June 3, 2007

The Cougar Lounge - Won Ton Math

"Dan Marino not winning the Super Bowl. That would be a good comparison."

- Perennial national spelling bee favorite - and 2007 favorite - Samir Patel, figuring what it would be like if he did not win this year's Bee, shortly before finishing in a Marinoesque tie for 34th.



"Promotional licensing is in its infancy, at best. You know, collectible cups, gift-with-purchase, a university mark on a bucket of chicken, there's a lot of upside in that area."

- Rick Jones, owner of FishBait Marketing, which represents associations of athletic directors, football and basketball coaches, identifying a worldwide shortage of more cheap, plastic crap and branded buckets of chicken.



"I ate with this girl, I went to San Francisco with this girl, she was like my sister."

- A friend of Jenssy Rojina, who was one of many duped by faux Stanford freshman Azia Kim, who pretended to be a Cardinal freshman and squatted in university housing until outed last month. See now, if Kim had a bucket of chicken with a Stanford logo emblazoned on it, everything would have been fine.



"I'm never going to shun, disrespect or neglect anybody who shows me genuine, non-psychotic love."

- Actress Michelle Rodriguez, pretty much eliminating Azia Kim from contention.






It was an epic battle - sort of like what it would be if you had the Facebookers squaring off against the MySpacers - a mercenary force of IMer's tangling with a feared guerrilla band of video desperados in a downloading duel on the Web. It is scary to even think about it. But there you had a similar comparison - kind of like Dan Marino not winning the Super Bowl, only better - when timid, little 18-year-old Azia Kim from podunk Fullerton, California came up north to Palo Alto and proceeded to take on big, bad Stanford University. There Kim was, going to school at prestigious Stanford, ah, but one small problem - not only was she not enrolled at Stanford, they did not even know she existed. But that did not stop her from roaming around on the Farm, squatting from one dorm to the next, taking tests and eating dining hall food just as if she was one of the proles. However, a bonus for her - no tuition and no pesky tests to take - just lots of studying, eating and sleeping without having to watch a single football game.


The Lounge might have been concerned about that - except that pretending to be a college student does not quite rank up there with some other, more egregious offenses we see out there on a weekly basis - most of it on cable television; Lindsay Lohan, stupefied drones tuned into American Idolatry, almost everything on Fox - so if a kid wants to try to out-juke "The Man" and get a top rate education, we are not going to diss her. That is because we are concerned about the important things like Bob Barker ["Uh, we bid…uh…$1, Bob!"] retiring from the Price is Right and FIFA. The international soccer body that handles the World Cup has become grossly engorged with irrelevance and it looks like she's gonna blow after that organization banned high altitude games over 2500 meters [8200 feet] due to reported health hazards associated with the altitude. Next up, we hear FIFA is going to ban matches below 173 feet in sea level, between all countries practicing the mambo as well as those not practicing proper dental hygiene.

All this ruckus has turned us away from Bolivia and toward the nice, flat, long, flat - did we already say that? - plains of the Midwest where the Big 11 Network has hired an ESPN guy who did World Cup coverage to be one of their prime on-air personalities and custodians of the sure-to-be lucrative Boys Climbing Ropes series tentatively set to air on the fledgling network.

But we have even less time to devote to that topic because the Lounge clientele has a notoriously short attention span and besides, was alerted just last week that Starbucks was planning a big shift from whole milk to 2% milk in their franchise stores. Predictably, this has caused a major wave of trepidation among herds of whole cows [direct quote - "Mooooo!"] who fear they will now be reduced to 2% cows - and nobody has told them where the other 98% is going. Father Lotto, however, has graciously extended an offer to take the 98% cows home for use in his homemade Kahlua factory.

It is a small offer but it is better than the alumni of the University of Washington treat their own university. Recently, UW officials opened a time capsule from 1957 and discovered that 1980's-era presumed pranksters had tampered with the capsule and enclosed a condom, men's underwear with unidentified stains and copies of Playboy and Hustler magazines - among other things. The Lounge understands that NCAA officials de-briefed Washington and the Huskies will avoid any official sanctions.

"I don't know whether it's good or bad, but I like it!" says Marcus O'Realius who has been having that problem lately.

Marcus is probably talking about the shifting men's hoop schedule that had the Cougars going all over the joint - New Zealand, Australia, Hawai'i, Alaska, Spokane, Djibouti and Moldvania - before they finally settled on New Zealand, Australia and Spokane and scratched the rest. The Lounge clientele was split - they could live easily enough without Alaska and Djibouti [although Father Lotto was really pining for the ancient fjords of Djibouti] but were rooting for Hawai'i to come through - partially as a homecoming reward for that first crucial recruit, guard Derrick Low. But in the end, head coach Tony Bennett chose to keep the Cougars close to home with a tourney in Spokane that will likely be best in the long run by reducing the stress and wear and tear that can take place during the course of a long season accentuated by what promises to be yet another brutal Pac-10 season. Wazzu has a chance to repeat their spectacular 2006-07 effort and possibly improve upon it and any element of that success that can be maximized is important. The Cougars have already been having success on the recruiting trail and with scheduling beginning to fall into line, all that awaits after the Kiwi/Aussie tour is the first practice in October to get the party started.

"Who hurled that pudding at me last night when I mentioned the unmentionable?" asks Bootney Farnesworth the 3rd, on the verge of issuing a scathing remark.

Why Bootney, you cheeky, pink oboe! Obviously the Third had made the mistake of mentioning that Diana Pickler - that's 18th-ranked in the world, Diana Pickler - would have a good - very good - chance of becoming the national champion in the heptathlon at the NCAA Track and Field Championships and somebody [we highly suspect Father Lotto even with the persistent bursitis in his throwing arm] tossed the dreaded pudding at the Third for possibly jinxing Miss Pickler. It is true that Pickler is currently ranked 18th on the planet in the event and her nearest competitors are more than 300 points away and one of those includes her twin sister Julie Pickler who will have a good shot at second place or even the top spot if Diana inexplicably falters. But there will be no more mention of that until later this week.


In fact, to completely throw the clientele off the track - so to speak - we summoned the mighty power of the Alumni Atlas where you can enter the name of your favorite university and get a results page that has all the news on former Cougar baseball players Mark Hendrickson and Scott Hatteberg that you care to devour.

Unfortunately, the Lounge Scientists may have discovered a flaw in that plan as they recently discovered that online news stories fade from human brains in as little as one hour after they have been viewed. Researchers tracked online users' "attention spans" to various stories and the best they could muster was 69 minutes for only a handful of articles.

"It's how everything from websites to movies to books gets hot," says Lounge Scientist #11101101, Clay Shirky, a New York University researcher who reputedly claims he did not have time to spend researching it before moving on to his next project.

That gives the Lounge clientele just enough time to move on to the next hot story - whether Lindsay Lohan can stay sober enough to play in a movie based on the Stanford teen who tricked…hey, is that an ice cream truck over there!?





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