FORECASTER TO FOOTBALL FANS: "DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY!"
‘Hawks Off ‘Madden’ Hook
SEATTLE, Washington (ITAR-Tass)...Speaking through a megaphone from atop the Space Needle, the Vegas Vindicator spoke to (and annoyed) tourists, sports afficionados and anyone else within a five-mile radius, trying to allay fears of Seahawks fans regarding the mysterious "Madden curse". The Weber Kid noted it was actually he, not Seattle running back Shaun Alexander, in the photo on the cover of the Madden 2007 video game, released this summer. Vindy said he strapped on pads and helmet (and a little make-up) and struck the pose featured on the game cover. The Sin City soothsayer further explained he, himself, was the victim of the curse, pointing out his 5-14 record in Week One as evidence. Weber implored fans to not panic over the Seahawks’ 9-6 lackluster victory over the Detroit Lions and reassured them their beloved team would still be going to playoffs. Officials at EA Sports confirmed Vindy’s claim, explaining the actual player was too busy practicing to attend the photo shoot. As Vindy teetered precariously on the edge of the outdoor observation deck, an unidentified person on the ground yelled, "Jump, you !@!&$#@!! I lost a bundle on your Week Two ‘best bets’!!
Before being "helped" over the rail by security, Vindicator quickly notes his Week Two count of 9-8-1 (14-22-1, .389 on the season), whips out a Sharpie on his way down and scribbles...
THE WEBER KID’S 2006 WEEK 3 FORECAST
(Vindy’s Picks are recorded before a live studio audience...and the bar appreciates the patronage!)
THURS. SEPT. 14
#5 WEST VIRGINIA over Maryland giving 15 1/2 : Box Turtles opened at 2-0, but didn’t win impressively over either lower-tier foe. Is it just Vindy or do you guys think Mark Mangino, Rick Majerus and Terps’ coach Ralph Friedgen have a future in sumo-wrestling?!...’Eers 38 Maryland 13
SAT. SEPT. 16
Cincinnati over #1 OHIO STATE taking 30 ½: Buckeyes are in a sandwich spot between critical triumph over Texas and visit by those Nitwit Lions next. Bearkats stayed close to State, losing only 23-19, during Buckeyes’ 2002 undefeated regular season...Ohio State 31 Cincy 9
#2 NOTRE DAME over #11 Michigan giving 7: Irish took advantage of several Nitwit Lions miscues early in the first half (Vindy didn’t bother viewing whatever second-half debauchery occurred!). Irish receiver Jeff Samardzija signed a five-year contract with the Cubbies as a hurler and wants to go pro in both football and baseball. Will we see a deluge of "Jeff knows..." commercials??? Does that make him a "pitcher" or a "catcher?!" Still voting against Big Blue...Leprechauns 24 Michigan 13
#6 Louisiana State over #3 AUBURN taking 3 ½: The last two seasons these clubs have battled in tight, tight games, including Bengals’ OT win last year. LSU is 2-5-2 ATS against ranked teams over the past two seasons. Aubie has covered 16 of last 20 regular season tilts... Bengals 17 Tigers 16
#19 Nebraska taking #4 USC taking 18 ½: Trojan Express seems to have lost little steam since 2005, thrashing Arkansas and stifling a good Wazzou offense, but there’s a little voice in Weber’s head (which raised its hand before speaking) suggesting "Take Big Red, take Big Red!"...Troy 29 Huskers 27
#7 Florida over #13 TENNESSEE giving 3 1/2: In an article this summer on anagrams, Sports Illustrated writer Steve Rushin noted Florida Gators could be rearranged to spell "‘Fro Gladiators". A couple bowl seasons ago, Vindy revealed an anagram of Urban Meyer to be "Yu R Beerman", and now discovers Chris Leak is also "Rich Lakes", "Slick Hare" and "I Crash Elk". Vols dodged a bullet when USAF blew a very late 2-point conversion...Florida 28 Vols 20
RICE over #8 Texas taking 30: Owls 0-2 outright but 2-0 ATS. Texas suffered the bad home loss to the Buckeyes. Have to consider the Lone Star rivalry. Rice is responding (still losing, but competitively) to new coach Todd Graham. Definite "wish" pick, but...Steers 35 Rice 9.
Clemson over #9 FLORIDA STATE taking 4 1/2: Injuns got 45 yards on 28 carries vs. Troy. Those kinda’ numbers won’t get it done here. Lack of a ground game finally catches up to State...Clemson 24 Chop 20
Alabama-Birmingham over #10 GEORGIA taking 17 1/2: Dawgs’ starting quarterback Joe Tereshinski (da’ Third) is out for this one. His replacement, freshman Stafford played adequately for 3+ quarters in his absence last week on the road, but still showed himself to be a freshman. ‘Dawgs don’t cover the number well outside the SEC...Joja’ 24 Blazers 13
#17 Miami over #12 LOUISVILLE taking 3: Vindy expected Cards’ QB Brohm to go down before starting RB Bush, but we’ll take it. ‘Canes need to produce some decent points on a I-A team. They will...Miami 27 Redbirds 24
#14 VIRGINIA TECH over Duke giving 35: LOCK OF DA’ WEEK. Playing at theatres in Blacksburg this week (both of ‘em! [And one of ‘em is still a drive-in!])..."The Blue Devils Wear Prada!"...Hokies 45 Duke 3
#18 OREGON over #15 Oklahoma giving 4: How many folks in the preseason, outside Eugene, woulda’ called the Decoys five-point chalk in this one?! Rematch of last season’s Holiday Bowl thriller. No faith in this choice... Drakes 27 Sooners 21
Iowa State @ #16 IOWA: OFF. (Hawkeyes have won 30 of last 33 at home [25-5-1 ATS per recent issue of Gaming Today] last 5+ years. Two of the three "L"s came to Michigan, the other to...Iowa State!)
#24 Texas Tech over #20 TCU giving 2: Raiders look vulnerable on defense, as they have in the past. Can’t gauge Horny Toads just yet based on wins over Baylor and UC-Davis. Da’ coin likes...Texas Tech 28 TCU 24
Portland State @ #21 CAL: No line. (Remember, sports fans, Portland State beat...New Mexico!!!!?)
COLORADO over #22 Arizona State taking 10: Just after the New Year, former Colorado Buffs RB Eric Bienemy joined the Minny Vikes as an assistant coach. Anybody else out there see the irony in that???? Devils covered last week, but the " D" is still an albatross. What’s goin’ in on in Boulder???!!!...Pitchforks 34 Gilded Bison 27
Brigham Young over #23 BOSTON COLLEGE taking 7: Coogs only managed a FG in last year’s tussle in Provo. 2-0 BC is only 8 points from being 0-2 and struggled against Central Michigan. Might be some emotional fall-off for Eagles following OT victory over Clemson. BYU is 2-5 ATS in last 7 vs. ranked teams, but 7-4 ATS overall on the road last two seasons...Boston College 20 BYU 19
Youngstown State @ #25 PENN STATE: No line. (Just win, baby!)
BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS
By the way, a flag bearing the number "12" flew atop the Space Needle last January, saluting the "12th Man" home crowd that helped the Seahawks go 10-0 last season at Qwest Field. A similar "12" flag flew atop the Space Needle-like Stratosphere Casino in Vegas...mocking the number of correct picks in Vindy’s 28-game bowl forecast!
Roger Goodell succeeded Paul Tagliabue as NFL commish. If it had been Jane Goodall instead, would we have seen a book and a movie entitled ...."Linemen In the Mist"?
Bengals fans can report unruly behavior in the stands to security by calling 513-381-JERK. If Vice President Cheney gets outta’ hand, they can also dial 800-555-DICK!
Diminutive former Boston College/CFL/NFL QB Doug Flutie has been working as an analyst for ABC/ESPN...and ya can’t see the booster chair he sits on to the reach the mike, can ya???!
Out on DVD...two Denver rushers spend the off-season on a farm in the Rockies running plays outta’ the brown-eye formation in..."Broncoback Mountain"! (Funny, the lines-makers were running those same plays with Vindy in Week One!)
On the small screen as part of the Fall line-up.......Jennifer Love-Hewitt brings justice to spirits of wronged uprights in..."Goalpost Whisperer"
A recent poll for favorite male golfer, to no one’s surprise, named Tiger Woods as the top choice. Vindy’s pick, however, is Carl Spackler (played by Bill Murray in "Caddyshack"). "Last year, just a groundskeeper...about to become...this year’s...Masters’ champion!...It’s IN the hole...it’s in the hole."
"Locked in a Box?": The Orange cover against Iowa in OT brings the lock record to 1-1 (.500).
"Wish I Had That One Back": Vindy called it last week.....Florida State-Troy as a "wish" pick!
Shoppe Talk: Several teams have logged back-to-back forecast losses. We’ll sort ‘em out next week (but Louisville and Florida both got in the prognostication win column!)
Vindy’s Week 3 Best Bets: Last Week: 1-4 Season: 4-5 (.444) (In a bizarre twist of fate, Vindy gave the book the number supporting RUTGERS -10 ½ rather than Illinois +10 ½ and gets to cash that ticket! The betting deities will, however, have their revenge later in the season!). Ball State +16 over PURDUE, NORTHWESTERN -16 over Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan +10 ½ over VIRGINIA, UCONN -6 over Wake Forest
Until next week...Vindicator’s just here for the Bud Light! (Now if you’ll excuse him, Vindy’s gotta’ pray to the magic fridge!)