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April 6, 2008

The Cougar Lounge - A Bag Of Hammers

"You're forced out [of college] if you're any good. But first, you're forced in for a year."

- Stan Love, most notable as father of UCLA freshman center, Kevin Love reciting what a pain it is that athletes like his son are "forced" to remain eligible in college for a year before they are "forced" into the NBA or beyond. Everybody can now proceed directly to their crying towels and sob uncontrollably for the Loves' horrible predicament. Boo-hoo.




"What we want Ross to do is throw no-hitters through nine so we don't have to worry about closing."

- Wazzu associate head baseball coach Travis Jewett, indicating, through the use of sarcasm, that he would either like his team to score more runs in their baseball games or genuinely have pitcher Ross Humes toss endless no-hitters or possibly both.




"'Build Me Up, Buttercup' is the most controversial song we have. Some love it, some hate it. Tubas love it because it's their one chance for a solo. But a lot of others just hate it."

- UCLA bandleader Reesa Jones describing how there is too much hate in this world while not enough tuba solos.




"People who grew up around Manhattan tend to look at the world through the eyes of a New York City person. People who grew up in Des Moines, probably have a broader picture of our country."

- Advertising industry icon [he created the Bartles and Jaymes wine cooler ad campaign along with legendary characters Ed and Frank] Hal Riney, speaking the truth - at least in the pre-internet days of 1986.






The end is near. After weeks and weeks of college basketball, America is on the verge of returning to that other college sporting season - preparing for the 2008-09 college basketball season. But first, that will entail having to listen to inane CBS Sports announcer Billy Packer open his mouth repeatedly. It is a cross - along with Dick Vitale that college hoop fans are forced [now there is a genuine example of something being forced - the male members of the Love family, please take notes] to bear if they want audio along with their official broadcasts. Of course, they could always do like the Lounge does [and this is especially helpful during college football season as well] and mute the volume on your television, then substitute a nice selection of your favorite music in place of the voice of said announcer. You can still see the action - only with much more pleasant background noise. It worked marvelously during the Kansas-UNC Final Four game because while everybody else was listening to Packer brainlessly declare the game to be over just over midway through the first half, the Lounge was listening to Cheap Trick while Kansas was urging UNC to "Surrender" - it was far more apropos.


UNC fans were surely so angry they were shaking like milk when Packer made his foolish utterance [we think that it was the 4197th of his broadcasting career but Seth Davis will certainly break that record some day if he is still allowed to be on the air] but Washington fans were shook all night long [apologies to Angus and the boys] when they heard that Wazzu head men's hoop coach Tony Bennett had rejected Indiana and was instead, sticking around to cause the Huskies more pain and torment. Husky fans could not fathom why Bennett would not leave for Indiana, LSU, California or Timbuktu, allowing them to return to winning basketball games against the Cougars. But one look at Bennett's contract - which is scheduled to be revised later this year - indicates no bonus for defeating Washington seven consecutive times. Instead, Bennett received bonuses for getting his team to the NCAA, into the Sweet 16 and getting the team's GPA above 2.5. For all that, he received an extra $95,000 - a far cry from the $2-$3 mil he may have been offered for the Indiana job along with the bonus of eternal damnation from Indiana fans if he had the audacity to fail to get the Hoosiers to the Final Four within two years. The way the Lounge sees it - Bennett just saved Indiana from having anything said about them by Billy Packer - they should send him some cards and flowers.

Meanwhile, there was a gigantic upset in the NOTY - aka, the Name of the Year contest - last week as the tournament's top seed Destiny Frankenstein went down with a pitchfork thud to Davidsonesque darkhorse 10-seed Spaceman Africa [who the wily Lounge had selected as our darkhorse]. Unfortunately, there was bad news for our local boy [from Spokane] Charley Willard Horse Dick, who lost to the less-superior-creative-named foe. It's now Spaceman's world and we're all renting it from him.

In non-March Madness news - yes, there was a microscopic amount of that - nobody seems much interested in boycotting the 2008 Olympics in Beijing this summer, but some countries seem to be considering boycotting the opening ceremonies - which are generally perceived as a big, warm, fuzzy pat on the host country's back - to protest China's handling of the Tibet situation as well as general human rights shortcomings. France is already talking about it, the USA is talking about it and Germany's leader has seen enough and already decided to cut to the chase and will skip the Olympics altogether. Maybe India's Rural Olympics can be moved to summer?

The Cougar soccer program - which has been knocking on the NCAA door in four of the five years head coach Matt Potter has been at the helm and gave 2007 national champion USC their final defeat last season - lost two assistant coaches in the off-season. Longtime goalkeeper coach Lindsey Jorgensen will be pursuing advanced education opportunities while Erin Otagaki made a lateral move to Purdue, where she had coached prior to coming to Wazzu. The Cougars have already hired Jason Goodson, an Olympic Development Program Region IV head coach, as one replacement and Goodson will continue to attempt to extend the Sereno Soccer Club pipeline to Pullman. The powerhouse Arizona soccer club is where Potter came from when he was first hired as an assistant coach and where Goodson was youth director for the past three years.

Before we dive headlong into the strawberry-kiwi Jell-o bin of Wazzu athletics, we have one very important announcement to make - Comedy Central has indicated that they will begin working on producing David Alan Grier's Chocolate News [if the name sounds familiar, maybe this will help clear the cobwebs out - Grier is one of the former cast members of the hit comedy series In Living Color]- a new comedy series that will spoof the magazine-news-show format by tackling such rampant problems as steroid usage in little leaguers and medical operations to separate black and white conjoined twins. The premiere episode is scheduled for early 2009.

"I don't see what the big deal about Indiana was - throwing money at somebody never works in the long run - it's the people you work with that make the difference," says Muddy Whitecaps, speaking for the entire Lounge clientele.

This is just an excerpt from the speech Muddy gave to the Lounge clientele the day Tony Bennett officially told the Hoosiers to take a hike and while there was some hesitation from Father Lotto when both the numbers $2 million and $3 million were bandied about [after all, that can buy a lot of Girl Scout cookies - possibly even a lifetime supply of Samoas], in the end, he came to his senses [a rare occurrence] along with everybody else in the Wazzu universe and the chorus of approval for Bennett's actions was deafening. Not only does Bennett have the Wazzu men's hoop program heading in the right direction, he has some schools in the rest of the conference acting scared [Exhibit 1 - Cal firing their coach who got them to the NIT and making a statement hire; Exhibit 2 - OSU trying to make a statement hire; Exhibit 3 - Husky fans beginning to get frustrated, tossing insults and hoping Bennett leaves to go somewhere - anywhere but Pullman]. But most of all, he has instilled three very tangible elements into the Wazzu men's hoop program - that you can win with kids who are not the most athletic but have the right character and academic makeup to embrace his system [see: 2008 NCAA Sweet 16 appearance and Robbie Cowgill being named Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year], that he is not a one-hit wonder [see: back-to-back NCAA appearances and highly touted incoming recruiting class] and that Wazzu can - yes, indeed, can - compete on the national stage for a national championship in men's basketball [see: the first 10 minutes of the game against North Carolina]. That last element will obviously need to be improved upon for the Cougars to take the next logical step in the procession, but with Bennett at the helm, it may only be a matter of time - and patience - with fending off the superficial money-throwing suitors.

"Jeshua is the man!" effuses Lounge newcomer Fred the Oyster, who has become enamored with the athletic triumphs of football/track star Jeshua Anderson and is now an Anderson groupie.

The Lounge has been on the Anderson train since it left the California station and arrived at the Wazzu station last year. Anderson was the national record-holder in the 300-hurdles in high school and torched the field in the California high school championships - no small feat in a state with the embarrassing wealth of athletic talent that the Golden State has - then came to Wazzu and scored a few touchdowns for the Cougar football team as a receiver last year. But that was a mere prelude to his track season at WSU which has begun which him already claiming the freshmen school records in both the indoor 400-meters and outdoor 400-meter hurdles. Anderson claimed the hurdles crown last week with a 49.68 clocking at the Texas Relays - that was the fourth-fastest in school history and only a bit over four-tenths of a second off the school record of 49.27 set 40 years ago by Boyd Gittins at altitude in South Lake Tahoe. Anderson, who, in case you missed it, is a true freshman - will likely have a few more tune-ups before making his dual meet debut in the Apple Cup track meet against the Huskies on May 3 in Pullman.


So it's Kansas and Memphis in the national championship game tomorrow night - who saw that coming? Not the Lounge - we had UCLA and UNC in our final bracket - but seeing how the Jayhawks and Tigers play basketball [no defense], it will certainly be a knock-down drag-out affair between the two teams and we presume, their fans, who we suggest should do everybody a favor and just go on over to Smackcaster and get it our of your system there. Rah.

Finally, it is unlikely that the Lounge Scientists really needed to conduct a study on internet addiction being a psychiatric disorder but since the affliction was not yet officially recognized in the American handbook of recognized psychiatric disorders [along with March Madness, naturally] - it was surely a mere formality [and don't call anybody Shirley]. The symptoms of internet addiction - like we need to tell you - consists of some primary components, such as anger/tension/depression if computer access is lost, desire for better computer equipment or more hours of usage and then what we like to call the Final Four - argument, lying, social isolation and poor achievement.

"Unfortunately, internet addiction is resistant to treatment, entails significant risks and has high relapse rates," says Lounge Scientist #22, Jerald Block, a psychiatrist at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, who reputedly also did not have Kansas and Memphis in the title game.

There is, of course, only one way to find out possible cures to internet addiction - Google them.





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

Attention COUGAR fans and well-wishers! Spring 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 ice cream.


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