Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Vindy's 2012-13 Bowl Recap


In the wake of multiple consecutive national championships and nothing left for the SEC West to prove at the Football Bowl Subdivision, while fans of the AFC West clamor for more-competitive opportunities and fans of college conferences-not-named-the-“SEC” bored to tears watching a full-plethora of games get played each season only to see a certain elite group walk-away with the crystal every year, a deal has been made that will allow clubs like Alabama and LSU to play on Sundays while the Chiefs, Chargers and Raiders will take the gridiron on Saturdays to meet the likes of Kentucky, Tennessee and Vanderbilt, likely getting points in those contests!

About this time in 2012, South Korea sent five hot-air balloons carrying socks across the border to North Korea (and why players from the Major League Baseball franchises in Chicago and Boston were in the dirigibles is still a mystery!). As an added bonus, each pair of fuzzy footwear contained a premature-preview copy of…

(“It’s only weird if it doesn’t work!”)

Neither your prestigious prognosticator nor the bookies could gain any traction early, trading hay-makers to a 7-7 stale-mate through December 28th. However, an O-fer-5 on December 29th found us wandering around like Karl, the GEICO lion while the bookies were “happier than an antelope with night-vision goggles”. New Year’s Eve had yer substandard scryer at 9-14 (equal to the spread-funk the favorites were in at that time) when the ball dropped on 2012. However, the future appeared bright when Vindicator rebounded on the first day of 2013, hitting 4 of the 6 games on the slate. But the overall strategy had more holes than Bonnie and Clyde’s car and Vindy somehow enacted “Plan Beat me like a rented kicker” starting January 2nd, going 1-4-1 the rest of the way, cementing a sub-.500 bowl tally with Oregon’s cover vs. Kansas State . As is often the case, we fared a bit better against the totals, going 18-17 vs. totals we had at time of publication and 19-16 vs. game-day totals. Back-to-back ,Bama touchdowns on as many possessions to open the game in the wake of penalty-prone Irish, even before we consider a few poor officiating calls in those sequences, led us to quickly tune away from the BCS Title match and into Stanford-UCLA hoops in-between some nameless semi-scary movie on Chiller. Favorites covered 19 of the 35 bowls and covered 9 of the final 11, but dogs won 12 of their 16 covers outright (with three more straight-up losses by 3 points or less). The national championship “game”, for which we put money on 12 separate wagers and hit exactly none of them, simply punctuated a new bowl-season low at 14-20-1 (.412), sinking even lower than last season’s 15-20 (.428), and finalizing our 2012 season in toto with a very-forgettable 133-142-1 (.484).


How ‘bout we just have SEC squads play rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock in late August or early September and hand the national title to the team left standing.

BTW, even ‘Bama lineman Barrett Jones supports the concept that the SEC dynasty is becoming a bit passé, noting “Let’s be honest, people are probably getting tired of us.” (And FYI, with Boise State’s reversal-of-course to stay with da’ Mountain Jest, we think the Philly Eagles would fit-in nicely with da’ Big Least Conference!)

Despite the gridiron goose-egg on December 29, we did go 3-fer-3 on college hoops wagers that day, getting nice covers from Xavier (+7, who lost by just 4 to Tennessee), Oakland (-4, who pounded IUPUI) and Valpo (+7, who upset Murray State and looks like a Sweet 16 team come March! [Ya heard it here first, Sportsfans!]).

Seminoles WR Rashad Greene was quoted as saying he “could probably find Illinois…I don’t really know where the town (hometown of opponent Northern Illinois) is. Actually, I don’t even know the town.” Meanwhile, Injuns’ QB EJ Manuel admitted “I thought it was in Chicago.” Northern Illinois, after 31-10 defeat, now wears a Sun-Life-Alert Stadium pendant…”Help…I’ve fallen…and I can’t reach the first-down stripe….” Apparently, the same folks who stood-in fer ‘Noles players during online Music History classes also completed U.S Geography courses on behalf of the team as well! And given State’s 31-10 romp, the ‘Noles still can’t find NIU on a map!

A verbal dust-up occurred between officials from Northern Illinois and da’ Orange Bowl, who swapped a few unkind sentiments about the BCS-bowl-worthiness of the Huskies. Maybe we’ve seen the beginning of an ongoing rivalry. Okay, it ain’t Michigan-Ohio State proportions or ‘Bama-Auburn or Kentucky-Louisville fans-and-fellow dialysis patients, who threw-down over the annual hoops contests…or even a recent Boehner-Reid encounter? But maybe somebody at Miami Gardens should be on-guard for somebody tryin’ to poison a grouping of beloved oak trees or whatever grows in south Florida (Hey, all we know about plants and trees and such is that the USS Botany Bay once carried inmates to a prison colony as noted in Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan! But we digress). Just sayin’!

BTW, any Miss America candidate, in town as we speak for this year’s pageant, that can find DeKalb, Illinois in an atlas…or on a paper-mache globe…or simply knows that city is the hometown of NIU…regardless of her ability to sing, dance or swallow flamin’ down-markers…gets our vote! (Come to think of it….so does any wanna-be tiara-wearer that wins her respective weight-class in the World Series of Beer Pong, happening concurrently in Vegas too!)

December saw Ozzy Osbourne get an airport named after him in his hometown. We offer a few more suggestions for that moniker-changing event in the old stompin’-grounds…Ryan Leaf Municipal Runway (Great Falls, Montana), Charlie Hustle International (Cincinnati, Ohio) and what would San Francisco, California be without…OJ Simpson-Hertz Airport??!! “This is Al Cowlings, yer pilot. We’ve reached a cruising-speed of 35 miles per hour and I’m turning off the seat-belt sign…”

A new year means a new season of End-Zone Dance Moms on Lifetime! Boo-yahhhh! (Maybe that shoulda’ been…”Honey-Boo-boo-yaaahhhh!”

Leo DiCaprio reportedly rang in the New Year first with his main-squeeze in Sydney, Australia then hopped a 13 1/2-hour flight to Sin City in time to watch da’ ball drop on da’ Strip! Oh sure, but can he pull-off a similar trick next December 31st starting in Connecticut and ending up in Ft. Worth, Texas (or maybe San Diego?!) covering the expanded Big East, to usher-in 2014??? (Does QANTAS even have a flight from Storrs to Dallas????!!! Repeat after us…”Four minutes to Wapner.”)

Not long after the NY Jets’ season came to a merciful end, Rex Ryan was spotted sporting a tattoo of a woman, bearing resemblance to his wife, wearing a #6 Mark Sanchez jersey while seemingly crouching like Timmy Tea Tree. Vindy’s spies say Rex got his body-art at a discount in Columbus, Ohio in exchange for some autographed uniforms, but we’re more interested in acquiring an enhanced photo of the woman’s feet before deciding if she’s actually Mrs. Ryan!

We told the cable guy recently that we were interested in recording shows. Thought he replied with somethin’ about “Tebowing” programs. He gave us a curious look when we responded that we wanted somethin’ closer to “Dexter” and “Game of Thrones” than Jets football and the “PTL Club”!

On da’ Silver Screen this week in theatres across the nation (outside of Minnesota, that is)…Adrian Peterson stars in a re-make of “Da’ Whole Nine Yards”!!!!

Twelve candidates made Lake Superior State’s semi-official 38th annual List of Words to be Banned from da’ Queen’s English fer Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness, includin’ “fiscal cliff, “spoiler alert” and “bucket list”. Upon further review by officials in the booth, “Vindy’s Picks” makes it a baker’s dozen!

Kickin’ off 2013, yer odorous oracle discovered a link between himself and…Arnold Schwarzenegger. Both of us have driven a tank. Vindicator piloted an M60A3 and an M1A1 during his stint in Uncle Sam’s Army, while the body-builder-actor-Gubbernator gives rides to inner-city kids in his own personal M47-Patton, just like the one he drove at age 18 in the Austrian army! The difference? Yer putrid pontificator never bench-pressed said-armored-vehicle in preparation for the Mr. Universe competition! (But for the Seinfeld aficionados out there…we make like Izzy Mandelbaum … ”It’s go-time!”)

It’s a damn-good thing the NHL season is back on (albeit the short version). Poor underpaid players relying on minor-league salaries in this dismal economy were bouncing hip-checks!

Black Shirt: None of the Part III picks players were worthy, but…we offer the highly-coveted undergarment retroactively to BYU LB Kyle Van Noy for returning a pair of turnovers (one fumble, one INT) by San Diego State for touchdowns in the Poinsettia Bowl last month.

“Wish I Had That One Back”: Yup, grudgingly to the end as we went to press with our Part I picks, we resisted the urge to reverse our Ball State +7 over Central Florida call. Redbirds went down hard, losing 38-17.

“Locked in a Box?”: The last time Kent State made the post-season, Paul McCartney & Wings were atop the Billboard 100 with Silly Love Songs and notable tunage included Wild Cherry’s Play That Funky Music and A Fifth of Beethoven by Walter Murray and the Big Apple Band, while Henry Winkler was tearin’ up prime-time TV as Da’ Fonz on “Happy Days”! Kent players donned helmets bearing glaring eagle eyes on the front, but given the 17-13 loss to the Sun Belt’s Arkansas State (including a scoreless 4th Quarter vs. a squad that yielded an average of about 23 ppg before factoring-in the 99 combined points allowed to Oregon and Nebraska), Kent coulda’ used a little more flash and a little less lash! We had the MAC squad at +4, which as a push, closes out a “lock” season that saw a disappointingly-high number of our top picks miss their mark, at 4-10-1 (.286).

Shoppe Talk: Sadly, our 2012 “Good Hands” award winner Oklahoma did us wrong. Meanwhile,Weber-Friendlies Clemson, LSU and, as noted above, Notre Dame, also turned-coat. Not surprisingly, Suckin’ Place twins UCLA and West Virginia stuck us with forecast losses. Ironically, Grill-Master Supreme award-winner USC and Dishonorable Mention club Florida State finished on the predicted side of the number.

Vindy’s Bowl Best Bets: Parts II (December 29 forward) & III: 2-4 Bowl Season: 5-5 Season: 41-37-1 (.526)

LEFTOVER HASH (Yes, we know that’s redundant. Vindicator now conducts the annual “emptying of the clip” and expends all the stuff he had in the arsenal throughout the season that didn’t previously find its way into the forecast…until now.). Over the past year or so, we’ve contemplated the following (in no particular order)…

RG III wore vibrant blue socks bearing Superman’s “S” logo while accepting the 2011 Heisman Trophy. ESPN did not run the pic, but there was a lovely photo, taken by Jimmy Olsen, in the Daily Planet the next day. Given the curse of said-award, we predicted somebody named Lex Luthor or packin’ Kryptonite in his (her?) uniform would show up every Sunday to kick Griffin’s butt! It’s too bad it happened in the wild-card round.

The Big 12 announced new commish Bob Bowlsby. Gotta’ love it when the conference chief’s name includes a reference to the post-season!

The morning after Floyd Mayweather was released from the Clark County jail, the Las Vegas Review-Journal ran a headline proclaiming “Records show Mayweather not listed as inmate”. Did Top Gun’s Colonel Jessup make those documents disappear too???!!!

Sly Stallone opened his “Rocky” musical in Germany. Toughest part was teaching the aging star to say “Cut me, Mick!” in the local language! And while we’re on the topic…if Lionel Ritchie had played Apollo Creed or Clubber Lang in Rocky III, would the theme song have been All Night Long instead of Eye of the Tiger???!!!

Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Sweeney expressed the desire to allow teams to face other teams in scrimmages/spring practices. Why not???!!! MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL and college hoops teams play “exhibition” games! Those other “futbol” guys play “friendlies”.

If a pretzel company becomes an official sponsor of the NCAA Tournament or the NBA, would we see ads for “Pick-and-Rold Gold”?

2012 was also the Chinese Year of the Dragon. Didn’t quite pan out for Drexel’s men’s hoops squad, but the year ain’t over yet. Also perhaps, it bodes well for the UAB Blazers!

Charles Tillman took exception last summer to his daughter’s math word-problem homework that was disparaging to Da’ Bears chances of knocking off the Packers. BTW, Chuck…23-10 + 21-13 losses to the opponents-in-question = a spot on the couch as other clubs make their way thru the NFL Playoffs!

The NFL led the way among sports groups with more than $1.6M spent in 2011 on internal lobbyists and outside lobby shops. In addition to other things, the NFL concentrated on the FAA’s reauthorization for use of drones in U.S. airspace (unmanned aircraft did fly over Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis as the NY Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl).

With Joe Montana looking on in Sin City, a young man asked his girlfriend to marry him. She accepted, but there’s no word to-date from the bride-to-be as to whether or not she thinks she got “Da’ Catch”!!!!!

In addition to its other difficulties this season, there were allegations that Saints GM Mickey Loomis’ reportedly listened in on opposing coaches’ radio communications. Vindy’s spies, however, confirmed Loomis was actually tuned-in to Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 countdown broadcast on game-days!

Tom Brady apologized after saying hotels in Buffalo are “not the nicest places in the world”. He suggested he should’ve picked a “non-NFL city”. Ummm…Des Moines, Denton, Biloxi, Newark???!!!

The NFL banned British pop legend Gary Glitter, whose Rock and Roll Part II was used by the New England Patriots to celebrate touchdowns, after the singer was found guilty of possession of child porn. We heard the Pats are replacing the celebratory tune with Michael Jackson’s “Bad”!!!

Kelly Clarkson sang the national anthem at the 2012 Super Bowl. Anybody else see the irony in having the Star-Spangled Banner performed by “Miss Independent”????!!!

Boston Bruins net-minder Tim Thomas announced a one-year sabbatical. Hey, if we was bein’ stalked by that crazy cabbie-chick from the Discover Card commercial, we’d join the witness protection program for a while too!

Gordie Howe hat-trick?...A goal, an assist and a fight. Vindicator hat-trick?..A win, a loss and an ejection from the sportsbook).

To help simulate pressure, Buckeyes kicker Drew Basil practiced a FG with 3100 State fans and all his teammates watching…from 10-feet away. Vin did likewise…flying in those same 3100 OSU fans and the whole Buckeyes gridiron squad…to watch him bet games in the sportsbook!

The Summer Games gold-medal awardees get their pictures on covers of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. We think the folks who place last in their respective competitions should not end-up emptied-handed and be provided a spot in a trading-card series in specially-marked packages. Included, of course, would be a selection of foil chase-cards, featuring the athletes who were expelled, dismissed or otherwise left da’ Olympic building (“Collect All 23!”). Perhaps, value-menu combos from Chick-fil-A would be a better venue for that last group of athletes! Maybe Fleer or Topps would take up the mantle for said-venture! In addition, maybe each NFL Draft’s “Mr. Irrelevant” could adorn the cover or at least, backside cover of the subsequently-offered Madden (whatever-year) video game!

We think there should be Olympics swag akin to the bowl swag provided at college football post-season venues (as opposed to WAGS, which is the term used by paparazzi and gossip mags referring to players’ “wives and girlfriends”)

The whole family of a NASA scientist living his life on Martian time, in which a “day” lasts 39 minutes 35 seconds longer than an Earth “day”, switched over to the same schedule. Meanwhile, Vindy has a thing for Maureen McCormick and prefers to make his picks on “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!” time! Unfortunately, we were on the wrong side of the Beat Da’ Bradys Bowl!

While other sponsors have reduced or withdrawn their support of Vindy’s alma mater, Pepsi continues to hold its ground for the Nifty Lions. We therefore submit that “PSU” now stands for “Pepsi State University”!

New Lions head coach Bill O’Brien reportedly wasn’t enamored with the heavy metal tunes blaring across Beaver Stadium during practice. The former New England Patriots coach, who wanted a fast-moving pace considered switching to “Boston” instead! (We figure Dueling-Banjos might’ve upset the locals).

The alma mater finished the 2011 season at #33 in the final AP Poll…one place in front of Virginia, one place behind FCS champion North Dakota State!

A Stockholm reporter accidentally found himself viewing, via some binoculars, England’s defensive practices vs. corners and free-kicks and reported that to the Swedes 2012 Euro Cup team. Bill Belechick wouldn’t return our calls!

Texas is planning to erect a statue of former Longhorns RB Ricky Williams. We’re just wondering if the bronze rendering will include a bong or a joint. Maybe part of it will be obscured by a metallic cloud of smoke???

UNLV players found their insignia emblazoned on fan-apparel alongside characters from the Marvel universe, courtesy of a deal with Russell Athletic. We couldn’t wait to see the appropriate letters in conjunction with pics of the Vision, Ant-Man and the Scarlet Witch! Don’t know who those folks are???!!! Funny…the MWC all-conference player selection-committee had the same problem while glancing at this year’s Rebels roster! And given the Rebels’ third-straight two-win outing, Mystery Men (Invisible Boy and The Spleen, in particular) mighta’ been a better affiliation!

University of Sin City coach Bobby Hauck proclaimed his expectations for da’ 2013 season as six wins and a bowl berth, to which we say “Win one for the Stripper!”

In related news…USC is already holding try-outs for next season’s inflatable cheerleader squad!

A FG-try by a fan at halftime of the UNLV-New Mexico tilt, which, if successful, woulda’ got free buffet passes at the South Point Hotel & Casino resort for all the spectators in the stands that day, was called as good by KLUC DJ Chet Buchanan. Upon further review the attempt was ruled as a miss and the fans in the stands (both of ‘em!) went home empty-handed. The local disc-jockey, however, bought himself a job as an replacement-referee!

McCarran Airport officials got chided in August for the backlog and delays in customs-processing at the new Terminal 3. This is what happens when ya use replacement customs agents while a labor dispute is underway. There is a plan in place however to move things along by herding customs agents into the locker-room at halftime, allowing international passengers to move freely during the intermission, at least until more folks can be hired at the Las Vegas air-travel hub.

U.S. Women’s soccer meets Toby Keith…“Red Hope Solo Cup”???

(In a mighty-rare occurrence, we even had an unused Lead Story)…INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (MSNBC)…The Big Tenement passed on the option of allowing the conference commish the authority to send team coaches packin’, claiming no one person, alone, should wield that kind of power, but recently did a one-eighty on that decision and instead, that ability has been yielded to…the Vegas Vindicator! The new commissioner proclaimed, “Coaches on the hot seat for failing to win games outright? Pishawww! If they tally a winning ATS record in conference play or for Vindicator, all is well…contract-extensions all around! Pile up victories, but lose money for bettors…gone!” Second choice for the spot was “Campaign” co-star Zach Galifianakis, but officials were impressed with the Weber Kid’s tour-of-duty leading a crack squad of NYPD’s finest patrolmen in policing da’ size of patrons’ soda cups in the Big Apple. Acquiring the position allows Vindicator to “scratch another one off da’ bucket list”. The famous forecaster ended the news-conference announcing his appointment with a Stallone quote from Judge Dredd, quipping, “I am da’ Law!”

A July cyber-attack vs. Iranian nuke sites led to AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” being played loudly while facility computers were taken down. There are future plans to attack the same targets with a virus containing Vindy’s Picks and tunes from Weird Al Yankovic, Eddie Murphy, Justin Bieber and Bill Shatner!

Making this week’s NY Times Best-Seller list….the neurotic adventures of yer humble host being dealt from team-to-team, half-a-hundred times in…”Fitty Trades of Tay”!!!

And with that, Sportsfans…we leave you, until August, with our traditional Irish blessing…”May the road ‘dog rise up to beat you.” (Somethin’ like that!)

Air Forecast One has gone “wheels up”!