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April 12, 2009

The Cougar Lounge - The Missing Egg


"He knows how to win. They are going to win with Ken Bone as head coach."

- Former Wazzu women's hoop head coach and current Portland State head women's hoop head coach Sherri Murrell, sharing her thoughts on her former colleague and his new job.




"The NCAA looks at the program as a whole, and you may be talking about systemic problems in these cases of payments by agents. Yes, these were different teams and coaches [but] rather than do it piecemeal, look at the institution."

- Attorney Anthony Salerno, indicating that the NCAA would combine their probes in the Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo cases into one large investigation to show USC had exhibited a lack of institutional control.




"We'll celebrate his life by winning games of rugby."

- ACT Brumbies fullback Mark Gerrard after the Brumbies' 17-10 win in honor of a fellow player who died of a blood infection after being involved in an automobile accident.




"It's his fetish. He collects clothing mainly at night."

- Judy Waring, Idaho owner of Jack the cat, who has been stealing neighbors' clothing since October.








It is the Easter Bunny's prerogative to hide eggs wherever there are spaces available for eggs to be hidden. There is no rule in the Easter Bunny rulebook that states that eggs may not be hidden in, say, a bale of hay, on top of the swing set where the slide is attached or in a fez hat. Both big and little kids eventually find EB's eggs and if EB does not cough up the location of all the eggs, they threaten to bite off his head in a milk chocolate likeness of him. The problem is, there is always a missing egg and the Easter Bunny does not respond to threats very well. EB is not like that milquetoast Punxsutawny Phil, the groundhog who comes out of his hole every February so humans can decide whether or not it will be snowing for six more weeks [you did not need a groundhog to tell you that this year]. EB makes the rules and if you don't like 'em - no eggs for you, Buster! As usual, all the eggs were found except one and the Lounge received some inside information this year from our operative, Thumper, and it seems the missing egg - the one that carried the information required to have a playoff for NCAA Division I football - was last seen on a boat in Germany. One would think that with such a large, brightly colored egg, it would be easy enough to locate its whereabouts, but the Easter Bunny was shrewd, knowing that they like their beer in Germany and the appearance of another gigantic lime green egg in the middle of the river was not something to get their lederhosen all curled up.


Nobody has their lederhosen curled up in Pullman any longer as Wazzu athletic director Jim Sterk hit another home run hire when he tabbed Portland State head men's hoop coach Ken Bone to replace Tony Bennett, who left for Virginia two weeks ago. Bone has been highly successful at PSU, leading the Vikings to two consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and before that, was highly successful as the head coach at Seattle Pacific. It is, of course, too early to predict success for Wazzu on the basketball court but all indications are that Bone will be added to the list of good hires by Sterk.

The good feeling Cougar fans and well-wishers are feeling about Bone is better than the feelings of the clientele in the Lounge after last week's so-called championship game in March Madness 2009. That was a championship game? More like the result of a meeting between a cockroach and shoe, with Michigan State playing the part of the cockroach and North Carolina being the shoe. Or, if you prefer a more updated technology version of the analogy, a meeting of a cell phone and a hammer with, of course, UNC playing the part of the hammer. The only reasons to watch the NCAA Championship game after the first five minutes was to laugh uncontrollably at Seth Davis' pick of an MSU upset, to see/hear Magic Johnson and Larry Bird halftime segments and then one could go mow the lawn, clean the gutters or do the laundry while waiting for the end of the game and the "One Shining Moment" montage which is usually fairly good - only this year, it was not as shiny. Too much UNC highlights when it was hardly surprising that they won and no Mendez-Valdez highlights from the Western Kentucky-Gonzaga game, CBS? Next year, we expect a more inspired effort. Of course, it could be that they were just too busy counting all the money they made. It is estimated that CBS made over $100 million on March Madness this year - and that was after paying out the $571 million licensing fee to the NCAA - making it the most profitable American sporting event behind only the Super Bowl and Summer/Winter Olympics.

That is almost the kind of money the athletes make at USC, but not quite, which is why the NCAA is combining the investigations of the football program centered on former player Reggie Bush and the men's basketball program focused on former player O.J. Mayo. Yes, we know, you are shocked to hear that USC - that bastion of fair play - could even be accused of cheating. Why, next thing they will be saying is that there is no Easter Bunny!

"That was a no-brainer!" exclaims Phil Pseudonym, of the hiring of Ken Bone as the new Wazzu men's hoop head coach.

The consensus among the clientele, is that Bone was the best possible choice athletic director Jim Sterk could make at this time. Some of the names other than Bone who were mentioned, would have had their various attributes but nobody had the assortment of head coaching experience, success and Pacific Northwest connections that Bone brought to the table. Perhaps most importantly though, is that Bone - and his family - have strong ties to the Pacific Northwest. Of course, they are not specifically ties to the rolling hills of the Palouse and sometimes challenging winters of Eastern Washington, but they are unmistakably Pacific Northwest ties and not, say, North Carolina or Louisiana ties that might be the basis for leaving really quickly on some charter aircraft in the future. Will his wife and teenage daughters be distraught because the nearest Nordstrom is 80 miles away? Not likely, because while he was employed at PSU, Bone and his family lived in Vancouver - it makes sense, housing is less expensive on a $125,000 salary and coming from his assistant coaching position at the University of Washington, he did not have to get an Oregon driver's license or pay state income tax. That's a good sign for Cougar fans and well-wishers worried about Bone being attracted by ego or bright light offers. Bone may or may not [but the smart money is on "may"] be one of the more successful coaches in Wazzu men's hoop history, but there is little question that he has preferred to stay in the Pacific Northwest for the majority of his coaching career. It could be that Bone is a safe, rebound hire for Sterk and Cougar fans and well-wishers or it could be that Bone was the man for the job the whole time. All the questions will begin to get answered as the weeks, months and years progress, but at this point in time, Ken Bone is best man to lead the Cougars into the 2009-10 season and beyond. That is how Cougar fans and well-wishers have to take it after an emotionally painful breakup - one year at a time.

"I am liking what I am seeing in spring football," says Dereck "The Avant-Garde, Left Wing Namby Pamby" Eau de Toilette.


As is the case with all spring football practices across the nation, nothing of any certainty will come of the practices and scrimmages when autumn rolls around. However, spring ball is always good for getting a good look at new players who have not yet played a game and what improvements, if any, returning players are making. Such is the case with running back James Montgomery and field goal kicker Nico Grasu who were impressive in the Cougars' first scrimmage of the year during the weekend. Montgomery, a transfer from California, is expected to challenge for much playing time in 2009 and showed his stuff in the first scrimmage with nine carries for 61 yards. Grasu meanwhile, who hit the game-winning field goal against the Huskies in last year's Apple Cup has only become stronger over the winter and with Wade Penner's transfer to Portland State, he has solidified his claim on the staring kicker's position.

Baseball season was going well for the Cougars until this weekend when they ran into the buzzsaw known as Arizona State - the nation's top-ranked team. But that should not be any reason to be afraid to visit The College Baseball Blog, where you can keep track of Top 30 scores every day thanks to their collaboration with D1Baseball.com.

Meanwhile, if the Easter Bunny does not have the answer to the NCAA Division I football playoff problem, there is only one thing left to do - bring in the Lounge Scientists - and the scientists are going to bring in the world's second-largest supercomputer, called the Jaguar and which is located in Tennessee. Instead of having a collection of computer systems telling you that there is no possible way Utah can be a national champion, why not have Jaguar establish the best possible playoff scenario - right after it figures out how to stop Arctic and Antarctic ice shelves from melting away, Britney Spears to stop performing and human beings to get along with one another.

"It is in very high demand right now and we're very psyched. This a very programmable platform with a boatload of memory - three times the amount of memory relative to the next closest system - and it is turning out to be very stable and reliable," says Lounge Scientist #1.64, Douglas Kothe, a scientist at the National Center for Computational Sciences, who you know is a real Lounge Scientist because he uses terms such as "psyched" and "boatload" and who has reportedly already used the computer to figure out a way to fix the economy - buy more cheese.

The supercomputer, however, still does not know where the missing egg lies, but predicts it will show up, all stinky and smelly, sometime in May.





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

Attention COUGAR fans and well-wishers! Spring 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 hot chocolate.


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