MID-BOWL SEASON SLIDE CAUSES CHANGES, CHARGES, RUMORS
GRAZ, Austria (Reuters)...On December 28th, officials here were in the middle of replacing Arnold Schwarzenegger’s name with that of the Vegas Vindicator on a soccer stadium following Vindy’s 7-2-1 bowl season start when, like a rip in the time-space continuum, Weber went into an unprecedented eight-game losing streak. The Austrians quickly removed the prognosticator’s moniker and are reportedly renaming the stadium again for recently-retired Badgers’ coach, Barry Alvarez. Weber’s plummet on December 29th, 30th and 31st fueled speculation that Weber was throwing his picks to put himself in position to select Reggie Bush in the April NFL Draft. Vindy had reportedly tried to shave his wrists with his black Razr phone after early three-touchdown leads were blown by both Northwestern and South Carolina in the midst of the demise. Unhappy with the turn of events, even hockey fans at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit watching the scores roll in on the Jumbo-Tron got into the act and sarcastically hurled octopi onto the ice (and there wasn’t even a hockey game in progress). In an effort to stop the bleeding, Weber took extreme measures and shined a laser-pointer into the cockpit of a Las Vegas sportsbook and was subsequently arrested. The forecaster was later released on his own recognizance, though investigators noted Weber was also prepared to fire a few of the Army’s controversial white-phosphorous rounds into the book if the losses kept piling up. En route to his ultimate bowl tally of 12-13-1 (.480), Weber ignored comments of Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX), who called Vindy’s selections on the final three days of 2005 "deeply flawed", and did call the exact final score of the Rose Bowl, to which the proud prognosticator, in honor of what would’ve been Elvis’ 71st birthday this weekend, replied "Thang ya...thang ya very much!" Vindicator said he would now turn his attention to the NFL playoffs and college hoops.
BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS
Coming into the 05-06 campaign, Vin carried a post-season record of 88-99-1 since the ‘97-‘98 bowl season.. Our famous forecaster’s 100th loss came right off the bat as SoMiss couldn’t hold serve as a 17-point fave in the opening match vs. Arkansas State!
Despite the poor overall showing, Weber’s best bowl bets went 4-1 (.800) and the Longhorns’ outright win in the final seconds of the Rose left him squirting more tears than Dick Vermeil!!
As part of his New Year’s resolutions, Weber vowed to try out for the Carolina Panthers’ cheerleading squad!
Former Steelers WR Lynn Swann will be running for Pennsylvania governor in 2006. If the winning vote gets deflected by Jack Tatum and run into Swann’s ballot box by Franco Harris, would it be an "immaculate election!"???
QB Marcus Vick was tossed from Virginia Tech’s football team for multiple on- and off-field indiscretions, including stomping on the leg of a Louisville defender during the Gator Bowl. Vin predicts an NFL career for Michael’s younger bro somewhere between those of Randy Moss and Lawrence Phillips. Vin was thinking outside da’ boxscore when he made the following comment in his Week 2 forecast..."Vick won’t stay outta’ trouble all season, but he’s good here (vs. Duke)". By the way, asked about Weber’s prediction, Randy quipped he "isn’t sure Vindicator is the right forecaster for the job, but I’ve got Weber’s back." Moss then pretended to drop his drawers and moon the media!
Vindicator recently (true story) received an apology letter from University of Richmond president William E. Cooper re: his statement about "turning mush into mush". Weber had two options. Respond with "It’s OK. Comments like that are just fodder for Vindy’s forecast."or "We know the beleaguered prez doesn’t know his mascot from a hole in the ground and..uh...by the way, Bill...bite me!"
Don’t want to say Vice President Cheney went the wrong way as the deciding vote on recent legislation, but had Dick cast the tie-breaker for the BCS Championship, we’d have been looking at Rice vs. Duke in the Rose Bowl!
Vindicator did win his Yahoo fantasy football league. Installed in the playoffs as the #3 seed, Vin crushed the #1 seed by 30 points!
Our famous forecaster likes the Denver Broncos to battle (and beat) the Seattle Seahawks in this year’s Super..um, no can’t infringe on the trademark...NFL championship..uh..no, that’s not right, either...how ‘bout..that important game every late January/early February that millions watch and bet on and...er..um..some team walks away with uh..some trophy declaring them...uh....the best team in the pro-league?! Yeahhhhh...that’s it!
"Locked in A Box!": Those !!@%$#! TCU Horny Toads stepped all over Vindy’s feng shui’d shoes, winning by only 3 as 4-point chalk, clobbering Weber’s three-team parlay bet after getting covers by Navy (+2) and Boston College (-1 ½)
Leftover Hash! Vindy empties the rest of the clip and presents items that didn’t find their way into this column earlier!
During halftime of the Virginia Tech-Florida State skirmish earlier in December, regular-joe Chip Craver hit on ten consecutive 10-yard throws into a Dr. Pepper barrel then barely over-threw his million-dollar toss. The Chipster just moved into the #3 QB spot on the Big Board for several NFL teams for the 2006 Draft!
For the second time this season and third time in the last two seasons, Vindy grabbed a piece of the prize money for Coast Casinos "Pick Da’ Pros" no-point Week 13 NFL contest, going 15-0, only to realize the NFL gods had beaten Weber like a rented kicker! Following the Seahawks’ huge Monday night win over Philly that week, Weber felt "as light as a feather...as giddy as a school-boy" but went looking for a razorblade after learning 251 other folks had also submitted perfect cards!
After a barrage of cooler bashing by MLB pitchers this season, it’s only a matter of time before the ACLU (American Cooler Liberties Union) files a lawsuit.
T-Ball coach Mark Downs Jr. told one of his players to hurt a disabled teammate so he didn’t have to play him in the game and offered $25 to do so. Makes John Chaney and Woody Hayes look like freakin’ Boy Scouts! At least they went after players on the opposing teams!
Last spring, the percentage of D-1 men’s baseball teams falling below 925 APR cutoff was 23%, second-only to football. Looks like "tools of ignorance" applies to more than just the catcher position.
Three Kentucky Derby riders were suspended for wearing unauthorized advertising on their uniforms during the race. Apparently, hawking the online poker companies was acceptable, but ads for Vindy’s Picks really annoyed the officials!
The Michael Jackson trial was temporarily stopped when Jacko suffered from a lack of electrolytes. Weber was just waiting for the commercial that noted..."This Court TV timeout brought to you by Gatorade. Is it in you?!"
Among the sports on the Olympics waiting list, possibly for 2012..."roller sports". Officially, this has to do with off-road, in-line skating races. Vin would rather vote for something closer to roller derby or "Rollerball!"
London’s winning pitch to get the 2012 Olympic games included $50,000 "credits" to each national Olympic body toward the costs of using pre-Olympics training facilities in Britain. The credits are also good toward 2-for-1 buffets and logo merchandise!
A day before the 2005 Pro Bowl, Marvin Harrison got into a physical melee with individuals seeking his autograph. And even with three attackers draped all over him, the Colts wide receiver still managed to catch a pass from Peyton Manning and scamper into the end zone for a touchdown!
The PGA meets Star Wars as Annika Sorenstam’s lesser-known brother, Anakin Sorenstam, turns to the dark side and becomes...Darth Golfer!
Bo Jackson sued a newspaper for printing an article alleging he used steroids. Bo knows lawsuit?!
Congress OK’d the minting of a dollar coin series featuring presidents. Cool! On one side will be the university president, on the other side...the conference logo, right?!
While some say President Bush’s domestic spying policies violates civil rights, backers suggest previous capability could’ve prevented publication of Vindy’s 2005 Week One picks!
Several leading cable companies will soon offer "Family Choice" TV as a way to provide "child-friendly" broadcasting. Guess we won’t be seeing Vikings’ cruise-vacation highlights or Colorado recruiting party videos on that station!
How ironic! The April 24 edition of the Las Vegas Review Journal, one day following the 2005 NFL Draft, listed the Bengals, Giants, Cardinals, Lions and Texans, not once but twice on a list of odds to win the 2006 Super Bowl before listing Da’ Bears, Browns, Dolphins, Raiders and Niners!
A November edition of the LVRJ noted a headline of "Election 2008: Hillary vs. Rudy". No brainer...Mr. Ruttiger has Weber’s vote all the way!!!
Sports Illustrated reported earlier this season, the Reverend Jerry Falwell canned the I-AA Liberty head coach and a couple of assistant Athletic Directors, noting, "I’m 72...I don’t have much time to get the football program in the top 20". Uh...Jerry...meet Joe Paterno. Jerry..Joe! Joe..Jerry!
An Oshkosh ,Wisconsin woman yielded her three-game Packers ticket to avoid jail time following indictment on an embezzling charge. Considering Green Bay’s performance this season.....she got over!
Former NFL linebacker Keith McCants was indicted on a charge he stole a vehicle from a car dealership in Mobile, Alabama stemming from his 1998 arrest for failure to return an SUV. Any good defender knows he should always try to return something he grabbed that was intended for someone else!
The home team in an NFL game must provide the referee with 24 footballs. Ironically, that’s the same number of beers NCAA home teams must provide to Vindicator to be picked in his forecast during any given week!
Former MLB hurler Rick Ankiel, known for wild pitches and now an outfielder, walked the first four outfielders he played catch with and the first three runners he tried to throw out at 3B. And then the next inning...
Sports bettors’ prayer..."Give us this day our daily spread!"
In January 2005, FOX rejected a Super Bowl commercial about a health product featuring a brief view of Mickey Rooney’s behind. Said Rooney, "We’re not selling sex, we’re selling a health product." Ummmm....does anybody else out there feel healthier after gettin’ a glimpse of Mickey’s 84-year-old derriere??!!
Padres’ shortstop and 1st pick in the 2004 MLB Draft bit a bouncer in a bar in Arizona and was suspended. Witnesses say after a couple of drinks, Bush thought he’d been selected by the Diamondbacks and was coiled in a corner of the bar when the bouncer approached!
"Iiiiiiiiiiii’m...too sexy for the spread....too sexy for my picks...too sexy for my forrrrrrrrrrecast!"
In July 04, Mike Ditka passed up a chance to run as the Republican candidate for Illinois senator. Was it because he couldn’t exercise a coaches’ challenge to reverse legislation or bills on the floor during the last two minutes of a half were reviewable only by Congressmen in the booth? Anybody else see the irony in Ditka promoting Viagra after the previous GOP candidate stepped down following a sex scandal?
"If ya can dodge a spread-loss, ya can dodge a ball."
An August 2005 issue of The Sporting News listed the 388 Best Sports Cities. Given some of the known readership, Vindicator notes a few of the cities listed and their respective rankings: #1 Boston, MA; #33 Columbus, Ohio; #47 Austin, TX; #58 Gainesville, FL; #74 Tallahassee; #99 Las Vegas; #106 State College, PA; #127 Richmond, VA; #182 Dover, DE; #227 Easton, PA; and #388 Tampa-St. Petersburg. Conspicuously absent... Honolulu, HI and South Bend, IN!
Thailand sponsored a soccer game between prisoners and elephants in 2004. It ended in a 5-5 tie...no shootout? Did the elephants understand the yellow cards? How did they get the pachyderms to stand upright with their feet covering their crotches on free kicks near the goal box for the prisoners. One of the elephant riders barely escaped injury when his mastodon attempted a flying bicycle kick and rolled over on him!
A plan to put a Spiderman movie logo on the bases in June 2004 for Interleague play was eventually squashed. MLB could’ve picked a worse movie...like...Gigli. The logo of J-Lo’s butt would’ve taken up way too much room between the bases!
And finally...Scientists have recently discovered footprints believed to be 20,000-years-old in the mud of the Australian Outback. Not sure if JoPa’s ever traveled "Down Under", but researchers have asked for a plaster cast of Coach’s tootsies for comparison!
Until next season...be happy, be healthy...be da’ ball!