The Cougar Lounge - Sorry About That, Chief

"That wasn't the worst. The Cougars ran three plays with 10 guys and they probably gained yards. That's probably even worse."
- Portland State head football coach Jerry Glanville, comparing Wazzu running and gaining yards on three offensive plays with 10 guys on the field as worse than PSU lining up with 10 guys on defense on the first play of the second half.
"We're down a little bit because everyone views your fortunes on your win-loss record of football."

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- Interim Washington athletic director, Steve Woodward, after becoming the new AD last week. Um, Steve, just a tiny suggestion from the Lounge about that word "win" – you might want to have the football team actually get one of those first before including it in the sentence.
"I guess he did the right thing by sacrificing the game for the baby."
- Columbus businessman Matthew Pontius, speaking about an Ohio State fan who could not attend what would become USC's blowout 35-3 win because he had become a father. You guess, Matthew?
"You have an enormous amount of material, and you have to distill it to a syrup by the end of the day. So much of it is a hewing process, chipping away at things that aren't the point or aren't the story or aren't the intention. Really, it's the last couple of drops you're distilling that makes all the difference. It isn't that hard to get a ton of corn into a gallon of sour mash, but to get that gallon of sour mash down to that one pure shot of whiskey takes patience, discipline and focus."
- Comedian Stephen Colbert, describing the complicated process utilized by himself and fellow comedian John Stewart to produce vast amounts of whiskey…comedy...we mean, comedy!
The Lounge begins by taking a knee for Wazzu quarterback Gary Rogers who was injured by a late hit in the Cougars' victory over Portland State. Rogers' nomadic career on the quarterback depth chart has ended and in typical hard-luck fashion. The star-crossed senior entered the game when junior starter Kevin Lopina was injured and promptly inherited a second-and-20 situation before engineering the Cougars downfield with a variety of high-velocity passes only to be stymied by an interception as the team neared a potential score. Rogers, who, prior to this game, had been the only Cougar QB to toss a touchdown pass in 2008, tossed his second of the year to senior receiver Brandon Gibson in the third quarter but then, a short time later, absorbed a late hit from a PSU safety and will now spend the next three to four months recovering from a cervical spine fracture. The Lounge clientele officially extends best wishes to what is hoped will be a speedy and smooth recovery.
Even before the game, the Lounge was in both a snit and a tizzy last week because Madonna screwed the pitch - wait…that doesn't sound right…well, it sorta does, but what we mean is, well, you can see for yourself – it just wasn't good either way.
Meanwhile, something else that was not good either way, was the recent death of Frank Mundus. Now, you may well be asking yourself – "Who is this Frank guy and how did I get here? Where is that large automobile? What is that beautiful house and who is this beautiful wife?" – and we will have the answers to only one of those questions. Frank, you see, is the guy on whom the Captain Quint character [think of the quote "I value my neck a lot more than $3000, Chief. I'll find him for three, but I'll catch – and kill him – for ten." and it should all come back to you like it was just yesterday…] was based in the movie Jaws. Now, we all know that sometime in 1994 when the Palouse Posse defense came into existence, that the Wazzu students adopted the memorable theme from Jaws and shark-clap as a temporary motivational device that has seemingly become immune to age and yet, provides our flimsy connection to Frank. It seems as though Frank's untimely demise came as the result of a fatal heart attack or, as the Daily Mail in England reports – two fatal heart attacks in four days. Rogers has it bad but two fatal heart attacks? That's rough. Frank's gonna need a bigger boat.
It may seem like a dire situation for WSU – and it is – but Oregon is next up on the football docket for Wazzu and even though, with the loss of both Rogers and Lopina, the Cougars are down to their third-string QB, the Ducks are on their fifth-string QB. Their first-string QB is out for the year, their second-string QB is questionable for this week, their third-string QB is likely out for this week with a concussion and their fourth-string QB is still, evidently, learning how to accurately throw a football. That leaves the fifth-string QB and he appears to be capable of both running and chewing gum at the same time, which could be bad news for the Cougar defense since they already saw a dude like that two weeks ago down in the heart of Texas.
Just up the road a piece, in Missouri, they have a quarterback who is successful and just so everybody pays attention to him – and only him – when it comes time to vote for trophy trinkets like the Heisman, they sent out a personalized viewfinder which displays only Mizzou success stories – kind of like your own propaganda television channel, right Texas?
Perhaps the key to football success this year is in fixing the traffic signals so that opponents have difficulty getting to the stadium – this might be particularly helpful when USC comes to town next month. It seemed to work plenty fine for the Italians until – curses! - they were caught! Back to the corruption drawing board.
"I was pleased with the defense even though it was only Portland State," says Stan Ford of the defensive effort the Cougars brought against the Vikings.
Yes, Stan, the defense did prove that they were not as bad as some were projecting them to be and the return of safety Xavier Hicks Jr. surely helped as they kept the Vikings' run-and-shoot offense in single digits in both rush yards and points with eight yards and nine points, respectively. The beginning of the game also went much better than the last time they played in Martin Stadium against California. Cougar fans and well-wishers may recall – or wish to forget - that Cal running back Jahvid Best scampered 80 yards on the Bears' first offensive play of the game. This time – much different - as linebacker Hallston Higgins intercepted a pass from PSU quarterback Drew Hubel on the Vikings' first offensive play of the game. Cougar running back Chris Ivory turned that turnover into a 7-0 lead with a five-yard touchdown run and the Cougars were just finishing patting themselves on the back from that when defensive lineman Kevin Kooyman recovered a fumble on PSU's second possession of the game. Wazzu was unable to put points on the board from that turnover but gradually pulled away during the course of the game with linebacker Greg Trent tacking on another pick off Viking QB Tygue Howland late in the game. The only negative aspects of the game, defensively, for the Cougars were the inordinate amount of penalties and the bad luck of freshman defensive back Tyrone Justin – who had two interceptions taken away from him - one of which appeared on television replays, to be a legitimate pick.
"They got the win, now what?" asks V. de Milo about Wazzu's first football win of the year.
That was a win, sure enough, but now, V – they will need a Pac-10 win to restore legitimacy and they will likely need at least a couple of them to stay out of the conference cellar and still have an outside shot at the seventh bowl game slot [Don't laugh, there are 93 bowls – 16 more have been added since the season began – and everybody has a shot]. Past that, they will need to begin protecting their quarterbacks better – especially with a succession of eight Pac-10 opponents facing them before they get to Hawai'i at the tail end of the season. Then they will need their receivers to stop dropping catchable balls. Finally, they will have to cut down on the penalties. The special teams unit continues to gradually improve with field goal kicker Nico Grasu nailing two treys against PSU and kick coverage slightly improved.
With Portland State out of the way, the meat of the Pac-10 schedule is about to begin and with that in mind, some people might be interested in beating the rush and becoming an official Meatatarian - provided you do not mind receiving an e-mail from Wendy's.
Finally, the Lounge Scientists were able to sympathize with Cougar fans and well-wishers who sought to distance themselves from the prospect of a winless season as much as the players and coaches themselves. With that objective thoroughly achieved in the win over PSU, the Scientists unveiled research showing that certain fungi – the kind that grow inside cow dung - want to escape their lot in life even faster than the Cougars wanted to escape theirs. In fact, the fungi are so eager to liberate themselves from Cow Pie Central that they have been found to fire off their spores at a greater velocity than anything else in the world. In essence, they have set the air, land and water speed record for acceleration – shooting out their spores at 25 meters per second – faster than a leaping antelope, a jellyfish stinger firing and a jumping flea. Translated to human parameters – it would be the same as a human accelerating their body at 5000 times the speed of sound – or, slightly faster than Usain Bolt.
"One minute they're standing still on a cow pie, and a millionth of a second later, they are traveling at 25 meters per second," says Lounge Scientist #5000, Nicholas Money, a researcher at Miami [Ohio] University, who reputedly only travels at 50 times the speed of sound when cow pies are involved.
To get a proper perspective on those numerals - that is even faster than Italian officials can decide on which new scheme they will choose for corruption.
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