Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Gambling 2K8: Chapter 76 (2K8 Is Almost Over)

Funniest moment of 2008: Dan Orlovsky's impressive awareness...

Funniest piece of literature of 2008: The December 8, 2008 issue of The Sporting News. Explain. In a piece by Stan McNeal about the increase of text messaging by MLB G.M.s, I found this nugget about former Reds G.M Jim Bowden...

Just ask rival G.M.s about rival Bowden. Though none would consent to being
quoted, many say Bowden has become known for e-mailing trade proposals so
lopsided in his club's favor that he could be laughed at or hung up on if the
same offer were made the traditional ways. "It's like a running joke," one G.M.

Best new gambling system inspired by a relatively nondescript car driver: The Brian Vickers System.

New Years Eve Vickers...


Vandy (+3.5)
vs. Boston College


Northeatern (+18.5)
at Memphis

Utah (+6) vs. Gonzorga

Depaul (+7.5) vs. Notre Dame

New Year's Day Vickers***more picks likely to be added after I wake up***

Fighting Bearcats of Cincinnati University (-2.5) vs. What's a Hokie?

**********Special Note**********

For the first time this season I am publicly turning my back on the Brian Vickers System. Michigan State (+7.5) vs. Georgia qualifies on every level, but I'm using my brain this time around. Part of the problem with the Vickers System this year, and one thing we'll tweak before next football season, is that I never give myself enough credit for knowing a lot about football. Just because I lost a bunch in the past doesn't mean I didn't have plenty o moments when I simply knew what was going to happen. And tomorrow, I know--KNOW--Gerogia is going to roll Michigan State's ass. I've seen this game happen a million times and I've won money more often than not. I'm not necessarily telling you to take Georgia, and I won't count it on my record if I'm right, but I'm definitely suggesting you stay away from the Spartans.

That is all.

Yesterday: 4-5
Overall: 144-130-6

-Brad Spieser (

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gambling 2K8: Chapter 75 (Hotter Than A Young Britney Spears)

The text message came in early this afternoon: What gambling site do you use? I need to get in on this hot Vickers action. I can't wait any longer...

That was courtesy of my buddy Fletch, who has taken notice of Lord Brian's latest hot streak (5-2 record Monday). I'm expecting more of the same on Tuesday...


Oregon (Pick 'em)
vs. Oklahoma State

Words: Win or lose, be sure to tune in to see if I'm nuts with my Dez Bryant/Anquan Boldin comparison.


South Carolina (+2.5)
vs. Clemson

Things: Devan Downey shattered my heart when he left Cincinnati (and Cats fans are till paying for it) but he can pay me back with a dominant performance against in-state rival Clemson.

Seton Hall (+12.5) at the Carrier Dome

Stuff: The Hall has suffered recent losses to James Madison and IUPUI, and now they're supposed to hang with a good Cuse team that's getting wigger extraordinaire Eric Devendorf back? Whatever, Vegas...

Arkansas (+5.5) vs. Oklahoma

Things: Oklahoma is (a.) undefeated, (b.) ranked 4th, (c.) battle tested and (d.) led by the No. 1 pick in next year's NBA draft. Not that you didn't know that already.

Elon (+20) at Maryland

Words: Elon!


Pacers (Pick 'em)
vs. Hawks

Things: Really?

Heat (+5.5) vs. Cavs

Stuff: I'm sick of losing money wagering against the Cavs.

Bucks (+8) at Spurs

Grizzle (+4) vs. Suns

Yesterday: 5-2
Overall: 140-125-6

-Brad Spieser (

Monday, December 29, 2008

Fixing Football: Chapter 2 (We Need More Fantasy Football)

Before moving forward with my Fixing Football series, which began with passionate arguments for a 64-team college football tournament here and here, let me make one final point regarding the current state of college football's postseason:

Wake Forest and Navy kicked off the bowl season a few weeks back in something called the EagleBank Bowl. One team won and one team lost. Who? How the hell do I know? It lacked intrigue on every possible level, and I'm positive the TV ratings were nonexistent. Not only had both teams played each other earlier in the season, but nothing was at stake. And since neither squad plays an exciting, pass-happy brand of football, there was no reason to tune in.

But...let's say these teams were paired up in a 7-10 first-round game, and let's also say you were in four or five office pools...would you have been on the edge of your seat with every play? Would the stadium have been filled with fans going ape shit? Would the players have sold out on every single play? Would the ratings have been through the roof? The answers, of course, are yes, yes, yes and YES!

And yet, 90 percent (and that might be conservative) of the people I encounter are against this format. They never offer a good reason (it's usually something about money or travel or academics or too many teams), but they're overwhelmingly against it without truly considering the advantages of massive overhaul the current system.

Anyway, I gots me some other ways to make football a better product, and I'm transitioning to the NFL...

Networks need to pander more to the fantasy-starved morons...which is pretty much everyone watching the games. Listen, even with the advent of NFL Sunday Ticket, wireless Internet and scrolling stats on the bottom of the screen there's still a need for up-to-the-minute fantasy updates. I have the solution: Every network needs to return from every break (save for thirty-second injury breaks) 20-30 seconds early with the latest fantasy news, from injuries to scoring updates to teams in the red zone.

Here's what I envision: Just one guy (a quick but clear speaker), with absolutely nothing resembling shtick in a newsroom-type setting; he needs to deliver as much information as possible in a short amount of time. Hell, it'd probably work best with a professional news guy who happened to be a huge football fan. The reason I like someone with a news background is they wouldn't feel obligated to unleash catchphrases on us, and they are obviously superb at adjusting on the fly. (Trust me, I worked with outstanding news talents at WLW for years and you can't believe how great they are at seemlessly injecting a last-second piece of breaking news with five seconds left in the broadcast)

I sometimes spend my Sundays at my buddy's house with three other guys. My buddy, Borgs, has two TVs with Sunday Ticket. He also has an available computer, and I have mine. It's a wonderful setup. Now, you would think we would never miss anything, but that's simply not the case. Between the four of us, we combine to have ten fantasy teams. Ten. Which means that almost every game is important too someone. But with two TVs you can't watch every play of every game. We're constantly flipping back and forth to appease the loudest and most annoying people in the bunch (read: me), and some games are forgotten altogether. And even though we have computers to keep tabs on the less-important games, it's still impossible to be on top of every little detail. (So, imagine what'd be like for the guy with just one TV, sans Sunday Ticket, and one computer...)

(Note: These quick-hitting updates wouldn't be a rehashing of the days statistics, it would be up-to-the minute stuff - i.e., injuries, turnovers, overturned calls, benchings, missed field goals, etc.)
Here's a good example of how this would help: In week one of the season Warrick Dunn was unexpectedly stealing a ton of carries from Earnest Graham, who had a pretty great season the year before. Well, that game wasn't in our main rotation, and every time we turned on the game Dunn was getting the carries but we didn't know why. We assumed Graham was injured, but we didn't know for sure. It wasn't the end of the world, necessarily, but we were more than a little curious; Graham was a starter in 80-90 percent of games that week, while Dunn almost certainly wasn't in a single starting lineup. What was the deal?

It's ridiculous to say that something like this is important, but it kinda is. Either way, ask yourself one question: How much better would your football-viewing experience be if every commercial break ended 20-30 seconds early for the latest fantasy news?

That's what I thought.

And before you tell me the NFL wouldn't just throw that advertising money away, just remember that they could charge plenty more for air time if they knew people would be tuned in early in order to find out player updates from games across the country. Plus, it would further their product's superiority over the rest of this country's major sports.

Would anyone be against this?

-Brad Spieser (

Gambling 2K8: Chapter 74 (Why, New Orleans, Why?)

Let's get the Vickers out of the way before I resume my Fixing Football series this afternoon. And actually, before I fix football, let me apologize to anyone who came in my path yesterday after the Saints lost their fifth heartbreaker of the season (including two in the last three weeks) as I came up one win short of breaking the bank.

I'd love to go into details of the screw job the refs delivered New Orleans in a two-point loss at Denver with under 2:00 remaining in the 4th...or the game they held Adrian Peterson to 32 yards on 21 carries, while dominating the time of possession and yardage battle, only to lose a freaky game to Minnesota by three...or the fact that Marques Colston and Reggie Bush missed a combined 13 games and never really played together...or the Redskins game, where they had a nine-point lead with under six minutes to play...or the Bears (week 15) and Panthers (week 17) games, where the Saints scored lead-changing touchdowns with three minutes to go, only to lose in overtime (Bears) and on a classic Jake Delhomme-off-his-back-foot-underthrown-lollipop-into-double-coverage that Steve Smith somehow came down with to put the Panthers on the brink of field goal range...really, I could. But I don't want to waste your time.

In simple terms: All I needed was one more win. I watched pretty much every Saints game and they very rarely caught any breaks. In the Snake Bitten Department, the 2008 Saints are one of the few teams I can remember who's crappy luck rivals the 2006 Bengals.

Okay, now that we have that out of the way, Monday's Vickers...


Hawks (-5) vs. Nuggets

Thunder (+9) vs. Suns

76ers (+6.5) at Jazz


Northwestern (+12) vs. Missouri


San Francisco (+15.5)
at Boston College

UTEP (-7) vs. James Madison*****Neutral court*****

College of Charleston (+4.5) vs. Davidson

Yesterday: 4-4 (Goddamn Coppin State)
Overall: 135-123-6

-Brad Spieser (

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Craig Hates Sales People

Craig and I care deeply about the English language. We correct each other with every slip up (or perceived slip up), as evidenced by our further vs. farther debate a few podcasts back, and we frequently call one another for late-night venting sessions after egregious grammatical mistakes were made - by high-paid broadcasters - on TV or radio. We simply can't handle it. You'll see us making out with each other before you hear us use words like supposably and expecially and irregardless.

Anyway, we don't always agree on things. We do most of the time, but when we don't it can make for an entertaining conversation (because neither of us budge), or in this case, a podcast.

If this is the kind of thing that interests you, you're in for a treat when you listen to our podcast, "Craig Hates Sales People," which is actually a podcast about, you know, Craig hating sales people and whatnot.


I have no more words.

-Brad Spieser (

Gambling 2K8: Chapter 73


Saints (+1.5)
vs. Panthers

Words: Not only are the Saints not going to win today, but I'm going to kill myself when they don't. At the start of the season I wagered a significant amount of American dollars on the Saints winning more than 8.5 games. They're sitting on eight heading into today's contest against a Panthers team that (a.) is quite obviously better than them and (b.) needs to win to lock up the No. 2 seed. Hooray!

Bills (+5.5) vs. Pats

49ers (-1) vs. Redskins

Chargers (-7) vs. Broncos

Things: Winner takes the division. Loser goes home. Both teams kinda stink. The Chargers just spent the last fifteen weeks proving just that, and they certainly aren't worthy of seven-point-favorite status against an equally desperate team.


Pacers (+4) vs. Hornets


Yale (+17.5) at Alabama

Stuff: Can I get an Amen for the Ivy League!

Portland (+14) at Cal

Coppin State (+9) vs. Colorado*****Neutral court*****

Things: Just checked...Coppin State has exactly one win on the season. One. And they're facing a Big 12 team. Awesome.

Overall record 131-119-6

-Brad Spieser (

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Gambling 2K8: Chapter 72 (In Search Of A Healthier Lifestyle)

Lord Brian delivered us a perfect day (3-0) Friday and yet my head hurts way too much to gloat.


1. I need to stop living like this.

2. I have some phone numbers that I should delete before lunch.

Saturday's Vickers...


Wisconsin (+6)
vs. Florida State

Cal (-10) vs. Miami


Timberwolfs (+9) vs. Magic

Bucks (-5.5) vs. Pistons


St Johns (+4.5) vs. Miami

Yesterday: 3-0
Overall: 131-114-6

-Brad Spieser (

Friday, December 26, 2008

Gambling 2K8: Chapter (Dwight Howard's Shoulders Edition)

You know how the words genius and hero are grossly overused? Well, I have another word to add to the list: Vintage.

During Thursday's Magic-Hornets broadcast, the word was used two different times within ninety seconds - and by two different humans - to describe...wait for it...wait for it...Stan Van Gundy and Keith Bogans!

Following a TV timeout, ESPN showed a clip of Van Gundy, who was mic'd up for the game, motivating his troops. Dan Shulman described this as "Vintage Stan Van Gundy."

Next up: Doris Burke. While watching highlights of Keith Bogans playing solid man-to-man defense, Burke was quick to point out that this was "Vintage Keith Bogans."

I would have written about this sooner, but I've been busy begging my mom not to leave my dad for Dwight Howard and his shoulders. I shit you not, her knees buckled when she first saw this behemoth, and then spent the rest of the night telling family members about the wonders of Dwight Howard.

Could I blame her? Of course not. Anyway, Friday's Vickers...


Florida Atlantic (+7)
vs. Central Michigan


The Elton Brandless 76ers (+6.5) vs. Nuggets

(Note: And Philly was less than mediocre with Brand)

Warriors (+10.5) vs. Celtics

Overall record: 128-114-6

-Brad Spieser (

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Impressive Display Of Athleticism

For a smart guy, Bill James is quite the idiot. In a recent interview with Dugout Central he said the following words: "Baseball has by far the best athletes of any sport. We always have had."

The sport with the best athletes, of course, is basketball.

Exhibit A:

Anyone disagree?

-Brad Spieser (

Gambling 2K8: Chapter 70 (Hotter Than A Young Phoebe Cates)

Scattergories tip of the day: If the 20-sided die happens to land on "D" at the same time "Song Title" is one of the categories, make sure to fill in The Police's "De Do Do Do De Da Da Da" for an impressive 8-pointer. There is almost no way you can lose that round. You're welcome.

Anyway, the Brian Vickers System is reinventing the term "gambling expert" with each passing day. In the last seven days Lord Brian has delivered an impressive 23-6-1 record, including 17-3 since Saturday. Without question, this is the hottest streak (in terms of winning percentage, not dollars earned) of my fifteen years in the game. Coincidence? Not bloody likely.

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


TCU (-3)
vs. Boise Murdering Murderers


Bobcats (-6)
vs. Wizards

Hornets (-3) vs. Lakers

Bucks (-1) vs. Jazz

Blazers (-8) vs. Nuggets


Wisconsin (+1.5) vs. Texas

Wyoming (+18.6) at UCLA

Marshall (+8.5) at Dayton

Santa Clara (+4) vs. Stanford

Portland State (+19.5) at Gonzorga

Yesterday: 5-2
Overall: 124-108-6

-Brad Spieser (
12/23/08, the day before I think about buying Christmas presents

Monday, December 22, 2008

Gambling 2K8: Chapter 69 (Death To Matt Cassel)

At what point can I classify Lord Brian's hot streak as sizzling? I mean, Jesus, a weekend of heavy betting just passed by and we only lost one game. One. Twelve loss. Impressive, right? Absolutely.

Sizzling? No doubt.

I could get used to this. On to the Monday Vickers...


Packers (+4)
at Bears

Forget about the Bears being desperate for a win and the Packers being less than decent. Because, to tell you the truth, I don't care about the outcome of tonight's game; my interest lies solely with Aaron P. Rodgers and Gregory Alexander Jennings.

I need monster performances tonight if I'm going to win either of my two Super Bowls. I won't bore you with the details, but I have Rodgers in one league and Jennings in both. Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking (a.) fantasy football stories aren't interesting (b.) there's no way Rodgers and Jennings are going crazy tonight with Chicago's current temperature hovering around ZERO. And while I agree with everything that's running through your mind at the moment, I'd ask you to consider the case of the Pats-Cards game from yesterday.

Ordinarily I'd be encouraged by the advancement of the forward pass in poor weather, but in this case, Matt Cassel's otherworldly performance happened on the exact same freaking day as I was playing against him.

And as angry as I was that Cassel was completely unaffected by the blizzard in the greater Boston area, it doesn't compare with the rage I'd like to direct towards Bill Belichick's stupid face.
Consider: In the 4th Quarter...of a lopsided 44-0 affair...Belichick was ordering up passes from the shotgun formation. That really happened.

It was one thing after another yesterday, and if Cassel just posts an above average game for the conditions (say 20 points, compared to the 38 our scoring system rewarded), I'd be at the liquor store right now, seeing how much Moet they had in stock. But now? I'm a little nervous and a lot pissed. Last I checked winning $1000 is a little different than winning $400.

But I digress...


James Madison (+3.7)
vs. Seton Hall

Things: The Vickers System was (in part) formed because of games like this. Do I know anything about James Madison? No, but they're goddamn James Madison. And Seton Hall plays in the Big East.

East Carolina (+9) vs. Wake Forest

Words: Wake remains (a.) undefeated and (b.) ranked in the top ten. So, why no respect from Vegas in a home game against the Fighting Jeff Blakes?

Utah State (-4.2) vs. Utah

Stuff: Utah is a basketball school. I can't recall a single time Utah State's name was listed after a (14) in a 3-14 tourney game. Are they even a mid major? Low major? Why are they favored by so many against a team with considerable name recognition?

Northeastern (+2) at Indiana

Things: Indiana is in the middle of their worst season ever, and yet I can guarantee they will have a sizable talent advantage tonight over Northeastern. This is bullshit. I thought we went through this already when Indiana murdered small-underdog Cornell...

Long Beach State (+7) vs. Temple

Words: I have no words.

Georgia Southern (+23.8) at Florida

Stuff: I just looked it up...Georgia Southern sports a 3-5 record on the season. In their last time out, something called North Dakota State beat them 98-77. 98 points! To North Dakota State! Somehow I think Florida will have very little trouble putting ball in basket.

Yesterday: 4-0
Overall: 119-106-6

-Brad Spieser (

Handsome Men And Britney Spears Is Smart

(Do you remember the night of that particular Britney Spears performance? That was the night she was largely considered a disgusting fat pig. Just a reminder.)

1. Do you think Britney Sears has a remarkably high IQ? Craig and I do. Think about it: She's once again a pop star and she doesn't have to babysit her kids anymore. Did Craig and I predict this? You betcha.

2. What moment from your past made you consider being a gay? Might it have been the night Gavin Rossdale played "Glycerine" in the driving rain for a bunch of drunken Spring Breakers? Be honest. (Note: Video below)

3. Does anyone else miss the great Keri Russell? I certainly do. In related news, did you see her recent semi-nude (but completely tasteful, wink-wink) photos in the somehow-still-in-business Details magazine?

Thems is the kind of things y'all can here 'n' shit if you listen to our four-minute podcast, "Handsome Men And Britney Sears Is Smart." Enjoy. And don't be afraid to admit you're a little gay from time to time.


The aforementioned Gavin-Rossdale-is-shockingly-handsome video:

(Site news: Craig and I are recording new podcasts this afternoon. I'm way behind on email, but I promise to answer them all at some point today.)

-Brad Spieser (

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gambling 2K8: Chapter 68 (Hotter Than A Young Jessica Biel)

Banner day for Lord Brian on Saturday: Eight wins against only one loss. Y'all haters can back up now for real. Anyway, Sunday's picks...


Raiders (+7)
vs. Texans

Giants (-3.5) vs. Panthers

Words: Are the Panthers the best team in football? Me thinks so.


Thunder (+13)
vs. Cavs

Things: There are degenerate scumbags all throughout Cleveland with oodles of extra cash for the holidays. The Cavs are 21-5 against the spread and look like a lock (alliteration) to improve to 22-5. Cavs, gooder than heck; Thunder, awful. Why can't Vegas make this pointspread 18 or 20? At least then I could act like the Thunder wouldn't still be a Vickers.


Clemson (+3.5) at Miami

Yesterday: 8-1
Overall: 115-106-6

-Brad Spieser (

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Gambling 2K8: 67 (Saturday Madness)

Saturday Vickers...


Ravens (+4.5)
at Cowboys


BYU-Arizona UNDER 59.5


Valpo (+28.5)
at North Carolina

UNLV (+2) vs. Arizona

VCU (+12.5) at Oklahoma

Memphis (-8) vs. Syracuse

Portland (+9.5) at Oregon

Wofford (+12) at Georgia

Eastern Kentucky (+12) at Bearcats

Yesterday: 1-1
Overall: 107-105-6

-Brad Spieser (

Friday, December 19, 2008

Nothing Is Funnier Than Dialing 911

Four "topics" in our podcast, "Nothing Is Funnier Than Dialing 911":

1. Craig doesn't drink, and he thinks anyone who has ever been to a bar is a stupid ass. But he's purchased about five different 6-irons in the last seven months. So, you tell me...who's dumber?

2. Have you ever dialed 911 on someone for something that absolutely did not warrant it? I have. In fact, I do it all the time. And it's always funny. I don't want to ruin the story, but I've called 911 twice in the last few months, once on my friend Party Dan and once on a Vegas cab driver.

3. Has somebody ever told you that drinks are free in Vegas? Do me a favor and smack that idiot in the face.

4. Other stuff

-Brad Spieser (

Drew Carey = Tim Thomas

Drew Carey once contributed one of the all-time great (and bloody accurate) quotes:

"Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar."
Besides that, the guy is unlikable and unfunny. He's also stealing millions of dollars from his current employer. Did you see his reaction following the greatest moment in the history of The Price is Right?

I get more excited when I find a quarter on the ground.

-Brad Spieser (

Gambling 2K8: Chapter 66 (Feeling Smart)

Friday's Vickers picks...

Nuggets (PICK) vs. Cavs

The Cavs are 21-4 overall this year and 20-5 against the spread; they kill everyone. The Nuggets are no bums themselves, obviously, and Chauncey Billups has really changed the culture out there, but Cleveland should be favored by three in this game.

Richmond (+7.6) vs. Wake Forest

Words: Wake is 9-0, and ranked 10th in the nation; Richmond is...not. The Spiders are 5-4, with losses to Bradley, Old Dominion and Virginia Commonwealth. Giddy up!

Overall record: 106-104-6

-Brad Spieser (

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gambling 2K8: Chapter 60-Something

Northern Colorado (+6.5) at Fresno State

Words: Fresno State might not seem like a basketball factory, but twelve different "alums" have played in at least one NBA game this decade. Putting things in context, Syracuse's number is 11.

Translation: Fresno State is a better program than Syracuse.

As for Northern Colorado, they've never put anybody in the NBA (and probably not even in the Austrian B League). And members of their football team are always stabbing each other. I feel less than awesome about this wager.

Evansville (+29.5) vs. Tar Heels

Things: The last time I watched UNC, they were clowning Michigan State in a 35-point blowout. In Michigan. Yee Haw!

-Brad Spieser (

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Auburn Coaching Situation: My $0.02

Brief thought before posting Wednesday's Vickers picks and taking a nap:

Has anyone considered the possibility that Gene Chizik might actually turn out to be a great coach? I mean, just because he wasn't the most qualified candidate, and just because race may have been involved with Turner Gill being passed over doesn't mean Chizik wasn't the best guy for the job. Ok, so he was an unimpressive 5-19 in two seasons at Iowa State in the brutal Big 12, but is that the sole way to determine a coach's ability?

Frank Beamer started off his legendary career at Virginia Tech about as unlegendarily as possible. He finished 5-17 in his first two campaigns, seemingly got things on track the following two years with back-to-back six-win seasons and went right back into the stink in years five and six, posting a combined 7-14-1 record. After that, the rest was history; the Hokies have made sixteen straight bowl games, including a title-game appearance in 1999. Could Chizik have done the same thing at Iowa State, a similar program (read: relatively hopeless) to the one Beamer inherited twenty-plus years ago in Blacksburg, Virginia? Probably not. But maybe. Gene Chizik really might be a good coach.

And besides, were you in the interview room? Did you listen to all the candidates lay out their plans for the Auburn program moving forward? Of course you didn't. Listen, Auburn AD Jay Jacobs may only get one shot to hire a football coach before his time runs out, and call me crazy but I think he'd want to hire the guy who can save his ass, even if it's ultimately the one guy who can make him look foolish.

I have no idea if race was an issue with the Turner Gill situation (although my guess would be that it was, let's assume it wasn't), and it seems mighty peculiar that Auburn didn't have interest in an awfully flirtatious Mike Leach, but I applaud the balls of Jacobs. And I applaud me, for using the word balls.

Anyway, Wednesday's Vickers...


Hawks (+3.5) vs. Celtics

Timberwolfs (+10) vs. Cavs


Arkansas Little Rock (+21) at Memphis

Austin Peay (+6) at Arkansas

Siena (+17) at Levance Fields has the shortest arms in the history of arms

That's all for now, kiddies.

-Brad Spieser (

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

From The Archives...

New podcasts will be posted Wednesday. Until then, enjoy a few of my favorites from the archives. I know this seems like lazy blogging (mostly because it is), but I've received more emails regarding the podcast in the last month than I have in the previous twelve months combined. Ever since I added the auto-play feature to the media player, which forces you to listen whether you want to or not, more and more people are listening (and responding). So, while the newer podcasts are undeniably better, there are still some hidden gems that you may not have heard before.

Right now - this very second - I've added three new podcasts to the top of the player ("Two Guys Making Fun Of Matt Belisle," "The Kids With Beards Have All The Fun" and "This Is How You Get Your Nintendo To Work"), and I'm especially proud of them. I also added six more to the very bottom of the player, beginning with "Soldiers Aren't Heroes And Columbine Was Overrated" and ending with "Conversation about HGH between Craig and The Snake."

If these are new to you, I beg you to give 'em a listen. If not, listen anyway, dickhead. They're funny. In the event that your math is a little shaky, I posted a total of nine old-new-old podcasts. I just listened to all of them a few times before adding them to the media player, and I kind of forgot how good they are. If you don't laugh at some point during all nine of them my only conclusion is that you're an idiot.

That's all for now.

-Brad Spieser (

Q & A With Sons of the Tundra (Pierre Thomas vs. Reggie Bush)

My buddy Wess from Sons of the Tundra (and responded to my questions late last night, and my lazy ass is just getting around to posting them. Enjoy:

TwinKilling: In your Saints-Bears Game Notes piece, you wrote the following words about the Saints' backfield: "Just thinking about Reggie Bush. Surprising that he sat out that whole drive, but it's just not his kind of game in cold weather on a frozen field. Just as importantly, it's obvious that Pierre Thomas isn't just a better runner but a better football player."

What? Really? There's little question that Thomas is the superior between-the-tackles runner, and a well-rounded player, but he is no Reggie Bush. Not only is Reggie Bush the best receiving running back in the league - possessing the skills to be the best slot receiver in the league - but he's also an elite punt returner (3 TDs in 10 games this year!). I love Thomas as a player, and he might just win me a ring next week, but he's not the player Reggie Bush is.

I don't know how you'll respond to this, other than to say, "I disagree," but I'd be willing to bet you $100 that Bush has a better career than Thomas. The gauntlet has been thrown...

Sons of the Tundra: If Bush was a great (or even very good) NFL player, it would show up somewhere -- on the field, in the stats, somewhere, anywhere. But it hasn't. He's quite possibly the worst runner of all the starting backs in the NFL, and Bush apologists have to accept the fact that he's nowhere near the homerun hitter he was hyped to be when he entered the league. It shouldn't go unmentioned, either, that it's now an open question of whether his body can withstand the pounding that a running back/slot receiver takes on a regular basis.

Being a good receiving back doesn't mean that you have the best hands or catch the most passes -- though that's certainly a major part of it. What's more important is what you do with the ball in your hands. For an alleged electric player, Bush averaged an embarrassing 5.7 yards per reception in 2007. He's upped it to 8.5 this year, which is very impressive considering his volume of catches. For comparison's sake, Pierre Thomas is at 9.2 yards per reception this year and has shown terrific hands himself.

Bush is billed as a playmaker nonpareil. However, even after sitting for half the season behind a washed up Deuce McAllister, Thomas has 11 TDs on 144 touches to Bush's 6 TDs on 158 touches. Bush has averaged a Cedric Benson-like 3.7 YPC in his career to go with a pedestrian 7.5 yards per reception. Playing in the exact same offense, Thomas has averaged 4.8 YPC to go with 9.1 yards per reception. Who is the more effective offensive player? And does being an above average punt returner make up for that drastic difference in effectiveness?

Pierre Thomas is just now receiving an opportunity similar to what was given to Bush upon entering the league, and Thomas is succeeding with flying colors. Has Reggie Bush ever had a month as productive as Thomas' last month?

I think I've made a fairly strong case for Thomas being the better NFL player, but Rotoworld football honcho, Tulane grad, and avid Saints backer Gregg Rosenthal made a better case last week:

For one night, the Saints running back from Chicago outshined the Bears running back from Louisiana. Thursday was Pierre Thomas' night, final score notwithstanding. It was the night the world could see how much better the Saints offense runs with Thomas as the primary back, and Reggie Bush as complementary player. The undrafted player is a better pro than the Golden Boy from USC. This seemed to dawn on Bush as he slumped further in his winter coat while nursing his knee injury for most of the second half.

It was hard not to think back to Week 17 of last season, when my man crush for Mr. Thomas began. He racked up over 200 total yards in a depressing loss in Chicago, showing power running and receiving ability. His arsenal was on display again Thursday. He scored twice, making eight TDs in five games. He rushed for 87 yards, and caught seven passes for 59 yards for a cool 33 points in PPR leagues. His game isn't flashy, but it's complete and effective. Much like Matt Forte. You start to wonder how Reggie Bush fits in behind Thomas moving forward, not the other way around. And you start to wonder how Bush will handle it all.

TwinKilling: Who in the hell is going to win the 2008 NFL MVP? Is it possible that Michael Turner is the most valuable player in the league despite being the second-most valuable on his own team? Would you have a problem with Matt Ryan winning the award? Are there any deserving candidates? Kurt Warner or Drew Brees? No way. DeAngelo Williams? Troy Polamalu or James Harrison? DeMarcus Ware? Adrian Peterson or Andre Johnson? Help me, Rhonda.

Sons of the Tundra: First of all, allow me to thank you for not seconding Peter King's foolish notion that Peyton Manning is the MVP in one of the least impressive seasons of his career. And I'd like to take the time right now to give out a special "Sean Salisbury Dereliction in NFL Analysis Award" to all of the jackasses that even mentioned Kerry Collins as a possible MVP candidate a month ago. Christ, are they judgment impaired. Foghorn Leghorn: "Son, you're about as sharp as a sack full of wet mice."

In a year where there is no glaring MVP, I'd go with Adrian Peterson if I had to vote after 15 weeks. The Vikes QBs have been putrid, but they're doing enough on offense to possibly finish with the No. 2 seed in the NFC because they have the most talented player in the league at tailback.

This is probably the one year since I've been following the NFL that there are more legitimate defensive MVP candidates than offensive. James Harrison, DeMarcus Ware, Albert Haynesworth, Kris Jenkins, Justin Tuck, and Ray Lewis have all had a huge impact on wins and lossses this season. Considering the dominance of the Steelers defense, I wouldn't have any problem with James Harrison and Troy Polamalu splitting the MVP.

To answer a few more of your questions:

- I don't think Matt Ryan is deserving of the MVP award, but no one can deny his importance to the Falcons in 2008. I wouldn't vote for him, but I wouldn't have a problem with it either -- considering the weakness of the field. I think Ryan has been more valuable to the Falcons than Turner has been.

- I agree that neither Warner nor Brees are deserving. Neither have come up big when it mattered.

- I brought up DeAngelo Williams as a talking point last week, simply because he's had a better running back season than just about anybody but Peterson. But I'd be lying if I said I thought he was even the most valuable player on his own offense. Steve Smith is the Panthers MVP, and he just might be the second most dominant offensive player in the league behind Peterson. He's perenially underrated -- almost to Roethlisbergian proportions.

TwinKilling: How are you advising Antonio Bryant owners, not only this week for Fantasy Super Bowls but in the future? Take me, for instance: I'm playing for a ring in one league with the following WR corps: Greg Jennings, Terrell Owens, Roddy White and Antonio Bryant. We start three WRs...who's on my bench?

Sons of the Tundra: I would ride Bryant's hot streak through the fantasy playoffs, and then try to flip his possible fantasy playoff MVP performance as soon as the fantasy season is over.

How would I dissect Antonio Bryant's unique brand of high knucklehead factor? He's not as delusional as Cedric Benson, he's not as psychotically narcissistic as Terrell Owens, he's not as lazy and irresponsible as Plaxico Burress . . . instead, he's a volatile mixture of righteously indignant with an outsized ego, a lack of respect for authority, a past drug history, and a chip on his shoulder the size of Bill Parcells' goat tits.

I've always been intrigued with Bryant's talent, and I've had him on several redraft leagues over the past five seasons, but his value in Dynasty leagues is just lacking in stability. He's playing better now than he ever has, and he's gone from WR3 to WR2 easily over the past month. He's a big, physical receiver with great hands. That's the good news. The bad news is that he could easily go the way of Plaxico Burress at a moment's notice. Add in the uncertainty of where he'll play in 2009, and it gets even sketchier. After signing a one-year $650K contract last offseason, he told Jon Gruden that the Bucs were getting a lot more than they were paying for. And he was right. Now it's time for Antonio to get paid, and he just had the season of his life so his agent could show him the money this offseason. I think he's going wherever the biggest money is this offseason. Will that be Tampa? What if it's not? Even if he stays out of trouble, would Bryant match this year's production without the friendly confines of Gruden's split end role?

Personally, I'd just assume get something of value from him and move on with other players. His package isn't something I place a lot of value on, but I know there are owners who really like his future value. And it's quite possible they're right and I'm wrong. He definitely has the talent to produce WR2 numbers for the next five seasons if he can keep his head on straight. I'd just rather someone else was invested in that stock.

For a perfect Antonio Bryant Rorshach inkblot test,
read this very lengthy, very thorough article on Bryant's history by Yahoo's Sean Jensen. I read it and see a bright but immature young man who doubles as a righteously indignant egomaniac. Others read it and see an obscenely talented receiver who was never given the chance he deserved in the NFL.

That's all for now, boys and girls.

-Brad Spieser (

Gambling 2K8: Chapter 63 (Diet Rite Edition)

Something to chew on before I reveal Tuesday's Vickers selection:

Remember Diet Rite Cola, the beverage from the 80's that nobody ever drank? Well, how about this: It's still around. I ain't joking, neither. The other day I found myself waiting for an elevator in downtown Cincinnati when I recognized a few vending machines, and sure enough, one of them prominently featured a giant Diet Rite can. And it's not like this thing has been there for twenty years; it was shiny and new (but with what appeared to be the same old boring logo). You might not find this interesting - in fact, I can guarantee you don't - but, as a child of the 80's...this blows my mind. This would be the equivalent to seeing a goddamn Yugo drive down the street.

One more thought about Diet Rite: Why no Rite Cola? Not to sound like a low-rent Jerry Seinfeld or anything, but it seems to me that if you're going to have a Diet Rite Cola, you'd have a Rite Cola, as well.

Anyway, Tuesday night's Vickers...

Tennessee Grizzly Bears of the NBA (+7) vs. Chris Paul is better than me

-Brad Spieser (

Monday, December 15, 2008

Is Mike Tomlin Just Another Crappy Coach?

It seems to me that Steelers head coach (and former Bearcat assistant) Mike Tomlin is generally regarded as one of the better coaches in the NFL, and I kind of have a problem with that.

He choked in his biggest game to date, the Steelers' Wild Card loss to the Jags this past January, and made an unfathomable decision late in their win Sunday over the Ravens, which might rank as the second biggest game of his young career.

Mike Tomlin blew last year's playoff game by taking his foot of the gas after a furious comeback. He tried to grind out the clock too soon and ignored Ben Roethlisberger, who was playing the best football of his career. It was stupid and conservative and frustrating, and I would have felt the same way had the Steelers won that night.

As for Sunday's game against division rival Baltimore, Tomlin channeled Marvin Lewis with a classic panic move. In the final minutes the Steelers, trailing 9-6, slapped together a classic Roethlisberger "ugly, but effective" drive and found themselves at the 4-yard line with 0:53 remaining. Oh yeah, they had one timeout. I repeat: THEY HAD ONE TIMEOUT!

With 53 seconds and one timeout, you have more than enough time to calmly run the three plays that give you the best shot at getting six (and winning!). Hell, you can even run the ball on 1st down if you like. Now, if you don't score, you'd have to call your last timeout and predictably throw the ball on 2nd and 3rd down...but at least you'd have two more shots to only achieve a few yards.

So what did Tomlin elect to do? He ordered his team to rush to the line and spike the ball, 1980's style. Forget the fact that spiking the ball is more often than not a lousy idea, and focus on this particular instance, when Mike Tomlin made one of the bigger bonehead moves in recent memory.

When are coaches going to figure out how to manage a clock? When are they going to figure out that 50-plus seconds - even without a timeout - is more than enough time to move a measly four yards? To waste a golden opportunity in a game that essentially wrapped up the AFC North - a game they'd only managed to score six points in 59 minutes - is truly unbelievable. And if I'm a Steelers fan, truly unforgiveable.

I've seen maybe half of the thirty or so games Tomlin has coached, and haven't analyzed him the way I analyze a coach for one of my teams, but I'm guessing he's screwed up this egregiously more than just the two times I've documented.

I'd like to hear from Steelers fans on this one. Do you have faith in Mike Tomlin with the playoffs approaching? Is he far more flawed than the common football fan realizes? I can't imagine I have many Steelers fans who regularly read this site, so I'm asking all of you to forward this along to people you know who root for the Black and Gold. Or, if you want, you could just call Alan Cutler tomorrow and have him settle it; he lived in the Steel City about twenty years ago, which makes him the authority on all-things Pittsburgh.

-Brad Spieser (

Super Tecmo Bowl Feats--Gambling Tales--Sex

Another podcast for you people: "Super Tecmo Bowl Feats--Gambling Tales--Sex."

In a recent interview with Howard Stern, T.I. claimed to be eleven-years-old the first time he had sexual intercourse; Ike Turner famously lost his virginity at age seven. What were you doing at similar ages? Were you trying to break single-game rushing records on Super Tecmo Bowl? I was.

Also heard on the podcast:

Do you remember Nothwestern's 54-51 upset of Michigan around the turn of the century? You know, Damian Anderson's drop, A-Train's fumble, Drew Henson looking like the next Elway, etc. Is it coming back to you? Well, Craig and I briefly discuss that game, and I declare it one of the five worst losses of my gambling career. Feel free to start the video at the 2:52 mark:

(Speaking of Drew Henson, I mention in the podcast that he threw a touchdown pass in the NFL and cranked a dinger in the bigs, but I was only half right; Henson was homerless in 9 career ABs with the Yankees. I found this out by checking out his baseball-reference page, which is sponsored by a funny guy who saw Henson's failures coming a mile away.)

One other topic on the podcast is the amount of sex Travis Henry had in his stretch of producing nine kids with nine different women. Think about it: You probably know all sorts of couples who are actively trying to make babies and have no luck. They see specialists, they take wonder drugs, they have a banging schedule, and dice. So, I'm thinking it's incredibly difficult to make a child, and it's all a numbers game (i.e., the more unprotected intercourse you have, the more likely you'll reproduce). That being the case, Henry had to be the most active human being in the Western Hemisphere over the last fifteen years or so.

Is this the type of listening experience you might enjoy? I thought so.

-Brad Spieser (

Suspicion Confirmed...Giraffes Are Taller Than Shit!

This Happened In Nairobi:

I knew it!

-Brad Spieser (

Football Is A Sport Played By Football Players

I just sent the following email to my buddy Wess at Sons of the Tundra, and I'm eagerly awaiting his response:

Wess, three things...

1. In your Saints-Bears Game Notes piece, you wrote the following words about the Saints' backfield: "Just thinking about Reggie Bush. Surprising that he sat out that whole drive, but it's just not his kind of game in cold weather on a frozen field. Just as importantly, it's obvious that Pierre Thomas isn't just a better runner but a better football player."

What? Really? There's little question that Thomas is the superior between-the-tackles runner, and a well-rounded player, but he is no Reggie Bush. Not only is Reggie Bush the best receiving running back in the league - possessing the skills to be the best slot receiver in the league - but he's also an elite punt returner (3 TDs in 10 games this year!). I love Thomas as a player, and he might just win me a ring next week, but he's not the player Reggie Bush is.

I don't know how you'll respond to this, other than to say, "I disagree," but I'd be willing to bet you $100 that Bush has a better career than Thomas. The gauntlet has been thrown...

2. Who in the hell is going to win the 2008 NFL MVP? Is it possible that Michael Turner is the most valuable player in the league despite being the second-most valuable on his own team? Would you have a problem with Matt Ryan winning the award? Are there any deserving candidates? Kurt Warner or Drew Brees? No way. DeAngelo Williams? Troy Polamalu or James Harrison? DeMarcus Ware? Adrian Peterson or Andre Johnson? Help me, Rhonda.

3. How are you advising Antonio Bryant owners, not only this week for Fantasy Super Bowls but in the future? Take me, for instance: I'm playing for a ring in one league with the following WR corps: Greg Jennings, Terrell Owens, Roddy White and Antonio Bryant. We start three WRs...who's on my bench?

-Brad Spieser (

Gambling 2K8: Chapter 62 (Billy Sims Edition)

Monday Vickers:

Cleveland State (+13) at Syracuse

And since I have nothing else to add, did you see the video of former Heisman winner and ex-Sooner great Billy Sims after Sam Bradford was awarded the 2008 trophy? This man is a combination of James Brown and the modern-day version of Meldrick Taylor (click "Taylor" link and start video at the 1:29 mark. I promise.).

Anyway, Billy Sims is a lunatic...


-Brad Spieser (

Pushing Kids Down Steps And Child Molestation!

In our latest podcast, "Pushing Kids Down Steps And Child Molestation," two of our running jokes from the Vegas trip are highlighted:

The first is "pushing kids down steps." Explain. Whenever Craig and I were even mildly annoyed with anything - poor service, a long line, a losing blackjack hand, whatever - we would let anyone in our general vicinity know that we were going to take it out on our kids by "pushing them down the steps." Believe it or not this wasn't always received warmly. Whatever.

Another running joke was over-use of the phrase, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," which we applied to every situation possible, even when it didn't make sense. Should I eat Chinese or pizza? What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Also, you might be one of them peoples who think child molestation isn't a laughing matter, but we disprove that with the final sixty seconds of the podcast. Sure, it's offensive, but it's one of our funniest stretches to date.

Listen. Enjoy. Push your kids down the steps!

-Brad Spieser (

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gambling 2K8: Chapter 61


Bengals (+7) vs. Redskins

Ravens (-3) vs. Steelers

Vikings (+3) at Cards

Raiders (+6.5) vs. Pats


Raptors (+2.5) vs. Hornets

Overall record: I feel like suiciding myself

-Brad Spieser (

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gambling on sports!

Vickers. Shutup.


Temple (+7.5) vs. Tennessee

Butler (+8) at Ohio State

Harvard (+10.5) at George Washington

Georgia State (+5) vs. Florida State?????????????????????????????????

Depaul (+16.5) vs. UCLA (semi-neutral court; game played in Anaheim)

Bearcats (+2.5) vs. Muskies


Hawks (+4) vs. Cavs??????????????????????????????????????????

Bobcats (+1.5) vs. Pistons

-I have an injured face

Friday, December 12, 2008

Gambling 2K8: Chapter 59 (Intelligent Quotes And Whatnot)

A couple of things before moving on to our once-again unimpressive gambling system named for a nondescript car racer...

1. If you ever wanted to know why beat writers hate their lives, take a look at the following quote: "I just dribbled hard and jumped. The shot went in."

That was courtesy of Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu, speaking to a host of beat writers, shortly after he nailed a 25-foot 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds remaining to steal a 109-108 road win at Portland.

"I just dribbled hard and jumped. The shot went in."

That's all Turkoglu gave them, and they had to turn around and make a story out of it. Question: How does Chick Ludwig remain so enthusiastic about his job?

2. As you probably already know I posted a new podcast ("Getting Friendly With Black Strippers") on Thursday. I didn't have enough time to give a quick write-up, but you really don't need one. In a sentence, I'd say this: It's the story of a guy I know getting close to an on-duty black stripper, and the discussion of why her skin color makes the story funnier.

Finally, the Friday Vickers:

76ers (+10.5) at Cavs

Grizzlies (+2) vs. Bulls

-Brad Spieser (

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Michael Phelps Is A Handsome Man!

1. Do you think Michael Phelps is handsome?

2. If you were him, wouldn't you endorse the most ridiculous stuff possible?

3. Does anyone else get a kick out of Greg LeMond's act?

4. Why can't blacks swim?

Those questions and more are answered in our short podcast, "Michael Phelps Is A Handsome Man."

-Brad Spieser (

Gambling 2K8: Chapter 58 (Pop Music Edition)

Does it make me a gay guy for LOVING Rihanna's "Disturbia?" Yes? Okay then, I'm a gay guy. Find me a penis to admire! Anyway, "Disturbia" is so good I can barely breathe when it's on. I know it's not exactly a new single, but let's not forget: I'm not exactly a hip young fellow anymore; at 28-years-old I'm a little behind the times.

In case you were wondering about my top four pop songs of this decade performed by females, the list looks something like this:

1. Pink's "U + Ur Hand"

2. Rihanna's "Disturbia" (video below)

3. Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone"

4. Beyonce's "Crazy in Love"

Now that we gots that out of the way, here are Wednesday's Vickers:


San Diego State (+6) at Arizona

Washington State (+5.5) vs. Gonzaga


76ers (+6.5)
vs. Cavs?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Hawks (+6.5) at Spurs

Yeserday's record: 1-3
Overall record: 93-91-4

Without further ado, Rihanna's "Disturbia." Note: What takes this song to the next level, for me, is the "Throw on your break lights" part. This goes down at the 0:48 mark. Enjoy...

-Brad Spieser (

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New Podcast And Jessica Biel Nudity!

In our latest podcast, "Parking Garage Fight And Electrifying Grammar Battle," I share a tale of my latest late-night argument with a harmless parking garage attendant (I'm a jerk), which was somehow followed by a seamless transition into a spirited war of words about...wait for this is exciting...the difference between the words further and farther. Horny?

Since I have nothing else to add, take a gander at a few screen shots (stolen from Egotastic) from Jessica Biel's new movie (something called Powder Blue), where she plays a stripper. A naked stripper who takes her clothes off and gets naked.

Classy. Tasteful.

Would you like to see a slightly different angle? I thought you might.

Now go listen to the podcast.

-Brad Spieser (

$ 80,000 Bank Roll Special

Mike Vicker Pick Em's

Updated by not Brad while he is driving a Gold Dodge

West Virginia -2 vs Davidson

Ball State +12.5 vs Purdue

Bucks + 6.5 @ Phoenix

T Wolves + 6 vs Jazz

St. Catherine -2 @ St. I's

Dave Hogan -12 vs John Wiggens

Monday, December 8, 2008

Gambling 2K8: Chapter 56 (Hoping For A Clark-Kent Perfomance)

Just because nobody cares about tonight's Clippers-Magic game at 10:30pm EST doesn't mean I'll ignore a nutty pointspread. Tonight's pick:

Clippers (+4) vs. Magic

Words: I know the West is better than the East, but how much better, Mr. Vegas? The Magic are 15-5, and Dwight Howard participates for them. The Clippers are 4-16, and will be facing Dwight Howard tonight. Now that, boys and girls, is an in-depth breakdown.

Wish us luck.

Yesterday's record: 3-4
Overall record: 92-77-4

-Brad Spieser (

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Fixing Football: Chapter 1 Extended Cut

For all the people who agree that Texas has a legitimate gripe - which is pretty much everyone - are you able to admit that Texas Tech owns the exact same gripe. I mean really...what's the difference between Texas and Texas Tech?

I know it seems like Texas is better than Texas Tech, and they almost certainly are, but Texas Tech beat the Horns, and like Texas (and Oklahoma), the Red Raiders sport only one loss.

Equations 'n' shit: If Texas Tech beat Texas...and Texas beat Oklahoma...

Texas Tech is better than Oklahoma?

Again, I'm pretty sure that right now - this very second - the three best teams in the Big 12 are (1.) Oklahoma, (2.) Texas and (3.) Mike Leach's fat face.

But that doesn't mean the Texas teams don't have a reason to bomb the city of Norman, Oklahoma tonight, either.

The BCS probably got it right this year with Florida and Oklahoma, but it was dumb luck. The NCAA desperately needs to adopt a playoff system, whether it be 16, 32 or - my dream - 64 teams participating. Tournaments might not always determine a true champion but they do a better job than the BCS. Plus, tourneys eliminate the bad taste in the mouth, like what Texas, Texas Tech, Boise, etc., are experiencing right now.

Do you think Boise State would rather lose in the second round of the tournament this year or beat TCU 21-10 in the Poinsettia Bowl? The answer is obvious: A second round loss. And why? Because they at least had a chance to play for the national title. Ask any former college basketball player with an N.I.T. ring if they'd give it back to play in the Big Dance and I'd bet anything the overwhelming majority would. It's the same thing in college football; the Poinsettia Bowl (or Bowl, or whatever) is the N.I.T., and nobody gets excited for that.
College football needs a tournament, and if you don't think so, think back two years to Boise State's dramatic upset of Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. Imagine if this happened in an Elite game and we had a whole week of anticipation to see if Boise State could shock the world one more time (I'd suggest starting the video at the 4:09 mark, right when Boise's radio team take over):

See what I mean?

Finally: Stop telling me 64 teams would be too many, and stop reminding me how many more teams compete in D-I hoops compared to D-I football. I know. Really, I do. But I also don't care. The NBA and NHL send roughly half their leagues to the playoffs - and often times multiple teams with losing records - and I don't see a massive uproar. Plus, a whopping 68 teams are competing in bowl games this year! Whatever. I know I'll never see the day, but a 64-team tournament is doable. And for those of you who disagree, I'd love you to email me and tell me how much you hated when
George Mason made the 2006 Final Four. Assholes.

-Brad Spieser (

Gambling 2K8: Chapter 55 (Double-Digit Dogs Are Prevalent)


Bengals (+13.5)
at Colts

Things: ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Browns (+14) at Titans

Stuff: I didn't read Bill Simmons' Picks column this week, but I'm guessing he wrote something like this after picking Tennessee: Ken Dorsey...on the road...against the Titans...Ken Dorsey...on the road...against the Titans...Ken Dorsey...on the road...against the Titans...Ken Dorsey...on the road...against the Titans.

Lions (+10) vs. Vikings

Words: The Williams brothers are eligible to play, and the Lions won't slow down Adrian Peterson twice in one season. This line should be 14.

Saints (-3) vs. Falcons

Things: Forget about the whole "The Falcons are a better team" thing, and focus on the Saints opening up as a 3.5-point favorite. Why did Vegas make New Orleans such a big favorite at the beginning of the week (relatively speaking). Consider: (1.) Will Smith and Charles Grant were expected to be suspended, and (2.) the Falcolns rolled the Saints just a few weeks back. I hate to do it, but Vegas has given me no other choice.


Tulsa (+6.5)
vs. Oklahoma

Words: Oklahoma is 7-0, with four quality wins (Davidson; Purdue; UAB; USC); Tulsa is 4-3 and lost by twelve to Ohio on Wednesday. Plus, Blake Griffin (25.6 ppg, 17.6 rpg) is a certified monster, and roughly eleven times better than the "best player in college basketball," Tyler Hansbrough. I ain't happy about this one.

Florida State (+2.5) vs. Florida

Stuff: Even if this line is accurate (which, I don't think it is; I like Florida), it looks a little weird. Florida is a great hoops program, while Florida State has largely been irrelevant for the better part of fifteen years.

George Washington (+4.5) vs. Maryland

Things: Similar to the Florida-Florida State line, this just looks a little weird.

Yesterday record: 5-5
Overall record: 89-83-4

-Brad Spieser (

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Gambling 2K8: Chapter 54 (Championship Saturday)


UCONN (-2.5) vs. Pitt

Words: I'll gladly take a loss in this one as long as LeSean McCoy (or as Craig calls him, "LeBlack McBlack") rushes for 143 yards, giving him 1,451 on the season.

(By the way, someone needs to talk some sense into McCoy. There is no point in returning to Pitt. It's not worth it. It's Pitt! LeSean, please come out. You'll be a top ten pick. I promise.)

Arizona (-10.5) vs. Arizona State

Things: See McBlack, LeBlack. Arizona has six wins heading into this rivalry game and I need them to win a seventh. A cover would simply be icing on the cake.

Hawaii (+7.5) vs. Cincinnati

Stuff: The Bearcats are roughly eighty billion times better than Hawaii, and the Islanders won't have a shady officiating crew on their side; Big East refs are keeping order on the field tonight. This should be a blowout.

Tulsa (-11.5) vs. East Carolina

Words: Neither team is all that great: Tulsa lost 70-30 to an average Houston team a few weeks back and East Carolina has merely been average since early-season upsets against Virginia Tech and West Virginia. I don't see a difference between these teams and I can't believe I have to lay double digits.

Florida (-10) vs. Alabama------neutral field

Things: As expected, Percy Harvin is OUT - and "out" typically means not playing. Percy Harvin is one of the greatest college football players of my lifetime - definitely not somebody who is easily replaceable. Tebow is a beast, but undefeated (UNDEFEATED!) Alabama is up for the challenge. Ten points is ridiculous.

Mizzou (+17) vs. Sam Bradford's Improving Complexion------neutral field

Stuff: Oklahoma is rolling at the moment. The Sooners have won five straight and scored at least 58 points in all of them. In those five games the margin of victory has been 23, 34, 38, 44 and 20 - and the "44" and "20" came against Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, two teams who are better than Missouri. In order to beat Sam Bradford and Co. - or even keep it close - you must avoid (a.) punting, (b.) settling for field goals and (c.) turning the ball over. You also have to be lucky as hell. I'm hoping for a backdoor cover.


Bobcats (+8.5)
vs. Cavs

Words: Hands down, the craziest line of the day. The Cavs, at 16-3, are - at worst -the third best team in basketball. They've won 15 out of 16, including seven straight by margins of 14, 18, 35, 15, 12, 36 and 24. The Bobcats are the Bobcats; they sport a 7-12 record and lost last night in Milwaukee. The Brian Vickers System was born out of lines like this.


Michigan (+9.5)
vs. Duke

Things: Didn't Duke just homicide Purdue in West Lafayette? Aren't the Boilers markedly better than Michigan? Plus, Duke is still Duke, right?

Northwestern (-6) vs. Depaul

Stuff: I'll continue to wager on the Fighting Evan Eschmeyers as long as these lines continue to stand out like this.

Kentucky (-2.5) vs. Miami

Words: Rupp Arena offers a noticeable home-court advantage, but I'm almost certain "noticeable" doesn't mean "fifteen points." Miami should be a six or seven point favorite.

Yesterday's record: 2-1
Overall record: 84-78-4

-Brad Spieser (

Friday, December 5, 2008

Gambling 2K8: Chapter 53 (No Longer Ashamed)

The Americans I hated most in the 90's were members of the anti-Barry Sanders crowd.

The reason: Yeah, but...

Yeah, but is what the anti-Barry Sanders crowd had to say after Sanders threw up one of his patented 21 carry, 166-yard games on the strength of two sixty-yard touchdowns. Yeah, I get it: He averaged two yards-per-carry on his other nineteen carries, but Jesus...the guy had two sixty-yard touchdown runs!

I'm bringing his up because the Vickers System now sports a respectable 82-77-4 record; less than a month ago it was 58-62-1. On the weekend of 11/8 and 11/9, Vickers went 2-8. Things got worse the weekend of 11/15 and 11/16, when we posted a 1-8 record.

For those who don't have their TI-82 calculator handy, that's a 3-16 record over a two-weekend stretch. Three wins in nineteen tries! Unbelievable. It's possible you could go the rest of your life and never see such a crappy run. Whatever. Lord Brian is back, and I never lost faith. But it doesn't keep me from proclaiming, Had it not been for our 3-16 stretch our record would be 79-61-4. Essentially, Yeah, but...

I've become the person I hate. I hate myself.

Anyway, Friday's picks...


Buffalo (+15.5)
vs. Ball State


Wizards (+12)
vs. Lakers


Texas A & M (-3.5)
vs. Arizona

-Brad Spieser (

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Gambling 2K8: Chapter 52

With four wins against one loss yesterday, the Vickers System is back on track, and my confidence is swelling. In fact, it's swollen.

Five more picks tonight:


Chargers (-9
) vs. Raiders

Words: When is Vegas going to adjust Charger lines?


Rutgers (-10.5)
vs. Louisville

Stuff: Rutgers is 6-5, and quarterbacked by Mike is this a recipe to become a double-digit favorite against a team who's one win short of bowl eligibility?


Buffalo (+14.5)

Things: ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Oklahoma (-8.5) vs. USC

Seems like too many points to me.

Texas (-6) vs. UCLA

Seems like the line should be three or four, not six.

-Brad Spieser (

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Gambling 2K8: Chapter 51

Wednesday Vickers...

Cornell (+18) at Syracuse

Penn State (+7) at Georgia Tech

Utah (-9.5) vs. Oregon

Northwestern (-2) vs. Florida State?????????????????????????????????????????????

76ers (+9) vs. Lakers

Brad Spieser (

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fixing Football: Chapter 1 (The Yearly BCS Nightmare)

Football - both college and pro - seems like the perfect product, but it has plenty of room for improvement. Over the last few weeks I've jotted down the stuff about football that drives me crazy and, of course, how I'd make it better. From minor rule changes to coaching strategies to the increase of fantasy football recognition, I'm here to help. So, starting today I'm going to unleash my Fixing Football series. Horny? You're welcome.

While I hate to kick this sucker off by stating the obvious, I'd be foolish to ignore the most topical story in football...

College football desperately needs a playoff.

I'll take it a step further...

College football desperately needs a 64-team tournament.

I used to argue with my dad every time he suggested a 64-team tournament; I was always an 8-or-16-team guy, but I've come around. Sure, a No. 16 seed could never win it all, and it'd be incredibly difficult for a No. 12 seed to advance to the Sweet 16, but so what? How's that any different than March Madness?

I cringe with every excuse made for the BCS, and I start throwing my nephew's Hot Wheels across the room whenever I hear how the current setup gives college football the most exciting regular season of all the major sports. Listen up: Who effing cares! Wouldn't you like to have the most exciting postseason of all the major sports?

If that doesn't make sense to you, think of it in terms of pornography: Would you ever hear a porn star claiming to be the best kisser in the industry?

Besides, the BCS rarely gets things right, anyway, and when it does it's usually a happy accident. Take this year, for instance: I'm positive that, on the third day of December, in the year 2008, Oklahoma is a better collegiate football team than Texas. I've watched a million games this year and Oklahoma's best is better than everybody else's best (except maybe Florida). That said, Texas is getting royally screwed. The Horns beat the Sooners on a neutral field, 45-35, and that's all that should matter right now. But that ain't the case. The Big 12 allowed the pollsters to decide and Oklahoma appears to be a lock for a BCS Championship game berth.

Is this really the way you want to determine a champion?

Regardless, aren't tournaments fun? College hoops doesn't always crown the best team, but I never hear anyone complaining.

The folks making up the anti-playoff community usually envision at least two problems that aren't really problems: The season being too long (but it would really only effect four teams) and something about academic schedules (as if the coaches care about the "student" in student-athlete).

You could start the season every year on the last Saturday in August, trim regular season schedules from 12 to 11 (or even 12 to 10 and force the Big Ten and Pac 10 to play conference championships), give every team one bye week and the season would finish before New Year's Day. Simple.

Isn't this a better plan than the ridiculous BCS? Wouldn't you rather see a 64-team field over a measly four teams competing? Think about this year: Who would be your 4-team field? Oklahoma (assuming they beat Mizzou, but what if they lose?), USC, the Florida-Bama winner and...Texas? What about Penn State? They won the Big Ten outright. And why should Alabama get penalized for losing late? The Bearcats won a BCS conference, but they're still not taken seriously on a national level and undefeated mid-majors Utah, Boise and Ball State would again be treated like dirt.

(And what about the Buckeyes, with a maturing Terrelle Pryor, a relatively healthy Chris Wells and a peaking defense?)

(Have you paid attention to Old Mississippi this year? They stumbled early before getting their act together. They won at Florida and suffered a four-point heartbreaker at Alabama. Their 31-13 victory at LSU was a one-sided affair from start to finish. I'm not so sure they're not one of the ten best teams in football)

(Georgia Tech doesn't have the talent to win six in a row, but they have the scheme to knock out a heavyweight or two.)

(I'd also like to point out TCU as a team nobody would want to face in the first three rounds. They murdered BYU, outplayed Utah but lost and didn't fold at Oklahoma, losing 35-10. Them boys is legit.)

But I digress...

Look, the three undefeated mid-majors might be dirt, but wouldn't you rather find that out by watching a neutral-site Sweet 16 game pitting Boise against, say...Oklahoma State? I would. First, because we get more football (always a plus), but also because intersectional matchups are a thing of the past. That matchup, on every level, would be interesting. And even though it would involve two teams who don't necessarily move the meter, I guarantee it would (a.) sell out in two seconds, and (b.) move the goddamn meter.

This is a football-crazed country, and there is absolutely no way a 64-team tournament wouldn't be bloody successful. Sure, there are probably a handful of kinks I've failed to recognize, but I'm sure the college educated gentlemen who comprise the NCAA could figure it out. Well, maybe not. But it doesn't mean I'm crazy, either.

Am I crazy?

-Brad Spieser (