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July 9, 2006

The Cougar Lounge - Serious Flim Flammery

"The opening ceremony is now without form and void. I have lost the plot entirely. Let's assume that a small boy had a dream about football and then world peace broke out. I look up: Claudia Schiffer seems to have won the World Cup and married Pele."

- A critique of the World Cup opening ceremony from London Times columnist, Simon Barnes, who will most certainly be encountering similar delusions when it has been discovered that Schiffer and Pele have reproduced like rabbits and Shakira is called in during the closing ceremony to divide the resulting 400 offspring into various soccer leagues while preventing war among the bickering parents.



"We felt it was a slam dunk and sports fans we talked to all agreed."

- Outdoor Life Network [OLN] - which covers the Tour De France, hockey and bass fishing - President Gavin Harvey, who seems to be confused upon announcing his network's plan to change their name to Versus in September, and has begun to fling out hoop clichés. Perhaps the Lounge is merely bitter because we were never included amongst the 37 fans they consulted even though we are among a handful of people who can identify a peloton or Bob Roll in a lineup.



"We should treat all the trivial things of life very seriously and all the serious things of life with sincere and studied triviality."

- Professional author and bon vivant Oscar Wilde.






You don't like it? It's got Cup motor, Cup suspense[ion], Cup shocks - what's not to like? Brazil takes on Germany in the World Cup final…wait…that is how it was supposed to be, but instead of Brazil, we have Brazil-killer France and instead of Germany, we have Italy with a bunch of defensive Italians whose only goal scored on them in the month-long tournament so far was one which they scored on themselves [that goal was scored in the match against the USA and obviously, it was just to keep them from becoming complacent]. The Lounge has been in the near-vicinity at enough Cougar football and basketball games in the past that we could instantly recognize the look of stunned disbelief on most Germans' faces when Italy scored late to snatch the World Cup final from them in Dortmund last week. In fact, we think we pinpointed that glazed over German look as something of a cross between's USC's 1989 win in football [the Marinovich debacle] over WSU and Arizona's 1995 double-overtime win over WSU in men's hoop.


The Italy-France final is like a men's hoop game between UCLA and Dick Bennett's Cougar team last year. Italy is going to make it tough for France to score and will be banking on the French frustration to give them some counter-offensive opportunities. So it will come down to the wire and either Kyle Weaver will convert the free/penalty kick and Italy will win or he will miss and France will win. Simple as that. Meanwhile, with a little free time on our hands now that there is not a soccer match on at seven in the morning, the Lounge clientele took some time to catalogue all the dive varieties at the World Cup. There is the triple gainer with a half twist [usually invoked for an ankle injury], the three and a half twist from pike position [usually brought out for a fake leg injury], the "scuba" dive [to be used when engaged in the death roll and clutching one's head] and, of course, the cannonball [the groin].

Now that the World Cup is ending, it is time to turn our attention to college football - but first a short attention span diversion to the Tour de Lance, which is slowing turning back into the Tour de France now that it is becoming a free-for-all once again. With Lance out, the Discovery Channel team is trying that old John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd line from the Blues Brothers - "we're getting the band back together". Only this time, Mr. Fabulous is not showing up to do the fundraiser for the nuns. That leaves the door wide open to anybody still in the race that has not been banned for taking drugs. Not surprisingly, there is no clear-cut favorite, American or otherwise and American viewers, being the front-runners they are, and who love to watch when they have a guaranteed winner, are not watching so much this year when the winner can neither be guaranteed nor, possibly, American - so ratings are down. But if one watched Tour de France coverage in the past, the reason is likely akin to the same reason one would watch World Cup matches on Univision. One might not be able to understand everything but the commentating is so passionate that one cannot help but wonder what is causing all the commotion - and this is all before the mountain stages when the Devil himself [who looks a little long in the tooth and not so scary if you ask us] shows up to taunt the riders on their way up insanely skinny and steep European mountain roads clogged with drunken people getting in the way. Now, really, what's not to like?


In fact, if the Devil himself was to endorse a certain brand of croutons [because we hear the Devil loves croutons - especially those ones with the garlic], college students would pretty much ignore him. That is because recent survey results indicate that college students - who are very good at ignoring things - generally ignore celebrity endorsements for products, preferring "socially conscious" brands such as Ben & Jerry's, Burt's Bees and Yoplait. Hmmm…no Tostitos, Fed Ex or Allstate - the sponsors of the major bowl games - because those are products for the BCS Taliban and after all, don't you know that these college football games are all about them, not the college or the college students, you naïve little bunny? But in the dream world where college football games actually represent the genuine college atmosphere, a Burt's Bees Bowl would be very intriguing and who would have any trouble imagining the free sample stampede that would ensue at the Ben & Jerry's Rose Bowl?

"Time's up! Let's have those predictions!" demands Al Fresco, who is reputed to look "sorta young and sorta old at the same time".

Well, Al, you can rest easy because the picks are in and the final touches are being applied by the elves in the CougZone workshop and providing none of them took the liberty of bamboozling us, the new Volkswagens will be in early this year. The suspense is killing us - and being dead tends to be somewhat of a hindrance in getting the picks out in a timely manner - but we are doing it for your own good. Nobody wants to see another repeat of 2001 when the elves got into the Lounge's secret stash of Funyons and the next thing you know, it seems we were picking "Foofyhead State" to win the Pac-10 that year.


"The Cougs did well in the final standings for that whatchamacallit thing. I thought they would flop," says Lounge newcomer Jeb the Mingler, who is still working on his vocabulary.

Yessirree, Jeb, we do believe you are talking about that that NACDA competition which Stanford wins every year and keeps in their closet along with licorice whips and various Tree costumes. Although it was not an ideal year for the Cougars, they were able to crack the Top 75, mainly thanks to the efforts of the Cougar crew, track and field and women's golf. Next year, with some expected additional support from baseball and possibly football and soccer, Wazzu can vault into the Top 50.

Now that the World Cup is over, Every Day Should Be Saturday from now on. That is the premise of this site and the Lounge would never argue with that premise in a million years [provided we are around in a million years to argue the point]. The Pac-10 portion includes the requisite mocking of Oregon's football uniforms [easy target] as changed by Oregon's ADD-challenged athletic department, the new offensive strategy employed by ASU and a few superpowers held by Cal's Marshawn Lynch that we were not aware of until today as well as some unknown trivia - including the apparent fact that he is well over 1200 years old as evidenced by his ability to stiff-arm an entire Moorish army back when he was just a tyke.

Finally, the Lounge Scientists have discovered yet another good thing about chocolate. It is not merely enough that chocolate tastes good because in today's demanding society, a substance needs to go the extra mile. Chocolate tingles the taste buds but who knew that is also generated electricity. Well, not chocolate exactly, but more like chocolate waste - which does not seem like two words that should go together. The scientists fed bacteria some chocolate factory waste and, being the good bacteria they are - they slurped it right up. Then the plucky bacteria surprised the scientists by producing hydrogen waste of their own, which the scientists then used to power a small fuel cell which, in turn, generated enough electricity to run a small fan.

"We wanted to see if we tipped chocolate into one end, could we get electricity out of the other?" says Lounge Scientist #55 Lynne Mackaskie, a microbiologist at the University of Birmingham in the UK, who gives us the impression that the scientists were tipping a few other things - if you know what we mean - before chocolate came along.

World Cup over, college football season imminent, chocolate running fans - the Lounge clientele are beginning to get that glazed German look in their eyeballs.




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