September 18, 2011

The Cougar Lounge - The Real World Strikes Again

"I'm not surprised we won. I'm not sure it's a big step."

- San Diego State head coach Rocky Long after the Aztecs walloped the Cougars, 42-24, last week - and after that statement was inserted into the Lounge's special CoachSpeak Translator 3000 - it turns out he meant to say he was not surprised SDSU won but was surprised they won by such a large margin.




"I thought our players had a little 'deer in the headlights' in the first set."

- Wazzu head volleyball coach Jen Greeny, after the loss to UCLA, who does not mean that the Wazzu players actually have a fawn embedded in their vehicle's headlights but rather that they have pieces of volleyballs embedded in their eyebrows and other parts of their bodies after absorbing twin skunk losses to both the Bruins and USC this weekend in Pullman.




"100 percent not."

- Oregon running back LaMichael James, answering a question about whether or not the football team is concerned about the NCAA investigation into their program and not referring to any academic grading procedures nor whether or not he likes the Nikes' uniform changes or Uncle Phil or playing SEC teams.




"As much of an honor as this is, unfortunately, it won't be the first time I've been plastered on the sidewalk in front of the Frolic Room (bar). I love it. It's the perfect blend. I'm partly theater and I'm partly getting wasted, so it's a nice combination. Right now, my twins, Gideon and Harper, are too young to understand this honor. They spend most of their time peeing and vomiting on me. But let's be honest, that's probably what's going to happen nightly to my star here outside the Frolic Room. But someday, when they're older, I'll take them here, my heart bursting with pride, and say, 'Kids, your old man was the 587th Hollywood star in the Television category!"

- Actor Neil Patrick Harris, who was awarded the 587th star in the Television category on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in Doogie Howser, M.D., How I Met Your Mother and other television series - and the Lounge knows where the celebration party was that night.









Well, there goes the undefeated season. The Washington State University football team lost their first game of 2011 after San Diego State unleashed their super-sophomore running back Ronnie Hillman and scored 28 unanswered second-half points in walloping the Cougars, 42-24. The Cougars found out the hard away during the second half against the Aztecs that they were not in Kansas/Martin Stadium anymore and this was not Idaho State nor UNLV nor any other Toto's of the collegiate football world they were playing - this was an actual legitimate Division I football team they were playing this week - and the Cougars hung with that legitimate Division I football team for three quarters…until the proverbial wheels fell off their wagon and skittered off into random locations around San Diego [a couple on a romantic walk on the beach reportedly found one of the wheels near Coronado]. The gist of the matter this week was whether or not, after beating up on extremely lowly opponents in Idaho State and UNLV, the Cougars were really any good and, in addition, whether or not they could handle life on the road any better than they have in the recent past. The answers to these questions are - so far, anyway - possibly and no. Wazzu was good enough to hold a 10-point second half lead on the road against a quality opponent, but they were not good enough on offense to score any more points from that point on and were not good enough at that point on defense to prevent San Diego State from scoring four straight touchdowns to turn what had been a close game into a blowout win. Needless to say, a bye week comes at a good time for the fragile mental psyche of both the team and Wazzu fans and well-wishers.


So perhaps, in retrospect, it was actually a good thing that the game was not available on cable networks throughout the majority of the West Coast this weekend. Unlike last week, when the Cougars were the only Pac-12 team not to have their game televised, this week, they had their game televised by The Mtn network which covers the Mountain West Conference of which San Diego State is a member. However, that network is only available nationally on a satellite network and only available on a limited basis [states where the conference members reside] on various cable networks [i.e. - no coverage in either Oregon or Washington]. In short, once again, Wazzu was essentially left out in the cold in Television Land yet again. At least this time, they sort of had company as California's game against a juggernaut Presbyterian team went untelevised and Arizona State's game against Illinois was only available on cable networks to people who purchased the Big Ten Network [BTN] - and anybody who purchases the Big Ten network knowing that that conference still calls itself the Big Ten despite having 12 conference members…well, they deserve what they get.. [It should also be noted that, in the past, there have been complaints that Fox Sports shows Midwest-based collegiate athletic events on its West Coast-based affiliates - well, in a curious deal the Big 10-11-12 made with the devil, Fox now owns 51% of the BTN - so expect more Midwest sports to come your way Westies until the Pac-12 network is up and running].

That ought to make West Coast collegiate athletic fans and well-wishers grumpy but not as grumpy as the Vegas casinos were last week when USC defeated Utah by the score of 17-14…or 23-14…or, wait…17-14…no, no…we mean 23-14…well, one of those two scores. With the boys of Troy leading 17-14 with only seconds left in the fourth quarter of their game last week, Utah was attempting a potential game-tying field goal, but the boys of Troy blocked said field goal and ran it back for an apparent touchdown - except for the fact that they received a penalty for their celebrating bench exploding onto the field of play as the player was returning the ball for the touchdown. That resulted in a flag which negated the touchdown…until later that evening when Pac-12 officials said the penalty did not negate the score and it was 23-14 after all. But that decision and announcement came too late for Vegas casinos which had already paid out on winning tickets for the Utes [who had covered with a three-point loss but with a nine-point loss at most sports books]. Hilton just said - what the hell? - and paid off both sides and took the loss which means only one thing - the slots just got a lot harder to win this week at the Hilton.

At least one guy in the country did not care about that game - or any other game for that matter - and his name was Alan Moore. He did not care because he became the oldest player to ever play in a college football game last week. Moore - who is 61 years old - kicked an extra point in the 41-19 win by Faulkner [in Alabama] over Ave Maria [in Florida] in their NAIA game. Moore, who used an old-school square-toed shoe for his XP, is a former Vietnam War veteran.

"If we had Jeff Tuel, we might have won that game!" says Lounge newcomer Fearless Freep, of the possibilities in the Cougars' football loss to San Diego State.

In the unlikely event of an emergency evacuation of game interpretations, the Lounge was expecting to hear that sentiment. Yes, Freep, the Cougars may have won this game with Tuel behind the offensive wheel but offense was hardly the problem - the problems were turnovers and defense - and Tuel does not play defense nor is there any currently reliable or accurate method of predicting that he would have not had any turnovers in this game. The most logical thinking is that Tuel may have made the game closer by, say, not turning the ball over or being sacked as many times as starting quarterback Marshall Lobbestael did and was - but Lobbestael threw for a career-high 363 yards and there is no logic in Tuel's presence causing the defense to play any better and stop Hillman from scoring four touchdowns or run for 191 yards nor avoiding crucial mistakes made on special teams. In other words, the more tangible path to for Wazzu fans and well-wishers to follow after this game is how much will the defense need to improve for their next game on the road against Colorado - a team which features a running back, Rodney Stewart, every bit as talented as Hillman? It will be a strong challenge for the coaching staff and a challenge where they will receive the assist of a bye week this week to help them prepare for Stewart.

"I love the sound of that!" says Anne Droid, upon hearing that the Wazzu soccer team remains undefeated all-time against Gonzaga after their thrilling 2-1 win in double overtime in Spokane last week.

Two schools head coach Matt Potter nearly always beats - Gonzaga and Washington - though, in Gonzaga's case, that is undefeated all-time as in never ever, ever has Wazzu lost to Gonzaga in the nearly 20 years the two schools have been competing in soccer. The matches have become closer over the years [no more 15-0 blowouts for Wazzu] but the results? They have always stayed the same - to the tune of 19-0-1 after this year's victory, which was achieved in particularly thrilling fashion as junior Eileen "Bunny" Maes knocked in a Brandi Vega corner kick with only seconds remaining in the match. That was important because it turned a tie into a road win and the NCAA selection committee always likes to see those road wins when divvying up their NCAA at-large berths to deserving teams - and deserving teams are teams which have road wins to promote. After Wazzu finishes dispatching Idaho today in Moscow, the Cougars should be sitting comfortably at 6-2-1 going into a crucial road match against always tough Santa Clara this week. Win against the Broncos on the road and maintain at least a .500 record in the upcoming brutal Pac-12 and that should be all Wazzu needs to secure an NCAA berth.


After too much celebration last week over beating Idaho State and UNLV, the Cougars, regrettably, found themselves pinned up on the College Wall of Shame. But at least they have good company.

If matters really turn ugly, the Lounge Scientists have a remedy - they have discovered 50 planets humans can move to, including a "super-Earth" that is three and a half times larger than our present planet, circles its Sun every 59 days, is potentially habitable with water and everything and is "only" about 36 light years away.

"If we are really, really lucky, this planet could be a habitat like Earth," says Lounge Scientist #85 Lisa Kaltenegger, a scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany who, reputedly, has found super-Mars, super-Venuses and super-Saturns - but no super-Uranuses.

Scientists are, however, getting tantalizing closer to discovering the new super-Lounge.




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