October 2, 2011

The Cougar Lounge - The Karma Canal

"The players worked really, really hard in practice this week and we saw light bulbs going off and a different mentality."

- Wazzu head volleyball coach Jen Greeny after Wazzu swept Oregon State at Bohler for their second Pac-12 victory of the season - and forewarning the Wazzu administration of an increased electrical bill this month in Bohler [due to increased light bulbs usage].




"This is a tough place to win. It's always been a hard place to play."

- Stanford head women's soccer coach Paul Ratcliffe, after the top-ranked Cardinal required a diving header in the match's waning minutes to escape with a hard-fought victory over the Cougars before nearly a thousand strong at Cougarland Field last week.




"It doesn't change what I said about him - I think it's still true - but you've got to be careful because people twist your words and do whatever they want with them."

- USC quarterback Matt Barkley, after being reprimanded by the conference for calling Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict a "dirty player". Barkley, however, did not identify which of the words - "dirty" or "player" - was twisted out of its original order by the Los Angeles Times reporter he said them to.




"Wow. I've opened a can of worms. Or Pandora's box. Or released the Kraken maybe?...Not only was the idea received well, but we've had offers of sponsorship, technical support and a bunch of comedians up for it…I still can't quite understand how anyone would think I overstepped the mark, was cruel or pushed any boundaries of taste and decency [while hosting the 2010 Golden Globe Awards]. It was a network-friendly gentle ribbing of the industry, nothing more. I didn't even dress as Hitler in the end."

- Actor/comedian Ricky Gervais, after proposing on his blog to perform a simultaneous podcast hosting of this year's Golden Globe Award show along with some fellow comedians.









What can the Lounge glean from this weekend's Wazzu wonders? First, there was the soccer team's courageous effort against the nation's top-ranked team at Cougarland Field on Friday afternoon. That was followed by the Wazzu volleyball team's unmitigated skunking of the Oregon State Beavers on Friday evening - before a regional television audience, no less. Finally the Wazzu football team was shuffling down the street in Boulder seemingly on their way to their second consecutive loss of the 2011 season when they suddenly found 14 points lying on the ground that somebody - coulda been the coaches, coulda been the players, who knows? - had inexplicably left there and used them to snatch victory away from Colorado for their first Pac-12 win of the year. If Wazzu can get a win against California at Cougarland today, it would have to be classified as one of the more successful weekends on the Palouse for Wazzu fans and well-wishers in a long time.


Needless to say, this weekend's results were a cause for Wazzu fans and well-wishers to drink heartily, mostly in glee or contentment - you know, the fun kind of drinking. That is important to note because the Pac-12 television network deal is coming up next year and one of the issues they will have to address is whether or not to turn up their noses at one of the nation's biggest advertising revenue streams -and, coincidentally, one of the largest revenue expenditures for college students everywhere - alcohol. Alcohol advertising and professional sports programming have been married for quite some time now and with ESPN having a majority stake in the soon-to-be Pac-12 network, it will be interesting to see if the network will pursue this lucrative but sure-to-be controversial revenue stream. Before people begin to mount their high horses and say things like "but it's a college sports network and you can't do that!" and "alcohol advertising burnt my baby's eyeballs and she required 98 hours of corrective surgery to fix them" and others of that ilk, there is the much-maligned Longhorn Network. Now, nobody outside of the state of Texas - and there are probably a few million inside the state of Texas as well - likes the Longhorn Network but that is beside the point. The point here is that the Longhorn Network launched earlier this year and decided to keep in place ESPN's same policies which applied to its other ESPN channels - that is, ads will be accepted for malt beverages, beer and wine products with 6% or less alcohol content…in other words, no Four Loko. Which means, boys and girls, that the Longhorn Network accepts alcohol advertising and, so far at least, we have seen no epidemic of scorched retinas or altered morality behavior within the state of Texas in the last few months. They are pretty much the same arrogant and obnoxious crew they have always been.

There was some distraught people in the Palouse last week as it was officially announced by Fox that there would be no cable channel devoted to The Simpsons, Futurama, Family Guy and other Fox-owned animation properties in the near future as was rumored. Instead, Fox will simply be re-routing reruns of those shows to their already -existing FX cable channel to join Archer which is already dug in the late night period on that channel. But it could be worse, the Cougars could have played their football game against Colorado on a field of fire ant nests.

Doritos are great. They are not good for you in the politically correct nutritional way, which makes them all the more enticing and tasty when munching them down while somebody preaches to you about their levels of fat and whatnot. Better yet, they go with beer perfectly - just watch any future Pac-12 network ads and you will see. The Lounge loves Doritos, everybody loves Doritos. That is why there is one legitimately bad thing that happened last week - the man who invented Doritos died. His name was Arch West Clark and he lived to be 97 years old, even with his Doritos-loving diet - take that, organic freaks! - and reputedly was less-than-thrilled with the latest Doritos flavor incarnation of Late-Night All-Nighter Cheeseburger, spitting out his sample. West, his daughter reports, will have Doritos spread on his grave.

"That never happens to us!!" says Lounge newcomer Sloppy Joe, in amazement after Wazzu pulled a victory out of certain defeat - and not the other way around like has happened too many times in the past to the Cougars - over Colorado in their football game with the Buffaloes.

You can say that again, Joe. Wait! No, do not say it again! You may jinx it and Wazzu still has a tough game with UCLA this week in Los Angeles. Still, the fact that Wazzu was - finally - on the receiving end of good fortune in a football game going down to the wire is at least a minor payback to the Cougars' karma account in the Bank of College Football Gods that Wazzu has built up over the past decades. It would have been better had it been against USC or Washington [for long overdue repayments to those schools], but Wazzu fans and well-wishers will accept it and there will be no quibbling. This week everybody is happy! Well, with the notable exception of people in and around the Boulder, Colorado area, where they might not be too happy with Buffalo head coach Jon Embree [though we are sure we cannot imagine why…]. The win over one-win Colorado team was not ground-breaking in any reality-based sense of the phrase but it was an important victory for the team, head coach Paul Wulff and especially the program in 2011. Lose that game and the program would have been in dire straits for not only the remainder of the season but possibly also for the foreseeable future. There is still no certainty that future dire straits will be avoided but there is certainty that Wazzu can win a conference football game on the road and do it in the fourth quarter. Yes, so the opponent is not a top-notch opponent, but that hardly matters today - perhaps at the end of the season - but not today. No, today, all that matters is that Wazzu is 1-0 and sitting atop the Pac-12 North Division - in football - with all the other zero-loss teams. That is what is important today. Next week, new subject matter, something else might be important. But not this week. College football gods be damned!

"That was a tough loss," says Union Jack, after the Cougars lost in the last few minutes to top-ranked Stanford in soccer last week.

See what we were saying about that karma thing? This is the second time this type of scenario has happened to Wazzu head coach Matt Potter - both of them occurring in Pullman - and sooner or later, what goes around is gonna come around for the Trees. But, unfortunately for Potter and the Cougars, it was not last week. Still, despite the painful last-minutes loss, Wazzu should be sitting comfortably for possible post-season play possibilities if they can take care of business in the rest of their season's remaining matches. A win today over California would help tremendously in that regard, as would subsequent wins over Oregon, Washington, Arizona State and Arizona in their remaining schedule. Wins over those five schools should be all Wazzu needs to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament. That may not take all of the sting out of the loss to Stanford, but it should soothe most of it.


Since people were undoubtedly drinking this week and weekend, the Lounge's special Drunk Cooking Correspondent, Hannah Hart, offers as a public service - cooking tips while drunk. There are many and there will be a pop quiz afterward…well, if we can remember to have one

The Lounge Scientists were drunk - both with excitement and the real kind - because they discovered the Holy Grail of planetary discoveries when they officially identified a planet that has been orbiting two stars - just like Tatooine - Luke Skywalker's home planet in Star Wars. The planet is officially called Kepler 16b, resides in the constellation Cygnus about 200 light-years away and is probably just a big ball of gas similar to Saturn - only much closer to its twin stars, at 65 million miles away. But the scientists are still taking swigs of happy juice.

"Reality has finally caught up with science fiction," says Lounge Scientist #65 Alan Boss, a scientist at the Carnegie Institute in Pennsylvania who, reportedly, just purchased the Star Wars DVD Blu-ray set and whose favorite planet is Hoth.

After this weekend, the Force is now with Wazzu.




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