The Cougar Lounge - In One Ear Canal...

"Renee's goal is for me not to talk to her and I think that is a great goal."
- Wazzu head volleyball coach Andrew Palileo, explaining that, by not talking to senior setter Renee Bordelon, it will mean Bordelon is executing everything right in the Cougars' offense.
"I'm very confident in our staff and their ability to handle it."
-Wazzu head football coach Paul Wulff, who must turn over team operation duties to his staff for the next three days while her serves his NCAA-mandated three-day suspension for violations stemming from his time as Eastern Washington University's head coach.
"FSN Northwest is a valuable and dedicated partner with Washington State University and being able to extend our affiliation with FSN Northwest through 2017 is a win-win situation for both WSU athletics, the network and Cougar fans throughout the Pacific Northwest."
- Wazzu athletics director Jim Sterk, experiencing a subtle synapse malfunction in mid-spiel - the term "both" usually refers to two subjects and not three - just a handy tip for future reference.
"When he's not arresting you, Sergeant Crowley is a really likable guy."
- Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., in the famous Beer Summit with President Barack Obama after Gates was mistakenly arrested by Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge [Massachusetts] Police Department for trying to get into his own home.
The Lounge was devoid of action last week as we baked like a potato baking in the sun! [apologies to the The B52s] and found ourselves constructing dinosaurs out of flowers whilst impatiently awaiting the beginning of the 2009 collegiate sports season. While we were working on the dinosaur's tail of flowery death that would bring down a reign of terror and carnations down upon anybody who dared get close enough, ESPN announced they will expand their city affiliations by adding Dallas [September], New York and Los Angeles [both in 2010] to the one they already launched in Chicago in April. This is, of course, in addition to the well-documented arrangement they made with the SEC for coverage of that conference's athletics.
So, with ESPN pursuing and finding success [early returns on ESPNChicago are strong and promising] with innovative channels of coverage, it makes it nearly implausible that the Pac-10 under new commissioner Larry Scott go after a deal with anyone else. ESPN is, after all, is part of the Disney family of media properties and as we all know from our pleasant youthful years, Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth - especially if you are able to ink a lucrative deal with them when it comes time for your conference to have its own network deal like the SEC. It also makes it a curious decision that WSU, as noted above, has temporarily [surely until a better deal with ESPN can be worked out in the future] re-upped with Fox Sports as a "valuable and dedicated partner". Okay, well, in an effort to show how "valuable and dedicated" Fox was to Wazzu last year we are now going to count on one hand how many times Fox Sports covered the three Wazzu teams which eventually competed in post-season NCAA competition last year - ready? One. Done. Yes, out of baseball, soccer and track and field, the May 2 baseball game against Stanford was the only event lucky enough to receive that valuable and dedicated coverage from Fox Sports. But hey, cut them some slack, perhaps Fox Sports was caught off-guard by the sudden success of those programs. Soccer has only had five consecutive winning seasons including an impressive undefeated showing against rival Huskies in that time span, baseball has only had four consecutive winning seasons and the track and field program has only produced Olympian heptathlete Diana Pickler and two-time NCAA men's 400-meter hurdle champion Jeshua Anderson - so we can certainly understand how they might be caught off guard by the recent success in these programs. It is soothing to know that WSU will have eight more years of this kind of value and dedication or…just maybe…they and the Pac-10 will see the ESPN light at the end of the Fox tunnel vision.
Now if Scott and Sterk were truly savvy with foresight, we will know by checking their liquor cabinets and seeing if they already had some Knob Creek in it - before the shortage was announced last month. Of course, we can all wait until November and look like geniuses [genuii?] then and sit back comfortably in shirts proclaiming that we survived the Great Bourbon Drought of 2009 - but who was thinking ahead in April?
Fortunately, the Lounge is always thinking ahead when it comes to cheese and for that reason, we are officially imploring Washington State University's Cougar Gold Department to convince the Dairy Farmers of Canada to open up to international competition and get themselves entered in next year's Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival. It is too late for this year's event scheduled for Saturday but the Lounge consensus fully believes a tin of Cougar Gold would dominate the competition. In the meantime, one can rummage through the kitchen, locate that favorite recipe [Benson Bomber, perhaps?] and send it to Cooking With Cougars - but hurry, because the deadline is next Sunday.
The Lounge has been bombarded with snippets of delight the last two weeks but we only have room for three this week and those lucky three are the hiring of former Cougar rebounding machine Kate "Mercedes" Benz as a new assistant coach for former Wazzu head women's hoop coach Sherri Murrell at Portland State, the announcement that the Seattle/Tacoma area is tops in the country for sports clothing purchases [according to some market study] and - best for last - the Rockford Files, one of the Lounge's all-time favorite shows, is scheduled to be remade by NBC [so they can do something good…well, we will wait and see how this turns out]. We are experiencing mixed emotions though - the original with a wise-cracking James Garner was a classic and how they intend to re-invent Jimmy, Rocky, Angel, Becker, Chapman, Gandy and Lance White is going to be a tough challenge. If they do it with today's distinct lack of good humor [re: no lowbrow efforts] and proclivities toward graphic violence, it could get ugly. But even more concerning - how can you replace a 1974 Firebird?
"I am excited for fall ball to begin but sorta not excited too, know what I mean?" says Burgermeister Meisterburger of the beginning of football practice this week.
Oh yes, Meisterburger, we all know what you mean. We have all been sitting on that bench for quite some time now. This football season may not bring dramatic improvement in the number of wins but most sane Cougar fans and well-wishers are not expecting a bowl game for the team this year. Conversely, they are not expecting 69-0 and 58-0 blowouts either. So the expectations fall somewhere in between those two extremes and where, exactly, they fall, depends upon the beholder of the beauty. Two weeks ago, CougZone predicted somewhere between two to four wins with all of the games being more competitive than they were last year. Just under four weeks from now, we will find out if that is what actually occurs - as both head coach Paul Wulff and the team both hope.
"If the Cougars get into the NCAA tournament again, can they host?" asks Miss Understood about the Wazzu soccer team and their NCAA chances in 2009.
The answer is yes and no, Miss U. Of course they can host - so, yes on that part of the question - but, realistically, will they host? We would have to say no to that portion of the question. Although Wazzu has had extremely good results with the NCAA in hosting post-season events, there are three factors hampering a potential Wazzu hosting of an NCAA first and second round soccer pod. First, attendance at Wazzu matches will have to significantly increase to justify the request - we are thinking at least 2000 per match. Second, the University of Portland has a dedicated [and we do not mean that in the Fox Sports definition] stadium and field that is well-suited for this type of event. Third, with travel budgetary concerns and the difficulty of getting into Pullman and getting in inexpensively, Portland again makes more sense. So if Wazzu repeats their NCAA appearance in 2009, expect to see them again in Portland or some other nearby location if Portland is, for some reason, not selected as a site.
With the impatience levels rising as the days go by, the Lounge intrigued to see the new invention of a pressure sensitive keyboard which could adequately translate the emotions without the CAPS SCREAMING so prevalent in many message board posts Now if we can just manage to crawl to the keyboard from our Knob Creek hoarding..
Meanwhile, the Lounge Scientists are beginning to identify the problem many collegiate sports fans and well-wishers experience. They love their teams and just like most lovers, get jealous and overprotective when their teams are threatened. The hormone responsible for this, they have found in a study, is likely to be Oxytocin - the same chemical that helps in human mating rituals [known as courting, dating or wooing]. Evidently, it also can be found lubricating the human psyche with envy and gloating.
"The bottom line is that [oxytocin] doesn't only work on pro-social, positive emotions. It has a general effect on social emotions and it depends on the context," says Lounge Scientist #6, Simone Shamay-Tsoory, a cognitive scientist at the University of Haifa in Israel, who reputedly felt very good about his announcement.
The Lounge expects Cougar fans and well-wishers to be oxytocin junkies for the next three weeks.
+++++++sponsored by Clark's Restaurant+++++++++
Attention COUGAR fans and well-wishers! Summer is here 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 nine 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.