Latest Team Rankings
Free Text Alerts
|ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports|
|College Teams||High Schools|
July 8, 2007"This is a slippery slope toward us just throwing in the towel and saying what we're about is fielding football teams and we have a university on the side, and I'm just not in favor of that."
- Vanderbilt chancellor Gordon Gee, standing up to the BCS Taliban and bowl game foolishness and proving that - despite the myth - there is at least one sane mind in the SEC.
"We're going to spend the summer re-tooling all of our field shows and come up with some great stuff. We are excited to get back into the mix."
- Stanford band director Adam Cohen, after receiving word that both the band and the Tree have been officially released from double secret probation - although they will be shadowed by an administrative mole, er, advisor. Still, those will have to be some fancy tools to beat their famed Notre Dame show.
"To be one of only a few people in the world that can be perfect."
- Canadian gamer Greg Sakundiak, explaining why, sometime this month, he will attempt to play the perfect game of Pac-Man - reaching level 256 without losing a life, missing a ghost or piece of fruit and racking up 3,333,360 points - which has only been achieved five other times.
The Lounge awakened to a brand new year - last week marked the official beginning of the collegiate fiscal year for the 2007-08 season - and already the talk turned to men's hoop where Wazzu head coach Tony Bennett is quietly - well, perhaps not so quietly any more - amassing talent for not only this year but two, three and four years hence. We almost expected him to be grabbing a recruit from England this week because the Great Britain happens to be the center of the sporting universe at the moment with Venus Williams winning Wimbledon and the Tour de Dopes, uh, France, beginning the first few stages in southern England before taking the chunnel over to France. It has been a long time since the Lounge paid much attention to Wimbledon because while we do appreciate sportsmanship, we do not prefer overly-politically correct sportsmanship like you see in golf and tennis [i.e. - how to act in front of the Queen, wear only white, never use the salad fork to poke an opponent at the dinner table, etc.]. But Williams winning the big shiny plate - and that's another thing, a big flying tea cup saucer is the trophy? What's up with that? - is mildly cool if you are even a borderline tennis fan. It sure beats watching professional baseball, basketball, football, hockey, fill-in-the-blank here athletes pretend they are nothing like the prima donna mercenaries their actions and salaries make them out to be. Venus is a pro too, but she is a pro going mano-a-mano with others of her ilk and has to perform well to earn her money. If she does not perform well, no big moolah numbers for her - none of this guaranteed contract money for slacking.
We would feel the same way about the Tour de France except they are in the midst of an ongoing implosion. It is kind of like watching one of those distant stars collide and explode from the Hubble telescope - the first image shows the star in fine shape, then the next image shows it with what looks like a big wart growing out of its side and then the next image is just a massive ball of exploding matter like the USS Enterprise used to encounter on a weekly basis on Star Trek. Three years ago, the TDF was cool to watch, there was Lance Armstrong and his mini-soap opera [Kristen and the kids, Sheryl Crow, rumors of drugs, surly French media, both in-team and other-team drama] and the highly underrated broadcasting team of Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen [if only they could broadcast every sporting event known to mankind, life would be so much better] telling us all about it. Then after cleaning everybody's clocks, Lance retires and the French are saying - "Finally! now a non-American super-humanoid can win our race!" Then Floyd Landis won last year. Ooops. Still, it seemed good enough because he admitted drinking whiskey after a particularly bad day - not exactly a performance-enhancing drug but a very American-like response to adversity that the Europeans would probably like - except that the French media went after him with the same pit bull drug probe tenacity that has always endeared sports fans and well-wishers to poor losers. This year, there is no Landis while he appeals his drug probe and everybody has to sign a document swearing they never swiped any candy from the corner store before they are allowed to race. If an American wins the race this year - and there is a distinct possibility of that happening - watch for the French media to implode on Hubble images.
The other thing getting the Lounge all huffy this relatively benign week was the recent release of the American Film Institute's Top 100 American films of all time. As usual, we take issue with Citizen Kane glomming onto the top spot. The film is good - we give it that - but the greatest of all time? We think not. Casablanca in the #3 spot is the greatest American film of all time in our book [which we keep hidden under the fridge just in case the terrorists win] - it has top-notch writing with so many classic lines and witty repartee that it makes the #2 film - The Godfather - look silly by comparison. But at least Gone With The Wind was not at the top, so we can live with that, but it was over Lawrence Of Arabia which is unquestionably the #2 film - well, really, it should be #1 and #1a with Casablanca. The Lounge's all-time fave - One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest did not make the top 10 but that is okay, we understand not everybody can deal well with the Mental Defective League - in formation. The real travesty occurs further down the list where The Third Man, Fantasia and Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? were dropped from the list in favor of Nashville, Sullivan's Travels and Swing Time, to name a few. All films that resonate with a resounding "Huh?" Travesty.
We will give the AFI a donovan [the new term officially replacing "mulligan" after Florida men's hoop head coach Billy Donovan changed his mind on going to the NBA last month] this year because it is always possible to rectify wrongs next year - and we fully expect that to happen with Nashville, as that is just plain wrong - but we are not sure what to make of Mastercard's recent decision to decline global rights sponsorship of the 2010 and 2014 men's World Cup, allowing Visa to jump in and snatch it up. M/C got jobbed by FIFA in the sponsorship contract and FIFA then awarded - likely illegally - the sponsorship to Visa, causing M/C to accept a $90-mil settlement. But with the recent CONCACAF Gold Cup final between the USA and Mexico, televised on Univision and Fox Soccer Channel [available in only 30-million homes] attracting better ratings than the NHL's Stanley Cup final on NBC - maybe M/C should have held out until 2010 or until Bend It Like Beckham made the top 100 AFI list [anything other than Nashville].
While trying to figure out if 106-degree heat had any adverse effects on a Cougar Country Oreo cyclone [we are happy to report, there were none] last week or if it was true that the construction between Moscow and Pullman caused people to drive slower [result: only for the people driving 1987 Subarus with no hubcaps] we received the good news that former women's hoop head coach Sherri Murrell became the new head coach at Portland State - meaning her golfing vacation lasted all of three months. Murrell accepted a tough job at Wazzu and encountered unnecessary obstacles [some of which are hanging around to continue plaguing new head coach June Daugherty] but increased the competitiveness of the program from where she inherited it and the Lounge consensus is that she will be successful at PSU.
"I cannot believe we are only three months away from the first hoop practice - my knickers are already in a twist!" relates Lounge newcomer Miss Angus Prune, supplying, perhaps, too much information - but we will know more about that when the FBI agents stop fighting over the guacamole and leave the bar.
Yes, it does seem like only yesterday, or maybe last week, when the Cougars were winding their way through the tail end of the Pac-10 season and forging a path into the Big Dance. After an impressive first-time-in-over-a-decade performance at the Dance - and after head coach Tony Bennett was all locked up, contract-wise - we figured that was the last we would hear from the program for a few months during the customary dead period. But the interim period has been filled with news - almost all of it positive - as Bennett has received verbal commitments from players who appear ideal for Wazzu's system and then supplemented that with a few stellar performances during their tour Down Under against an assortment of Aussie and Kiwi professional teams. This month, starting guards Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver will be off trying out for the American squad that will be sent to compete in the Pan-Am Games in Brazil and whether or not they make that team, the experience they garner from both that and the Down Under tour will undoubtedly be beneficial in the 2007-08 season. The only question remaining is not whether the Cougars will be prepared to repeat their Big Dance appearance but whether or not the Wazzu fan base will be prepared to support them from the onset. Last year, the only negative aspect of the season - aside from Nikola Koprivica's unfortunate injury and a bit of posturing from Ivory Clark - was the early-season dismal attendance numerals at Beasley Coliseum. By the end of the year, all the bandwagoneers had hopped on the wagon and secured their spots but in November and December, there were still plenty of seats available. This year will be full of chair-bending intrigue as we wait to see if the seats fill up to watch the Cougars or watch the opponent and if people decide not to wait until the team wins X amount of games before attending.
"Now is the time for football predictions isn't it?" asks Mr. Smarmy Whelk with what we detect to be a tiny bit of sarcasm.
Oh yes, football - that other sport. Predictions? The Lounge predicts the predictors will not be kind to the Cougars - but then, that is hardly a surprise - and the king of the hill, Phil Steele has released his book for this season and it tabs Wazzu as better than Stanford, which would be okay if the Trees were not at the bottom of the Pac-10 pile. It is good to be better at Stanford at something but CougZone's official predictions of who will win second place after USC and our annual bout with Phil [which CZ won last year] will be coming later this month whether people like it or not. Meanwhile, officials have issued a release saying there is no detection of sarcasm in that previous sentence..
Because it is not football season yet and therefore it is still open season to talk about anything not sports-related, the Lounge offers up Jezebel for our online sacrifice this week. We especially like the snap judgments on bad British teeth [see Great Britain really is the center of the universe this week! Better begin practicing how to say "loo" instead of "john" when you go potty], Lindsay Lohan and the Sienna Miller v. Roman Catholic cardinals cage match. But if you must have sports - Jez has something about Venus winning at Wimbledon - and it is most definitely not politically correct.
Finally the Lounge Scientists, feeling refreshed after stringing together a few 100-degree days sweating like pigs standing on their heads, have discovered a way for the football team to recapture their 2003 glory days and it is all in their heads - all they have to do is re-wire their brains to retrieve those memories. Of course, it involves drugs and mice - as these things tend to do - but a batch of genetically-modified mice were fed an antibiotic that produced a protein which retrieved lost memories of how to perform certain tasks - regrettably, how to score multiple touchdowns against Pac-10 opponents was not one of them but there was promise for the future.
"If memories can be recovered then that suggests they were never erased and indicates that perceived memory loss is likely due to an inability to retrieve memories," says Lounge Scientist #72, Li-Huei Tsai, a researcher at MIT, who reportedly remembers exactly where he left his car keys - every time.
The implications are clear - if the WSU coaching staff can remember what worked against Texas in the 2003 Holiday Bowl, then maybe the Cougar football team can repeat it [either that or get players just as good as the Holiday Bowlers] - but the national implications are even larger; if the NCAA can remember how they operate a playoff system in all their other sports other than football and how much money they make off the men's hoop playoff, maybe they will figure out they really don't need the BCS Taliban. Either that or move headquarters to Great Britain this month.
+++++++sponsored by Clark's Restaurant+++++++++
Attention COUGAR Fans! Summer is upon us 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 seven 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.