"It's nothing but writing, you know? It's just a little Web site."
- Arizona men's hoop player Jawann McClellan dismissing the teen phenomenon known as MySpace.
"We have three types of fans – 12 million girls ages 6-20 play soccer year-round. That means 11-plus million soccer moms and 11-plus million soccer dads. Our fans live in the suburbs and have lots of disposable income."
- Pat Ruta, co-owner of the New Jersey Wildcats, purporting to be North America's top women's professional soccer team.
"They have this iconic status, but they're not a particularly good band now, are they? They're pretty ropey."
- Queen drummer Roger Taylor expressing outrage that the Rolling Stones are charging up to $450 for a concert ticket.
Great Auntie Lounge passed away last month and in her will, left the Lounge all the big words in the dictionary [as well as a few not in the dictionary]. Realizing the windfall, Father Lotto immediately began extortion proceedings on all the alcohol-oriented [or would that be disoriented?] words in the book. Not just the easy ones like "drunk" and Bode Miller's favorite – "wasted". But some of the other ones like "woozy," "tipsy" or "swacked" as well as some of the international terms like "shickered" or "tiddly". We are no "beer fuehrer's" here in the Lounge, we will accept any terms as long as they are our terms….hey, that aroma…allriight, who opened their lunch?
That must have been UCLA. The Bruins made it all the way to the NCAA championship game and then promptly stunk it up in the title game. They even had Amazon.com all rigged up and rarin' to go as the e-tailer mistakenly sent out e-mails last week proclaiming "UCLA Wins" in anticipation of the result in a parallel universe. This result, of course, would come as news in this universe as the Bruins were chomped by the Florida Gators. Still, it was not bad for the Bruins nor the Pac-10 – make that the much-maligned Pac-10 – to get into the title game in the first place, especially with a bunch of freshmen and sophomores. It was even better if you happened to be in Vegas or Reno in March and happened to put down a chunk of change on Florida. Sure, everybody was talking about that big George Mason money [300-1] if George had won the whole enchilada but nobody would have sneered at the 20-1 odds you could have had with Florida at the beginning of March Madness, right? We did not think so.
Let us not forget the poor NIT, the Lounge certainly has not. The NIT gets a bad rap with people taking shots at them like the winner is the 65th-best team in the country while it is pretty clear that the winner is more in the 25th to 30th-best team in the country although this year's winner – South Carolina - beat the NCAA winner - twice. Nobody in the Lounge likes the fact they went to 40 teams and would allow sub-.500 teams if necessary. Nobody likes that. Let us repeat just for the record – nobody. But everybody does like the format of rewarding good teams that were overlooked for the Big Dance with a few extra games. There is nothing wrong with that, it can be fun and if you are a true-blue geek, you can even log on to ESPN next year and get a fully-streamed live NIT game from one of the official school sites that are supported by the XOS technology [In the Pac-10, that would be Arizona – of course, Buddha forbid the Wildcats ever deigned to lower themselves to play in the NIT. Imagine the snobbery that would be gushing forth from Tucson about the tournament if that ever occurred].
"I knew the offense would wake up and smell the coffee," says Salty Cheever, who always gets that mixed morning rush from the salt air of the ocean and the caffeinated sugar pulsing through his veins, talking about the Cougars' third spring scrimmage.
What did we tell you, Salty? The Lounge has a feeble memory – t'is painfully true – but that mysterious offensive juggernaut suddenly appearing on Martin Stadium turf in last week's scrimmage – we could have sworn we were psychic and heard about that from our magic Palouse 8-ball. Coaches like everybody to do well and in spring, as they say in the seamy belly of the underworld – "that can be arranged." So it is no surprise that, after two weeks of the Cougar defense dominating scrimmages, the offense miraculously comes to life – voila! – and quarterbacks other than Arkelon Hall [ideally, in the perfect world, but not the Amazon.com parallel universe world, the anointed starting quarterback] suddenly start throwing touchdowns. Really now, Salty, this was all in the book – Chapter 37, we believe – on manipulating practice results by Fester G. Willikers who goes by the alias of Teddy, the Wonder Lizard. Even knowing all that, the clientele was predictably soothed to see some offensive production and agreed to put down their pitchforks and torches for another week until the final scrimmage of the spring.
"I do believe that I will be seeing something Cougariffic in the next few months!," says Ron Devious with that telltale glint in his eye.
What the Lounge knows that the public does not know, is that Ron is hiding a personal secret. No, not the one involving mobile billiard tables in China - the one where he thinks Wazzu is going to have a national champion in track and field in June and the name of that champion is going to be Pickler. He won't say which Pickler because he always gets them confused - twins will do that to a person - but that is the thought he is harboring and has currently tied up to the dock in his head. The Pickler they call Julie won the heptathlon at the Texas Relays and it would be easy to suppress a yawn and say – "Ho-hum, yet another major win by a Cougar athlete on a national stage against premium competition." – only this one happened to be in Pickler's home state [the second consecutive victory there for the Pickler family in this competition – her sis won it last year] and she scored 5,734 points – the second-most in school history and an amount that automatically puts her in the NCAA Championship in June. There is even the possibility that the Cougars could go 1-2 Pickler in the NCAA's but that would require Diana to get healthier. That would also require that the Picklers do something about Arizona State's Jacquelyn Johnson, who happens to be the NCAA defending national champion in the heptathlon. But that will all be sorted out at the Pac-10's. Meanwhile, Ron's secret is safe with us. Oops.
How to become a true leader of millions of minions has always escaped the Lounge. True leaders spew forth some form of inspiring rhetoric, sometimes have armies of same-thinking lemmings and occasionally have fancy hats. Such is the case with the Pope – only he also has a fancy car – the Popemobile, which puts his Pontiffness above the writhing masses and he can get the cardinals to change the snow tires now that winter is over. But it is that hat that makes the Pope stand out – well, the combo of the hat and the car, but work with us here – and we have always coveted [yes, we admit it – openly coveted!] a Pope hat. Now, thanks to enterprising Canadians [have we mentioned that we like Canadians] from the wayback machine [a year and a half ago] at the - Gauntlet, we can have our very own Pope hat and, as they say, be the leader of the Roman Catholic tribe. Only without the car.
Finally, since we are on a religious theme this week, Easter is fast-approaching and that can mean only one thing – massive amounts of chocolate from the Easter Bunny, who is very religious in his distribution of chocolate, having no qualms about chocolatizing his own eggs and giving them out to strange [sometimes groggy] kids in the park. The Lounge Scientists, realizing the solemn nature of anything associated with chocolate, quickly sprang into action, like any bunny would who had to chocolatize his eggs for the big day, and discovered that eating chocolate may decrease the risk of dying – at least if you are an elderly Dutch man, anyway. Scientists conducted tests on such men and found that those who had consumed more cocoa were likely to live longer and have lower blood pressure, most likely due to the cocoa-containing anti-oxidant chemicals called flavanols.
"Flavan-3-ols have a positive effect on endothelial function improving the elasticity of blood vessels so that they respond better to changes in blood stream. They also improve insulin sensitivity," says Lounge Scientist #88 Brian Buijsse, a scientist representing the Dutch National Institute for Public Health, who nearly tied his tongue in a knot while speaking that sentence until a lab assistant came to the rescue with a Krackle.
Alas, the scientists say eating chocolate 24/7 – such as may be the case on Easter – is out of the question. Overdosing on chocolate will only increase fat content in the body as well as send the kids bouncing off fence posts with their newly-acquired sugar highs. It may help, however, if your Easter Bunny is wearing a Pope hat.
+++++++sponsored by Clark's Restaurant+++++++++
Attention COUGAR Fans! Spring is here, the plants are growing and so is your appetite. 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 seven 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.