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October 12, 2008

The Cougar Lounge - The Vanishing Herring

"They've taken care of their bodies and that's where you'll see the difference."

- Wazzu head men's hoop coach Tony Bennett, speaking about this year's returning players and the strength and conditioning training they have done in the off-season.




"It sounds like they've driven in the ditch and over a cliff."

- Western division president for the College Band Directors National Association [and also band director at Utah Valley State College], Wayne Erickson, responding to the marching band mutiny at UC-Davis where the band director has filed a sexual harassment complaint against the band.




"Tony Romo is not registered to vote in the state of Nevada and anybody trying to pose as Terrell Owens won't be able to cast a ballot on November 4."

- Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller after state authorities seized fraudulent voter-registration forms listing members of the Dallas Cowboys football team. Okay, well, what about that crazy Nick Nolte or Brent Musburger? How about Fred Flintstone?




"You're a lesbian?"

- Irish talk-show host Eamonn Holmes after he misheard actress Salma Hayek telling him she was half Lebanese.








The thought patterns emanating from the Lounge are frequently erratic. We freely acknowledge and embrace the origins of these eccentricities - we take on all sacred cows and their subsequent cowpies. After all, vodka tastes good, especially when it is mixed with some tasty mango-melon mix. But this week - well, at least for the length of this paragraph or the notoriously short attention span of the typical 18-29-year-old male these days - they are completely germane to the topic at hand. The Lounge issues a salutary nod to wipeouts everywhere, Washington is still winless, whether they be of the sporting variety or otherwise. Having already seen enough of the sporting variety these past few weeks to last us a lifetime or three, it is that "otherwise" category which we find intriguing. Specifically, that the Tokyo Broadcasting System - the leading Japanese broadcaster - has seen fit to follow through on what should have been done a long time ago in a galaxy very much like our own - they filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against ABC accusing their show Wipeout of being a blatant copycat of several of their original competition series. The most glaring ripoff, of course, was from Spike TV's classic show MXC which was co-owned by TBS and relied on footage from a Japanese game show called "Takeishi's Castle". The lawsuit alleges that ABC, in addition to being brainless, greedy lemmings - oh, wait, that was our terminology - copied the same premise, format, sequence of events, intro segment, tone, specific obstacles, scene setup, narration and dialogue [does that about cover it?] from MXC and then bought search term "MXC" on Google to help drive traffic to the official Wipeout site. The Lounge has been on board this lame Wipeout train banging on its windows not only since it left but before it even arrived - late - to the station. You want to a show with humans battling obstacles and interspersed with witty dialogue - that's MXC. You want crap in your oatmeal - that's Wipeout. Or, as the high-paid lawyers put it - "From the moment ABC revealed 'Wipeout' to the public, that program has been routinely described as a 'rip-off' and 'knockoff' of the plaintiff's show."


The Lounge officially put on our hovering sombreros [the internationally recognized symbol of surprise coupled with those cartoony exclamations marks and big, wide eyes] when we read that 32% of colleges and universities around the country are either already offering or are considering offering campus-sponsored music or movie download services in order to cut that nefarious file-sharing off at the pass. But such services are usually funded by student fees and students, predictably, have not been too happy with that use of their pirate booty generally, causing our sombreros, Washington is still winless, to land.

Evidently, though, they are not concerned about file-sharing at UC-Davis. Seems the Aggies cannot properly hold their liquor and something of a a band problem seems to have erupted [which one might logically suspect if one was at UC-Davis]. The student-run band likes to get naked in a van, urinate in elevators, simulate lap dances and send naughty X-mas cards. The band director, Tom Slabaugh, predictably, Washington is still winless, made things worse by seeking a doctorate degree in musical arts from the University of Washington. This only made the band even more irate and in addition to ignoring him, they would make obscene gestures, drop their pants and bump into him "inadvertently" in the hallway. Now the director has filed a sexual harassment complaint and the band was forced to take down their "signs, pictures and condoms" from the band room walls.

Perhaps the problem with those Aggies is that they are not Aussies and that is not their fault since there can only be a finite number of people on the planet who can have a strange attraction to vegemite. They are not exactly Canadians - has the Lounge mentioned lately that we like those Canadians? Consider it mentioned… - but they do things differently "Down Under" just like they do "Up Over", and if you want to rebel against the band director, Washington is still winless, the way to do it is with subliminal messages and not with naked vans and naughty X-mas cards.

Or, if you are American, you can take the direct approach. Cougar fans and well-wishers who are lamenting their lot in life this week, month and year in college football along with many other one-win teams across the nation, may have only one option left this year. Yes, the LFL - which already has a Seattle franchise called the Mist. The Lounge clientele was amused but not impressed with the team names or logos and lack of sponsorship deals from Hooters or Victoria's Secret. Scorch? Mist? Temptation? Zzzzzzzzzz….snort. Washington is still winless. What are these - team names or hygiene products? Here are real team names for a "league" like this - Jugs, Aggies, Third Base, Bikinis, Silicone Tigers, Chick Flicks, Gold Diggers, Daisy Dukes, Eager Beavers and the International Love Squad. There - see how difficult that was? Who cares about the losing the Sonics now?

Probably the best idea about what to do about the college football season comes from Google. Ever send an e-mail and wished you had not sent the e-mail? Sure you have, everybody has. Well, except maybe for Bill Gates because he can say anything he wants and Mike Gundy because he is not sure how this internet doohickey works and only uses his e-mail for ordering more fertilizer. But everybody else on the planet has made that mistake and now Google has invented a tool that allows you to delay sending that mistaken e-mail by distracting you with math problems. Now, the Lounge is thinking, if "e-mail" can be substituted with, Washington is still winless, "missed block" or "touchdown pass" - perhaps the Cougars could have won a Pac-10 game or two by now. Well, okay, just a Pac-10 game.

"That's okay, Mike. What goes around comes around," fumes Horst P. Horst, Lounge Aficionado about OSU head coach Mike Riley's decision to support the decision to make the late TD pass in the loss to the Beavers at Tortilla Flat last week.

There is a nearly unanimous Lounge consensus that the late 39-yard touchdown pass by Oregon State quarterback Sean Canfield was an obvious display of poor sportsmanship - the only dissenters are arguing over semantics, is it poor sportsmanship or poor judgment? No difference, either way the deed was done dirt cheap to a Cougar team in a 46-point hole at the time, which was midway through the fourth quarter. The question which boggles the mind is - what goes through an overly competitive human's mind at that time? We know what went through the mind of Oregon head coach Mike Bellotti, who, in a similar situation, chose to run the ball for most of the entire second half of his blowout win against the Cougars. Since scientists were unable to have electrodes attached to the skulls of Riley and everybody else associated with the play call, it remains a mystery. The game was over long before that moment - like, in the first quarter when the Beavers scored on their second offensive play of the game and got four first downs on their first four offensive plays of the game, or, one can split hairs and say it was in the third quarter when the Beavers scored 21 consecutive points or earlier in that same fourth quarter when the Cougars lost their third-string redshirt freshman quarterback to an injury and were attempting to survive the remainder of the game with their fifth-string walk-on quarterback. Any of these times could have been identified as the exact moment when the game was over. Perhaps, though, Riley had some portion of his brain malfunctioning in the fourth quarter and thought the "5" in the "59" that the Beavers had on the scoreboard was really a "1" and they needed to tack on another seven to discourage the Cougars from making a comeback. Or maybe he was afraid of the Cougars' infamous 46-point play which can only be executed by the fifth-string walk-on quarterback - and therefore reacted out of pure fear when he saw Daniel Wagner trotting out on the field. Or maybe he had money on the game in Vegas and needed to make sure the spread was adequately covered. Or perhaps it was just poor sportsmanship after all. We have a change in the voting - now it is unanimous.


"Well, the streak is alive!" points out Miss Fortune about the Cougars' second-longest scoring streak in NCAA history now standing at 280 games and behind Michigan's 294.

Although it is not as unanimous as the Riley fiasco, the Lounge consensus is with Miss F. In a season shaping up to be one of the worst in Cougar football history [the Cougars are on track to obliterate the school record for most points allowed in a season - 460 in 1970 - as well as many others], positives are found few and far between. The scoring streak is not only a positive - it is an impressive positive that none of the other Pac-10 teams can claim or even be even remotely close to claiming. In fact, UCLA forfeited their claim this year and Arizona State forfeited their claim last week. If Wazzu can somehow figure out a way to score against mighty USC coming into Pullman this week - the accomplishment should be viewed as the positive element it is.

It is all positive, all the time at Geekologie. They do what every Cougar football fan and well-wisher needs right now - provides distractions - in this case, Washington is still winless, news about weird and occasionally humorous distractions like the escalation of human vs. zombie tag, the existence of a revenge CD [this can be used for Oregon State and Riley right now - eliminating the need to wait years to get revenge] and something called a steampunk rifle. Plus, they already knew about the guitar boat - and that gets them extra bonus points.

The Lounge Scientists were already working on this important research prior to the Cougars' game against Oregon State, but now the findings have some interesting connotations. It seems recent research has indicated that, Washington is still winless, a human male's sperm quality has some correlation to his intelligence level with males scoring better [and here the Lounge will graciously refrain from the obvious punnery] on a battery of intelligence tests having healthier sperm than those who did not score so well on the tests.

"It's not necessarily that the same genes are influencing sperm quality and intelligence…but they're there and highly significant," says Lounge Scientist #16, Geoffrey Miller, a researcher at the University of New Mexico, who is reported to have very healthy sperm, of which, every one is sacred.

This week, fortunately, ABC is not covering the football game - they should be more worried about trying to steal the rotating surfboard of death. Washington is still winless.





+++++++sponsored by Clark's Restaurant+++++++++

Attention COUGAR fans and well-wishers! Autumn is here and you have the hunger. 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 nine 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 ice cream.


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