The Cougar Lounge - The Lost Weekend

"I think we're better than that, don't you?"
- Oregon State graduate assistant coach Tim Euhus, who was objecting to the 16.5-point underdog role Vegas was pinning on the Beavers against Penn State before the Nittany Lions beat OSU, 45-14 – uh, to answer your question, Tim – no.
"There is a rivalry. There is some emotion. There is some dislike. But, c'mon. It's in L.A. These people don't know how to hate a college football opponent. The weather's too nice. There's too much else to do."
- ESPN columnist Ivan Maisel identifying the USC-UCLA "rivalry" as one of the most overrated because they can't seem to work up a proper hatred. Yeah, that's too bad, Ivan, we need more people hating each other.
"Best of all, sports is TiVo proof – you can't DVR sports."
- Sports entertainment producer, Bob Horowitz, laying praise on the spontaneity of sports – even if it is something like a 63-point loss in football – even the Cal people don't want to TiVo that.
"…eating grass they are a bother – it's in one end and out the other…."
- An excerpt from the poem Honk if you like geese by She and probably some sort of metaphor for the Cougars last football game.
The Lounge is going to be richly rewarded because we are going to do our best to keep everybody's mind off the football game against California by talking about something else. How about we start with that undefeated soccer squad, hmmm? Oh, wait, we see they lost to Illinois last week. Okay, well, let's move on to that surprisingly undefeated volleyball team, shall we? What? They lost three straight to Idaho, Notre Dame and EWU? Okay…um…well, the school president got a $125,000 raise! That is good news, isn't it? Well, it is for him. For everybody else on the Palouse, it was a lost weekend. Somebody probably even lost their car keys.
There is not even Idaho's wardrobe malfunction and the misplaced logo on their pants to make fun of this week because at least the Spuds won their game this weekend and our hearts are just not in mashing potatoes for the 97th time.
On the other hand, the USA men's soccer team played in Havana, Cuba, this weekend and won their World Cup qualifying tour match against the Cubans and now that the game is over and done, perhaps the USA can see their way to easing trade restrictions and allowing some of those fine Cuban ceegars to find their way to America? We send our soccer team there and they send their ceegars here, see how that works?
There is always Rick Neuheisel to keep us preoccupied now that the football monopoly in Los Angeles is officially over and Neuheisel has beaten USC and…what? mean he hasn't beaten USC yet, the monopoly is still in place and he says that silly Bruin marketing department did all this without him knowing a single thing about it? Of course, never mind.
Okay - sigh - now we suppose we can get around to the football game. After all, no matter how hard they try, there is no use in the clientele trying to pretend it did not happen.
"Since it was the worst loss ever, next week has got to be better, right?" asks Mr. Buenos Aires trying to employ some logic that he learned in a class once.
Well, yeah, sure, Mr. BA. It stands to reason that if your team loses a game by 63 points, then, of course, the very next game should not be a 64-point loss. At least the consensus of the clientele hopes not. There are not many, if any, participants left from the Cougars' previous worst loss in school history [a 61-0 pasting in 1922 by – ironically, enough – Cal] but there are plenty still around from the 59-point loss to UCLA [62-3] in 1976 – which used to hold the distinction of second-worst loss ever. But the important difference in both those "contests" – and we use that term loosely – is that they were both away from home – far, far away from home. This weekend's 63-point obliteration, for the unfortunate few [28k] in attendance, hit way, way too close to home. Seeing as the Cougars have never had two 60-point losses in one season, they do at least have history on their side, but with USC, Oregon and Arizona State still to play on their schedule, the logic may have to wait until the end of November before it can be correctly applied.
"That Portland State game is looking bigger and bigger all the time," says Monty Carlo with a tinge of sarcasm – but just a tinge.
After last week's game, Monty, that could be the Cougars' only sure win of the year and you will be hard-pressed to find any Cougar fans and well-wishers this morning [those not lying by the curb] who would agree with you about the "sure" part of that statement. When Cal running back Jahvid Best scored – untouched - on an 80-yard run on the first offensive play of the game, it looked bad for the Cougars. But then quarterback Gary Rogers threw a pick on the Cougars' first offensive series, then Cal blocked a field goal attempt and returned it for a touchdown, then returned an interception to set up a touchdown and backup Kevin Lopina comes in and tosses a pick in his first series before Best reels off another 80+ yard TD run. We blame all of that – all of it – on Fox Sports sideline reporter Jen Mueller who wore what appeared to be a purple-hued shirt inside Martin Stadium. Clearly, this had enough bad ju-ju attached to it to completely offset the good things that happened during the game – such as Jeshua Anderson playing in the game, Chris Ivory's kickoff return, Nico Grasu's 43-yard field goal to keep alive Wazzu's second-in-the-nation scoring streak, Reid Forrest's glorious return as the starting punter and Matt Eichelberger's recovery of Cal quarterback Kevin Riley's fumble for the sole Cougar turnover of the day.
With the two losses to open the season and the situation looking dire for the remainder of the season – and depending on whether or not the soccer team will get a fair shake from the NCAA selection committee this year [provided they deserve it, naturally] - we could not blame Cougar fans and well-wishers from peaking ahead to basketball season, and toward that end, we feel reasonably comfortable in pointing people in the direction of Coug Hoops - where site editor Garrett Riddle does what we think is a good job of passing along information on Cougar hoopsters in the news – particularly the regular updates of those in the pros overseas.
Finally, the Lounge Scientists have possibly discovered a way for the Cougars to win their football game later this year against USC – schedule it to be played at Cape Farewell, Greenland – otherwise known as the windiest place on Earth. The winds off Cape Farewell are so strong – approximately 45 miles per hour for 16% of the year – that no passing game could be sustained and the wind might even act as an extra tackler in knocking Trojan running backs down.
"Strong winds were ripping the tops off the waves and hurling them downwind," reports Lounge Scientist #20, Ian Renfrew, a researcher from the University of East Anglia in the UK, from aboard his research aircraft flying just off the tip of the Cape, who reputedly has just caught wind of this development.
Perhaps Cape Farewell, might also be an appropriate place for the 2008 Cougar football season but we deem that to be hasty and instead will send them to Cape Wait And See How It Looks At The End Of September before we ship them off to Greenland.
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