Sunday, November 30, 2008

Suicide Watch, Buckeye Joy, Funny (But True) Stories

Things happened over the weekend.


Nebraska's jerk kicker ruined my life when he nailed a school-record 57-yard field goal to beat Colorado. If he misses this kick, Colorado wins their sixth game and I win all six of my college football futures bets - this isn't including my player props and longshot wagers, such as my semi-brilliant wager on Utah finishing undefeated in the regular season at 40/1 odds. Anyway, I was in my car listening to the Nebraska Radio Network on Sirius - although I'd counted Colorado as a win, and damn near spent the cash already, I needed to see the dead body for assurance - and this is the noise that ruined my day:

Nothing like losing $100 while hillbillies are yelling at you in your '98 Dodge Intrepid!

Saturday provided another dagger...

Another futures bet I made was Clemson RB
CJ Spiller coming withing 100 rushing yards of his teammate James Davis. The end of the story is that Davis outgained Spiller by 113 yards. The Before That is why I'm on suicide watch. First, Spiller missed almost two games due to injuries. Second, Spiller is the much better player, and Clemson coaches foolishly treat them like equals (especially when factoring in receiving prowess). Heading into the final drive of the season - a game Clemson was handling arch-rival South Carolina, 31-14 - Spiller trailed Davis by...wait for it...99 GODDAMN YARDS! He missed nearly two games and received fifty fewer carries, and yet I was in a position to win with about three minutes left in the Tigers' season. James gained 17 yards on the final drive; Spiller, 3. See you later, $50.

From the prediction department...

I love projecting amateur players and comparing them to current stars, and I think I have a good one. (And yes, it's better than Fran Fraschilla stupidly comparing Blake Griffin to Amare Stoudemire.) After watching Oklahoma State every now and again for two years, I've come to the conclusion that Cowboys sophomore WR Dez Bryant has more than a little Anquan Boldin in him. Both are big, but look bigger (Boldin is listed at 6'1, 217 lbs.; Bryant, 6'2, 210 lbs.)...both are physical as hell...both are great after the catch without blazing speed...both prefer sweet and sour sauce with Wendy's chicken nuggets (I'm guessing)...both excelled on the college level as punt returners (translation: great feet)...both play with a mean streak.

Am I predicting Boldin-like production for Bryant at the next level? Of course not. But I wouldn't bet against Bryant becoming a star, either. Watch:

(Random thought while watching the Vikings-Bears game: Is Darren Sharper the most underrated player of this generation? The most underrated DB? Anyway, my sincerest apology for channeling Peter King.)

More importantly from Saturday...

Oregon State lost to Oregon, which means...

I'm using a lot of dot-dot-dots. It also means...

Fair or unfair, Ohio State appears to be headed to their sixth BCS game in eight years (including three title game appearances!). Not to be a dickhead, but try to remember that when you're complaining about Jim Tressel's play-calling (and I'm as guilty as anyone). The man is 7-1 against Michigan, and the future of the program is healthier than ever; the Terrelle Pryor era seems destined for a Heisman, a championship and more Big Ten dominance. Not terrible.

Sunday offered up two funny stories...

While watching football with my brother Eric and my buddy Frank, those two told hilarious, unrelated stories about seven minutes apart.

First, from Frank: When his dog goes bathroom during a neighborhood walk, Frank, my friend of twenty-plus years, bends over to pick up the fresh dump - complete with a plastic bag and a scooper - but it's all an illusion. You see, Frank goes through the motions, but he doesn't actually complete the act of picking up animal feces and transferring it to the bag. And you thought Peyton Manning was the master of the play-action.

Now, Eric's story: My brother, 30, has been a Marlboro Lights smoker for more than half his life. For whatever reason this became a topic of conversation today. Eric relayed a story from his high school days when
Marlboro announced a $100 million recall (that's 8 billion cigs!) for faulty cigarettes that - among other things - caused dizziness. Well, the day the recall was announced coincided with Eric being fresh out of smokes. What followed is the least surprising thing you'll read today. As Eric strolled through the drive thru, he jokingly (I think) delivered the following request to the overweight clerk: "I need a pack of Marlboro Lights, the kind that make you dizzy."

The response: "You're the eighth guy to ask for them today."

God Bless Smokers! God Bless America!

-Brad Spieser (