Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Vindy's 2023 Championship Week "Between Da' Hashmarks"

                                 NETWORK CAVES, ALTERS “DANCE CARD” PROGRAMMING 

NEW YORK, New York (BBC)...As viewing audiences clamor for something outside the usual 30-minute announcement of pairings on the “NCAA Tournament Selection Show”, starting in 2024, CBS will instead have Greg Gumbel et al provide something akin to a “gender reveal” format, employing balloons, pinatas, smoke bombs, skywriting aircraft, cake slices, etc., admittedly doubling air-time, to unveil seedings and combinations. While the broadcast will center around network headquarters in the Big Apple, the initial clashes will be told via telecasts from across various college towns across the nation. Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, the Sin City Soothsayer’s petition to switch sports and help announce the basketball couplings was rejected with a definitive “Not ‘no’, but ‘Hell, no’!by network officials!  

On the coattails of a third 1-4 outing in a row for the first five (24-37-3, .393) and 1-3 “bent bets”, unable to make any positive progress, we’ve made a command decision, albeit a bittersweet one, to shut down the Picks for the rest of the year...and prolly the ‘24 campaign as well. Following Marie Kondo’s philosophy, we note that picking up our forecast on Sunday mornings no longer “sparks joy”. Maybe it’s just a really bad season or maybe we’re burned out and have lost the edge after doing the predictions in one format or another for about 30 years. We thank the longtime readers for your loyalty and extend our apologies to the newcomers. Having declared that, we do hope to publish the usual “lead stories” and items we typically include in our “Between Da’ Hashmarks” segments on a weekly basis. Set yer DVR. 

Gratefully, a small whiff of Bat-Gas and our humble host forgot all about Bruce Wayne’s secret-identity (Oh, wait...Vindy’s Batman!), the color of Alfred’s Justice League adult-diapers and how he, himself, arrived at... 


BTW, just to add a little more mystery (and security against hackers lookin’ to prematurely expose all of the field-of-68), during the airing, a designated disinterested party will draw 2 cards at a time from a deck of 8 to determine the First Four combinations (which could potentially lead to #11 seeds facing #16 seeds on that initial Tuesday and Wednesday!) 

Honoring one of our fave folk-singers, John Prine, we sing…"Dear Abby, Dear cleats are too long. My coach hollers at me and my routes are all wrong. Every ball that they throw me, I know I should catch, but when I get down-field, I turn and just wretch. Siiii-iiiii-gned...Pass-Dropper.” “Pass-Dropper, Pass-Dropper, you have no complaint. You are whatchu’ are and you ain’t whatchuain’t. So listen up, Rookie and pay me some mind. Stop wishin’ fer bad luck and ridin’ the pine. Siiiiii-iiiiii-gned, Dear Abby!” More lyrics next week. 

Best wishes to the hometown heroes Rebels, who, despite being unsuccessful in the finale at San Josie State, get to entertain Boise State at Allegiant Stadium in Sin City this Saturday for the Frownin’ Guest Conference title. UNLV hasn’t defeated the Broncos outright in 43 years! For those contemplatinplunkin’ down a few Euros on the game, Boise is –2 ½ as we go to press, but UNLV is in a three-way tie ATS at 10-2 with Arizona and (GASP!) the New Mexico State Aggies (who also show a “push”). Congrats to Barry Odom for garnering the first MWC Coach of ‘Da Year honors from UNLV in 25 seasons! 

Taylor Swift was obligated to perform in San Paulo, so Travis Kelce was reportedly “alone with KFC on Thanksgiving”. The Colonel Sanders vendor took advantage of a marketing ploy thereafter, offering a seafood-based limited-time “Kelce First-Down Catch of Da’ Day” sammich, honoring the “lonely” Chiefs tight-end! More thoughts on this next week.   

There’s a fair possibility that recently-inked Joe Flacco, second-oldest active QB in the league (age 38, bridesmaid only to the venerable Aaron Rodgers, age 39) will start on Sunday for the Cleveland Browns if injured Dorian Thompson-Robinson can’t go. The halftime show will include footage of the former University of Delaware product filling out his AARP application. More on this next week.  

While perusing the scores from Sunday’s college hoops games, we noticed a team called “Notre Dame of Maryland”. We wonder if there’s a banner between the locker room and da’ hardwood that players touch on their way to the court that reads, “Post-Up Like a Terrapin Today”!!!!! Folks in South Bend did not immediately return calls for comment. 

If a prestigious hockey trophy meets a well-known ice cream dessert, do we hear, “What wouldja’ do fer a Conn Smythe bar??!!” 

All apologies to Paul Simon and Chevy Chase....sing it with us...”If you’ll be my parlay card, I can be yer lonnnng …lost... pallll. I can call you “Bettor”.Bettor when you call me, you can calllllll...meeeeeee...Allllllllll”. 


BEST WEEKLY EFFORT: We managed a rare above .500 result in Week Four, tallying 4-1 (.800). 

WORST WEAKLY EFFORT: The bookies brought the house (literally) on an all-out blitz in Week 8, sending us to an 0-5 finish! 

WEBER-FRIENDLIES: (best percentage on predicted side of da’ spread/total minimum 4 at-bats in the picks): A tie for da’ All-State “Yer in Good Hands” Award between the Tarheels of North Carolina and ironically, the Wolverines of Michigan, both at 3-1 (.750).   

FLAME-THROWERS: (worst percentage on predicted side of da’ spread/total, minimum 4 at-bats in the picks): a tie for da’ Grill-Master Supreme “Award” goes to Kansas and the Magnolias of Ole Miss, sharing da’ shame at 0-4 (.000) each, while “Suckin’ Place” is split between da’ ‘Noles of Florida State and da’ Happy Valley Nitwits of Penn State, both at 1-3 (.250). “Dishonorable Mention” to the Short-Ribs of Texas at 1-4 (.200)! Meanwhile, not enuff plate-appearances, but we’ll be watchin’(maybe)...Joja’ (0-3, .000)! 

Black Shirt: This week’s “magnificent midriff” goes to Michigan DL Mason Graham for drawing a defensive holding penalty that set-up Ohio State at 1st-and-goal and an eventual Buckeyes’ touchdown. Honorable Mention to “Maserati Marv” Harrison Jr. for his early 4th Quarter 14-yard scoring catch, finally boosting the total “over 46 ½" for our lone forecast dubya. 

“Locked in a Box”: Last Week: 0-1 Season: 5-8 (.384) 

Shoppe Talk: Joining the season-long parade of stuffed trophies on wall-plaques...the Spooners of Oklahoma (0-3 slide, .000) and the Kentucky Wildcats (0-4 skid, .000)! 

Vindy’s Best Bets: Last Week: 1-3 Season: 20-34 (.370)  

Cresting on da’ horizon (not recommended because, as we learned in the military, “What can be seen, can be hit. What can be hit can be killed.”)...our annual musings on Army-Navy!