"Nobody wants to play 'em. But there will be somebody out there. Somebody will crack and decide to come to Seattle."
- Seattle promoter John Hines, bemoaning the lack of teams willing to come to Seattle to play Wazzu in a manly game of men's basketball in December.
"Michigan is a good school and I got a good education there, but the athletic department has ways to get borderline guys in, and when they're in, they steer them to courses in sports communications."
- Former Michigan quarterback and current Stanford head football coach Jim Harbaugh - who decided against using the preferred Michigan football term "edumacation" in his pillorying [a big word with a lot of letters that Michigan football players might need to look up] of Big Blue's ethereal academic standards for its football athletes.
"It's sad. We held a wake. We stood around a pile of Journals and drank whiskey."
- A Wall Street Journal reporter who preferred to remain anonymous after its purchase by mogul Rupert Murdoch as he reportedly prepared for the inevitable decline of the paper's quality and independence by driving down to the corner liquor store for another bottle.
The Lounge clientele like to Google - people, places, things - all sorts of nouns. Sometimes adverbs and selected pronouns and the occasional dangling participle just to throw a monkey wrench into the bag because we like to type the word "monkey". The clientele are fairly nimble on their fingertips - for the sportingly inclined - so it came as only a small surprise that the Lounge was alerted to the fact that GIGANTIC LEGO MEN HAVE INVADED THE PLANET - AAAUUUGH!!! - RUN FOR YOUR LIVES EVERYBODY!!. No, wait, settle down, because calm Dutch onlookers [they have always been calm ever since that kid put his finger in the dike um, we mean oh never mind] immediately fingered English Lego hooligans as the culprit for the protruding plastic man. Popular legend has it that in the midst of the dog days of summer, English druids, allied with renegade Italian pasta merchants, would merrily toss in the water whatever they could find near them after downing a few pints of scrumpy - which flanked their presence at every turn. We know this because Google is our best friend in the whole world and Yahoo! is our second-bestest buddy - just like it says in that poll where they say nobody can remember what Webvan's deal was - well, except the investors.
It is just a good thing the Dutch did not blame it on the Thais because then they would be encased in pink armbands. Evidently, Thais are getting sick and tired of their police officers littering, illegally parking and arriving late to work, so they have decided to punish them by making the offending officers wear pink "Hello Kitty"-labeled armbands. Once shamefully marked with the Scarlet Pink letters of "Hello Kitty" cuteness, the Thai police department is expecting significantly more macho, perhaps James Bond-like [the good Connery one, not the crappy Lazenby one] behavior from their police force.
But they don't want to go as far as the suppression techniques used by the Chinese. The Olympics are only one year away and already people are getting the willies about Beijing. The water supply is suspect, and everything is made with the finest lead and cheap plastic that devalued money can buy by the best 52 orphan slaves that can be imported from the rural inland farms. General Motors got the heebie-jeebies and is pulling out of their Olympic sponsorship deal with NBC - but unlike the Yangtze river dolphin, their contract says they can't go extinct, they have to show up in Beijing before going belly up. In fact nobody wants to go to China - except for, wouldn't you know it - the Oregon football team. The Oregon athletic department thinks it would be a great idea to send them to China to play Boise State in front of the oppressed masses - who were, of course, oblivious to their working conditions and instead, were incessantly demanding that they be able to witness an American collegiate football game. Now if the Ducks and Broncos go at it in a proper table tennis match - that is a different package of ramen right there. Everybody else in the world, meanwhile, is thinking - couldn't they get better oppressive regime mileage by playing that game in North Korea - and, you know, staying there?
Of course, they could always save a lot of time and money [ha-ha, Oregon saving money, ha-ha, chortle, chortle snort ahem] and give off the guise of being a good football team by chugging some chocolate milk and then glugging a Gatorade afterward -that is what all the good teams do - like Washington - and the Huskies do it because a study emanating from Indiana University told them to - and if there is one thing they know about at IU, it is football. But the Lounge knows drinks and if there is anything the Huskies need after one of their games - it is a good stiff shot of tequila.
It is almost college football season and the NCAA wants to get some college football video out there to the masses in China and North Korea so they set up a deal with Veoh launching in September. Wait a minute September? Games start in August, what is the deal? Oh right, it is the NCAA we are dealing with - never mind.
"I have relieved myself now that practice has begun," says Muddy Whitecaps, speaking of the recent initiation of Cougar football practice proceedings this week.
Muddy has been holding it in - so to speak - all summer and now he can finally let it all go now that Wazzu football practices have begun in earnest. This week, the athletes were commencing the full-pad dance steps followed by yesterday's scrimmage scrum which seemed to be a draw - with the defense winning the first portion and the offense winning the second portion. That is the way it usually goes in first scrimmages - either that or the defense dominates while the offense gets up to speed later. In this case, "later" was defined as a few series later and freshman receiver Jeshua Anderson is continuing to look like he could pay dividends on the field as well as those he is expected to pay on the track next spring. Anderson is doing well in initial outings, so the only question remaining is whether or not the WSU defense in these first practices are a reasonable facsimile of the Wisconsin defense the Cougar offense will be facing in Madison three weeks from now?
"The Cougars are playing some awesome world ball!" enthuses Lounge newcomer Chet Quebec.
Chet is, of course, referring to the impressive performances put forth by the Cougar men's hoop team as well as Cougar individuals on the world stage. First, the team performed well in their Down Under tour of New Zealand and Australia, then senior guard Derrick Low exploded on the Pan Am scene in Brazil while fellow senior Kyle Weaver played solid and now junior center Aron Baynes is putting up Low-like numbers [only better] while playing for his native Australia at the World University Games in Bangkok, Thailand. Similar to Weaver, redshirt freshman Thomas Abercrombie is also putting up a solid performance for his native New Zealand team. But Baynes has become a beast on the international circuit and is averaging 18 points per game for the Aussies so far during the WUG festivities. Those kinds of numbers are probably not helping Wazzu fill that vacant Seattle date as opponents will not exactly be salivating to deal with Big Daddy Baynes or Low or Weaver or the rest of the team core. The first practice is a mere two months away and if Baynes keeps playing like this, Cougar fans and well-wishers are going to be able to fill a swimming pool with their saliva glands.
Since hoop season is right around the bend, it is fun to enter the Wayback Machine and see what people were thinking of Wazzu's chances in the Big Dance last year. Sure, we know what that Seth Spewitall guy thought but what about others who were not enamored with a school named "Oral"? Well, one of those people can be found at Sports At Random where, in the random college hoop section, the dude picks Wazzu to make the Sweet Sixteen - albeit in one of the most boring games - before the Cougars get overmatched by Georgetown. It's just a good thing he does not talk about Tajuan Porter's extra ear.
Finally the Lounge Scientists, got their dirty, grubby mitts on the world's most powerful supercomputer - the Blue Gene/P made by IBM - so they could get a jump on the competition and figure out their 2008 March Madness pool. Unlike BCS Taliban Radio Shack computers, this new IBM baby is able to make 3000 trillion calculations per second - which is handy when you come across an Oregon-Miami [Ohio] match-up or UCLA-Pitt, maybe. Unfortunately for the March Madness people at large, however, the Blue Gene/P will only be made available to real scientists. Sun Microsystems may have one later that can perform more operations per second and possibly be available to real people but will work with a different system using speedy interconnects.
"The strength of that system is definitely the interconnects," says Lounge Scientist #41, Jack Dongarra, a supercomputing professor at the University of Tennessee who reportedly is the world's most powerful supercomputing professor and eats flubber for breakfast.
Of course, supercomputers are great, but we must all remember to never download supercomputer spam and be nice to our giant Lego man overlords.
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