The Cougar Lounge - A Happy Knew Year

"Some people can really get on you, especially if they've been drinking or if they're trying to impress a girlfriend, something like that."
- Arizona running back Mike Bell, speaking of the dangers of being a recognized athlete around mentally challenged inebriated people.
"Talk about a hard challenge right there. If you ever tried to ski while you're wasted, it's not easy."
- USA Olympic team ski member, Bode Miller, who wondered what would happen if you combined being a recognized athlete with being a mentally challenged inebriated person?
"If he wants me to have sex with an aardvark in one of his next movies, then I will."
- Actor Johnny Depp professing his desire to work with director Tim Burton again – perhaps in a role playing the top-rated sixth grader in the country plotting sweet revenge against the top-rated seventh graders.
On a crisp New Year's Day evening with no college football games to muddy the picture, it all became clear to the Lounge clientele – we knew 2006 was setting up to be a good year. What the world needs now is nog, more nog. Everybody except, perhaps, for Bode Miller. But aside from Miller, more nog all around. Unfortunately, the nog vat is empty for the year. Nog season is over while nog astronauts travel to the planet Nog and retrieve another batch – a trip expected to take 10 months there and back, not including potty breaks. Portions of the Lounge clientele sat through the Rose Bowl last weekend amongst the myriad of mistakes then-top-rated USC made, none was more glaring than Reggie Bush's ill-fated decision to lateral the ball while running deep in the heart of Texas territory in the first half. Doctors are still working on the details but some have speculated that it was this lateral attempt – and not the eventual outcome of the game - that killed former Trojan baseball coach Rod Dedeaux. USC lost to Texas on Wednesday and Dedeaux died on Thursday, still gripping a can of chew which medicos suspected was symbolic of an urge to throttle young Bush. The Lounge clientele was somewhat upset that the Trojans choked off a 12-point lead with six minutes to play against a team as despised as Texas and caused the Pac-10 even more grief than Oregon did by losing to Oklahoma but really – how worked up can one get over the Trojans losing?
Disney offered the Reader's Digest condensed versions of the Rose Bowl and other bowl games on iTunes – essentially a 15-minute highlight package of the games – for a buck ninety-nine. But while we were busy downloading all 15 minutes of that exciting Meineke Car Care Grease Monkey Bowl action, NBC and Intel stole their thunder and announced that certain laptops with a certain microchip technology could get high resolution programming from the upcoming Winter Olympics. So we hurried over to the megalomall – because who doesn't want to see a drunken Bode Miller take on the slalom in Turin in high resolution? But then we got distracted when Father Lotto yelled that the Super Bowl was the most-watched sporting event last year and is expected to be no worse than #2 this year [World Cup year, you know]. Well, he only coherently yelled part of that sentence – he was partying with Bode Miller at the time, but half of those people watch for the television commercials anyway – unless Janet Jackson is planning on another wardrobe malfunction.
"Now that's what I'm talking about, baby!" says Kent Renton, who was the Lounge's man on the scene when the Cougars took down the Huskies in men's hoop in Seattle for the first time in a decade.
The Huskies' vaunted fast-pace style of play? The big time recruits that never give Wazzu a sniff? The pogoing Husky student section who Dick Bennett saluted last year? All pushed off the turnip truck as the Cougars – courtesy of the Bennetts and their staff – removed yet another large monkey off the back of the Cougar men's hoop program. Two years ago it was UCLA in Pauley Pavilion, last year it was Arizona in Tucson and this year – the sweetest of them all for Cougar fans and well-wishers – the Huskies in Seattle. Not merely any Husky team but a team so embroiled in hype since the end of the school's putrid football season that the Cougars were able to defeat them on the road without their starting point guard Derrick Low who was injured. The win also provides an extremely large push for Wazzu in the RPI rankings – probably vaulting WSU into the 30s from the 56 spot they resided last week. That single game – a road win against a Top10 opponent – will carry a lot of weight when it comes to NCAA selection committee time. The Lounge was subdued entering the game – nobody was even playing Patsy Cline on the jukebox – but became a tangle of frenzied emotions afterward and that's when Hot Lips Page hit the speakers. Needless to say, the Cougars will have to maintain their newfound success through the bulk of the conference season in order to woo the NCAA bigwigs at the end of February, but with depth appearing to be less of an issue that it might have been before this game, the Cougars prospects look promising for a shot at the Big Dance and certainly no worse than a NIT bid.
"How about that style of play?! Was that the sweetest structured win you've ever seen or what!?" says Turk Thrust, issuing a barb in the direction of Husky guard Brandon Roy's dissing of Dick Bennett's system of play earlier in Apple Cup week.
Yeah, Turk, it was awfully boring for the Lounge clientele to watch the Cougars methodically win against the Huskies in Seattle. We had to catch ourselves from nodding off the sleep when Wazzu went up by 12 points late in the second half and the Pac-10 refereeing crew – undoubtedly related to the crew officiating the women's game in Pullman - tried to help them get back in the game. Everybody in the Lounge had their eyelids propped open by toothpicks by the time Josh Akognon hit the game-clinching three-ball that even a few jugs of Code Red Mountain Dew was ineffective. We know Roy did not see this style of play because he had a towel over his head for the last minute or so. Maybe this boring style of winning basketball will eventually win over recruits from the state of Washington that happened to be watching the game last night – at least those that were not put to sleep by the Cougars' out-shooting, out-rebounding and out-blocking the Huskies. Also, lest we forget, certain members of the Lounge clientele have correctly pointed out that, for the 2005-06 athletic year, Seattle is now a Cougar town – soccer, football and now, men's hoop. In case a wandering tourist type is confused by this seeming contradiction, please assist said tourista by pointing him or her in the direction of the Space Needle.
We here at the Lounge know that our clientele finds joy in different locations throughout the year. Some were joyous about USC's loss in the Rose Bowl while others were joyous about Oregon's loss in the Holiday Bowl but not joyous about USC's loss. Everybody, of course, was joyous about the Cougars' win over the Huskies in basketball in Seattle this week – so, in a meek attempt to satisfy the whims of all the clientele, we present Pandora - otherwise called the Music Genome Project, where personalized music can be compiled at the flick of a wrist and click of a mouse. However, when visiting Pandora, make sure you understand that it is Music Genome Project and not Music Gnome Project – or else you may be faced with the same disastrous results that faced Father Lotto which landed him in front of an angry mob of diminutive people in Topeka. Not where you want to be in January.
Finally, for their contribution to the joy of 2006, the Lounge Scientists had somewhat of a breakthrough – they discovered that a larger brain generally translates into a smaller testicle. In bats, of course – get your mind out of the gutter! Seems as though research has turned up evidence that large-brained bats evolved with smaller testes in species where females were monogamous. But in species where females were promiscuous, small-brained bats with larger testes were required to service the demands of the females and – in theory, anyway – form alternate college football models for the BCS Taliban [although scientists have yet to independently verify the latter theory].
"Perhaps monogamy is more neurologically demanding," speculates Lounge Scientist #84 Scott Pitnick, a researcher at Syracuse University, who reportedly has a large brain and wants nothing to do with the BCS Taliban.
All this and have we mentioned that Jason Hill was coming back for the football season? We knew 2006 is going to be a good year.
+++++++sponsored by Clark's Restaurant+++++++++
Attention COUGAR Fans! Autumn is here and now you're hungry. How can you afford to go one day further without some tasty morsels from Clark's Restaurant in Grays Harbor – home of the Best Hamburger in Twin Harbors for six consecutive years? Come in for the burger, fresh homemade fries and milkshakes concocted from homemade ice cream. Go ahead, we dare you to try and pass up more than 12 varieties of hamburgers to choose from, full dinners, lunch and full breakfast served daily. Clark's Restaurant 360.538.1487. Seven miles south of Aberdeen, Washington on Highway 101. Proud supporter of CougZone. Mention this ad for a free small hot chocolate.