The Cougar Lounge - The Sashay Former

"Sometimes you'll find out things from the opponent that you don't find out from a kid's own coach."
- Arizona head men's hoop coach Lute Olson, explaining how he gets some of his recruiting information…and maybe some dirt.
"Heidi Klum has sent us to hell."
- Headline in the Daily Blic newspaper in Serbia and Montenegro after supermodel Klum, performing the World Cup drawing duties, selected S&M for Group C along with the Netherlands, Argentina and Cote D'Ivoire.
"Real estate."
- What Lucy Van Pelt really wants for Christmas.
"Just make sure that you're really far away because if I'm able to get my hands on you, I'll swallow your nose. I'll bite your nose off and swallow it."
- Actor Johnny Depp, issuing a warning to photographers intending to take photos of his children. Nothing Krista Rappahahn needs to worry about right now.
It is closing in on crunch time – for Santa, for the Olympics, for bowl games, for hoops, for nog. Needless to say, there is a lot of holiday mirth being flung around the Lounge this week and we did not even mention the World Cup, which – get on your knees and genuflect right now – is not run by the BCS Taliban. FIFA has surely had their share of problems, but at least they do know how to run a playoff tournament. The odds-on favorite to win is Brazil while the USA has been firmly established as a 75-to-1 shot – meaning they will have to consider themselves lucky to find a German brewhaus with an available seat, much less make it to the Round of 16, especially coming out of their Group of Death including Italy and the Czech Republic. No matter, they will still make money off of it. Yahoo! sponsors and hosts the official FIFA website, which will mean eight months of alternating angst and joy as entire countries wildly bet on, wildly cheer for or wildly lambaste their team's players and coaches.
Meanwhile, it is college bowl game season back here in America and that means having to deal with the Puritanical structure of the bowl games and BCS Taliban and – best of all – the sponsorship [that orange light flashing on your monitor indicates that the sarcasm alert has been activated with the commencement of that previous sentence]. You will not see "Group B, sponsored by Geico Insurance" at the World Cup next year and hopefully not any year. But you will see every single bowl game this season with a title sponsor. It has degenerated so much that now, some bowl games are completing the circle with the final sell-out and ditching their bowl names altogether - like the Peach Bowl in Georgia. What can be more synonymous with the state of Georgia than peaches? Well, if you ask the proprietors of the bowl game with money stuffed in every available pocket they have – it is the Chick fil-A fast food restaurant chain! Next year, instead of being called the Chick fil-A Peach Bowl, they will just drop all the pretense and call it the Chick fil-A Bowl. Doesn't that have a nice ring to it? Isn't that much better than the Peach Bowl? Besides waiting for the day when all the people responsible for destroying the fun of college football die – and we're looking with laser beam eyeballs right at you, Roy Kramer, the Lounge is anxiously waiting for the Chico's Bail Bonds Bowl to surface. We know it is close because there is a Chick fil-A right down the street from Chico's.
The Football Writers Association of America named Jerome Harrison as a first-team All-American last week and the Lounge was prouder than a peacock during mating season as the Lounge had a small [very miniscule, nearly invisible to the naked eye] hand in that recognition. Harrison joined four others that were on our ballots although there were some notable people we felt were overlooked. Mike Hass at receiver, D'Qwell Jackson at linebacker, Alexis Serna at kicker and Adam Jennings at kick returner – to be specific. But, even though we believe some of those writers must have been high on holiday fruitcake when they cast their votes, we will accept that the Pac-10 was recognized with seven representatives out of 25 total – and that was without Hass and Serna.
"It finally happened!" yelled Lounge newcomer Mr. Buenos Aires, who came in out of the cold to give everybody the big news.
The Lounge is still reverberating from the shock waves emanating from Walnut Creek last week. The clientele was stunned to learn that, yes, a Cougar athlete was finally recognized by the Pac-10 conference and officially issued a conference trinket. After Harrison played his entire record-breaking season without one single weekly conference accolade, Cougar goalkeeper Katie Hultin stifled NCAA finalist UCLA in Los Angeles, Haley Paul's NCAA effort and both hoops programs going 0-for-2005 so far, the breakthrough finally came for Wazzu swimmer Erin McCleave. Of course, while some athletes from other schools only have to break a record here and there, all McCleave had to do was break three school records and earn two NCAA qualifying cuts to be named as the conference's Swimmer of the Month. Needless to say, it was a long overdue recognition for both school and athlete.
"The men are right where I thought they would be," says Edmund Goosestep of the men's hoop team that is now sitting on a 6-2 record with only one non-conference game remaining.
With the near-finish [the game against Utah in Seattle will signify the final game] of the non-conference season closing in, the party is just getting started, Ed. That is when the Pac-10 fun will begin and if the Cougars get a win over Utah this week, that could leave them only nine conference wins away from a likely NIT berth and possible NCAA berth. Wait. Did we just say that? About a WSU basketball program? Father Lotto just fell off his chair, so something must have happened. With the win, the Cougars' RPI stays in the 70-80 range and with at least a .500 conference record, should be in at least the 60-70 range by the time the conference season ends. But, of course, as Stanford women's hoop coach Tara VanDerveer says, the regular conference season is really just a seeding procedure for the conference tournament. That is all fine and dandy if your team is expected to make the Big Dance no matter what, but for a team like the Cougars who have to get as many wins as possible to receive recognition from some of the lame brains residing out there, the regular conference season is of utmost importance. But first things first – Utah in Seattle.
Since it is college bowl season and the majority of the Lounge clientele [we're not sure what Father Lotto is going to do, he's so unpredictable] will be planted in front of the television for the next two weeks watching and ridiculing many of the bowl games and watching and enjoying a few of them, we figured we should check in at Lost Remote to find out if we missed anything while we were in our football trance. We already did miss what Tiki Barber did last week – watching himself – live - on the big screen during a long breakaway run in order to see if anybody chasing him was about to catch him. Unfortunately for Tiki, when he got home that night and turned on his TiVo, he was caught from behind by a member of the line crew, then, to make matters worse, he tripped on the coffee table while he was watching himself watch himself.
Finally, speaking of coffee, the Lounge Scientists have completed their long-awaited follow-up to their coffee study of 2003. You remember that one – that is the one where they concluded that coffee makes people feel hyper-alert and think they can perform 12 jobs at one time while speaking in tongues but the responsible drug in coffee – caffeine - is not tossed in the bin with the other "bad" drugs like heroine, marijuana and alcohol – because, well, because it tastes great [especially in the eggnog latte!] and does not require a syringe or special rolling papers. [This denial of logic was sponsored by the Starbucks Bowl]. Well, break out the phone books because caffeine is calling - according to Austrian scientists who conducted a survey of reaction times and discovered that caffeine in coffee speeds up short-term memory and reaction times.
"This type of memory is used when, for example, you look up a telephone number in a book and then mentally store it before dialing," says Lounge Scientist #84 Florian Koppelstatter, who reputedly enjoys a nice peppermint mocha latte with his colleagues at the University of Innsbruck.
The Lounge can relate to this. We have all the numbers of the entire population of China on the tips of all our tongues, except when nog is involved, then we get flustered. What was that phone number for the Bowl Game Hotline again?
+++++++sponsored by Clark's Restaurant+++++++++
Attention COUGAR Fans! Autumn is here and now you're hungry. How can you afford to go one day further without some tasty morsels from Clark's Restaurant in Grays Harbor – home of the Best Hamburger in Twin Harbors for six consecutive years? Come in for the burger, fresh homemade fries and milkshakes concocted from homemade ice cream. Go ahead, we dare you to try and pass up more than 12 varieties of hamburgers to choose from, full dinners, lunch and full breakfast served daily. Clark's Restaurant 360.538.1487. Seven miles south of Aberdeen, Washington on Highway 101. Proud supporter of CougZone. Mention this ad for a free small hot chocolate.