Saturday, January 06, 2024

Vindy's 2023-24 National Championship "Between Da' Hashmarks"

                                        UNIQUE MASCOT CREATES POST-GAME CHAOS 

ORLANDO, Florida (AP)...Shortly after Kansas State’s 28-19 triumph over the NC State Wolfpack in the Pop-Tart Bowl, the first edible-mascot descended into a giant toaster and was made available for consumption by the winners. Learning that the pastry-in-question was frosted raspberry, the Purple Persians, deferring to their team colors, initially declined to eat the prize, with a spokesman quipping “We ain’t cannibals!”. Kellogg’s officials quickly trotted out a back-up mascot made of brown sugar-cinnamon, a veteran pastry, igniting a K-State feeding-frenzy by players and coaches. That same day, the Stanford tree wrote a touching tribute to the devoured brother-in-arms, leaving many bewildered to learn that the Cardinal game-day cartoonish representative has prehensile branches capable of calligraphy.  

Chargin’ “straight outta’ concession stands” with... 


(Gettin' called fer unsportsmanlike conduit...condescending...condensation...condiment...!) 

MON. JAN. 8 


#1 Michigan vs. #4 Washington: A total of six different schools had played in the title game over the previous eight iterations. This year’s pairing gives us a breath of fresh air with two new clubs taking the field fer the whole damn kit-and-kaboodle (first time since 2015 sans an SEC squad! And we are seriously good with ‘dat!). Getting the Sled Dogs this far garnered Washington’s Kalen DeBoer the AP’s 2023 Coach of Da’ Year award. Don’t be surprised to show both teams, especially on defense, to start out a bit deflated as, while dominated early behind the run game, had to thwart pesky ‘Bama on 4th-and-goal from da’ 3 in OT to get here, while Huskies survived three after a  consecutive incompletions by Texas Quinn Ewers from their 12 to escape with 37-31 victory. SEC-focused talking-head Paul Finebaum likes the Wolverines, though he did tip his mic to Seattle’s “best offensive line in the country’. Title match chalk has won and covered four straight years by at least 13 points following a run of dogs covering five of six. The past five have been point-a-paloozas, averaging 65.2 ppg, well-above the current over/under of 56 ½. UDUB is the first PAC-12 club to play for a national championship since the 2014 Oregon Ducks and its last perfect record was 1991. UM’s last undefeated tally was 1997. This Rose Bowl hit the abacus fer just 47 (in OT no less), but the Sugar finished at 68 in regulation. Huskies have permitted less than 20 points in a game just four times on the season. Wolverines are the bridesmaids in pass-yards-allowed at 152.6 ypg (7 TDs, 16 picks). Sled Dogs QB Michael Penix Jr. Leads the league in pass yardage at 350 ypg (including 430 vs. The ‘Horns, 35 TDs and 9 INT). RB Dillon Johnson (1162 rush yards and 16 scores) was hurt late vs. Texas but is expected to play. Just days ago, Wolverines J.J. McCarthy levied allegations that, in reality, it was other teams that were illegally swipin’ signs from Michigan. With that kinda’ paranoia, we wonder if the quarterback isn’t a descendant of former Senator Joseph McCarthy! In any case, the Ann Arbor faithful, with Michigan favored by 4 ½ (as we go to press) hopes it doesn’t turn out to be more like ventriloquist dummy Charlie McCarthy under center fer this one!...Big Blue 34 UDUB 24 

2023-2024 BOWL RECAP 

None of the conferences truly distinguished themselves straight-up, but percentage-wise, the 12-PAC went 5-3 (.625) with da’ Big Dozen not far behind at 6-4 (.600). On the other end of da’ spectrum, da’ Mediocre American Conference lost 4 of 6 (.333), while da’ Shun Belt dropped 5 of 12 (.416). Fer local fans, the Mountain Wisp went 3-4 (.428). Meanwhile, bowl chalk staggered to a 17-21-2, as ‘dogs dominated their covers, winning 17 of ‘em outright! Regarding final totals, the “above” edged out the “below” 21-18-2 (depending whose numbers ya look at fer da’ pair of pushes). We do note that 10 of the initial 17 matches finished “under” the number. 


BTW, is it just us or was the Pop-Tart mascot’s descent into the toaster reminiscent of Han Solo being lowered into the carbon-freezing chamber in Star Wars, missing only a Princess Leia impersonator quipping, “I love you” being met with the pastry’s response of “I know.”????!!! 

Additionally, we here at Vindy’s Picks hope the sponsor-in-question will eventually create a lemon-flavored product or maybe one featuring a Keys-to-the-Game Lime! 

Raise yer hand if ya wanna’ see a Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl mascot arise next year from a cereal box, covered in milk and Frosted Flakes! 

Last month, First Responder Bowl game official Ed Ardito was heard on a hot-mic spewing an expletive during confusion about whether a Texas State time-out was the 30-second variety or a full one. Upon further audio review, Ardito was confirmed to have said, “Dammit, Jim Nantz! I’m only a simple country referee!” 

Jim Harbaugh’s parents, tongue-in-cheek (maybe!), recently attributed Michigan’s win over the Tide to swapping their seats in the stands ahead of the game-tying drive. UDUB coaches have already pre-emptively warned contest officials and will stump fer an “illegal shift” penalty should it happen in this one! 

Reportedly, Alabama girded itself ahead of the Rose Bowl against any potential sign-stealing monkey-bidness by forbidding players to take home game-film on their iPads to watch at their leisure, sending in plays during practice via Navajo code-talkers. Sadly, it didn’t work out as Big Blue already had the WWII Enigma Machine at its disposal! 

Last week, ESPN issued a mia culpa after providing live video of a woman, going all Mardi Gras and hopin’ fer beads, displaying her breasts during the Sugar Bowl. The FCC assessed an un-network-like penalty, costing the “world brassiere””leader” a black-out of the first 15 minutes of its coverage of the National Title game. The faux-pas left much of the viewership tittering! 

New Penn State OC Andy Koletnicki used to don a Nittany Lions helmet and run head-on into trees in the near vicinity of his childhood home. Yeah, this is the guy we want in charge of da’ Alma Mater’s offense???!!! Has he cleared concussion protocol??!!!! Kotelnicki also stated he wants his unit to be akin to “a Dairy Queen Blizzard... master the base offense (vanilla ice cream), then toppings can be added.” Let’s hope Coach doesn’t wait long to incorporate chocolate chips on the pass rusher!”  

If Paul McCartney & Wings were to play the halftime show, would we hear “Marching Band on Da’ Run”???!! 

If yer scorin’ at home, sharp-eyed readers will note that our projected winners and scores for Part III would’ve cashed nicely at 2-1 ATS and 3-0 on totals! 

In December, NFL Commish Roger Goodell said the league is set to eliminate the controversial “hip-drop tackle”. Meanwhile, the “hip-hop tackle” is still a “go”!!! 

Three quarters into torching da’ NY Jests, Cleveland QB Joe Flacco was spotted catchin’ a few Z’s on the bench, Having the team’s playoff spot locked-in, the newly-anointed “Rumpelstiltskin” will be held out of this weekend’s game at Cincinnati, but equipment managers ensure Flacco has access to a comfy pillow and a Snuggie 

It was announced earlier this month that the USFL and XFL will merge to become the UFL...that’s “Undead Football League” because both organizations seemingly die-off periodically yet come back to life at some point! 

Earlier this month, NBC announced Snoop Dogg will be a prime-analyst during the 2024 Summer Olympics. Can’t wait to hear him provide color-commentary from a poolside lounge chair next to Eli Manning and SNL alum Andy Samberg holding a Corona while clouds of marijuana smoke obscure his vision of the diving competitions or in the sand while watching beach volleyball! 

LEFTOVER HASH (Yes, we know that’s redundant). Vindicator now conducts the yearly “emptying of the arsenal’” and expends all the stuff he accumulated in da’ armory throughout the season that didn’t previously-find its way into the forecast...until now. In no particular order... 

If the Karate Kid meets basketball, do we hear “Racks on, racks off????!!!” 

In August, we caught an article on Facebook asserting the Bobblecats of Ohio U. pocketed more bowl victories over the last twenty years (6) than Big Blew of Michigan (4)! Ohio now has 7 post-season contests, Big Blue has 5 and counting! 

If the female-lead in the “Rocky” boxing movie-series meets the Lord of the Rings beginning-location, is she...Talia Shire-Folk???!!! 

The Brigham Young Mormons revealed their newly-designed field in July to show-off their membership in the new conference. Sadly, B12 logos were placed at the 25-yard line on one side, but at the 15-yard line on the other. How ‘bout those dual math/landscaping majors in Provo??!!! As a result, groundskeeping-crew at the Coogs baseball diamond will come under scrutiny to determine if distances between da’ sacks are accurate! 

Back in August, sports-betting journalist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Case Keefer, noted the Berkley Bears have had the top spread-record in the past half-dozen seasons under HC Justin Wilcox (the COVID-impacted year whose name must not be uttered ever again notwithstanding). BTW, Case “leaned” toward the “over 5” victories on the year fer Cal, which finished with six wins (and a good, but not glorious 6-5 ATS). Da’ Bears also went bowling this season but got smoked 34-14 by the Red Raiders!  

We caught this Facebook headline back in February...”F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix plans for 10-year run”. Seems like one helluva’ lengthy time for a single race, but okay! 

If Bumblebee decides to leave his current group and join the Decepticons, is it via the “Transformers portal”??!!   

When two strong defenses meet, do we queue-up AC-DC and hear...”Fer those about to ‘rock-fight’....weeeeee... saaaaaaaaaluuuuuuute....youuuuuuuuuu!” 

Following up on Part III’s commentary about Tommy DeVito’s alias...if his preferred mum-prepped meal was Maruchan noodles, would he be known as an un-mob-like name “Tommy Ramen”???!!!! If he develops a penchant for checking down to receivers and running backs near the sidelines, could he be known as “Tommy Outlets”?! 

To honor the Irish football team in its contest vs. Oregon State, Notre Dame fine arts majors were joined in the pre-game locker room by Bob Ross and asked to “Paint Some Happy Trees Like a Champion Today!” After Our Lady trounced the Beavers 40-8 in the Sun Bowl, Ross was gifted season-tickets and made an honorary Leprechauns’ captain! 

If a vintage toilet-paper commercial featurinMr. Whipple meets da’ 49ers of college football, do hear...”Please don’t squeeze da’ Charlotte!” 

Last April, underwear company, MeUndies, donated $50,000 to UConn charity to honor coach Dan Hurley’s lucky drawers succeeding da’ victory over SDSU, to the Husky Ticket Project, an alumni-run organization that sends underprivileged youth to Huskies games. Superstitious Coach Hurley’s pair of red unmentionables emblazoned with dragon images on them, traveled with a portable washing machine to make sure the fortuitous boxers were ready for every game! (The readership can insert yer own jokes here!) 

“Never judge a playbook by its Cover 2 defense!” 

If a currently-popular breakfast dish meets a nickname for cleats, is it...chicken & waffle-irons?! 

If a classic James Bond film villain turns out to be the holder on a place-kicking team, would it be Field-Goalfinger? 

If a late Meatloaf song meets a hockey goal, is it...” Paradise by the Dasher Board Light Da’ Lamp”???!!! 

If Captain Kirk scores three goals in a hockey game, is it considered a “Shat-Trick”???!!! 


LONDON, England (BBC)…Back in May attending the inaugural Children’s Picnic, Princess Catherine, despite multiple requests from the youth-on-hand, had to frequently let it known it was “taboo” for her to emblazon her actual name to any given souvenir due to security-concerns about forgery, but continued to draw plants and flowers for the kiddies-in-attendance. Meanwhile, Vindicator was asked to put his John Hancock on pics he drew of parlay cards and refused on a similar basis. Recognizing each other’s conundrum, the two celebs reached an agreement. Princess Kate would ultimately sign memorabilia as “Vindy K8tor” and the Sin City Soothsayer would ink his moniker as “Princess Catherweberkid”! 

BTW, local pawn shops in Birmingham, England and Las Vegas eventually caught-on to the deceit, realizin’ da’ fact that the fab-forecaster's alter-ego contained no numerals for items-on-sale as the real-deal on eBay!     

Last February, Kelly Clarkson sported a Cowboys dress emblazoned with #88, team colors, star logo and names of various Dallas players during the NFL Honors ceremony in Sin City. She shrugged-off boos from the crowd, leading Jerry Jones to contemplate putting her on the field at WR or tight-end, not notorious for turnovers. In fact, the initial “American Idol” winner entered the gridiron to a quarterback audible of “What doesn’t kill, kill, kill the play makes you Stronger”!!! Vegas lines-makers secretly posted over/unders on her targets and catches! 

In detailed records finally made public long-after the fact, trained professionals carefully observing Aaron Rodgers, during his self-imposed sensory-deprivation, with NODS (“night-observation devices”) noted him to, at some point. break into song, crooning lyrics from a Simon & Garfunkel classic...“Hello, Darkness, my tight-end. I’ve come to pass to you again...” 

If Mid-American Conference teams narrowly pull-out victories using just bubble-gum and paper-clips, are they members of the Big MacGyver???!!! 

If a star wide-receiver/kick-returner for the Miami Dolphins meets an abused and down-trodden Theon Greyjoy at House Bolton, is he known as “Reek Hill”???!!! 

Among the exotic prop bets this year...Which will be points scored in the Super Bowl or number of contraband items seized by TSA at Harry Reid International Airport on Game Day?! 

OREO, last February, in conjunction with Nothing Bundt Cakes and NBC, had NHL squads dropped the famous cookies, in their 111th birthday, as ceremonial pucks ahead of games. (My Words)..With the teams blasting the sweet-treats off the plumbing and over the glass...”the cookies sustained considerable-damage, but did not open!” (Raise yer hand if yer old enuff to remember that Master-Lock commercial!) 

On the big screen this weekend, a former hockey-legend-from-Montreal with Italian-American ties-turned Brooklyn plumber, with the help of “Princess Peach”, negotiates video-game obstacles and “bosses” while seeking to rescue his lesser-known sibling, Luigi, from a Sheldon Koopa (Big Bang Theory fans will get that reference) named Bowser (from Sha-Na-Na) in...The Super Mario Lemieux Bros. Movie! 

Around this time last year, the latest COVID variant was nicknamed “Kraken”. Gotta’ wonder how the folks affiliated with Seattle’s NHL team felt about that! 

If the NHL meets a quote from “It’s A Wonderful Life”, do we hear, "Every time a bell rings, it’s time to eat some Detroit Red Wings??!!” 

If a “Captain Kangaroo” regular meets Denton DNA of the North Texas football team, is he....Mr. Mean Green Genes??! 

It's little-known fact that there was Fifth Horseman of Notre Dame...Vegas Vindicator...who’s duties were to shovel-out da’ equine stalls after each game! 

If an Our Lady motto meets a vintage wafer-candy, is it...“Wake Up Da’ ‘Neccos’”!!!!! 

If Purdue meets a scene from Blazing Saddles meets our humble narrator...”Have something to do with where with choo-choo go. Not know. Vindy just pawn in chess-game of life.”   

If the Rutgers football team meets the 2012 Batman sequel on da’ big screen, is it called...”The Scarlet Knight Rises”??!!!  

If a well-known sub-sammich commercial meets Rutgers, do we hear...”If it ain’t freshly-sliced, it ain’t Jersey Knights”!??? 

Lukos Podolski, German futballer forward for Ekstralasa Club Gornik Zabrze (BTW, uttering that inside a pentagram would prolly summon a demon in a game of Dungeons & Dragons! But more on that later!) was quoted as sayin’ “Football (ie. Soccer as it's known by us ugly-Americans!) is like chess, only without the dice.” Didn’trollin’ bones” was part of said-board game, but gotta’ wonder what happens anytime a Grand-Master throws “snake-eyes” or “box-cars”!!!! Only fellow role-playing geeks like us will understand the forthcoming references (the rest of ya can keep scrolling! Pun not intended!) the beginning of each possession, teams get to roll a d20. Clerics may cast ”protection vs. set-pieces/+3 vs. corner kicks or may “castle” to protect the goalie. A Bishop can cast a “resurrection” spell to bring back a previously-removed piece back to the board and a wizard pawn may cast “find familiar" to unseat an opposing Knight and gain the services of a steed to enhance its mobility! 

On the big screen, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones don T-shirts and gym-shorts to defeat aliens in running, 100-hurdles and javelin-throws in “Men-in-Track" 

Vindy was recently mansplaining his parlay wager to a female bookie when she went all Seinfeld Soup-Nazi, responding “No bets fer you! Come week!” 

As the 2023 NCAA Tournament and St. Patrick's Day approached in March, despite never seeing anything insidious occur, Vindy voluntarily went into the Guinness Protection Program! 

Before mercifully cuttin’ our losses and headin’ into da’ offseason, we leave the loyal-readership with our annual Irish-blessing...”May da’ road-’dog rise up to beat you.” (Sumthin’ like that!) 

Until at least next August, if not longer...Air Forecast One has gone wheels-up!