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September 5, 2010"I am happy with the win but it is relative."
- Wazzu head volleyball coach Andrew Palileo, after the Cougars defeated winless San Francisco for their third win of the year.
"We worked so hard to get even and then gave up a goal right after that. That is not something we can afford to do."
- Wazzu head soccer coach Matt Potter after the Cougars lost to BYU, 3-1, in Provo last week.
"Crazy stuff happens sometimes."
- Mississippi [and former Oregon] quarterback Jeremiah Masoli eloquently explaining how the Rebels lost to Division I-AA [now FCS] member, Jacksonville State, 49-48, in double overtime.
"The Stig's ears are not where you would expect them to be."
- A remark about The Stig - the mystery driver on the BBC hit show Top Gear who was recently revealed to be race car driver Ben Collins.
We've got spirit, yes we do. We've got spirit, how 'bout you? Well, not so much after that Labor Day weekend. The Lounge took a special course in school to prepare for temporary insanity brought on by excessive losing and despite passing all the institutional testing, it still did not help this weekend which saw the Cougars lose in everything they competed in - cross country, football, soccer and volleyball [though volleyball was saved by a single win over a winless team and soccer should get a victory today] - and in the case of football, we use the word "compete" in the figurative sense. For cross country, the result was mostly expected [a twin loss in a dual meet to Washington] so no massive crocodile tears were shed, but in both soccer and volleyball, it is likely - though not improbable - that those programs' NCAA hopes and dreams could be dashed just the first week into September with a combined seven losses in their first 11 contests. It is not quite time to bring out yer dead! yet but it could be that time shortly if tables are not turned accordingly in the remainder of the month.
In an effort to divert attention to something even more groundshaking than the Cougars losing another football game, we find that, much to our amusement - the Stig is up! For those completely mystified by this reference, the Stig [aside from being a character in the film The Rutles] was a mysterious test driver on the popular BBC America television series Top Gear where supercars were "tested" and a trio of British hosts engage in fun antics with a variety of vehicles. The Stig - always clad in a white helmet with black visor [though in early days, the colors were all black] - was the show's test driver whose identity was never revealed - until now. The Stig - close your eyes - is Formula 3 race car driver Ben Collins and not Formula 1 race car driver Michael Schumacher as was revealed in a previous show with the fake Schumacher Stig when Ferrari would only allow Schumacher to test their new Enzo. First we discover Lindsay Lohan and Mel Gibson are unstable freaks and now this. Another secret revealed.
As if that was not bad enough, now it has been announced that the NBA is going into business with China and the two will collaborate on a feature film called Amazing where the NBA will partner with a Shanghai film group to try and teach Asian kids that, if they have 40-inch vertical leaps and can shoot 60% from beyond the three-point line or just be a genetic anomaly like Yao Ming - then they too can "achieve their dreams through hard work" Outside of China, of course. Did we forget to mention that tiny little fact?
The crack Lounge research department was back on the job achieving their dreams through hard work last week and what did they discover? They found that people in Texas, Mississippi, Chicago, Louisiana, Tennessee, South Carolina and Arkansas [noticing a theme here?] generally do not give a hoot about "what is hot and what is not." Guess that explains why Paris Hilton got pulled over with somebody else's purse filled with cocaine in Las Vegas instead of Mississippi, where they don't care so much about crime [see, Masoli, Jeremiah].
"Why didn't they schedule Kansas instead of Oklahoma State!?" wonders The Fisheyed Foo after the Cougars lost their season opening football game to Oklahoma State, 65-17, while Kansas lost their season opener to North Dakota State, 6-3.
Hey Foo - you should just be lucky they did not schedule North Dakota State thinking it was going to be an easy win. Despite rampant pre-season hyperbole about improvements in weight rooms numbers, attitude and talent, the Cougars opened the 2010 season in much the same manner as they closed the 2009 season - with a blowout loss to a mediocre team [Oklahoma State is expected to be in the six or seven win category this year]. What is particularly creating despondency amongst the clientele is the fact that no improvement has been made. In fact, the loss to the Cowboys was the worst season-opening loss in 43 years and the most points allowed in a season opener in school history. Not the direction Cougar fans and well-wishers were hoping the team would be going in at the beginning of the third year of head coach Paul Wulff's tenure. The mistakes - beginning with the botched handoff attempt on the very first offensive play of the game - are too numerous to mention and the positives come congealed in one second quarter lump when senior kicker Nico Grasu hit the sixth-longest field goal in school history and sophomore quarterback Jeff Tuel hit true freshman receiver Marquess Wilson on a 48-yard scoring strike to briefly cut the Cowboys' lead to seven before the game got really out of hand and Oklahoma State's senior running back Kendall Hunter made the Cougar defense look like they were made of Cougar Gold. Wazzu should - emphasis on the word "should" - win easily against regional Division I-AA [now FCS] foe Montana State this week in Pullman, but then it is back to the Land of Division I teams with a road game at SMU in the third week and the Mustangs are coming off a bowl game in 2009.
"How can they get to the NCAA now?" asks Ron Devious, about the Wazzu soccer team's chances of returning to the NCAA tournament for a third consecutive time after opening the 2010 season by losing four of their first five matches.
That is a good question, Ron - but one which has a good answer - by winning matches. That is the only way they can get to their third consecutive NCAA tournament at this point. No ties - it has to be wins. The Cougars are in this bucket because - while they did play hard - they were unable to forge important ties against better teams such as Florida State, Texas A&M and BYU while absorbing a crucial upset loss to Long Beach State. Ties against FSU, TAMU and BYU - all legitimate possible outcomes - and a win against LBSU would have not only kept Wazzu in the national rankings with a 2-0-3 record but might have also elevated them to Top 15 status. Instead, the Cougars are now in a massive bind that will only be undone by winning matches against superior opponents - a tough task to ask of a young team that is still struggling to rebuild with youth after losing the Killer D's [Kiersten Dallstream, Carly Dobrats, Maggie Dougher]. Wazzu should get a win against Weber State today and then will need to run the table against their five remaining non-conference opponents [Denver, Colorado, Hawai'i, Pepperdine and Gonzaga] in order to put themselves at 7-4 and back in the NCAA discussion.
Some Cougar fans and well-wishers may have been embarrassed by the football team's overwhelming loss to Oklahoma State this weekend but that has to pale in comparison to the feeling one has when they discover Oh Crap, My Parents Joined Facebook. Your Dad thinks you look like Cher [ooooohhh not good] and your Mom pleads for you to acknowledge that you are her son - just like real family.
Meanwhile, the Lounge Scientists have announced that Washington State University is winning at one thing this weekend - studies about organic farming. Seems as though some Wazzu researchers and professors have found that organic strawberries taste better than mass-produced strawberries on conventional farms and, of course, the conditions at organic farms leave the soil healthier, create more genetically-diverse strawberries and are better to the environment.
"We also show you can have high quality healthy produce without resorting to an arsenal of pesticides," says Lounge Scientist #13, John Reganold, a Wazzu scientist who, reputedly, was out picking strawberries when the Cougars were playing their football game this weekend.
Oh crap - the strawberries are on Facebook.
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