and read Hansen the riot act ["God forbid we would have lost. I had about 30 people use the same words with me. They said we would have had a riot on our hands. It would have been like a soccer game in a third-world country. That's how dangerous it could have been with the night, the alcohol and the total frustration with the mismanagement of the game."]. Now, the Lounge has heard of angry responses to unpopular decisions that have cited actual events occurring but it was intriguing to hear of an angry response that cites events that never happened but could have occurred. Yeah, those drunken fans in our stadium [point of parliamentary procedure here…everybody knows that the only people that drink al-kee-hall and have a possibility to riot in the Pac-10 conference, are in Pullman, certainly no other school is capable nor should be associated with that concept] could have rioted like those poor bastards in those third world countries and you know how crazy those people are! [All you foreigners living in Corvallis and other Pac-10 locales, he didn't mean you guys…ha ha…it's those other crazy third-world soccer hooligans he was talking about. You know the ones….oh, you do? Sorry.] So Hansen was rattled by the scary third-world reference and immediately slapped Sorgen's wrist and reversed the decision on the offending crew - suspending them for a game and barring them from consideration for working games in the post-season [those sounds you heard last week were all the bowl teams' fans shrieking - or whining, if you were near Oklahoma - cries of joy upon hearing of this announcement].

Since there were only 718 people at the Wazzu-OSU game this week, the Lounge feels it is okay to move on past that debacle and to this week's other blazing controversy - turkey fryers being banned at the Arizona State tailgating parties for this week's game against USC. "They extended the [tailgating] hours so people are going to be out there longer, drinking longer. The last thing we want was vats of hot grease out there," says ASU police commander Jim Hardina [wily Lounge veterans will remember Hardina from his claim, earlier this year, not to be a "party pooper" as well as his role in the proposed Lounge musical, Party Troopers ]. Wait a minute….you mean people are drinking alcohol at other Pac-10 venues not named OSU and WSU and law enforcement officials are concerned about that? Do they know about the possibilities of rioting and possible connections to third-world soccer-playing countries? Somebody, quick, bolt the doors, lock the windows, save the children!

The thing to do to avoid this kind of rampant subversive behavior is to go - quickly now, before anybody sees you - to South Dakota, where they don't fool around with that alcohol because they have better things to do with their time.

Which is more than we can say for some people at the TV Land television network and Entertainment Weekly magazine. They - we are suspecting D-girls afoot - compiled a list of the The 50 Greatest TV Icons and the results are both surprising and disturbing. The Lounge has no problems - no problems whatsoever - with the top seven in the list. But then we start hitting potholes - about eight or nine of 'em. There is no way anybody can convince us that Roseanne, Sarah Jessica Parker, Diahann Carroll, Bea Arthur, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Simon Cowell, Jimmy Smits and Calista Flockhart deserve to be in the Top 50 of a list like this above Bob Hope, Ron Howard, Fred Rogers, Don Cornelius, Candice Bergen, James Garner, Adam West, Jerry Mathers and the entire cast of In Living Color [especially from the first three years]. No way, Jose.

After reading that list, the Lounge needed some liquid lubrication for the brain and went out to get some whiskey at the Whiskey Garage Sale they were having down the street before we discovered they were obviously whiskey hooligans. Parts of Tennessee are like a third world country and they do play soccer down there - so the authorities better be alert for whiskey-induced rioting.

"I can't believe Wazzu got the short end of the stick again," says West Side Patty, who fails to see the humor in draining good drinking whiskey and refers to the latest NCAA snubbing of the Cougar soccer team.

The Lounge clientele was similarly displeased, WSP, with the third consecutive snubbing of the 11-5-3 Cougars by the NCAA. After defeating fourth-ranked USC and ranked Oklahoma State, being ranked 29th in the country and finishing in a tie for fifth in the nation's toughest conference, the Cougars were, once again, left holding their boots in their hands. Wazzu had arguably better cases than at least six teams who were invited to the tournament, including 12-8 Ohio State, 10-7-2 Auburn and 9-7-4 Colorado. Not only were those teams invited over Wazzu but Colorado was even awarded a host regional, which they used to win over Hawai'i, who was in their first-ever NCAA tourney. Of the six questionable teams selected over Wazzu, only two won their first-round matches - Clemson and Colorado - while Ohio State, not surprisingly, lost to Hofstra and the four Pac-10 teams went undefeated. The Cougars must feel like the insect trapped in the jar by Little Timmy NCAA, who refuses to release them and we can hear the NCAA officials now - "it wasn't an egregious error, unless you are a Washington State fan". Meanwhile, head coach Matt Potter - who has four winning seasons out of his five on campus - must now be relegated to, once again, hoping that there will be change in the NCAA selection process to recognize the strength of the Pac-10 conference and the West Coast [only 11 West Coast teams of the 64 were selected and several of those were automatic bids] in the sport before yet another travesty is pushed down on next year's sure-to-be-snubbed players.

"There are so many new Cougars - they are going to need some of those 'Hello, My name is…' name tags!" says Edmund Goosestep after the Cougars' recruiting haul in both men's and women's hoops last week.

You got that right, Ed. The men, who are undefeated in three games this year and have now won 29 of their last 37 games spanning over the course of the last two seasons, picked up an impressive group of mostly guards to help them replace the irreplaceable dynamic duo of Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver. Michael Harthun, Marcus Capers, Klay Thompson and Nick Witherill will be attempting to fill those shoes while the lone non-guard, 6-8 James Watson will essentially be the Ivory Clark-Robbie Cowgill replacement. On the women's side of matters, new head coach June Daugherty, thanks to her long-time coaching success and the connections she had already made while she was the head coach at rival Washington, opened her first Wazzu recruiting season with a bang with the signing of five high school All-Americans, led by guards Katie Grad and April Cook and 6-8 center Jessica Oestreicher. Daugherty's class was ranked 16th-best in the country and behind only USC on the West Coast. Next year will be too early to reasonably expect on-court success but dividends from this recruiting class should really begin to pay off in two years for Daugherty and Wazzu.


Daugherty's favorite person and the one who was primarily responsible for her becoming the head coach at Wazzu was Washington athletic director, Todd Turner, who unceremoniously fired her despite the fact that she had led the Huskies to post-season appearances in nine of the 11 years she was the head coach. Turner, instead, wanted the "buzz" that only the 0-3 start of the current head coach can create and now, predictably, there are a few people who would like to see the "buzz" created by a fired athletic director and toward that end, they would like to have everybody know that they would like to Fire Todd Turner. Of course, they are upset more with the football team than Daugherty's firing , which is like Notre Dame being upset that they didn't beat Navy for the 44th time, so there is a possibility that some of the drains in Tennessee lead directly to Seattle.

Finally, now that a bowl game is out of the range of possibilities for the Cougar football team, Cougar fans and well-wishers will have a lot of extra spending cash this holiday season and that means many decisions to make, such as - should they save enough money for a trip to a first-round men's hoop Big Dance game or a possible Sweet 16 trip? For this reason, Lounge Scientists commissioned a study and found that the human brain is capable of tracking eight simultaneous movements at once - up from the number previously thought to be the limit for the brain.

"The magical number was thought to be four," says Lounge Scientist #8 [ironically enough], Steven Franconeri, a researcher at Northwestern University, who, contrary to rumors, allegedly did not consult his magic eight-ball.

This finding will obviously come in handy for Cougar fans and well-wishers when tracking brackets in February and March and trying to decide which locales look best for travel purposes and which look to be the dens of iniquity inhabited by depraved, riot-prone, third-world soccer hooligan types.





+++++++sponsored by Clark's Restaurant+++++++++

Attention COUGAR Fans! Autumn has arrived and you have the hunger. How can you afford to go one day further without some tasty morsels from Clark's Restaurant in Grays Harbor - home of the Best Hamburger in Twin Harbors for eight consecutive years? Come in for the burger, fresh homemade fries and milkshakes concocted from homemade ice cream. Go ahead, we dare you to try and pass up more than 12 varieties of hamburgers to choose from, full dinners, lunch and full breakfast served daily. Clark's Restaurant 360.538.1487. Seven miles south of Aberdeen, Washington on Highway 101. Proud supporter of CougZone. Mention this ad for a free small ice cream.


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