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October 24, 2005

The Cougar Lounge - A Trim Squabble


"The Pac-10 teams just aren't afraid of USC."

- ESPN announcer Lee Corso.



"There was a time when USC wasn't that good."

- Pac-10 assistant commissioner Duane Lindberg, trying to explain how there was a time long ago when the Trojans weren't on television every week.



"Down at campus the other day, we had a Salute to Troy and 30,000 people came out. Around here that's unbelievable, almost goofy."

- Rose Bowl football committee chairman and USC alum Dave Davis, describing the risks people will take in Southern California to show their allegiance to the Trojan football team. Wait, Dave, you mean you live close to Disneyland and consider something goofy?



"I'm surprised people don't have cables coming out of their asses because that's going to be the new thing.

- Comedian Jon Stewart, discussing the future of television.





After events that have occurred over the recent weeks - a funeral, a hurricane, a few football games followed by a few periods of heavy drinking, the season release of egg nog - the Lounge clientele found it necessary to become a bunch of television zombies over the past week. You know the drill - abstain from real life for awhile while you climb onto that high definition cloud and float away in a haze of babbling heads. These are the kinds of mental states people enter into when they come up with words like uber to describe something they can't really figure out what they are describing. So naturally, this is how we found out about mtvU Uber - the new broadband-only channel that is an offshoot of mtvU - the college-based, on-campus network that is beamed into dining halls, fitness areas and dorm rooms across the nation. No, right there, admit it - you heard the words "offshoot of mtvU" and you immediately free associated and the first phrase that came to your mind was "highly intelligent music-related banter" followed almost instantaneously by the phrase "no way, Jose" and a mental image of scantily clad women dancing for entertainment purposes only. So, where's the "U" part come in? Wait a minute, you mean the nation's college students were not getting their fill of tireless drivel in between the derivative music breaks and demanded an all-access pass to these staples of modern day society? Did they really throw that temper tantrum to get this new gig? Did some snarky executive in MTV-land just trying to figure out a way to make more money ["Mo' money, mo' money, mo' money….usually comes from the gub'ment!"] or is it some thesis project from some grad student from Harvard?

Never mind, the Lounge clientele was just like the rest of the country last week - the television was turned on for at least eight hours and 11 minutes every day, sometimes twice that if there was an MXC marathon. But on Saturdays, we always knew there would be a USC game on because, well, isn't every single one of the Trojans games scheduled to be televised through 2009? Across the nation, people think it's a one-team conference that the Trojans play in because that is the only team they see televised on a regular basis. Here in Pac-10 country, we are more knowledgeable and luckier because we get to see the Trojans play somebody every week and we can point to whatever opponent they are crushing that week and say, "See? There are so other teams that exist in the Pac-10!"

After 154 hours of television viewing, the Lounge felt like that guy in Arkansas who did not want to wear adidas basketball shoes - and began to put blame on bad things happening due to mysterious, invisible to the naked eye, circumstances - except, of course, we did not have a desire to wear Nike shoes. One shoe company is the same as any other when they become international giants, as far as the Lounge is concerned, but one television show is certainly not the same as any other and if one more minute of that lame Fox college sports show featuring Billy Joe Bob Ray and D'Far Offthemarco had to be viewed, somebody's head was going to roll.

"I'm so excited to see the Cougars play the Trojans this week, because I'll get to see what type of new mental implosion will occur in the fourth quarter this week. That fake punt was a new one I hadn't seen before," says Attila the Nun, who has a habit of using sarcasm.

Well, sorry to disappoint you Attila, but the Lounge consensus firmly believes that no such opportunity will arise this week. The Cougars are playing the top-ranked Trojans in Los Angeles and if they have anything even resembling a lead entering the fourth quarter, that would have to be considered a victory right there - never mind actually attempting to hold onto it for the rest of the game. The Trojans are so good that they even get to have multiple nicknames and one of the other ones they have is the Thundering Herd, which they did not steal from Marshall, but which refers to USC teams from 1928-31, including national championship teams in 1928 and 1931 - ironically, the same time period when Wazzu was pretty good - the Cougars' 1930 Rose Bowl team defeated USC, 7-6. It is these fond memories of former football glory that the Lounge clientele clings to in these darkened days of fake puntery.

"Is now a good time to talk about the stadium expansion project?" asks The Village Idiot, sparing us further talk about USC.

Well, let's see, which part of that project is there to talk about? The part where the north side of the stadium and possibly the Fieldhouse is demolished in order to gain 2,000 seats? The part where major construction does not begin until March of 2007 because cement typically can not be poured in the winter months? The part where the ugly west end zone bleachers remain unchanged? The part where, if the stadium is expanded, there is still no additional hotel space in Pullman to accommodate the extra people? The part where south side [where major donors sit] stadium amenities are not a top priority? Or the part where it would help if the football team wins some games to justify the project?

Fortunately, the football team doesn't have to worry about any of that right now. All they have to worry about is Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart and what better place to study about the Trojan quarterback and running back than MattReggieTV, where, evidently one of the school's computer engineers says you can "go behind the scenes" [we figure it was a computer engineer by the straightforward sledgehammer repetition devoid of all creativity]. This replaces last year's uber-informative Leinart blog where Matt tells us how he can't sign autographs because of a sore elbow and the current list of Hollywood starlets he is not dating.

Finally, somebody in Oregon won the $340 million Powerball lottery last week and, true to form, was too frightened to come out of hiding - probably not wanting to admit that he would use all the money to fulfill his lifelong dream of constructing the world's largest bag of Doritos. But we digress. The Lounge Scientists have long known that rookie millionaires are a squeamish lot and closely resemble many Cougar fans and well-wishers these days.

"Most people are not reckless. They are cautious and worry a lot about losses," says Lounge Scientist #49 Gauthier Lanot, said to be a flamboyant economist of high repute from Queen's University in Northern Ireland.

Lanot, however, declined to comment on whether he would run a fake punt on fourth down at midfield with about five minutes left in the game and your team's defense shutting out the opponent in the second half, dismissing that hypothetical scenario as just a bunch of "crazy talk."



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