The Cougar Lounge - A Nutty Five Spot

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"I think it's the greatest story in college basketball right now."
- Another former Wazzu head men's hoop coach, this time Kelvin Sampson, referring to the renewed good fortunes of Wazzu's program after years of neglect.
"Today was our 13th practice and we don't have an out-of-bounds play in yet. We don't have a zone play in yet. So we have a lot of things to do between now and our first game."

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- UCLA head men's hoop coach Ben Howland, two weeks ago, bemoaning the early start of the hoop season. Since then, it appears the Bruins now have a few plays called "Get Kevin Love the ball, options 1 through 9.
"There's nothing I can do. I don't know if we can hire an attorney…is there a black hole attorney? You can't take a black hole to court."
- Musician Chris Walla, of the band Death Cab For Cutie complaining about the gub'ment seizing his hard drive, making it effectively disappear into a black hole. The Lounge thinks you can take a black hole to court – you'll just never return – and then risk spending an unknown amount of time in a wormhole loaded with attorneys.
A beautiful mansion was erected at the confluence of the rivers, but Timmy knew this was not the same mansion that he remembered from his time as an innocent 10-year-old fez impersonator in Morocco. This was an evil robot mansion, inhabited by the feared Giant Strawberry People, who were bent on taking over the Earth one margarita at a time and making Dennis Dixon take a billiards class with Britney Spears. No, no, no, that's not right….damn this Hollywood writer's strike! All the good ideas to have Spears eaten by aliens will have to wait while the writers lay around looking at cloud bunnies. Fortunately, there are still and always have been Green Acres and Munsters reruns on Nickelodeon, so we do not have to worry about a current writer's strike. Plus, judging by the quality of recent shows on network television, we say - take the winter off, it's okay by us! – and if that means a shorter Academy Award Show – a gravy boat bonus! More time to add hoop season viewing choices.
But less TV also means more time for people to spend in front of their computers searching for something they have not seen before – like, maybe a giant strawberry, but never mind us… - or maybe a new social network. Yahoo unveiled yet another social network – this one called Yahoo! Kickstart that will be specifically designed for career networking beginning at the college level. It appears to be a potentially useful company but we suspect the fellow from Wazzu named Astro Tool might encounter some roadblocks in career options if he sticks with that name.
Of course, if Astro Tool had brainstormed and been responsible for Radiohead's recent album release where they allowed consumers to determine their own price for the music, he might already be labeled a visionary. Radiohead's efforts – after preliminary numbers came in – indicated that a new album from a moderately well-known band might be worth approximately $2-3 to them – less than what is the current price but good news for the artists because all that moolah would be for them and they could have the relief of not having to watch all their money disappear into the black hole of record company profiteering [no relation to the official gub'ment black hole].
Which is partially because there is not enough money for those black holes when it is busy disappearing into the real estate black hole [this might also explain why people only want to pay $2.25 for an album – they're on a strict budget diet…"Okay, let's see honey, $2.25 for the new Radiohead CD, $500 for food and $2400 for the mortgage payment – that should about do it for the month – tell Timmy we'll talk to Santa about that giant strawberry he's been whining about." According to a recent study by some real estate people who either had a] too much time or b] too much money on their hands, this may be more of an issue in the Bay Area than it is in, say Pullman. They discovered that – surprise, surprise – Bay Area housing prices are the least affordable [Palo Alto leading here with a $1.7 million average home value] in the Pac-10 while those in Pullman are the most affordable at $285,539. The thing to do, of course, is to sell that Radiohead CD on eBay and move to Muncie, Indiana [home of Ball State and $150,000 average home values]. Or perhaps Colombia [$140,100] but then that is only if you want an extra chance of being mowed down at the market in a drug cartel shootout.
England is probably not a good place either – first, there is the dental hygiene thing and then taxes and then, on top of that mistaken strippers. But on the other hand, if we sent Dennis Dixon there, he could learn how to play proper snooker.
"Now that was what I was waiting for! I can sleep this week," says Mr. Stinkster after returning from the Cougars' season-opening men's hoop win over Eastern Washington.
The entire Lounge was aglow and awash in giddiness last week after the first men's hoop game of the season – the men's hoop season tickets are nearly sold out and even the Fox Sports announcer was excited, saying the Cougars were "about to open up the 08-09 season". It was "only" EWU, the first half was somewhat sluggish offensively and the defense broke down in the second half and allowed the Eagles to score more than 19 points and crest the 40-point barrier [as punishment, head coach Tony Bennett could make the team go out to breakfast, lunch and dinner with Seth Davis, Dick Vitale and Fran Fraschilla] but otherwise it was the typical Wazzu win – only without the Ivory Clark swats into row 10. The usual suspects – Big Daddy Baynes, Low, Cowgill, Weaver and Rochestie – provided the bulk of the scoring – but glimpses were caught of Thomas Abercrombie coming off his redshirt and newcomer Stephen Sauls as well as senior depth Jeremy Cross and Chris Henry. But perhaps best of all for the team was seeing a venue full of people – cheering for them and not the opposition – in a non-conference game. 10,215 was the official attendance number – which puts it about 8-9,000 above what they had been used to getting in these types of games in the past. Now that the feel-good times are over though, it is time for Bennett to take his team out for their first road test at Boise this week [or "13th of next Tuesday" as the Fox Sports guy would say]. A Top 10 playing in front of adoring fans at home is one thing, but a Top 10 team playing in front of fans who now know you are a Top 10 team and would like you to lose is quite another.
"They finally chopped down those Trees!" exults Puford Busser after the Cougars' win over Stanford last week.
Well that was one weird streak that probably had to end sooner or later, Puford. The Lounge is, of course, talking about the strange three-game winning streak the Trees had over WSU in Pullman, dating back to last decade. But that was tossed out the window with a 33-17 win that was sealed in one of those Ziploc bags and put in the freezer when Husain Abdullah returned a 55-yard interception for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Wazzu is now 4-6 on the year with a slim hope at a bowl game and Cougar fans and well-wishers can now begin sending thank-you cards to UCLA head coach Karl Dorrell for choosing to start stiff Patrick Cowan and not-stiff, Dennis Dixon-clone Osaar Rasshan at quarterback in Pullman last month. That decision allowed the Cougar defense to tee off on Cowan and give them the confidence they needed after the horrific Oregon loss. Now, with two games remaining, the Cougars still harbor slim, though unlikely, bowl hopes, which is more than they could say in the middle of October.
If there is anyone who knows the survival odds of something, it appears as though it is the grim reaper at Magazine Death Pool. He won't be able to help out with Wazzu's bowl game chances but he will be able to tell you about certain magazines you might have heard of like Spin [20% survival odds] and some others that you may not have heard of and/or may count yourself lucky to have never heard of like Tango and Hollywood Life - both run by a "crazy woman founder".
Finally, for those Cougar fans and well-wishers who wish to remain optimistic about the football team's bowl chances or the soccer team's NCAA tournament chances, the Lounge Scientists have found the source of their optimism in the brain – it lies in the amygdala [emotion central] and something called the rostral anterior cingulated cortex [rACC] – both were activated when subjects in a study were told to imagine a positive future event.
"What's striking is that these appear to be the same areas implicated in depression," says Lounge Scientist #82, Elizabeth Phelps, a researcher at New York University, where the study originated, and who was reputedly feeling very optimistic about the chances of her research getting funded for further study.
So it is almost official – optimism and depression all come from the same brain faucet of emotions. Now, it is just a matter of fitting in the Giant Strawberry People somewhere in that plot line.
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Attention COUGAR Fans! Autumn has arrived and you have the hunger. 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 eight 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 ice cream.