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September 27, 2009

The Cougar Lounge - The Rent Is Due

"We have been working really hard and we have committed to everyone going in the same direction. I'm really proud of our team."

- Wazzu head volleyball coach Andrew Palileo, after his Cougars swept Oregon State to remain undefeated at 12-0 and open Pac-10 play.




"Any time you play in front of a big crowd at home and you can give them something to cheer about, it's a great day."

- Wazzu head soccer coach Matt Potter, whose Cougars gave the crowd plenty to cheer about in a 4-0 win over Weber State last week.




"I know something's going to happen in the next few years and I want to be part of it."

- New Wazzu women's hoop recruit Brandi Thomas, explaining why she chose Wazzu over Gonzaga.




"We are against Western sexy performances. We don't think our people need that."

- An Islamic party spokesman in Malaysia protesting the impending appearance of Beyonce next month. The Lounge hears Malaysian authorities believe a caning can be sexy if you do it right.








The first day of autumn passed down our esophagus last week and with it came the true start of the collegiate athletic season. Oh sure, we know that, technically, the start of the athletic season began last month - but that was the start that was manufactured for all the television networks, athletic directors and NCAA executives who just cannot wait until the first day of autumn to begin counting their money. In the famous words of Bono - …"slapping 'em down…one hundred!...two hundred!" But what really indicated the beginning of autumn was Oregon and their uniform choice. Now, we know that putting the words "Oregon" and "uniforms" in the same sentence is not exactly breaking news these days, except when they decided - finally! - to wear their normal uniforms in their actual school colors. As has been noted many times in the past, the Lounge clientele does not look favorably upon Oregon's constant pimping of itself that makes it look like college football's version of Huggy Bear. But on Saturday, the Lounge - and college football - was proud of Oregon for wearing uniforms that were merely green and yellow with a simple interlocking U and O on the helmets. Maybe that is why they stomped Cal? Of course, Oregon being Oregon, they still have work to do, as they referred to these uniforms as "retro". The word was invented in 1974 by the French and is short for retrospective and while there is no defined time scale for what is considered retro and what is not, it should be sufficiently outside a decade far enough to create some sort of timely distance that gives the impression of the good old days. In short, 10 years back is not retro. But Oregon, for the love of Buddha - please keep these uniforms for the rest of the season.


What constitutes a retro time frame is quibbling and they do not do that at Oregon. How do we know? Well, because they just go straight to the chase and give money back for embarrassing and poor performances. Is there any way we can get this kind of deal from the BCS Taliban and the NCAA? We figure they owe college football fans for 11 years of tweaking and fraud perpetrated on the game of college football, how much does that add up to - a few billion? We will take it in 20's and 50's, please.

We are not even sure the BCS Taliban should even be around. Of course, the Lounge has been on the BCS Taliban's case for some time now, but now there is computer evidence to back up what we have always been saying - that the BCS Taliban gives college football fans and well-wishers poor results and there are two better systems out there. One is called a playoff [duh] and the other is called a better computer algorithm - as shown by this smart person! Now that you have two options to consider, do not let us prevent you from extracting your collective heads out of your collective sphincters, BCS Taliban.

Undoubtedly, either of these scenarios would be a sweet arrangement for college football fans and well-wishers and those living west of the Mississippi would find it to be even sweeter because the Lounge has learned eight of the top 10 markets for buying honey are located west of Old Man River - with Spokane being #5 and Seattle/Tacoma being #9.

"I can feel something warm and fuzzy in my body - what is it?" asks Mr. Stinkster, who, true to his name, is not used to these feelings after Cougar football games.

Hmmm…we do not know, Mr. S. Could it be that tiramisu you had at Olive Garden? Those have been known to produce warm and fuzzy feelings. It could also be from the spunky way that the Cougars played in the face of adversity on Saturday evening against a superior USC football team. First, let us be frank [not Ted, Joe or Steve, but frank] - there was never going to be a way for the Cougars to defeat USC on Saturday - not with 100 penalties and 10 turnovers. Wait, well, maybe with that many there might have been, but barring those kinds of numbers, no. Still, even with 13 Trojan penalties and a couple turnovers to help them, it was a 21-point defeat. But coming off a 69-point defeat last year, it was a marked improvement. Not only was the 48-point improvement impressive, but so were the two - count 'em, two - Wazzu defensive stands on fourth and goal from the two-yard line that kept the Trojans off the scoreboard. Offensively, true freshman Jeff Tuel showed why head coach Paul Wulff decided to burn his redshirt in Los Angeles. After redshirt sophomore starter Marshall Lobbestael struggled through a quarter and a half of unspectacular play, Wulff inserted Tuel and the freshman immediately began showing his field savvy and athleticism against the first-string USC defense. On special teams, the Cougars did not allow a big play coverage return as they have frequently done in the past against big name opponents, punter Reid Forrest punted well again and the only real negative was the nightmare evening of Nico Grasu, who, off the 39-yard game-winning field goal against SMU last week, missed two field goals and an extra point against the Trojans. Still, despite the final margin of victory, it was a night of hope and promise for Wazzu, as they caught glimpses of the future and what it could be.


"How far can this team go?" asks Puford Busser about the undefeated Wazzu volleyball team.

Well, Puford, that is a good question. The Cougars raced through their non-conference schedule, pummeling everybody but Idaho in remaining undefeated, but the questions swirling around from disbelievers - was their sparkling record merely a mirage because of the relative lack of power teams on their non-conference schedule? What would happen when they got into the powerful Pac-10 conference - the toughest conference in the land? A sweep is what happened. Of course, it was only one match and it was just Oregon State - they have 17 more matches to go and much tougher and seventh-ranked Oregon up today - but it was certainly a convincing answer to any naysayers and, more importantly - national poll voters - regarding how good the Cougars currently are and can be this year. With one Pac-10 win under their belts, the Lounge consensus is that they will need six or seven more to garner an NCAA berth - their first in seven years. Six would likely put them on the bubble and seven would probably put them in without question. But that is jumping, considerably, ahead of the gun. What the win over Oregon State should do, however, is get Wazzu several votes closer to being included in the Top 25, no matter what transpires in Eugene today.

The Lounge is in a playful mood this week and that is what drew us to Wordle where we could view or create a "Wordle". The Lounge likes the design of September, the theme of the Brady Bunch and content of Langston Hughes.

With the official arrival of autumn comes the arrival of cold weather and the Lounge Scientists have discovered that the coldest spot in the entire universe is not on the planet of Pluto [yeah, that's right, we called it a planet…you got a problem with that?] which is the farthest planet away from the Sun and would, therefore, be the most logical choice for such a place. Nor is it in a conference room when presenting a business proposal to Donald Trump. Instead, it is on the south pole of the moon, which, come to think of it, could be the location of a Trump conference room. The moon's south pole is said to be 397 degrees below zero - which is only 62 degrees away from the coldest temperature possible and a degree colder than Pluto.

"The moon is not just a billiard ball with dimples. It's got interesting cracks and crevices," says Lounge Scientist #397, David Paige, a scientist at UCLA, who reportedly had a nice warm sweater on when he conducted his research.

Hmmm…the south pole of the moon - that would be an excellent depository for all those previous versions of Oregon's football uniforms.




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