June 7, 2009

The Cougar Lounge - Snark-Infested Waters




"Our guys get an offer from Islamabad and they're gone."

- USC head men's hoop coach Tim Floyd after forward Marcus Johnson - despite receiving a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA - announced his decision to turn pro.




"We think it is safe right now and structurally sound. It's just in disrepair."

- University of Washington athletic director Scott Woodward describing the paradox of Husky Stadium.




"Everything they did was right, everything we did was wrong."

- Ohio State head baseball coach Bob Todd after Florida State set or tied 18 NCAA records in obliterating and eliminating the Buckeyes from the NCAA tournament, 37-6. Guess that big OSU athletic budget does not help score runs or get good pitching.




"They've lost their peers. They are substantially different from everyone that they know."

- Susan Bradley, of the Sudden Money Institute in Florida, describing the change undergone by recent $232 million Powerball winner Scott Wanless and, for that matter, anybody else who knowingly chooses to drink Jagermeister.








While everyone is sitting around wondering if Nike will make Wazzu's new football uni's - scheduled to be unveiled this week - to be MC Hammer parachute pants or if Uncle Phil is too busy giving his new athletic director a foot massage, the Lounge submerges ourselves in snark-infested waters. We have obtained permission from the teacher to be absent from our brains for the next few sentences in order to discuss how it is possible for Wazzu football player Xavier Hicks to be in trouble with the long arms of Johnny Law again despite being suspended from the first three games last season for a previous infraction which had resulted after he was released from jail for another infraction before that - and it was not illegal parallel parking. Nobody - not even Father Lotto, who frequently engages in subterfuge - seems to quite understand how it was possible for one person to have that many piñata parties with the Pullman police over the course of the last two years.


In fact, it is considerably easier to understand why Bank of America has pulled their U.S. Olympics sponsorship [because money is tight and sponsorships are a luxury unless one happens to live in Alabama and like college football, then it is a necessity] and Wazzu's men's basketball roster changes last week [Boeke and Witherill - for different reasons - were never going to be able to competitively play in the Pac-10 and Enquist deserved a schollie].

Maybe what Hicks should have done to avoid getting into this mess in the first place is offer the Pullman police a free goat like Mitsubishi did in New Zealand. Goats eat everything and maybe the goat would have eaten all of Hicks' police paperwork and they could have started from square one. Then Hicks would have had a new lease on life, the police would have had goat to eat potential criminals and Nike would have had a new model for their football uniform ideas.

In the midst of all that hubbub, the 2009 schedule for Wazzu soccer was announced and the Cougars will have another tough road to hoe if they want to return to the NCAA tournament for their first-ever back-to-back tourney berths in program history. Similar to last year's schedule which sent the Cougars on the road for their first seven matches of the season, head coach Matt Potter has constructed another challenging line-up which will include nine matches against NCAA tournament teams from last year, including eight of their 11 non-conference matches on the road. Although daunting - it is a formula which worked in getting the Cougars into the NCAA last year and which figures to work again this year, provided they get enough wins in both those non-conference matches and Pac-10 play.

It is a good thing that the Cougars are traveling to Florida for one of their matches, because then they can load up on bacon since Florida has one of the top 10 locales for bacon-loving adults in America. Of course, most of the rest of the places are in Tennessee, which Wazzu will skip this year and people can make their own decision on the merits of that travel itinerary.

The digital television transition is scheduled to take place this week and KQUP in Pullman [channel 24] will not be making the trip with the rest of us. A fancy remote control made of chocolate has been sent to express our condolences.

"That was fun, let's do it again!!" says Ron Devious of Wazzu's recently completed baseball season which resulted in the Cougars' first NCAA berth in 19 years.

It is true, Ron, that Wazzu enjoyed a truly superb run under head coach Donnie Marbut and there is no doubt that Marbut should have been named as the Pac-10 Coach of the Year which went, instead to Arizona State's Pat Murphy, who entered the season with an official NCAA reprimand. Nevertheless, the clientele consensus is that the Cougars will be making a return trip to the NCAA tournament - possibly as soon as next year, depending on who decides to return to the team and not go pro. But whether or not certain athletes turn pro or not, Marbut has successfully instilled a team-first attitude along with a Potteresque scheduling philosophy to capture two of the most fleeting elements necessary for finding the pot of gold known as post-season play. With a good chunk of the team expected to return next year, nobody would be too surprised if Wazzu made it to back-to-back appearances. Maybe then the rest of the Pac-10 coaches could see their way to voting Marbut as Coach of the Year without him having to stage a fake fight.


"How will Wazzu do at the NCAA this year?" asks the suitably named Question Mark of the Cougars' chances at the NCAA Track and Field Championships this week.

Well, Mark, we do not want to sound too overconfident but the Lounge clientele is confident that sophomore men's 400-meter hurdler Jeshua Anderson should be repeating as the national champion. Aside from Anderson, junior high jumper Trent Arrivey should be scoring some points for Wazzu, as should senior sprinter Justin Woods. After that, it will be a contest to see which Cougar records a PR to put himself or herself into point-scoring contention - the Lounge's money is on women's junior 1500-meter runner Lisa Egami.

With baseball season officially over for the Cougars for the 2009 season, it is time to celebrate and what better way to celebrate than to have a dance off ?

Meanwhile, the Lounge Scientists in honor of Wazzu's stellar baseball season have volunteered to commission a study and find out why curve balls are so hard to hit. The results are back and the answer is that the spinning movement of the ball from a batter's central point of vision to a peripheral point of vision creates the appearance of a change of direction to the brain.

"This transition may be why such balls appear to change directions suddenly," says Lounge Scientist #27, Arthur Shapiro, a psychologist at Bucknell University, who reputedly had plenty of time to conduct research since the Bison did not make the NCAA tournament this year.

With that research complete, scientists can now turn their full attention to goats.




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