Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Vindy's '06-'07 Bowl Recap

Thousands Garner Coveted Hardware; Vindy Snags 19 Bowl Wins

NEW YORK, New York (CNN)...BCS, Schmee-C-S....It didn’t take long for Time Magazine to apply the same logic to collegiate pigskin that it did to its annual "Person of Da’ Year" as the prestigious periodical named "All of Division I-A" as its 2007 national champion in college football. "If pick one, ya gotta’ justify it. If ya pick ‘em all ... no muss, no fuss!"quipped managing editor Richard Stengel. In the wake of the controversial January 9th issue, Time also announced "a ton of average joes" walked away with such preferred trophies as the MVP, Heisman, Vezina and Gold Glove awards! In fact, an unidentified Time staffer let it be known the Vegas Vindicator made #27 on the published list of 26 "persons that mattered". Apparently, the venerable, traditional magazine was too busy covering the war, the NASA Discovery mission and of course, Vindy’s Picks, to identify a single winner, noting "Hey...we pressed the ‘Staples easy button’ and this was the result!". In fact, only the "second chance"given by Donald Trump to Miss USA Tara Conners prevented Time from making the whole country a "Tiara City"!

Vindy wants to thank all the folks at Time that voted for him (most of which were bookies who pocketed big dollars from bettors who relied on Vindy’s regular-season picks) and for the multitude of others! The Weber Kid can’t wait to see his name engraved on the trophies... alphabetically behind thousands of others...FINE! In the immortal words of South Park’s Eric Cartman..."Those bastards!"

Meanwhile, back in Sin City, the Weber Kid got off to an auspicious start, going 1-2 through the first trey, but rallied nicely to post a 6-2 record through the first eight and 8-4 through the first dozen games. A 1-4-1 stint crossing January 1st and 2nd left our prestigious prognosticator feelin’ like the red Rock ‘em Sock ‘Em robot in the latest Ford truck commercial and led Vindicator to quote Johnny Depp’s character in Pirates of the Carribean, uttering, "Oh, Bugger!" But The Vegas Vindicator went on to record a career-high 19 college bowl spread wins behind the SoMiss Golden Eagles and those National Champion Florida Gators! The Weber Kid finished with 4-0 flurry and (five of da’ last six) to show a final 19-12-1 tally, a whopping 61.29% against the number and his first winning bowl season record since ‘02 post-season’s 17-11.

BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS (brought to you by Cingular Wireless..."Stop the catbox...stop the catbox...")
In accordance with Macy’s desires to address safety concerns, Vindy’s Picks balloons flew at much lower altitudes during the Christmas Parade than in previous years!

The underdogs would go 16-14-1 (depending on whether or not ya had the Michigan/USC game as a pick ‘em at kickoff). Of the 16 covers, 9 were won outright by the doggie and the remaining seven covering ‘dogs lost by no more than three points each!

The Big Least took honors as the conference posting the most straight-up bowl victories at 5-0!

"A defense. Is there a defense in the house???!!" In a 24-hour span, the Gophers blew a 31-point 3rd quarter lead to Texas Tech, the Hokies tanked an 18-point halftime advantage to Joja’ and Vindy’s Nifty Lions escaped with a 129-111 hardwood victory over hoops juggernaut VMI!!!!!

Las Vegas Bowl concessionaires were disappointed with beer sales due to the influx of Mormon Cougars’ fans this year. Note to Pioneer and the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce reps....invite the Stanford mascot next year even if the Cardinal ain’t playing in the bowl! Meanwhile, the Ducks covered the number in at least one 15-drink chalk in the caffeinated-soda contest, Oregon covered easily as the Cougars mailed it in, electing to consume nothing but cans of Sprite and A&W root beer!

George Bush was busy handing out presidential pardons last month. Among those were....the Rice Owls for their dismal performance in 41-17 loss to Troy in the New Orleans Bowl!

Weber tips his helmet to his alma mater for toppling Tennessee as a 4-point ‘dog. By the way, Vindy’s Nifty Lions excel in the classroom too, standing 3rd among public institutions (behind only Kent State and Nebraska), 1st in the conference and 7th in Division I-A in football player graduation rate!

Speaking of Lions, Detroit ‘s coaching assistant Joe Cullen missed a recent game due to an arrest for taking his vehicle thru a Wendy’s drive-up natural. We’re guessin’ a finger wasn’t the body part he found in his chili!

Elsewhere in the sporting world of fast food, two employees of a Boise, Idaho ice rink got canned in November after taking a Zamboni thru the Burger King drive-up. Is it just a matter of time before we see the ad featuring the King skating circles around two opposing wings, hip-checking a defenseman into the boards and letting fly a twisted wrista’ to put a sausage, egg and cheese biscuit in da’ basket!????!!! By the way, Janet Gretsky already has money on the "Whoppers" laying a goal-and-a-half over the Taco Bell squad!

Vindicator recently learned the last college post-season game played outside America’s borders prior to this year’s International Bowl was the 1937 Bacardi Bowl, played in Cuba. Castro was still just a water-boy for the local military academy team back then!

Troy Smith was awarded the Heisman. The last Buckeye to hoist that trophy was Eddie George, who got the middle finger bent as it went thru airport security. So actually, Michael Vick was simply striking the Eddie George Heisman pose when he allegedly flipped off the crowd earlier this season!

Just another suggestion for UNLV’s out-of-conference scheduling for football...University of Cal-Santa Claus! Actually, the Rebels did, in fact, make the post-season twice....the 2000 Las Vegas Bowl and the 1994 Las Vegas Bowl.

The Donald nearly took away Miss USA’s crown for "scandalous behavior", but gave her a reprieve and stripped Texas Tech, who was behind by 31 in the 3rd quarter to the Gophers before rallying for an OT win, of its bowl trophy instead! Miss Nevada 2007 lost her crown for previous photos including kisses with other women. At least now she’s eligible to be a Carolina Panthers cheerleader! Woo-hoo!!!!

Stanford has hired former Bears QB Jim Harbaugh as head coach. The Cardinal may not win a PAC-10 title, but it will lead the NCAA in team rap songs, goofy headbands and aviator shades in the red zone!

Florida International hired Miami assistant Mario Cristobal, who immediately started talking trash and initiated a brawl with other Golden Panthers’ coaches!

Unidentified scientists working for America’s intelligence network got grants for "unspecified" research activities from Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte. In a related story, Vindicator enters the world of cloak-and-dagger himself and is establishing a covert scholarship to be awarded to unnamed athletes to go to undisclosed schools and play classified positions! (Hint: look for the players wearing "007" as a number and having no name sewn on the backs of their jerseys!). One more thing....Vindy likes his bookies "shaken, not stirred!"

In the first hundred hours of the 110th Congress, House Democrats hope to pass legislation....1) relegating the NFL’s Raiders and Lions to the WAC and MAC, respectively; 2) sending the Texans’ 2007 draft picks to teams that will actually use them wisely; 3) adding four more bowls so a whopping 60% of Division I-A squads can play in the post-season, including provisions to invite the I-AA champ, runner-up or other squads like North Dakota State, Montana State and UC-Davis, who beat bowl division teams in the regular season, 4) requiring Notre Dame to finish on Vindicator’s predicted side of the spread in any given week; and 5) requiring congressmen to spend time with the "Men of the Square Table" passing lotsa’ "Man Law!".

The NBA’s Jalen Rose hosted his second annual poetry contest. We’re told the winning submission included, "Jalen Roses are red, Jalen Roses are blue..."

NASA’s latest Discovery mission was successful and returned safely to Earth in December...well...almost safely. Astronaut and former Swedish national frisbee champ Christer Fuglesang brought one of the popular flying discs with him on the mission. Fellow American ‘naut Sunita Williams was last seen being swept into orbit around the moon after diving to catch an errant throw as the Discovery engaged in a game of Ultimate Frisbee against the International Space Station crew!

In a related story, scientists haven’t ruled out an off-target pass by Georgia Tech’s Reggie Ball or Chicago’s Rex Grossman as the cause of the "very low impact" detected on Discovery’s left wing! While neither player has copped to the damage, both admit to being outside the tackle box at the time of the incident! (However, Weber immediately exonerates Da’ Bears’ QB because Grossman’s throw would’ve been picked off by an astronaut from an opposing country before making contact with the vessel!) The NCAA also called upon the shuttle crew to conduct an unexpected space-walk around the outside of the Boise State team bus to herd the Broncos players back inside following their wild upset win over Oklahoma.

The Coast Guard recently dropped its Great Lakes firing-range plan. Damn...Vin was hopin’ for an "accidental" Tomahawk missile "sail-by" of South Bend!

In honor of one of Britney Spears’ post-divorce outings, Vin will sport a kilt and go "commando" during his next visit to the sportsbook!

According to the December 25th ish of Sports Illustrated, Steve Spurrier’s better half committed a secondary recruiting violation by sending personal, handwritten notes to families of players who signed up to play for him. Annnnd?!... We happen to know Mrs. Spurrier is the one throwin’ the visor behind closed doors!

Sports headline yer not gonna’ see anytime soon..."Art Shell To Take Over At Louisville; Hopes to Lure Moss, Harrington Back to College Ball"

This April, America will watch athletes dressed up as 50's "greasers" go through the rigors of the Combine and vote to decide which players go to which teams in the 2007 NFL Draft. NBC executives are calling it..."You’re the One That I Want"!!!

On Wednesday, January 9th, ESPN had the unmitigated gall to televise the 2006 U.S. Scrabble Open. Does a player get flagged if a tile falls off the board and is the first letter to be touched to create a new word? Does a tile in each hand moving simultaneously toward the board constitute "illegal motion"? Can a "blank" tile check in with the referee and line up on the rack as a "vowel-eligible"? (Does Vindicator need a serious increase in the dosage of his medication?!)

"Locked in A Box!": San Jose State secured a "lock" win early in the bowl season as the Spartans overcame horrible kick-coverage team play and a missed extra point in the first half to basically whack New Mexico, who got an intentional safety and a meaningless trash-time TD late in the game. Vindy’s lock picks go 10-5 (66.67%) on the year!

Vindy’s Season Best Bets: Bowls: 2-2 Season: 35-30-3 (.538) (but throw in Vin’s "lock" record and his preferred plays went 45-35-3 [.562])

Leftover Hash! Vindy empties the rest of the clip and presents items that didn’t find their way into this column earlier!

Johnny Depp stars as the director of an offshore sportsbook that takes all its bettors to the cleaners in "Pirates of the Caribbean Casino: Spread Man’s Chest"

A May issue of Sports Illustrated reported Sooners coach Bob Stoops joined Kelly Clarkson in a ride on an FA-18 Hornet jet. Stoops said he wanted to hurl, but then the pilot asked the inaugural American Idol winner to stop singing ....and Coach was fine!

In April, the Las Vegas Sun asked the question: "Who was better and why: Willie (Mays), Mickey (Mantle) or The Duke? Hands-down, we give that one to John Wayne, who would’ve said..."I’m not gonna’ hit it...I’m not gonna’ hit it...The Hell I’m not!!!"

Albertson High School in Montana cancelled its football season following a hazing incident in which a player was taped to the ceiling of a school bus. What’s da’ big deal??!!...Ticket-writers in Vegas tape Vindy to the sportsbook ceiling every August while they stand around mocking his preseason bowl predictions!

Steven Spielberg will help design the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics...can’t wait to see how he works in the ‘droids and dinosaurs! No doubt, the American team flag-bearer will be an Imperial Stormtrooper!

Last March, local sportswriter Joe Hawk wrote about the NFL clamping down on end zone celebrations and asked "You’re a defense attorney and you’ve just won a big case. Do you grab the judge’s gavel and make like Tiger Woods putting on No. 18 to claim the Masters? You’re a parent whose child just captured first place at the school science fair. Do you jump onstage, grab the big blue ribbon and pretend you’re thrusting it into the ground, like the U.S. troops planting the flag on Iwo Jima...?" We’re thinkin’ if those actions made the daily highlight reel on SportsCenter...damn right!

The San Diego Chargers held an August walk-thru on the deck of the USS Ronald Reagan. No word as to whether George Bush showed up in pads and a helmet to declare "practice accomplished"!

The American Basketball Association fielded a new expansion team this season..the Vermont Frost Heaves...Vermont Frost Heaves???.... isn’t that what ya get after too many frozen margaritas?

The website Emerald Nuts.Com allows fans to spell out phrases using each letter of its brand name to spell out bizarre sentences. Vindicator submitted "Eagles Make End Runs Around Lunging Ducks Nibbling Umpires To Score". (Then our fearless forecaster dropped another tab of acid!)

Just FYI, to get driving directions to the sportsbook, it’s "Vin Vin" not "Tom Tom"!

Vindicator will spend the off-season hibernating in the Bud Light bunker and whacking Guinness Stout pinatas while rubber floors are installed in Vindy’s above-ground residence to prevent breakage of glass-fragile picks next season!

Not to worry, the Sin City Soothsayer will return in August to draw up X’s and "Oh, nos!" for next year’s campaign.

Until then...the Weber Kid leaves all his readers with a traditional Irish bookie blessing..."May the road dog rise up to beat you!" (Somethin’ like that!)

The V-Train has left the station....!!!!