The Cougar Lounge - The Casino Insurance Burden

"I saw a game tape of him playing against Magic Johnson and Michigan State and I didn't know he was that good. Now that I know, I tell him he was decent, but I don't brag to my friends - I don't want it to go straight to his head."
- Wazzu sophomore men's hoop player Klay Thompson after discovering that his father - ex-NBA star Mychal Thompson - was a pretty good player back in the day.
"Sometimes I don't hit it really straight, just good recovery shots. I'm a grinder, definitely."
-Former Wazzu women's golfer Amy Eneroth, after winning the Safeway Classic Amateur Open to clinch a spot in her first LPGA Tour event - and describing the Lounge's golf game [except the part about the "good recovery shots"] as well as that of thousands of other males in this country.
"We're excited to bring sports junkies a new perspective."
- Sports marketing company president Mark Lazarus, getting all excited because his firm is helping to bring a new show about sports business to television next week on Versus - the new perspective is expected to be from the gutter.
"Adult Swim - I thought that was a porn channel."
- British comedian Noel Fielding, who is half of the comedy troupe, The Mighty Boosh, which airs episodes on Adult Swim on Sunday evenings.
It is almost here. Its presence can be palpably felt. The 2009-10 athletic season is set to begin on Friday when the 21st-ranked Wazzu soccer team takes on Idaho to officially open the 2009-10 Washington State University athletic season. Any deviation from this course will surely involve massive brain cramps in the average Cougar fan and well-wisher. After all, it has been two months since the last pitch was thrown by the Wazzu baseball team that officially ended the previous season and what happened after that? Catastrophe, that's what! People started dying left and right - Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, Walter Cronkite, the Taco Bell chihuahua - and just recently, John Hughes, who created the classic teen movie gems The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller's Day Off and also wrote or directed National Lampoon's Vacation and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. How much more carnage can American popular culture endure before enough is enough? Evidently, there is more where that came from as it was just learned that the former East German secret police were keeping tabs on a fake Michael Jackson that a West German TV station had planted near the Berlin Wall in 1988 to measure just how fanatical Germans got about MJ.
Those communists are a hoot…but so are the CIA, FBI and various other security agencies as John Doe found out. No, the real John Doe, not all those knock-off John Doe's made in China. Maybe they can put Doe on a reality television series with a couple three fake Michael Jacksons, two circus midgets, an Elvis impersonator and the Iowa state fair corn dog eating champion and throw them all in the same neighborhood together to see who cracks first. We already know who would be gullible enough to watch such a thing - people in Spokane! We know this because a recent market research study identified the people of Spokane as the second-most likely people to be duped by a reality TV series - behind only the geniuses residing in Lexington, Kentucky. Perhaps you were always wondering where these types of people lived - surely not near you, you calmly assured yourself - but now we know the top 10 residences of brain-dead, reality TV-watching folk. Places for sane people to avoid in the future are Lexington, Spokane, Richmond, Green Bay, Knoxville, Sacramento, Toledo, St. Louis, Denver and Dayton.
Something that would be especially appealing to people in all those cities would be a reality TV show where people offer farm animals in exchange for the hand of a woman for matrimonial purposes - somewhat like they do in Kenya for ex-American president's daughters. Of course, since polygamy is legal in Kenya, it may not be such a good deal for Clinton but it is definitely a sweet deal for the Kenyan man as, in addition to Clinton, he gets 25 goats to be named later and a first-round pick in the 2010 All-Bovine Draft.
Surprisingly, the collegiate bowl system operates on a similar concept here in America, as we just learned last week when it became public knowledge that the Pac-10 was considering the Alamo Bowl's 40-goat offer to make the Texas-based bowl game the #2 bowl in the conference over the San Diego-based bowl. We checked just make sure that the word "Pacific" in Pacific 10 Conference referred to the conference members' proximity to the Pacific Ocean [and by logical extension, the West Coast] and found out that, sure enough, that is what it was. Then we checked our hefty 50-pound National Geographic Atlas to see where San Antonio was - and could not help but notice that, not only was it nowhere near the Pacific Ocean - it was not even near the West Coast! We think the breakdown here came when new Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott officially signed in last month and, being from the East Coast, thought Texas was the West Coast. Well, that and the suspicion that the Texans are a little too generous with their goats, er, money, in this economy. The Lounge clientele is split on this one but comfortably favoring keeping the Holiday as the #2 bowl primarily due to the fact that it is actually on the West Coast where all conference members reside as well as the travel and numerous other advantages the Pac-10 team's opponent would have in the Alamo Bowl. The Alamo Bowl snake oil salesmen are offering 650,000 more goats than the Holiday people but those goats have to be shared amongst the conference members and that only works out to 65,000 goats per school - not good enough to incur travel costs and send a team across a time zone to play in a non-Pacific time zone locale. If Scott and the Pac-10 make this deal, they will lose all their marbles.
Finally, the Lounge is thoroughly dismayed but not surprised by the recent showing of true colors by Wazzu's university presidents, past and present. In a overwhelming consensus of the Lounge clientele, the best president Washington State University has had in the past 40 years has been - with little debate - Glenn Terrell. In a fundraising event to benefit awareness for need-based scholarships for current and potential students in this economy, Terrell showed once why he is currently the sole torch-bearer for Wazzu pride among presidents and ex-presidents alike as, in a photo op for the event, he is the only one wearing a tie with the famous WSU Cougar head logo. Current president Elson Floyd at least has a similar crimson-hued neckwear but former presidents Sam "The Sham" Smith and V. Lane "The Impaler" Rawlins could not be bothered to fish through their wardrobe for appropriate Wazzu-themed attire for the event. No ties, pins, hats - nothing. The Lounge has said it before and will say it again - long live Glenn Terrell!
"It was good to get that first scrimmage out of the way so we can see where they are at," says Tuff Dittle of the football team's first fall scrimmage of the year.
Everybody - well, most everybody [Father Lotto is still sitting on the fence] is with you on that assessment, Dittle, and the first thing people are happy about, of course, is the play of redshirt senior quarterback Kevin Lopina. Lopina has endured a nightmarish two years at Wazzu but has never quit [like some other quarterback who shall remain nameless…] and has persevered in the face of injury and threat of injury due to his inadequate offensive line protection last year. Despite being virtually surrounded by a bevy of negativity last year - which included the fact that he has yet to toss a touchdown pass in his Wazzu career - Lopina was still able to steer the Cougs to victory over the Huskies in the Apple Cup - something no other quarterback on the current roster has on his resume. Now, given the state of the Huskies' program last year, it might not be the biggest feather in one's cap but it is a feather, nonetheless. Lopina went a perfect six-for-six in the opening scrimmage of the year and together with some offensive weaponry in the backfield and in his receiving corps, it seems likely that Lopina will not only get his first touchdown pass this season, but should even be able to help get the Cougs more wins than last year.
"Haw far do you see the Cougars advancing in the NCAA tournament?" asks Fester G. Willikers about the Wazzu soccer team and their NCAA chances in 2009.
Well, Fester, that is all going to depend on a variety of issues - first and foremost, how they play out of the gate with what should be a confident and experienced squad. Second - how they play against teams they should - in theory - defeat. A glance at the 2009 schedule reveals 14 such teams - but the Lounge will temporarily grant them immunity in the Federal Soccer Team Protection Program - and a tie or loss to such a team could result in either a demotion from a higher seed or, in a worst-case scenario, exclusion from the NCAA tournament altogether…and the Cougars know how that feels, a tie against Idaho State in 2007 likely cost them dearly in the selection committee's eyes that year. Third, how they play against the indisputably tough teams on their schedule will also be an extremely large key - a win , a tie or good showing, even in a loss, will obviously help their NCAA chances. Consistency, as head coach Matt Potter always preaches - is the foundation of success. With all that said, the Lounge consensus can see them advancing to at least the second round this year, but further prognostication will depend on the opponents they will face.
Meanwhile, with the 2009-10 collegiate athletic season officially upon us at the end of this week, it is important to get the proper seating options arranged and we can think of nothing more appropriate for the 2009-10 collegiate athletic season than the Tank Chair - an imposing piece of furniture that is perfect for any weekend of collegiate athletic viewing.
Last year, by all reasonable measures, the Cougar football program was deader than the proverbial doornail. The only program in worse shape was the University of Washington football program. How can you be deader than dead - the Huskies were. But now the Lounge Scientists have discovered that there is hope for those who wish to return from the dead as both the Cougars and Huskies hope to this year. That hope has been supplied by the Tasmanian Booby [mind out of the gutter, now…]. The Booby was thought to be extinct since the late 18th century when European sailors arriving on Tasmania - with vegemite not being invented yet - ate them all up. But now it seems that they have survived after all with the recent discovery of the birds on at least three islands off the coast of Australia.
"It is a bit curious. Female Tasman boobies are larger than the male, so maybe a female fossil was compared to a living male and didn't match," says Lounge Scientist #88, Tammy Steeves, a geneticist at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand in attempting to explain the sudden re-appearance of the bird and who reportedly has been extinct herself on certain Saturday nights.
The Lounge has learned, however, that it is highly unlikely that there will be a re-appearance of Elvis or Michael Jackson on any of the same three islands where the Tasmanian Boobies were found.
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