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October 21, 2007
The Cougar Lounge - Open Sesame Seed
"Do you know what a jumping jack is?"
- Wazzu men's hoop head coach, Tony Bennett, jokingly making sure German big man import Fabian Boeke is up to date on his calisthenics knowledge in the first hoops practices of the year.
"To get the impression that Karl blindsided me is not accurate. Karl never tried to pull a fast one on me. Karl was not aware of the gravity of the issue."
- UCLA athletic director, Dan Guerrero, saying the reason Bruins' head football coach Karl Dorrell failed to mention that receivers assistant coach Eric Scott had been sentenced for three misdemeanors [two involving illegal handguns] at the time of his hiring was because he was simply not aware of the gravitational pull such an issue would potentially have on his resume. See? There is a simple explanation for everything.
"The organization contacted me yesterday and said 'How's Iggy?' and I told them the truth. I didn't lie. I said, 'Iggy has a great home.'"
- Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres who failed to tell the dog mafia "organization" where she had adopted a dog, that she had, uh, well, uh, given away the dog to a pair of little junior hairdresser girls - possibly for a poochie makeover. The dog mafia, promptly determined this was a dangerous situation that could quickly get out of hand in a Lindsay Lohanesque way, and sent out a hit squad to liberate the canine.
During the interim of college football games last week, college basketball season officially began. Signs were not apparent at first - a few orangy-colored spheres were observed in a closed setting being repeatedly pushed toward the ground then periodically launched skyward toward a netted, circular receptacle supported by a clear, plexiglass board by young, athletic-looking men, but then finally, the first punch was thrown and we knew it was hoop season for real. Or was not thrown, seems to be some confusion over whether it was O.J. Mayo's fist or a segment of his arm closer to his shoulder that hit Daniel Hackett in the jaw and required it to be wired shut. At first, it was a fist, but then cooler heads prevailed and everybody remembered what a promising career Mayo might have on the professional tennis circuit, and the story changed from fist to "hard elbow" - surely meant to send a message to any tennis athletes out there that they don't want to be messin' with Mayo's brutal tennis elbow. That includes you, pansy boy, Federer.
Of course, it is still college football season and just to make sure nobody forgets which sport is more important, Baylor assistant coach Eric Schnupp whipped it out and took it upon himself to relieve himself of that quandary that had been tormenting him for weeks, months maybe, ever since it was announced Wazzu was going to Waco to take on the Bears in a men's hoop game this November. "November - WTF?!? Why that's football season! Here's what I think of that!" Schnupp is reported to have said according to unconfirmed accounts of his public wrestlemania with his inner demons at a bar in Waco.
But if the subject is Texas and football, then the Lounge clientele is stoked about the impressive job former Wazzu quarterback Ryan Leaf is doing at West Texas A&M. The Buffaloes are undefeated at 8-0 so far this year and ranked #6 in the country in the NCAA Division II polls. Meanwhile Leaf has had nothing but success coaching up his quarterbacks in Canyon - guiding last year's starter to a 32-touchdown, nearly 4,000-yard performance that garnered him a free agent contract with the NFL's Carolina Panthers - and this year, Leaf has the Buffs' starting QB tossing the pigskin at a 352 yard-per-game pace with a 29-to-8 TD-to-INT ratio and a 67% completion percentage. The Buffs have also stocked their roster with three former Pac-10 players from USC, Arizona and Oregon as well as others from Kansas State, Boise State and Baylor.
We almost coughed up our frosted corn flakes the other day when we learned that Tony the Tiger partnered with ESPN and was signing up kids to earn their stripes by writing their own sports stories. That is fine, but keep an eye on the kids that write about Baylor football and USC basketball.
"I have already been practicing my Aron Baynes-hook shot!" says an excited Ken Remarkable who points out, quite accurately, that the Earth is basketball-shaped.
The Lounge has had a helluva time trying to keep the clientele from going nutty during the month of October whilst they eagerly await the arrival of men's hoop season. In fact, we don't think Father Lotto even needs the use of his motor skills any longer, - he just floats around on the fuel provided by the thoughts of last year's Big Dance celebration. We know head coach Tony Bennett doesn't want to hear about this last year stuff anymore since it is a new year but you try pinning down Father Lotto when he's had three shots and just watched -for the 37th time - the first-round win over Oral Roberts [while doing his best Seth Davis imitation] and Ivory Clark swatting everything out of the gym like flies. Cougar fans and well-wishers were born without eyesight when Tony's father, Dick, took over the program, rebuilt the foundation, then Tony proceeded to give them the gift of sight of the present as well as what the future can be. So this year, with a veteran team returning, sans Clark, the Lounge will not try to discourage any exuberance unless, of course, they threaten to turn into hoop versions of former Baylor assistant coaches.
"Can they really be kept out of the NCAA this year? My mom says no," says Roger Wilco, who seems a bit overprotective about the Wazzu soccer team.
Well, Roger, let the Lounge tell you a little story about a bunch of soccer hooligans called the NCAA selection committee who got away with trashing the Pac-10 conference last year when they kept both second-place Oregon and fourth-place Wazzu out of the party while inviting fifth-place USC and sixth-place[!] California along with USC and Stanford - all the California schools, in case you are keeping score at home. So this year, the Lounge is taking no guff from anybody about the NCAA's pristine reputation for fairness while the Cougars are taking no prisoners in compiling a 9-2-2 overall record - and, perhaps most importantly, 2-1 in the Pac-10 - so for this year after the fourth consecutive defeat of the Huskies in the Apple Cup of soccer. Beating the Huskies has become ho-hum but that is because the eye is on the big prize at the end of the Pac-10 gauntlet and the Cougars have to have tunnel vision from here on out to achieve what was denied them last year. The Cougars were carrying an impressive 24 RPI last week and with two road Pac-10 wins under their belt, that will surely increase. However, the Lounge consensus is that, out of their six remaining matches, Wazzu will need to win at least two to secure no worse than bubble status, three to keep that bubble from popping and four to put it in the bank. Although, when dealing with the notorious NCAA selection committee, the bank might be closed that day, so the best bet is to win as many as they can and keep that RPI under 30.
With some people preparing to burn the football season in effigy and hoop season rapidly approaching, the Lounge conducted a contest - which involved liquid adult beverage refreshment enhancements, naturally - of an appropriate metaphor for the upcoming season and the most enticing ideas that originated out of the fuzzy gray matter in the room compared the Wazzu men's hoop season to a variety of fast or unique cars like Ferraris or Mercedes and whatnot. The Lounge did not want to pigeonhole the team or an individual with any one broad line of vehicles [because not everybody is a Ferrari] so we thought a better way might be to select a car that best identifies with the team or individual and what better place to do that than Barris where one can pick from a quirky selection of famous TV cars designed by George Barris. The Lounge consensus currently seems to favor Baynes as the Flintmobile, Robbie Cowgill as the General Lee, Daven Harmeling as The Car, Nikola Koprivica as Kitt, Derrick Low as the Emperor, Taylor Rochestie as the Batmobile and Kyle Weaver as the Golden Sahara.
Finally, had you ever wondered why, despite the entire population of China getting around by riding bikes and the bulk of world's athletic doping operations being based there, there has never been a great Chinese cyclist who could be banned from the Tour De France by disdainful French journalists? Well, with the Olympics in Beijing right around the corner and the Chinese wondering how they can parlay their table tennis prowess onto the velodrome, the Lounge Scientists wondered the same thing and discovered that it is simple genetics - the Chinese head just does not fit into the modern-day bicycle helmetry, effectively discouraging them from international sporting competition and forcing them to make cheap toys and other lead-infested products for the rest of the world.
"The back of the Chinese head is a bit flatter and from the top, they are rounder," says Lounge Scientist #64, Johan Molenbroek, a researcher at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, who reputedly invented the word "peloton" to impress his girlfriend.
The Chinese are now constructing a factory to produce such specific-shaped helmets and if China sweeps the cycling golds next August it will be because they are more comfortable in their snug-fitting helmets and not because of any sort of magic Chinese herbal mixture that won't be discovered for years that any Buddhist monks are trying to get people to believe. Got that? Good, now move about your business spending money in the country and Happy Olympics, Yankee Pig Dog.
+++++++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.