THROWING IT OUT THERE | By Desmond Bieler

Burning Down the Couch?

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Monday, September 10, 2007

This Thursday, Maryland's football team travels to Morgantown to square off against the West Virginia Mountaineers, and you know what that means -- the Bonfire of the Sectionals. One of these teams will win this regional matchup and, in turn, one set of fans will rejoice with the ritual application of lighter fluid to love seat. But must a glorious victory be celebrated by charring a chaise lounge.

OneGentlemen, Start Your Blenders

In honor of prized West Virginia recruit Pat Lazear, who has somewhat of a foot in both camps, since he starred in high school (Whitman, then Wheaton) not far from Byrd Stadium. Before taking his talents to Morgantown, Lazear brought much-deserved attention to the frozen concoction that is the smoothie by, well, conspiring to rob a smoothie joint, a crime for which he was sentenced to 10 days in jail, three years probation and 150 hours of community service, all so he and his crew could divvy up $463. Oh, such an error in judgment! The treasure inside the store wasn't the cash, silly, it was all the fruity deliciousness that makes the smoothie such a tremendous beverage. So regardless of who wins the game, we encourage fans to think less about setting fire to a couch and more about firing up the Cuisinart. After all, if Florida and Georgia fans can have the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, why can't Maryland and West Virginia fans have the World's Largest Outdoor Smoothie Bash? The pulverizing of ice cubes and chunks of fruit can satisfy an appetite for destruction and an appetite for a tasty drink that will nicely soothe throats turned hoarse from yelling observations about the opposing school's academic shortcomings.

TwoKegger at Hug's

For a more traditional college libation, Mountaineers fans can head over to new men's basketball coach Bob Huggins's place. Huggins, who was forced to leave a successful program at Cincinnati after he had a few more libations than the law allows a driver of a motor vehicle, no doubt was aware of West Virginia's reputation as a party school when he agreed to come to Morgantown. Even if not, we're confident Hug would be only too happy to roll out the barrel following a Mountaineers win, whether it be in football, basketball, debate team, you name it.

ThreeOne-Armed Banditry

Staring at a massive budget shortfall, the Maryland General Assembly is once again considering bringing slot machines to the rescue. But who wants to wait? Terps fans can take the matter into their own fiscally minded hands by staging a border raid into West Virginia and ransacking Charles Town Races & Slots. Any frustration at failing to indulge their inner pyromaniac would soon be forgotten amid all the opportunity to indulge their inner degenerate gambler.

FourJust Don't Burn Them

So despite our efforts to suggest alternatives, you just have to celebrate a win by making sofas feel the heat. Fine. But burning them is so very d?class?. In the words of our crack staff, "How about grilling them lightly with a little olive oil and garlic? So much healthier." Or perhaps poaching them and topping them with hollandaise sauce -- that's always a crowd-pleaser. And hey, displaying a little culinary know-how is never a bad way to impress the ladies.

FiveA Sight Tweak

Okay, this is our last-ditch suggestion, but we like it. Instead of burning couch es, how about burning just one and making it the game's trophy? Allow us to present: the Battle for the Flaming Couch. The event certainly would have a better ring to it than such current rivalry games as the Battle for the Golden Egg, Battle for the Rag and Battle for the Mitten. And, as noted by our crack staff, "Who wouldn't want to see the kicker of the winning field goal charge off the field and attempt to lift a burning piece of furniture over his head?"

No couches were harmed in the making of this list.

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