The Cougar Lounge - The Kitten Dictator

"I just decided Washington State was the situation I was most comfortable with. I am from the Pacific Northwest originally - I grew up in Portland, Oregon – and lived there for 14 years. And I love the fact that they play in the Pac-10. It was just the perfect situation."
- New Wazzu men's hoop recruit, guard Klay Thompson, who is the son of former NBA professional Mychal Thompson.
"This is the story of a family who said goodbye to the world of elevators and "Don't Walk" signs and supermarkets and moved to the country to raise goats and make cheese and live off the land. And though the country was beautiful and the cheese was excellent, they found that goats are not all that fun to live with because they are stubborn and eat everything and never show up on time for meetings."
- Ad copy from a Oregon tourism promotional campaign and not a story 'bout a man named Jed, a poor mountaineer who kept his family fed, then one day he was shooting for some food and up through the ground come a bubbling crude – oil, that is, black gold, Texas tea.
"If you were giving a scholarship to an intellectually brilliant kid who happens to play a sport, that's fine. But they give it to a functional illiterate who can't read a cereal box, and then make him spend 50 hours a week on physical skills. That's not opportunity. If you want to give financial help to minorities, go find the ones who are at the library after school."
- Rutgers English professor William Dowling, seemingly objecting to 80% of football players from the SEC.
"We've got boobies!"
- Spokane security guard Darin Wanless, who illegally used a high-tech rooftop camera as a Peeping Tom device aimed at women undressing in a condo and hotel.
The first order of business in the Lounge is a slight matter of congratulations to Russell "Rock Bottom" Byars who successfully skipped a stone an amazing 51 times to set a new world record. The old record was a pathetic 40 skips and Rock Bottom credited bathing in gin every Thursday as his secret to success…no really, the Pennsylvania engineer claims he has seen his throwing style on video before and "I have to be honest with you, I really don't know how I do that" [lending more credence to the Lounge's gin theory, if you ask us].
With Byars' record safely in the book – for now, let's see how the gin market fluctuates in the next few weeks – the Lounge moves on in the congratulatory department with a hearty virtual backslap for former Cougar hoopster and now artiste, Norton Barnhill. Like all good artistes, Barnhill marches to the beat of his own drum, or, in this case, paintbrush. The Lounge is fond of "The Abyss" but not so much the "June1" image – too much purple, which tends to give us headaches.
The Lounge has heard that some internet companies are trying to "do the Google thing" and be creative with their companies' names by using obscure or nonsensical names like Ooma, Kajeet, Yoomba or Zazzle. The problem with the pretenders is, Google was based on a real word – "googol", which is a 1 followed by a hundred zeroes. Ooma is not a word but we do grant it a style point for having an interesting acronym [Object of My Affection] while subtracting a million points for the not-so-interesting [Object-Oriented Modular Approach]. Kajeet – a cell-phone-for-kids company is an anagram of the company founders' names, so they're out with zero points and Yoomba, an open communications e-mail system, doesn't explain their name [but we know it is not a word], so zilch for them too. Zazzle is a real word – slang for charisma or flair [perhaps the Office Space variety] – so we give it 37 points, one for each piece of flair Jennifer Aniston had to wear to be like pretty boy, Brian. The Lounge thinks these companies are trying too hard. Just take an existing word like, say, "gyration" and rhyme it until you get something cool-sounding like "Gyration Nation" and then get a lawyer and start printing money! Oh, and by the way, don't get all cute - we get a percentage of "Gyration Nation" profits or else you get a call from our lawyer, Fred "The Hammer" Johnson.
It was Homecoming weekend at Wazzu last weekend and that usually means one is forgetting something – car keys, a cell phone, a brain. But this Homecoming weekend was about remembering – as in remembering to stay in one's seat for the duration of the Homecoming football game. In the not-to-distant past, the concept of staying in the stadium for the entire length of a football game was not questioned – it was the quintessential no-brainer. After all, there was booze [smuggled in or not, depending on one's Wazzu vintage], there was access to stale concession hot dogs that had been sitting around since 1957 when they were used as test missiles against the Russians in the Cold War and there was access to a restroom [or what passed as a restroom at the time] – why would one leave? But that was back in the day when there was limited security personnel and what security personnel there was looked the other way while one brought in a keg disguised as an invalid.
Sometime in the previous decade or so – during particularly dreadful stretches of Cougar football – it became a foreign concept to stay in the stadium at Homecoming games past the second quarter – and halftime became akin to last call at a bar as there was a mass exodus to get onto the fabled Homecoming party circuit. Like Los Angeles crowds leave in droves to get a jump on freeway traffic, Cougar fans and well-wishers would leave to get a jump on tapping their kegs, popping their corks or mixing their martinis. The virus soon spread to other games and it was not long before the affliction was evident at most non-Apple Cup games, where large glaring chunks of bench-gleaming real estate were available from the third quarter onward.
That changed, or, at least, changed for a day, at the Cougars' Homecoming game against Arizona State last weekend. The Lounge knew something weird was going to happen that day when an unauthorized bee got into Sun Devil linebacker's Morris Wooten's bonnet, causing him some temporary concern. The Cougar defense, however, was able to cause a bit more concern for the ASU offense.
"Where was the defensive line in the other games?" asks an exasperated Tuff Dittle after the game.
Shopping at the big Nordstrom sale? Getting a double mocha at Starbucks? Monitoring airport bathroom stall activity? Patiently waiting in line at the Bookie? We honestly do not know, Dittle. What we do know is that they finally lived up to their billing and the immobility of Sun Devil quarterback Rudy Carpenter created a perfect storm of opportunity. The Cougars will face the slightly more mobile Dennis Dixon this weekend and the game will be in the not-so-friendly confines of Eugene, so they may not have the same opportunities, but that might keep the "Tavita Pritchard should have been a Coug" crowd pre-occupied for a few more minutes anyway.
"Nine out of 10 ain't bad!" exclaims Fester G. Willikers, as he exuberantly executes a half-gainer elbow bender.
Fester fessed up and told us he was talking about the Cougar soccer team who, after demolishing Idaho once again this weekend [4-0] have now completed their non-conference schedule for 2007 and have not lost only once in compiling a 7-1-2 overall record. That is slightly down from optimum – as that Idaho State win eluded the team two weeks ago – but Wazzu is "in a good place" as head coach Matt Potter likes to say entering the Pac-10 portion of the schedule. That's the good news, the bad news is that they will be opening with three consecutive road matches – this week against the Arizona schools and next week against Washington in Seattle in the soccer version of the Apple Cup. The Cougars have been no strangers to the road this year but beginning with three tough road matches will quickly determine whether they will have a ticket for the NCAA tournament this year. They will likely need to come out of the three games with no worse than a 1-0-2 record since all three teams are below the 30th-ranked Cougars in the national and regional polls. If they can do that, then come back and take care of "bidness" against the Oregon schools the following week, the Lounge is guaranteeing they will be on their way to the promised land. But that is five matches and a lot of turf noogies away.
With hoop season officially beginning this week, we make one last swipe at football season and some Big 11 guy has discovered what we here on the West Coast already knew – The Pac-10 is a tough conference. USC found that out the hard way this week.
Finally, the Lounge Scientists have discovered that women, according to studies, really do have a preference for the color pink [This is outstanding news for the University of North Dakota – whose official colors are green and pink – and would probably like to attract more women to North Dakota]. Some scientists think this may have partially evolved from our hunter-gatherer days when the ability to spot ripe fruit such as red berries, would have been a favorable trait. Both men and women liked the color blue though.
"Going back to our 'savannah' days, we would have a natural preference for a clear blue sky because it signaled good weather. Clear blue also signals a good water source," says Lounge Scientist #17, Anya Hurlbert, a researcher at the University of Newcastle in the United Kingdom, who reportedly does not like North Dakota.
Now all that remains is for some clever people to figure out creative name for their company that will attract the women, something like, oh, PinkyDink. Maybe you should have some P.I.N.K. to think it over.
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