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January 27, 2008

The Cougar Lounge - A Snowball From Hell

"I saw their game against Gonzaga and that was the best team defense I've seen all year. They just rotate so well and they never turn the ball over."

- Stanford guard Anthony Goods, who the Cougars are hoping did not happen to catch the games in Arizona last week.

"I was talking to him like 'Man, you're out pretty late. You've got a game tomorrow against Kobe' and he said, 'Nah, it will be all right'."

- USC freshman guard O.J. Mayo recounting his conversation at a party with Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony that resulted in free tickets to the Lakers-Nuggets game, an NCAA rules violation for Mayo and a 17-point loss for Anthony and the Nuggets. 'Melo was right, though, it wasn't Kobe Bryant he had to worry about that night - it was Derek Fisher and his 28 points. Lounge suggestion to 'Melo: next time, hit the hay earlier and you might only lose by 10.

"I made a mistake and if that mistake costs me my career, then that's where we need to look. Look at what I did and what I lost. You know what I'm saying? Does marijuana, is it that bad? That's the question I really want people to ask themselves sometimes. Following rules blindly, doesn't mean you're right just by following those rules. There needs to be a just rule. I mean, a long time ago, George Washington sat around, didn't want to pay taxes to the crown. There's other things going on, but the rudimentary part of our American revolution was we didn't want to pay taxes and we broke that rule and we have America today. You know, if we would've lost that war, George Washington would be Benedict Arnold. You know, it's whoever wins, you get the praise. Nicotine won, the tobacco industry won. That's the thing, they wouldn't want marijuana to be legal. It causes less cancer and actually, I've read studies where, in cities with very bad air pollution, like in Indiana, it helps protect you from lung cancer."

- Ladies and gentleman, after failing a league-mandated drug test for marijuana, this week's guest professor in American History, all the way from the NBA's Indiana Pacers via the University of Colorado, is Professor David Harrison. Did everybody receive their complimentary bong enabling one to understand today's lecture?

"HGH [human growth hormone] is nothing. Anyone who calls it a steroid is grossly misinformed. Testosterone to me, is so important for a sense of well-being when you get older. Everyone over 40 years old would be wise to investigate it because it increases the quality of your life. Mark my words - in 10 years, it will be over-the-counter."

- 61-year-old actor Sylvester Stallone, before pleading guilty to importing 48 vials of HGH drug Jintropin into Australia before filming Rambo 27 [or whatever it is up to now]. Sly - meet Prof. Harrison from the Pacers. Prof. Harrison, Sly.

Scientists say that the human stomach must produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks, otherwise it will digest itself - which is just the situation most Cougar fans and well-wishers found themselves in while watching Wazzu's 6th-ranked men's hoop team win over Arizona State in Tempe. Most of their stomachs were well on their way to digesting themselves as the Cougars frittered away seven points of an eight-point lead in the last 2:50 of the game. But it was that last point that proved to be elusive for the Sun Devils. Fortunately for Wazzu, the Pac-10 officials synchronized their watches before the last play of the game and pledged not to blow their whistles for the final eight seconds and the no-call on James Harden's drive to the basket appeared to be appropriate and worked out well for everybody except the ASU fans who displayed their good sportsmanship by hurling debris on the court after the game.

But the Lounge will put that aside for now because this week is an official week of mourning for us when we learned that actress Suzanne Pleshette passed away. Pleshette, for anybody who may not be aware, was most notably known as "Emily", the wife of Bob Newhart on the hit show The Bob Newhart Show from the 1970s which earned a special place in the Collegiate Drinking Game Hall of Fame. The game, a brutally simple one - drink every time a character uttered the name "Bob" - was particularly effective [or cruel, depending on one's circumstances at the time] due to Emily's seemingly constant references to her husband. That, plus she was a good actress and the show was genuinely funny. For these reasons and a few others, the Lounge has instituted a mandatory viewing party of old Bob Newhart shows this week and decreed that all clientele must watch a minimum of four episodes - five, if it includes the episode where they watch the blackout NFL game in Peoria or six, if it includes the college reminiscent episode with Chinese delivery food.

Speaking of blacked out games, it is official, the numbers are in from college bowl game season and the worst bowl game of 2007-08 is…the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise…at least according to the television ratings. No surprise there, as the Humanitarian Bowl was the lowest-rated - drawing only 745,082 households nationally - of all 32 bowl games that were generally available to the public. Two bowls - the Texas Bowl and the Insight Bowl - were actually lower and also members of the Under-Millionaire Club, but that is because they were only made available on the NFL Network, which nobody gets nor wants to get just to watch those bowl games. There are clearly too many bowl games - 32 - in the college football atmosphere and this was borne out in the ratings as 11 bowls failed to clear the two-million mark in household viewership, so the Lounge identifies these 11 plus another that barely cleared the mediocrity hurdle as our 11+1 model of improving the post-season without a playoff. The 12 offending bowl games that need to go away as soon as possible based on either mediocre teams or poor television ratings or both are the three already listed plus the GMAC Bowl [the worst bowl game in America not played on a blue turf in Boise or televised on the NFL Network], the Hawai'i Bowl, the International Bowl, the New Orleans Bowl, the Independence Bowl [where the loser, Colorado, actually did have a losing record], the New Mexico Bowl, the Armed Forces Bowl, the Poinsettia Bowl and the Papajohns.com Bowl [which barely cleared the two-mil hurdle in viewership].

The one bowl that is not expendable is the upcoming Super Bowl and, as always, the Lounge clientele is going to be watching for entertainment other than the game. Since the New England Patriots are supposed to wipe the field with the New York Giants, potentially giving viewers a lot of free time on their hands in a blowout, that might work out particularly well this year. It will allow us to focus on whether or not any player from either team will be taking up Kentucky Fried Chicken's offer to any scoring player [as well as halftime entertainer Tom Petty] of doing the chicken dance in the end zone. In return, KFC says they will donate $260,000 in the name of the dancing player to a KFC-sponsored charity scholarship fund for colleges. Not surprisingly, officials from the NFL [No Fun League] are not amused - "This is Super Bowl Ambush Marketing 101," huffs league spokesperson, Brian McCarthy, like anyone cares what he thinks as a shill for a league of overpaid sporting mercenaries.

The Lounge would also be intrigued to see some ads for Belvedere Vodka for this year's Super Bowl. Evidently, Belvedere has become the drink of choice for people who make poor decisions or can't hold their liquor - such as the guys who taunted the tiger at the San Francisco Zoo and ESPN television personality Dana Jacobson, who went on an obscenity-laced tirade against Notre Dame and Touchdown Jesus [not that we are against that, per se] in a private roast of some ESPN radio personalities. But then, maybe that is not a surprise either since the new ad campaign for Belvedere features RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan, aka Robert Diggs, who is well-known to law enforcement officials and escaped a felonius assault charge when he was acquitted for shooting a guy who kicked his car. Maybe they could have Tom Petty kick a prop car, pull out a prop gun and shoot a player doing the chicken dance, then take a swig of some Belvedere vodka afterward - what would the NFL think of that?

"I think the Cougs are still in pretty good shape for the Pac-10 title," says Monty Carlo, who was a little busy saving his hotel from burning down in Las Vegas this week, but still managed to catch the Cougars' games against the Arizonas.

Well, you are right, Monty, despite not playing their best ball of the year, the Cougars are still sitting pretty after winning five of their first seven in conference play with five of those first seven being on the road. Wazzu won three of those five and lost only to UCLA and Arizona - due to a tight time turnaround for them and good play by the Bruins and hot shooting by the Wildcats. The Bruins, especially after their win over the Ducks in Oregon, are clearly the team to beat, but the Cougars will have a favorable home schedule from here on out - seven of their final 11 regular-season conference games at home - and will get another shot at both the Bruins and Wildcats in Pullman in February. Win those games and pull one off in Eugene next month and Wazzu will be in the thick of it in early March.

"I'm not sure if they are a Top 5 team but I definitely think they are a Top 10 team," says Dereck "The Left-Wing Namby Pamby" Eau de Toilette, of the Cougars' national college hoop ranking.

Well Dereck, last week, they did two out of the three things the Lounge thought they would need to do to be considered a Top 5 team - beat Oregon at home and ASU on the road and losing only to Arizona on the road. That was good but not good enough to keep them in the ethereal territory inhabited by The Undefeateds [Kansas, Memphis and North Carolina]. The loss to Arizona temporarily places them in the Second Five of the Top 10 and the consensus of the Lounge clientele is about the 7-8-9 range, with 8 being the most popular choice for this week. But now, with just over half their season completed, the Cougars enter the downhill phase - where they will need to win all games they are expected to win, some that they are not expected to win [against UCLA at home and Oregon on the road] and play tighter as they get closer to the Big Dance. A first-place finish in the Pac-10 will undoubtedly get them a #1 seed in the Big Dance, but a second-place finish should also get them a high seed - likely a #2 seed and certainly no worse than #3. But with 11 conference games remaining, the answers to those questions are far too distant on the horizon.

As it gets closer and closer to March Madness time and people start to get that crazy look in their eyes - you know, the one where they stare off into the field and a drop of drool appears at the corner of their mouths - everybody wants to know their RPI. The NCAA has their official version but it only gets updated once a week. Other sites have their versions of the NCAA's official version but they only get updated weekly or daily. For some people, that is not fast enough. So if you find yourself getting fidgety and jumpy and just cannot stand to wait an entire 24-hour period without knowing your team's RPI or equivalent, we present you with the rankings at Basketball State. It's based on a lot of complicated mathematical formulas just like the rest of them, only it is computed hourly! The gist of it all is that Wazzu - as of the hour we checked - is ranked #11 - above undefeated Memphis and one spot behind Gonzaga, whom they already beat on the road. But check in during other hours and the ranking may have already changed.

Finally, the Lounge Scientists were receiving reports that astronauts were flying drunk, which can be a real problem out in space where there is not much availability to call a cab after celebrating a successful launch a little too vigorously. But NASA conducted their own survey and concluded that - other than an isolated incident where alcohol combined with the prescription medicine of an individual to produce "perceived impairment" [try to use that one - perceived impairment - the next time someone thinks you are drunk, see how far that gets you] - there were no incidents of wild astronaut parties or bottle caps floating in the pools at Cape Canaveral or even Houston.

"We haven't uncovered an issue," says Lounge Scientist #87, Ellen Ochoa, a deputy director of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, who also, reportedly, did not find anybody passed out on the launch pad with a Magic Marker writings on their foreheads.

Just keep an eye out for any astronauts carrying around a bottle of Belvedere - that is all the Lounge is saying.

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

Attention COUGAR fans and well-wishers! Winter 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 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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