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September 10, 2006
The Cougar Lounge - A Wild Potato
"I would hope that our players realize that it's a big game for Stanford, that should be obvious. If not, I'll remind them."
- Stanford head football coach, Walt Harris, speaking before the Trees lost to San Jose State. Looks like they did not get the memo, but with all this construction going on - who can think?
"It's important for us to go there on national TV, get a little recognition, and show that Oregon State is back and we're not like we were last year."
- OSU safety Sabby Piscitelli before the Beavers were throttled in Boise. Now then, about that recognition part is this the deal where any recognition is good recognition?
"I can always pump gas or sell pens again. And if I become that weird guy who does art films again, that's okay with me."
- Actor Johnny Depp, who probably has enough coins in his coin purse not to ever have to worry about selling pens again - but if they are those glow-in-the-dark x-ray vision ones - sign us up Johnny!
The Lounge clientele were in their own private Idaho last week - they love it when that happens. They get all sorts of tater treats - hash browns for breakfast, French fries for lunch and mashed potatoes for din-din. It is really hard keeping track of all those spuds flying all over the joint so the Lounge just borrowed a Mr. Potato Head from our next door neighbor and built our own version of Dennis Erickson's Glorious Return to the Palouse - as performed by the LaCrosse-Washtucna Women's Guild. It did not look life-like but the pieces were strewn everywhere just like the Vandals were last weekend, so it all worked out in the end. After catching a glimpse of the Vandal mascot though, the Lounge might have to reconsider our private Idaho festivities and see if we can call in some our connections and get him [it?] the newest model motorbike and chauffeur for a celebrity mascot game of quarters with the Stanford Tree. The Tree has all those branches but the Vandal thing has a gigantic prosthetic forehead [according to the Lounge consensus], so it is very nearly a draw.
"Age and treachery always triumphs over youth and skill!" spouts Anne Droid, who felt she could not contain herself any longer.
Well, we got the age reference since Doba is getting up there in JoePa years but the treachery and skill analogy needs a little work Anne - we're going to chalk it up to giddiness at seeing the Cougars being able to score at will. However, it is interesting that the big buzz coming into this game was about how Erickson had made the Vandals respectable again after their 10-point loss to Michigan State and how everybody was making this game their "upset special". With the game now over, the Lounge has drawn three conclusions from the Battle of the Palouse: Conclusion #1 - Idaho is not so good; Conclusion #2 - Michigan State is not well and Conclusion #3 - Wazzu is just fine.
"Quarterback controversy? What quarterback controversy? Cole Morgan!!" yells Sloppy Joe, who has had no feeling in his gums for more than three weeks, talking about Morgan's single-play appearance as quarterback that resulted in a 53-yard touchdown run by Cougar running back Kevin McCall.
That is what the Lounge is hearing, Joe. Alex Brink needs an entire game to get a touchdown, Gary Rogers needs one series - but Cole Morgan only needs one snap - and he does not even have to raise his arm in anger and throw the ball! One snap, one handoff, one touchdown - that's how it works in the Morgan household.
"What happened to the Pac-10? I thought they were going to be strong this year?" says Union Jack, with that gleam in his eyeball - the one that means he dropped his fake eye in the pudding again.
Gee, Jack, whatever gave you that idea? Did USC clone themselves? Washington's strong performance against that juggernaught San Jose State program? Maybe it was Arizona's offensive explosion against BYU and LSU? Do we even have to mention the Trees? Fresno State beat Nevada by nine so we can conclude that Oregon is a little better than the Wolf Pack and California might be okay if they can contract with a reputable Hire-A-QB service but everybody else still has some beans left in the dish and no good explanation for them - yet. We will see what next week brings - bean dip or some finger pulling.
San Jose State made a good comeback on the Trees but nothing compares to the all-time king of comebacks - the Doug Flutie hail Mary against Miami in 1984. After ESPN stops running it over and over, see it again in Heart Stoppers and Hail Marys. Since an infamous CougZone persona who, it has been proven, lost most of his wits in a prolonged pitched battle with a bottle of tequila in 1986 may be found floating somewhere within the pages [both real and imagined] let us just agree to call it a Shameless Plug and get it over with. Due to plugging [some of it diligent, some of it shameless, we are not currently at liberty to say which is which at this time], the Cougars find themselves included in Chapters 49 and 99 [games against UCLA in 1988 and Arizona in 1999]. Just don't blame us if your heart stops - our doctor's name is Dunkenstein - when you bring up that 1988 memory and Vernon Todd knocks down Troy Aikman's fourth-down pass in the end zone - again.
Finally, the Lounge Scientists were on the ball this week - they answered the question everybody in the Palouse was asking - can you imagine the pain the Cougars are gonna feel if they lose to Idaho? Scientists have conducted behavioral experiments that have detected a certain portion of the brain - okay, the medial orbitofrontal cortex, if you must know! - is responsible for creating the feeling that one should avoid punishment and it is, in fact, seen as a reward.
"This shows for the first time that [punishment avoidance] seems to be a reward," says Lounge Scientist #46 John O'Doherty, a scientist at CalTech in Pasadena, who was eager to avoid punishment from the other scientists if he did not come to that conclusion.
We do not want to know what punishment the Idaho mascot is trying to avoid.
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