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November 23, 2008

The Cougar Lounge - A World Of Two Seconds

"Don't drop it."

- Wazzu freshman receiver Jared Karstetter reporting what thought passed through his mind before making the clutch 48-yard fourth quarter Apple Cup reception that allowed the Cougars to get close enough for a field goal and send the game into overtime.




"When you feel like you've got a game won and you just need one play and you don't get it done, it's tough."

- Washington head coach Tyrone Willingham.




"In a rival game like this, it hurts bad, and we're all feeling it."

- Washington receiver D'Andre Goodwin.




"Daily newspapers need to put an obscenity in a headline above the fold one day. It'll fix all their problems. In one fell swoop, they'll get rid of all those 80-year-old subscribers who won't let them drop 'Blondie'."

- Dan Savage, editorial director of Seattle alternative weekly The Stranger.








Note to Vegas: A winless team is that way for a reason. Consider this next time before installing a winless team as a favorite on the road in a rivalry game. Apple Cup, Apple Cup, Apple Cup - that's all anybody wants to talk about in the Lounge this week. Two weeks ago, there was no perceptible pulse for football and hoop season could not begin quickly enough for Cougar fans and well-wishers. Last week, people wanted to talk about the Apple Cup alright - the national media, the online media, the regional media, the local media, the grade school media - but only if they could make fun of it as the worst rivalry of all because it involved teams that were two of the worst teams in the country this year and it was being nationally televised by Fox Sports. So everybody had a good yuk and predictably, what happened? A real game broke out. Not like those so-called games the Cougars and Huskies had been playing for most of the season, but a real nail-biter of a game - the kind that, inevitably, seem to find their home in true rivalries. To start the game, first, you had your Cougars, then you had your Huskies - check. Then you had the predictable momentum swings from one team to the other, mostly Huskies in the first half and mostly Cougars in the second half. Then, just for good measure, you had your overtime. But one overtime was not good enough, so they ordered a bonus overtime from the college football gods and that did the trick. Not many are calling it the Crapple Cup - probably, the roots of stubborn pessimism do run deep - this week but even if they are, no Cougar or Husky cares. The Huskies just want the season to end and the Cougars will end theirs in Hawai'i with an Apple Cup victory score already tattooed on their surfboards.


With an Apple Cup victory, it is difficult to talk about other things as if they were important. Things like the BCS Taliban moving to ESPN in 2011 because ESPN paid a boatload of money to air the games and intend on airing those games only on ESPN and not on ABC, part of the same company owned by Disney. Snore.

Then there is Huntington, West Virginia, otherwise known as America's fattest city where fried pork rinds are for eating and teeth are for losing. But you already knew that when you saw "West Virginia" in the sentence. Zzzz.

Hillbilly obesity and dental problems aside, there is obviously some amount of emotional trauma when one has made the decision to be a Jack Sparrow character at Disneyland - which is to say, an impersonation of an actor impersonating a pirate whilst impersonating elements of a famous rock and roll star [so, to summarize - an impersonation of an impersonation of an impersonation].

Finally, there is the announcement from the dictionary people that the expression of boredom/indifference called "meh" will be included in next year's version of the Collins English Dictionary, causing - ironically - lexicographers everywhere on the planet to erupt in unbridled joy, the likes of which have only been seen exhibited by winning head coaches at Apple Cups.

"I don't care if they win or lose in Hawai'i - they just made my season," says Muddy Whitecaps of Wazzu's Apple Cup victory over the Huskies.

Whoa there, Muddy - don't tell that to Wazzu head coach Paul Wulff - he cares if they win or lose in Hawai'i on Saturday. But, okay, Muddy, we catch your drift. How did we know the Apple Cup was the most important game of the year for Wazzu this season? Three words [with a hyphen] - all-crimson uniforms. That includes the helmet with the "Cougars" script. The all-crimson unis were reminiscent of the 1982 Apple Cup where Wazzu donned the crimson pants to go along with the crimson jerseys. But Wulff went one better - adding to helmet into the mix - to let everybody know, beginning from the Cougars' emergence from the tunnel, how he, the staff and players were looking at this game. Just in case, there was any doubt - the Lounge presents punter Reid Forrest taking off on a fake punt from deep in his own territory as Exhibit A.


"I want to see Paul Wulff improve his victory leaping during the off-season," says Attila The Nun about Wulff's serious lack of Apple Cup airborne-ness.

No doubt Wulff will have to work on that vertical leap, Attila. But you have to cut Wulff some slack, the reason the post-game jumping joy was so off-kilter was because each leg muscle was reacting to a different element of joy during the game. One muscle was reacting to redshirt freshman running back Logwone Mitz's 57-yard touchdown run - the longest of the year and made possible by good offensive line blocking as well as a block by fellow running back Marcus Richmond - that put the Cougars back in the game. Another muscle was firing off on Kevin Lopina's late fourth quarter 48-yard toss to freshman receiver Jared Karstetter that brought the Cougars into field-goal range to tie the game and, of course, of course multiple muscles were surging for sophomore kicker Nico Grasu who first, tied the game with a 28-yard field goal from a difficult angle and then won the game for Wazzu with a 37-yard field goal in the second overtime. The Lounge clientele is unanimous on this point - with all this in mind, there is no logical reason to expect a coach's leg muscles to work properly for leaping-for-joy purposes in a situation like that.

It is with complete confidence that the Lounge can say that 99% [there is always that 1% who are never completely satisfied] of the Cougar fans and well-wishers on the planet are a fairly happy bunch this week. So, since everybody is in a good mood, what better time to present Neatorama - a fun website with neat stuff. First, we finally[!] find out the answer to that decades-old Prince poser - why doves cry, then we discover the secret to a successful holiday gift-giving season in these tough economic times [hint: think bacon] and last but not least - the reason Thanksgiving Pilgrims [oops, don't call 'em Pilgrims] did not do surf and turf for their Thanksgiving sit-down? They thought lobsters were giant insects. Yep - you learn something new every day in the Lounge.

The Lounge Scientists realize that Cougars everywhere will have their minds on Hawai'i this week and with that in mind, they have finally come to a decision on naming the planetary body that ousted poor Pluto a few years back. That dwarf planet is now called Haumea, after the Hawaiian goddess of childbirth and fertility at the suggestion of one of the discovering teams of astronomers from Caltech. However, another Spanish astronomer team also lays claim to discovering the dwarf planet and wanted to name it after a goddess of the underworld. The International Astronomical Union [whose fees are reported to be, well, you know…] decided to play it safe by leaving the name of the discoverer blank on the official records.

"We don't want to cause an international incident," explains Lounge Scientist #61, Brian Marsden, an IAU official, who reputedly likes poi by the pound.

Too late Brian. But the Lounge clientele is too busy in the joy recovery process to worry about the controversy because compared to unexpected Apple Cup victories on a scale of one to "meh", that is definitely a "meh".





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

Attention COUGAR fans and well-wishers! Autumn is here 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 nine 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 hot chocolate.


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