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November 13, 2005"I don't want to get into a discussion about whether we have talent or whether we don't."
- Willingham, the Sequel - hoping to discuss crouton manufacturing methodology instead.
"It is annihilation that the country wants, not merely a splendid victory."
- Famous English naval hero Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, describing what he would like to see from the Cougars in the Apple Cup [even way back before the game was invented, in 1805].
"The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.
- Author Samuel Johnson, providing a possible pre-Apple Cup speech topic for Cougar head football coach Bill Doba.
So, it has come to this. A mere three years removed from the 2002 Rose Bowl season and the Cougar football team is left with only a handful of players playing at Rose Bowl levels and cannot escape anything better than a tie for last place [it can get worse than that - but are you usin' that jug of nog? - because you might need it if it gets worse than that]. The Lounge clientele was not drunk after the 218th single-digit loss of the year [this time to the University of Nike]. More like de-sensitized. A catatonic state might have described it - but that would be too energetic. Despite the coma-like conditions, the clientele continues to hold out hope that the Cougars can maintain their one-game win streak [besides Arizona - who they did not play this year - it is the only win streak they have left against Pac-10 teams, and the Lounge cites Apple Cup Week rules, which specifically state that pretty much anything can be cited this week].
But enough about football for the moment - there will be plenty of time for that silliness later in the Lounge when we dissect the Apple Cup with an industrial-sized tweezers. But right now, it is time to break out the guacamole and salsa boats and discuss the results of the big investment playoff that went down a couple months ago but was finalized last month. The Lounge would have mentioned it then but the clientele wanted to withhold it for maximum humiliation effect on Washington just in case they happened to win a game during that time and whaddya know - the crystal ball was working last weekend - as Washington did indeed get their first win against a Pac-10 team in two years. Now we can remind them of what is even more important in the college football world than wins and losses - and we all know the answer to that is - money. So - and this hurts the Lounge to point this out with such clarity because we are usually all about being murky and full of nog - but we will have to toss aside the haze for the sake of financial gloating.
Brokerage firm D.A. Davidson of Montana gives a $50,000 loan to business programs of 18 colleges and universities on the West Coast and allow students to invest as an educational tool and the schools to keep their earnings [minus commissions, naturally, you think they're dealing with chimps?]. Now comes the fun part - comparing portfolios and seeing who are the real winners and losers. This year, all the Lounge can say is, if you happen to find yourself with a big financial windfall from, oh, we don't know - a Powerball perhaps - be wary of accepting any investment advice from a person holding a Seattle University business degree, as they were the only school of the 18 to lose money. Wazzu was 6th and did not win [Gonzaga did] but they were a heapin' helpin' smarter than Washington as the Cougars' CEO cubbies turned their 50K into $60,064 [enough for a vat of nog and a few tins of Cougar Gold] while Washington's junior executive toadies turned their stash into .wait for it .$50,439. Good for 16th place out of 18.Yes, a whopping $439 after one year - which is about the same amount of money that - if they had the chance - the Wazzu biz whizzes would have paid to Air Force Academy to convince the Fly Boys to move their home game to Pullman.
Life is about to become much easier in the Lounge this week - and it was already fairly easy this month - now that nog season is in full swing - as ESPN and CSTV announced new techie trinkets last week. Now Father "Santa" Lotto can hand out ESPN-branded mobile phones as stocking stuffers so all the clientele can keep track of our March Madness brackets this year and CSTV is working on podcasts for our iPods. The only problem right now is they only have coaches shows and those are about as entertaining as watching a stalk of asparagus sitting on a kitchen counter. In fact, the asparagus might be more entertaining.
"Ohmigod, Becky, I don't think the Ducks are all they're quacked up to be," says Burgermeister Meisterburger, who briefly interrupts pricing lumps of coal to make a statement.
Well, 'Meister, red and beans and rice didn't miss Haloti Ngata - if you know what we mean - but they did miss much of the rest of the Highlighters [who were in their Liquid Paper uniforms last weekend - when exactly, did Oregon's official colors change from green and yellow to white? The Lounge must have been out of the country that day]. The consensus in the Lounge is that if Oregon is the 10th-ranked team in the country then why isn't Carrot Top President of the United States of America yet? Wait - don't answer that! Oregon is definitely buttering their corn mostly on one side with two quarterbacks and could be exposed in a bowl game - but the Lounge is in a quandary there. On one hand, it is good for the Pac-10 schools if Oregon can do well on the national stage and get into a BCS Taliban bowl to get more money for the conference [which the Pac-10 will try to make sure that the Washington business school does not squander]. On the other hand, those schools tend to house minions with big heads which tend to balloon into blimp-sized proportions with each squeaky win - and only the psychologists of our country can benefit from those head cases. On the Lounge's third hand [a genetic mutation caused by the need for nog] is Jerome Harrison. The Oregon defense, as expected, was unable to stop Harrison and now he is the nation's leading rusher going into the Apple Cup. Against Oregon, Harrison broke two records - the Cougars' single-season school record set by Rueben Mayes and now has 1,693 yards on the season and became the only player in Pac-10 history to rush for 13 consecutive 100-yard games [that might get him his first sole Pac-10 Player of the week award ever and the first one this year]. Against Washington, if he maintains his current status, Harrison can become the only running back in Wazzu history to win the national rushing title [if he is lucky, the conference might even deem him worthy of two]. Then the real question will be - will the nation's rushing leader get an All-Pac-10 first team slot alongside Reggie Bush? There is no question he has earned it.
"I wonder if Brady enjoyed his visit to the Palouse?" says Miss Understood, referring to Oregon quarterback Brady Leaf, the younger brother of a famous Cougar quarterback.
Well, Miss U., the Lounge is going out on a limb and guessing that he did, despite the pummeling he absorbed from Mkristo Bruce and Greg Trent. After all, his team won and his brother was there to take digital pics and vids. But all three are expected to be back next year to renew pleasantries.
The last home game of the year means the end of the Lounge's unofficial headquarters - the CUB Hotel. Next year, the CUB undergoes a massive renovation and the hotel was not invited back. It was a sad day [and night] for the portions of the Lounge clientele that made the CUB their home away from home for the last few years. The seniors were saying so long to Martin Stadium, the clientele was toasting the CUB with one final [well, maybe more than one] Bailey's and coffee. The official unofficial position of the university was that the hotel was not making enough money to justify its continued operation, which is somewhat puzzling to the Lounge, considering Wazzu's supposed reputation as a top hotel-restaurant administration [now referred to as hospitality business management] program. It seems that an on-campus hotel might serve as a good training ground for budding hoteliers and restaurateurs - but maybe that is just an idea borne out of our loopy thinking. Even stranger is a school touting a top 10 program but then conceding that an on-campus operation is being closed because they can't seem to make it financially feasible. Hmmm.
Maybe all the money is going to the Space Needle. Donations are made to benefit Habitat For Humanity [the Lounge can relate - being a frequent Habitat for Inhumanity] and their efforts to build homes for hurricane victims and a daily competition between Wazzu and Washington is a sidelight to see which school can have their flag flying on the Space Needle. Wazzu has already clinched the overall daily winning totals so the Lounge will check in on Tuesday to see if some deep pocketed Washington riff-raff have decided that having a flag flying atop the Space Needle will translate into a victory in the football game on Saturday.
Finally, the Lounge Scientists have come to the conclusion that they are wrong [or, as people like to type on message boards here in the online universe just to make sure everybody gets the necessary glimpse of the inner workings of the human mind - "Wrong!"]. But unlike the rest of the world, scientists are only wrong until they are proven right - or they tweak the process.
"We should accept that most research findings will be refuted. Some will be replicated and validated. The replication process is more important than the first discovery," says Lounge Scientist #15 John Ioannidis, reputed to be an epidemiologist at the University of Ioannina [no way, Jose, we did not make that up] in Greece, who, you know, could be ..wrong!
Oh yeah, almost forgot - the Lounge's expert analysis of the Apple Cup. Somebody's gonna win. Unless they don't, in which case, somebody's gonna lose. But this much you can count on - not many people outside the state of Washington are bound to care about the Battle for the Basement.
Unless we're "wrong!"
+++++++sponsored by Clark's Restaurant+++++++++
Attention COUGAR Fans! Autumn is here and now you're hungry. 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 six 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 hot chocolate.