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September 16, 2007

The Cougar Lounge - No Brain, No Gain

"I expect to live that way [with pressure to win]. I don't internalize it. Is there pressure? Yes. Is there a standard to hold ourselves to? Yes."

- The Lounge steps in and interrupts USC head football coach Pete Carroll to prevent him from going on a potentially unabated run of asking himself his own questions.



"A lot of guys were mad because there was no air [conditioning] and the room was small."

- USC freshman running back Marc Tyler acting as whiny freshmen spokesman for the rest of the team's freshmen, in complaining that the football players did not get enough perks in their campus dorm assignments last month.




"Coach Carroll is going to kill me."

- Claremont [California] police captain Gary Jenkins, relaying what a man attempting to impersonate USC football player Fili Moala said to the arresting officer after they responded to a disturbance at Claremont-McKenna College.




"Skinned knee, Veruca from Willy Wonka, former USC playmaker….strawberry, blueberry, Salisbury."

- ESPN personality John Anderson alongside former USC quarterback Sean Salisbury attempting a lame Carnac the Magnificent impression and not only whiffing on that but also on his Willy Wonka reference - it was Violet Beauregarde who turned into a giant blueberry, not Veruca Salt - everybody knows that. Well, everybody except people ESPN hires, evidently.



"I saw a news story recently that said I'm 6-4. I'm creeping up, like in high school football programs where you give yourself 15 more pounds. In three years, I want to be 6-5 in stories."

- Actor and USC alum Will Ferrell.








There was finally a football game played at Martin Stadium in 2007 and the crowd was so relieved that nearly half of them left at halftime [is that why they call it "halftime"] to presumably go relieve themselves in the new toilets we have all heard so much about. But we will get back to that breaking plumbing technology report - and the football game [the usual mashing of some itinerant Spuds] - first, we must address the real breaking news that Homer Simpson finally made it into the Oxford Dictionary in the Modern Quotations section with two of his better quotes - "Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." and "Kids are the best, Apu. You can teach them to hate the things you hate and they practically raise themselves, what with the internet and all."


Speaking of hatred, the Lounge is hearing lately how some people supposedly "hate" Cougar quarterback Alex Brink, so the Lounge clientele went into seclusion in their brand new toilet room and when the white puff of smoke came out the chimney, they had reached the conclusion. Aside from a peculiar sentiment that wafts through the air these days that people should get beat up for stating their beliefs, the clientele decided there was no basis for hatred of Brink and the real hatred was directed at Paul Addis - the San Francisco performance artist dude who burned Burning Man before it was supposed to be burned. Burning Man "suffered" 85% burns over his "body" and "a less elaborate version" had to be built to be burnt down four days later. At first, the hippies were pretty steamed about the whole incident, but then - in a haze of questionable smoke, predictably - they forgot what they were mad about and had the munchies.

So now all the hatred returns to a familiar target - China - where the Chinese have decided to ban reincarnation, decreeing that Tibetan Buddhist monks must have official governmental permission to reincarnate as they try to prevent the monks from living "outside" Tibet. The move is an attempt at circumvention by the Chinese authorities to give them the power to choose the next Dalai Lama, but they have also set their sights on several other questionable practices. China is reportedly considering banning compassion, inhibition [especially after one or more vodka martinis] and that tingly feeling you get when you hit your funny bone.

Everybody outside of China - even in Tibet, the monks were really chattering about this - was abuzz with little Appalachian State's upset of mighty Michigan two weeks ago and fans of the Wolverines' big rival Ohio State were so excited that they impetuously ran around Columbus blatantly saying "Ohio State University! Ohio State University!" and not putting the "The" at the beginning of the name as the Chinese…er…state authorities deemed must be done as long as residents wade in the shallow end of the gene pool.

The Lounge could not be bothered by that because the new numbers came in from last month and they said in that sly, wispy voice that Yahoo! [parent company of Rivals] was the number one sports company on the internet in August - beating ESPN for the first time - by about a half-mil, in part due to the company's recent acquisition of Rivals in June. The combination of the beginning of the collegiate football season and the popularity of Yahoo's fantasy football draft programs are also believed to have contributed in hefty manners to the temporary top spot.

That is all well and good, of course, but it won't keep us from mentioning that it is cricket time and our friend, Dave is here to give you the Top 10 reasons why playing cricket is fun. Either that, or Dave hates us [and probably Alex Brink] and is giving us all the finger - we'll send that to the toilet room for more meaningful discussion.

"I could see that Fox Sports was up to their usual standards of technical excellence," tiffs Hans von Hutt who is on holiday from his normal job as a part-time professional cougher for the President.

What, Hans, you mean you wanted to know how much time was left in the third quarter? Time is money, you know, they were busy sending the game clock graphic to Rupert so he could buy another media company and devalue it. Or were you talking about the multiple bad or non-existent camera angles that have, apparently been out-sourced to India? Never mind, Hans, just pay attention to this house promo featuring cheerleaders looking tough - their natural state - while we discuss the game with some of the clientele. The consensus is that the game went pretty much as expected - a mashing, but not a whipping, of some surly potatoes. The offense performed as expected - sans the turnovers - and the defense, lamentably for Cougar fans and well-wishers, performed about as expected too in giving up 28 points.


"That is cool - can they really make the NCAA?" asks Chester "Get Your Hand Off My Thigh" Johnson, speaking about the Wazzu soccer team before the tranquilizer dart kicked in.

With their impressive shutout of 16th-ranked Oklahoma State last week - and provided they take care of "bidness" against those winless Ivy Leaguers, Princeton, today - it is not a question of "can" but when will they have enough wins to secure the necessary bid. Wazzu had 11 wins two years ago and nine last year - capturing four Pac-10 victories in each season - so it appears the magic number would be 12 wins with at least four conference victories. Last year's nine-win team was good enough to finish at #55 in the final RPI, but found themselves being one of the team's whose bubble was burst by the NCAA selection committee. With a tie or a victory today over Princeton, the Cougars will find themselves undefeated after five matches with five winnable matches [UNLV, Nevada, UC-Santa Barbara Idaho and Idaho State] on the horizon before getting to conference play. Coming into Pac-10 play with at least eight wins could be a good sign that the NCAA is just around the corner if they play as they have for the last two years in conference play. If they play better, it is possible Wazzu could even do the unthinkable…contend with UCLA and Stanford for the league title.

It is college football season and that means only one thing must happen - people must talk about college football and everything associated with college football until….college basketball season begins. They do this at Fan IQ and we find ourselves somewhat smitten with their approach although they do toss a bit of that No Fun League [NFL] banter in there along with, you know, some of those other sports. Despite Ohio State's win over Washington, they are not convinced the Big 11 [or Big Ten as they refer to it - ha ha] is back since, uh, there is the little matter of those Iowa State/Iowa and Wisconsin/The Citadel games.

Finally, the Lounge Scientists, are anticipating potential feelings of despair from Cougar fans and well-wishers this weekend after they face USC and while they suspect they will eventually turn to alcohol to soothe the emotional distress, the scientists urge that they consider delta-FosB - a protein that has been found to help the rodent brain better cope with despair [and look what they did to Idaho State this weekend] and might also perform the same trick with the human brain. A recent study found that mice injected with extra delta-FosB protein tried extra hard to avoid negative stimuli and figured out how to do that 85% of the time.

"There is a theoretical possibility that increasing levels of the protein in people might help them deal with straining circumstances," says Lounge Scientist #64, Olivier Berton, a scientist at the University of Texas, who was reportedly testing the protein on himself after the Longhorns' game against Central Florida this weekend.

The protein, however, cannot be used in China as the Lounge has received unconfirmed, preliminary reports that Chinese authorities have banned happiness until they can figure out a way that either they can buy or it or control it.





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