Thursday, January 15, 2015

Vindy's Picks 2014-15 Bowl Recap

ARLINGTON, Texas (CNN)…The College Football Playoff has agreed to foot the bill for travel expenses incurred by up to two family members per player who attend the National Championship game, to a maximum of $1250 each. Following that announcement, an anonymous pilot snickered, saying, “Just twelve-fitty?! On our airlines, that’d buy the plane ticket, one trip to da’ potty, half-a-can of Coke, a pillowcase and a defective oxygen mask falling in the event of sudden-loss of altitude!” The charitable move, however, comes with some caveats.  Passengers must fly QANTAS or Lufthansa and endure multiple changeovers in Melbourne, London, Toronto and Mexico City before settling into hotel accommodations at Motel 6. The small print also suggests they’ll “leave the light on for ya” but that’s not included in the reimbursement!

Meanwhile back in Vegas…even Ickey Woods won’t celebrate…

(Relying on North Korean proxy servers to hide its true identity!)
We finished the season the same way we started it…poorly. Bowl picks record…2-2 in Part I, 2-4 in Part II (which included Penn State punishing this disloyal alum, winning outright by takin’ it to Da’ House That Ruth Buzzi Built vs. Boston College) and 0-fer-5 in Part III ahead of the contest for the crown. Tack on the wrong side-selection in the championship game and the final tally is 4-12 (.250). Layin’ 6 ½ with Oregon, the Ducks effortlessly took the opening possession deftly down the field, despite a pair of near-fumbles, to score a touchdown, making us look like a genius and led to the silver “feathers” on Oregon’s helmets eliciting images of Dexter’s kill-knives or at least Freddy Krueger’s weapons-of-choice. But by halftime, the Mallards receiving-corps would drop several passes and the D was unable to stop the Buckeyes’ ground game, leaving the Quack Attack down 11 and their headgear logos more-reminiscent of a 5-year-old’s hand-traced turkey template! When the game ended, the Drakes’ vaunted “tempo” turned out to be little more than a watered-down “tempera” paint-job. BTW, the Lions basketball  team piled-on, losing twice as small faves at Rutgers and in Happy Valley vs. Michigan after we put money down backin’ the Alma Mater in both of those contests! PSU did however cover +7 in a 3-point loss at Indiana this week, which coupled with Virginia Tech’s 15-point defeat at Louisville as a 22-point ‘dog allowed us to cash another hoops parlay. If yer scorin’ at home, the underdogs went 24-15 ATS for the bowl season, winning 21 outright, not unlike last year’s 18-17 ATS, with 16 SU victories. After being made the underdog 11 times in as many bowls, including Ohio State +6 (+5 ½ at some ‘books around town) in the championship game, went 6-5 straight up, covering 7 of ‘em! Also as mentioned, the SEC was 14-7 SU coming into this postseason, but went just 2-2, with Wisconsin avenging its early loss to LSU by beating Auburn in OT and Missouri getting payback for a defeat by Indiana, knocking off Minnesota (along with OSU’s win over ‘Bama and Tennessee’s victory vs. Iowa).

(The preferred reading-material of Aaron Wroggers and alleged-assassin/former Kurt Busch squeeze Patricia Driscoll!)

After notchin’ the semi-final triumph vs. the Crimson Bridesmaid, Urban Meyer vowed to get a tattoo if his guys won the title. Inquiring minds wanna’ know what design he’s getting done and more-importantly, the location of said tramp-stamp. Given the talent on the OSU roster, Coach could end up lookin’ like Robert DeNiro’s “Max Cady” from Cape Fear by the end of the decade!
A classic James Bond flick meets the college football postseason in “Bowled-finger” (featuring an evil henchman named “Odds-Job”!)

In a reference back to last week’s lead story about M&Ms…if fans find specially-marked free-throw mix packages devoid of any candy-pieces bearing hoops symbols or team logos, will they chant “Airrrrr balllll….airrrrrrrrr… ballllllllll…airrrrrrr balllllllll……”?!
BTW, Hans und Franz wanted to replace Aaron Rodgers with Vindy! They may want to rethink that as our fab forecaster rehearsed…Vindy wants to pump you up. Vindy wants to pump you up. Vindy wants to pump you up.

A late 4th Quarter penalty vs. the Ravens flashed on the TV screen as “Block in the Back- 36 Miles”. “36 Miles” was, in fact, simply the uni number and last name of the offending player, but we initially thought that after the yardage was marked off, down-and-distance for Baltimore was gonna’ be…1st-and-Cape Cod!

It had been suggested that a key to the Dallas Cowboys’ post-season success was team-stretching via use of ballerina bars (those long rails in front of mirrors, as featured in such film-classics as “Saturday Night Fever”). While “America’s Team” thrived early based on “Romo & Juliet* and Don Quixote’s “Lineman of La Mancha”, ultimately, they ended up in Green Bay with…”The Nutcracker”!
Serena Williams credits a recent comeback in a tennis match after dropping the initial 6-zip to courtside cup o’ Joe during a break. Given the multitude of crazy rallies during the bowls, we think baristas covertly changed the beverage in the Gatorade buckets to from the sports-drink to Starbucks java!

We predict, in a rare #1 seed vs. #2 seed match-up, the Patriots will upend the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX
We also think that on February 2, Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow, portending 6 more weeks ‘til March Madness!

We caught the following Reuters headline in an edition of the Las Review Review-Journal earlier last month… ”Sweeping changes in store for Olympics”, but enough about the curling events! BTW, the South Point Casino is leading the charge to get the Nevada Gaming Control Board to approve betting on Olympic events. If the change is approved, Vindy’s gonna’ be first-in-line to place a futures wager on the Columbian women’s hockey team to bring home da’ gold!
LEFTOVER HASH (Yes, we know it’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.)

Football meets a certain improv-comedy show…”Whose Offensive Linemen Is It Anyway?!”
In August, Syracuse got the label of #1 party-school in the U.S by The Princeton Review. “Orange is Da’ New Jack Daniels Black???!!!”

Katy Perry has been tabbed to do the halftime show of 2015 Super Bowl and will be joined by Robin Thicke for a rousing version of “Blurred Lines of Scrimmage”. The underdog, will, of course, request “Dark Horse”…and one of the two teams involved will end up singing “The One That Got Away”! If she breaks into “Last Friday Night”, will we hear her say “I think we passed, but I forgot…”?
This summer, Chad Johnson debuted with his new team in CFL…the Montreal Alouettes. “Chad Ontario Cinco”??!

ESPN sportscaster Dick Vitale was spotted at one of Elton John’s gigs in April at Caesar’s Palace. Sensing a waning in the headliner’s performance, Dickie V quipped…”better call a *T.O*, Blue-jean babiiiiiiiiiiiiie!”
On April 23, 2014, venerable Wrigley Field turned 100, which was also the Vegas over/under on number of games Da’ Cubbies would put in the loss-column this past season!

Sin City hopes to eventually build a downtown arena that will be home to a Major League Soccer club. We think “Vegas Vuvuzela Horns” has a nice ring!
Uruguay star striker Luis Suarez said “I lost my balance” as the excuse for biting the shoulder of Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during World Cup play in June. Third time he’s been penalized for biting. Vindy offered a similar reason for biting his bookie following Week One’s disaster! We’re wonderin’ if Suarez trains with…Mike Tyson???!! Does he get a pre-match meal???!!

Mid-November saw the District of Columbia host the National Championship of Lady Arm Wrestlers. For fans of a certain Sly Stallone film…had the event been held here in Vegas, we suspect it woulda’ billed as “Over the Topless”!
A snowflake failed to morph into an Olympic ring during the Winter Games opening ceremonies in February. Similarly, Vindy’s Picks failed to materialize at the beginning of the 2014 season! (It was supposed to mutate into a giant parlay card!)

BTW, the Sochi Games unveiled the debut of “team figure skating”. We’d been more likely to tune-in had it been “tag-team” figure skating!
“Don’t just visit Vindy’s Picks…Visit Tripadvisor Vindy’s Picks!”

Lake Superior State University (a projected #16 seed in the upcoming 2015 NCAA Tournament….NOT!) released its 40th annual list of words that should be banned from da’ Queen’s English “for overuse, misuse and general uselessness”. Among the terms-in-question are…”curated” (which we think was actually a misspelling of “carotid” [as in artery] or CURAD [what’s the beef with ouchless-bandaids???!!!]), “takeaway” (Really?! Somebody objects to references to turnovers?!), “swag” (known by tabloid-reading fans of “the beautiful game” around the globe as an acronym for “soccer wives and girlfriends” and as slang for gifts given to college football postseason players by bowl game sponsors), “hack” (Basketball fans unite! Who didn’t love a broadcast-commentary about “Hack-A-Shaq” or at least “da’ hoop and da’ hack”!?) and maybe closest to home…some sports team-hyphenated “nation” reference???!!! Being perfectly-honest, we have never uttered or typed “Vindy-Nation”….but we’re grateful to those of you who might have!!!!
Despite the 2014-15 campaign results, we plan to return next season with our regular full-blown format, so with all apologies to Meghan Trainor, sing it with us….”Because we’re all about dat’ Tays, ‘bout dat’ Tays…no trouble… we’re all about dat’ Tays, ‘bout dat’ Tays…no trouble … we’re all about dat’ Tays, ‘bout dat’ Tays…no trouble… we’re all about dat’ Tays, Tays, Tays, Tays..…we’re bringin’ Vindy baaaaaaaack!!” (Still better than bein’ all about da’ taze!). Or if ya remember a diminutive Boston College QB well-known for a famous Hail Mary touchdown… ”We’re bringin’ Flutie baaaaaaaaaaaaack!”

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”!




Thursday, January 08, 2015

Vindy's Picks 2014-15 National Championship Prediction

MC LEAN, Virginia (Reuters)…The M&Ms gimmick package, known as the “touchdown mix”, showcasing the traditional M-symbol surrounded by footballs, goal-posts and helmets, and can be customized to show logos and names of 32 NFL teams, became so popular that fans have petitioned the company into doing something similar for college hoops. The candy giant is planning a “free-throw mix”, featuring basketballs, backboards and three-point arcs, including a special 2015 NCAA Tournament edition. While employees are currently developing proto-types of the candy bearing emblems of all 351 Division I-A men’s basketball squads, the real challenge comes on Selection Sunday. Staff will be on standby as the brackets are announced to add teams’ respective seeds for the 68 clubs that make it, then separate those into the special limited-time only bags, because after-all, the “M’s” in M&Ms actually stand for “March Madness”!

                                                    (Featuring some science and a little…Kentucky windage!)
#3 Oregon (-6 ½) over #5 Ohio State (75): Under the now-defunct Bowl Concubine Series, Da’ Seminoles, as the only regular-season undefeated Power Five conference team would likely be facing one-loss ‘Bama for the crown, while the Ducks and Buckeyes would’ve already played in the Rose Bowl. But both the Tide and FSU have been dismissed. Buckeyes carryin’ the banner fer the Big Tempura, but a State victory would change the conference moniker to Bling Ten! Somewhere in da’ City of Brotherly Love, former Drakes coach Chip Kelly is smiling at the success of a program he helped to become prominent. Ducks continue to go fer two on opening TDs, which makes us crazy and shouts “arrogance” (or what the talkin’ heads call “swagger”!). From a more objective view, it says “if we’re successful, pressure’s on you and even if we fail on the two-point conversion, we also have enough belief in our team that we’ll still out-score yer a$$!” History doesn’t favor either side, as collectively, the two contestants have failed to secure a victory in their last three combined trips to the title match (Buckeyes lost following the 2006 and 2007 campaigns by double-digits, while Oregon lost 22-19 to Auburn after the 2010 season). Both also represent their conference’s most-recent opportunity to win it all. We’re just happy we ain’t watchin’ yet-another game for the whole enchilada includin’ one or more SEC teams! Shaun King of Yahoo Sports said following State’s defeat of Alabama…”Urban Meyer pulled a rabbit out of his hat.” We’re not convinced that a hat was the location from which Coach extracted said-bunny. In fact, we think Meyer is fresh outta’ hares and headgear! A 3rd-string QB, who’s done naught but led his squad past Wisconsin and the Tide, takes on Oregon’s Heisman-winner. Ducks will have to slow OSU’s running-threat and carry-on the “bend-but-don’t-break” philosophy on D. Buckeyes need to avoid penalties and burn clock. Jones has to continue just managing the game as he has been (4 passing TDs, 1 INT, no lost fumbles, 70% completion rate vs. Wisconsin, 51% vs. ‘Bama). Money comin’ in hot on the “over” (opened 71 ½, now 75), though 4 of the last 6 went “under” the total and just 2 of the last 12 have equaled or exceeded this number. In fact, the other 10 weren’t even in grenade-range of this total. Two of the last 4 were decided by 3 points, while 6 of the last 8 were decided by double-digits. Title game favorites have won 6 of the last 7, covering 5 of ‘em. We seriously wanna’ go with our conference-allegiance and let the B1G 10 freak-flag fly, but…Donald & Friends 43 Brutus 31

BTW, rumor has it MARS, the parent-company of M&Ms, plans to take a page from the old 1970’s and 1980’s trading-card marketing strategy by implementing foil-embossed and hologram “chase” pieces with images of players, coaches and cheerleaders as collectors’ items. In addition, each piece will contain part of a scene on the backside and will form a picture of The Partridge Family’s David Cassidy if ya line ‘em up altogether right! Collect ‘em all!!!
Asked about his prediction for the big game, Sir Mix-A-Lot said…“I like..big…ducks and I cannot liiiiie… baaaaaby… got… quaaaaaack!”

Nebraska was one of the few bright spots for us since bowl season began, almost upsetting USC in the Nazgul University Holiday Bowl!
The Florida State band played Beyonce’s “Single-Ladies” at halftime of da’ Rose Bowl. ‘Noles were down just five at the break, but it was “all da’ Seminole ladies” that took the field in the second half! And State liked it so much, they put a bathtub ring on it!!!

Happy Nude Year?! Given the success of 2014’s Discovery Channel’s “Naked and Afraid”, TLC’s “Buying Naked”, VH1’s “Dating Naked”….in 2015, Vindy’s gonna’ debut …“Pickin’ Nekkid”!
On the big-screen, or at least on Netflix and pay TV,…(for a limited-audience only)…the CIA enlists a couple of idiots to pick-off a pass by Kim Jong Un in…“The Interceptionview!”…

In the days leading up to Christmas, a man claiming to be Kris Kringle worked the sportsbook at the Westgate Las Vegas casino resort, formerly the LVH (AKA Las Vegas Hilton), but directed bettors to other casinos if they had a better line, saying it was all about winning enough money to get the presents that made the kids happy! Impact was so great, Westgate, subsequently known as “da’ sportsbook with a heart”, seriously-increased its patronage! The Santa-wannabe (might-be???!!!)  even spoke Dutch to re-route a tourist from Holland who spoke no English to a more-beneficial casino!
BTW when Vindy thought about you, he touched his elf!

Tune-in one last time a couple days following completion of the National Title game for our final Bowl Recap and leftover “hash”!