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June 8, 2008"Any illegal gatherings, parades and protests and refusal to comply are subject to administrative punishments or criminal prosecution."
- Excerpt from the Chinese government-issued Beijing Olympic Guide [nine pages of fun-packed frivolity detailing the hilarity that will ensue if you even mouth the word "Tibet" during the Olympics].
"When I got outside going into the first turn, I said 'This is it. The race is over. I got it.'"
- Jockey Kent Desormeaux, riding atop Triple Crown hopeful Big Brown, who, evidently, was not referring to last place in the Belmont.
"In Columbus, the catering wasn't quite as good. It was okay, just not as good as Milwaukee."
- Actor, comedian and member of the comedy troupe, The Kids in the Hall, Dave Foley, providing a catering review for the current tour.
The clouds on the horizon were ominous, but the Lounge should have been tipped off by the person with the blue face. Normally, when confronted by a blue-faced person, the standard procedure in an Olympic year hosted by an oppressive country is to begin administrative punishments and criminal prosecution [at least that's what it says in the Chinese Olympics guide - because, after all, that's what the Olympics is all about, isn't it? - people from different cultures around the world coming together and simultaneously enjoying the iron fist and/or boot of paranoid authoritarianism gone wild?]. But in non-Olympic years when the Olympics are not hosted by oppressive host countries, blue faces are no big deal. In fact, blue faces usually mean either nutty sports fans who have painted themselves [usually in a drunken frenzy] or nutty sports fans who are blue with hypothermia after taking their shirts off in 28-degree weather [also, possibly, done whilst engaged in some sort of whirling dance of imbibery]. All we know is that the only person allowed to credibly have a blue face is Sluggo from Mr. Bill fame and Sluggo is not worried about the Olympics or the weather but might want his cut of Mr. Bill's new Mastercard advertising deal.
That is a better deal than some guy got when he went on holiday to Greece for a little rest, relaxation and a hotel full of Germans. At least the Germans are not hosting the Olympics this year, so all they were worried about were beach towels, windsurfing and the cabaret.
The Lounge climbs in our specially-designed Wayback Machine, where we see Mike Baumgartner, a former CougZone contributor who went from Wazzu to Harvard to a bunch of other places where he eventually discovered the smoke-fire, is now enjoying a well-deserved holiday from his ambassadorial duties as well as some additional fruits of his labors, which, in this case, means media attention - the good kind. But the Lounge warns Baumgartner to stay away from a certain Greek isle unless he knows his German.
That will give him some extra time to do just what we have always wanted him to do - test out the gadgets they used in James Bond films to see if they really work. In honor of creator Ian Fleming's centennial celebration, scientists have already determined that fake fingerprints [Diamonds Are Forever], jetpacks [Dr. No] and autogyros [such as Little Nellie in You Only Live Twice] are legit, but the cigar-sized mini-aqualung used in Thunderball for four minutes of underwater hi-jinks with the bad guys is, in reality, considerable larger and can only last a minute.
It is just as well, because the scientists have more pressing things to concentrate on, like getting space station toilets to work properly. You think we are pooh-poohing this topic but just listen to what a flushed NASA deputy space station program manager, Kirk Shireman, had to say after they jiggled the handle a bit - "It's unfortunate we're talking about toilets, but that really is the life, that's the future of human exploration in space." The Lounge never turns up our nose at a toilet humor opportunity.
"Can the Cougs continue their run in hoops now that the seniors are gone?" asks Tuff Dittle, who is feeling the sugar cane flow.
Well Tuff, it is going to be tough. The Cougars have no replacement for the talent and experience of Kyle Weaver, Derrick Low and Robbie Cowgill. That is just a fact. However, the cupboard is not bare, there are enough experienced returning athletes - Taylor Rochestie, Aron Baynes, Daven Harmeling, Caleb Forrest, Nikola Koprivica - to give Wazzu a fighting chance at getting to the Big Dance for an unprecedented third consecutive time in school history. With Big Daddy Baynes likely being one of the Pac-10 conference's top presences in the paint [partially thanks to the departures of so many experienced big men from last year], there is reason for optimism. However, with so many athletes who are either new to the program or new to the brutality of Pac-10 play, it will undoubtedly be one of head coach Tony Bennett's greatest challenges to get everybody coalesced into a one-minded, defensive-oriented organism in time for conference play to begin. If that happens, Cougar fans and well-wishers will have plenty to smile about in 2009.
"Are you ready to make any football predictions for next year?" asks G. Willikers, knowing full well that he has never admitted to taking prescription drugs.
We are not ready to make such brash statements, G, that comes next month when CougZone will continue their hallowed tradition of remaining undefeated against the traditional media and comparing favorably with Phil Steele - who will release his picks this week. All we can say for sure is that the consensus of the Lounge clientele is to give new head coach Paul Wulff the standard one-season honeymoon period. No matter what happens - good or bad - in 2008, Wulff's "era" will officially begin December 11, when he has had one full year under his belt. The process of program rejuvenation has already begun, of course, but only so much can be done in the few months before the season begins and there should be no unrealistic expectations in either a positive or negative direction. With APR and off-season issues in the past few weeks, there have been mostly negative issues to overcome, but when August rolls around and the practices begin in earnest, there will be a tendency for all those issues to melt away in the fog of time, allowing Wulff and his team the opportunity to see where they stand.
One reason the Lounge does not want to commit to football predictions can be summed up in one word - braggadocio - and if, we need two more words, we will add "big" and "brown". The key to predicting is to avoid emotion as much as possible [well, that and late night bowls of chili] and the key to achieving that state of mind in the summer is to first clear it by going on numerous road trips to exotic places like New Hampshire or Saskatchewan. If you do embark on such a journey, you will be required to know The Official Shotgun Rules. These might also help if you find yourself in China in August [no calling "Shotgun!" in June - clearly against the international rulebook].
Finally, the Lounge Scientists have given new power to bored students who build paper airplanes in class with the discovery of a "super-paper" that is stronger than cast iron and almost as strong as steel. Whereas normal paper has cellulose that is damaged by the harsh process of pulping, the new "nanopaper" is broken down by enzymes, thereby preserving valuable hydrogen bonding activity and creating smaller, tougher networks.
"A regular paper network has fibres 30 micrometres in diameter, here we are at a scale three orders of magnitude smaller," says Lounge Scientist #214, Lars Berglund, a Swedish scientist from the Swedish Royal Institute of technology, who is used to putting his "r"'s before his "e"'s in that certain royal English olde tyme way.
Unfortunately, on page four of the official Beijing Olympics guide book, the Chinese government has expressly forbidden having fun or any blatant displays of joy which may be deemed offensive to the country and that means that any discussion by the Swedish delegation [there will be ways of finding out ] of flying a plane off the Great Wall using this new paper airplane-making technology will be immediately punished with administrative impunity and, possibly, a rock.
+++++++sponsored by Clark's Restaurant+++++++++
Attention COUGAR fans and well-wishers! Summer is almost 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.