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March 16, 2008

The Cougar Lounge - Hovering Undercover

"It's like we were out there letting them control the game."

- Oregon's Malik Hairston, who seems to have a marginally better grasp of what happened in the Wazzu-Oregon game - the Cougars' third consecutive victory over the Ducks - at last week's Pac-10 conference tourney.



"That was one of the advantages of going out early and getting a search firm. That particular search firm won't take another job within the Pac-10 - otherwise, it's a conflict of interest."

- Oregon State athletic director Bob DeCarolis explaining how his usage of the national search firm, Parker Executive Search, might subtly indicate that no other Pac-10 school - like, oh, say, Wazzu - is making a men's hoop head coaching change at this time.




"Demar and Romeo are ready to make their decision, and would you like to have them both on scholarship?"

- USC head men's hoop coach Tim Floyd, reciting his memory of the sentence he heard from Percy Miller [aka wealthy rap guy Master P] who also happens to be the father of 5-10 Beverly Hills point guard Romeo Miller [aka wealthy rap guy Lil' Romeo] during his recruitment of Demar DeRozan who - oh did we mention? - just happened to be one of Lil' Romeo's best friends. Floyd's answer: "I said absolutely."




"If you look at what a lawyer makes [in a particular city], that's what an escort makes."

- Former professional escort Melissa Gira Grant pinning down that always-elusive escort tax bracket number.






The FBI devotes particular attention to groups that seem subversive to them and a few of their friends and how much more subversive can you get than the Lounge clientele - a notorious bunch of cigar-chompin', vodka-swillin', opinion-spewin' troublemakers? Well, technically, there is also NOTY - aka, the Name of the Year contest. It is officially March Madness and the second round is in the books at NOTY and they like Dick - they really do! Yes, we are talking about local boy [from Spokane] Charley Willard Horse Dick who licked 15th-seeded Levi Licking in a messy first round affair and will now face the mysterious Johnny Moustache in the Sweet 16. With the top four seeds already eliminated in his regional, Charley could get to the Final Four. Speaking of the Final Four, the Lounge's predicted Final Four took another hit when Hurtis Chinn, the 4-seed in Charley's regional, was upset by Terdsak Jandaeng, who seems to be enjoying some of that Muhammad Ali momentum at the moment, after upsetting George Foreman, uh, we mean, Chinn. Our remaining two F4 picks - Danger Guerrero and top seed, Destiny Frankenstein, who we pick to go all the way - are still alive and both, appropriately, still full of danger and destiny. Meanwhile, in a major upset, crowd favorite and 4-seed Poony Poon fell by the wayside, but two more crowd favorites, Steeve Ho You Fat and Pansy Ho, survived and Lounge darkhorse candidate, Spaceman Africa, moved on to the Sweet 16 - albeit in Frankenstein's regional - where he may meet his ultimate destiny.


In that other March Madness, CBS Sports has announced that access to NCAA tournament games will now be easier after they eliminated registration requirements needed to view tournament coverage and the games will now be available for viewing on their site as well as on the NCAA official site. Part of the reason they can do this is due to the fact that March Madness - with its three-week format - is a larger moneymaking event than the Super Bowl and is second only to the NFL when time periods are comparable. Six years ago, the NCAA signed a memorably, whopping $6.2 billion licensing fee 12-year agreement [set to expire after the 2013-14 season] with CBS - an average annual fee of $565 million. This year, CBS is projected to make $545 million from advertising alone, $70 million of which will come from General Motors, so while most college basketball fans and well-wishers will be cursing the numerous time outs in the games this week, GM executives will be hoping for many close games and coaches using all their allotted time outs.

Meanwhile, Yahoo is hoping people like doughnuts with their morning March Madness highlights because they just signed a deal with Dunkin' Donuts to be a major advertiser on their online video player which will, naturally, be showing a few clips from the Big Dance later this week. About the only person who may not be interested in the Big Dance this week is Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. That, of course, would be actress and University of Washington graduate Dawn Wells, who not only does not have a team in the dance, but is also serving probation for having a bit of buddha accidentally find its way into her new car which has these heater controls that, reportedly, are really confusing to UW grads.

The Lounge and everybody within a 7,359-mile radius of the Lounge is living and breathing March Madness this week - but that does not mean there is not room for a tiny wad of news about something not related to college basketball. Just a tiny wad though. The National Football Foundation's College Football Hall of Fame will be inducting 13 Division I members [11 athletes and two coaches] into the Hall and two of those on the ballot are former Wazzu running back Rueben Mayes along with legendary coach William "Lone Star" Dietz. The official announcement of the inductees will be made on May 1 on ESPNews.

"Can we just get this over with already!? Enough suspense about gardening!" complains Salty Cheever, who seems to have mistaken talk of seeding when Wazzu's men's hoop team is mentioned.

As you know, Salty, it is too early to plant those seeds since spring does not begin until Thursday - hmmmm….coincidentally, the same time March Madness begins, how 'bout that? This week, Wazzu was forced - along with seven other members - to fulfill their contractual obligation and travel to Los Angeles where they could participate in the charade known as the Pac-10 conference tournament and have four more days of basketball that determined that UCLA was either well-rested and un-traveled or was the conference's best team. Wait - and those previous 10 weeks of conference play were for what again? About the only good thing that emerged from eternally Los Angeles-based conference tourney is that nobody was injured…uh-oh, nope, UCLA suffered an injury to Luc Richard Mbah a Moute while they were busy securing their conference superiority a second time while super-frosh Kevin Love was looking like he had just emerged from a demolition derby. We missed the memo - the benefits of this conference tourney are what again? To get the Pac-10 officials some more practice at buffoonery and one more chance to allow the Lopi to get away with multiple offenses? Fortunately for Wazzu, they suffered no injuries and after their loss to Stanford, returned to a 23 RPI - essentially right where they were before the tourney - so they could see a 6-seed from the NCAA this afternoon - or possibly a 5-seed, at best. But the entire Lounge clientele is with you, Salty, and has been since last week's regular-season ending victory over the Huskies - "now is the time" to plant those seeds.

"How's the weather up there?" asks Ron Devious, who spends his time these days daydreaming about those Girl Scout cookies they call Samoas….mmmmm…chocolatey coconutty goodness.

In reality - or rather in his reality or some innocent stranger's reality - Ron broke out of his daze long enough to express wonder and awe at the heights to which Swedish Cougar freshman high jumper Ebba Jungmark leapt last week in winning the first women's individual national championship for the school in 23 years. Jungmark hung a mark of 1.89 meters [that is 6-2 for those who are metrically-challenged] on the board - a skimpy .01 meters off the school record - at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Arkansas. Ebba - we are officially nominating her for next year's NOTY - will almost certainly break that record shortly, ensuring that the rest of us can safely return to our Samoa stash.


In Sweden, on the Wednesday before Easter, in a custom called Dymmelsonsdagen, Swedes go around pasting "kick me!" signs [or some sort of Swedish equivalent] on people's backs. We are unsure how this will result in an increase of chocolate eggs - especially Reese's peanut butter eggs, our primary Easter "egg" of preference - but good luck trying to pin a sign on Ebba's back is all we are sayin'. We found this out whilst consorting with the Easter Bunny about how he was going to be filling out his March Madness brackets and discovered that the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State could only compete in the WNIT.

Finally, the RPI is an extremely large factor in determining who does and who does not make the Big Dance today. The RPI [for those taking a nap during the lecture] stands for Ratings Percentage Index and calculates the strength of teams based on a variety of factors, including winning home and away games. But those pesky Lounge Scientists have discovered that the home field [or court] advantage is not all it is cracked up to be - at least in German professional soccer, where they focused their study. Any perceived advantage is short-lived, over time, they say, that advantage evaporates.

"Though some teams may appear particularly strong at their own ground, this assumption is often based on wins from a limited number of games," says Lounge Scientist #65, Oliver Rubner, a physicist from the University of Munster, who reportedly plans on taking at least one 14-seed upset this year.

But coming from Munster - he still has Destiny Frankenstein going the distance and cutting down the nets with a torch and pitchfork.





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Attention COUGAR fans and well-wishers! Hoops season is here 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 nine 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.


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