WEBER TO MARKET "NEW" NHL
NEW YORK, New York (Reuters)...Fearing sagging attendance following loss of an entire season to a labor dispute, NHL officials turned to a surprising source for help and hired the Vegas Vindicator as Director of Marketing. The Weber Kid is expected to bring innovative ideas to promote the new league and to keep within the theme of fewer stoppages and higher offensive output. Vindicator will not only reduce the size of goaltenders’ equipment, but will leave the net-minders armed with only potholders and curtain rods! Vindy also proposed drawing more fans by giving several arenas their own distinctive features, such as higher glass in a certain corner of the rink a la Fenway Park or covering the boards with ivy like Wrigley Field in Chicago. With removal of the two-line pass rule, Weber likes the new slogan, "More puck don’t suck!" and predicted that in a few months, "NHL" would come to be known as the "Numerous Hat-trick League!"
Speaking of "Don’t Suck", Vindicator managed to go 11-8 for Week 5 ( 37-47, .440 season) and in honor of the late Don Adams of "Get Smart" fame, "wouldja’ believe...."
THE WEBER KID’S 2005 WEEK 6 FORECAST
#24 GEORGIA TECH over NC State giving 4 1/2: Bees got smoked at Virginia Tech two weeks ago. No shame in that. Wolfpack stayed close in home loss to the Hokies to open the year before VT got rolling. ‘Jackets have owned the spread in this series and have gone win, loss, win, loss ATS this year. If the pattern holds...Tech 31 NC State 20
SAT. OCT. 8
#1 USC over Arizona giving 37 1/2: Had Trojans won handily the last two weeks, we’ would’ve considered the points, but USC has been in trouble two weeks running on the road. No such issues this time at the Coliseum...Troy 48 AZ 10
Oklahoma over #2 TEXAS taking 13 1/2: Longhorns have squeaked by in their last two big-game wins (last season’s Rose Bowl and this year at Ohio State). All week, Texas will hear about its five straight losses to the Sooners. The number is too high. We give the victory to Texas (finally), but the psychological advantage and the spread to Oklahoma...’Horns 27 OK 24
#3 VIRGINIA TECH over Marshall giving 35: Second choice for "lock". Marshall has fewer returning starters (7) than Mountaineers had (8) and are no better than Georgia Tech and Ohio U., both of whom were crushed in Blacksburg. Hokies are perfect 5-0 ATS and have a bye next. Michael Vick’s behavior is faltering as he made an inappropriate hand gesture to the West Virginia crowd, but unless he sits (and assuming usual quota of blocked kicks and interceptions)..Tech 45 Marshall 3
#4 FLORIDA STATE over Wake Forest giving 20 ½: Seminoles’ speed outclasses Deacons’ efforts to keep the clock moving with the ground game...FSU 31 Wake 7
#5 Georgia over #8 TENNESSEE taking 3: Vindy wants to pick this one almost as much as he’d wanna’ pick a Florida/Virginia match-up! Bulldogs have flown below the radar thus far with all the attention on Vols and Gators’ issues. Looks like a good spot for the ‘Dawgs, maybe in overtime...Joja’ 20 Tennessee 17
#16 PENN STATE over #6 Ohio State taking 3: Home team has covered last 7 and Lions can really use the friendly surroundings of Beaver Stadium here. Nice to see JoPa opening the playbook a bit with an end-around that went for a TD last week. Average margin over victory over last four years has been 5 points. With these defenses, have to figure the over/under on total field goals is 6 ½...Lions 19 Buckeyes 16
#7 Alabama: IDLE (next @ Ol’ Miss)
#9 MIAMI over Duke giving 35: Blue Devils have yet to cover the spread in four tries this year and this is usually the time of the season when Duke starts to warm up the hardwood for a little roundball. ‘Canes D could keep Duke outta’ the end zone and probably off the scoreboard altogether...Miami 44 Duke 0
#10 California over #20 UCLA taking 2: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. We’re about to find out which side has the best shot at bringin’ down the Trojans. Cal walloped Washington on the road. UCLA dodged a bullet vs. UDUB last week. Bears did lose at UCLA in 2003, but we think Cal should be the chalk...Bears 24 Bruins 17
VANDERBILT over #11 Louisiana State taking 14 1/2: Best candidate for "wish I had it back!". Bengals dropped seven notches in the rankings after laying a 30-point victory on Mississippi State???!! In years gone by, Vandy’s loss to Sun Belt’s Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders wouldn’t have been that big a shocker. But this year, Commodores were looking competitive. A very shaky vote for Vanderbilt in the home harbor...LSU 24 Admirals 15
#12 Notre Dame: IDLE (next vs. USC)
#13 FLORIDA over Mississippi State giving 27 1/2: Florida’s pass defense vs. ‘Bama was terrible! No faith in their D here either, but MSU is a good team to turn things around on. With the Meatloaf CD cued up in the background ... Weber croons "I would do annnny thinnng for love, but I wonnnnn’t do that... No, noooo...I won’t do...THAT!" It was finally revealed this week "that" is picking Gator games!...UF 48 MSU 17
#14 Wisconsin over NORTHWESTERN giving 7: Indiana scored a meaningless touchdown with 1:22 left on the Wisky reserves, backdooring Wisconsin (and Weber) last week. Having gotten by Michigan, Badgers’ toughest remaining game on the slate appears to be visit to Happy Valley on November 5. Win there and Wisconsin goes undefeated in the Big Ten... Badgers 30 NW 17
#15 Texas Tech over NEBRASKA giving 4: Huskers can grab a ranking if they pull this out. Asking the Huskers’ defense to stop potent Red Raiders’ passing attack this much with little help from the offense might be a bit unrealistic!...Tech 27 Big Red 17
#25 Oregon over #17 ARIZONA STATE taking 9: Ducks and Devils both have to be wondering what it really takes to beat USC. Sun Devils are 4-1 ATS including 3-1 at home. Mallards have covered both their away tilts. Initial thought was go with State, but given defensive meltdowns by both defenses vs. the Trojans, we’ll grab the points and the Ducks in a shootout...ASU 37 Oregon 34
#18 BOSTON COLLEGE over Virginia giving 7: Maryland hung 570 yards of total offense on Virginia two weeks ago. Cavs won’t be able to run on BC’s #2 rush defense...Eagles 31 Virginia 16
#19 Michigan State: IDLE (next @ Ohio State)
#21 MICHIGAN over Minnesota giving 7: Gophers paper-thin run-stoppers have been exposed. Both Purdue and Penn State lit up Minny’s D for about 6 yards per carry on the ground. Michigan posted better than 5 yards per carry vs. Michigan State. Wolverines were victimized by a couple of big 4th Quarter plays in both losses. If they play some defense the last 15 minutes here...Michigan 24 Minny 14
#22 Auburn: IDLE (next @ Arkansas)
North Carolina over #23 LOUISVILLE taking 12: UPSET SPECIAL. Line has moved in favor of UNC, so bettors weren’t impressed by Cards’ 61-10 thrashing of FAU. Neither was the Weber Kid. Cardinals now 0-4 for Vindy’s 2005 picks! Louisville was heavily penalized, but also only had one more turnover in bad loss to South Florida...Tarheels 29 Louisville 27
BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS
By the way, Vindy also plans to establish Jack Daniels as the official sponsor of the NHL and will replace the traditional plastic water bottle atop the goal net with a quart of whiskey and the requisite glassware. Play-by-play commentary would then take on a whole new connotation as the announcer calls..."Shot! Save! Shot! Save! Shot...SCORRRRRRRRRE!!" (Yep...that one’s for you, Dan!). More on hockey next week!
Correction Dept.: Weber wrongly identified Michigan’s kicker as Jose Rivas. His correct name is Garrett Rivas. Also, there were no Monday night college pigskin games played contrary to Vindy’s original belief LSU and Tennessee had been moved again to Monday night. So, college football was simply played 10 straight days, not 11 of 12 (though it started up again Tuesday this week and will be played Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday!)
Las Vegas continues to celebrate 100 years! Almost as many as Joe Paterno has spent patrolling the sidelines in Happy Valley!
After bashing the "directional Michigans" a couple weeks ago, Vindy is man enough to collectively salute those same teams this week as the Eagles, Chippewas and Broncos all posted victories over I-A clubs!
Following an encounter with IRS last Spring, Vindy recommends the following name change for a certain NY Giants wide-receiver: Tax-He-Owe Burress!
With certain shows airing season premieres on FOX this past weekend, one particular commercial featured a rhododendron seductively convincing Terrell Owens to miss the big game, dropping its towel and leaping into the arms of the befuddled Eagles receiver in a shameless plug for... "Desperate House Plants!"
The Major League Playoffs are underway! This week’s ESPN: The Magazine reveals 37% of men leaving bathrooms at Turner Field in Atlanta don’t wash their hands. What they don’t tell ya is that the other 63% either missed and elected to wash off their shoes instead or simply didn’t have any hands to begin with!
On March 24, a swarm of yellow-jackets caused an early end to a game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies...but not before fans got see a 6-to-4-to-bee double-play!
On the NCAA hardwood...Texas Tech announced this week Bobby Knight’s son, Pat, will replace him at the helm after the ‘09 season. Bobby then proudly displayed photos of Pat as a toddler, hurling his potty chair onto the driveway basketball court!
"Locked in a Box?": Now 1-4 (.200) as the Bruins tanked vs. UDUB!
Shoppe Talk: It ain’t a week of college football without the standard forecast loss courtesy of those Florida Gators (now 2-13-2 in Vindy’s last 17 attempts!)
Vindy’s Week 6 Best Bets: Last Week: 1-2 Season: 8-9 (.470)
Baylor +9 /2 over IOWA STATE, San Diego State -8 over UNLV, EAST CAROLINA -5 over Rice