The Cougar Lounge - The Grape Collision Course

"My roommate and I have a bet that I can make jumpsuits come back in style."
- Junior forward on the Wazzu soccer team and apparel and merchandise design major Carly Dobratz. What!? They went out of style? Did that happen while we were watching The Incredible Mr. Limpet!? - and what is the Lounge going to do with our fur-lined platform shoes – did those go out too!?
"You cannot have a serious university in this country without taking football seriously and without taking athletics seriously. I'm sure there will always be some students at this university that don't emphasize or get involved with athletics – and that's fine – we're here to serve them as well."
- Portland State University president Wim Wiewel, doing his best ventriloquist impression of an SEC university president - and conveniently ignoring the evil BCS Taliban because his school plays in a division which gets what? Yes, that's right, just like everybody else, a playoff at the end of the year to determine its champion.
"Suspicion accompanies each of his victories since 1999."
- Tour de France race director, Christian Prudhomme's, reaction to the recent announcement that American Lance Armstrong who won the race seven consecutive times and has never tested positive for drugs, was interested in coming out of retirement for the 2009 race while verifying that there is no suspicion about the French attitude toward Armstrong – since he is heavier than a goose and does not float in water - they are convinced he is a witch and must be burned at the stake.
"Everyone I know with an unusual name loves it. It's only the losers named Dave that think having an unusual name is bad – and who cares what they think? They're named Dave."
- Comedian/magician Penn Jillette, who named his daughter Moxie CrimeFighter Jillette.
The Lounge was coerced by hurricane force winds into watching football on a Friday night last week and that meant searching around in the nether regions of sports cable programming to locate the channel televising the Wazzu-Baylor game. Whilst surfing leisurely upon the waves of channel upon channel, we came across a channel fully devoted to another kind of Cougar – the BYU kind – and thought, hmmmm…is that not interesting, a channel completely dedicated to full-time propagandizing about a single entity where the sun must surely shine all day and rainbows and lollipops abound – wheeee! Then Texas got the same idea [or "ideer" – rhymes with steer – in Texas talk] and now they want a channel all their own too and try to think about that – a channel of Longhorns-only blather all the time. Can most humans take that kind of verbal abuse? We think the FCC should let them launch the channel and then have the government fund a study to see if human test subjects can watch – and they can even prop their eyelids open like in A Clockwork Orange - more than five consecutive hours [for Longhorn variety humans] and more than two consecutive hours [for non-Longhorn variety humans]. Then, after the results are in, they can bill the university for the lengthy study and fold the money into the general education coffers with the promise that this idea never comes up again. If it does, more studies – even more extensive than the first - may be required.
Instead of another television channel, what we really need in the collegiate universe is another blue football field. Don't we? Isn't that what everybody said they wanted when they filled out the questionnaire? Oopsy-daisy.
Well, maybe the two blue fields will go out on a date, eventually get married, produce – nine months later of course [no illegitimate blue fields made with cans of spray paint] - a whole bunch of little bouncing blue fields across the country and then we will finally be able to take football seriously as Wim wants us to. But before that happens, we will have to suffice with the likes of "College Bob" hacking into the Pac-10 football teleconference last week and first asking USC head coach Pete Carroll which opponents were "packing 10" in their shorts before moving onward and, uh, downward, and asking UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel if he personally scrubbed and washed his players to keep them from playing dirty.
Then there is Cal. Yes, poor Cal. First, Cal crushes the Cougars, 66-3, two weeks ago as head coach Jeff Tedford evidently felt it necessary to continue throwing the ball during critical points in the game – such as the time Cal was up 42-3 – because you never know when a team might mount that miraculous 39-point play. The Lounge has seen it happen! On Pluto once. That's why the scientists took away its planet status. True story. So anyway, the Fighting Tedfords were pretty happy with themselves for coming away with a 63-point blasting and upon their return to Berkeley, they were even happier to see 35 of the 42 trees around their football stadium cut down to pave the way for stadium upgrade plans that Tedford thinks will help with recruiting. The rest of the trees came down later in the week and the Fighting Tedfords were so thrilled with that development that they traveled all the way to Maryland so they could lose to the Crab Cakes and help recruiting even more.
Of course, across the Bay on the peninsula, where they recruit supposedly much smarter football players – they don't worry about trees so much as they do motivating the week's opponent - like Stanford sophomore receiver Doug Baldwin when he was asked about the quality of TCU's opponents, which included Division I-AA [now FCS] Stephen F. Austin, and replied "We play major Pac-10 schools. One team I know they played was Stephen F. Austin, I believe. I've never even heard of that team before." Said non-major Pac-10 school, TCU beat the Trees – for the second year in a row – last Saturday.
With all this going on, some people are tempted to migrate to the nefarious arena of professional sports. But that is a den of iniquity, full of braggarts, greed and thieves – as displayed in New York [and Los Angeles, and Chicago, and Boston, and San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. and…well, you get the picture] – when ESPN's ad agency tried to promote Monday Night Football.
As a last resort, we can all move to Australia, where they have Australian Rules Football and wear those skimpy shorts [perhaps the guy asking the question to Carroll was Australian] and, consequently, more important things to worry about, like how one should properly dance in underpants at the office party.
"These are the so-called 'character' guys WSU recruited over the last three and four years? Guys who turn South when the going gets rough?" fumes Dereck "The Avant-Garde Left Wing Namby Pamby" Eau de Toilette about a rumored dissension among the 0-3 football team's ranks.
Well, Dereck, let us begin by addressing some completely unrelated but equally compelling issues – if the dissension rumors are true, make sure you get to the liquor store quickly because there is gonna be a run on liquor like that bank scene in It's A Wonderful Life where Jimmy Stewart says "You're thinking of this place all wrong – as if I had the money back in a safe. The money's not here. Your money's in Joe's house…right next to yours…and in the Kennedy house and Mrs. Macklin's house and a hundred others." So you see, Dereck, what you have to do is to go to all those other people's houses and their parties – to find your liquor and sweet relief. Then you can forget about the supposed dissension, the dropped balls by receivers and the fact that Baylor head coach Art Briles is a buffoon for challenging the spot of a fourth down Cougar conversion play with 5:13 left in the game and his team up by 28 points. Forget all that and instead, the liquor will help you remember that the nation's second-longest scoring streak is still alive – which is something they cannot say at UCLA – whose 59-0 loss to BYU [Which has their own channel, by the way, have you heard? Perhaps Bruins fans and well-wishers can catch the replay of the game this week] will now put the Bruins in contention with the Cougars, Washington [55-14 losers at home to Oklahoma] and possibly Arizona [36-28 losers on the road to New Mexico] and Stanford [31-14 losers to TCU on the road] for the coveted seventh-place bowl spot – and the Cougars with Portland State coming into town this weekend. You have to think positive.
"Is that the win they will need for the NCAA?" says Mr. Joseph So-And-So about the Wazzu soccer team's win over UC-Santa Barbara last week.
Probably not, Mr. Joe. The consensus of the Lounge clientele is that they will likely need another signature win or two to get a little more traction in the NCAA RPI and convince the loopy selection committee. But with only three ties and a loss to show for their trips back East earlier in the month, getting this win was of extremely large proportions for the Cougars. They needed a win over a ranked team and they got one on the road – even better for the RPI numerals – and now must not stumble against Pepperdine today, then hold serve throughout the next two weeks against regional teams they should beat [Seattle, Gonzaga, Idaho, EWU], and that will set them up nicely for a Pac-10 run. Essentially, with all those ties and only the one "good" win over UCSB so far, the Cougars still do not have room for error [read: no losses in the next three weeks] before they get to the Pac-10 portion of play where, as the Lounge sees it, they will have to win the majority [we are thinking four] of their home conference matches and take at least two wins or ties on the road to give them a decent shot at making the NCAA this time around.
With Portland State on the immediate horizon for the football team and the Vikings not having much of a presence in college football [but at least they do have a playoff] at least until Wim gets his new Winnebago out on the road and starts selling his spiel on the chicken/steak dinner circuit, we will give you a unique PSU view from the Shuttlecocque Sporting Hour - whereupon messrs. Carson "The Italian Hellion" Cistulli [or is it "Big Cry Baby" Cistulli or "Ralph Waldo" Cistulli?] and Eamon "Old Sobersides" ffitch [or is it "Don't Hate the Player, Hate the" ffitch or "Smacks of" ffitch?] bring forth some thoughts about loafing souls, wantonness kindling, modifier dangling and when they are going to get around to putting up a post for the month of September.
Finally, as everyone can surely imagine, the Lounge Scientists were giddy with glee last week because – like we need to tell you – of the Hadron Collider. No, they were not colliding actual people named Hadron like Fred, Luther and Sheryl – they were accelerating protons in hopes of colliding them like two grapes and then they explode so they can learn more about the universe and gravity and well…we will stop blathering and let them show you in the Large Hadron Rap.
"It has no mass, but something heavy, like the top quark is dragging its a--!" raps Lounge Scientist #infinity, Kate MacAlpine, otherwise known as rapper "AlpineKat", a physics researcher at the Swiss facility home to the collider, who reportedly knows how to "drop some particle physics in 'da glove."
Colliding Hadrons - now that is something that could use its own television channel – and maybe playoff system.
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