The Cougar Lounge - A Colonel Mustard Shortage

"Our goal is to try and get a Top 10 class."
- Wazzu women's hoop head coach June Daugherty, talking about her recent recruiting class, which had been rated as the 16th-best in the country.
"Fresno State vs. UCLA. So you can say, 'I was there.'"
- Ad copy in the Fresno Bee created by the UCLA marketing department for last week's loss to Fresno State. It worked! Many Fresnerians [Fresnites? Fresnecks?] – some estimates were near 25,000 - took UCLA up on their generous offer and traveled from their various Fresno burgs to Pasadena to watch the Bulldogs defeat the Bruins at the Rose Bowl and can now, indeed, say "I was there." Athletic director Dan Guerrero says there will be "a different approach" at UCLA from now on.
"We may put it out on campus to see if we have any soccer players who can kick."
- California head football coach Jeff Tedford whose kickoff unit has yet to have a touchback – in 21 tries - on kickoffs so far this season.
"Is it yours?"
- The question asked by alleged notorious bribing food broker Randall Rahal after intentionally dropping a $100 bill, then picking it up and offering it to a company's purchasing agent as a test to determine if the agent was open to a "business offer".
There were only two topics of conversation amongst the Lounge clientele last week – the unfortunate death of actor Paul Newman and the first image that brought to mind - which was the first line uttered by one of the Hanson Brothers - "F***ing machine took my quarter!" [which barely nipped out "I quit. I don't wanna play no more. You broke the darn car!"] – from the classic sports movie Slap Shot. Newman played head coach Reggie Dunlop in a movie that the language sensors probably gave up on in the first three minutes of the film and just slapped an "R" rating on it. Newman played some other fine roles in films that have found their place in the hall of fame in the Lounge's screening room - The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cool Hand Luke and The Hustler. While each has their special place in the Newman universe of films, none of them have the full-time element of comedy while also capturing the depression of the situation. After the most recent loss in Cougar football, many Cougar fans and well-wishers are waiting for the Cougars to begin "putting on the foil" and the consensus of the clientele is that Wazzu could use some Hanson Brothers of their own
Speaking of sports and movies, ESPN had some good news last week when they announced that they were going to cut back on scripted series, reality shows and original movies and go back to showing live sports coverage. What!? This kind of outbreak of common sense is dangerous and could lead to an epidemic of common sense across all network entities. What's next? MTV suddenly announcing that they will return to actually televising music videos? ESPN vice president John Skipper - who has already warmed the cockles of the Lounge's heart by promising that ESPN/ABC will put the foil on and take on NBC in the bidding for the 2014 and 2016 Olympics – says "We have found that what sports fans really care about, and why they come to ESPN properties, is to watch live games." Testify, John! What the Lounge clientele would have given [a variety of bodily parts and organs were suggested] to have live coverage – on television, not the internet, because some televisions come with big screens – of track and field Olympic events is still discussed in anger whenever the letters "NBC" come up
Unfortunately for John, he gets one part of his spiel wrong – that part about people going to ESPN properties. It seems the most recent numbers for August 2008 show that most sports fans went to Yahoo! Sports - at least when they were on the internet [18.7 million uniques] with ESPN a distant second at 11.9 uniques – and that was without live programming or the Olympics. But they do have an article with former Michigan State offensive lineman Tony Mandarich admitting that steroid usage was rampant in the late 1980s and early 1990s – or about the same time a University of Washington football team was claiming to be a mythical national champion under former head coach Don James.
But that was East Lansing. They do things differently in Wisconsin, where the Badger band is trying to challenge the Stanford band for the title of Most Bizarre Behavior By A College Marching Band in 2008-09. The Badgers took the early lead in the contest when the marching band was suspended indefinitely for allegations involving hazing, alcohol abuse and sexual misconduct. First, the Lounge does not understand why they were abusing poor alcohol, seems like alcohol absorbs enough abuse as it is - if they are going to pick on something, they should pick on soy or tofu, being from Wisconsin and all. The Lounge understands the repercussions from this latest incident will result in the band being put on double secret cheese probation.
Meanwhile, there was an exciting development on the national college football scene that has its roots closer to home – with Army's win over Tulane this weekend, that leaves only North Texas and Washington as the only remaining winless college football teams on the planet. The teams are in a genuine neck-and-neck battle as the not-so-Mean Green lost to juggernaut Florida International, 42-10 at home while the Hussies lost to Arizona, 48-14 on the road. This week the Hussies get to rest [simultaneously giving the rest of us a rest as well] and watch to see if UNT can lose to UL-Lafayette and take a half-game lead.
In two weeks, the Hussies will be taking on the Beavers – or is it the Beavers taking on the Hussies? – we always get that confused, so they can watch the Cougars take on the Beavers or they can just go to Jim and Patty's Coffee in Portland where they name their coffee drink sizes after the character names in Leave It To Beaver [The Beav, Wally, June and Ward – sorry, no Eddie Haskell].
"What is wrong with this team?" asks a thoroughly befuddled Bootney Farnesworth the Third from his deluxe apartment in the sky after the Cougars lost to UCLA, 28-3.
Do you have a few extra months to spare, Bootney? Well, okay, it might not be that bad, but you will definitely need to set aside a few weeks for this discussion. Actually, the Cougars have slowly – excruciatingly, slowly – improved over the past few weeks, particularly on defense and special teams, since their season opener. Three of their five losses have come against ranked opponents and in the two losses to unranked opponents – both on the road – Wazzu's rush defense did improve. That is partially a result of the opponent they were playing but also a response to the horrific rush defense they had displayed two weeks ago against Oregon. The Cougars had come into the game allowing opponents 121 yards per game rushing and knocked 21 yards off that by holding the Bruins to 100 yards rushing after UCLA was coming off a 234-yard rushing game against Fresno State. Special teams units seem to be improving at a more rapid pace as sophomore kicker Nico Grasu showed some range and accuracy with a 47-yard field goal that had plenty of distance and was right down the pipe while punter Reid Forrest continues to master the skill of plopping his boots inside the 20 – doing that three times against the Bruins. The only slacker is the offense, which has had to rebound from crucial injuries at the quarterback and offensive line positions and, consequently, has been unable to crack the 20-point barrier so far this year against a Division I team. The only significant notable achievement for the offense so far this year has been that, nearing the halfway point of the season, they have been able to maintain the school's place with the nation's second-longest scoring streak at 279 behind Michigan's 293. Other than that, the successes have been few and far between against Division I schools and does not look to get any easier with Oregon State and USC as the next two opponents on the docket before a bye week and the beginning of the month of November where possible winnable games are lurking.
"It seems like Wazzu is in this same situation every year!" blurts out Mrs. B. H. Smegma about the Cougars' NCAA chances in soccer as they enter the Pac-10 season.
Yes, it is déjà vu all over again, Mrs. Smegma, but the difference this year – at least head coach Matt Potter hopes – is that the Cougars were able to take an extensive eastern road trip at the beginning of the season that got the team in front of some potential NCAA selection committee eyeballs and which may make it beneficial for Wazzu. The problem is that the Cougars were not able to get many wins – instead amassing three ties – and ties, unlike the finality of wins and losses, are free to be interpreted hundreds of ways, and frequently those interpretations will not be known until the end of the season. Now, the Pac-10 season is upon Wazzu and there is only one result that has become crystal clear over the years – any of the Pacific Northwest-based teams in the conference will have to defeat one or more of the California-based schools in order to get a sniff of NCAA short attention spans. Those defeats will have to come early in the season too, as Wazzu found out painfully last year, when they defeated eventual national champion USC in the last regular season match of the year and then watched as the NCAA snubbed them yet again. Wazzu is 6-2-3 and looks well on their way to Potter's fifth winning season out of his six years on campus but like the case with the Hanson brothers, with UCLA, USC, California and Stanford as their first four matches of the conference season – it is time for them to "put on the foil".
The Cougars leave TinselTown behind but the Lounge does not, because These Boots Are Made For Stalking. Now, we are thinking the same thing you are [or think you are, you know…] – how does a Chicago-based site know or even care what happens in Hollywood? Especially with the torrent of bad movies erupting from there in the last decade or two? Well, because it is Hollywood and we know they are always on the up and up and deseve the utmost respect and…what's this!?
The Lounge Scientists have uncovered secret Hollywood deals made between cigarette producing companies and Hollywood studios to have their stars promote the cool factor of cigarette smoking between 1927 and 1951. So you thought Clark Gable or Bob Hope were just smoking those sticks to look good? Well, they were bringing down the coin too – but not as much as the studios or tobacco companies.
"It was a way to thoroughly embed tobacco use in the social fabric," says Lounge Scientist #51, Stanton Glantz, a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco who is reported to have conducted some of the research in a smoky pool hall.
But never mind that - the machine took our quarter. Think they show Speed Racer here?
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