Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Between the Hashmarks Week 4-2014


 TIPPING INCIDENT SPURS MUSIC ENDEAVOR

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (UPI)…Lambasted in the media for, then admitting to, leaving a 20-cent gratuity for a server on a burger-joint tab for over $60, Eagles RB LeSean McCoy has decided to pursue a rap music career, going by the name “Twenty Cent”. Plans are already underway to join forces with Curtis Jackson AKA “Fifty-Cent” on a nationwide concert tour called “Seventy Cent On Da’ Dollah”! McCoy may also get to throw out the first pitch of a Major League Baseball playoff game. Hopefully, it’ll be less than half as bad as Fifty Cent’s was. Asked about his soon-to-be co-star’s claim of being reportedly shot nine times, McCoy stated has never suffered a bullet wound, but “did take nine snaps from the shotgun formation during preseason practices” in Philly’s rendition of the Wildcat!
BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS

BTW, Vindy’s spies say before leaving the restaurant, the beleaguered running back took the twenny pennies and threw them in the air to “make it rain”!
UNLV took first-place in the Victoria Secret Pink Nation “Craziest Campus Showdown” last week. The prize is still under wraps for now, but the looks on the Rebel’s football players’ faces when dozens of frilly, lacy, pink underthings are delivered to the locker room will be priceless!

Back in Week One, we noted the Marc Lawrence’s Playbook.Com strategy of wagering on bowl teams from the previous season who drop their first two games SU, then win Game Three outright and host their Game Four opponent. The first three weeks of 2014 have eliminated all but two of the possible contenders, but the remaining teams meeting the criteria are…Vanderbilt and Washington State. Da’ Commodores are gettin’ 21vs. the South Carolina Gamecocks and Wazzou’s taking 23 vs. the Mallards of Oregon. Vandy looks absolutely lost without coach James Franklin (now at Vindy’s alma mater) and the Ducks could be bankin’ on the perceived strength of conference to blaze the path to the Final Four, but a bye week’s comin’ up after this one and style-points won’t hurt. Our choices? Bet on the Admirals, pass on the Coogs, who’ve lost by 15, 25 and 24 the last three years.
The NCAA has cut a deal with “Star Wars” merchandise to provide movie-themed apparel for its colleges. Keep an eye out in your fave campus bookstores for shirts, hoodies, PJs, etc. featuring such things as…”These aren’t the draw-plays you’re looking for.”, “Use the Air Force, Luke!”, Auburn coach Darth Malzahn, Bowling Green (or Air Force) Millennium Falcons, Rutgers Scarlet Jedi Knights, Texas Tech Red Tusken Raiders and of course, Rebel Bases of Ole Miss and UNLV!

We thank Northern Illinois (-10 ½) and Nebraska (-11 ½) for covering at UNLV and Fresno State, respectively, thus letting us cash our first parlay ticket on the season!
ATS runs and skids thru Week Three (with three lined games): 3-0: Weeziana Tech, Ole Miss and UTEP; 0-3: Fresno State, Kent State, UCLA and Vandy!

This just in…Seminoles QB Jameis Winston earned himself the right to spend the first thirty minutes of game-time vs. Clemson on the pine for spouting an obscene phrase while standing atop a table in the student union. We have a two-word prediction for Winston’s future as an NFL quarterback…Ryan Leaf  (or maybe even Art Schlicter!)
The faux-fainting ploy used by Arkansas State on special teams vs. Miami was reportedly run in practice, but we think Booker Mays accidentally made eye-contact with George Clooney, who was on the ASU sidelines reprising his role from “The Men Who Stare at Goats”!!!

With the Seattle Super Bowl victory well-in-hand at the end of the second quarter last February, QB Russell Wilson actually took the halftime stage and lip-synched the Bruno Mars tunes alongside the Red Hot Chili Peppers (anybody else out note the irony in said-band playin’ “Give It Away” following the Broncos efforts to do just that in the first 30 minutes of the game?!). Meanwhile, the scheduled performer/pop star actually suited up and was under center the rest of the way for the Seahawks!
Multiple-choice question…Commish Roger Goodell says the league didn’t see the Ray Rice video in a timely manner because a) the VHS tape was actually sent to now-defunct Blockbuster Video to be rewound first b) the league doesn’t subscribe to Netflix! or c) the audio-visual intern had been on a leave-of-absence and nobody else at NFL Headquarters knew how to make the DVD-in-question fit the league’s Beta-Max machine!

And finally…On da’ Billboard One-Hunnert…football meets DJ Snake & Lil’ Jon in a tune called…“Turned-Over On Downs Fer What?!!!”

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Between the Hashmarks Week 3-2014


FIGHT SONG CHANGES RESONATE BEYOND CAMPUS
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (BBC)…Over the summer, officials at Utah revamped the Utes’ fight song lyrics from “man” to “fan” to avoid the appearance of being sexist. In a show of solidarity, other musicians and record companies have since followed suit, leading to such title alterations as… “Soul Fan” by the Blues Brothers, “Secret Agent Fan”- Johnny Rivers, “Tax Fan”- Beatles, “Mr. Tambourine Fan”- Bob Dylan, “When a Fan Loves a Woman”- Percy Sledge, “Iron Fan”- Black Sabbath,  “Back Door Fan”- The Doors, “Piano Fan”- Billy Joel, “Rocket Fan”- Elton John, “Southern Fan”- Neil Young, “Old Fan”- also Neil Young, “Sharp Dressed Fan”- ZZ Top, “Fan in the Mirror”- Michael Jackson, “When I Was Your Fan”- Bruno Mars, “Macho Fan”- Village People, “The Fan in Black”- Johnny Cash, “What a Fan”- Salt N Pepa, “Stand By Your Fan”- Tammy Wynette, and of course, “Walk Like a Fan”- Frankie Valle. In fact… zoos, fruit stands and fashion shops now feature fanatees, fandarin oranges and fannaquins, respectively.

We apologize to our loyal readership looking for our usual slate of game predictions, but we have taken back-to-back poor outings that left us at 8-20 overall and 1-7 on “best bets” through the first two weeks of the 2014 campaign as a sign that the college football pantheon, or the powers of the universe it represents, wants us to take a break. So be it. The picks are on sabbatical until next August (unless we decide to give the bowls a go) so we can recalibrate the abacus and the slide-rule we generally use to formulate our ATS selections. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to post stuff weekly that would normally show up as a lead “news story” or at least in…
BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS

BTW, even international sports leagues are hopping on the Utah bandwagon, including English soccer stalwart… Fanchester United!
Following the act of Johnny Football, Texas A&M’s new gunslinger at QB prefers the nickname…“Can He Drill”?!...What’d he say???!!!

Upset alert…FCS #3 SE Louisiana @ TULANE (no line). Lions are 2-0 after pounding a Southern Utah team that trailed UNR by just 8 points midway thru the 3rd Quarter…at Reno…and ultimately lost by just 9.
Bo Pelini led his Huskers onto the field before the Nebraska Spring Game, while holding up his cat skyward in an apparent homage to the Lion King. The stadium-operator misunderstood the NU coach’s subsequent request to play “Hakuna Matata” and instead blasted Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” over the PA system! Not to be out-done, the Big Red baseball coach requested the playing of “On-Deck Circle of Life” and “Glove Lies Bleeding” as his squad took the diamond in its next game!

Ahead of the AFC Championship contest last January, Patriots kicker Gostkowski would not reveal the song he uses as the soundtrack to a video-mash-up of some of his important FGs, which he creates and watches while prepping for the game each week. Given the mental state usually attributed to players at his position, the tune-in-question was probably something done by Weird Al Yankovic!
Around that same timeframe, Pope Francis selected 19 new cardinals. Later that month, the pontiff took turns helping Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice choose players for their respective Pro Bowl squads under the new non-denominational format!

In February, 5000 single-serve containers of Chobani yogurt, a sponsor of the U.S. Olympic team, didn’t make it to Sochi for the Winter Games, instead remaining in New Jersey, due to some Russian dairy-product public-health standards snafu! Opponents blamed Chris Christie for that log-jam too! Clearly, the concern was terrorists were smuggling explosives that would’ve detonated when athletes stirred the fruit at the bottom of each cup!

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Vindy's Picks Week 2-2014


FAMOUS AUDIBLE NOT WHAT WE THOUGHT WE HEARD
DENVER, Colorado (REUTERS)…Much ado was made over Peyton Manning’s use of the word “Omaha” at the line of scrimmage, reportedly captured in a league video-compilation as many as 44 times, in his team’s January playoff win over the San Diego Chargers. Players on both sides, however, revealed the star QB was actually shouting the expression of shock and bewilderment, “Omigawd! Omigawd!” after looking over the defense!

BTW, CB-radio aficionados will of course remember Manning as the voice of “Rubber Duck’ in the song “Convoy”…”Yeah, 10-4, Big Ben…what’s yer 20?...Omaha?!...Well, they ought to know what to do with them hogs out there fer sure…”
A horrendous 3-12 (.200) outta’ the gate had us quickly contemplating closing up shop and takin’ the rest of the season off, but we’ve Picasso’d ourselves up off da’ canvas and hope for better results from…

THE WEBER KID’S 2014 WEEK 2 FORECAST
(Safe as a Sochi Olympics half-pipe!)
Citadel @ #1 FLORIDA STATE: No line.

Florida Atlantic (+40) over #2 ALABAMA: Mounties’ 100-yard kick-off return for a score in the Second Quarter sounds like several ’Bama  special-teams scholarships being vacated. Owls gave up almost 500 rushing yards on fitty-seven carries in blowout loss to Nebraska and now fly into Tuscaloosa, facing Tide team that saw RBs Yeldon and Henry each clear 100 yards on the ground vs. West Virginia. Yep, that’s gonna’ leave a bruise…Tide 48 FAU 10
#7 Michigan State (+12 ½) over #3 OREGON: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #1. LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. We’ll put more stock in Spartans’ 45-7 win over then-FCS #8 Jacksonville State team than in Ducks hanging 62 on AA South Dakota squad. Mallards QB Mariota warrants his Heisman-talk, but Sparty closed last year with underdog SU wins over Ohio State and Stanford. Ducks are crapshoots as home-chalk. One of Oregon’s defeats last season came at the hands of defensive-stalwart Stanford. Double-digits just too-good to pass up with State… MSU 27 Quack Attack 24

#4 Oklahoma (-24 ½) over TULSA: Sooners 44 Tulsa 16
#5 AUBURN (-31) over San Jose State: Tigers 44 SJSU 9

#6 Georgia: IDLE (next @ South Carolina)
#8 OHIO STATE (-12) over Virginia Tech: State’s 17-point win over Navy is misleading. We watched the game. Middies were in it until the last 8 or 9 minutes. While the rushing attack is obviously Navy’s MO, the Ensigns gashed the Buckeyes run-D for long-gainers on several occasions. QB JT Barrett did improve as the game went on in place of Braxton Miller. A missed 36-yard FG cost us the forecast win last week, but considering a number of calls by the replay official favoring the Boat People, we won’t complain too loud. Buckeyes are just 8-7 ATS at Da’ Shoe the past seasons, but should fare better vs. a more-traditional offense this week…State 29 Hokies 12

Lamar @ #9 TEXAS A&M: No line.
Northwestern State @ #10 BAYLOR: No line.

Memphis (+24) over  #11 UCLA: Bruins D did the heavy-lifting last week in Virginia, scoring three TDs on three turnovers, with UCLA offense not hittin’ the scoreboard until the final 90 seconds of the game…UCLA 35 Tigers 24
Sam Houston State @ #12 LSU: No line.

#13 STANFORD (-3) over #14 Southern Cal: Just prior to last week’s opener vs. Fresno State, Trojans DB Josh Shaw fessed up that his story about his high-ankle sprains resulted from leaping off  a balcony to save his drowning nephew was…horse hockey! The exact details of his actual fall from a balcony were not divulged, but Vindy’s spies say Shaw had been watching Wrestlemania on TV and tried to emulate a “diving back elbow drop”. No turnbuckle was available, so he improvised…landing a solid blow to the chest of his 7-year-old relative, but bustin’ up his wheels in the process! Frankly, we’d be happy with a push, but we’ll call it…Trees 24 Trojans 20
#15 Mississippi (-20) over Vanderbilt (@ Atlanta, GA): Senior QB Bo Wallace and his Rebels teammates overcame a sloppy INT-filled game (7 total combined) to beat Boise and notch one of our three correct picks in Week One. Meanwhile, the NCAA and SEC dropped anchor on Vandy’s now-banned unis, which proclaimed “Anchors Down” on the back in the midst of the Commodores’ embarrassing 30-point loss to improving-but-not-that-improved Temple. Ole Miss chalked up 387 passing yards but the running game was absent and the Rebels have won just 6 of last 16 SEC contests. Vandy’s got a new coach after losing James Franklin to Vindy’s alma-mater…Rebels 41 Vanderbilt 17

Michigan (+4 ½) over #16 NOTRE DAME: Despite the academic drama, QB Golson carried the Leprechauns, literally, with three rushing scores, and passed for a couple more in trashin’ Rice. Big Blew needs to figure out how to put the close ones in the dubya-column, suffering 4 losses by 11 total points last season and going 4-11-1 ATS in games decided by 7 or less the last three years. Senior QB Devin Gardner avenged a much-publicized 2007 loss to Appalachian State last week. Irish had won four straight (by 7 or less) until UM’s 41-30 triumph in 2013… Leprechauns 27 UM 24
NEW MEXICO (+26) over #17 Arizona State: Best guess for this week’s “wish I had it back”. Lobos nearly rallied from 17-point halftime hole vs. UTEP, using a strong running game (about 9 yards per carry), but minus-three in turnover ratio didn’t help. New Mexico finally has a full allotment of scholarship players, lotsa’ seniors and a third-year coach in Bob Davie, though Lobos are down a couple key players…Pitchforks 38 UNM 20

Western Illinois @ #18 WISCONSIN: No line.
McNeese State @ #19 NEBRASKA: No line.

#20 Kansas State (-12 ½) over IOWA STATE: ‘Clones, as we warned in our Week One “upset alert”, were beaten by the reigning FCS triple-champion North Dakota State Golden Bison...not just narrowly, but by almost three touchdowns…at home!! The Purple Persians can relate. They were beaten 24-21 last year by those same Golden Bison. Dust Devils return 10 on offense but just half as many on D. ‘Cats have been money-makers for their backers the last three seasons and have won 7 of 8 games following an ugly first half of 2013…
San Diego State (+15) over #21 NORTH CAROLINA: Tarheels 27 Aztecs 20

East Carolina (+16 ½) over #22 SOUTH CAROLINA: Poultry’s youth on defense showed badly in outright loss to A&M last week (and maybe…just maybe…the Ol’ Ball-Coach won’t give the Pirates any disparaging sound-bites). SC RB Davis is doubtful fer this game. Can’t quite pull the upset trigger on ECU squad that’s been poor in road-dog mode, but points look worthy…KFC 34 Arrrrgh! 27
SC State @ #23 CLEMSON: No line.

TOLEDO (+4 ½) over #24 Missouri: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK #2. Rockets 31 Tigers 27
Murray State @ #25 LOUISVILLE: No line.

BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS
Apparently, the volume of penalty-flags thrown for pass interference and defensive holding under the new regulations was so numerous during the NFL exhibition season that cheerleaders on both sidelines of any given game were seen sewing quilts with the yellow hankies at halftime! Come to think of it, referees who watched too much of da’ World Cup coverage were awarding penalty-kicks for defensive infractions occurring inside da’ tackle-box!

Having already suffered the egging of his truck last year in the wake of a lost game (BTW, Justin Bieber could not be reached for comment) and having his wheels set ablaze, possibly intentionally, ahead of last Saturday’s game at Auburn, Arkansas QB Brandon Allen was seen this week driving a tank acquired from the Fayetteville  National Guard!
Replying to a media question about UNLV-to-Arizona transfer Adonis Smith providing some intel about the Rebels to his new team prior to their season openers in Tucson, UNLV coach Bobby Hauck quipped, ”You are inferring that he was paying attention while he was here.” Given the Wildcats’ 58-13 victory, apparently, yes…yes, he was!

Eastern Michigan players struggled, while wielding sledgehammers, to knock down a concrete wall to get to their sideline in their opener last Saturday. “Mr. Gabriel…Mr. Peter Gabriel…to the white courtesy-phone, please!” We think there’s a Miley Cyrus Wreckin’ Ball parody comin’! On top of it, Eagles squeaked past AA Morgan State 31-28. Will enlist Kool-Aid to lead them onto the field this week! Might help bolster attendance too!
New signage in the Michigan State Spartans’ locker room misspelled “accurate” after omitting the second “c”. We realize MSU ain’t Harvard, Yale, Duke, Stanford or even Northwestern, but we an’t help but wonder whih Mihigan State uarterbak will line-up under enter and help his team hit the soreboard vs. the Duks this week!

In addition to aforementioned ISU Cyclowns, we put several other teams on upset-alert against their FCS opponents last week. None of those fell outright, though Montana lost just 17-12 at Wyoming and Mizzou pulled away late from South Dakota State. Other final scores of note from Week One include…Bethune-Cookman’s 14-12 win over Florida International, NC State 24-23 over I-A newcomer Ga. Southern, Syracuse 27-26 (in double OT) over Villanova, Central Michigan 20-16 over UT-Chattanooga, South Florida 36-31 over Western Carolina, Iowa 31-23 over Northern Iowa and Texas Tech 42-35 over Central Arkansas!  
This week on Upset Alert…Eastern Washington @ WASHINGTON (No line). The UDUB defense hung on for the last 12 minutes to preserve 17-16 victory for an ineffective Huskies offense at Hawaii. Sled Dogs do return starting quarterback Cyler Miles from suspension fer this one, but still, the E-DUB Eagles are #2 in the FCS Poll this week…

With team captains for Super Bowl 48 at midfield for the start of the game, Joe Namath prematurely tossed the coin. Kudos to referee Terry McCauley for jumping the route and picking off the ceremonial currency before it hit the ground. McCauley subsequently bolted down the left sideline to the end zone, but was ruled outta’ bounds at the five. The officiating crew would, however, go on to score the first of several touchdowns vs. the Broncos.
During the Sochi Games, snowboard athletes complained about bumpy, deteriorating conditions of the Olympic halfpipe (though competitors from Washington and Colorado noted “a half-pipe is better than no pipe, duuuude”)

Black Shirt: PSU kicker Sam Fickin for his last-second FG in Ireland, leading to the alma-mater’s win and cover over Central Florida…and one of Vindy’s “best bet” dubyas!
“Wish I Had That One Back”: We wish we had damn-near any selection we made in Week One back, but we specifically said we were “not comfy” layin’ the limber with ‘Bama over West Virginia!

“Locked in a Box?”: We open 1-0 (1.000) on the year as Ole Miss put the hurt on Boise last Thursday! One of the few highlights of Week One fer us.
Shoppe Talk: The Gamecocks (0-1 season, 3-9, .250 skid back to last year) host the season-opening of Ye Olde Taxidermy Shoppe…not only failing to cover -10 ½ vs. A&M, but having their tail-feathers handed to ‘em by the Aggies Fresno State was actually 1-7 (.125) headin’ into the 2014 campaign and hosed us again to start the year. Last year’s Flame-Throwers…‘Bama, Oklahoma, Clemson… also hit us (but so did damn-near everybody on the slate last week!)

Vindy’s Week 2 Best Bets:       Last Week: 1-3        Season: 1-3 (.250)
JOJA’ STATE -1 over New Mexico State, NORTHWESTERN -7 over Northern Illinois, Akron +14 over PENN STATE, Colorado State +11 over BOISE STATE

 

 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Vindy's Picks Week 1-2014


SCHOOL DEBUTS NEW MINOR, TEAMS…NEW DEFENSE
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (UPI)…UNLV will roll out a minor in drones this Fall…shortly thereafter, the Rebels football and basketball teams will unveil innovative unmanned-to-man defenses (sponsored, of course, by Amazon, who has made commercial-use of the flying machines). The official name of the course-of-study is Unmanned Autonomous Systems or UAS, or what folks in the southeastern part of the nation know as…University of Alabama-Samford!

In related news, the home-town Rebels initially failed to meet minimum APR standards and drew a conference post-season ban for 2014, achieving score of 925 across a four-year average, short of the minimum of 930. It appears the classrooms were unmanned as well! The resulting penalties included five days of football-related activities rather than six, but additional academic time focused on drones and unmanned-to-man D! Apparently, the FAA has no jurisdiction over indoor flights, so the Rebels hoops teams have free-reign when it comes to drone-flights inside da’ Thomas & Mack (which will also deliver beer and pretzels to patrons!)

Elsewhere in the gambling mecca of da’ world…after spending the last several months figuring out how to conduct the opening Bitcoin toss, your humble narrator races outta’ da’ tunnel followed by his 2014 Preseason Forecasting Strategy team of Charlie Sheen fiancĂ©e Brett Rossi, a litter of Doberhuahuas, “Adele Dazeem”, NFL prospect Adam Muema, Vladimir Putin, “right hand arm” V. Stiviano, Michael Sam, Belmont-winning racehorse Tonalist, former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, former Uruguay striker Luis Suarez, Rocket Raccoon and Little Leaguer Mo’Ne Davis …who throws out the ceremonial first pick of…

THE WEBER KID’S 2014 WEEK 1 FORECAST

(Gettin’ egged more than Justin Bieber’s neighbor’s house)

THURS. AUG. 28

#9 SOUTH CAROLINA (-10 ½) over #21 Texas A&M: Johnny Football is gone (and now annoying NFL teams by flashin’ the “We’re Number One”-sign with the wrong finger). Gamecocks lost their long-time man-at-the-helm in QB Connor Shaw, but Dylan Thompson won three games in three tries in Shaw’s absence last season. Aggies are young at the skills and our only concern is the bulletin-board material the Ol’ Ball-Coach provided during the summer, basically saying that the Aggies’ previous opponents haven’t graduated yet from the kiddies’ table… Fightin’ Fowl 29 A&M 16

#18 Mississippi (-10) over Boise State (@ Atlanta, GA): LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Rebels 37 Boise 17
Weber State @ #19 ARIZONA STATE: No line.  

FRI. AUG. 29
Jacksonville State @ #8 MICHIGAN STATE: No line.

SAT. AUG. 30
#1 Florida State (-17 ½) over Oklahoma State (@ Arlington, TX): We considered this one for lock of da’ week. ‘Noles lost some serious bodies from the national championship team that got by Boston College and Auburn, while devastating everybody else on the 2013 schedule, but are the trendy pick to at least make Division I-A’s first Final Four. We’re ain’t bettin’ on a repeat, but the Cowpokes are rebuilding both sides and unless Jameis Winston gets tossed in da’ pokey the night before the game, we’re drinking the Kool-Aid this week. Winston said he wanted to be “viewed like Peyton Manning”….remind us again…the Hall of Fame QB got arrested for shopliftin’ crab legs and crawfish …ummmm…when ??!!...FSU 42 OKSU 10

#2 Alabama (-27) over West Virginia (@ Atlanta, GA): In all honesty…we’re not comfy with this choice, making it our inaugural 2014 best guess for “wish I had it back” selection. Tide’s been hittin’ the ATS board at paltry 13-12 pace over the previous two seasons, though the last time ‘Bama was on the wrong side of the spread to open the year was 2006 vs. Hawaii. Across the field, the Mounties hope to rebound from a dismal youth-and-health-hampered 2013 that saw WVU cover just three games in eleven chances. The story will be the performance of QB Jake Coker, a Florida State transfer, for Alabama, who won’t even be starting. But with Elephants relying on solid  running game, heavy D and special teams …and ‘Eers still learning to shave…and Nick Satan unhappy with Tide’s outright defeats in two of final three games last season…Alabama 37 WVU 6
South Dakota @ #3 OREGON: No line.

#4 OKLAHOMA (-37 ½) over Louisiana Tech: Sooners 54 LT 13
Navy (+14 ½) over #5 Ohio State (@ Baltimore, MD): We were all over da’ Middies inside double-digits long-before Buckeyes QB Braxton Miller got sent to da’ pine fer da’ duration with a throwin’-shoulder ouchie. State hasn’t faced the Navy option-game since ’09. That means none of the current State players have faced the option (at Division I-A level). There’s even been suggestion of a Sailors’ upset at this point. Urban Meyer’s in his 3rd year at the OSU helm and he’ll adjust, so we ain’t callin’ for an outright Navy victory, but we figure it’ll grind out a cover …Buckeyes 23 Da’ Fleet 17

Arkansas (+21) over #6 AUBURN: Razorbacks ended last year with nine consecutive defeats after winning their first three and have been lousy as road dogs. They do have a senior-laden defense. Despite the partial-game suspension of Auburn’s starting QB Marshall for marijuana possession and a window-tint violation (?!)in Georgia for this one, they’ll need the D to stay close enough to cover here. As BCS Title Game runner-up, the Tigers became the first team in eight seasons to cough up a national title to someone outside the conference …a fact that got War Eagle teased mercilessly by the other SEC squads…Tigers 37 Bacon 19
#7 Ucla (-21) over VIRGINIA: Cavs look to rebound from horrible 2013 that saw just two straight-up victories (both in September and one vs. AA Virginia Military Institute). That’ll be tough to pull off this week against a veteran UCLA team led by now third-year coach Jim Mora Jr. Bruins have been strong ATS in the early part of the season under Mora, opening 4-1 in 2012 and 5-0 last year (though they saw only two spreads this big during that time)…UCLA 44 Virginia 17

UC Davis @ #11 STANFORD: No line.
#16 Clemson (+7 ½) over #12 GEORGIA: Injury-hampered Dawgs still averaged 34 points per game last year, but did lose last year’s opener to the Tigers 38-35. We favor an “under” 57 ½ since both lose multi-year quarterbacks and figure to be stout on D. Bulldogs get our nod as one of the mid-range faves (20-1) to win it all next January. In the wake of a disappointing scrimmage on offense earlier this month, UGA coach Mark Richt was quoted as sayin’, “There were just too many guys having to be babysat out there as far as getting lined-up right.”. Can’t wait to see assistant coaches place personalized pacifiers along the line-of-scrimmage on the Dawgs’ first couple of possessions in this one!...UGA 24 Clemson 19

#14 Wisconsin (+5) over #13 Louisiana State (@ Houston, TX): Badgers bring back just three defensive starters and have a JUCO quarterback leading the charge in this one. Bengals just 2-8-1 ATS in last 11 games decided by a touchdown or less, but have covered 7 of last 9 vs. ranked opponents. Fourth time in five years Tigers have kicked-off a year facing a Top 25 team (winning 3, covering 2), while Wisky has opened against the likes of UNLV (twice), Hawaii and Northern Iowa the past four seasons. State is young at the skills and has allowed an increasing number of points-against in each of the previous three campaigns. Best guess for a Top 25 upset, but…LSU 29 Wisconsin 27
Fresno State (+21) over #15 USC: Troy Boys 17 FSU West 0

Rice (+21) over #17 NOTRE DAME: Owls have been solid plays as road dogs and against non-conference teams, while the Leprechauns are under investigation for submitting papers written by…well… somebody other than the players themselves. Everett Golson is back under center for the Irish following a year-long suspension for his own academic falsehoods…ND 31 Owls 21
S.F. Austin @ #20 KANSAS STATE: No line.

Florida Atlantic (+23 ½) over #22 NEBRASKA: Huskers 26 FAU 13
Liberty @ #23 NORTH CAROLINA: No line.

South Dakota State @ #24 MISSOURI: No line.
HAWAII (+16 ½) over #25 Washington: UDUB took heavy hits to its offense and now presumed starter QB Miley Cyrus…er…um…Cyler Miles will be benched for offseason troubles. ‘Bows don’t fare well getting points on the Island, but are 3-0 ATS run vs. Top 25 foes and have covered 7 of last 8 out-of-conference contests. Hawaii’s defense has regressed under Coach Chow, allowing 39 ppg last year (though the team did hit the scoreboard for almost a TD more per game than in 2012). UH AD intimated that the football program is badly in the red and might eventually be headed for the choppin’ block. The players need to enjoy it while they can!...Huskies 27 ‘Bows 12

SUN. AUG. 31
Southern Methodist (+32) over #10 BAYLOR: Young Bears previously covered 11 of 12 home games. The schedule for a run toward the playoffs sets up nicely, with five teams that had losing records last season, including these Ponies, in 2013. Marc Lawrence’s Playbook.Com notes June Jones’ teams are excellent as dogs in seasons after they didn’t make the postseason. SMU had gone bowlin’ four straight times before sittin’ out last year … Baylor 42 SMU 24

BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS
Upon further review, Rebels officials submitted some fuzzy-math, and lo-and-behold…the NCAA provided its blessing over the new academic numbers in late June and lifted the post-season ban, leaving only Idaho as the lone APR victim in Division I-A! BTW, we have a few doubloons on Unlv +24 over ARIZONA!

The NCAA announced a proposal in February to slow down up-tempo offenses by forcing the snap no sooner than 29 seconds left on 40-second play-clock (to allow defenses to substitute and reportedly improve player-safety). In related news, defenses must also allow a subsequent count of “three-Mississippi” before rushing the passer.
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin took a break from practices and let his team take in a movie!...”Frozen”?  “Sharknado”! How ‘bout the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” remake??!!

Just before the Pope’s mid-August arrival in Seoul, the North Koreans were thought to have “test-fired” three missiles into the sea. Two of the launches were confirmed to be military weapons, however further analysis of satellite photos indicated the third projectile was, in fact, the result of a strong-armed high-school quarterback who was simply throwin’ the ball away to avoid a sack!
Week 1 Upset Alert: Don’t be shocked to see outright road victories by any or all of  the following AA clubs against their FBS opponents…North Dakota State over IOWA ST, Eastern Illinois over MINNESOTA, South Dakota St over MIZZOU, Cal Poly over NEW MEXICO ST, Northern Arizona over SAN DIEGO ST and Montana over SAN DIEGO ST!

As we note this time each year, from 1993-2008, at least two teams unranked in the AP preseason poll finished in the Top 10 of the final AP that season. In 2009, only Cincinnati did so and in 2010, only Stanford did so. 2011 saw no qualifiers. But 2012 saw a return-to-form with Notre Dame (#26 preseason) and Texas A&M (no votes in the preseason poll) finishing 4th and 6th, respectively, after opening the season without a hashtag by their names. 2013 had four (count ‘em four!) teams make da’ cut…title-game loser #2 Auburn, #3 Michigan State (which was #26 in the opening poll), #5 Mizzou and #10 Central Florida! Your mission…should ya choose to accept it…is to figure out which squad(s) will surprise in a big way for 2014! Our best guess….Northwestern and Marshall!
And upon further review, going back to 2002, at least one team in the AP Preseason Top Ten each season has finished outside the rankings in the final AP poll for that year. Two or more preseason darlings have done so eight times. Georgia and Florida, #5 and #10 respectively to begin 2013, ended up with nary a vote in the poll published following last year’s National Championship game. A closer look reveals that seven of those years saw a minimum of at least one SEC club get the dubious distinction (10 total from that conference over the current skid)…with at least one member of the SEC East falling in four of ‘em (six total from the division)! The Big 12 gets honorable mention, showing four seasons with at least one qualifier. Again, we challenge the loyal readership to predict which teams from among Florida State, ‘Bama, Oregon, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Auburn, UCLA, Michigan State, South Carolina and Baylor will finish in relative obscurity!

Marc Lawrence’s Playbook.Com mag recommends betting on bowl teams from the previous season who drop their first two games SU, then win Game Three outright and play in their own friendly confines during Game Four. The strategy went 2-fer-2 in 2013, with Syracuse (-17 in 52-17 win over Tulane) and Iowa State (+7 in 31-30 loss to Texas) both bringin’ home the money in the designated role! Reviewing the list of 2013-14 post-season squads, Game Four road contests instantly eliminate more than half of last season’s bowlers and  realistically, another half of the remaining teams would need to suffer upsets by one or both of their first two opponents to be considered, putting the feasible number of options in the teens this season. But not-to-worry, faithful readers…we’ll track the progress for you and announce the qualifiers in our forecasts for Weeks Four, Five and Six! Don’t touch that Dial soap!!!
An investigation following its poor outing on da’ rink at the Sochi Games in February revealed that, due to a clerical error, the USOC actually sent its best Olympic “speed-dating” team to Russia!

Did the absence of vuvuzela horns blaring during this year’s World Cup soccer competition lead anybody else out there to think they’d lost some range-of-hearing over the last four years???!!!
“Locked in a Box?”:      Last Season: 6-7 (.462….uggghhh)

Shoppe Talk: We’ll be puttin’ some teams under da’ microscope this season, to include…Oklahoma, who thwarted Vindy’s ATS selection for the Sooners 10 times in 13 tries (.231), Clemson 3-8 (.273) and South Carolina (3-7, .300, despite a forecast win in da’ bowls)
Vindy’s Week 1 Best Bets:       Last Season: 54-35-1 (.607)

Penn State (+1) over Central Florida (@ Dublin, Ireland); NORTHWESTERN (-11) over California, Marshall (-24) over MIAMI-OHIO, Utah State (+6) over TENNESSEE
Next week…More off-season silliness, a famous audible and some thoughts on… da’ NFL!

 

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Vindy's Picks 2013-14 Bowl Recap


HOLIDAY ICON CAUGHT-UP IN SCANDAL
FOXBORO, Massachusetts (FOX)…Call it “Spygate: The Next Iteration”. Christmas aficionados everywhere were dismayed to learn this week their beloved “elf on a shelf” had actually been part of domestic and international surveillance programs dating back to the days of McCarthyism. Particularly-disturbing however was the revelation that New England coach Bill Belichick had actually utilized the elf to swipe signs from opposing teams and watch closed-practices. An observant fan noticed the pointed hat jutting out from beneath a hoodie-clad elf at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium The Patriots blew-out the Ravens to clinch the NFC North and whacked the Bills later in December, securing a first-round bye. Belichick, previously found guilty of illegally-acquiring data to be used against other teams, adamantly denied the accusations, saying “all”, he “did was place a ‘sprite on da’ upright’…for decorative, seasonal purposes only”!

The mythical creature noted above is traditionally rumored to be strategically-moved nightly to gather intelligence for Santa, about who was naughty or nice. Vin did likewise and ran outta’ room on the list of bowl teams that were scheduled to get stockings full of coal following an 0-7 start, which became insurmountable in his quest to finish over .500 for the bowls. Vindy floundered to a 7-16 record as the Big Apple dropped the ball and edible, banana-flavored confetti on visitors to Times Square to close out 2013. Concurrently, stadium operators were apparently blaring AC/DC over the PA systems at post-season venues across the nation because the bowls were seriously “under-struck”, with just 7 of the first 23 contests finishing “over” the game-day totals. Vin rebounded to go 5-1 on New Year’s Day, forcing him to be perfect the rest of the way. The suspense would be over quickly as the Crimson Trype bungled its way thru the first-half vs. Oklahoma en route to a two-TD loss, dooming your narrator to a losing bowl record and ultimately a very “Keep Yer Day-Job”-worthy 14-21 (.400) finish, completing the overall season-record at 141-134-4 (.513).   
On a happier note, scientists did not move the minute-hand any closer this year to Midnight on the Doomsday Shot-Clock! We’re not convinced the same can be said for…

THE WEBER KID’S 2013-14 BOWL RECAP
(Still cleaning up post-holiday tinsel, pine needles and broken balls as we speak!)
BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS

BTW, in an effort to avoid a repeat of this season’s bowl-predictions snafu, we’ve already replaced our elf-on-da’-shelf with a… tramp-on-da’-lamp! The elf is often portrayed cradling its knees….no doubt the result of an injury incurred via an illegal block below da’ waist! The elf can also be named by its owner. Belichick called his “Vinatieri”! The Patriots coach also blamed a rising plethora of injuries this year on new NFL rules reducing the amount of offseason practice time. Can’t get data on opponents if ya can’t be there for lengthy practices, now can ya, Bill??!!
Statistically speaking: The ‘Dogs went full-blown Cujo -mode, covering 18 of the 35 contests…taking 16 of ‘em outright, not just pulling upsets, but winning most of ‘em decisively. And as we alluded to above, the “under” finished 22-12-1. In addition, “Discount Daaaahhble-Check”-digit favorites won just half of their eight games and covered just two!

Not surprisingly, the SEC fared the best among the conferences, going 7-3 SU/6-4 ATS (honorable mention to the 12-PACK for going 6-3 SU/ATS), while da’ Mediocre Athletic Conference, collectively, went 0-5 SU/ATS in five post-season tries! For the Star Wars fans who, like Vindicator, pledge allegiance to the Big Taun-Taun Conference, those teams lost 5 of 7 bowls, covering just 4.
During the days leading up to the Miami Heat’s Christmas Day victory over the Lakers, LeBron James whined about the sleeved-jerseys the league made the players wear for the holiday contests. Obviously, the special clothing didn’t prevent the King and his teammates from grabbing a win, but we’ll point to havin’ to wear that kinda’ attire as the root-cause of our poor post-season too! (Either that or “Vinatieri” hacked our blogsite and changed our picks!)

Speaking of Christmas…anybody else out there think the Rankin/Bass production of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” would be more entertaining if one of the characters was…Bob Uecker Cornelius???!!!
Our method for picking post-season contest results this year was sooooo medieval (altogether now… ”How… medieval….was it???!!), it was so medieval…we got a pre-bowl-forecast visit from the crew of College Game Day of Thrones!

In related news, ESPN has forbidden use of the word “sucks” by its broadcasters. Nonetheless, Kirk Herbstreit uttered “Vindy’s bowl forecast…suh…er..um…was insuff…mmm…has been sub…oh to hell with it...’sucks’!!!”
After seeing the final prediction tally, the players at Champion Baptist College (off a 116-12 defeat by Southern’s hoops team in December for those of you who were among the fitty-two passengers recently rescued from the ice-locked Akademik Shokalskiy Russian research vessel, who maintained warmth and morale by laughing at Vindy’s 2013-14 Bowl Predictions) said, “Even we didn’t lose that badly!” BTW, Vindy’s Picks extends an invitation to the CBC Tigers to be part our 2014 pre-season forecasting strategy team!

On the plus-side, your tenacious-if-not-tepid tout did call the exact score of Marshall’s 31-20 win over Maryland in the Military Bowl, and just missed a couple others, calling Ole Miss 24-17 over Joja’ Tech (25-17 actual) and Michigan State 26-20 over Stanford (24-20 actual).
The Little Caesars Bowl entered uncharted waters this year by having not one, but two females on the officiating crew. As part of the trade-off for the historic move, the first penalty flag hadda’ be thrown in thirty minutes or less …or it was a free-play for the offense! (Yeah, yeah! We know the motto-in-question belongs to some other pizza company! Work with us here!)

For those who saw the singing of the National Anthem just ahead of the Stanford-Michigan State Rose Bowl clash…did anybody else out there think the guitarist accompanying the female singers looked an awful lot like…Howard Stern???!!!!
Charles Barkley was in attendance at the BCS Title game. Had Prince Charles played football, rather than hoops for his alma-mater, would he have been known as “The Round-Mound of Intentional-Grounding”???!!!

On the small screen…Errol Flynn reprises his role as Robin Hood and hits the Texas-prep gridiron at the end of each work-week in…”Friday Night Tights!”
Also in the Lone Star State…a Los Angeles jury elected to let Ryan O’Neal retain possession of an Andy Warhol portrait of longtime main-squeeze Farrah Fawcett, who reportedly bequeathed the painting to the University of Texas. O’Neal was pleased with the verdict, but said he’d happily loan the creative endeavor to the school for the duration of any contract it would offer him to replace Mack Brown as head coach!

In November, the rubber duck was granted a spot (“induck-ted”?) into in the Toy Hall-of-Fame. Queue-up Sesame Street’s Ernie and sing it with us…”Rubber Duckie, you’rrrre the one…that makes our halftime lottttsa’ fun!” BTW, the PAC-12-Man video game was also nominated, but didn’t garner enough votes to make da’ cut! Folks in Eugene put on a carnival every year, in which patrons can pay a buck to turn over an Oregon player floating in an inner-tube and win a prize corresponding to the number on the bottom of the player’s uniform!
Comin’ soon to MTV and You Tube, Imagine Dragons meets the Wake Forest football team in a video called… “(It’s where my) Deacons (hide)!”

The torches made for the relay leading up to the Sochi Games were created in Siberia by a company that normally manufactures ballistic missiles for the Soviet submarine corps. Due to a UPS mix-up, relay runners have had to act collectively to tote their Olympic symbols, while Russia’s underwater vessels will battle-carry torches in their silos and torpedo-tubes!!!
Courtesy of Miley Cyrus, a new medal-event has been approved for the Summer Games in the weightlifting competition …da’ “clean-and-‘twerk’”!

Black Shirt: Our loyal readership knows we’ve already officially awarded the coveted undergarment, but we’ll offer Honorable Mention to…da’ Big 12 zebras who continued to toss yellow hankies at Stanford, while missing penalties, or at the very minimum, deciding on “good no-calls” vs. Michigan State during our predicted Sparty-upset of the Trees in the Rose Bowl!
 “Locked in a Box?”: The Wazzup?! Cougars squandered a 22-point advantage…and lost outright…to Colorado State in the bowl-season opener to send our “lock” pick down in flames (6-7, .462) and portend the way the rest of our bowl season would go!

Shoppe Talk: The Spooners of Oklahoma upset ‘Bama and will definitely be scrutinized by Vindy heading into next season at 3-10 (.231)! “Watch”-team Clemson will provide us with some Tiger-skin rugs in the offseason after its upset of Ohio State, finishing the forecast campaign at 3-8 (.273)!
Vindy’s Bowl Best Bets:       Parts I, II & III: 6-6        Season: 54-35-1 (.607)

LEFTOVER HASH (Yes, we know it’s redundant. Vindicator now conducts the annual “emptying of the clip” and expends all the stuff he had in the arsenal throughout the season that didn’t previously find its way into the forecast…until now.)
Then-Eastern Michigan head coach Ron English jumped out of a perfectly-good airplane last May to raise the money to repair/renovate the EMU locker room bathrooms. At least he had an appropriate place to keep his game-plans!

Last summer, starting Florida LB Antonio Morrison got arrested for the second time in five weeks after barking at a police dog. He merely spent the first two games ridin’ the pine to start Florida’s 2013 season. He should consider himself lucky. Had he done the Gator “chomp” within reach of said-canine instead, it woulda’ cost him a few digits, if not part of an arm! BTW, his earlier trip downtown with Gainesville’s finest was the result of punching a bouncer and shouting “I am Antonio!” The dumbass defender might as well have spewed “I am Cornholio! I need TD for my bunghole!”
At the cinema, the Children of Da’ Corn horror-film series meets a certain college football stadium and makes reference to…”He Who Walks Behind the Rose Bowl!”

Seeking certification for 2014’s post-season…Tyson Fun Nuggets “Picky Eaters” Bowl! If ya haven’t seen the commercials, the product-in-question features dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets. Among the associated-gifts for game-participants would be movie-tickets to see 10,000 BC, Land of Da’ Lost or Jurassic Park! Surely, da’ bowl parade Grand Marshal would have to be…Jeff Goldblum!!!!
Our holiday order from the Harriet Carter catalog included a baking pan that creates EZ Pockets! Just add quarterback???!!! We also await delivery of another kitchen-accessory that promises to make “the perfect pancake-block every time!”

Bruno Mars will do the halftime honors at this year’s Super Bowl. He’s expected to open with a rousing version of “When I Was Your Manziel”! Vindy’s spies say the set also includes a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Lineman in the Mirror”!
With a nod to our Week One lead-story regarding Notre Dame’s marketing of school-related fragrances, we offer a few more thoughts…Wake Up the Echoes De Toilette and (in one last cheap-shot) “Imaginary”…endorsed by Manti Te’o! Channeling a certain Saturday Night Live skit….Bordeaux De Toilette?! It’s perfume! It’s a wine! It’s both!!!! Elsewhere, BYU has produced Provo de Toilette? And find a discount coupon in the Fitty Shades of Gray paperback for…Oh my de Toilette!

Despite his popularity overseas, the new pope is not filling pews in the U.S. The NCAA has noted this and mandated more butts in the seats to reach the minimum-required attendance averages or Catholicism could be eliminated as a program at the religious schools failing to do so!
A clueless Barney Fife-type from Tennessee stopped a car near Memphis last February, mistaking the Ohio State buckeye leaf (signature “O” with a leaf) on a bumper-sticker as a symbol of the herb-superb. Our first thought… Rocky TOP rolling papers!

The NCAA severed ties with EA Sports in July, forbidding da’ game-maker to use any images or logos associated with the college organization. Having recently released NCAA Football ’14, EA Sports is now in talks with Coleco Electronic Football Game and Super-Jock!
Must-see TV…Tom Selleck has a say in which teams get sent to da’ Big Dance by the NCAA Tournament selection committee as “Magnum, RPI”

Horror-genre satire “Army of Darkness” meets Ohio State basketball and ‘Bama football, yielding the phrase, “Klaaatuu…Thad-Matta…Nick too!” BTW, Thad’s lesser-known brother, Stig Matta, is an assistant coach under Nick Satan in Tuscaloosa!
On the big screen…Stanley Kubrick graphically follows raw Marine recruits thru Parris Island and Viet-Nam as they experience the pressures of making correct NCAA Tournament picks in….”Full Metal Bracket”!!! Spoiler alert…Private Pyle wins his platoon’s pool on his last night on the Island, right before…er…um….well, you know!!!!

The Catholic Seven college basketball collective ceded last April from its original conference and will be henceforth known as the “Big Easter”??!!
The folks that serve on the committee that chooses the NCAA Tournament teams are reportedly treated to ice cream each night as part of the process. Guess the dessert-in-question would be a… “Selection Sundae”??!! Pope Benedict abdicated the position last spring, forcing the Conclave to choose the new pope in mid-March. No truth to the rumor that the Cardinals also helped Notre Dame secure a #7 seed.

If the current Commander-in-Chief shifts his allegiance from Oregon State to a certain team from the Big 12, will we hear…“*Barack, Chalk, Jayhawk???!!!”
In the wake of a probation violation, Chad Ochocinco bought himself a month in the slammer last summer after smackin’ his attorney on the rear-end in response to Judge Kathleen McHugh’s question about his satisfaction with his representation. The sentence ended early after his apology to the court. Ironically, Vindy would also spend some gray-bar hotel time after he swatted his bookie’s derriere following a similar query by Her Honor!

Last May, Keyshawn Johnson pursued a wayward Justin Bieber, exceeding the posted-limit, to the young pop-star’s residence, annoyed with his speed, and commanded the youthful singer to “Just gimme the damned keys!” 
Da’ Bears recently retired Coach Ditka’s number “89” jersey. In related news, “answer” you probably won’t see under “Sports Before & After” category on Jeopardy: “Magic Mike Ditka”!

Prior to last season’s NFC Championship game, just outside the Georgia Dome, stood a statue of Niners QB Colin Kaepernick getting a wedgie by a Falcons player. Following his 0-7 start, one of the local casinos hasda statue of Vindicator suffering a similar fate at the hands of a bookie!
Also on the silver screen…”Two linemen enter. One lineman leaves!” in…“Mad Max Beyond Superdome

With the NFL playoffs already underway, we’ll remind readers that a 2012 season playoff game went to double-OT. Double-overtime???!!! Howza’ bout we adopt a FG shoot-out if tied after da’ first extra-frame???!! Best of five kicks from fitty??!!!
St. Hat Trick’s Day!!!! St. Hat-Trick is the patron saint of hockey players who score three goals in a single game (and Vindy when he hits a three-game parlay in any given week!)

Following the end of the NHL lock-out, the L.A. Kings raised their Stanley Cup championship banner last January after a rousing, but shortened version of “Black Parade”. We get the connection to the uniform color, but those familiar with the popular tune by My Chemical Romance know the song, in its entirety, ain’t exactly happy and celebratory!
In June, MLB announced the 2014 season-opener between the Dodgers and da’ D-Backs will be played in Sydney, Australia (two-game series). Both teams will, of course, fly QANTAS to-and-from the field and da’ first-pitch will be thrown out by…Ray Babbitt! “Four minutes to (Billy) Wagner”??!!

A guffaw by officials at Augusta last April let Tiger Woods, who took a drop two feet away from where it shoulda’ been, off da’ hook with a mere two-stroke penalty rather than the DQ prescribed by the rules. This came after officials levied a penalty on 14-year-old Guan Tianlang for slow-play. Didn’t know golf had a shot-clock! What, like, the ball must hit at least the rim of the cup within 24 seconds or the opponent gets possession???!!!
Okay, we been holdin’ this one a longer time than usual, but…during the 2012 Summer Games, the North Korean women’s soccer team refused to occupy da’ pitch for a match vs. Columbia after Glasgow stadium attendants showed the South Korean flag while noting the North Korean starting roster! Gotta’ side with da’ Communists on this one. That would be like Ohio Bobcats’ players being announced with the Buckeyes logo on the big screen (or the New Mexico State Aggies taking the sidelines under the shadow of the Lobos’ insignia! Or even…dare we say it….the Ohio State team venturing onto the field as the Michigan colors flapped prominently in the breeze!)

About a year ago, ABC produced “Celebrity Diving”. Turns out, the show was about well-known personalities doin’ triple-sommies with a half-twist into da’ pike position, but our initial thoughts had more to do with folks like Cuba Gooding Jr. and Robert DeNiro and the whole deep-sea thing in “Men of Honor”. (And frankly, we think Katherine Webb would rock the Jacques Cousteau (who thought she was a beauty too!)/Nautilus/Calypso in any case!)
In the same week Lance Armstrong admitted to using PEDs on Oprah, 85-year-old Tony Zerrilli claimed he knows where Jimmy Hoffa’s buried. Under their seats that week, Oprah’s audience members found samples of illicit substances and maps to the final resting place of the aforementioned infamous individual.

And with that, Sportsfans…we leave you, until August, with our traditional Irish blessing…”May the road ‘dog rise up to beat you.” (Somethin’ like that!)
Air Forecast One has gone “wheels up”!