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September 26, 2008

The Pres' Palouse Park Bench - Bonfires And Chariots



Ah yes, the leaves of summer have to turned to the reds, yellows and oranges of fall. The air is crisp as the Palouse begins its slow and graceful transformation to winter. The temperatures go from blisteringly hot to a pleasant and cool comfortable afternoon. For one football game a year, we celebrate our Homecoming with chariot races and voting for our king and queen. And as this poem comes to an end, let me leave with a solemn thought on Homecoming:

I hate it.

Because unless your in a fraternity, sorority or residence hall, it means nothing to you. Even in the residence halls it means very little, mostly that you get harassed for a week about buying a tee shirt. What this week is really for is for the Greek system; giving them an excuse to party every night, make a shirt for each party and light bonfires. What else this week is really used for is beyond me, other than bringing alumni back for a weekend of drinking.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm all for a weekend of drinking. There is nothing wrong with getting inebriated and stealing a stop sign because you think your girlfriend would like it.


I just don't like everything that comes along with it. Fraternities and sororities hit me up for money about five separate times when I walk to class on the mall. I know it's for charity, but I don't have money and that fact hasn't changed by walking seven additional feet.

My biggest gripe though is the constant complaining of the Greeks that they have tests and homework during Homecoming. There is a reason for this though. Think about the calendar. Most years, Homecoming falls on or around the first round of mid-term exams and large projects that are essentially mid-terms. Not to worry though, I'm sure you can get in your week of partying at say, any other time of the year.

Here at the Park Bench though the whole article shouldn't be negative, unless were talking about police and their love of search and seizure. We want to dole out the feel goods and acknowledge teams that go a little underappreciated in Pullman, namely women's soccer and volleyball.

Soccer has missed the NCAA tournament the past two years after very stellar seasons. Teams with worse records and playing in weaker conferences got into the tournament last year while the Cougars stayed at home. In response to this, head coach Matt Potter decided to send his teams to the Eastern time zone to play in a number of tournaments to try and increase their exposure to the selection committee.

The biggest thing working against the Cougars is their youth all over the field. They lost a couple of key players in Allison Scurich (came back to be an assistant coach) and their dynamic duo of twins, forward Brooke Bemis and goalkeeper Brynn Bemis. The roster has nine redshirt or true freshman on the squad or 39% of the team.

But so far the team has been playing well, most recently beating a usually very good Seattle University team. This weekend they play their second Jesuit school in a row - Gonzaga [who they are 16-0-1 against all-time] and then their border rivals Idaho [who Potter has not lost to in three matches], two games that should give them a pair of wins. Here's hoping they make it to the post-season this year.

By the way, the match to really be looking forward to is the Halloween match against Washington. Should be fun, Ill be dressed as something incredibly horrific: Jared Ballman's girlfriend. (No idea what he looks like but I love cheap shots).

Volleyball plays their matches in Bohler Gym but barely anyone would know it. This team is barely appreciated around campus, mainly because they went without a conference win last year. However, that really needs a qualifier because half of the teams in conference are ranked in the top 10. Winning a game in the conference is no small feat but the team is slowly improving. The team is leaning on the Britneys, Tillman and Johnson, both of whom are absolute kill machines. A couple of wins in their conference schedule should be considered a success for the team under first year head coach Andrew Palileo.


PICKS:


Last Week: 4-1

Overall: 21-6


Before the picks, a quick aside about Gary Rogers, who broke a bone in his spine against Portland State, an injury that ended his season. If anybody deserved the second chance Rogers got when Kevin Lopina was hurt, it was him. Rogers sat patiently behind Alex Brink for a number of years and when it was finally his time, the coach and offense changed and it was one that did not suit his quarterback style.

When Rogers finally got his opportunity, he lost it to Lopina. And when he got his second chance, he was hurt so badly, his final season ended.

An unfair injury to a man who has endured an unfair five years at WSU. Here's to you Gary, the Park Bench wishes you a speedy recovery and plenty of happiness after you graduate.

UCLA has looked terrible since losing to Idaho by such a margin that the loss could've applied for an AARP membership. Expect a result that's not the same, but still pretty bad.

We Barely Beat Toledo 42, Tricky Ricks 20


Rams and Bears. Now there is a cage fight I would love to see.

Finally Got Rid of Treehuggers 36, Our NFL Counterpart Stinks Too 17


If Washington loses this game, Ty Willingham will be fired. I don't want this to happen, my impression is darn near flawless.

I Can't Believe I'm Doing This 34, Somebody Stop Me 20


And now, your Washington State picks:

Oregon 45, Washington State 14 says big smarty pants and all around awesome person Mollie Lawrenson

Oregon 31, Washington State 17 says total Cougar homer and man of a thousand obscure references Luke Taylor

Oregon 31, Washington State 14 says a man who did not found the snowboard company that bears his name Jake Burton

Both teams have lost a number of quarterbacks this season, but Oregon was the better all around team entering the season. Expect them to take out a little rage from losing to Boise State on the Cougars.

Oregon 48, Washington State 24

Congrats to Oregon State on their upset of USC. Most valuable player for the Beavers: Jacquizz Rodgers with over 180 yards of rushing and punching in the killer touchdown. Beaver fans are some of the classiest n the conference and they absolutely deserve this win. For the second straight time in Corvallis, the Beavers upset the Trojans. Well done gentleman.


+++++++sponsored by Clark's Restaurant+++++++++

Attention COUGAR fans and well-wishers! Autumn is here! 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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