Thursday, January 07, 2021

Vindy's Picks '20-'21 National Championship Forecast

 Not a re-print, but a “lead story” we’ve had in our pocket since last Spring... 



BRONXVILLE, New York (AP)...With New England “on-the-clock" early in the second-round of the 2020 virtual NFL Draft, Bill Belichick temporarily made himself scarce, allowing his pet Alaskan Klee Kai, Nike, to park his four-legged furry-butt in Belichick’s chair. Unidentified-sources report the canine was about to trade-away the pick to an undisclosed-team for a box of Snausages dog-treats when Coach returned to his duty-station just in time and quickly-intervened, allowing the Pats to secure safety Kyle Dugger out of Lenoir-Rhyne University! BTW, the puppy-in-question will periodically don “The Hoodie” and send-in plays from the sidelines! Commissioner Roger Goodell, punch-drunk from too-much quarantine, babbled Dallas, before correcting himself, was to host this year’s draft and announcing Sin City, would in fact, sponsor said-event in 2022. 

Part II of da’ Bowl Predictions saw a nifty 4-1 result (41-42, .493) Vindy has gone 5-7-1 in championship predictions since 2008...4-4-1 against the spread and 1-3 portending the over/under. Consider yerselves duly-advised! We need a forecast-dubya to break even on the season, so...“Lord willin’ and da’ Phillip Rivers don’t rise”, we’ll end up the right side of... 


(Spending two minutes in the penalty-box for embellishment!)


MON. JAN. 11 



#1 Alabama vs. #3 Ohio State (“over 75 1/2”): Thank goodness! We were concerned that in a season full of irregularities, we were still gonna’ get the regularly-occurring match-up of ‘Bama-Clemson for the fourth time in six years here. Last meeting was a 2015 CFP semi, won 42-35 by the Tide. The SEC representative has been victorious 10 times since 2007, with the ACC taking the game twice and the Big Ten-Pin capturing the lone remaining season. Just a dozen teams have accounted for the 30 berths since 2006. We applaud receivers DeVonta Smith and Jaheel Billingsley fer some nifty catches versus the Irish (though in our opinion, Tuscaloosa Terrors got the benefit of some questionable officiating-calls early-on), but we’re havin’ some flowers and a box of chocolates delivered to St. Nick for Friday’s meltdown that allowed the Leprechauns to hit paydirt for only the second-time all game (see our “Black Shirt”-segment below). Pressure’s on ‘Bama, whose D can be had based on offensive-results by Florida and Ol’ Miss. Last time, we went against the Buckeyes in a CFP donnybrook (the aforementioned 2015 Sugar Bowl), who were down to a third-stringer behind center in only his second-start (Cardale Jones) and some other kid, at RB, named Ezekiel Elliott (maybe you’ve heard of him?), we paid the price. Justin Fields was a Heisman-candidate. Tide can be drawn into point-a-paloozas, even against not-so-offensively-efficient squads. On the other-hand, we’re not sure Columbus defense can contain MacGyver Jones (because he can manufacture a touchdown with just a paper-clip and a stick of chewing-gum) and his bevy of Heisman-quality compadres after State let Indiana put up 42 and the Alma Mater post 35. No compelling reason to think both sides can’t reach the forties...Port-Wine Wave 44 OSU 41 

2020-2021 BOWL RECAP 

Our Part II excellence put us at 6-4 (.600) for the bowls. Faves won SU in 18 of the 25 contests, but beat the line in just 13 of those 25. In fact, ‘dogs went 8-3 from New Year’s Eve forward. "Unders” cashed in 14 of the 25 and again excelled at 8-3 from New Year’s Eve to present. In matches featuring a pair of Top 25 squads or a ranked team vs. an unranked one, the higher ranked club went a measly 8-7 outright and a boring 7-8 ATS. By conference, the SEC led the way, winning 6 of its 8 tries and the Big 12 posted a perfect 5-0 tally, while the Anemic American Conference went 1-5, and CUSA combined with the Apathetic Coast Conference to go 0-fer-12! 


BTW, one of Vindy’s spies, covertly gaining entry to the Goodell residence, accidentally stumbled down the stairs into the commish’s basement and noticed the presence of retro items such as a Commodore 64 computer, bottle of Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific shampoo, several mood rings, a Cheryl Tiegs poster, a Walkman-radio and a VCR with a clock still flashing 12:00 AM! 

On a serious note, bowl-officials have agreed to push this melee out to a future-date should either team experience Coronavirus obstacles prior to kick-off. Frankly, we’d prefer to give the A&M Aggies a whirl should ‘Bama not be qualified! 

We expect the scoreboard-operator, on the OSU payroll, when Fleetwood Mac Jones is on the field, to queue-up lyrics from said-band's tune, asserting “You will never...move da’ chains (never...move da’ chains)!” 


As the result of the location change from Pasadena to AT&T Stadium in Arlington in the Lone Star State, the contest was temporarily renamed from the Rose Bowl to Da’ Texas Sage Bowl! (Fer what it’s worth, said purple-colored plant/flower adorns our landscape here in Vegas!) 

On the telly this week... a reality-TV show about a former ‘Bama OC-now-Texas OC and his family...”Keepin’ Up with Da’ Sarkisians”! 

On its current roster, Pachyderms have a wide-out named Drew Kobayashi. Buckeyes have extended an invitation to Bill Shatner to reprise his role as James T. Kirk on the OSU sideline for input should said-receiver find his way onto da field! Though, really, it’s the other-sideline wearin’ da’ red-unis! Personally, true-story, we’re partially color-blind, so we can’t determine what’s closer to red....crimson or scarlet??!! 

This season’s Heisman Trophy award was slightly-modified to include a mask over the figure’s nose and mouth, while a nine-roll package of toilet paper has replaced the rock being toted! 

If a Bro-Mance with a sports-ticket-writer comes to be, is it...BFF= Betting Friends Forever??!!


If a player gets a little over-aggressive on a teammate’s tax-return, is it considered an “illegal H&R Block in da’ back”?!


If a famous coffee-brand jingle meets special-teams, do we hear...”Da’ best part of linin’ field-goals in yer cup”!?


With training-camps open in anticipation of a mid-January start, professional hockey has announced each of the four newly-created divisions will have commercial-sponsors. May we suggest FBS college groupings do likewise, leading to such labels as the David Blum Brat-Pack-12 Conference, the Coppertone Sun Belt Conference and the SEC Presented by Piggly-Wiggly???!!! 

Wish We Had It Back: Yep, we saw it comin’...Buckeyes-Tigers “under 66”, noting the selection as...“Best guess fer ‘wish we had it back’”. 

Black Shirt: The exalted-ebony-undergarment goes to ‘Bama HC Nick Saban for drawing a late 4th Quarter unsportsmanlike-conduct flag with Notre Dame, down 31-7, driving ahead of its spread-win-clinching touchdown! Honorable-mention to West Virginia LB Josh Chandler-Semedo for interception at the Mountaineers’ 26 that stopped what coulda’ been a possible game-tying Army FG in regulation that could potentially have resulted in a 7-point push in OT by the ‘Eers in place of Da’ Soldiers’ (+7) "best-bet" win! 

Shoppe Talk: Adorning the walls and shelves of Ye Olde Taxidermy Shoppe for the entire off-season will be the Clemson Tigers, Miami Hurricanes and Oklahoma State Cowpokes, all at 1-5 (.166)! 

Vindy’s Bowl Predictions Part II Best Bets: 2-1 Bowl Season: 5-1 (.833) Season: 38-19 (.667) 


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

Last January, ex-Bayou Bengal Odell Beckham Jr. got investigated for handin’-off C-notes to LSU players following their CFP championship win. Likewise, Vindy was seen distributing Monopoly money and deeds to houses/hotels on Boardwalk, Park Place and other high-end properties to members of his preseason forecasting strategy team! 

Had Pete Rose done the voice of the always-heard-but-never-seen operations-chief in the crime-solving program featuring Farrah Fawcett, Jacqueline Smith and Kate Jackson, would the TV-series have been called “Charlie-Hustle's Angels”?! 

In the bad-pun department, if 

...Queen meets a football/basketball strategy, do we “see a little silhouetto of a man-to-man"-defense??!!! 

...a classic multi-sport star-athlete commercial campaign meets Game of Thrones, do we hear “Bo drinks and he knows things.” meets December 26, is it “Tackle-Boxing Day”????!!! 

...da’ Grinch bet on sports, would we hear... “If I can’t find a good line, I’ll make-up a spread”? If he was featured on an AC/DC hit-song about a certain conference, would the title be...Big Ten Grinch Record 

...a leading female-character in Grease meets a Michigan State college basketball coach, do we end up with...Tom Rizzo??!! 

...a Bill Murray flick about a repetitively-recurring event meets a yellow-hankie thrown vs. any given QB not outside the tackle-box, is it...”Intentional Grounding-Hog Day”???!!! meets a Discovery Channel reality TV-series, would it be...”Naked Bootleg and Afraid”!!!! meets da’ Rolling Stones, do we hear...”I see a red zone and I want to paint it black! students play QB, is there a silkscreen pass???!!! meets we hear..."Every curl-route's crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed man?! 

...a classic-episode of the “Brady Bunch” meets the Herd football team in Huntington, West Virginia, would we hear Jan say...”Marshall, Marshall, Marshall???!!!


...a former Dallas Cowboys QB and coach meets a movie about a mythological waterborne-journey in ancient Greece, is it...”Jason Garrett & the Argonauts”?! Clash of Da’ Tennessee Titans??!! 

...Donald Trump’s self-comparisons to Captain Bligh meet Carolina Panthers RB Mc Caffrey, do we hear “Mutinyyyyyyy, Mr. Christian???!!!”


...a famous brand of cat-food meets a prolific SF 49ers’ tight-end, is it...Kittles & Bits?!


What if any given seafood-restaurant’s “catch-of-the-day" was based on any given player’s pass-reception-of-the-day-in-question?! 

With a Marshall Mathers classic from 2000 getting a lot of air-time 20 years later, we ask...if Eminem turned a profit while sports-betting, would his AKA be “Slim Spready”???!! If he mimics the GOAT QB, is he “Slim Brady”??!!! 

Don't judge a sportsbook by its Cover-2! COVID-2?! 

Quoting poet Robert Frost- “Took the road-dog less-bet-on, I-formation…and that has made all the difference.” 

Back in May, given the potential for a Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield re-match at some point, books posted odds on the loss of Holyfield’s other ear! In related news, if Iron Mike starred in a long-running daytime soap-opera, would it be called... ”He Ate All My Children”??!! 

In February, during then -#19 Michigan’s basketball game at then-#23 Ohio State, CBS play-by-play commentator, Keith Harlan, noted Wolverines’ guard Eli Brooks’ dark protective-facemask “looks like he’s Batman”. Analyst Dan Bonner followed with, “Yes, he looks like a Marvel superhero.” Three words, Dan...”BAM! SOCK! POW! (as opposed to “Nok Su Kao” as chanted by Jean-Claude Van Damme fans during a certain fight-sequence of Kickboxer). Yo, Dan...Batman is part of the DC Universe, not Marvel! (Maybe that’s just the geek-beacon blazing on our forehead, but we weren’t able to simply let that go!)


Is it just us or does Bradley basketball coach, Brian Wardle, bear a striking-resemblance to Drew Carey or perhaps even...Chris Farley??!! 

Despite Coronavirus-related issues throughout the year, eliminating fans in the stands, multiple sporting-events were available on Toilet-Payper-View! (God bless, Pickleball!) 

Do these cleats make our butt-fumbles look big???!!! (Askin’ fer a friend.)


Several months after Delta Flight 89, shortly-following the world’s celebration of the New Year, while experiencing engine issues in the midst of going “wheels-up” from LAX unnecessarily-jettisoned fuel over a number of Los Angeles schools en route back to the airport, Vindicator’s preferred vessel of transport, Air Forecast One, baffled air-traffic-controllers at McCarron Airport by curiously dropping tons of weekly picks over several Sin City high schools. Officials said no students were actually-harmed during the incident, which is under further-investigation by the NTSB.


In April, Lori Loughlin was under-fire again when documents revealed the actress illegally-procured a bogus- Pickleball-scholarship for one of her daughters at one of the Sunshine State’s most-prestigious institutions-of-higher-learning. 

Had the NBA existed during the times of Game of Thrones, would there have been teams such as the Denver Dothraki-Screamers, Utah Unsullied or the Phoenix 24-Second Sons of the Harpy??!!!


In October 2019, Pope Francis inadvertently tweeted support for the Nawlins’ Saints...”Today, we give thanks to our Lord for our new #Saints. They walked by faith and now we invoke their intercission.”. The hometown-faves won 13-6 that day. Just wonderin’ if said-Catholic-leader had been at the helm in 2009-10 when the Louisiana Ice Gators were part of the Southern Professional Hockey League if he would’ve invoked their intermission???!!


In December 2019, the New England Patriots signed IFL trick-shot kicker Josh Gable to the practice-squad, leading us to flashback to a 1993 series of McDonald’s TV commercials featuring Washington’s Chip Lohmiller and Miami’s Pete Stoyanovich in a FG-contest that always involved the phrase “...Split the uprights!” 

Following CDC social-distancing guidelines, the NFL’s replay headquarters in New York has been moved to the remote-location of Tombstone, Arizona! 

Given the tendency to mash-up names of celeb partners, do we hear the...Cincinnati BurgalsBenrows?! Bengrows?!!  


In late November, the friendly-confines of da’ Seattle Seahawks was renamed to “Lumen Field” after years as CenturyLink Field. If it was us, we’d moniker da’ venue “Luminol Stadium”, so previously undetected blood-stains would appear under black-lights! Or even “Newman Field” after a certain postal-carrier character on Seinfeld?! 

During the NFL Combine and subsequent April Draft, Joe Burrow’s small fingers stood in at 9 inches, equal to da’ smallest digits among first-round quarterbacks since 2008. Burrow underwent an off-season training program designed to add more-length to his manual extremities! (We thought the Rack was abolished centuries-ago, but...) 

In the midst of the NFL Combine, ‘Bama QB Jalen Hurts asserted he “won’t change positions, I’m a quarterback.” Vindy eagerly-awaits the legal name-change to Hertz so he can sell rental-cars in his post-college experience after being a bust with da’ Iggles or following his trek as an NFL back-up journeyman! 

Ultimately, the 2020 NFL virtual Draft last Spring was accomplished with teams making selections from the confines of homes, hostels, AirBnBs, condos, campgrounds, trailer-parks, hotels and motels! In fact, “with da’ Motel Sixth-pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select...Justin Herbert...quarterback, Oregon.” Later on, we heard...”With the first-pick of the Motel Sixth-Round, the Cincinnati Bengals select...Hakeem Deniji...Offensive Tackle, Kansas.”


In March, Donald Trump asked Tom Brady for his input on the president’s response to the Coronavirus. Having recently become a member of the Buccaneers, the GOAT simply advised the POTUS to “send TP to TB”! 

During fan-less hockey games, the host-squad will designate a team-staffer to run around the rink and toss headgear onto the ice should a home-town player score a hat-trick! 

Women of a qualifying-age protested the National Hockey League’s skills-competition ahead of its annual All-Star game because one event featured Grandma’s best-China attached to specific-locations of da’ net to be eventually-shattered!


Stanley Cup Nashville Predators fans toss catfish on the ice. Likewise, Vindy's fans lob old-school Las Vegas shrimp-cocktails onto da' sportsbook floor! 

Last March, Britney Spears joked about claiming 5.97 seconds in the 100-meter dash, faster than Usain Bolt. Our response?...”Oops...Usain did it againnnnn. He ran with yer heart. Got lost in da’ Games!” 

Vindy’s declaring himself safe from this week’s Food Network episode of “Illegal-Chopped-Block"! 

In February, Vindy hung-out in L.A. as a highly-coveted Oscars seat-filler (after traversing the red-carpet zone!) before competing on the Food Network’s Girl-Scout Cookie Championship (finishin’ as runner-up after wowin’ the judges with our Shortbread-of-the-Marker creation!!) 

In June, it was revealed that Queen Elizabeth uses her handbag to send secret signals to her staff. If the purse is on one part of her arm, it means “meeting is going fine. Leave me alone.”. If she lowers it, it means ‘End this now. I want to go’. Vindy, in addition to college and NFL coaches, will employ similar communications throughout the forthcoming season!


And finally, as the season-clock mercifully-shows zeroes, we do our best Najee Harris-impersonation and hurdle the sportsbook-counter en route to honing our disco-ballroom-dancin’ skills ahead of the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, makin’ a cameo-appearance as a foodie-critic in Kitchen Stadium on Iron Chef American Athletic Conference and sharin’ La Vida Mas Fina with Snoop-Dogg, while leavin’ the loyal-readership with our annual Irish-blessing...”May da’ road-’dog rise up to beat you.” (Sumthin’ like that!) 

Until next August (we hope!)...Air Forecast One has gone wheels-up!