Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Will Terrelle Pryor Change OSU's Perception Problem?

If you're anything like me, you cringed with every preseason Terrelle Pryor/Vince Young comparison. For one, regardless of what the scouting wizards were telling us, it wasn't a given that Pryor was physically as gifted as Young. More importantly, Young was the best player on a national championship team, and placing that on an 18-year-old's shoulders is nothing short of lunacy.

As it turns out, Pryor is the spittin' image of Young. From the unrefined throwing motion to the graceful strides past hopeless DBs, the on-field similarities are striking. Actually, Pryor the true freshman is light years ahead of Young the redshirt freshman in the passing department. But anyway, that's not really the point here.

The funny thing about the Terrelle Pryor/Vince Young comparison is that it has potential to go far beyond their identical athletic ability.

Fair or unfair - and let's face it, it's more fair than we'd like to admit - Ohio State is dealing with a perception issue that was unfathomable as recently as November, 2006. Too soft, too slow, can't win the big one, blah, blah, blah. We've been bombarded by them and they're not going away any time soon. Unless, of course, Terrelle Pryor does for Ohio State what Vince Young did for Texas.

You might forget this now, but the Texas Longhorns were something of a joke for the first four years years of the 21st century. Mack Brown routinely dominated the recruiting game by scooping up the likes of Chris Simms, Roy Williams, Derrick Johnson, Nathan Vasher, etc., but the results never matched the talent. Oklahoma embarrassed them every year (including a 63-14 drubbing) and it seemed like Texas would never get over the hump. Nobody folded like the 'Horns on the national stage, and everybody assumed it would be that way for the rest of eternity (or at least as long as Mack Brown was the coach).

Enter Vince Young.

By the time Texas hit full stride during the 2005 season, you rarely heard mentions of choking. Vince Young, almost single-handedly, washed all of that away with his dynamic play and A+ charisma. When they went into big games, nobody expected a four-interception meltdown (ala Chris Simms); they expected--and received--a show out of the game's best duel-threat quarterback.

Terrelle Pryor is capable of having precisely the same effect. And again, this isn't about his remarkable skill set, as Pryor will win plenty of games on athleticism alone. This is about forcing your personality on teammates, both young and old, and expecting them to play their absolute best. The trick, however, is having the personality to demand such things out of your comrades - simply being a brilliant athlete won't be enough to clean up the mini-mess in Columbus right now. Is Pryor the right man for this task? It might be the end of the decade before we're given a definitive answer, but I don't see an ounce of false bravado in Pryor, and it's looking more and more that we'll forget "USC 35, OSU 3" sooner than we ever imagined.

One other thing: Maybe I over-analyze the Buckeyes too much, but I look at the picture above, with Pryor pumping up the veteran-laden defense, and I can't help but think that Todd Boeckman - a 24-year-old sixth-year senior - would never even try such a thing. You either have it or you don't.

It's safe to say I'm excited for the Terrelle Pryor era.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Gambling 2K8: Part Fourteen (Are You A Believer?)

"Yoga changes your life."

How many times have you heard some idiot say that? About a million, right? Or maybe none, but it certainly seems like something a yoga freak would say. Regardless, I'm guessing yoga does change your life for the better, although the one person I (kind of) know who does yoga is a mean-faced redhead lady who drives a 20-year-old minivan - so draw your own conclusions. Anyway, yoga seems to have a profound effect on the mental health of all the weirdos who give it a try. And I bring this up because I'm not exactly the poster boy for mental health.

Until now.

I've found my yoga, and it's called the Brian Vickers System. It would be impossible to express how much I'm not joking. Plain and simple: The Vickers System has changed my life. Craig and I are 21-10-1 against the spread, and I have no reason to believe we won't continue on a similar pace for the rest of our lives.

Chew on this: We fearlessly wagered on Buffalo, Akron and Duke (among others) on Saturday...and they all covered. Buffalo, Akron and Duke! We also bet against the Mighty Trojans of USC, not to mention Joe Flacco's Ravens (for the second straight week) and Kyle Orton's Bears. We won 'em all. If you told any one of my previous nine bookies such nonsense, he would punch you in the nose for wasting his time with ridiculous lies. Again, I'm not joking.

And listen, it would be one thing if we were simply giving out random picks with nothing but pride at stake, but that ain't the case - Craig and I are winning buckets full (that's figuratively, Jeff Brantley) of American currency each week and threatening to bring down www.BetUs.com (an Internet website) in the process.

Fact: Winning money is decidedly better than terrible.

Also, in case you were wondering how Craig and I determine our picks for the week...

It doesn't take long, honestly. We check the point-spreads separately on Monday morning, one of us calls the other from his cellular device, and we see how many matches we have. I usually see about ten or twelve games where the Vickers System applies, while Craig is typically sitting on six or seven. Without fail, we have a bunch of matches. We cross a few out, and maybe add one that didn't immediately catch our eye, but our initial list determines where our money goes (despite mid-week line changes that suggest our impending wager is probably stupid). That's about it for our Monday morning conversations. We spend a few minutes finalizing things and the rest is spent saying things like, "I know Buffalo has no chance of keeping it within 50 points on Missouri, but we have to take 'em."

God Bless the Brian Vickers System.

God Bless Brian Vickers (pictured above, or so says Google. I wouldn't know).

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Paul Newman Dead; Me Not Care.

Paul Newman died over the weekend, and it didn't faze me (I was unfazed). I haven't seen enough of his movies and didn't drink enough of his Thousand Island to care. Plus, the dude was old. That pretty much explains my indifference. But my parents? It affected them - it made them feel old.

Whatever. I feel old. Me! Arthritis and everything.

Jason Williams, aka "White Chocolate," retired over the weekend, and it makes me feel like stocking up on stool softener and Metamucil. Wait, maybe Metamucil is stool softener - I honestly don't know. But I suspect it's the type of thing I'll need to know since I'm officially an old person. Anyway, Jason Williams retired, and I'm finding it hard to believe.

Was 1998 that long ago? Because that's when Jason Williams took the league by storm for a minute. And as crazy as the last sentence seems, he did take the league by storm. Perhaps you remember...

You also might remember what might be the second greatest sports commercial of all time (I'll reveal the greatest sports commercial at a later date)...

"Beats all you never saw, been in trouble with the law since the day they was born." Credit goes to Nike for perfectly summing up the 1998 versions of high school teammates Randy Moss and Jason Williams.

One final note about Williams. I checked his
Wikipedia page
and found a humorous nugget:

'Williams is often called "White Chocolate" because he talks with an urban accent and the fact that he is often associated with a Black street-rooted style of basketball, despite being white.'

Wigger. The word is wigger.

-Brad Spieser (

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Gambling 2K8: Part Thirteen (Paterno Old; Palmer Out)

1. I want to die. We came within two points of an undefeated day yesterday and I want to die. Two points, I might add, that would have been easily attainable had Joe Paterno not coached like it was 1962. Not only did he unsuccessfully order up a halfback dive (with a 175 lb. halfback) on 4th & 1 deep inside Illinois territory, but twice he decided to pooch punt from field goal formation. And let's not forget--and this isn't necessarily Paterno's fault, but it's fun to blame stuff on old people--Penn State ran out the clock at the Illinois 25 yard line.

2. Carson Palmer is out. The Vickers System no longer applies to the Bengals, which leaves Tampa, Chicago and Baltimore as our only picks today.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Gambling 2K8: Part Twelve (Follow Us To Freedom)

"Deliver us from evil." I seem to recall hearing those words several thousand times in my youth. Well...

14 wins, 9 losses, 1 tie.

That's what our religion has delivered us. I've seen the horrors of gambling, and they ain't pretty. I tried everything you could imagine to either (a.) quit, or (b.) get things under control. No dice. Nicotine patch is to smokers what two-team teasers are to degenerate gamblers. Anyway, it might be contextually humorous to consider Brian Vickers a goddamn genius, or it might simply be true. Either way, we're beating Vegas, and I'm expecting more of the same. Don't be afraid to spread the Good Word of Mr. Vickers - we can use all the help you can offer. Remember, nobody knew what Scientology was fifteen years ago, but it forced Tom Cruise to jump on Oprah's couch, which ultimately made him more famous than playing topless volleyball against Val Kilmer ever could. Think about it...

Anyway, on to the picks:


Duke (-7) vs. Virginia
Buffalo (+7.5) at Central Michigan
Akron (+10.5) vs. Cincinnati
Tennessee (+7.5) at Auburn
Penn State (-15.5) vs. Illinois


Bears (+3) vs. Eagles
Bengals (-3) vs. Browns
Bucs (-1) vs. Packers
Ravens (+5) at Steelers

I promised loyal reader Jason H. that I would explain the picks as opposed to simply posting them, but that'll have to wait a week. I'm a jerk. And a liar.

See you in church!

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gambling 2K8: Part Eleven (Thursday Night Special)

At 13-9-1, it's safe to say the Brian Vickers System is, well, okay, it's not safe to say anything yet...but it is four games over .500, and I will quit my job(s) before Thanksgiving if it continues on the current pace. Anyway...

Win No. 14 comes tonight, but I don't see how.

The Vickers pick: Oregon State (+27.5) vs. the Mighty Trojans of Southern California.

(Note: BetUs.com might be the only gambling site currently offering this line - it appears the number everywhere else is in the 24.5-25.5 range. Either way, not my problem...)

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Carson Daly, Elephants, Golf (But Not Really)

Three things that don't even seem possible:

1. The Indianapolis Colts possessed the ball for fewer than four minutes in the second half of their last-second loss to the Jags. I have nothing to add to this.

2. Kansas City has started three QBs in the first three weeks of the season. This alone is not a big deal, as the Chiefs have lousy quarterbacks. What's amazing, though, is that this has happened three times in the modern era to start a season...and all three times those teams made the playoffs. You what that means, right? Buy stock in the Chiefs before lunch time.

3. Entering Wednesday's games, Ryan Howard (46 HR, 141 RBI) and Joey Votto (22 HR, 79 RBI) essentially have the same OPS+, with the surging MVP candidate holding a narrow 121-117 edge on the handsome Canuck. The lesson: RBI is an overrated statistic.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Examining Jim Tressel's Approach To Big Games (Kinda)

Of everyone who covers the Buckeyes for a living, the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Doug Lesmerises is quite obviously the best of the lot. He puts more thought into his columns than his competition and finds a way to slide his opinion in without beating you over the head with it. And as far as I can tell, he never goes through the motions; he never mails it in. I'd never heard of the guy before February but he's made an impression on me in same way Rob Neyer did a few years ago - maybe not as strong, but still. I wouldn't expect Lesmerises to be on the beat for the rest of his adult life.

Anyway, I bring this up because Lesmerises wrote an interesting article about Jim Tressel on Friday, and I haven't had a chance to give it recognition or comment on it until right now. Here's his opening line: "What's more to blame for Ohio State's loss to USC - a talent deficit or the way that talent was deployed?"

It sets the table for Lesmerises, in so many words, suggesting that Pete Carroll might be a better big-game coach than Tressel because Carroll doesn't approach every week the same (1.e., Stanford week is a little different than Ohio State week.) Tressel, on the other hand, is legendarily even keel. But is that a detriment to the team? Quote:

"I think that helps you avoid upsets, but maybe it doesn't put you in the best frame of mind for the huge games. And if Pete Carroll is firing his guys up with tribal war chants before each game, or having more fun during practice, maybe that gets you ready for big wins but leaves you more susceptible to upsets.

Since 2005, in this little time period of OSU discontent, the Buckeyes have six losses, and only one of those teams - Illinois last year - finished its season with more than two losses. In that same span, USC has five losses and four of them came to teams that finished with four losses or more (though Oregon beat USC with Dennis Dixon last year when it looked like a national contender and then later collapsed after Dixon's injury). Remember that USC cost itself a spot in the national title game in 2006 with a terrible last-weekend loss to a UCLA team that finished 7-6; and fell short of the title game last year because of a loss to 41-point underdog Stanford, which finished 4-8."

Lesmerises even goes so far as to break down OSU and USC's losses since 2005:

USC losses since 2005

13-0 Texas (05)
10-4 Oregon State (06)
9-4 Oregon (07)
7-6 UCLA (06)
4-8 Stanford (07)

Ohio State losses since 2005

13-0 Texas (05)
2-0 USC (08)
13-1 Florida (06)
11-1 Penn State (05)
12-2 LSU (07)
9-4 Illinois (07)

While the evidence speaks pretty loudly, I would like to chime in and disagree a little with Lesmerises here. The 2005 home loss to Texas does not apply to this theory at all - and I will argue this to the death. The 2005 Texas Longhorns, in case you forgot, won the national title in the most exciting game of my 28 years on this planet. From the hype, to the level of play, to the highest of high drama...it's never been better.

But Texas didn't beat Ohio State that September night because they were more fired up, or had more talent. And it wasn't simply a matter of Texas having Vince Young on their side, either - it goes much deeper than that. Ohio State was the better team that night, and again, this is something I'll argue to the death. Sometimes the better team doesn't win, which was the case three years ago. It was a combination of bad luck (Hamby's dropped TD), bad timing (two weeks later and Troy Smith would've had the keys to the team on a full-time basis) and yes, a poor decision by Tressel (sending Justin Zwick out there in lieu of Troy Smith for the critical drive of the game).

It's sour grapes, for sure, and Texas was a great team, but it doesn't mean I'm wrong. Ohio State had six scoring drives that night--and missed a field goal--and came away with only 22 points. AJ Hawk and Co. dominated Vince Young from the end of the 1st quarter until the latter half of the 4th, but still came up short. OSU was handling Texas so easily during the majority of the game that I was compelled to call my friend Chris, who was on his honeymoon (and isn't even a Buckeyes fan), at halftime and left a voice mail: "Assuming Troy Smith gets his MoJo back, this is your 2005 national champion." That's how confident I was of the end result. The Buckeyes only led by three at half but it was clear who the better team was.

Sorry about the rambling...I do have a point that ties all of this together.

While I agree that Carroll's mentality in the weeks leading up to big games is the best recipe for success, it hasn't really been a major issue with Tressel until recently.

(Did Ohio State lose to Penn State in '05 because of Tressel's frighteningly calm demeanor - or did they face a really good Nittany Lion team before Troy Smith regained his stride?)

Not to throw salt on the Laurinaitis/Freeman/Jenkins/Boeckman/Boone/Robiskie group another time, but this particular group lacks the collective Eye of the Tiger that is mandatory for title teams in every sport.

So while Lesmerises makes interesting points--most of which I agree with--I'll let a few years pass before I rush to judgement on Jim Tressel in big games. And I'll spend my nights hoping Etienne Sabino, Brian Rolle and Jermale Hines get a chance to become Rob Kelly, Antoine Winfield and Mike Doss in the Psycho Department.

And of course, it would be nice if Terrelle Pryor became Vince Young.

(Two other things...

1. Doug Lesmerises is also funny, as this line illustrates: "I think you could ask some coaches "What's a bigger threat to the future of humanity - the erosion of morals and values in society, global warming or dragons?" and they'd say "A little bit of everything.""

2. I still think, at their peak, the 2005 Buckeyes--despite losing twice--were better than either the '98 or '02 squads.)

Agree? Disagree? Email me.

-Brad Spieser (

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pop Culture Thoughts (And Cop Horses Are Stupid)

In case you missed it, the song that's sweeping the nation--Kid Rock's "All Summer Long"--includes the following line:

'And we were trying different things
We were smoking funny things'

You read that correctly.

I'm hoping one day I can be as clever as Kid Rock was in the summer of 2008, when he rhymed "things" with "things" within a span of six words.

Another pop culture-related thought: I want David Blaine to die. Hell, maybe I need David Blaine to die. Don't get me wrong, he seems like an okay guy, but if he stopped breathing during one of those made-for-tv stunts where he hangs himself upside down in a block of ice, buried in a coffin on top of the Statue of Liberty...at least I'll know he wasn't full of shit.

And let's face it, anything less than televised death and Blaine's life is a complete and utter failure. (Note: The "complete and utter failure" thing doesn't take into account the millions of dollars in Blaine's savings account and/or the countless number of unprotected intercourse sessions he's had with 20-year-old underpants models.)

One other thing before moving to other things: If the rumors are true, that Dwight won't be on this season of The Office, well, that's it...I'm slicing my throat before breakfast.

Anyway, my computator is messed up again and the bastards at www.dell.com (an Internet website) are working hard to repair it and whatnot. This is bad news all the way around. This means that your pal Brad will have to use the Dad's computator whenever it's available. This means that I'll have to spend time at the parents' crib. This means that the Mom will make me blueberry muffins and chocolate cookie squares at an alarming rate, which is a plus. But it also means that I won't have as much time to work on the site. Which is probably an admission I shouldn't be making - and it might actually make me dumber than everyone who openly loves that Kid Rock song.

The point?

I doesn't really have one. But I did post three new podcasts, and they're all really funny. With use of the Nos. 1, 2 and especially 3, I will briefly write about each of them below.

the absurdity of online pornography should not, under any circumstances, be listened to at work. In fact, if NSFW is the equivalent to an R rating, then RNSFWUYBSHADMTTCSKPIBTS is like an NC-17. (And if you were wondering, RNSFWUYBSHADMTTCSKPIBTS stands for "Really Not Safe For Work Unless Your Boss Somehow Has A Dirtier Mouth Than The Character Sam Kinison Played In Back To School." But your kids are gonna love it!

the economy and the size of snickers bars notes how--now stay with me here--the economy is affecting the size of Snickers bars. In fact, I even drop the following line: "The economy, if anything, it's affecting the size of Snickers bars." I guess what I'm trying to say is that you won't be any smarter after listening to this podcast.

cops on horses equal stupid is something I'm extremely passionate about. First, why do they just trot down the middle of a downtown street at roughly 0.81 MPH while I'm trying to make the next light before it's been red for a full two seconds? Second, let's say I run that stoplight after it's been red for a full two seconds, well, what in the hell is a cop driving a horse going to do about it? One million people were polled and they all agree: Cops on cop horses are dumb.

Three podcasts! All awesome! Listen to them or I'll hit you in the face (or neck) with a hammer. One of the ones with claws on the back.

-Brad Spieser (

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Gambling 2K8: Part Ten (Words Inside Parentheses)

I had one goal as the week was coming to a close: Comment on the Ohio State quarterback situation. I didn't have time. Which sucks for you, as I'm sure you're just itching to read several hundred words about the great Antonio Henton.

Anyway, on to the weekend Vickers picks.


Miami (+11.5) at Cincinnati

Arkansas (+10) vs. Alabama

Michigan State (-8.5) vs. Notre Dame

Tennessee (+8.5) vs. Florida

Arizona State (+8) vs. Georgia, and I can't believe I'm writing this...

Buffalo (+35.5) at Missouri


Bengals (+13.5) at Giants

Ravens (-2) vs. Browns

Season record: 9-5-1

It's never too late to jump on the Vickers train.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Hillbillies, Nerds and Insects (Podcast)

Four questions:

1. Does anything suck more than seeing a spider (or some sort of furry mini-creature) when you get up in the middle of the night to take a wiz?

1. Were you one of those kids who brought insects to school in pickle jars with holes poked in the lid?

1. Did you know snakes were invented to kill me?

1. Have you ever wondered how a grown man ends up in the creek?

Thems are the kind of things Craig and I discuss in our latest two-minute podcast, afraid of insects in the middle of the night. Two minutes!

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Gambling 2K8: Part Nine (Picture-Free Edition)

Thursday night Vickers pick:

Colorado (+3.5) vs. West Virginia

Season record: 8-5-1

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ohio State Football: Panic Mode?

I've never been so mad to be so right.

I've said this before, and in no way does this make me unique, but the primary reason I started blogging was so I could take my opinion public. Had I not been blogging last week, I still would have told my Buckeye people how something just wasn't right about the 2008 defense. They were lacking an edge, and it was shocking that seemingly nobody else made the same observation. Every time OSU came out flat, the offense--Todd Boeckman in particular--received the blame, and deservedly so. But, other than in this space, I don't recall anyone mentioning the businesslike approach of the defense, or how there wasn't a single head-smashing lunatic in the starting lineup. That stuff matters on the college level, just as we saw (or didn't see) on the national stage a few nights ago in Los Angeles.

Here's the telling (but not necessarily shocking) postgame quote from Alex Boone that illustrates the demeanor of this team (thanks to Ken Gordon of the Columbus Dispatch):

"When we walked in at halftime, nobody was saying anything," Boone said. "I mean, what the (heck), we're Ohio State -- we should be screaming and swearing and saying everything evil you can think of.

"And guys are hanging their heads, and you don't know what to say to them. You try screaming, and they just put their head down even more. We can't play like that, and if we play like that the rest of the season, we won't be anything."

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Carson Palmer Isn't In Peyton Manning's League

Before explaining what should be obvious--the difference between Carson Palmer and Peyton Manning--let's take a stroll down Memory Lane...

How about this cover of an October, 2006 Sports Illustrated:

It feels like I'm looking at pictures of a family reunion from 1986. That picture was taken within the past 24 months - but it seems like eons ago. Here's a link to that now sickening article.

To take it back a few years, read this 2003 Bengals.com article about rising star--and fan favorite--Chad Johnson. Remember how optimistic we were as fans? Marvin Lewis and Carson Palmer had just arrived, and everything appeared to be moving in the right direction for the first time in over a decade.

Can you imagine reading an article today where the following lines are written:

"Chad is an exciting guy," Lewis said. "He wants to do it the right way. We want all our players to want to be here. To feel comfortable so they can be down here to learn, improve, get better and prosper as players."


"I only want to think about football," Johnson said. "My first two years I didn't. I want to be up here by myself. Now I know what it takes. I want to be focused. I can't wait now. I want to start out just as fast When is the first pre-season game?"

What the hell happened?

One other thing: I also tried, unsuccessfully, to locate a KC Joyner (aka the Football Scientist) column or chat from 2006 (or maybe mid-'05) where he compared the 2005-and-beyond Bengals to the early-90's Cowboys. I don't know if Joyner is credible or not--although I do know he's a jerk--but I vividly recall him comparing the young and explosive talent of the Carson Palmer/Marvin Lewis Bengals to that of the '90-'91 Cowboys.

I just thought I'd remind you that it wasn't that long ago that the Bengals were not only relevant...they were good.

Okay, now the difference between Carson Palmer and Peyton Manning, two guys who were consistently lumped in the top three NFL quarterbacks (along with Tom Brady, of course) as recently as mid-'06 (and in many cases, preseason '07):

Did you watch the Colts-Vikings game Sunday? The Colts couldn't get anything going all day long, and with under two minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter, trailed Minnesota 15-0 on the strength of five Ryan Longwell field goals. Now, as I was watching this game (and pulling hard for the Vikings due to my futures bet), I never felt like the Colts couldn't--or wouldn't--come back and win the damn thing. Despite dealing with constant pressure from Minnesota's relentless pass rush, and despite the Colts being banged up everywhere (and without Pro
Bowl center Jeff Saturday), I still gave the Colts a chance. And so did you, probably.

Why? They had Peyton Manning. It didn't matter that they had no rushing game to speak of (Addai was shut down), or that the Vikings are a good football team with a great defense - and playing in Minneapolis. None of that mattered. Peyton Manning found a way when it mattered most - and that's a quality, much as I hate to admit, Carson Palmer simply doesn't possess.

But the point isn't that Manning actually won the game. In fact, I'd be writing the same thing had they lost (and besides, Manning isn't exactly the poster child for CLUTCH). The point is this: Regardless of the situation of any game involving the Colts, their fans will always believe they have a chance to win as long as they have No. 18 on their side.

If you find yourself disagreeing with this, let me ask you one question: When the Bengals closed the gap with Baltimore to 17-10 in week 1, was the feeling inside of you, we have a chance, we have Palmer? I find it hard to believe that you answered yes to this.

Which is sad. Because I can't think of a better way to define a franchise quarterback.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Kenny George: Tall, Interesting, Topic Of Another Podcast

Sad but true: Kenny George may never play basketball again.

True and awesome: Craig and I are obsessed with George, and we recently discussed his money-making opportunities on a podcast.

Unnecessary use of a colon: This is the third time George has been the primary subject of a podcast, and I can tell you with absolute certainty, this one is in our top two!

Anyway, go listen to our latest podcast, kenny george needs a booth at the county fair, or else I will post naked pictures of Todd Coffey.

(By the way, there's a warrant out for my arrest in something called Versailles, Indiana, but I should be able to take care of that situation by noon. If that particular task is accomplished, I'll have an afternoon to (a.) break down the difference between Carson Palmer and Peyton Manning, (b.) complain about the quarterback position at Ohio State, (c.) bitch a little more about DeSean Jackson playing for a team other than the Bengals and (d.) shine some light on Kid Rock's rhyming abilities in his latest hit single. And if not, I'll be in jail.)

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Gambling 2K8: Part Eight (Betting Against Philly?)

The Philadelphia Eagles are a good team - maybe even really good. Donovan McNabb is healthy and motivated. Brian Westbrook is great...and still somehow underrated. DeSean Jackson is the kind of dynamic gamebreaker the Bengals desperately need. Andy Reid is a good coach. Jim Johnson is a well-respected defensive coordinator. Do I need to go on? Philly is good. Maybe really good. And I really don't think they should be getting a touchdown tonight in Dallas.

Which means the Cowboys (-6.5) are the Vickers pick tonight.

The Brian Vickers System, by the way, is about two weeks away from (a.) Vegas taking notice, and (b.) A certain guy I call "me" quitting his job. Craig and I now have an 8-4-1 record when we obey the orders of our fearless leader, Mr. Brian G. Vickers.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'm Not Ready To Discuss Todd Boeckman (Or The Bengals)

I kept telling myself all day that I needed to update the site. The Buckeyes ruined my weekend and the Bengals, well, they didn't exactly make it worse, but they didn't give me a reason to be any less pessimistic than I have been. That being the case, I needed to update the site. But I didn't want to - still don't, actually. The last thing I want to do is write about Todd Boeckman or any other aspect of Saturday Night's Main Abortion featuring Ohio State and USC. I suppose I'll wait a day to really give my thoughts on all things Buckeye.

Regardless, I needed to update the site.

So you get a funny podcast, where you can here Craig and I discuss, among other things's:

1. My germaphobia being taken to new levels at my weekend job as a bar back at a popular downtown establishment.

2. Unprotected intercourse (a fun topic for the whole family).

3. Interracial porn.

4. Making out with AIDS patients!

5. Which blacks do racist whites hate the most?

And all of this in five minutes! Listen, you could spend three hours of your Monday morning listening to Alan Cutler, or you could spend five minutes with us. While neither will provide any information, our podcast, french kissing aids patients for cash, will at least be entertaining. Five minutes...that's it. Do the right thing.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ohio State Over USC...I Don't See It (UPDATE).

A few Ohio State thoughts before moving on to the NCAA Vickers picks...

I don't think Terrelle Pryor is ready for this. He isn't a threat in the passing game, and he's looked unsure of himself as a runner. Well, USC's defense flies to the ball and smacks indecisive runners in the mouth. This is a big leap from the bums he skipped past in Jeanette, Pa. - and while that is the most obvious observation one could make, it's still very true. Sure, he's been playing against OSU's defense every day in practice, but still, there is no way to recreate the atmosphere of Saturday night at the Coliseum. Maybe Pryor can rise to the occasion, and maybe Tressel will have him chucking the ball deep instead of handing off, taking off or throwing safe stuff underneath...but I just don't see it.

So if that's the gameplan with Pryor--to play it safe and throw underneath--I just don't see how it will work versus the Trojans; they're too fast, and he's still getting the feel of things. I hope I'm wrong, and I hope this is his first Buckeye moment, but I just don't see it.

Which stinks, because, as stated in this space a billion times, I have no faith in Todd Boeckman. I like to write how Todd Boeckman is terrible, but that's unfair. Mike Teel, Rutgers' QB, is terrible. Brandon Cox, the guy Auburn ran out there the last few seasons, is terrible. Todd Boeckman isn't terrible, but he's not good enough for Ohio State - at least not with the abundance of talent currently surrounding him. It's possible that OSU might win a title with Boeckman doing Boeckman things, but it certainly won't be easy.

Look, it's not just that he's a flawed passer or poor decision maker, it's that he seems to be absent in the charisma/moxie department. Craig Krenzel wasn't just an inaccurate thrower, he made some terrible decisions in key spots (endzone interceptions vs. Miami and Michigan). But he always found a way to come up big in the biggest spots (Purdue, obviously, and 4th & 14 to name two). He had it, whatever it is. With Boeckman, I just don't believe in him. I wish I did, and maybe he'll make a big play on Saturday, but I just don't see it.

So there you have it: I don't have faith in Ohio State's quarterbacks, and they're about to play one of the biggest regular season games in school history.

If the Bucks pull this one out, I believe it will be a classic Tressel game...stout defense, sound in the kicking game, etc. Maybe I'm overrating USC, and hopefully a star emerges for OSU (Hines, Herron, Pryor, whoever), but again, I don't see it. Not without Chris Wells.

Final score: USC 24, OSU 9.

(And by the way, yes, I'll convince myself the Buckeyes will win come 7:59 tomorrow night. And it wouldn't be the upset of the millennium if they did.)

Quick Vickers picks with no explanation because I'm running late:

South Florida (-3) vs. Kansas

BYU (-7) at UCLA

USC (-12) vs. Ohio State

(UPDATE: NC State (+21) at Clemson is also a Vickers pick.)

As for non-Vickers selections, Oregon (-9.5) and Penn State (-28.5) will roll this weekend.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Something Doesn't Feel Right About Ohio State

Toe injury or not, something is wrong with these Buckeyes. Playing conservatively or not, something is wrong with these Buckeyes. Of course, one great moment in the Coliseum can change everything. But...that one great moment won't come easily, because something is definitely wrong with these Buckeyes.

But what is it?

I've been asking myself that question every seventeen minutes since the 26-14 snoozer over the Bobcats, and here's what I've come up with: The 2008 Buckeyes remind me of the 2003 Buckeyes. You remember the year 2003, right? I certainly do. Christina Aguilera was redefining whore by the video, Adrian Karsten was still breathing and Jim Tressel coached a team within a Michigan win of playing for their second consecutive BCS Championship.

That particular team played the season without its best offensive player, world class knucklehead Maurice Clarett, and never really got into a groove. At least not offensively. Michael Jenkins was good, but he wasn't a gambreaker. Drew Carter finally stepped up in his eighth year of eligibility before going down with another injury. Santonio Holmes proved to be a keeper, but he was just a redshirt freshman. The line was remarkably average (Mangold was still just a sophomore) and the running game was abysmal (Brandon Joe was the best of the lot). And of course, there was Craig Krenzel, who wasn't exactly the most accurate passer of my lifetime.

A lot of comparisons can be made between the offense of '03 and the offense of '08 - with the edge in talent and depth (even with Chris Wells out of the equation) going to today's team. The big difference, obviously, is that Krenzel was someone you could somewhat trust, even though he seemed to enjoy scaring the hell out of us. Todd Boeckman absolutely scares the hell out of us, but he can't be trusted at all.

As for comparing the defensive units, both teams were loaded. Will Smith, Chris Gamble and a young AJ Hawk in '03...James Laurinaitis, Malcolm Jenkins, Marcus Freeman, Lawrence Wilson, etc., etc., in '08. Again, both teams were oozing with talent, but the overall edge goes to the Laurinaitis-led group.

You know what, though? I'd swap the '08 defense for the '03 defense in a heartbeat. They had an edge to them. They were nasty. Will Smith may have been stupid for roughing San Diego State's QB over and over again, but at least he was fired up. Robert Reynolds may have been dirty for choking out Jim Sorgi, but nobody would ever question his passion.

And that, more than anything except for Boeckman, is the problem with these Buckeyes - the attitude. Don't get me wrong, I'm not questioning the desire of any one individual on the roster - far from it. But I do see an approach that is a little too businesslike for my taste. I mean, it's college...so where's the emotion? Where's the swagger? You're defense is great, dammit, and you should be proud to show it off. Tackling someone behind the line of scrimmage is actually a reason to celebrate. And believe me, I understand games 1 and 2 came against the Pengs and Bobs, but whatever happened to burying an opponent from the first snap? When did that cease being fun?

I have no idea what's going to happen Saturday night, but I'd feel a lot better about OSU's chances if James Laurinaitis showed the same emotion as Rey Maualuga.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
9/11/08 (the 7th anniversary of Mom telling me to hide in the closet)

Ape Attacks And Escaping The Grasp Of The Law

You saw the story of the ape attacking a civilian in the parking lot of the Cincinnati Zoo, right? Well, did you see what the guy received for being chewed on by a wild animal in an environment he was supposed to be safe? If not, you might want to sit down. Here goes: A guy who was beaten up by an ape at the freaking zoo was given a free one day pass - that's it. Without giving anything away, Craig and I discuss--among other things--how we would've handled the situation of Man vs. Ape, on our podcast, ape attacks will always be funny.

Other stuffs heard on the podcast:

1. The tail end of a story I told Craig about getting pulled over for speeding three times in six days...and being smooth enough to get out of all of them (and no, I won't publicly reveal my method of sweet-talk). Anyway, I didn't use the whole thing (or any of it, really) on the podcast because it was dragging along and the story wasn't nearly as interesting on the air as it was in my head - even though I was frisked and given a breathalyzer by some hardass cops in Versailles, Indiana. But, I still got out of all three, and there's no way something of that magnitude will ever go unmentioned. It's a watershed moment, as far as I'm concerned. Anyone have similar experiences getting out of tickets? Email me your story and maybe I'll reveal my secrets.

2. Also, you can find out one of the few things that truly make me feel like a boy of semi-high intelligence. (I'll give you a hint: It involves mid-90's tight ends.)

That's all for now, boys and girls. I'd like to unleash my Ohio State-USC thoughts before sundown (Chris Wells' status is now doubtful, which may actually be a good thing), and of course, week three NCAA Vickers picks (our record stands at 5-4, which is more than respectable). Stay tuned. I'm hopped up on Adderall and Welch's white grape peach juice (a delightful treat), so this could make for a productive three hours or so.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
9/11/08 (the 7th anniversary of when Mom told me to get Dad's shotgun, just in case)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This Just In: Carson Palmer Headlining 2008 Backpedalpalooza!

I caught a bunch of negative email when I suggested that Carson Palmer doesn't receive the blame he deserves for the train wreck that is the Cincinnati Bengals. Then Baltimore happened, and I was validated, unfortunately. Or so I thought. After the Ravens game I received antagonizing email that shared a basic theme: "You see, it's not Palmer's fault - his line is garbage."

Which kind of makes my point. The Bengals' offensive line is garbage, but what about finding a way to make a momentum-swinging play when given the opportunity? And believe me, even if it didn't seem like it, there were opportunities.

Palmer spent the majority of the game backpedaling, which is understandable - after all, large mammals were chasing after him with hopes of wrestling him to Earth and/or injuring his spleen. But the spleen injury attempts didn't happen on every pass play, and if you disagree with me, you and I didn't watch the same game. I remember at least three times where Palmer dropped back to throw, had solid pass protection, and did one of two things:

1. Backpedaled for no reason and heaved an inaccurate duck over a somewhat open receiver, or...

2. Left the pocket before it broke down.

Again, my favorite Bengal did these things, and looked like a starry-eyed rookie in the process. And no matter how you spin it, there's simply no excuse for reacting this way. Sure, I get that Baltimore gave Palmer no time to breathe for the great majority of the game, and that he came to expect the heat, but shouldn't a (supposedly) great QB not worry about this kind of stuff? Shouldn't a (supposedly) great QB be able recognize when he's actually receiving solid protection? I mean, let's just say Palmer hurried his throw or prematurely escaped the pocket a total of three times...well, shouldn't a (supposedly) great QB have been able to make the most of those moments? I say yes. Carpe diem, yo!

Plain and simple: Palmer panicked on more than one occasion against Baltimore, where one big play meant the difference between losing and overtime. Call me stupid, but I'm guessing it's a bad sign when the 28-year-old, $100 million face of the franchise is visibly rattled by an above average pass rush.

Two years ago I thought Carson Palmer was the next Dan Marino. Ten months ago I regrettably drew comparisons between Palmer and Drew Bledsoe, which may end up being unfair to Bledsoe. Let's just hope I don't get a strong Daunte Culpepper vibe eight weeks from now?

Anyway, what the hell happened to this guy? And do you have faith he'll ever return to the heights of 2005?

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
9/11/08 (the 7th anniversary of when Mom had me stop, drop and rolling because terrorists were attacking Ohio)

Annoying Movie Cliches And Whatnot (Podcast)

Think back to the scariest moment of your life. Whether a wasp was chasing after you or if you were illegally watching a bootleg version of Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead, just get back to that moment. Now, I'm guessing the one thing you didn't do in that moment is go to the bathroom all over yourself. In movies, however, scared people have all sorts of trouble controlling their bladders - why is that? Now, I realize this movie phenomenon usually occurs when a high-powered weapon is pointed in the general direction of Mr. Pee Man's face, but still...what the hell?

Anyway, Craig and I discuss this and other movie cliches in our latest podcast, annoying movie cliches and whatnot. It's less than four minutes long, and it's mostly safe for work. Sounds interesting, right? Give it a listen or I will blow up your house with dynamite and similar explosives.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)
9/11/08 (the 7th anniversary of Mom basically telling me terrorists were driving planes into our house next)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Revisiting the 2008 NFL Draft (Kinda Sorta)

I had a post-midnight discussion with my brother last night on the topic of Eddie Royal and the rest of the impressive rookie class. Which led to me wishing the Bengals had a piece of that action. Which led to me venting about the Bengals' bypassing of DeSean Jackson, a guy I love, in the second round. Which led to me asking my brother if it makes me a jerk when I link to stuff I've already written. Which led to him telling me that nobody likes being told I told you so. Which led to me agreeing with him and feeling like an a-hole for all the times I've linked to myself.

So, after DeSean Jackson grabbed six balls for over 100 yards--and returned a punt 60 yards--I'm fighting off the urge to link to my post that suggested the Bengals made a monumental mistake by passing up DeSean Jackson in the second round. (That particular post, by the way, was written May 1, 2008, and can be found on the blog archive page! And I wouldn't object if you decided to read it again and remind me all about it.)

I am not a jerk.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Kyle Orton Follow Up

Kyle Orton completed 13 passes Sunday night vs. Indianapolis. Which is precisely why, as you may recall, Craig and I bet on Orton to complete more than 18.5 passes in an NFL game.

Upon further review, it was either the silliest line ever posted or the dumbest wager ever placed. Probably both. Consider Kyle Orton's gamelogs: In his eighteen career starts, only once did he complete more than 17 passes. Once! In eighteen career starts! That's nearly impossible. Regardless, how in the hell does Vegas list Kyle Orton's over/under at 18.5 completions? And why did they charge me extra (-120) to play it?

Funny thing, though: I woulda bet every penny to my name on Orton's UNDER in my previous, Vickers-free life.

Religion is a dangerous thing.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Gambling 2K8: Part Seven (Volquez Infected)

Dave Bush is somewhere between average and crappy; Edinson Volquez is great. Dave Bush and the Brewers are somehow favored tonight, which means they'll obviously win big.

Monday Vickers pick: Brewers (-115) vs. Reds.

And for the record, yes, Craig and I actually wagered against Volquez. And yes, I'm hoping to lose my money - I just can't bring myself to root against Volquez, but this sucker is oozing with Vickers goo.

So there you have it, I might be the first person with an online account who hopes to lose money.
The Brian Vickers System is my religion.

Current Vickers record: 5-3

(Truly unbelievable details of the Kyle Orton wager to be posted later.)

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ravens 17 Points, Bengals 10 Points

I know you're expecting me to write about the Bengals, but what could I say that isn't obvious? I already voiced my concern with Carson Palmer, which, of course, was immediately dismissed by blind Bengals fans - and now, after laying an egg vs. Joe Flacco and the below average Baltimore Ravens, I can't possibly say anything that you don't already know.

This team is shit, the coach is shit, the owner is shit and the attitude as a whole is shit. Things are bad, and they're getting worse. Much worse. And if you don't see it this way, you're obviously an idiot. This is not an opinion.

If you want optimism, go read Geoff Hobson. And if you have optimism, please email me (and I'll likely respond by calling you an idiot).

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Gambling 2K8: Part Six (Vickers Meets...Kyle Orton?)

I'm somewhere around 285% sure I'm going to lose tonight's wager, but the Brian Vickers System says it's a slam dunk.

The pick: Kyle Orton OVER 18.5 completions (-120) vs. Colts.

If this puppy wins--and again, I don't see how it's possible--Vegas will have no choice but to start monitoring this site.

Current Vickers record: 5-2

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Gambling 2K8: Part Five (NFL Week 1)

Seven points is a ton of points to be giving on the road in the NFL. Especially against an explosive team coming off a 10-win season. Which means the Cowboys are going to blow the doors off the Browns. Of course!

Sunday Vickers pick: Cowboys (-7) at Browns.

The Brian Vickers System won two and lost two Saturday, with one close loss (New Mexico), and another that was closer than you think (Marshall - only outgained by 173 yards - 173 yards!!! - despite the wide margin of defeat). Anyway, the Vickers System is now 4-2 and the bandwagon still has plenty of seats available.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Gambling 2K8: Part Four (Vickers Goes Public)

The Brian Vickers System is now 2-0, and it's about time to go on record with the selections. As for the reason I haven't alerted you to the obvious winners ahead of time...it was just a timing issue. Both the bet I wrote about (the Clemson/Alabama rushing total) and the one I didn't (Livan Hernandez +190 vs. Tim Lincecum) were spotted at the last second and I wasn't near my computer to post a quick little write-up. And I have documentation, but my blogging template won't allow me to paste the screen shot from betus.com without causing an html problem.

Anyway, with a full college slate less than 24 hours away, I figured it's time to unveil this week's Vickers picks. Craig and I did hours and hours and minutes and days of research, and came away with the following picks:

Buffalo +13.5 at Pitt

Louisiana Monroe +14 vs. Arkansas

New Mexico +3.5 vs. Texas A & M

Marshall +21.5 at Wisconsin

I could give you a brief explanation of why the Vickers System applies in each case, or you could just trust me. Anyway, picking these teams might look silly--and unlike anything I've ever done--but Brian Vickers is a good man, and he's yet to let us down. Come join us on our path to gambling nirvana!

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Does Palmer Deserve More Blame For This Mess?

I'm just going to come out and say it: Carson Palmer deserves significantly more blame than he's receiving.

Sure, Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis are disasters in their own right, but Palmer isn't exactly innocent - although he never receives any blame. Which makes me wonder if anyone actually watched Bengals games last year.

Do not remind me about the shoddy line play or pedestrian running game - I don't want to hear it. I've taken it all into account and I still think Palmer isn't doing his part. He's (supposedly) a star QB...he's far and away the highest paid player on the roster...he needs to step up his game. He needs to stop hanging his head after every pick...he needs to chew out a lineman (ala Dan Marino) when he gets sacked...he needs to find a way to make it happen when it isn't his day. The great ones do that. The tough ones do that. The leaders do that. Problem is, I'm not sure Palmer fits into any of those categories.

Plain and simple: If Palmer is to be considered an elite quarterback, he must win games.

2005 was three years ago, but it feels like an eternity.

5-11, here we come!

(Note: I wrote this thing three different ways this morning, but it never felt right. I typed probably 2,000 words before ultimately settling on the succinct route. Hope I didn't disappoint those of you who wanted a lengthy Bengals preview. There's always the regular season.)

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Most Boring Football Game In The History Of Football Games

Breaking News! Breaking News!

Marvin Lewis might not be the worst head coach in the NFL - that spot is reserved for the Redskins' Jim Zorn, who should probably retire before breakfast. At least that way he can tell his nieces and nephews he finished his career one game under .500, which kinda sounds okay.

Did you watch that abortion? Christ! Down 9...under six minutes remaining...buried in their own territory...and Clinton Portis runs the ball directly up the middle for two yards...for the 18th straight play...and thirty more seconds come off the clock...and Portis is given the ball the following play...and Redskins fans swallow a shotgun.

Anyway, what was Jim Zorn thinking? Where was the sense of urgency? He knows it's no longer preseason, right? How long does he expect Portis to last with that unimaginative play selection? That was brutal.

But seriously, this reminds me of the original Tecmo Bowl. You remember Tecmo Bowl, right? Of course you do - Cap Boso was one of the five best players in the game, and the playbook consisted of four plays. Tecmo Bowl is a lot of things, but realistic isn't one of them.

Or so I thought.

I didn't think it was possible, but Zorn just validated the makers of Tecmo Bowl by running only three plays against the Giants. In case you missed it, here's a brief description of said plays: (1.) Portis up the middle for two yards, (2.) three-yard pass to either Santana Moss or Antwan Randle El on 3rd & 8 and (3.) hopeless heave down the sideline to James Thrash (who is pulling a paycheck despite being lousy for the eighth straight year).

Dear Jim Zorn,

A blogger in southwest Ohio is of the belief that you are worser (and maybe even terribler) than Marvin Lewis. This is not something you want to tell your nieces and nephews.

Good Luck!

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Abbreviated 2008 NFL Preview

Facts: (1.) The NFL season starts in about nine seconds, and (2.) I'm more than a little tardy with my NFL season predictions.

But first, take a look at the NFL wagers I made for the upcoming season:

Saints OVER 8.5 wins (-180)
Vikings OVER 8.5 wins (-190)

Romo +9.5 TD passes vs Brady (-140)
Frank Gore +0.5 rushing TDs vs. Edgerrin James (-120)
Marques Colston -35.5 receiving yards vs. Houshmandzadeh (-115)

I shall be swimming in pools of $100 bills in about four months!

Another gambling note: The Brian Vickers System is now 2-0. Details to be posted tomorrow, along with the Vickers picks for the weekend! This should excite you - hence the usage of the exclamation point at the end of the previous sentence.

Without further ado, here are my quick predictions for the 2008 NFL season:

AFC playoffs:

1. Jags (12-4)...Jones-Drew gets more and more touches, becomes legitimate star
2. Pats (11-5)...Up and down all year. About time for them to suffer bad luck.
3. Steelers (11-5)...Mendenhall is best back on team - fumbling issues result in fewer carries
4. Chargers (9-7)...Merriman plays in eight games; regrets decision to play.
WC: Colts (10-6)...Gonzalez becomes No. 2 over Harrison
WC: Browns (9-7)...Quinn makes an appearance and impresses; controversy gains momentum.

Close, but no cylindrical roll of tobacco cured for smoking: Jets (9-7); Texans (9-7)

On the rise (relatively speaking): Raiders (7-9)...I think JaMarcus Russell proves not to be a bust; Zach Miller becomes top 8 fantasy TE

Random AFC predictions: Dwayne Bowe avoids the curse of Michael Clayton; Ben Utecht catches 65 balls; Ted Ginn returns three kickoffs for TDs; The Bengals finish with a 5-11 record; Ricky Williams reminds people how talented he still is.

AFC Championship: Jags over Steelers

NFC playoffs:

1. Saints (12-4)...Brees goes for 35-40 TDs; Bush catches 85 balls.
2. Cowboys (12-4)...Felix Jones wows people in limited duty.
3. Vikings (11-5)...Jared Allen, 20 sacks; Peterson, 1,600 yards without being overworked.
4. Cardinals (8-8)...Tim Hightower slides ahead of Edgerrin James by midseason.
WC: Packers (10-6)...Rodgers, top 10 fantasy QB; Jennings sees increase in production.
WC: Lions (9-7)...What the hell?

Close, but no cylindrical roll of tobacco cured for smoking: Eagles (9-7); Panthers (8-8)

On the rise (relatively speaking): 49ers (7-9)...Patty Willis might be the best LB in the NFL, and I haven't given up on Martz just yet.

Random NFC predictions: Jason Campbell continues to be the walking definition of mediocre; Giants don't use Ahmad Bradshaw as much as they should; Tampa wins four games; Frank Gore hits 2,000 total yards and 15 TDs; Matt Ryan is somewhat non-terrible from day one; Nate Burleson catches 85 balls; Calvin Johnson hauls in 15 TDs; Kyle Orton starts 16 games; Justin Tuck once again posts double digit sacks despite the losses of Strahan and Umenlkmdkknfdyoura; Marques Colston, top fantasy WR.

NFC Championship: Saints over Vikings

Super Bowl: Jags over Saints.

End of words. And the first game ain't even started yet. Word up!

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Edinson Volquez Strikes Out

My whole life I've heard how Cincinnati is a baseball town. Let me tell you, that is crap. Edinson Volquez and I happened to be at the same downtown bar last night, and we each walked out of there with the same number of women on our arm - none. Something like that is going to happen with a fellow like me...but it should never happen to a guy who just struck out thirteen Pittsburgh Pirates a few hours prior.

This is an outrage.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It Doesn't Take A Genius To Fix The Bengals

I'm with Bobby Knight, Bill Parcells would be a successful coach in any sport. You take a 50-year-old Parcells, hand him the Los Angeles Clippers, and I'd bet anything they'd be a consistent winner in the NBA within three years. I don't care how green Parcells is, he knows how to push buttons and motivate professional athletes.

I have another one...

Allow Mark Cuban to buy the Pirates--sorry George Grande, the Buc-O's--and they immediately become a credible franchise, and not just because of his deep pockets. Cuban would acquire as much information as possible, hire the right people and spend money wisely (i.e., scouting and drafting - as opposed to paying Matt Morris $10 million to be an observer).

But wait, there's more...

In the words of Sam Jackson in Jurassic Park, "Hold on to your butts":

Billy Beane, Bengals GM.

In the words of Mayor Goldie Wilson, "I like the sound of that."

Before going forward, ask yourself one question: Would the Bengals be better off with Billy Beane in charge of player personnel over the next decade? I say YES - unequivocally. As a Bengals diehard, and one who is completely out of faith (not unlike a young Natalie Imbruglia, actually), this would be the happiest news on the Bengals front in some time (aside from the glorious word that Chris Henry was back in stripes).

Anyway, here me out: Whether you're familiar with the idea of Moneyball or not, I'm guessing you at least know that the Oakland A's have been a winning organization since the turn of the century. And you probably know that Oakland has remained competitive despite minimal resources. The reason? Billy Beane.

Now, baseball obviously doesn't operate the same way as football, but Beane's been able to keep up with the big boys, essentially, because of a proactive approach - something the Bengals don't know anything about. Throughout his tenure, Beane has avoided an aging roster with shrewd (and often unpopular) moves. More often than not, though, Beane's moves work out for the best.

If you're not young, you're old.

Case in point: Willie Anderson, Rudi Johnson and Deltha O'Neal, three humans who the Bengals released a few days ago. That is, three former Pro Bowlers who the Bengals released a few days ago.

I'm angry.

Johnson last earned a trip to Honolulu after the '04 season; Anderson and O'Neal, '05.

In football, three years is an eternity.

It was after the '05 season, I think, when the organization decided to give Anderson a sizable extension and let Eric Steinbach walk the following year. That was questionable then, and to be viewed as a monumental screw-up now. Loyalty should never be rewarded when a salary cap is involved. Ever. Are we clear?

Anyway, the O-Line is a mess...and Billy Beane wouldn't have let that happen. No way.

As for Rudi Johnson, he steadily declined after the '05 season - which was also about the same time the O-Line saw it's dominating days become a thing of the past. Hmmmm? Was he ever that good? Or did he benefit from an explosive passing game and top notch line? Questions, man. Questions.

Either way, the Bengals stupidly waited on King Fragile (Chris Perry), and didn't draft a RB until 2007, when they selected Kenny Irons, a stud. Problem is, Irons injured his knee and the Bengals were right back at square one, with an even slower--and now injury prone--Rudi Johnson. Admittedly, the Bengals were dealt some bad luck, but why not operate like the Jaguars and draft RBs even when they're loaded at the position? Fact: RBs break down, and you always need a solid backup plan. You'd think Mike Brown would know this stuff. You'd think.

And look, even if you chalk up the Bengals' RB situation before April as matter of bad luck, isn't it unfathomable that they neglected the area entirely in the '08 draft? I still can't get over this. Let's see: Rudi Johnson was shot; Kenny Irons wasn't recovering from surgery; Chris Perry has never been able to stay healthy. That being the case, how do you not address maybe the weakest position group on the team? Flat out inexcusable.

Again, Billy Beane, regardless of what he did or didn't know about football, would've taken one look at the situation and added some fresh legs to the mix.

As for O'Neal, Marvin Lewis has been unhappy with his attitude since the start of '06, and while they drafted John Joseph and Leon Hall in consecutive first rounds, it wasn't enough. How else do you explain David Jones, an undrafted free agent, being the nickelback in '08?

In the words of Alan Cutler, this is Em--barrrr--a--ssing.

You might think I'm nuts, but I say Billy Beane would transform the Bengals into a semi-regular winner. Sure, it'll never happen, but that doesn't mean I'm not right.


-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Is You Hongry? A Radio Tribute! (Podcast)

The topic turned to radio almost immediately after Craig and I started recording Friday. He was chewing gum on the air (a Radio 101 No-No), and I started comparing him to radio legend Gary Burbank, someone who constantly chewed gum on the air. This led to us joking about how Craig won the Gary Burbank Award at the Ohio Center of Broadcasting (which we only refer to as the Ohio College of Broadcasting) despite being thrown out of the program with a month remaining. It also became a way for us to goof on the absurdity of terrestrial radio (like the constant traffic/weather updates).

A few things:

1. Craig and I each attended OCB, although not together - he actually graduated from Ohio University before attending that overpriced joke of an institution. And why is it a joke? In order to be admitted into OCB, you're tested on--among other things--your ability to speak publicly. Supposedly, OCB won't just take anyone, and they want to see if you have the aptitude to one day be an on air personality. Soon after I started I found out that I was stressing out over nothing, because one kid in my class quickly earned the nickname "Mumbles." Looking back, that nickname might have been a tad generous.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because Craig shares an equally ridiculous story from his time at OCB - I'll give you a hint: It has something to do with the title of this post.

2. I swore I'd never do it, but I briefly mention the name of Darryl Parks on the podcast - and some of the insults Parks threw my way behind closed doors. (Note: I actually covered this back in January without naming names.) Anyway, I'm not bitter.

Regardless, go listen to is you hongry--a radio tribute. There are worse ways to spend six minutes.

That is all.

(Unrelated semi-rant: As a mammal who recently sliced his thumb wide open, I can tell you with absolute certainty--and I suspect I knew this all along--BAND AID brand is making a mockery of the first aid field. It's not that they don't compare to Nexcare, it's that they barely work. If you sweat even a little bit, that baby's coming off. I'm still wondering how BAND AID is the leading seller of such products, being that they've been lapped in quality by seemingly all of their competitors. Back in the 50's, Chuck Taylor's were all the rage. But their reign didn't last because they were crap. So tell me...what's the difference?)

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Craig Challeneges Military Man To Push-Up Contest

Craig was kicked out of a fantasy football league for the fourth time in his adult life just last week. My fantasy football league. I'm not happy about this, although Craig thinks I spearheaded the mission to kick him to the curb. That is not the case. The reality is that I'm not entirely sure why he was given the boot, especially since most of the league participants don't know the guy. After doing a little digging, however, it appears Craig's confrontational attitude, which is amplified on podcasts, had a lot to do with the decision to replace him with a less disruptive human.

What's the point?

Craig recently engaged in argument...on a golf course...with a military man. Craig called the man's wife a fat slob. Smart, I know.

Oh yeah, he told his version of the story on a pretty great podcast. So take six minutes of your pathetic life and listen to craig challenges military man to push-up contest and tell me if that sort of behavior should keep him out of fantasy football leagues.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)

Gambling 2K8: Part Three (Still Undefeated)

The Brian Vickers System was a smashing success in week one! Story time...

As you may have heard, Clemson's CJ Spiller and James Davis make up one of the best backfields in the country - if not the best. Anyway, Vegas offered a prop that was straight out of the Brian Vickers handbook: CJ Spiller/James Davis (-140) vs. Terry Grant/Glen Coffee (Even). Vegas was simply asking you to pick the tandem with the most rushing yards. Sure, you'd pay have to pay a little more if you wanted the Clemson guys, but not that much. Plus, in classic Vickers fashion, Craig had never heard of Grant or Coffee...which made this our first bet using the Brian Vickers System.

And it won! While the Alabama guys didn't do much, they easily out-gained the much-heralded Spiller and Davis, who finished with a combined twenty rushing yards.

Brian Vickers 1, Vegas 0.

Also, and this has nothing to do with Brian Vickers, but Tennessee is the Lock of the Millennium tonight against UCLA. The Vols are favored by eight at the moment and should have no trouble beating the decimated Bruins by three or four touchdowns.

End of words.

-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)