June 22, 2008

The Cougar Lounge - The Penny Ante Desert

"My feeling is you need a tough enough schedule to prepare you for the Pac-10 but also helps build confidence and experience for our team to compete in a grueling nine-game schedule."

- Wazzu athletic director Jim Sterk, explaining his football-scheduling rationale.




"They didn't offer him a full scholarship but they invited him to come out. It was not so much an invited walk-on. It was more than that. They're not going to treat him like a walk-on."

- Arizona high school football coach Roy Lopez, speaking about a running back who de-committed from San Diego State in order to walk-on at Arizona State, evidently with glowing promises of not treating him like a walk-on.






"Her behaviour was 'unacceptable' and she would not be admitted to future garden parties."

- Spokesman for English school, Magdalene College, after a female participant from Cambridge tossed out the rulebook in the annual jelly-wrestling tournament and threw a "wobbly" at her opponent. [Notice how we put the "proper" English "u" in "behaviour" which is unrelated to the "u" in "unacceptable"]






When a person says "it's college football season" to another person, it could be a statement made either in jest, desperation or some form of obsessive-compulsive behavior [non-English variety], but either way, if the statement is made in the month of June, it is in one's brain only. However, the Lounge has one surefire method of determining when it is nearing time for college football season and that is when June has not ended and Notre Dame has already managed to get themselves into the news. Coming off a 3-9 season and having not won in post-season since the internet was just for porn and Mapquest - that is quite the accomplishment. But leave it to the Leprechauns to find a way and the way they found was to have their network - NBC, in case you have forgotten, and we couldn't blame you for forgetting a 3-9 team - announce that they are renewing their exclusive television contract deal with the Leps. You know the one - that's the deal where NBC, for reasons, ultimately, known only to their overpaid, synapse-challenged executives, decided they would funnel all their college football department money [approximately $1.5 mil per year] to one university out of the 119 that play football allowing Notre Dame to, effectively thumb up their noses at the rest of the country and gum up the works of the BCS Taliban and a potential college football playoff. Last year, NBC got decent ratings for their coverage of a 3-9 team because everybody was tuning in to see which service academy team the Leps were going to lose to next, but the new agreement through 2015 includes coverage of eight games per year and that means…wait for it….seven from South Bend and one from a "neutral" [hahahahaha…neutral….hahahaha] site game. It just so happens that one of those "neutral" site games will be played against Wazzu in San Antonio on October 31, 2009. That's right - Halloween. By that time, the Leps will have made so much money from NBC that they won't need to dress up like ornery men with buckles on their shoes and hit up the people of Texas for free candy.


Some people have intimated to us over the years that certain members of the Lounge clientele, if not a goodly majority, are expressing hatred toward the good people of Notre Dame and that there is not a spot in their hearts for the Leprechauns. This is only partially true. For instance, the phrase "spot in their hearts" is very nearly true - some members of the Lounge clientele have a silver bullet and then, possibly, a wooden stake that they would like to drive through a "spot in their hearts" when referring to Notre Dame. But this sentiment invariably revolves around money, greed and unsubstantiated reward - such as the kind received when coming off a 3-9 season. The anti-Leprechauns sentiment generally derives from the perception that there is no sense of fair play when Notre Dame and football is involved - they get their own network, cut their own post-season deals with their own criteria and all in a country that is built on democracy not dictatorship. Notre Dame is like China. Or maybe like North Korea without the crazy leader…although that may be debatable. Whatever the case, it is somewhat safe [you never know with Father Lotto…] that no member of the Lounge clientele feel in the same way about Notre Dame as the Austrians feel about the Germans.

In fact, with this week's cinematic release of Get Smart, some members of the Lounge clientele were researching whether or not some of those gadgets from the original TV show might be useful in a Notre Dame-espionage way, but shoe phones are outdated and cone of silence-technology has not yet been adapted to deal with the nefarious Notre Dame and NBC. It all makes sense since we discovered that brainstorming has been outlawed and must now be replaced by "thought showers".

But lest anybody thinks we are picking on poor, downtrodden NBC, which has to stoop so low as to re-sign a 3-9 team to a contract lasting another seven years in the hopes that they eventually do get to and win in the post-season again, we point out that some tentacles of NBC are well-intentioned, specifically NBCU [that stands for NBC-Universal and not NBC-Unacceptable] and their alignment with WCSN [which stands for World Championship Sports Network and is found here. But don't get too mushy with NBC because, of course, it is still all about the money - NBC bought a significant portion of WCSN before they made the deal - still, any live coverage of Olympic action that China allows us to see is better than Notre Dame football.

"Is the guy even human? Seriously, is he?" asks Roger Wilco, seemingly implying that freshman hurdling sensation Jeshua Anderson may, in fact, be some sort of alien being.

Hmmm…a good question Roger, we don't know many humans who make light 400-meter runs in 50.19 seconds with hurdles in the way and after smoking the field at the 2008 USA Junior Track and Field Championships last week, it does raise the eyebrow of extraterrestrialism - a word we just made up this moment. But seriously, Roger, with Anderson winning the NCAA title two weeks ago in a school-record 48.69, then taking the junior title last week in 49.28, he does look poised to make a good run [perhaps heavier than his light run] at a potential berth on the USA Olympic team that will be sent to China in August. Anderson has yet to crack into the low 48's and he may not need to do so, but he will certainly need to be prepared for stiff competition at the Olympic trials in Eugene, beginning this week. Judging by the times posted so far this year, Anderson is currently on the bubble with a few others in contention for the third of three spots available for the men's 400-meter hurdle event and with the way he is running this year, he has a good shot at getting a ticket to Beijing.

"All this stuff is twistin' my melon, man!" wails Mrs. Sequitur who is immediately met with delusion and the appropriate - "I'll have the chicken pot pie, please" - comment of Mr. Non-Sequitur.

The Sequiturs are talking - we think - about the various issues currently swirling around Wazzu football. There are the good issues of the stadium scoreboard being ready in time for the Pullman home opener against California on September 6 and a rumored big-falutin' media rights holder flying around in a holding pattern in the Crab Nebula at last report - both good things no matter how a Cougar fan and well-wisher looks at it. Then there are the negatives of off-field issues involving some players who, as of this moment, are still on the team and others who are not. A general overview of the situation was provided in a recent news story in the Seattle Times that, ultimately, skewered the previous coaching staff regime. The Lounge reiterates - and this is the consensus of the Lounge clientele - that new head coach Paul Wulff receives the standard one-year honeymoon period any new coach receives. In this case, it runs through November and at that time, he unofficially begins his "era". Up until that time, he is primarily working with situations that were not of his doing and he and the team will have to do the best they think they can in those situations. Get back to us in December for a more genuine assessment of the state of Cougar football.


Now that you have grabbed that chunk of salt and rubbed it on your wounds, it is time to apply the tequila and that comes in the form of The Meaningful Collateral. As with most sports-blog style sites out there, this is a mish-mash of humorous vignettes, but what really puts TMC over the top - at least for this week - is the mention of the master blaster and main man of funk, George Clinton. Now, normally, all one has to do is mention George to get good play, but TMC goes one further, they not only mention George, they find a YouTube video and a funny remark about the baseball term of pepper, with George throwing down the fake gauntlet - "The man don't want you to play pepper - you gonna listen to the man? No way, George! We're not listening to the man! We're listening to the P-Funk! Splank!

Since we have the tequila handy, the Lounge Scientists wanted to have a "shot" at it and "whoa Nellie!" [yep, that clinches it, college football season is really just around the corner], it looks like tequila - which, apparently, has just the right mix of atoms [something many humans have been saying for a long time] helps the semiconductivity of diamonds when they injected the heated vapor of 80-proof white tequila in a low-pressure chamber and got the required carbon deposits desired for their diamond structures.

"Some kinds of tequila seem naturally to have the right mix of atoms," says Lounge Scientist #80, Javier Morales, a researcher at the University of Nueva Leon in Mexico, who reportedly likes his margaritas on the beach with a pinch of diamond.

Next test liquid up in the lab - vodka.





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