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November 13, 2011
The Cougar Lounge - The Spy Whistling Enigma
"Obviously, we're very excited. It played out the way we thought it would."
- Wazzu head soccer coach Matt Potter after Wazzu defeated Kentucky in their first round match in the NCAA Tournament ["the way we thought it would" is coach code for Wazzu winning].
"I thought Meagan Ganzer had a great night, especially offensively, and we just need more to go along with that to be able to upset these top-ranked teams."
- Wazzu head volleyball coach Jen Greeny after the Cougars played tough but were swept by California and bringing up the obvious question - what is Wazzu going to do after Monster Meagan graduates this year?
"Down the stretch, it just became 'we're not going to let them score'."
- Penn State women's hoop sophomore forward Talia East explaining why the Lady Lions were able to shut out the Cougars, 13-0, in the game's final seven minutes to claim the victory.
"Am doing the Oscars so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up my prescriptions."
- Actor/comedian Billy Crystal after learning he would host the Academy Awards in January when Eddie Murphy pulled out.
The Lounge has selected a nice set of drapes to embellish the appearance of what may be classified as the hope that fills the room after Wazzu's inspiring upset of Arizona State. Hope was admittedly in low supply when the Sun Devils' Jamal Miles ran back the game's opening kickoff 95 yards and it took only 13 seconds for the Cougars to find themselves with a deficit. But as all the smart people say, it is not how you start but how you finish - and Wazzu finished well against Arizona State. Mostly that is due to a young lad named Connor Halliday. The redshirt freshman quarterback torched [with some help from sophomore receiver Marquess Wilson] the Sun Devil defense for 494 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions [important] . But the best statistic at the end of the evening was the one that read 4-6 - the Cougars' record after this game - and it is more the "four" part of that statistic that is pleasing. While the yards are nice, it is the touchdowns - instead of field goals - and getting the win that is most important. Wazzu can now legitimately say they have a chance to get bowl eligible this season- something they could not legitimately say up until this point since they had not beaten a team of any significance. Whether or not Arizona State winds up being a team of any significance is irrelevant - they had six wins coming into this game and that means they will be going to a bowl game at the end of the year and that makes them significant. If Wazzu can keep winning, they might be significant too.
Wazzu's good news does not stop there either. The soccer team went down to Kentucky and after 110 minutes, ended up in a 1-1 draw - but Wazzu defeated the Wildcats, 4-2, in a penalty kick shootout to advance to the second round for the second time in school history. The other time was 2009 when Wazzu advanced after defeating Villanova in the first round only to lose to Maryland in the second round.
The news was not as pleasant on the volleyball or women's hoop front as both those teams lost - though both losses were in competitive fashion to ranked teams - salvaging some moral victories from the heaps.
"I don't know why he didn't put him in there sooner but I liked what I saw when I could see straight!" says Father Lotto, about head football coach Paul Wulff's decision to sit on Halliday before unleashing him on an unsuspecting Arizona State.
Well, maybe he was waiting for the Tooth Fairy to bring that quarter she owed him after last week's loss in San Francisco - that is the consensus of the Lounge clientele. If Wulff needed wins to save his job - which he most surely does - then logic dictates he probably should have unwrapped and presented this gift to Wazzu fans and well-wishers earlier rather than hoarding it. Still, as great as Halliday's performance and the upset win over the Sun Devils was, the Cougars are still two wins away from bowl eligibility - and we can say that without a trace of a hidden punch line in the bushes - and that is the minimum where the program was expected to be this year with the easiest college football schedule on the face of the Earth. With a week's reprieve for Wulff from Governor Halliday and a hot Utah team coming into Pullman - this week's game against a good Ute defense may determine the ultimate direction of the program for 2012 and beyond.
"I hate those things, but I'll take it!" says Miss Beverly Hills, about the Wazzu soccer team's heart-stopping win over Kentucky in a penalty-kick shootout.
Nobody in their right minds like penalty kick shootouts in soccer, not even the winning goalkeepers, but if Wazzu is winning them - as they did against Kentucky - then most Wazzu fans and well-wishers will accept the outcome. The team has become mentally strong over the course of the season - thanks, of course, to head coach Matt Potter and his staff - and it takes mental strength to win a penalty kick shootout. The Wildcats were a formidable opponent but Wazzu has lived life on the road in the last three weeks of the 2011 season and certainly no road trip to Lexington was going to be more challenging than road trips to Corvallis to try and beat another NCAA Tournament team or to Seattle to not lose to the hated rivals for the eighth year in a row and clinch the NCAA Tournament bid. So Wazzu was well-prepared both mentally and physically for what they would face in Lexington. But now the road gets tougher - as it should in the NCAA Tournament - with a second round match against Virginia in Charlottesville, who the Cougars drew with, 0-0, in September. The Wahoos have seen Wazzu's style of play and that will make them especially difficult to defeat next Friday - but they have the opportunity and it was an opportunity they created, first in Seattle and then in Lexington.
By now, the more entertainment-savvy of the Lounge clientele know that Eddie Murphy abandoned his role as host of next year's Academy Award show after his producer friend Brett Ratner was fired for making a homophobic slur. Murphy quit to show his solidarity with Ratner and was replaced by Billy Crystal [who probably should have been selected in the first place, according to the Lounge's perspective]. Eddie may have been an idiot but did he really deserve this at Awful Fan Art? Maybe he will think twice before quitting the Oscars next time - or else Napoleon Dynamite might draw him as a liger.
With Wazzu's big unexpected win over Arizona State and subsequent possible bowl game eligibility, talk has immediately turned toward the possibility that aliens have invaded Earth without us humans knowing about it. Toward that end the Lounge Scientists have mobilized and determined that any existing or invading alien life forms will not need a moon to influence gravitational motions in order to survive. A recent study found that, without a moon to stabilize the Earth, the planet's tilt on its axis would eventually change but not enough to cause catastrophe and not soon enough [500 million years] for us to worry about it - which means there might be a moonless planet out there we can all move to when our current planet gets too inhospitable for us human types.
"There could be a lot more habitable worlds out there," says Lounge Scientist #500,000,000 Jack Lissauer, a scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center in California who reportedly has his own habitable world in his back yard.
In honor of Dennis Erickson leaving the Palouse with a loss, the Lounge has supplied a chili and a shake for all members of the Lounge clientele who have been teacher's pets and have made football bets.
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