Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Vindy's Picks 2010-11 Bowl Recap


MADISON, Wisconsin (Reuters)....Just when fans thought it couldn’t get any worse for the New York Giants, who were eliminated from the playoffs earlier this month with Green Bay’s 10-3 win over Chicago, WikiLeaks released previously-classified documents claiming the NFL team, stuck an extra day in Wisconsin due to weather cancellations of the charter flight home following the 45-10 loss to the Packers, was beaten by the Badgers in a pre-bowl practice session. Details of the somewhat-impromptu scrimmage, which was closed to the public, were supposed to remain hidden from public knowledge. But school officials suspect a graduate assistant or team manager of providing WikiLeaks with play-by-play information, including a final score favoring the FBS college pigskin squad. With nowhere to go and wanting to give his players a psychological lift after the bad defeat, Tom Coughlin accepted the offer from Badgers coach Bret Bielema, who hoped to allow his squad the chance to face the kind of speed expected to be brought to the Rose Bowl by TCU.

Hand-scribbled lyrics by John Lennon for “A College Game Day in the Life” (You guys know the words. Everybody sing....”he blew his mind out in a parlay card. He hadn’t noticed that the lines had changed...’.), written in three different colors of ink, were acquired for just over one million dollars at a summer Sotheby’s auction. That same prestigious company later garnered a couple of shillings for notes that Vindicator etched in the glass of three different beer bottles in preparation for...

(Currently topping the Billboard charts in the U.K.)

It was a post-season of streaks. After yielding two forecast wins behind BYU and Northern Illinois to open Vindy’s bowl journey, the bookies sent the fab forecaster on a 1-4-1 trek, including the sinking of our “lock of da’ bowls” pick Navy, as a reminder of who really runs this town. The Weber Kid retaliated with a subsequent 6-0run, across all half-dozen games of December 27 thru December 29, that came crashing down, getting stopped colder than the UConn women’s hoops win-streak at Stanford, at the hands of Army as our hero tossed up an airball, going 0-fer-Thursday, December 30(we’re shocked), en route to a 1-9 demise (including the missed extra point and penalty-filled meltdown of Vols’ OT loss to Carolina preceding the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that cost Kansas State its bowl win, which had Vin within half-a-chain-link of hurling a beer bottle through the TV screen and within a full chain-link of swearing off college football altogether) that lasted into the early games of 2011. But Vindy would bust out his Little Orphan Annie secret decoder pin and pirouette away from danger, taking the last four games on New Year’s Day. The rest of the way would be a defensive struggle, with neither side yielding more than two back-to-back victories by the other. The cover by Boston College in the Fight Hunger Bowl assured Weber of nothing worse than a .500 bowl season. Oregon’s push, aided by the reversal of a late Auburn touchdown that led to the eventual winning FG for the Tigers, allowed Vindy to back his way into the winning side of the final bowl ledger for the first time in at least five seasons at 17-16-2 (which shoulda’ been 18-15-2, but one correct pick was errantly disallowed by disgraced World Cup referee Koman Coulibaly)!

Favorites covered 18-20 of the games, depending on whose numbers ya look at. By our count, dogs covered 15, winning 13 outright and the first non-straight-up-winning dog cover didn’t occur until Northwestern lost 45-38 to Texas Tech (GASP!)in the first game of 2011, covering a 9 ½-point line (and adding to Vindy’ ongoing woes vs. the Red Raiders....which now stands at 3-18-1[.142]!).


On the heels of LeBron James likening his new NBA team to the Lads from Liverpool, we offer a sampling of tunes from the Heatles Greatest Hits album (yes...we said album!): I Want to Hold Your Headband, Norwegian Hardwood (This Larry Bird Has Flown), Eight Plays A Week, Octopus’s Madison Square Garden, While My Center Gently Weeps, Day Dribbler, Over-the-Back Writer and...Let It Three!

While we’re talkin’ ‘bout dulcet sounds, MGM Resorts International will allow patrons who spend enough money the opportunity to eat dinner while over-looking the Bellagio fountains, which will move in sync to a tune of the patron’s selection. We plan to drop...er...wager...enough dinero to be able to throw-down some grub as the famous spouts dance to Eye of the Tiger, Darth Vader’s theme....or at least Wham’s 1986 version of Last Christmas!

BTW, research by Vindicator’s crack staff has uncovered proof that the guy who calls himself “Mayhem” in all those Allstate commercials went to college (and was the fourth-string quarterback-turned-starter after a pre-game meal of all-ya-can-eat calamari) at...Texas Tech!

While we alluded to Auburn’s potential feigning of injury to slow-down any offensive momentum built by the Ducks, having a special teams player go down on the opening kickoff that saw Oregon get its opening possession at its own 15-yard line mighta’ been just a tad premature!

BTW, did anybody else out there, upon seeing the florescent yellow socks and similarly-colored yellow beanie caps of Oregon players on the sideline, briefly flashback to the minions of “Despicable Me”?????!!!

Brett Favre didn’t cooperate in the investigation and drew himself what amounts to a $50K flag for unsportsmanlike conduct. Seems NFL investigators couldn’t tie the photos to the quarterback. Guess the photos couldn’t have been that long. Part of the problem was “retrieving and reviewing electronic records”. Can’t wait to see what WikiLeaks has on that one!. Brett now joins the esteemed company of folks like Joe Namath and Pat O’Brien (though Favre likely wasn’t tanked when he allegedly sent the sexts in question).

Mr. Favre announced his retirement earlier this month (again!). How ironic would it be to see him return to the sideline again as head coach at...Florida???!!!!

Heavy rains that flooded the field at Qualcomm Stadium forced the Middies and Aztecs to hold Poinsettia Bowl practices indoors in hotel ballrooms. The teams promised to use some of the game’s payout to replace chandeliers that got shattered by practice punts and kickoffs! The deluge also allowed the Popeyes to conduct their pre-game walk-though using remote-control boats!

Speaking of weather-related game difficulties, the Minnesota Vikings defeated the Philadelphia Eagles one day after their scheduled Monday-nighter was postponed due to snow at the Linc, but not before hospitable hotel personnel in the City of Brotherly Love attempted to make the Metrodome Marauders feel right at home by firing shotgun blasts into the ceiling panels of their respective hotel rooms!

While there’s some merit to Boise State president’s comment that Ohio State’s schedule as a “murderer’s row” doesn’t quite ring true, let’s face it, the Broncos’ slate is closer to Jaywalker’s Alley or Loiterer’s Cul-De-Sac!

Okay, one more Urban Meyer anagram....”Reuben Army”!

135 first-time Oscar voters submitted ballots this December. Apparently, a like number of rookie officials worked this season’s bowl games!

The Mississippi State Bulldogs accepted the Gator Bowl trophy following their win over the Wolverines but an anonymous player, on behalf of the whole team, said what they really wanted was a few pairs of the gold pants that Ohio State awards its players who beat Michigan!

The Big Tent-Peg Conference went 0-5 SU on New Year’s Day. Nebraska coulda’ sent a message to its soon-to-be-conference with a convincing victory over a down-trodden Washington squad in the Holiday Bowl. Instead, with a 19-7 defeat, the Children of the Corn let it be known they belong somewhere between Penn State and Purdue in the Big Tenuous food chain!

As of January 3rd, Arnold Schwarzenegger was out of a job. Maybe he could fill a coaching vacancy at the University of Pittsburgh or University of Michigan as.... Da’ Coachinator!

The anticipation of rain pushed the NHL Winter Classic from afternoon to an 8:00 PM start on January 1st. No truth to the rumor that league officials considered moving the game to Tuesday the 4th at the Metrodome!

Former radio announcer-turned-vagrant Ted Williams was recently offered a job announcing Cleveland Cavaliers games. He was also given the chance to perform similar duties for the Knicks following an interview consisting of a simple request to utter the word, “Yessssss!”. There’s no truth to the rumor he was almost signed to a contract by the Boston Red Sox in hopes he would hit .406 next season!

BYU hoopster Jackson Emery cooled off a hot run by the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels after losing a contact lens and the ensuing delay during the first half of the Mormons upset earlier this month. We think he has a future as a defensive coordinator at Cal! (And the kicker is that the Cougars’ senior doesn’t even wear contacts. A sideline assistant pulled off the old magician’s slight-of-hand to make it appear he was removing the dislodged lens from the player’s eye. Genius! Gotta’ figure he’ll also garner endorsement offers from ClearVision, EyeMasters and LensCrafters!).

A fairly large portion of the newly-crowned World Junior Hockey Champs were tossed off a Delta Airlines flight this month for being obnoxious. Apparently, some of the Russian players took the phrase “boarding the plane” literally and collectively tried to hip-check the aircraft into the side of the concourse! Others took turns shooting pucks down the aisle into the cockpit, celebrating each “goal”! Order was eventually restored, but not until the team “enforcer” and a flight attendant each got “five for fighting” in airplane lavatories for dropping the gloves. Air marshals waited ‘til the pair fell to the cabin floor before intervening.

There’s a movement underway to make pole-dancing a test event at the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games. Since hearing of the proposal, potential judges have been tripping all over themselves for the right to pay the two-drink minimum cover charge just to gain entry to the Olympic venue and place tightly rolled-up score sheets into the competitors’ G-strings! (And does anybody else out there think the Rio Games logo looks like a giant pacifier??!!)

Trust Vindy...he grew up reading comicbooks about a doctor...Dr. Doom, Dr. Strange, Dr. Octopus....

Black Shirt: The post-season version of the ebony undergarment goes to alma mater quarterback Matt McGloin for throwin’ the 80-yard pick-six with about a minute left to give the covering score to the Gators! Honorable mentions to Iowa CB Micah Hyde for his INT for TD that gave the Hawkeyes the SU win over Mizzou and to Air Force safety Jon Davis, who grabbed the game-saving INT around the 2-yard line with 11 seconds left to preserve the win vs. Joja’ Tech

“Locked in a Box?”: Navy was beaten at its own game, being out-rushed by San Diego State and losing by two scores, dropping the season lock record to 7-8 (.467). We don’t wanna’ suggest that the ballroom practices carried over into the game itself, but the Middies did manage to get flagged for “12 men on the dance floor”!

Shoppe Talk: It was a role-reversal of sorts in the post-season as Good-Hands winner South Carolina and Michigan State hung forecast “L”s on our hero (with “Weber-Friendlies” going just 2-2), while Grill-Master Supreme UNR, in conjunction with Arizona, TCU and Wisconsin would put the 2010 Flame-Throwers at 4-2. No surprise, however, that one of the losses came from Ohio State!

Vindy’s Best Bets: Bowls: 5-2 Season: 33-34-1 (.493)

LEFTOVER HASH: (Vindy conducts the annual emptying of the clip by offering stuff that was available but didn’t find its way into the forecast earlier this season)

The New Orleans Saints won the 2010 Super Bowl. Did that make them the Brees Knees of the NFL!

Bret Favre finally reported to camp so late that until he got more practice reps with the first-team wideouts, on 3rd downs during live games, Coach Childress sent out a couple of the high school receivers he threw to all summer!

Passengers stranded at airports from Newark to London to Bangkok, as the result of volcanic ash from Iceland, cruise-ship riders in the midst of a three-day tow to shore aboard a powerless Carnival Splendor and Chilean miners trapped well-below the Earth’s surface for an extended period of time all had one thing in common....they wiled away the hours perusing copies of ...Vindy’s Picks.

In September, Disney launched a website for users to post their own pics, videos and other content about their experiences at the Happiest Place on Earth. Vindy’s Picks is doing likewise for bettors to have somewhere to put memories, torn-up parlay tickets and additional proof of their sportsbook mis-adventures!

Jack Del Rio called a timeout, down by 20, late in an October loss to the Titans, because he was asked to do so by ESPN, which needed a couple of network commercial breaks. In return, the “worldwide leader” will ask referees to grant an extra timeout during the Jags’ first two-minute drill of next season!

The University of Hawaii and the University of Chicago are in the running as locations for Obama’s presidential libraries. We foresee the creation of another bowl that’s only played with the change of administrations every four to eight years!

The Big Tendinitis Conference will present the Stagg-Paterno Trophy to its conference title-game winner. We ain’t eyeballed the hardware, but we’re told it was modeled after a photo of JoePa striking the Heisman pose!

The Russians have a sport called “chess-boxing” in which competitors alternate rounds of pugilism with moves of pieces on a chessboard.... “Yo, Adriannnnnnn... knight to queeeeeenn’s bishop siiiiiixx!”

Louisville hoops coach Rick Pitino, describing a 2003 tryst, said the sex lasted “15 seconds”....or slightly more than it takes the average NFL cornerback to run the forty back-to-back-to-back!

The August ish of ESPN: Da’ Mag reported that visa problems kept the Iroquois nation, which claims to have invented the game of lacrosse, from playing in a U.K,. tourney. Horse hockey! Everybody knows it was Al Gore who invented lacrosse!

RichRod, after his team’s 37-7 defeat by Ohio State said, “What do you want me to do? Holds hands with all the Buckeye fans and sing ‘Kumbaya’?” Following Michigan’s 52-14 bowl loss to Mississippi State and his subsequent dismissal from Big Blew, that wasn’t looking like such a bad idea.

Olympic snowboarder Hannah Teter donated $5 to charities benefitting Haiti for every pair of her underwear line sold. Ummm...are autographed “game-worn” ones still available???!!!

G.I. Jobs magazine designated the alma mater as a military-friendly school for its involvement in distance learning. “See the world, meet interesting people and...teach them to cheer ’WE ARE...PENN STATE!’”

This summer’s Yogi Berra Award goes to UNLV coach Bobby Hauck, who said of LB William Vea...”The more football he learns, the better he’s going to be.” Uhhhh...thanks for the profound insight, Coach!

Though he never made it onto the pitch during live-action, patrolling the sideline for the Ivory Coast World Cup soccer team was the man simply known as...Vindinho!

Much ado was made about an Australian man living inside a giant soccer ball during the World Cup. Please... it’s been done. Back in the early 90's in Arizona....it was called... the “Biosphere”!

How to speak Australian: “Fawwwwcast”...Australian for “Vindy’s Picks!”

A July news article noted the Boy Scouts have held their national jamboree every four years since 1981at Fort AP Hill Army base in Virginia. We’re thinking it was a typo that should’ve read “Fort AP Poll Army base”!!!!

Among the racy text messages from Tiger Woods revealed by Joslyn James on her website was...”I’m gonna’ make you wager with Vindy’s Picks!”

KFC sponsored a contest that offered a $20K college scholarship for the best 140-character-max tweet about why the sender deserved to win it. We tweeted that we were worthy of the free ride on the basis of calling the Poultry’s upset of Florida in the SEC Championship game. The Colonel’s company awarded the prize to somebody else, but did send Vindicator a coupon for a free small side of mashed potatoes at his next visit.

We submitted random lead stories and an actual pick from the 2009 season to the “I Write Like.Com” website. Analysis suggests Vin’s literary skills are similar to those of Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and David Foster Wallace! (Ya can’t make stuff up like that, Sportsfans!)

A Michigan church group grabbed some major green after purchasing the winning lottery ticket at a Detroit porn shop. The Weber Kid is already planning his late-August road-trip to da’ Motor City to place a few futures bets at that same adult entertainment establishment on next season’s BCS Championship!

Starting the 2010 season, the final regular-season USA Today coaches poll will be kept confidential. Fortunately, the Weber Kid holds a Top Secret/Need-To-Know clearance. The M-5, KGB, US Secret Service and.....Vindicator, by golly...NEED to know!

On the big screen, Vindicator gets little more than a tepid response to his weekly forecast from a female acquaintance in...”Ten Signs She’s Just Not Into Your Picks”!!! Elsewhere...Will Farrell stars as a figure skater who is known more for his ‘do than his triple-jumps in...”Braids of Glory”!!!

8-year-old Briton Kieron Williamson is pulling in some serious six-pence for his paintings. Kieron said he wants to be a “painter and footballer” when he matures. He’ll look funny taking the pitch with a brush and a pallette, but if he’s as good with a soccer ball as he is with his hands, we’re guessin’ he’ll paint a lovely portrait of the opposing goalie... right before scoring on him.

Jimmy Buffett sponsored the Jamaican dog-sled team for the Iditarod last March. We look forward to his next hit-single...”Cheeseburger in Anchorage”!!!

The Miss America pageant’s TV contract with TLC (The Leering Channel???) expired in March, leaving the extravaganza (currently underway in Sin City again this month) needing a new broadcast home. We’re thinking Versus or Fox Sports West!

The 2010 Miss USA, who hailed from Michigan, stumbled in her dress during that competition. Ironically, the Wolverines would do the same in the Gator Bowl vs. Mississippi State (as we predicted!). The judges panel for the contest included Johnny Weir, Tara Conner, Carmelo Anthony, Paula Deen, Oscar Nunez, Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin, Melania Trump and Glamour magazine executive fashion editor Suze Yalof-Schwartz. Throw in Lindsey Lohan and/or Charlie Sheen and this coulda’ been Vindy’s preseason forecasting strategy team!

And finally....in June, a federal judge was asked to decide whether cheerleading can be counted as a sport by schools looking to meet gender-equity requirements as part of a lawsuit by members of Quinnipiac U. after the school eliminated women’s volleyball in favor of a competitive cheer squad. Our recommendation...train cheerleaders to play volleyball or the players to cheer. Can’t wait to see the squad bust out the megaphones and pyramids in the courtroom! (“Objection!”, “Sustained. The jury will disregard the witnesses’ last cheer.”). A judge later decided it was not, in fact, a sport because it was “underdeveloped”. Ummmm...has Hizzoner taken a peek at the sidelines lately???!! A preponderance of steroids and implants make cheerleading anything but “underdeveloped”!

Until next August, we leave our readers with the traditional Irish blessing...”May the road dog rise up to beat you.” (Something like that!)

Air Forecast One has gone “wheels up”!

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