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December 11, 2011
The Cougar Lounge - The Great Hob-Nobbery
"You've got to give WSU credit, when it came down to making winning plays, they did it."
- Idaho head men's hoop coach Don Verlin after Wazzu point guard Reggie Moore nailed a jumper with 0.9 seconds left in the game to defeat the Vandals last week.
"It's absolutely fitting."
- Stanford forward Teresa Noyola after she scored the match-winning goal over Duke in the women's soccer national title match last week - after the Cardinal had lost in the national title match the last two years.
"It was so well-deserved by Robert Griffin. It was very hard to be upset."
- Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck after the Heisman Trophy was awarded to Robert Griffin, III.
"It was a gathering of narcissists."
- Japanese traffic official Mitsuyoshi Isejima not referring to Husky fans and well-wishers, but rather a collection of wealthy supercar owners who crashed their Ferraris in a high profile accident last week in Japan.
The garrulous giddiness has not waned at Wazzu since former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach has been hired - just in case anybody was wondering. In fact, the levels of excitement have only begun to ramp up as season ticket orders for football games continue to rise [and we expect Santa will be depositing o few more of those in some lucky Wazzu fans and well-wishers' stockings in a few weeks] and money continues to pour into Wazzu's coffers to help what had been an ailing football program. But Leach took that rust bucket, renamed it the Wazzu Pearl, and now is retrofitting it with the necessary weaponry to cause major damage to any Pac-12 teams it may encounter next season. The former regime had taken the football program to depths never before fathomed or plumbed - taking a team ranked 63rd in rankings guru Jeff Sagarin's college football rankings in 2007 through four miserable years and finally depositing them 17 spots lower in 2011, at the 80th position - below five FCS teams. When the Wazzu Pearl sets sail in September with a new crew, new staff and - most importantly - a new captain, the days of being ranked anything over 50 are expected to be found at the bottom of the deep blue sea.
This time of year always brings a tinge of sadness to the Lounge because there is a bounty of bounteous desserts and other heavily sugar-laden treats, all of which [usually] taste good and of course, none of which are good for you in the fitness sense [but definitely are in the sensory sense and the all-important mental sense]. Naturally, that means the food police come out of the woodwork to point out how bad for you these various items are for your body and its internal organs and last week's food police target was not holiday-themed [perhaps the food police took a break for a week] but was an easy one - breakfast cereals. A study was made of 84 breakfast cereals sold in America by the We Eat Sticks And Berries And Are Smug About It Society [not the real name of the organization but close enough] and they found - heavens to Betsy! - that breakfast cereals have too much sugar in them! Will horrors ever cease? They then went on a white paper report tirade about how this and that cereal is horribly bad for you and will cause your spleen to fall right out of your body in the middle of the department store while you are X-mas shopping next week and probably be a reason for your future mutant children who will have one extra arm.
Essentially, the study labeled breakfast cereals with 30% or more sugar as bad and we could not help but notice that the breakfast cereals that had the lowest sugar amounts and were purported to be the "best" had names like Ambrosial Granola: Athenian Harvest Muesli, Nature's Path Organic Puffs, Rice Regurgi-Taters, Wheat Bricks, Barbara's Stuffed Penguin Poo and Milly's All-Natural But Tastes Like The Bottom of the Trash Can Chex. Okay, so we made those last four up, but you get the drift. So the Lounge felt the need to defend the honor of those sugar-filled kids everywhere - as well as those from the past who obviously turned out horribly disfigured and mentally ruined from eating too much Captain Crunch with Crunch Berries. Therefore, without further ado - the Lounge's Top Five best breakfast cereals - Cocoa Puffs [The Lounge is coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs with 37% sugar and the added benefit of making chocolate milk too - woo-hoo!!!], Lucky Charms [37%], Froot Loops [41.4%], Captain Crunch with Crunch Berries [44.4%] and Golden Grahams [32.3%]. It was a tough choice and many others were also in the running - Apple Jacks, Frosted Flakes, Cocoa Krsipies/Pebbles, Frosted Mini-Wheats and Life. Also, special notation should be made for seasonal favorites - Boo Berry, Count Chocula and Frankenberry [the classic versions, not the new versions which are poor imitations of the originals]. So eat up, kids! You will be fine and productive - maybe really, extra, super productive with all that yummy sugar - members of society as opposed to stodgy muesli-eating sticks in the mud.
Finally, the Lounge is in mourning this week after the passing of Harry Morgan, who was also known to the Lounge as Officer Bill Gannon on Dragnet, the mayor in the Apple Dumpling Gang as well as Support Your Local Sheriff/Gunfighter. But, of course, his most famous role was that of Colonel Sherman T. Potter on M*A*S*H, one of the best television shows of all-time. Interestingly, Potter, er, Morgan never appeared on talk shows - as in, ever - so there was never an opportunity to get a good read on the man outside the characters he played on film and in television. But he worked in the industry for nearly 50 years - starting out, ironically, playing mostly bad guys - yet we know, by inference, he had to be one of the good guys and, in this case, at least, the good guy lasted 96 years.
"Now that we have the Captain on board, we need the crew!" says Mr. Smarmy Whelk about football recruiting after the arrival of Mike Leach as Wazzu's new football coach.
That will be a key element to success both next year and in 2013, Smarmy. Leach has a class of verbal commitments from the previous regime and he will have to select those he wants to keep plus add in those he feel can contribute right away to success in 2012 [in other words, JC transfers]. The popularity and media visibility of Leach's arrival has already been able to get Wazzu into the conversations of certain highly sought after football players that Wazzu likely never would have had a chance at prior to the coaching change. But getting into the conversations is one thing, closing the deal is another. Still, if Leach and his new staff - still being assembled but expected to be announced soon - can get into more conversations for more of those types of players, it might not be too long before Wazzu is contending for the Pac-12 North title - legitimately, not just coachspeak.
"What do you make of this hoop season?" asks The Fisheyed Foo, about the men's hoop season so far.
Painful to hear [the list of injuries] and painful to watch [inconsistent play], Foo. Obviously, the foot fracture injury to Abe Lodwick caused a problem in some games that Wazzu could have/should have won [UC-Riverside, New Mexico] and the injuries, suspensions and slow development of newcomers Mychal Ladd and DJ Shelton has added onto that. However, the recent play of DaVonte Lacy and Dexter Kernich-Drew has given some hope for the future - with some extra pounds on Kernich-Drew and some more experience for both, Wazzu could be looking at a trip to the Big Dance next year [especially with Royce Woolridge becoming eligible to play in the 2012-13 season]. For this year, however, a weak Pac-12 will allow Wazzu to be around .500 by the time the year is through but probably not good enough for another NIT berth unless they can get a solid, season-ending run. Lodwick's return may be the key date of the year.
Since it is - technically - basketball season now, that means we can begin to turn our roundball eyeballs toward the prize - the Big Dance. March Madness. A bunch of Basketball on every friggin' channel in March. Whatever you want to call it. In that light, it is now appropriate to begin thinking with the basketball side of your brain and that means putting yourself in the proper mood with a little ditty from Auto-Tune The News from a previous March Madness.
The Lounge Scientists were told that they would have to find a new place to store all their pirate gear that they have begun assembling and so they went directly outside and promptly found a new planet whose porridge is not too hot, not too cold but "just right". The planet - called Kepler 22b - sits just outside our solar system and is a balmy 72 degrees with a 290-day year. Alas, the surface is too big and gaseous for human life at the moment but it is perfect for pirate gear storage bins.
"This is a phenomenal discovery in the course of human history," says Lounge Scientist #22c Geoff Marcy, a scientist at the University of California-Berkeley who, reportedly, has already found yet another planet where March Madness coverage is on every channel in March.
The Lounge has received confirmation from Colonel Potter that Frank Burns and Colonel Flagg will never run M*A*S*H again and Frank still has no lips.
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