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January 24, 2010"From what I can see, their effort was inconscionable. They'll probably have to look that up."
- Oregon State men's hoop head coach Craig Robinson, so blinding mad after his Beavers' 59-35 loss to Stanford last week, that he made up his own word [good luck to the Beaver team's efforts trying to look it up].
"They should make a rule that if you're below a certain point, you don't qualify for the tournament - and I guarantee that would fix the problem in a hurry. I promise you that. We'd fix this thing overnight."
- United States Education Secretary Arne Duncan - a former men's hoop athlete at Harvard - indicating a possible solution to the NCAA's poor graduation rates among their institution's men's hoop teams.
"When you say something like that, advertisers think they'll get a bargain, and we've told them there aren't any."
- NBCU Olympics Chief Dick Ebersol, explaining why he finds it "inconscionable" that network boss Jeff Immelt came out and said the Olympics would probably "lose a couple hundred million" this year.
"I like a drink as much as the next man - unless the next man is Mel Gibson."
- One of the many zingers delivered by actor-comedian Ricky Gervais last week as the host of the Golden Globe Awards.
The Lounge likes the precedent Oregon State head men's hoop coach Craig Robinson has set. We, too, are going to start inventing new words when we are forced to describe unpleasant things in the world today. So, for instance, we scrutinized these upcoming Olympics and the first thing that came to our minds was that the television coverage is going to be inconscionable - oh wait, that word was already taken. Damn. Well, then they will be scriffy - a combination of scruffy and iffy - especially since NBC undoubtedly plans to show hours upon hours of scintillating figure skating high drama. Woo and hoo. Fortunately - this being the United States of America - we have options, and they are much better options than the last Winter Olympics in Italy when NBC could play dictator and tell us what they will and will not cover and that we will like it. This time around, the Olympics are in Canada - our neighbors to the north - and that proximity means many other media outlets will have coverage and it is a good bet it will be of something other than figure skating drama. For their part, Yahoo! will have a dedicated Olympics web channel for Vancouver, featuring a blog called "Fourth Place Medal", a "Fancouver" entertainment center in city and beginning this week on the website, a sweepstakes where fans can submit their favorite winter sports photos for a chance to win prizes from digital cameras to the grand prize - a trip to the USA Freestyle Skiing Championships at Squaw Valley in California.
Even though the Olympics in Vancouver are not projected to make any money for NBC, it has generally been a money-making - albeit small - venture for the network which covers them [which has been mostly NBC over the last 18 years]. Since 1992, NBC has only lost money on a single Olympics - the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain - every other Olympics since then has made a profit for the network which covered it - an average of $56 million - or about how much George Clooney's telethon made for Haiti last week.
It is official - the top five food trends have been announced and coconut has emerged as the leading candidate to be the glam food of 2010. The other four members of the top five are listed in nebulous fashion such as "exotic citrus" and "nostalgic foods" - but coconut was the only food to get its own distinct listing. Other food trends to watch for in 2010 were bacon-related [the Lounge has been all over this in January], smoked food and spicy popcorn.
The Lounge research team loves to watch movies on their opening weekend - especially early in the mornings when people are still sitting on the couch at home figuring out whether or not they want to brave the crowds at the multi-cine-plex-o-rama. But who is with them? Who - and specifically where do they live - goes to see opening weekend movies? Mostly people in Texas and California is the answer - cities in those states make up six of the top 10 locations where people flock to buy overpriced concession food and watch movies on the opening weekend.
"Can this team ever sweep a series?" asks Dereck "The Avant-Garde Left Wing Namby Pamby" Eau de Toilette, about the Wazzu men's hoop team.
We know it is difficult to project after the inconsistent manner in which the team has been playing, but the Lounge will go out on a limb and predict that Wazzu will indeed, win a conference series when the second half of league play begins next month. Right now, the Cougars are the classic example of mediocrity at 4-4 in conference play as they have been unable to get over the hump of sweeping a series despite winning two games on the road - always a tough task in the Pac-10. At this point, the Cougars will have to focus on winning at least nine conference games to give them a shot at an unprecedented fourth consecutive year of post-season play and will likely have to win a couple more to put them in NCAA bubble territory - notwithstanding winning the automatic bid in the conference tournament. The Pac-10 is down this year but three to four teams should get in the Big Dance - but that fourth team will be sweating profusely on Selection Sunday in March. Finishing fourth in the Pac-10 will almost certainly require a double digit win although if that total is only 10, the Lounge predicts that team will not make the Big Dance - it has to be 11 or more. Wazzu will have to step it up in the second half of play to reach an 11-win conference total and perhaps more importantly, have consistent play from their core top four scorers - Klay Thompson, Reggie Moore, Nikola Koprivica and DeAngelo Casto - if they are to entertain any thoughts of March Madness.
"Is it a reasonable expectation to think the baseball team can make the NCAA's this year?" asks Otto T. Ott about the post-season chances of the Wazzu baseball team.
The Lounge consensus believes that to be the case, Otto. The Cougars did lose some heavyweight pitchers from last year's NCAA run but head coach Donnie Marbut has positioned the Cougars well in talent and his scheduling has proven to be a key factor in the success of the program. Chad Arnold and David Stilley are poised to be the 1-2 weekend starters and Adam Conley will undoubtedly have a say in matters. Perhaps an equally concerning area of the 2010 season to Marbut is where the offense will come from. Catcher Jay Ponciano and outfielder Derek Jones had some success last year along with intermittent success from Cody Bartlett, Matt Argyropoulos, Shea Vucinich, Patrick Claussen and Garry Kuykendall - but there will have to be proven consistency from that group before NCAA chances can be reasonably discussed.
Now that it is officially official as a top food trend of 2010, the Lounge can officially endorse the Republic of Bacon as one of our faves of the year. Visit the bacon casino, the world's tallest bacon, the museum of modern bacon art and, of course, the Bacon Strip - the red light district [Pork! Pork! Pork!]. Nog and bacon - cannot be beaten.
Meanwhile, the Lounge Scientists have announced that there is another contestant capable of breaking the speed of sound - a pebble. When a pebble is dropped into water, it creates a splash and the speed of the air rushing out of that splash has been measured to break the speed of sound - creating a sort of miniature sonic boom.
"When an object, such as a pebble, is dropped into water, an air-filled cavity is created which ejects air at supersonic speeds," says Lounge Scientist #24, Stephan Gekle, a scientist at the University of Twente in the Netherlands, who, reputedly made the discovery while listening for a pin to drop.
While this discovery is being hailed in the scientific world, Lounge sources have been informed that Craig Robinson finds it to be quite splanchy.
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