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May 9, 2010

The Cougar Lounge - Fearless Moments Of Joy

"I've got my mind on running 47's."

- Wazzu's two-time NCAA-champion hurdler Jeshua Anderson indicating that he would like to break the Pac-10 record in the men's 400-meter hurdles, currently held by UCLA's Kevin Young - a 47.72 mark set in 1988.




"We could have played with those teams. We had talent. This year is real important to rebound. We want to prove we're not pretenders and we can do some damage."

- Wazzu junior guard Klay Thompson looking forward to the 2010-11 men's hoop season.




"I have heard also that light green and red can cause strikers to shoot directly at the keeper because of the brightness of these colors, which can be destructive if combined with light."

- German goalkeeper coach Rainer Dinkelacker referring to uniform colors and their supposed psychological effect on soccer athletes - but Dinkelacker reportedly claims that his last name - if said three times fast - has more of a destructive effect on strikers.




"I wanted to be a secret agent and an astronaut - preferably at the same time."

- Musician David Byrne, of the band Talking Heads explaining what he wanted to be when he grew up.








From the Lounge's vantage point, we could see all that was going on ahead of us - mostly because everybody and everything - was ahead of us. The Lounge was absent last week [not that anyone noticed] but there was a good reason for that absence - we were busy hanging out with 49,674 of our good friends at Bloomsday. The Lounge makes an annual pilgrimage to Spokane for this 12K [7.46-mile] road race and sometimes there is actual running involved and sometimes, there is not. Last week was one of those times when there, distinctly, was not any semblance of what could be generously called running involved. The Lounge finished well back in the pack, in fact, so far back in the pack that a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts around Mile Five would not have been out of the question to consider.


This year's Bloomsday was fairly typical - except that the weather was good - cold but sunny. There was the usual boatload of clothing deposited on trees along the course by runners apparently sweltering in the 50 degree heat and, once again, of all the dozens of bands serenading runners along the course - no bands with a tuba - and the Lounge can assure everyone, some of these bands could have used a tuba. This year, there were only two oddities - somebody evidently leaving a red licorice trail between Mile Three and Mile Five [don't people know that it's red licorice for eating and black licorice for trail dropping?] and the inexplicable appearance of a note card in our pre-race packet assuring us that local radio/television personality Nadine Woodward is excited that KXLY has given her the opportunity to work. We were unsure of the significance of this note card but assumed it had some basis in local media folklore and were wondering if perhaps Woodward was polydactylic and was receiving heat for the extra digit being an unproductive member of media society. Whatever it was, we are glad everybody is happy now - and we know everybody is happy because the t-shirt color for Bloomsday this year was a striking bright green. We heartily approve - and so do World Cup goalkeepers!

In the Lounge's time off, the Wazzu women's rugby team won the Division II national title in the club sport and we decided to celebrate by passing out some vodka-and-Tang ice pops while we were watching Betty White make everybody in America proud with her Saturday Night Live gig.

Wazzu's national championship, Betty and the vodka/Tang ice pops all combined to make us forget the big news last week that Julia Louis-Dreyfus had her name misspelled when she was receiving her Hollywood Walk of Fame star. When the Lounge heard this - our first reaction was not to wonder how somebody in Hollywood misspelled a person's name, it was - Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a Hollywood star? How does that happen? The answer is found in the list of "celebrities" who have received stars on the Walk of Fame - that list includes Keanu Reeves, Emilio Estefan, Britney Spears, Regis Philbin, David Hasselhoff, Erik Estrada, Vince McMahon, Shakira and Judge Judy. Yes, you read that right - Judge Judy has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame along with Cary Grant, John Wayne and Johnny Carson - what could possibly be wrong with that picture?

So once we determined that Hollywood gives out its stars to just about anybody, we decided to revisit some quality celebrities encased in history within the Top 250 Movie List Of All Time. As with any subjective list, we have some issues with the contents. For example, there is no way that Toy Story 2 - as much as we liked it - is better than Rain Man just as there is no way in h-e-double matchsticks that Shaun of the Dead should even be within Pluto-distance-from-the-Sun on a list that contains Casablanca, Lawrence of Arabia, It's A Wonderful Life and North By Northwest. For the record, while the Lounge feels that The Shawshank Redemption was a fine film, it should probably be farther down the list and its spot should be occupied, instead, by One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.

Thinking of quality movies puts the Lounge in a good mood, allowing us to move deftly past the fact that China finally admitted that they send underage gymnasts to the Olympics and were finally caught cheating - 10 years later. Only, of course, this being China we are talking about here - where the government controls all thought and only positive things can be said about it [hmmm….that sounds familiar] - they decided to plea ignorance and blamed it on the obviously duplicitous teenager who duped their country's adult officials in the national sporting organization with her wily trickery in filling out her paperwork. Obviously, 14-year old, uh, we mean, 16-year-old teenage girls are much smarter than adult government and sporting officials in China. It is clear that this was the case and if you do not agree China will find ways to make sure that you do.

The Lounge's crack research department - after taking a week off to thoroughly besmirch and sully their reputations - have discovered that summer is rapidly approaching. Yes, we know that this was difficult to see whilst being pounded in the face by hail pellets last week but it is true - and to prove it, the research department presents research which gives the Top 10 locales around the country where people enjoy barbecuing. Not too surprisingly, six of the top 10 spots are led by Midwestern locations - topped by Detroit - but Seattle/Tacoma and Portland pop in at numbers six and eight, respectively, to represent the Pacific Northwest.

"I was not aware of their 'prow'ess!" yuks Night Al, of the recent NCAA Championship history of the Wazzu rowing team.

Wazzu is currently ranked 11th in the national poll after their near-capsizing of Oregon State last week, when they took four of five races in choppy Snake River waters. But even more impressive than their current ranking is the fact that head coach Jane LaRiviere has led the Cougars to NCAA Championship Regatta appearances in four of the last seven years and is looking to make that five out of eight years after the Pac-10 Championships next weekend. Provided they take care of their watery business, they are expected to receive their fifth team bid in school history and that is important because they will be officially hosting the NCAA Championship Regatta this year in Sacramento later this month. Although it will be difficult to overcome the dominant boats of Princeton and fellow Pac-10 member, California, a national championship is not completely out of the question for LaRiviere and her team.

"That was a sweet meet!" says Mr. Stinkster of Wazzu's sweep of the rival Huskies in the annual battle track meet between the two schools last week.

While it was not a surprise for the women to win - they have, after all, dominated the Huskies for most of the last decade - it was a surprise for the men to win as well and for both squads to win as convincingly as they did - by 53 and 65 points, respectively. The stars of the meet for the Cougars were the team members that usually do not get the big press, so while Jeshua Anderson won with ease in his signature event, perhaps the biggest stars of the day were Cougar athletes such as freshman long and triple jumper Stephan Scott-Ellis and sophomore thrower Kjirsten Jensen, both of whom recorded personal bests and won two events each.


The Lounge always likes it when The Webby Awards because it reminds us how truly insignificant we are in the overall scheme of the universe. This year's reminder of our puniness came in the form of Vinton Cerf [no relation to Bennett], who was recognized with a special lifetime achievement award. The achievement? Oh, just a little thing he helped to invent called the internet.

Meanwhile, the Lounge Scientists were alerted to the discovery last month that the giant Palouse earthworm is really not so giant as it was made out to be but it does, in fact, exist [something the Scientists cannot say for the Loch Ness Monster]. The giant earthworm was said, initially, to have been up to three feet in length, but instead of being three feet long, it was found to be more like a foot long when recent specimens were "unearthed" in March.

"It's a good day for the worm," says Lounge Scientist #12, JodiJohnson-Maynard, a scientist from the University of Idaho, who, reportedly, was not referring to tequila when uttering that sentiment.

In addition to the Loch Ness Monster, the scientists have also not been fooled by other mythical monsters such as Sasquatch, the Yeti and the BCS Taliban.




+++++++sponsored by Greg Davis Sports Photography+++++++++

Spring is here…and you know what that means…It's time for a whole new season of Cougar Athletics! Baseball, track & field, rowing and tennis, just to name a few, are coming up right around the corner. If you need "game action" photographs for your newspaper, magazine, web site, blog, etc., then Greg Davis Sports Photography should be your choice for all things "Cougar" and "Pac-10 Conference"! Coverage for specific athletes or upcoming events is also available. Check out the images from games, practices and events from last season, and be sure to come back often for uploads from all of this season's action.


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