The Cougar Lounge - The Mother Of All Lounges

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"They're trying to tarnish my whole legacy."
- Former NFL and Oregon State football player Richard Seigler, arrested for allegedly operating as a pimp in his hometown Las Vegas, claiming the Vegas police department is trying to besmirch his good name and sparkling three-year NFL career consisting of seven tackles in seven games.
"I told Jones to stay in school but if he'd rather declare for the draft and go play in Europe than come back to play at Oregon State, what does that tell you about the program?"
- Former Oregon State men's basketball standout Steve Johnson, responding after OSU athletic director Bob DeCarolis accused him of meddling in Marcel Jones's recent decision to declare for the draft. Guess who won't be getting X-mas cards from each other this year?
"They're not pervin'. They're not looking at you. They're completely professional and, you know, this is their job."
- Former Oregon State student and now Playboy Playmate of the Year Sara Underwood assuring everybody that the photography shoot personnel are legit in the "perv" department and inadvertently completing the full Oregon State circle from pimp to playmate.
The Lounge was busy excessively accessorizing our suite of muscle torture techniques by "participating" [that is the official word – but actual witnesses to the Lounge's attempt at long distance running might be prone to using another, more descriptive term] in a 12k [that is 7.46 miles to the metrically-challenged] road race called Bloomsday in Spokane last week when we got word that longtime Wazzu athletic administrator Marcia Saneholtz retired. Upon hearing that news, we immediately altered our training routine and played 18 holes of golf – because that is what retirees do.
The Lounge has been "participating" – hesitantly, at first – in this long-distance charade for 21 years and still, the amounts of muscle pain afterward never cease to amaze. Of course, that is due to the Lounge's staunch refusal to train properly and instead, rest on our laurels from our impressive world record times in the 39-inch dash [that is couch-to-remote distance, honed during the reality TV infancy]. Nevertheless, Bloomsday is our personal playground of mediocrity that we happily share with, this year, a bunch of Canadians.
Has the Lounge mentioned how much we like Canadians? We are pretty sure we have. If not, we like 'em even more after spending thirty minutes with them underdressed in a cool morning breeze and tossing maple leaf-embossed beach balls back and forth with them whilst we awaited the start of the race. Then, the guy sings the national anthem and that was fine but then he sang the Canadian national anthem [and all the real words too – not just the "O Canada, our home and native something something…" that most of us in the Pacific Northwest know] and you gotta know that standing amongst a bunch of underdressed beach-ball toting Canadians singing their national anthem in the middle of a downtown street in medium-sized city was pretty cool. In fact, we were all hopped up to hear him belt out the Belgian or Uruguayan national anthems next – we would have fake-mouthed the words to them too!
After that, it was all downhill – literally - for the next mile or so because race organizers have a strict rule not to demoralize long distance runners until Mile 2. So Mile 1 is all about fun and happiness and music because this is where the best bands are generally located. Best not only in substance but also because they have a happy audience blissfully pain-free whereas we pity the bands at Mile 6 who get the cursing, spitting masses of writhing pain for their gig. Mile 2 wound up being a Porta Potty pit stop for the Lounge [memo to selves: not so much pre-race OJ next year when tiny bladders are looming on the horizon] and in a race of thousands, that two-minute call-of-nature delay meant that the approximate entire population of Colfax passed us.
We have only vague memories of Mile 3, Mile 4 and Mile 5 – there were some sorts of hills involved or something – we think this may have been the point when the blister forming on our foot became personified and developed the personality of a younger Don Rickles and began heckling us – "What you are doing, you hockey puck!?" The Lounge distinctly remembers Mile 6 because that is where the hallucinations began – the ones where we thought the race was almost over and we had morphed into a rapping Buddhist firefighter from Detroit. Mile 7 was easy because it meant the end was near [in all, including biblical, senses] and that is when we were trying to remember where we parked the car and wondering if it could be used to help finish the race. The finish was uneventful – just the typical lean at the tape for 8,547th place and to capture the international championship of lame, overweight runners in a 12k road race.
Bloomsday tradition dictates that race finishers, once they have recovered all their missing brain particles, use the post-race time to – because they have earned it - immediately scarf down unhealthy foods [this year - doughnut holes!] and begin assessing the t-shirt they receive for finishing the race. In the past, the Lounge has been harsh on Bloomsday organizers for their t-shirt selections and designs. This year, we cut them some slack. The design was serviceable and we were not thrilled with the color – we already have a dark-hued green shirt from 1994 – so if green was going to be the color choice, then going in the direction of neon green instead of forest green would have been our preference. But we are not going to dock them too many style points because it was a vast improvement from last year's burnt orange fashion disaster which we immediately sent to Goodwill and left some poor unfortunate soul wondering what he/she ever did to deserve even more misfortune.
Whilst we were busy pre-occupying our time with Marquis de Sade muscle exercising, we understand FIFA [the governing body of world soccer] was busy ranking things they probably should not be ranking and DirectTV was offering a briefcase-sized portable satellite TV system. With this newest development, this leaves the Lounge to wonder – from now on, will there ever not be a good time to crank up the Green Acres marathon? We think not. Plus will there be a need to go on eBay for overpriced game tickets when you can watch the thing on your briefcase TV at your own backyard BBQ? We think not – especially if the BBQ has orangy goodness. In fact, we think this is the real reason Marcia retired – so she can whip out her briefcase TV any time she likes.
"How do those APR things work? Is that like one of those credit card deals?" asks a confused Angus McAngus.
The APR [Academic Progress Rate]'s were another thing that slipped by last week whilst we were at Bloomsday and don't you fear Angus, your credit card is safe – for now, we've seen your haggis bills. Essentially, the APR's are the NCAA's attempt to derail the practice of schools and programs – most notably, football programs – of signing athletes to play for the school but without any intent of ever graduating them [Washington Husky running back Corey Dillon's infamous 0.0 GPA being a shining example]. So far, of all the Pac-10 schools, only Arizona, under former WSU athletic director Jim Livengood, has not done well in conforming to the new standards – losing eight scholarships in football, including being the only school in the conference to incur scholarship football losses this year. So far, the Cougars have done reasonably well in the APR releases. While not in the top10% of any particular sport, 14 of their 17 sports are above the 925 cut line [which, in the APR system, is roughly equivalent to a 60% graduation rate] and of the three programs that are not above the cut – volleyball, baseball and men's basketball – all three have made significant improvement from last year. Volleyball sits at 910 – an improvement of 35 points from last year - and representing the largest gain of any Wazzu athletic program. Baseball is at 904 and gained 31 points while men's hoop is low man on the APR totem pole at 892 – but with a 17-point increase over last year. With all three headed in the right direction and volleyball and baseball possibly set to go over the cut line, it is unlikely that WSU will incur any penalties as long as this progression is maintained.
"Where is some of that good stuff? You know, the Pac-10 love honey?" asks Monty Carlo, who seems to have been diving into the liquor cabinet before any of us.
Lost in the afterglow of the Lounge's super Bloomsday performance was the fact that Wazzu's amazing heptathlete Pickler sisters – Diana and Julie – effectively Picklerized the Pac-10 last week by going 1-2 in the heptathlon standings. Diana – who is currently ranked 18th in the world – crushed the competition by winning with 6018 points, beating Arizona State's Jacquelyn Johnson - the defending champ – for the first time ever in head-to-head competition while her sister, Julie, also beat Johnson and captured second place to establish utter Wazzu superiority of the event for 2007. Diana Pickler, while presently being the American leader [and second in the world so far this year] has also established herself as one of the possible favorites to represent the United States at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing if she is able to sustain and improve upon her scores through next year. That, Monty, is some good stuff.
It is Mom's Day and do you not recall you r Mom always telling you to drink your milk – "It's good for you! It makes your bones strong and puts hair on your chest!" Okay, so that last part was Dad chipping in his two cents but you still need the milk to close the deal and such is the draw at Get the Glass! an online board game where you must battle the milk police, PMS and fuzzy map reading [Father Lotto excelled at this portion of the game due to his many years of experience in fuzzy map-reading] to get the last glass of milk left on the planet.
Finally, the Lounge Scientists were forced to admit – yes, even freak show Michael Jackson has a mom - but what was mom's role in developing the little tyke Mike beyond teaching him ABC? Well it was all her fault [with some help from papa Joe] that he turned out the way he did because the Scientists have discovered that parents are responsible for passing on genes for reasoning, memory and brain volume. Why did MJ decide to do the things he did – simple, he used his Mom-and-Pop-based genes to help him make those important skin-colorizing, nose-altering, baby-waving decisions.
"A number of these genes have a role throughout life, perhaps in determining brain volume or the degree of age-related decline," says Lounge Scientist #50, Sudha Seshadri, a scientist at Boston University and whose mom was allegedly very reasonable.
Now all that remains is a scientific explanation as to why anybody in their right mind would attempt to run a 12k race without training and then eating doughnut holes afterward. Well, the latter might be explainable – but the former could remain one of the great mysteries of life.
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