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November 20, 2005
The Cougar Lounge - Upsy Daisy
"This is the kind of game that can make or break your season, so they broke ours this year."
- Washington receiver Craig Chambers, broken up about the loss.
"I don't think anybody can stop my offensive line."
- Wazzu running back Jerome Harrison, describing the reason for his success earlier in the year - and proving it yet once again in the Apple Cup with 207 yards - the most yards gained by any Cougar running back in the series.
"Madonna has a master plan. I think 50 Cent has a master plan. We don't."
- Comedian Penn Jillette of the comedy-magician duo Penn & Teller.
Lost in all the hoopla of the cancellation of Martha Stewart's reality show was the fact that the Cougars finally won a close game this year - defeating Washington in the Apple Cup for the second year in a row. For once, they finally came to the end of a football game and did not have to hear "you don't fit in" as the clock ran to zeroes. The Wall Street Journal - that bastion of wealth and privilege that has their collective fingers on the pulse of the collegiate sporting world - decided, the hell with Harvard-Yale, and had their butler, Charles, go out, do some research, come back and name the top college football rivalries [and of course bring back something from Starbucks while he was out]. Charles came back with a grande eggnog latte and a Top 10 list that placed the Apple Cup squarely at #9 among the nation's best college football rivalries - it is right there above Oklahoma-Oklahoma State and below Virginia-Virginia Tech, but the second-best rivalry in the Pac-10 behind the Arizona-Arizona State Territorial Cup [which, if you could have named that without the Lounge blatantly telling you, we would have gone out a brought back a nog latte for you too. Everybody knows the Apple Cup - the name has only been around for 43 years and the schools have been playing the game longer than Arizona has been a state, so, yes, we are skeptical about Arizona's placement here]. Florida and Florida State were listed as number one and the Lounge supposes there might be more pub for that game, but as far as the Lounge can remember - Florida is a warm weather state and that is just two warm weather schools going at it in their Under Armour and Speedo's. Where's the snow? Where's the old-school script helmets? Where's the nasty 35-degree wind chill coming off the water? Where's the snow-mower diverting to make a line in the snow for field goal kicking placement? That is where all the fun is! Anybody can play a game in perfect weather.
"Can the Cougs just play Arizona, Idaho and Washington every year and call it good?," says Tuff Dittle, noting head coach Bill Doba's undefeated record against those three schools in the last two years.
Dittle, we are surprised at you. That is subtle slandering of that fine Husky winning tradition - you should know better than that. Use open ridicule next time. Cougars can play those schools - go 3-0, maybe toss in a Nevada here and there and then play in the Rose Bowl every year. That works for us. What also works for the entire Lounge clientele was yet another big game-clinching block. Just like in the pivotal 1997 USC game when Shawn McWashington obliterated Trojan defensive back Antuan Simmons, Wazzu wide receiver Greg Prator made the block of his collegiate career - walling off Husky defensive back Josh Okoebor on a bubble screen that cleared an airport runway path down the sideline for Trandon Harvey to taxi down on the edge [much like Chris Jackson did in 1997] to clinching the second consecutive Apple Cup win for the Cougars. Cougar fans and well-wishers were too caught up in euphoria to immediately recognize the clutch performance tight end Cody Boyd put in on that drive in the replacement shoes of injured senior Troy Bienemann. All this and we have not even mentioned running back Jerome Harrison yet. Harrison had 207 yards in the Apple Cup and unless Memphis' DeAngelo Williams gets 302 yards in his season finale against Marshall this week, Harrison will end the year as the NCAA rushing champion by total yards gained - with 1900.
"What about that defense? I thought they played well," says Al Fresco, who is believed to be the first human outside the Wazzu football coaching offices to put the words "defense," "played" and "well" in one sentence in referring to the Cougars' games.
Perhaps a teensy-weensy factor like having linebacker Will Derting play the entire game might have had something to do with that? Nevertheless, there was certainly no griping amongst the Lounge clientele for the rush defense - which held the Huskies to 99 yards rushing a week after they rolled up 330 on Arizona. It was not enough to get the Cougars far enough away from the bottom of the NCAA rankings but it was enough to stay out of the Pac-10 basement in all team defense categories - rushing, passing, total and scoring defense. Not a great claim to fame, mind you, but certainly better than expected coming into November.
"I guess that means Washington won't win the Northwest Championship again this year," says Lounge newcomer Ken Remarkable in that fake lamenting voice.
Not only will they not win the fabled Northwest Championship but, for the second year in a row, every Northwest-based Pac-10 team has beaten the Huskies again. Washington has not beaten a Northwest team in what is going on three years now. That might be approaching one of Oregon State's records for futility but Charles is too indifferent to look it up - he just wants more caffeine.
The Lounge was in the dark about the outcome of the Apple Cup, just like everybody else, so we decided to make use of the lack of light by pretending to be a cab driver at Be Nocturnal. it seems simple enough - pick the cabbie you want to be [we liked Trey the Owl mostly] and then drive around the city running into buildings and street corners. What? You mean that's not the way the game was supposed to be played? That's how we played it and we got a perfect score and did not have to tip the passenger one thin dime.
Finally, the Lounge Scientists were very pleased with the outcome of the Apple Cup, but in the future, they would like it if the Cougars could put their overmatched opponents away more quickly and thus, end the unnecessary drama. In light of that sentiment, the Scientists have devised sports clothing that literally gives the athlete a kick in the butt to get them to react faster. Specifically, clothing will have sensors that indicate a deviation from the optimum muscle output necessary and devices worn at the ankle and waist will let them know that in no uncertain terms. Right now, the scientists are testing it on human guinea pigs, uh, we mean, rowers.
"The feedback can be understood by the person much more quickly than if they are getting shouts from a human trainer," says Lounge Scientist #96 Hendrik-Jan van Veen, reported to be a clearly understood person at the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research in Soesterberg.
If you are a Cougar fan or well-wisher today, you will need no such clothing - because no matter where you are - the sun is shining.
+++++++sponsored by Clark's Restaurant+++++++++
Attention COUGAR Fans! Autumn is here and now you're hungry. 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 six 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.