Monday, March 31, 2008

This Explains the YouTube Underwear Odyssey

A little over a month ago I posted something called There's Nothing Quite Like the YouTube Odyssey. I know you don't care, but I thought it was one of the funnier things I'd ever written. Plus, it was relatable. That is, I assumed it was relatable. Craig and I had a conversation that night about how no matter what you search for on YouTube you will eventually end up seeing a video of girls dancing in their underpants. This had been our experience every time we'd ever been to YouTube. We, evidently, are not like the rest of the world.

Long story short, I asked for reader response and didn't get much in return. The rest of the story is explained in our latest podcast, which is cleverly titled "this explains the youtube underwear odyssey." Other things heard on the podcast: why we prefer paparazzi-style websites as opposed to hardcore pornography.

Go listen. Tell your friends.

And the words regarding Stephen Curry are coming Tuesday. My goal is to beat Bill Simmons to the punch, because I have a strange feeling we're going to share similar views of my latest man crush and I don't want to be accused of plagiarizing.

-Brad Spieser (

Hi, Hello and Welcome: Part Five

George Grande, while interviewing Reds owner Bob Castellini, had this to say while talking about all the dead people connected to the Reds organization.

"There are special on the field, special people off the field, and all of those we talk about. But more importantly, special off the field."

(Note: This wasn't taken out of context to make Grande look like an idiot. This was a complete thought. Castellini spoke, Grande said this bullshit, and then Castellini spoke.)

-Brad Spieser (

Baseball Here. Reds Awesome. Me Excited. Jeff Brantley Annoying.

With First Pitch just hours away I can barely sit still or keep a thought in my head. I am Ellis Redding. Which, I guess, means Aaron Harang is Andy Dufresne.

But anyway, baseball is here. And I gots me some thoughts on my Redlegs (in no order whatsoever, which is the same as saying no particular order, but this makes me different. Which makes me hip. Somehow).

1. Edinson Volquez outshines Johnny Cueto; both make me consider becoming a gay.

Not since Scott Williamson (the 99-00 version) have the Reds possessed such a prolific strikeout pitcher. Aaron Harang strikes out a good number of hitters. In fact, he led the league in K's in '06. Bronson Arroyo has fanned an average of 170 batters over the past two seasons. In the words of Bud Kilmer, "That's really not bad, boy." Johnny Cueto, I suspect, will be about as productive as Harang and Arroyo have been striking out opposing hitters. Maybe even more. Who knows?

But Volquez...

Volquez has the stuff to throw up the occasional 13-strikeout game. And by "stuff," what I mean is Volquez has a crippling changeup. As good as you'll ever see, actually. Does this mean Volquez is as good as Johan Santana? Obviously not. Do I think Volquez will have Trevor Hoffman's career? I ain't that dumb. BUT...when Volquez's changeup is working it's as dirty a pitch as there is in baseball. And if he learns to spot his fastball, sky's the limit...

2. Edwin Encarnacion craps (as opposed to getting off the pot. Yes, this is a good thing.)

I really think Encarnacion will finally put together a complete season. Regardless, it's officially now or never for this guy. I've made 8 billion excuses for him for the past two seasons, but it's time for him to grow up and stop worrying so much. Third Base is all yours, fella, and you have a manager in your corner. This is what you've been asking for, now show me you can drive in 90 runs while playing solid D. Really, that's all were asking.

3. Brandon Phillips and Aaron Harang have really good years, but don't match last season.

It can't all be great news.

4. Franky Cordero scares the living hell out of me on more occasions than a $10-million-per-year closer should.

But he still gets the job done better than David Weathers ever could.

5. Jared Burton gets his head kicked in this year.

Just a hunch. But...

6. Josh Roenicke makes his way to the bigs. And stays.

Anyone watch his St. Patty's Day performance against (I think) Tampa? He's has back-end-of-the-bullpen stuff.

7. Bill Bray will be the best lefty in the bullpen.

He's up by the end of April. Watch.

8. Alex Gonzalez is out longer than we expected. Jeff Keppinger's hitting .312 with a buttload of doubles when Gonzalez gets healthy. Talk show hosts wet themselves when they think about the ideas for the next day's show.

Nobody can predict a longer rehab stint than me. By the way, doesn't "compression fracture of the knee" just sound bad? I mean, how can that only be a 2-4 week injury?

9. Todd Coffey will still be a head case.

Listen, whether the guy is in better shape or not (and he's still pretty fat), is this somebody you'd ever want in a tight situation? Didn't think so.

10. Juan Castro will make me wonder why the Reds cut Jorge Cantu.

Defensive replacements are stupid. Dirt cheap, perfectly healthy 25-year-olds with a 117 RBI season on their baseball card are not. Question: Is Juan Castro the luckiest man on the planet?

11. Corey Patterson will be decent for a month.

What's funny about Patterson is that nobody thinks he's worth a crap because Jay Bruce is waiting in the wings. And yet Brandon Phillips and Josh Hamilton are living proof that sometimes an elite athlete has to face adversity a few times before they put it together. That said, can we just bring up Jay Bruce already. This Patterson guy is a bum.

12. Joey Votto hits .310. But in less than 300 at-bats. Scott Hatteberg drives in 7 runs

Me want to stab Dusty Baker.

13. Bounce back year for Bronson Arroyo.

The worst kept secret in Redsland last season was Bronson Arroyo's midseason arm injury. Sure, nothing was ever confirmed, but it seemed quite clear that the man was battling some sort of injury following his 129-pitch outing versus San Diego in mid-May. Over his next four starts Arroyo allowed 26 earned runs in 17.2 innings. Was it a coincidence that four of his five worst starts were in succession? Maybe, but probably not. The whispers were pretty damn loud.

Injury or not, Arroyo still finished the season with a 4.23 ERA. Not bad at all. Plus, for the second consecutive year--and contrary to popular belief--the long-haired goof finished strong. In his last 11 starts (spanning 69.2 innings), Arroyo went 5-3 with a 3.23 ERA. Which means...let's sing it together, people...the National League hasn't caught up to Bronson Arroyo.

14. I make fun of Dusty Baker's grammar about 750 times before the end of May. Baker doesn't care.

Say what you want about the man, but he does it his way, which is refreshing when you consider the turds who have been in his position this decade.

15. Reds win more than 78 games.

They better, considering I called the bookie last night and wagered money on such a thing. (For the record, I also took the over of the Rockies win total, which is 83.) Really though, I see the Reds as an 85-87 win team. I see them competing to the end in the wide open NL Central. Maybe they win, maybe not. But it should be a three-horse race between the Reds, Brewers and Cubs.

One final prediction...

16. Jeff Brantley describes called strikes as "rrrrrrrright dowwwwn brrrroadway" somewhere around 100 percent of the time. I want to hang myself.

Anyone who says they enjoy his play-by-play is either (a.) lying, or (b.) stupid. It's as simple as that. The man gets paid to speak for a living and his vocabulary consists of about thirty words. As for his analysis, it's okay I suppose, but it seems to me that he's trying to be edgy and outspoken like Marty, as opposed to just being himself. I watched Brantley while he was on ESPN and I can't remember him ever being a controversial guy...can you?

Besides that, go Reds and whatnot!

(By the way, I'm going to try my hand at in-game blogging for Opening Day. I'll provide little or no analysis, of course, but I will make fun of George Grande as much as possible. Giddy up!)

-Brad Spieser (

Sunday, March 30, 2008

What Would You Do For a Million Dollars?

Craig apparently knows what women think about during alone time. It may or may not have anything to do with the handsome devil pictured above. To find out for sure listen to the podcast titled "the thought of dating brad pitt."

-Brad Spieser (

Michael Stipe...Gay, But Awesome? Maybe

Did you realize R.E.M. still knows how to make a pop hit? It's true...

-Brad Spieser (

Friday, March 28, 2008

Put a Shirt on, Lady!

Craig is on his way over for a podcasting session. I can't be too sure, but I think we'll discuss the absurd trend of pregnant celebrities taking off their clothes for magazine shoots.

When and how did this become socially acceptable?

And who finds this attractive?

As for my Friday night Sweet 16 lock...

I'm taking the OVER (144) of Kansas-Villanova. I'd give a lengthy breakdown, but that didn't work out so well Thursday. I'll just say this: Villanova will probably get murdered, but their only chance is to play fast and nail a ton of threes. Luckily, Jay Wright knows these things. Perhaps Tony Bennett could learn a thing or two from Nova's head coach.

-Brad Spieser (

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thursday Lock: Washington State-North Carolina

Truth be told, I don't see a bunch of easy winners out there for Thursday's Sweet 16 games. Yeah, it seems like Louisville will handle Tennessee--especially since Chris Lofton had some sort of random leg surgery this week--but you never know. I also think XU-West Virginia could turn into a 78-76 mini-shootout--which would go way over the total of 136--but I don't love it. You're still talking about Xavier, who can throw multiple bodies at Joe Alexander, versus a Bob Huggins team; a slugfest is entirely possible. As for Western Kentucky-UCLA, these games often turn into blowouts, but a 12-point spread is a lot of points for the Sweet 16 round.

Proceed with caution.

There is one game I do like, however, and that is the over of Washington State-North Carolina, which is currently 141.

North Carolina, obviously, is playing offensive basketball at a very high level (you can thank there best player, lightning-quick PG Ty Lawson, finally getting healthy). Even when Danny Green and Wayne Ellington aren't hitting from long range, the Heels still score a ton of points. And I know I'm not telling you something you don't already know, but more possessions equal more points, and Roy Williams wants to run and run and run. And run some more. Throw in the fact that Tyler Hansbrough is the ultimate college garbage man, and you have a team who can put up 80 points with ease, 90 points on a good night, and 100 points when they're hitting on all cylinders.

But what about Washington State, and their penchant to play ugly 61-56 games?

I'll just say this: The Cougars play those games by choice, not out of necessity. This isn't like Wisconsin, who has doesn't have the weapons to play games in the high 70's, or a mid-major team with without size, depth or a legitimate go-to guy. Nope, Washington State has all those things. Well, kind of, but close enough. Either way, they have a three-guard lineup of PG Taylor Rochestie, SG Derrick Low and G/F Kyle Weaver, who--in my opinion--are much better suited for an up-tempo game. Not like Carolina, of course, but just because WSU prefers to slow it down doesn't mean they can't score in transition. I mean, have you seen Derrick Low play? He does just fine in half-court offense, but he was born to play on a run-and-gun style team, chucking one-on-three 25-footers. How he didn't end up at Oregon, Washington or Gonzaga is beyond me.

But anyway...the reason I bring this up is because you're going to hear over and over from talking heads about how this game comes down to controlling tempo. Well let me tell you a little secret: North Carolina's break is relentless, and it slows down for nobody. Which means that, as much as WSU won't want to, they'll (at times) get caught up in the speed of the game and start chucking long ones. They may not be the Tarheels, but Wazzu is at least somewhat equipped to swap baskets with North Carolina. If North Carolina is a shoe-in for 80 points, I don't see how Washington State doesn't get their 60-plus.

Something else to consider: End-of-game fouling. Remember, this is the NCAA tournament, and many of the guys on the floor (especially for Wash. St., the expected losing team) are playing their last game as amateurs. They don't want to go home; they can't stand the fact that it's over. This means that they will foul and foul and foul in the final minute, just hoping for a miracle. As much as end-of-game fouling occurs during the regular season, it increases dramatically during the tourney, just ask any bettor. (Note: this is assuming the game is within the 10-12 point range, which I think it will be.)

For the past two years I've watched maybe twenty Washington Sate games (thank God for late night Thursday hoops on FSN. Yakka!) and I couldn't shake the feeling that Derrick Low had a special tournament moment in him. It wouldn't shock me at all if he had something like six first half threes while leading his team to a two-point halftime lead. But...I really don't think they have the firepower to beat the Heels, although I expect WSU to keep it close for 35 minutes.

Prediction: UNC 81, WSU 73.

-Brad Spieser (

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Snake Pops His Podcast Cherry!

You see that white guy up there? That's Craig's younger brother The Snake. No shit, that's him. He occasionally gets mentioned on the podcast, but now you get to hear his voice on our podcast titled "conversation about hgh between craig and the snake." Craig called The Snake immediately following our recording of "the snake takes hgh," and--honestly--I can't believe this guy is even related to a college educated radio guy like Craig. At best, The Snake is nearly impossible to understand. At worst? He may as well be Charlie Brown's teacher. Either way, it's a good time trying to figure out what the hell he's saying.

Please listen. I'll give you sixteen dollars if you can tell me word for word what The Snake says beginning at the 1:09 mark.

(Note for podcast listeners: When The Snake refers to "the stuff," he's talking about HGH.)

Long live The Snake.

-Brad Spieser (

Two Old Guys Yelling at Each Other! (Exclamation Point)

I'm 99.3 percent sure that this video has been viewed by approximately 80 trillion people, but whatever. I have six rules in life, and one of them is to always post video of old people yelling at each other on live television. Enjoy...

And after one inning of play the Anchor leads the Reporter by a score of 1-0.

I don't know about you, but I'd like to have a beverage or nine with that guy.

-Brad Spieser (

The Power of the Sit-Down Shower

Good reason to listen to "the snake takes hgh," our latest podcast:

Craig compares himself to a post-rape Elisabeth Shue in Leaving Las Vegas. Excited?

-Brad Spieser (

The Reds are Officially NOT Flying Under the Radar

I'm starting to worry. The Reds are receiving more offseason attention than they have since Griffey's arrival in 2000. Ordinarily I would think this is great but if Buster Olney (and his blogging brethren) continue to call them a "darkhorse" or a "sleeper," they cease being just that. I want my Reds to be good. I need them to be good. I placed American dollars on the Reds winning more than 78 games this season and I don't need Buster Olney screwing it up.

Based on the shot in the arm given by Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto, Buster Olney called the Reds the "kings of spring"


The usual suspects come out of spring training as favorites to win this year: The Red Sox, the Indians, the Yankees, the Cubs, the Mets, etc. But if you were to look at what has occurred in spring training strictly through the lens of what teams needed to accomplish, the best spring may have belonged to the Cincinnati Reds.

Sure, shortstop Alex Gonzalez got hurt and first baseman Joey Votto did not have a good spring in his effort to win an everyday job. But if the Reds are to have a chance to contend in the NL Central, they have to identify starting pitching, and some options emerged for them in Florida: the hard-throwing Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto, as well as veteran Josh Fogg, who was picked up after the Reds' camp opened.

Volquez and Cueto may struggle -- and Cueto had a rough time in his last start -- but at least new manager Dusty Baker can feel as if he has some options.

-Brad Spieser (

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hi, Hello and Welcome: Part Four

Jesus, I'm trying to take a nap and George Grande won't stop telling me how special everyone is. Latest example:

"And the one thing that you could really notice in the last couple of years, not just on the field with the likes of a Drew Stubbs, or Chris Valaika, Jay Bruce or Paul Janish--people like that--they're just...not just good athletes, good ballplayers, but quality too. Quality off the field."

What in the hell does that even mean, George? What, does Chris Valaika volunteer at the soup kitchen or something?

Again, if I tried to pull this crap people would stop going to this website before I could say Anbesol. But George Grande? He's apparently untouchable. This idiot has been calling Reds games on my TV since I was in freaking grade school. Which means he's very rich.

I can't wait to hold this bozo accountable for the next six months.

-Brad Spieser (

Hi, Hello and Welcome: Part Three

Okay, I just watched a little more of Monday's Reds-Blue Jays broadcast on FSN (I TiVo'd it) and here's what George Grande had to say about Reds reliever--and multimillionaire--David Weathers:

"He's the best. The Reds are so fortunate to have him. And it's great to watch, not just David Weathers on the mound but David Weathers in the clubhouse, too. He's a supporter of his teammates and wherever the bell rang, whether it's 6,7,8 or 9, he was ready. And he will be again this year."

Let me get this straight, David Weathers roots for his teammates and is willing to pitch whenever he's asked? What a special guy. He'd probably play for free...

This season is going to be awesome.

-Brad Spieser (

Hi, Hello and Welcome: Part Deux

I wasn't able to view much of the Reds-Blue Jays match Monday. This is because I was busy. Doing stuff and whatnot.

But anyway, I was able to see George Grande drop a "6-4-yesiree-3" on us.


Also, he butchered Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune's last name the way I used to when I was eight-years-old. Instead of pronouncing it "Por-Tune," he pronounced it "Por-chin," as if it rhymed with fortune.


-Brad Spieser (

In Reponse to the Previous Post

Actual email I received regarding the news that Wikipedia has a page for fingering:

Yeah, Wikipedia is awesome. Not just because there is a page on fingering, but also because of the links on the fingering page. If you want to learn about important issues like the G Spot, female ejaculation, or even The Shocker, you are only a click away. Also, I just learned what a finger cot is. If you don't know, check it out. Do people actually carry these things around thinking "I might finger some anonymous girl tonight and I need protection?" Thanks TwinKilling. You are like 60 Minutes only more relevant, hard hitting, and with fewer geriatrics.

Mike S.


Thanks. I'm glad to know my website can contribute to the betterment of your life! In the meantime, go ahead and listen to "the kids with beards have all the fun," our podcast that inspired Craig's discovery on Wikipedia.

If you're feeling frisky, you can also check out the newest podcast, "give me your money." This can be helpful if you've ever wondered if you're a bad tipper. (Note: You probably are.)

-Brad Spieser (

Monday, March 24, 2008

And Wikipedia's Awesomeness Continues to Grow

I just received the following bit of useful information from Craig (via telephone):

"Did you know that Wikipedia has a page for fingering?"

Just checked. He's right.

Whoever thinks the good old days were better is an idiot.

-Brad Spieser (

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Gambling is Awesome. Gambling Hurts Feelings.

Come Sunday night/Monday morning I'll revisit the first weekend of the tourney, including my mostly accurate predictions. (Note: I'll probably sidestep the stuff I missed on and accentuate my pre-tourney thoughts on Pitt, Eric Gordon and Dominic James).

Even though I went 1-5 against the spread Saturday, I was still able to sleep easy last night. This is because (a.) I was drunk, (b.) my XU-Purdue lock came through easily, (c.) my record remains respectable at 8-6 and (d.) I was drunk.

There's an old adage in gambling circles that I'm a little too familiar with in situations like this:

There's always tomorrow.

But anyway, the Sunday locks (in order of start time)...

Texas (-6.5) vs. Miami

Butler-Tennessee OVER (139.5) (Note: This is my lock of the day, peoples's. Trust me. We might see sixty attempted three-pointers in this sucker.)

Arkansas-North Carolina OVER (158)

Keep the change, you filthy animals.

-Brad Spieser (

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saturday Locks! Saturday Locks!

Before the tournament started, I mentioned--among other things--Stanford being my lock of the first round. It hit. Easily. I feel smart.

My smartness didn't end there.

Probably like you, I have friends who travel to Vegas every March. Maybe like you, these friends ask me for my locks in the NCAA tournament. I love this. I love living vicariously through my gambling people, especially since I'm no longer an active bettor. But anyway, this year I've been on fire.

Thursday night I ended up 3-0. After Stanford hit, I gave my buddy Fletch the over of USC-Kansas State and the same for Arizona-West Virginia.

As for Friday, I gave Fletch Butler and Georgetown before dinner and the St Joes-Oklahoma over immediately after. The late session saw me split the pair: I accurately called the Memphis-UT Arlington over, but Boise State came up three-and-a-half points short for me.

7-1 against the spread for the first round. Take that, Jim Feist.

Instead of standing pat and bragging from now until eternity over my .875 winning percentage, I'm releasing my second round picks to the world.

Saturday picks (in order of start time)...

1. West Virginia-Duke OVER (148) (Note: Joe Alexander gets healthy on whoever guards him.)

2. Purdue-Xavier OVER (132) (Note: This is my lock of the day. I see both teams scoring in the 70's. First team to 75 might triumph.)

3. Notre Dame (+2.5) vs. Washington State (Note: White guys are prevalent.)

4. Stanford (-2.5) vs. Marquette (Note: Stanford is a really good team from the best conference. For whatever reason they flew under the radar all season. Marquette doesn't have a shot Saturday unless they get bloody hot from long range.)

5. Kansas-UNLV OVER (135.5) (Note: Kansas will score 80+; UNLV should be able to touch the mid-50's.)

6. UCLA (-10) vs. Texas A&M (Note: This is one of those games where you see a big conference team as a double digit underdog and you might back away from wagering on the best team in the country. No worries...UCLA rolls, 72-52.

That's all for now. Hope I'm smart in ten hours.

-Brad Spieser (

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Nine Things To Watch During March Madness

1. Pitt has no shot of even sniffing the Final Four, much less winning the whole damn thing. (Did the picture fool you?)

Shortly after the pairings were announced, my Dad told me he had Pitt winning it all. I told him he was nuts. Shortly after that, Bob Knight was on my television agreeing with the Dad. What? Ok, they had a great run in the Big East Tournament, I get it. But don't they always do that? Or something close to that? Pitt's a nice team, and they play hard and I like Jamie Dixon, but you need NBA talent to win six straight in March. Like all other years, Pitt has a bunch of scrappers but no elite level talent. Sam Young is a nice player; he'll play in the NBA one day, but he's not a go-to guy. DeJuan Blair is a burly 6-7 freshman PF with stupid-long arms. He too has a chance to make it to the league one day, but he won't dominate the NCAA tournament.

Jump off the Pitt bandwagon immediately.

2. I'm looking for the following players to improve their draft stock with their performances in March: Louisville SG/SF Terrance Williams, Kansas PG Sherron Collins and West Virginia SF Joe Alexander.

Terrance Williams isn't even in Chad Ford's Top 100 (a Top 100 that somehow includes UNC's Danny Green), which is only the most ridiculous thing I've discovered this morning. He's a super athlete who defends like crazy and happens to be the best passing wingman in the country. How is this not a draftable player, Mr. Ford?

Sherron Collins--hands down--is my favorite PG to watch. He's like Dee Brown, but better (note: Illinois' Dee Brown, not the guy who won the dunk contest). Chad Ford has him as the 58th best prospect for the 2008 draft, which places him in the late 2nd-to undrafted category. No way. 5'11 or not, Collins is a 1st rounder. Watch.

Joe Alexander, when healthy, has been quite awesome this season. He took things to another level down the stretch for West Virginia, with a bunch of 30+ scoring efforts. He is the perfect small forward in terms of build and ability to score in multiple ways; he can post you up, take you outside or beat you off the bounce. He might not have Rudy Gay's athleticism (who does?), but he's in that next tier athletically. Chad Ford has him rated as the 74th overall prospect. I don't see how he's not a lottery pick.

3. Stanford (-14.5) vs. Cornell is the lock of the first round. Lock it. Cornell will have a difficult time scoring 50 points, and Stanford coach Trent Johnson won't take this game lightly. I could be crazy, but I think Johnson's recent history as a successful mid-major coach will prevent Stanford from cruising to an 11-point victory. Stanford rolls, 71-40.

4. Please God, allow Notre Dame and Washington State to win their first round games. If so, they play each other in the second round, and you know what that means, right? It means that white guys will be taking over, if only for two short hours. Seriously though, when was the last time you've seen two really good teams from BCS conferences throw out four and five whities at once? It can happen. It will happen.

5. If OJ Mayo is making his threes, USC will make the Final Four. If I were a Wisconsin player, USC is the last team I'd want to play in round two.

6. Broken record time: UCLA will cruise into the semifinals. Just because everyone else is saying it doesn't mean it ain't true. For the record, I have the Bruins knocking off Kansas in the finals.

7. Indiana's Eric Gordon will not carry his team anywhere. Unlike the fellas I mentioned earlier, Gordon is a guy who will see his stock drop. To me, he's DaJuan Wagner with a jumper. He doesn't have the bounce in his step that you need to play SG in the NBA. Sure, he'll stick in the league, but you can forget about him averaging anything more than about 12 ppg in any one season at the next level.

8. Notre Dame's Luke Harangody will get the best of UNC's Tyler Hansborough in the Sweet 16. This is assuming (a.) their teams will face each other, and (b.) Harangody and Hansborough will actually guard each other. Who knows? Either way, I can't wait for someone to expose Hansborough. Oh wait, I almost forgot, USC's Taj Gibson exposed "Psycho T" in last year's tourney.

9. I'm looking forward to watching Marquette's Dominic James continue on his path to the Belgian B-League. Jesus, that guy's a head case. He hasn't plateaued since his freshman year, he's gotten much worse.

No more words. Leave me alone, I have me some tacos to eat.

-Brad Spieser (

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Home Video of the Baylor Celebration

St. Patty's Day is awesome. But everything that surrounds it is not exactly conducive to updating a fledgling website. It screws you up the night before (because you need to get to bed at a decent hour if you're going to wake up at 6:30 for an all day booze-fest), it screws you up the day of (because you're too busy drinking and antagonizing Dylan Klebold disciples up in Clifton) and it screws you up the day after (because your face still hurts after slamming umpteen car bombs). Life is good. Life kinda sucks.

And I mention this not just asking for your pity but to remind you that I promise to give you my predictions for the NCAA tournament. In the meantime, I have a video that you must watch. If you're anything like me, you thought the best part of the CBS Selection Show was Baylor's reaction to their at-large selection. I don't know if CBS purposely announced Baylor's tourney bid last, but if they did...well done.

About an hour after Baylor's name popped up on my TV, I scoured YouTube for CBS' video of the scene at Baylor. No dice. Hours later I was preparing for my whiskey-soaked holiday and forgetting about this site. Fast forward to nine minutes ago and I've struck gold. I searched "Baylor" on YouTube and not only did the CBS version come up, but a three minute homemade video from Baylor's gymnasium--the site of the wild celebration--did as well. Be sure to listen to the entire thing. Listen to the mood of the crowd sink when Arizona receives their bid...listen to everything. Not to sound too homo, but this is a special moment.

Considering what Baylor fans have been through over the past decade-plus, I can safely say that this is a team I'm rooting for in a few days.

Also, also, also...I posted a new podcast: "the kids with beards have all the fun." I know I say this a lot, but this might be the funniest one yet. Some things can only happen when you're thirteen, and these are the things we talk about on the podcast.

Heals, this one's for you.

-Brad Spieser (

Sunday, March 16, 2008

St Patty's Day + Johnny Cueto = ???

It's well after midnight, and I have to be up at 6 a.m. for an immature drink-a-thon. It's basically the exact opposite of what Theo Epstein was doing when he was 27, but whatever. Besides that, I gots nothing for you. Actually, I gots a ton of crap, but now isn't the time. This is because I'm hoping to achieve five hours of shut-eye. (Should shut-eye be hyphenated? Anyone? Bueller? )

My brother tells me that I shouldn't promise my readers that I'll touch on a certain subject in the upcoming days because (a.) it's a lame thing to do, and (b.) I rarely end up following through. He's probably right.

Anyway, when I'm coherent I'll give my thoughts on the tourney. I'll also tell you who to wager on and why. And I'm taping Johnny Cueto's start Monday, so I'll (presumably) tell you how sweet I thought he was. Most importantly, I'll recap my St. Patty's day (with help from my trusty journal).

That's all, jerks. I posted a new podcast about one of the biggest scams of the past decade; it's titled "remember when you could name a star after someone." It's quite enjoyable.

Wish me luck.

-Brad Spieser (

The World Doesn't Agree on Much

My podcast partner doesn't see eye to eye with anyone about anything. Well, almost anything. There are a few exceptions.

According to Craig, he only agrees with the rest of the world on the greatness of the following three things:

1. McDonalds

2. Old Metallica

3. Blacks ("Even the people who hate them know how great they are," says Craig)

That's the extent of the forty second phone conversation we had while Craig was waiting in a drive thru line at McDonald's that he described as "twenty deep, but obviously worth it."

-Brad Spieser (

Friday, March 14, 2008

In Case You Forgot About the Awesomeness of Joshy Hamilton

From Scouts Inc's Keith Law on (Insider):

"Josh Hamilton murders fastballs. He took the first pitch he saw, a 92-mph fastball from Gavin Floyd, out to center field, and his other two hits were also smoked. Hamilton isn't just a fastball hitter, but at the least, pitchers need to work him away with offspeed stuff, because throwing him a fastball in or near the zone is asking for trouble."

From a scout who's been tracking the Rangers this Spring:

"I think Hamilton's got a chance to be maybe the best player in baseball," says a scout who has been tracking the Rangers through the Cactus League. "I mean, this guy is Mickey Mantle or something."

and this...

"You can't wait until he comes up to bat again, just to watch him," the scout says. "In batting practice, he hits to all fields, goes deep everywhere. He runs down balls in the field, he throws ... I don't know if there's anything he can't do."

Jesus. This too...

"Everybody stops what they're doing and looks when he comes up," the scout finishes. "And everybody ends up making giggly sounds. Aw, geez! My goodness!"

Your move, Volquez.

-Brad Spieser (

Craig and TJ Houshmandzadeh Discuss Ohio High School Football

You might not be shocked as to why Craig thinks high school football in southern California is superior to Ohio's brand, but Houshmandzadeh's answer may surprise you a bit. To hear that, and other crap from their encounter, go listen to the podcast. Now.

-Brad Spieser (

The Reds are Just Like the Yankees

From Rob Neyer's blog on (Insider):

Just to be clear, there's more than one rotation spot up for grabs. The top two slots are set, with Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo. But after them the rotation is wide open. Or should be. In 37 career starts, Belisle's ERA is 5.11. In 179 career starts, Fogg's ERA is 4.93. In 42 career starts, Affeldt's ERA is 5.41.

Belisle's a holdover. Fogg and Affeldt were both signed as starters, presumably to take some pressure off the kids. But frankly, none of those guys has any business starting regularly for a good team, and the Reds have a chance to be pretty good.

Nobody talks about this, but in this sense the Reds are just like the Yankees: they'll go exactly as far as their talented young starters take them. Obviously, it's unfair to expect Cueto, Bailey and Volquez to start 30 games apiece and finish the season as Rookie of the Year candidates. But all three of the kids have more talent in their little fingers than those three veterans have in their whole pitching arms. They're why this year's Reds might be last year's Rockies.

-Brad Spieser (

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Breaking Carson Palmer News!

In order to obtain this information, you'll have to listen to the "craig meets carson palmer" podcast.

-Brad Spieser (

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Johnny Cueto Gets Me Horny

My buddy Wess from Sons of the Tundra just wrote a great piece about Reds phenom Johnny Cueto. It's not often that I beg you for anything, but now is one of those times. If you want to get excited about the Reds--the present and the future--read this.

And while I'm in the suggestive mood, it seems like a good time to remind you of my five part series of podcasts titled "craig meets athletes." Up next: Greg Maddux (aka Craig's hero).

Go listen.

-Brad Spieser (

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Will Dusty Baker Let the Kids Play?

Something called The Hardball Times previewed the 2008 Reds by answering five important questions surrounding my favorite baseball team. Most of it was boring, and they neglected to mention Volquez's gem against the Yankees, so I can't necessarily suggest the entire column. But the first answer was interesting.

See for yourself:

1. Will Dusty Baker let the kids play?

The Reds enter the season with five of Baseball America's top 100 prospects in their organization, four of whom (Homer Bailey, Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto and Joey Votto) seem likely to make significant contributions to the big league club at some point this season. The next two seasons promise to be exciting times as these players work their way onto the team. Given this youth movement, however, some have questioned the rationale behind selecting Baker as the Reds manager.

Baker has a reputation as a manager who favors veterans, extremely so. From what I've gathered, much of this reputation stems from his tendency to play an aging Eric Karros over Hee-Seop Choi on the 2003 Chicago Cubs. But was this part of a larger pattern?

A look back at Baker's teams over the years shows that he did give a great deal of playing time to young talent. All the following players got significant opportunities as early 20-somethings during Baker's watch: Rich Aurilia, Rod Beck, Marvin Bernard, Royce Clayton, Shawn Estes, Ryan Jensen, Darren Lewis, Matt Murton, Russ Ortiz, Mark Prior, Corey Patterson, Kirk Reuter, William Van Lindingham, Allen Watson and Carlos Zambrano. So it's not like it's unprecedented for Baker to let a kid play. Even in the case of Choi vs. Karros, Hee-Seop Choi still got the bulk of the playing time until he was injured in a collision with Kerry Wood on June 8 of that season.

I'm not saying that there's nothing to the idea that Baker favors veterans. Managers often seem to behave with the goal of not looking bad, and thus often favor established players over prospects. But based on his record, I don't see evidence that Baker is particularly extreme in this respect. The proof will be in the pudding, of course, but my guess is that if the young guys perform, they'll play.

That's all for now. Go listen to part two of my five part series of podcasts about Craig's encounters with professional athletes. Up next: Keyshawn Johnson.

-Brad Spieser (

Xavier Has a Spectacular White Coming Their Way

Not since Brendan Plavich has college basketball seen this type of range. Which is a compliment. That's like saying "Not since Lexington Steele has the adult entertainment industry seen this type of length."

Watch this video, and if you're a UC fan, get ready to hate this kid for the next four years.

-Brad Spieser (

Cleveland State Has a Player Named J'Nathan Bullock!

I thought you needed to know.

When I ran this information by Craig, he immediately declared Cleveland State the favorite to win the national championship.

(Note: J'Nathan Bullock doesn't move ahead of Herana-Daze Jones in my favorite made-up names rankings, but it does earn the No. 2 spot, scooting past LeKevin Smith.)

-Brad Spieser (

Foxy Cheerleaders at Some Place Called Orange Coast College

I've never heard of Orange Coast College before, but it apparently exists. And that's a good thing, because without existence, OCC wouldn't have a cheerleading team. That is, a cheerleading team that loves to get naked in hotel rooms for the greater good of America. I stole this from Mo Egger, who stole it from some place called Barstool Sports. Click here for the complete batch of uncensored pictures that are quite naughty, and yes, NSFW.

(Sorry, the link is currently screwed up. It ain't my faults, neither. I would suggest trying it again and again and again, until the Internet gods allow you to get in touch with your horny side.)

-Brad Spieser (

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hi, Hello and Welcome--Part 1

It's already started. By "it," I mean George Grande has already started talking, which means I'll want to kill myself sometime before May.

After a mere four outs had been recorded in Monday's Reds-Yankees game, here is what Grande had to say about Reds ninth string shortstop Paul Janish:

"What a great competitor. Just a ballplayer. Not spectacular in any one part of the game, but spectacular in the fact that he just plays the game so hard."


What in the hell does that even mean? Spectacular in the fact that he just plays the game so hard? Really? If I tried to write that bullshit I would get ridiculed for the rest of my life. I hate George Grande. I love George Grande. He will give me more material than I know what to do with over the next seven months. I'm officially looking forward to being aggravated by George Grande.

By the way, as annoying as Grande is, whatever he had to say about Edinson Volquez was justified, even though I can't remember a word of it; I'm pretty sure I blacked out after his seventh strikeout.

But seriously, eight strikeouts in four Spring Training innings! Good Christ! Should we just give Volquez the Cy Young right now? God damn that was impressive. His change-up to Alex Rodriguez was some Bugs Bunny shit. I watch a fair amount of baseball and--Spring Training or not--you just don't make that guy look that foolish.

Josh who?

I'm easy.

One other thing...starting today, I'm posting a five part series of podcasts titled "craig meets athletes." Craig hasn't encountered many athletes, but when he has, he's gotten his money's worth. Without giving too much away, I'll just tell you this: He taunted a heavyweight champion, harassed one of his four heroes, asked a star QB why he was gay, challenged a Pro Bowl WR to an arm-wrestling match and complemented a prominent baseball executive for having an excellent sun tan.

Normal people do not act like this.

Go listen to "craig meets evander holyfield." Jerks.

-Brad Spieser (

The Wire is Over. We Need to Talk.

As you may have heard, the series finale of The Wire was Sunday night. It came and went with little fanfare. And I'm angry. Not necessarily that it's over, but because I have very few people to share it with (note: a message board is on the way, so this will have to do until it comes). I have four friends who watch the show religiously, and I've already talked extensively with three of them about the final episode. We talked about Bunk stealing the show at McNulty's wake, Slim Charles shooting Cheese, Valcheck becoming Commissioner, Prez's beard, etc., etc., etc. Oh, we also talked about Dukie becoming the new Bubbles, which was only the most heart-wrenching moment in television history.

And I know there's a decent chance you have no idea what I'm talking about at the moment, but if you do, please drop me a line. Really, I just want to talk about the show with someone, particularly the final episode. Were you upset McNulty became a family man? Do you think Kima really would have ratted out Freamon and McNulty? Does this mean Michael is the new Omar? Do you think it was too sappy when they actually showed Bubbles sitting down at the dinnner table with his sister and his nephew? I do. Don't you think the open door at the top of the steps implied enough? Anyway, I'm not sure any of this makes sense, but it can be cathartic to write rambling nonsense about the things you love.

And I fucking loved The Wire.

I didn't realize just how much I loved The Wire until I went to sleep last night. I woke up three different times thinking about a fictional character, the aforementioned Dukie, and how his life would never be the same. He was on screen for thirteen seconds in the closing montage, he didn't say a word, and yet it was as powerful as TV will ever get (save for some episodes of Intervention and all of Lou Holtz's pre-game speeches on ESPN).

Some genius put said thirteen seconds on YouTube, so I'm giving it to you. If you haven't seen the show, this scene won't mean a thing to you. BUT...if you're a diehard, like everyone who does watch The Wire, you are undoubtedly saddened at the sight of a kind-hearted teenager with nobody else to turn to but the street and the needle.

Jesus, I miss that show already.

Please Email me. Please. I need to share my emotions with more people. Seriously, help.

-Brad Spieser (

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Please Read This Again--Edit

(Update: I decided to leave this as the top story on the page for a few reasons. First, because it seems that most people viewed it as a joke. It's not. Second, I made a few minor changes to the conversation my brother and I had at the UC-Depaul game. In my initial entry our converation started with me asking my brother if Adam H gets booed because he's white. The more I thought about it, that wasn't the exact question I asked him, and I think the edit changes the context a bit. Either way, I wanted to be accurate. The third reason I'm keeping this up here is because of a dispute I'm currently locked into with a guy who runs a fairly prominent local website. I think allowing more people to read it will help me win the fight against perceived lack of credibility. I'll provide details in a few days if necessary. Please email me If you have thoughts regarding this piece.

One other thing...I posted two new podcasts over the weekend. Craig and I recorded for two hours Sunday; I'll post something new every day this week. Enjoy.)

I went to the UC-Depaul game Thursday night with my brother. Adam Hrycaniuk played a solid game; he grabbed 11 boards. He also missed some very makeable shots, as he's been known to do. He also got booed. Again. For the umpteenth time this season. It wasn't an incredibly noisy boo, but a boo nonetheless. And while I'm not going to tell you how ridiculous it is to boo a college kid (even though it is), I am going to tell you why he gets booed.

Actual conversation at the game between my brother and I:

Me: Do you think Adam H would get booed if he was black?

(two seconds of thought)

The Brother: Nope.

And that was that. Suddenly it all made sense.

We had never thought about it before, but it became so clear that the crowd loudly voices their displeasure towards Hrycaniuk because of the color of his skin (which is strange, considering the overwhelming majority of the fans are, you know, white). What we didn't mention, but is probably another contributing factor, is that it seems easier for fans to boo Hrycaniuk because he's a from another country, one that's really far away.

If you disagree with me, let me axx you something: Why is Hrycaniuk the only Bearcat who gets booed? Why not Sikes or Gentry, two guys who have had dreadful senior seasons? And again, I'm not advocating such behavior, but it just seems interesting that the tall white foreigner is the only player receiving the fans' wrath.

And what about someone from the recent past, like Robert Whaley. Not only was he maybe the biggest disappointment of the Huggins era, but he had a horrible attitude. Horrible. And I can't recall him ever dealing with this nonsense.

Well, why not?

Thoughts? Email me.

-Brad Spieser (

Eating Good. Brad Hungry. Being From Hungary Would Rule!

TrueHoop's Henry Abbott has even more stories of NBA players loving The Cheesecake Factory. On that note, I'm headed to BW-3 to eat all the wings/potato wedges I can handle for the low low price of $9.99. Despite what pictures might reveal, I am a fat person.

-Brad Spieser (

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Can the Young Fellas Carry the Reds?

Wednesday was a big day for Reds content on, but you need an Insider account to view most of it. Or you need me.

Baseball America's Jim Callis answered a number of questions in his chat about the Reds' prospects (including recently signed Dominican teenager Juan Duran); Buster Olney is hearing things about the Reds' willingness to trade Homer Bailey over Johnny Cueto; Rob Neyer wonders why in the hell Jay Bruce and Joey Votto wouldn't be in the everyday lineup; Keith Law of Scouts Inc. predicts a breakout season for Edwin Encarnacion. Enjoy...

From Jim Callis...

Ben (Centerville, OH): Drew Stubbs of the Reds just cracked the BA top 100, how high can he climb if he has a healthy, productive year?

Jim Callis: He could soar up the list if he hits. The bat is the only tool anyone questions--he's a Gold Glove CF with at least 20-20 potential. He made some strides after choking up on the bat late last year, and if he were to come out and hit .300 this year, he'd be in the top 25, at least.

Bob (Kansas): Pelfrey and Bailey both are post-hype type guys, what do you expect from them this year?

Jim Callis: I like Bailey more. He has the stuff, just needs better command (and if you read Buster Olney's blog, perhaps some humility). I'm not sure how good Pelfrey is going to be without a solid breaking ball.

Interruption for Olney's note on Bailey:

The stock of Cincinnati prospect Homer Bailey seems to have taken a dramatic tumble in the past year. Talent evaluators say the Reds have demonstrated a clear willingness to deal Bailey, while coveting fellow prospect Johnny Cueto. And rival teams have grown increasingly skeptical about whether the young right-hander will make the adjustments necessary to become a successful big league pitcher. "What you hear is that [Bailey] is someone who thinks he's got it all figured out," one evaluator said.

Great. Back to the Callis chat...

Brian (Bainbridge, Wa): Is it worth keeping Bruce in the minors until June if it prevents him from becoming a super 2?

Jim Callis: Only if the Reds aren't planning on contending. And they're planning on contending, so farming Bruce out and playing Corey Patterson would be silly.

Ben (Centerville, OH): Lightning Round, Bigger future: Jose Tabata or Juan Duran?

Jim Callis: Tabata

John (Toronto): Joey Votto's ceiling?

Jim Callis: He could make an all-star team or two.

Jeff (NYC): Gun to your head - Jay Bruce or Justin Upton?

Jim Callis: Bruce.

From Rob Neyer's blog (definitely worth reading the entire thing, especially since the following lines about Baker don't exactly capture the mood of Neyer's post):

Baker has a real opportunity in Cincinnati. He has the exact sort of team that could, with proper management and a little luck, shoot past the supposed contenders and shock the world (or at least the National League). It's the sort of team made for Earl Weaver or Davey Johnson.

Dusty Baker, though? He has some of the makings of a Hall of Fame manager, but he's not there yet. This season is the first big test of what's likely to be the last act of his three-act career. If he fails this one, it's hard to imagine generating any great enthusiasm for putting him in the Coop someday.

From Keith Law's piece predicting ten breakout players of 2008:

I predicted a breakout for (Edwin) Encarnacion in 2007, and he responded with a putrid April and a trip to the minors. But after his return, he played more like he did in 2006. Encarnacion can hit, and will hit, both for average and for power. Given his home park in Cincinnati, he should have a 30-homer season or two before he reaches free agency.

His main trouble is defense; he consistently has been among the worst third basemen in baseball since his call-up, and there's little reason to believe he'll ever be average. Either the Reds will have to accept his poor defense at third or consider moving him to left field, assuming they decline Ken Griffey Jr.'s $16.5 million option for 2009.

That's all for now, boys and girls.

-Brad Spieser (

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Reds Sign a Teenager. Me Happy.

As you may or may not know, the Cincinnati Reds just signed a sixteen-year-old Dominican outfielder named Juan Duran for $2 million American dollars, a move I will praise for eons and eons, even if we never hear from Duran again. Anytime you can get your hands on a youngster who draws comparisons to Juan Gonzalez, Vlad Guererro and Dave Winfield, well, should $2 million ever stand in the way? Of course not.

(Note: You should really read that article if you want to get excited about the 2016 season.)

I will follow up on this, and tie it in with my thoughts on the Josh Fogg acqusition (and it's stupidness), at some point Wednesday. As for now, I need my bed.

One other thing: I'm pretty sure the picture above is not of the Reds' Juan Duran, but a Google image search of the same name led me to that picture, so anything is possible. Until I find out otherwise, I have no reason but to believe that he is the left fielder of the future. It's either him, or this guy, who also was found in the image search...

All joking aside, what are the odds that this guy hasn't raped someone? 10,000/1? Higher?

-Brad Spieser (

Three Things I Spend Too Much Time Thinking About

1. I wonder if Bill and Luke Walton have ever gotten high together. I say yes

2. I wonder why Pete Townshend's "Let My Love Open the Door" is on so many soundtracks (other than "it's a pretty decent song")?

3. If Yi is pronounced "E," then why isn't Yao pronounced "Ow?"


-Brad Spieser (

Monday, March 3, 2008

Not So Fast, My Friend

I'll give you a one million and fifty-three dollars if you can tell me which one of these gentlemen is named Tyrel Reed...

I'm guessing you selected the tall African-American fellow, which is understandable on every level. Believe it or not, though, it's the shorter white who is named Tyrel Reed, and he happens to be good enough to sit on the end of Kansas' bench.

What universe is this?

-Brad Spieser (

Is The Cheesescake Factory a Good Place to Eat?

I read this last week on True Hoop (the best blog on the planet) and thought it was about the strangest damn thing I'd ever read. Apparently all NBA players love eating at The Cheesecake Factory. Who woulda thought?

-Brad Spieser (

How Awesome is Jay Bruce?

John Sickels of recently posted a semi-interesting prospect breakdown between the Reds' Jay Bruce and the Cards' Colby Rasmus. Both were drafted out of high school in the 1st round of 2005, and both have excelled in the minors.

Interesting to note: PECOTA considers Bruce's upside to be Manny Ramirez with better defense. Read that sentence one more time.

-Brad Spieser (

Are Baseball Players Athletes?

Remember when you used to think that Dmitri Young was the fattest position player around? Well, take a look at Nick Johnson (and his chins) and then write an apology to Dmitri for all those mean things you said about him. Nick Johnson looks like David Weathers, if David Weathers somehow ate David Weathers.

-Brad Spieser (

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Future and Whatnot

These are the things I promise I'll try to write about in the upcoming days:

1. The Reds' signing of Josh Fogg.

2. My post-combine thoughts.

3. The Bengals' botched trade for Shaun Rogers, and how it affects the players, the organization and my livelihood (I'll probably use the word "bullshit a lot)

4. The awesomeness of the Western Conference, and the expected awesomeness of the Western Conference playoffs.

5. March Madness, and the teams that don't have a chance. (Hint: Indiana, led by the overrated Eric Gordon, will be on the list.)

-Brad Spieser (

Dion Dixon Commits to Bearcats. This is Exciting, I Think.

On the heels of a crippling home loss to Providence College, the University of Cincinnati Bearcats received some good news--a verbal commitment from some dude named Dion Dixon, a combo guard from Chicago. Ordinarily I wouldn't comment on this, but a video or two of Mr. Dixon is available on YouTube, effectively making this more important than it probably is.

The best video can be located here, but for whatever reason the embedding has been disabled.

The consolation prize is the following fifty-four second video that shows Dixon dunking on and blowing by unremarkable whites.

-Brad Spieser (

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Muskies Deserve a High Seed

I pulled this from Joe Lunardi's blog on (Note: I copy and pasted the entire thing because it's Insider content.) Below is a question Lunardi received from some idiot named John Oster, followed by Mr. Bracketology's in-depth response. I'd like to think this will help Xavier lose the "mid-major" tag, but you and I both know that's unrealistic. Anyway, here's John Oster's question and Lunardi's detailed answer...

How can you possibly have Xavier over Stanford? They both have four losses, and Stanford plays in a league that is about 100 times as difficult as the league Xavier plays in. This was made abundantly clear when Xavier was smoked by 20 points against Arizona State. You cannot possibly tell me a mid-major like Xavier would be 11-3 in the Pac-10. This is a joke.

-John Oster

I'm normally a fairly agreeable guy, but this kind of big conference arrogance makes me want to scream. In no particular order:

-How is Xavier, with 16 NCAA appearances in 23 seasons since the field expanded to 64/65 teams, a mid-major in any way? Four teams from the vaunted Pac-10 -- Washington State (2), Arizona State (3), Oregon State (4) and Oregon (5) -- have 14 NCAA appearances combined in the same time period.

-This is why the Selection Committee evaluates teams, not conferences. In seeding one team over another, it's the overall "body or work" that matters. Interestingly, Xavier is 6-1 vs. InsideRPI Top 50 teams and Stanford is 4-1. At the other end of the spectrum, both teams are perfect against sub-150 competition. But the Musketeers (8-0) have played three fewer "dogs" than the Cardinal (11-0).

-Did I miss something, or didn't Stanford also lose at Arizona State? Same thing for Arizona, Oregon and Washington. Let's be consistent here.

-Citing Xavier's blowout loss at ASU is fine, so long as we cite their double-digit wins over NCAA teams such as Kent State, Indiana and Kansas State. Stanford has one such victory (splitting the season series with Arizona State).

-The best single metric we have in Bracketology is ASM (Adjusted Scoring Margin). Stanford, at 13.15 ppg, ranks No. 20 in the country in this category. Xavier (16.41 ppg) is eighth. If these teams met on a neutral court, Xavier would be favored by 3-4 points.

-I really laugh when I hear something like "no way Xavier could go 12-3 in the Pac-10." No one ever asks the opposite question: Could Stanford go 12-1 in the Atlantic 10? Or 12-3 against the No. 12 nonconference schedule? We'll never know, of course, but we do know the Cardinal's nonconference schedule ranks a less-than-robust No. 313.

-To find a nonconference schedule worse than Stanford's among teams currently in the field, we have to go all the way down to a No. 12 seed. And, wouldn't you know, it's Arizona State (No. 321, even with the win over Xavier).

-For obvious reasons, I remember all too well the beating I took in 2004 for having the temerity to suggest undefeated Saint Joseph's 00 another Atlantic 10 "mid-major" -- deserved a No. 1 seed every bit as much, if not more, than undefeated Stanford. The A-10 was rated higher than the Pac-10 that year, produced more NCAA Tournament teams and the Hawks' nonconference schedule (No. 1) was miles ahead of Stanford's. I also remember Stanford losing in the second round of the NCAAs, while two A-10 teams -- Saint Joseph's and, ironically, Xavier -- lost one-possession games in the Elite Eight.

The truth of the matter is that Stanford, with these numbers, is fortunate to be a No. 3 seed. If the Cardinal wins the Pac-10, then it's time to reassess. In the meantime, John, I suggest you be a tad less dismissive of what you apparently know very little about.

-Brad Spieser (