Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Shaun Suisham Can Go Play In Traffic

There's a very real chance that -- one million years from now -- former Redskins kicker Shaun Suisham will be a famous historical figure-----like, one of the guys you learn about in your fifth grade American History class (e.g., Eli Whitney). This is because he missed an easy field goal towards the end of regulation that would have dealt the New Orleans Saints their first loss of the season.

If Suisham nails the field goal, the Saints simply become another good team, which also means they won't be a subject in futuristic textbooks, either.

And I know you think you know where I'm going with this. You think I'm going to flip the switch on you and explain why Shaun Suisham -- assuming the Saints win the Super Bowl and finish the season undefeated -- will benefit a great deal from his embarrassing mishap. You think I'm going to tell you why he will enjoy a lifetime of riches as a motivational speaker. And you think I'm going to tell you why -- again, assuming the Saints run through the postseason with an unblemished record -- it will be awesome to be Shaun Suisham, because, for the rest of his life, he will be incomprehensibly desirable to female Saints fans.

But then you'd be wrong.

Because I hate Shaun Suisham, and I kind of hope he gets polio.

Just a few weeks back, while I was absorbing the beating of a lifetime in Vegas, that idiot had the nerve to miss a kick that would have earned me eight-hundred dollars. Again: EIGHT-HUNDRED GODDAMN DOLLARS! CAPS LOCK! ANGER!

Without explaining long-shot parlays to those of you who look down at the ancient art of sports gambling, let me just fast forward to the juicy details of my disastrous weekend in the desert: I made a $20 wager that would pay me 40/1 if I picked the correct side of four separate NFL games. Three of those games had a point spread, and I banged home everyone of them. The fourth -- the game that was mostly responsible for jacking the odds up to 40/1 -- was the Redskins money line over the Cowboys. This means that, although the Redskins were double-digit underdogs, I wasn't taking the points; I was betting the Redskins to win outright.

Which they almost did.

Which they would have done had Shaun Suisham not missed his first two kicks of the season, including one late in the fourth quarter that would have given the Redskins an essentially insurmountable 9-0 lead.

Upon missing the kick that would have given the Redskins a relatively comfortable advantage, Tony Romo led the Cowboys down the field, and -- with a little more than two minutes remaining -- connected with receiver Patrick Crayton for the game's only touchdown.

Final score: Cowboys 7, Redskins 6.

Shaun Suisham will never be forgiven. Not in my house, he won't

Suisham only missed three field goals all year-----and one of those misses might go down as the second or third most famous miss in NFL history. And maybe I'm alone on this, but I happen to think, despite the historical implications of that one miss -- the one that kept the Saints' miracle season alive -- Shaun Suisham was responsible for two greater blunders in the winter of 2009 alone.

American History was an overrated subject, anyway.


For the nonbelievers...

Pass the dynamite!

-Brad Spieser (

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hillbillies, Gays And Child Molesters (Podcast)

Craig's family is stereotypically hillbilly. His mom wouldn't sit next to someone with AIDS. His older brother ("The Hobbit") routinely calls people who work for him, "fat queers." His younger brother ("The Snake"), despite having type 1 diabetes, eats ice cream sandwiches and tropical Skittles all day long. I could go on and on. Nobody graduated from high school, and everyone hates the gays.

Thems is the kind of things Craig and I discuss on our latest podcast, "Hillbillies, Gays and Child Molesters."

Also, if it seems like I don't know that India is located in Asia, it's merely because we didn't explain an inside joke. To us, Asia is comprised of Japan, China and Korea. You know, because they look Asian. All other Asian countries, even important ones like India, are just individual countries with no continental affiliation. I'm sure you understand. Please enjoy the podcast.

-Brad Spieser (

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Stop Me If You've Heard This: College Football Needs A Playoff

It's been a minute since I've written anything, and I appreciate all of the emails you people have sent my way since I left for Vegas. To be honest, I'm dealing with a few major developments that have put my mind in a strange place. Lately it's been impossible for me to sit in front of my computer and bang out anything of substance. Writing has always been difficult for me, but I've never experienced anything like this-----and I'm really not sure when I'm going to snap out of it.

Sad thing is, there's a myriad of topics on my mind at the moment (including the topic of this post). The Bearcat hoopers are making daddy proud, Cameron Heyward validated every glowing comment I've ever made about the guy, the goddamn Bengals are going to host a playoff game and I just got back from Vegas.

Beyond all of that, there's Nick Van Exel. Not only was his birthday less than a week ago...and not only was he in town last night as a member of the Texas Southern coaching staff...but his spitting image, Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings, came into the league and turned me into an eleven-year-old boy all over again. So, like I said, I have an endless bucket of crap to write about...and yet...I'm struggling. Big time. I'm not in need of pity, but I would like you to be patient; I haven't given up my dream of making this sucker work. But right now I have no idea how to make that a possibility.


What you're about to read is something you may have partially read before. About a year ago I wrote passionately about college football's need for a tournament (I did this in two parts: here and here). I feel like I made solid arguments all the way around, but things have changed since then. And, of course, UC is involved this year. So, I updated last year's posts and re-worded some arguments, and what remained was the following piece:

The Cincinnati University Fighting Bearcats have ***no chance*** of playing in this year's BCS championship game, and that's more than a little stupid. The same can be said about undefeated mid majors TCU and Boise State, two teams who are good enough to beat absolutely anybody on a perfect night.

(***This is under the assumption that Texas and the Florida/Alabama winner finish their seasons without a loss***)

But arguing on behalf of UC and Boise and TCU is boring. For one, everyone else is doing it. For deux, it's only a small part of the argument I want to make. That is, the one I'm about to make.

I used to roll my eyes every time my dad suggested a 64-team tournament in college football; I agreed the current setup was a disaster, but I was more of an 8- or 16-team guy. But I've come around. Dad was right.

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.

Who the hell 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? Of course not! But that's the kind of ridiculousness we're dealing with here.

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 regular season would finish before Thanksgiving. Start the tournament the following Saturday and all but four teams are left on New Year's Day. It really is that 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? Florida and Alabama (regardless of the game's outcome), Texas (assuming they win, and maybe even if they don't) and...who? UC? TCU? Boise? It still wouldn't be fair. Keep your four-team playoff to yourself. The only reason you even suggest it is because (a.) you heard someone else say it, or (b.) you haven't really thought it through. Trust me, having only four teams compete for the title accomplishes nothing. We need to go bigger, dammit! This is America!


Again, think of it in terms of March Madness.

Every year the tourney offers a team (or teams) a shot at redemption. Whether it be a young team pulling it together at just the right time or a team that struggled with injury/chemistry issues early in the season, the tournament always offers a team or two who possess the right amount of swagger and skill to pull off the unthinkable.

But college football doesn't work like that.

College football has no place for Miami, who is very young, but also a nightmare matchup when they're hitting on all cylinders.

College football has no place for Stanford or Pitt, two dangerous teams who came out of nowhere this year to scare the BeJesus out of traditional heavyweights.

College football has no place for Iowa, who -- far as I can tell -- is getting screwed over more than everyone who isn't undefeated. They lost their QB, Ricky Stanzi, to injury early in a close loss to a better-than-mediocre Northwestern bunch. And then, with Stanzi still out, they took Ohio State to overtime (in Columbus!) before falling. That's it. According to me the Hawkeyes are still a very good team, and it would be nice if a healthy Ricky Stanzi led them onto the field in the NCAA tournament. But they'll never know if they were good enough to compete for the title, because the NCAA is penalizing them for a mid-season injury. Iowa's reward: They'll be playing in the Nondescript Bowl, against a nondescript team, in a game we'll probably not watch and undoubtedly won't remember.

Another team I feel sorry for is Oklahoma. The Sooners' Heisman-winning QB Sam Bradford injured his shoulder in an early-season loss to BYU. The thinking at the time was, If they can stay afloat without him, maybe he can return and lead the Sooners to a one-loss season and (maybe) they could play for the BCS championship. That was just stupid. Bradford was rushed back and he re-injured his shoulder. The Sooners continued to lose games, Bradford (a junior) declared for the NFL draft, and his career might never be the same (I'm being dramatic, but it's a possibility).

Now, what if Oklahoma held Bradford out a few more weeks, letting him fully heal, and geared up for the tournament? Chances are, they still wouldn't be good enough to make a Final Four run, but you never know. Either way, can you imagine the Sooners grabbing a No. 9 seed and winning in round one? Now you're looking at something like an Alabama-Oklahoma bloodbath before the Sweet Sixteen.

Seriously, how much fun would that be?

So, you can argue for Boise and TCU and Cincinnati, but it accomplishes very little. Your argument needs expansion.


Yeah, these bowls sure are a lot of fun.

You know what was my favorite bowl game last year? If you guessed the EagleBank Bowl, in the words of Jules from Pulp Fiction, "You a smart mutha f**ka." Except I'm joking. It was the dumbest bowl game in the history of dumb bowl games, and I didn't even watch it. Know why? Because Wake Forest and Navy, two boring squads with no national following, were playing a rematch of a regular season game three months prior. No intrigue, nothing at stake, no audience (aside from gamblers and family members). Allow me to misuse the word literally here: There was literally no reason to watch last year's EagleBank Bowl.

But if Wake Forest and Navy had squared up last year in the first round of last year's tournament, nobody would've cared that it was a rematch. Sure, it wouldn't have been a dream matchup, but the ratings would've quintupled (or quinjillioned) those of the EagleBank Bowl. The reason: office pools. Every mom in America fills them out, and they're far and away the number one reason why the NCAA tournament is what it is.

But I digress...

Look, 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 with some quickness. Well, maybe not. But it doesn't mean I'm crazy, either.

I'm not crazy, am I? Am I crazy?


From the Oh Yeah Department: 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 No. 13 seed George Mason shocked the world and made the 2006 Final Four.

-Brad Spieser (


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Headed To Vegas!

I was awake for a total of nine hours on Tuesday.

It's a very real possibility that I won't sleep a total of nine hours for the next four days.

Reason? Nevada.

It would be an understatement to say that I'm excited about traveling to the desert.


As is always the case when I travel (especially to Nevada), I'm a little behind as far as this site is concerned. Before I left, I desperately wanted to write about Brandon Jennings and Cameron Heyward and Mike Zimmer and how much I hate white people, but that just ain't gonna happen. I still have to purchase mini-toiletries and lip balm and chewing gum. And, of course, I need to remind myself not to forget my cell phone charger and an extra wife beater. (And should I bring a fancy pair of trousers?)

As you can plainly see, I'm a little stressed at the moment.

Plus, I have to leave for work in a few minutes.


So, because I'm predictably behind on my day, there will be no Vickers picks this weekend. Sadly. And I'm not bringing my Dell computer on the trip, either. However, I will document every single sports wager I make over the course of the weekend -- and try to estimate how much I risked at various gaming tables -- and I think you'll soon find that I'm the walking definition of "degenerate."

I promise you: This will blow your mind.

I promise you: You will lose respect for me in less than one week.

Wish me luck!



I love you.

-Brad Spieser (

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Bengals Can Win The Super Bowl! No, Seriously

Things are happening with these Bengals. Yes, they are. Things. Happening. Like, winning in a way we've never really seen before. And by "we've," I mean me. And by "before," I mean since I was nine. The Bengals are playing a boring brand of football, but it's legitimate. No smoke, no mirrors. The Bengals are freaking good, and dare I say it...Super Bowl Contenders.

Raise your hand if you want my thoughts on the current state of Cincinnati's professional football team? That's what I thought...

1. I get the feeling that the Larry Johnson signing is viewed positively, and I'm not really sure why that is. For one (and most importantly), he might not be any good. Over his last 483 carries, dating back to game 1 of the '07 season, Johnson's averaged 3.7 yards per carry. For deux, is he really needed? The Bengals next three games are against Oakland, Detroit and Cleveland, and the Bengals will be overwhelming favorites in each. So, I know Cedric Benson is a little banged up, and I know Bernard Scott can't fully be trusted, but my Aunt Dorothy could be the Bengals' starting RB for those games and they'll still likely be 10-2. For three, he's a dumb jackass, and he always has been, dating back to his days at Penn State. The dude is a frontrunner -- which can be okay -- but the second things aren't going his way, he becomes a cancer of epic proportions.

The Larry Johnson move might end up being a smart move, and it may be of no consequence. But I just feel as if the whole thing was completely unnecessary. Why risk screwing up perfect chemistry??

2. Chad Ochocinco was once one of the more brilliant deep threats in American football, and then he wasn't. Why is that? To the best of my knowledge he's still capable of blowing by defenders; in fact, every highlight of one of Ochocinco's receptions shows DBs still very much on their heels when chasing No. 85 around. I know he's still got it, and I'm guessing the rest of the team knows he's still got it. So, why -- with Chris Henry out for the season -- isn't Ochocinco being sent deep several times each game (or rather, why isn't Carson Palmer attempting deep passes more frequently)? It seems to me that I'm more concerned with this than others-----trust me, this will be an issue come playoff time. Look at it this way: Even without Henry, the Bengals have the personnel to go deep, and are more or less refusing to unleash that weapon. Doesn't that seem silly to you? Plus, merely trying a deep ball is almost as important as connecting on one. It softens up the defense. And what about the possibility of pass interference...

3. Why aren't we hearing more about the progress being made by first rounder Andre Smith? This could mean he's not making any, but I choose to believe it's simply because the Bengals are winning football matches with greater regularity than in recent years. Whatever the case, isn't it nice to envision a scenario where Andre Smith works his way into (at the minimum) obvious-running-down shape? Let's not forget, he's probably the best lineman on the team (and unquestionably the most talented). Nobody ever said the guy didn't love football, or play his ass off at Alabama. Smith's red flags included dealings with an agent (and other knuckle-headedness), weight concerns and is he an effective pass-blocker?

But if he's fit enough to play -- and if his repaired foot isn't at risk -- Smith can be a major asset in the running game come January. If nothing else, the Bengals basically get an extra first round pick next season.

Speaking of January, let's talk about February, the month that features Super Bowl XLIV, a game the Bengals are worthy of competing in...

I'm serious, people.

4. The Bengals really are contenders for the big prize, and it's for reasons I never could have imagined. Namely, defense.

5. In case my eyes are deceiving me, Brandon Johnson is a Pro Bowl linebacker. He's versatile and fast and smart and he makes plays all over the field. And...Jesus, I love watching that guy play.

6. In case my eyes are deceiving me, Jonathan Fanene is the best defensive end I've seen wear a Bengals uniform.

And you know what? Marvin Lewis deserves a ton of credit for this. Through his first three professional seasons (05-07), Fanene played in twenty-one of a possible forty-eight contests, recording 12 tackles and 1 sack. As a player who was making very little money, Fanene was injured much too often to ever be counted on. Most of the time, these sort of players get cut. But Lewis saw something (probably practice-field dominance), and keeping Fanene on the roster could go down as the best decision Marvin Lewis ever made.

I see Fanene as a dominant force at defensive end -- a guy who plays all three downs and is just as effective against the run as he is against the pass. And I would love to say this surprises me, but it kind of doesn't. At some point during the '06 season, I was discussing all-things Bengal with Dave Laphman, and for whatever reason Fanene's name came up. Lapham told me Fanene was unblockable in practice -- and off-the-charts strong (this led to a conversation about Samoan strength being a different type of strength, but anyway) -- and that Marvin Lewis (a guy who has no tolerance for oft-injured players) was willing to look past the neverending stream of injuries that kept him out of game after game for those first few seasons.

Again: Unproductive 7th round picks are not allowed to be injured; they're disposable. If you can't stay healthy, I'll find someone who can. But Lewis saw something in Fanene, and now he's developed into a force on America's most underrated unit.

7. In case my eys are deceiving me, Domata Peko is the Bengals' best defensive tackle since Tim Krumrie shattered his leg. This is mostly by default, but still.

8. In case my eyes are deceiving me, Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph are in the discussion for "Best corner tandem in the NFL." You got another duo playing at a higher level? Do you? I don't.

9. In case my eyes are deceiving me, Morgan Trent is good enough to start for half the teams in the league.

10. In case my eyes are deceiving me, 6'7 Michael Johnson's best pass-rushing move on Sunday was to duck under Steelers left tackle Max Starks. And because it's the Bengals, and because it's 2009, it worked! On multiple occasions!

11. Do I need to keep going?

Look, the defense is good. Really good. They have space eaters and quarterback molesters and instinctive linebackers who chase everyone down. The DBs don't always corral the catchable balls, but they almost always knock them down. I don't see a single weakness on this unit, and there is nothing gimmicky or phony about them, which is why they can win the Super Bowl.

And I'll keep repeating the line until I convince myself it's a possibility...

The Bengals can win the Super Bowl!

-Brad Spieser (

Monday, November 16, 2009

Belichick Goes For It On 4th Down; People Overreact


"It was the worst coaching decision I've ever seen Belichick make."

-Rodney Harrison

The quoted man above said these words last night on NBC's postgame show. Harrison also said something about Belichick sending a message to his young defense that he has no confidence in them. It means that he has no confidence in his young D against a bloody hot Peyton Indianapolis...on a Sunday night.

It means that he has plenty of confidence in Tom Brady, only one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, to move the ball two yards on the game's most critical play.

That makes sense, don't it?

Don't it?

Besides, not getting the first down did not ensure a Colts victory; it merely put them in a better position to prevail. Remember, the Colts were trailing by six, not two. Even after the Pats botched the 4th & 2, the Colts were probably no better than a 50/50 shot to win. I know a Colts win seemed inevitable (and count me among those who figured Manning would close it out), but the Patriots still had a great shot to walk out of there with a win.

So, would I have punted? Probably, yeah (but maybe not).

Regardless, it was nowhere near the coaching blunder everyone is making it out to be.

Fact: If Kevin Faulk doesn't juggle Brady's pass, the sports world is stroking Belichick for having the onions to go for it on their own 28-yard line.

I hate people.

-Brad Spieser (

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Gambling: Season Two, Episode 12 (Hating My Unborn Offspring)

Feeling less than superb this morning. In related news, I want to die. In related news, I hope the world ends the second after I die. In related news, that means I don't care about the lives of my great grandchildren's great grandchildren. In related news, my great grandchildren's great grandchildren were probably headed for drug addiction, anyway.

"I love me some me."

-Terrell Owens and other blacks (and maybe whites).

Saturday Vickers...

Put $100.00 on this: USC (-10.5) vs. Cardinal of Stanford, California

And then put $150.00 on this: TCU (-21) vs. Utah Runnin' Utes

And then put $300.00 on this: Duke (+13.5) vs. Rambling Wreck

And then put $300.00 on this: Central Florida (+4.5) vs. Houston Fighting Klinglers

And then count your money.

And then play in traffic.

-Brad Spieser (

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tall Kid, Changing Skin Color, Mormon Beater, Etc.

Not one, not two, but three different stories have literally kept me glued to the television and/or computer over the past ten days. Literally. Glue.

And the stories? (1.) The 7'4 football playing middle-schooler; (2.) Sammy Sooser becoming a honkey overnight; (3.) That crazy lady who beat up a few dozen Mormons over the course of a ninety-minute collegiate soccer match.

See for yourself:


-Brad Spieser (

Ochocinco + Paterno = Me Laughing

Chad Ochocinco was a guest on Collin Cowherd's radio program today. For reasons you'll soon understand I found the following exchange fascinating:

Cowherd: By the way, Chris Henry broke his arm; how does that change things for

Ochocinco: Oh man. Dude, dude, dude, I was in tears on the field. I
was in tears on the field, man. That is a big blow to our offense. That is an
enormous blow to our offense. To lose someone of that magnitude is really
upsetting. But we have to find a way. We have people that are going to have to
step up, step up and play. You know, we got Jerome Simpson, we have Qui ... uh,
Quincy, Quincy...uh...Crosby. He's going to have to step up and play ball...

For the record, the man's first name is Quan, not Quincy. His last name is Cosby, not Crosby.

And I know you expect me to pile on Ochocinco, or wonder what was going through Cosby's mind while this unfolded, but mostly I'm thinking about old people.

Over the weekend I was watching the Ohio State-Penn State contest with my buddy Kevin, and we couldn't get enough of Joe Paterno. Every screen shot of Penn State's soon-to-be 83-year-old head coach generated laughter and entertaining conversation. We talked about his measly salary, the fact that he doesn't wear a headset, how much he probably needs to pee during games, the time he sprinted to the restroom during a game, his maniacal behavior at pep rallies, does he even coach the team, etc.

But the conversation always came back to one question: If you were to line up Penn State's 85 scholarship players in street clothes, how many first and last names would Joe Paterno nail with no hesitation?

Kevin and I never really answered the question, but I think Ochocinco just did. Since training camp, Cosby and Ochocinco have spent hundreds and hundreds (and hell, maybe thousands) of hours together-----not just on the same team, but in WR meetings and drills together. I'm talking the closest of close quarters, since the beginning of August, and yet Ochocinco butchered the man's first and last name on national radio.

A. That's funny.

B. The Bengals selected
Jerome Simpson over DeSean Jackson.

C. What's your best guess-----how many of the current 85 Nittany Lions on scholarship does Joe Paterno know by name? Is there any way the number is higher than forty? I say no.

Please email me your answers.

-Brad Spieser (

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ochocinco Caught The Pass Before He Bribed The Ref!

Okay, everybody's making a big deal about Chad Ochocinco bribing an official, and yeah, it was funny. But what about the lousy call that preceded said bribe?

In case you missed it...

Ochocinco caught the pass near the sideline, inbounds, and was correctly credited with a catch.

Baltimore challenged.

Play overturned. Incomplete pass. Bengals punt. Ravens keep alive slim chance of winning. I punched my nephew until he fell asleep.

For those who didn't miss it (and subsequently disagree with me)...

Yes, the pass was a complete. Watch for yourself (pay attention at the 0:21 mark):

Left foot down, right foot...down. And it was down. His heel hit inbounds before his toes came down out of bounds-----and the moment his heel touched down in the field of play it was a completed pass.

Think of it in terms of a tippy-toed, tight-roping sideline catch...

I ask you: Do WRs in those situations get 100 percent of both feet down inbounds? Of course not. Only the tips of their toes land in bounds, while the rest of their body (including the rest of their feet) crash down out of bounds. what's the difference? I rest my case

1. I love being right.

2. Why am I the only living human being to mention this?

3. The referee who overturned this call should get suspended for, among other things, being a jackass.

Keep the change, you filthy animals.

-Brad Spieser (

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Gambling: Season Two, Episode 11 (And Zach Collaros Is A Superstar)

Two thoughts before making my NFL picks...

1. Zach Collaros is a superstar -- one of the five best QBs in college football -- and there's simply no way UC can go back to Tony Pike at this point.

2. UC's top two QBs are decidedly better than Terrelle Pryor.

3. UC's RB Isaiah Pead is better than any RB on Ohio State's roster.

4. UC WRs Mardy Gilyard, Armon Binns and DJ Woods might all be better than Devier Posey, Ohio State's top WR.

5. And UC's O-Line is obviously superior to Ohio State's semi-embarrassing front.

6. Just saying.

7. Switching to the NFL...Josh Freeman is starting today for Tampa, and if you can guarantee me he'll be starting every game for the rest of the season, I'll guarantee you they'll finish the season without a victory. HE'S TERRIBLE! Trust me.

8. Just glanced at the Bengals' schedule (which I never do)...there's a strong possibility they're either 8-5 or 9-4 after week 13. Jesus. How did this happen?


NFL picks...


Washington (+9) at Atlanta

Colts-Texans UNDER (49.5)

-Brad Spieser (

Friday, November 6, 2009

Gambling: Season Two, Episode 10 (NCAAF Only)

Four crazy lines, four home dogs. The Vickers System is getting a little wacky this week and going with Four $300 5 Star Millennial Locks of the Millennium.

That's right. Horny?

Stanford (+7) vs. The Best Team In College Football (aka Ducks of Oregon)

Tulsa (+1.5) vs. Houston Fighting Klingler Brothers

Kansas State (+2.5) vs. Rock Chalk Reesing

Iowa State (+7.5) vs. Okie State

Last week: Off ($ Not so great)
Overall: Poor ($ Even worse)

NFL picks coming Sunday, and I'm guessing Josh Freeman will be prominently involved.

-Brad Spieser (

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tales Of Drugs And Domestic Violence!

1. Girl tells her horrific story of boyfriend swinging baseball bat at her head.

2. Boy is chemically altered at the time of hearing this story.

3. Boy laughs uncontrollably upon hearing this story.

4. Boy tells story on podcast.

5. Boy is going to hell.

Please listen to our latest podcast, "Drugs Make You Laugh At Domestic Disputes."

-Brad Spieser (

Ruben Patterson Doesn't Tip (And I Gots Proof)

I am a bartender in downtown Cincinnati. I shouldn't have to explain why this makes me cool. But I will, briefly. Being a bartender in downtown Cincinnati makes me cool because it allows me the opportunity to occasionally ask Edinson Volquez how his elbow is doing. See what I mean? I'm a regular James Dean. Anyway...

A few Sundays ago Ruben Patterson (weighing a good 260) and his crew strolled into my bar, ordered Goose and Patron like the plane was going down, ran up a $209 bill...and tipped us Zero Dollars and Zero Cents.

Don't believe me? Okay, of course you believe me. Either way, see for yourself:

(Note: I didn't take the picture of Patterson's receipt, which explains why his signature isn't in the photo. (1.) If you really need me to, I can produce the copy with his signature. (2.) His middle name is Nathaniel, which is represented on the bill by the letter "N," just another way prove the legitimacy of this post. (3.) Why am I going out of my way to prove the legitimacy of something [i.e., being stiffed by a scumbag millionaire] everybody already believes?)

Funny thing is, this isn't half as bad as some of the horror stories to come out of my time as both a bartender and valet; this is just the only one I can proove. I'd love to tell the Shaun Alexander story, or the Dave Chappelle story, but -- without the evidence -- it wouldn't be worth it.

Can I get a Hooray for Ruben Patterson! Can I get a Hooray for
pleading guilty to attempted rape!


(For everyone who came hear because Mo linked to this story, thanks. But I'd prefer you check out the main page [ ] and listen to the occasionally offensive podcasts.)

-Brad Spieser (

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Delightful Fantasy Football Rant

Reason No. 204 why fantasy football is a wonderful thing: Mean-spirited, grammatically disastrous complaints/threats (this time from my buddy Frank):

"I need help- lets be honest this league needs help. Maybe just maybe its time for me to walk away from this league.Nobody talks, nobody trades, and nobody likes the commish except maybe eric and tom. I have one of the best qbs in the league and i cant give him away, i also have the burner but some people would rather have beanie wells.Whats the point you ask I WANT TO TRADE!!. I offer trades and get no response- does anybody remember the phrase spin the wheelmake a deal before al ruined it.Lets get back to the way it used to be-fun. So if anyone out there except al wants to trade im all ears, please feel free to contact me at anytime- once again not you al. Have a great day except you al"

Okay, a few things...

1. The league referenced in Frank's rant (The Cool Dude Fantasy Football League) has been in place for thirteen years, with many of the original members still competing.

2. The commish is my buddy Al, Frank's cousin and close friend. (Note: I'm co-commissioner.)

3. When Frank refers to "one of the best qbs in the league," he's speaking of Aaron Rodgers.

4. When Frank refers to "the burner," he's speaking of Michael Turner.

5. "Spin the wheel, make a deal" is a phrase used when trying to convince a prospective trading partner to agree to a deal.

6. Again, Al is Frank's cousin and close friend. Recently Al traded Drew Brees for a package Frank felt wasn't as attractive as what he offered; that more or less fueled this rant.

Good times!

-Brad Spieser (

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cliff Lee, Ted Ginn, Dumb Announcers, Etc.

(No picture today. Blame the Nazis at the Monfort Heights Library, an otherwise lovely place...)

Things are happening in the world of sports (aka the sports world) and my opinion needs to be heard. It do. Let me first apologize for being a little tardy with a few of these. Let me second admit that my apology in the previous sentence was half-hearted. Anyway, read...

1. World Series Game 1: Cliff Lee catches the ball as nonchalantly as possible on the mound (and actually, almost drops it) and Lee is universally stroked for being so cool under pressure. This made me sick. Although Lee was cool under pressure, it didn't change the fact that it was an incredibly stupid play. More importantly, what if he'd dropped it? The Around The Horn-types and Skip Bayless would have been all over Lee for the next thousand years. But he caught it. And he's an unassuming white guy. So we love him for it. Strange. Predictable.


2. Entering Sunday Ted Ginn had only returned eight kickoffs and two punts on the season. I've complained about this ad nauseam (most recently in the comments section of this late-September post) and now -- after Ginn's record-setting two-touchdown performance -- I'm finally able to say I told you so. Thing is, it's not a revelation that Ginn is an electric return man; everyone already knew this. He was drafted ninth overall for two reasons: Blazing speed and otherworldly return ability. He was a project as a WR, but the Dolphins felt he was worth the gamble.

And then --for God knows what reason -- Ginn was only used as a part-time returner. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

By the way, Ginn is still stuck on two punt returns this year. The brilliant minds in Miami think lead-footed Davone Bess is the answer there. Who knows? Maybe Miami's offense is so explosive that they don't have to worry about big plays in the return game. Oh wait...


3. Actual exchange from a wedding I attended a few weeks back...

Friend X: I think we're praying.

Friend Y: No shit. Bow your head.

(Note: Both parties are Catholic.)


4. I'm positive there isn't another George Grande on the planet, but that doesn't mean announcing isn't bad all over.

I was watching the Suns-Warriors contest over the weekend, and a five-minute stretch produced three of the dumbest things I've ever heard, and it wasn't the least bit surprising.

First from Suns play-by-play guy Tom Leander, speaking of a hot performance last season from (I think) Warriors guard Kalenna Azubuike: "He just literally shot the Suns out of the game almost."

Literally? Almost?

Please, analyze that sentence again.

Jesus. I'm losing my mind here. Is there anyone left in the world who cares about the English language? I mean, the play-by-play guy is supposed to be a master with words, and in this case the moron just slapped together one of the dumbest sentences you'll ever read. Jeff Brantley misuses "literally" all the time, and I kill him for it. But he's just a dopey ex-jock. With this Leander fellow, this is a million times worse.

As someone who couldn't make a big breakthrough in the broadcast journalism field, I can tell you it's more than a little frustrating to hear stuff like this.


And now we move along to Phoenix's color man, ex-sharpshooter Eddie Johnson, with two quotes that I've heard thousands of times before (in various forms, from various idiots)...

Speaking of Suns' PG Steve Nash: "Everyone wants to anoint Ray Allen as the best shooter in the NBA, but they never mention Nash. Steve Nash is by far the best shooter in the NBA."

Okay. Can you prove it? No, of course not. Even if Nash is the best shooter in the NBA (which, again, can't be proven), he's not "by far" the best shooter. Nobody is. Nobody has ever been by far the best shooter. Blatantly biased color commentators do this sort of thing all the time, and they're rarely called out on it. Until now...


One other doozy from Johnson-----this time filling our heads with crap about Warriors guard Stephen Curry (a person Johnson had brief contact with for one year when he and Stephen's father, Dell, played together in Charlotte): "When Dell and I played together we'd stay after practice and have shooting competitions...and Stephen would be in the gym. I knew very early what kind of shooter he would become."

Without even doing the math my Bullshit Meter was beeping intensely.

Then I checked (an Internet website) and discovered that Eddie Johnson and Dell Curry played together in the 93-94 season...when Stephen Curry was five-goddamn-years-old (note: Curry actually turned six in March of 94, so...).

But anyway, Stephen Curry was five. FIVE! For one, he probably wasn't at post-practice shootarounds too often -- after all, he was five, and five-year-olds play with Legos and dinosaur coloring books. Secondly, the greatest scout in the world could study the greatest five-year-old shooter in the world, and the shooter's parents could be Reggie Miller and Jackie Styles (in the event she's not a lesbian), and the scout's opinion wouldn't mean a damn thing.

I hate when announcers think I'm the dumbest person in the world. I really do. But it happens constantly (cough, sneeze, Mark May), and I wish more people called out these dirty liars and made examples of them.

5. Want to know why the Brian Vickers System is struggling so badly? Read this.

6. Nice job this Sunday by the Cincinnati Enquirer. In case I'm missing something, there wasn't a single mention of the Bengals over fourteen (or maybe fifteen) pages. Bye week, schmye week. They're 5-2, and helping us forget the last twenty years-----you mean to tell me they can't dig up something for us to read during the bye week? Lazy. Lazy. Lazy.

Keep the change, you filthy animals.

-Brad Spieser (

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cedric Benson's Workload; Tony Pike's Injury; NBA Preview

(No picture today. I'm back at the library and these idiots won't allow such behavior on their crappy Compaq computators. Oh well...)

Three quick thoughts before posting my NBA predictions:

1. Cedric Benson carried the ball 37 times on Sunday. THIRTY FREAKING SEVEN! And thirteen of them came over the final 17:05, as the Bengals were clinging to a 38-3 lead. Related note: Marvin Lewis is a jackass.

Speaking of Marvin Lewis being a jackass, did I mention he's a dumb jackass?

Benson is on pace for 375 carries this season. That's an extraordinarily high number, but we've seen it before from backs who have posted monster seasons. So, it's possible he won't wear down before the end of the season, but it's also possible he might hit a wall around the 300-carry mark. After all, this is the first time Benson's ever been a feature back in his short NFL career. Regardless, why risk him in a blowout? What's the point?

Benson has been shockingly valuable this season (and for dirt cheap) and I can't fathom why Marvin Lewis allowed him to absorb hit after hit after hit in the 4th quarter.

Stupid idiot.

Plus, Bernard Scott is just wasting away on the sideline. Maybe he's not as good as I think he is, and maybe the playbook is something of a mystery to him, and maybe he's allergic to picking up blitzing linebackers. But, again, it was a blowout, and I can't imagine a better learning opportunity for a youngster than an actual game against actual opponents. Besides, take a look around the NFL, and pretty quickly you'll find many successful teams employing two- and three-back systems. This happens for two reasons: (a.) To keep everyone fresh down the stretch and (b.) to significantly reduce injury risk to your best back.

Carrying the ball 37 times in a single NFL game isn't the biggest deal in the history of big deals. But receiving over thirty-five percent of those carries while holding either a 35- or 42-point lead is simply asinine.

Nobody's questioning Marvin Lewis for routinely making bone-headed decisions, and it's only because he's the head ball coach of a 5-2 division leader. But that doesn't mean I'm not right. And for those who think I'm too negative, and for those who think I'm going out of my way to make an issue where there isn't one, answer me this:

What would your reaction have been had Cedric Benson rolled his ankle on his 37th carry of the game, while his team was leading by 35 points?

That's what I thought.

2. Tony Pike might be UC's best player (worst case scenario he's number two, behind Mardy Gilayard), which makes the following statement a little odd: The best thing to happen to UC this season has been the injury to Tony Pike.

And this has nothing to do with getting Zach Collaros ready for next season and beyond.

Here me out: With a Heisman candidate (Pike) on the shelf, the Bearcats haven't missed a beat. Which proves they aren't just a one- or two-man team. In the end, Pike's injury gives UC a better chance of making the BCS Championship game than if he'd been healthy these last few weeks and shattered every single-game passing record in the process. Strange but true.

3. Tales from the bartending gig...Ruben Patterson, who only played ten seasons in the NBA and only banked $37 million, tipped me Zero Dollars and Zero Cents on a $209 bill Sunday night. Can I get a Hooray for registered sex offenders! Can I get a Hooray for pleading guilty to attempted rape!

(I took a picture of Patterson's signed receipt, and as long as it's not illegal I'll post it tomorrow. Stay tuned.)


Okay, with the NBA season tipping off tonight, I present to you...nothing, really. I'm running out of time, and I'm positive it wouldn't interest you. However, here's something that will: I just called my bookie and placed nearly $2,200 worth of NBA Futures bets, and I owe it to you to prove my degeneracy. Anyway, here's what I gots...

***Win Totals***

$200 Mavs UNDER 48.5 wins (+110) - Old + Old + Old x Old = Every significant Maverick not named Josh Howard.
$100 Pacers UNDER 34.5 wins (-125) - Yet another chance to root against Tyler Hansbrough

$350 Wizards OVER 41.5 wins (-120) - Additions of Foye and Miller should push the Bullets to 50 wins
$350 Jazz 49.5 OVER wins (-125) - Darkhorse title contender.
$350 Bulls OVER 41.5 wins (-125) - The only team who could jump up and challenge Orl/Bos/Cle in East.
$150 Spurs 54.5 OVER wins (-130) - Jefferson pick-up keeps Ginoboli fresh for playoffs.
$100 Rockets OVER 36.5 wins (-135) - Get ready to hear them described as "scrappy."
$100 Warriors OVER 34.5 wins (+105) - Ellis, Curry and Randolph = three of my five favorite NBA players (Nash, Durant).
$100 Heat 40.5 OVER wins (-115) - They cruise to 50 if Beasley brings it every night.
$100 Knicks 31.5 OVER wins (-125) - D'Antoni's too good to lose 50 games.
$100 Thunder 34.5 OVER wins (-125) - Hope they're not a year away. Depth scares me.


***NBA Finals Matchups***

$25 Magic/Spurs (+2000)
$12.50 Magic/Jazz (+4000)
$20 Magic/Nuggets (+2500)
$25 Celtics/Jazz (+2000)
$50 Celtics/Spurs (+1000)



$10 Kevin Durant (+3000)


***Rookie of the Year***

$25 Tyreke Evans (+650)


As for my plain old predictions, here goes...

West: Spurs over Jazz
East: Cavs over Celtics
Finals: Spurs over Cavs

end of words.

the end.


time to go.

-Brad Spieser (

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Here's What's Wrong With Terrelle Pryor

Remember the scene in Almost Famous when the editor at Rolling Stone asks the kid to send his unfinished work through a prehistoric fax machine (it transmits eighteen pages per minute!), and he ends up sending dozens of scribbled-on Post-It Notes? Well, that's basically what I'm doing here. I wanted to put together a coherent piece about Terrelle Pryor's struggles, but napping and work got in the way. I feel awful for not figuring out a way to properly finish this, and I'll undoubtedly lose sleep over it, but I have no other choice -- Ohio State fires their game up with Minnesota in a little over an hour and these words need to be published before kickoff.

Anyway, here's my unfortunate tip of the cap to Willia Miller, Penny Lane, Russell Hammond, etc. (Vickers at bottom of page):

Anyone who suggests that Terrelle Pryor just isn't the right fit for Jim Tressel's offense is way off base. Of course, Pryor isn't a good fit in Tressel's system, but your suggestion is that Pryor would thrive elsewhere

Pryor wouldn't be the right fit anywhere, at least not in the role of savior. I've heard a few times recently how Pryor would've been a better fit in Rich Rodriguez's system at Michigan (where Pryor nearly committed). Let me stop you right there.

NO. Not a chance, dude.

Rich Rodriguez's system requires a quarterback to make several reads in the split second following the snap. Well, I don't know if you've been paying attention, but Pryor's recognition of pretty much -- no wait, absolutely everything is nonexistent.

I don't know how it's possible, but the man has no instincts.

Pryor is often criticized for trying too hard to be a pocket quarterback, but I think that's only a fraction of the problem. The bigger issue is awareness - Pryor has no clue when to take off. None.

For a "running quarterback," he has no idea when it's time to exit the pocket and make a play with his athletic ability. Most "running quarterbacks" are criticized for taking off too often, before the pocket collapses. Pryor does just the opposite; he holds the ball too long. I understand why pure passers hold the ball too long -- they aren't going to make a play with their legs, and throwing the ball away can be a difficult concept to grasp -- but Pryor can't pass a lick (he aims every ball he throws), and nobody knows that more than him. So, why doesn't he swallow his pride and stop trying to prove his doubters wrong? Why doesn't he just take off and run at the first sign of trouble?

Wait, I thought we covered this: The man has no instincts for the position.

Seemingly every time Pryor rips off a 20-yard-run on what started as a pass play it's because he broke outside the pocket and around the crashing defensive ends. These plays are few and far between, and become more unlikely the faster the opponent gets. Against better teams, Pryor might get outside the contain of the defensive ends, but he rolls out so wide -- and the DBs and LBs close so fast -- that it rarely develops into a big play.


For a guy who can't pass a lick, and has always been the fastest guy on the field, I find it impossible to believe his running instincts are so lousy. But they are. And it's not just Pryor's inability to recognize when to leave the pocket,

the problem extends to the open field as well.

only takes off to the outside, doesn't run people over, can't make em miss. NO RUNNING INSTINCTS. just fast. thats it

poor man's Matt Jones? Jesus. this is not what i signed up for.

i hated when antonio henton left. he should be the starter right now. he could run and throw. he was quick and fast. great instincts in the open field.

I keep hearing how Terrelle Pryor simply isn't the right fit for Jim Tressel's offense. And, okay, that might be true. But there's a much bigger problem here, and it's one that I'm not sure anybody has mentioned.

Terrelle Pryor lacks the necessary instincts to play quarterback.

I've watched every play of his young career and I can tell you he never has a clue out there. I'm not calling the man dumb, either. And while his skill set is raw, there are tools to work with.

I'm willing to give him a

For one, he's not that great of a runner. Sure, he's fast, but his first couple of steps aren't all that quick. Which means that even if he had top-flight recognition -- which he clearly doesn't -- he wouldn't be so great wiggling out of pressure in the pocket.

I'd rather have my scrambling quarterbacks possess quickness over speed.

No running instincts. No idea when it's time to leave the pocket. Most "running quarterbacks" are criticized for taking off too often, and before the pocket collapses. Pryor does just the opposite; he holds the ball too long. For a guy who can't pass a lick, and has always been the fastest guy on the field, I find it impossible to believe his running instincts are so lousy. But they are.

Anyone who suggests that Pryor just isn't the right fit isn't watching the games.

There is a much bigger issue here

Vickers (all $100 plays - again, not enough time):

Vandy (+13.5)
Clemson (+4)
Indiana (+5)
SMU (+16)
Ole Miss (-6.5)
Bowling Green (+9.5)
Virginia (+5.5)
Baylor (+9.5)

NFL tomorrow

-Brad Spieser (

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What Was Vincent Vega Reading On The Toilet?

I have a unique take on the Terrelle Pryor situation, and I've written several unpublished words about it, but what I have is a little wordy -- and it gets away from my main point. So, I'm in the process of cutting it down.

I promise to post it tomorrow, but for now I must leave for work.

In the meantime, answer me this:

What book is Vincent Vega reading on the toilet during the final scene in Pulp Fiction? I've seen the movie millions of times but haven't given it much thought until my most recent viewing. Who reads a book in the bathroom of a coffee shop, anyway? And who carries a book with them? Did he leave the table with book in hand? If he did, I don't remember it. Can someone help me out here?

Questions, man. Questions.

-Brad Spieser (

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

San Diego Chargers Employee Falls, Dies

Read this A.P. story carefully, and try to pick out the line that somehow wasn't deleted:

SAN DIEGO -- A member of the San Diego Chargers' game-day staff has died after falling out of the press box before the Denver Broncos played the Chargers on Monday night.

Walt Daniels, 66, died at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday at Sharp Memorial Hospital, the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office said.

Daniels appeared to sustain a head injury after falling about 25 to 30 feet out of a booth that was to be used by Broncos assistant coaches, and landing on the loge level. He was administered CPR before being taken to the hospital.

Workers later cleaned up a puddle of blood.

The accident happened about three hours before kickoff and delayed the opening of the gates by about 40 minutes.

"The San Diego Chargers' family is greatly saddened by the loss of Walt Daniels," the team said in a statement. "Walt loved the team and loved working in the press box on game days for more than 20 years. Our prayers are with his family and friends during this most difficult time."
Workers later cleaned up a puddle of blood? A puddle? Really? Was that line in any way necessary to the story? Jesus. I didn't think the Associated Press had a creative writing division.

-Brad Spieser (

Monday, October 19, 2009

Owen Schmitt Jackass; Chris Wells Given Bum Wrap

If Owen Schmitt knew how to read -- which can't possibly be the case -- I'd mail the meathead a copy of Malcolm Gladwell's latest New Yorker piece, which basically says he will develop dementia at a frighteningly early age as a direct result of smashing his head into things. For most players, "things" means other football players. In Schmitt's case, it means his own helmet.


Serious question: Why didn't Roger Goodell fine Schmitt for pulling such a jackass stunt? Aren't Schmitt's actions fifty times more detrimental than a silly endzone dance?

Also, the entire time I was reading Gladwell's piece, I couldn't stop thinking about Chris Wells, and how -- after rushing for 106 yards on 16 carries -- he was criticized by every sports fan on the planet (including the craziest of Ohio State crazies) after sitting out all but one play of the fourth quarter in OSU's Fiesta Bowl loss to No. 3 Texas. His heart was questioned, and he was called soft. And, of course, the whole
"injury prone" label was rehashed.

I hate people.

-Brad Spieser (

Saturday, October 17, 2009

gambling: season two, episode 9

im hungover. i want dead.

college sports


central florida +13 had daunte culpepper killed himself after the 04 season he might be in the hall of fame

kansas state +5.5 bill snyder isn't so great at inspiring the young blacks this time around

colorado +9.5 colorado 90 was a good team on bill walsh 94 for sega genesis

San Dog State Aztecs +17 darnay scott had more seasons of 800 yards and 5 tds than any wr ever


Oklahoma +3 in what used to be known as the red river shootout until kids didn't start shooting each other hooray for political correctness

UAB +22 sports!

San Jose State +20 remember that special teams player with one leg


Purdue +14 why do their rbs always suck

Miami Redskins +14 lance mcalister used to interview shane montgomery three times a week and nobody gave a shit

Marshall +20.5 randy moss wore candy cane socks

Tulane +17 shain king patrick ramsey jp losman and ohio state has a bunch of shitty fags at qb

Middle of Tennessee +4.5 blue raiders is the greatest nickname in the history of great nicknames

pro sports


texans +5 i told you steve slaton wasn't anything special

-my name is bradley alan spieser

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bearcats Should Be Worried (Vickers)

I hate doing this, but I gots no choice...

We have a Vickers play tonight:

***NCAA $100***

South Florida (+2) vs. the Cincinnati University Fighting Bearcats

Hope I'm wrong.

I'll post our crappy record and our crappier account balance on Friday afternoon. This, I'm guessing, makes you horny.

-Brad Spieser (

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Bengals...So Far

Words before the real words: The Vickers System is begging us to bet on Tulsa (+9.5) tonight, but that ain't happening. Under no circumstances would we bet against the Boise Murdering Murderers when they're single-digit favorites. Proceed accordingly.

Now, here's a bunch of Bengals crapola...

1. Reason No. 138 why Peter King doesn't know a damn thing about the sport he covers for a living (from his MMQB column): "Not only are the Bengals in control of the AFC North, but also they're 3-0 in the division, 3-0 on the road ... and, oh yes, Carson Palmer's back, and he might be as good as ever. He's certainly as clutch as ever." Not even close, bud. Not only is Carson Palmer nowhere near the player he was in 2005, this is the first time he's ever really been clutch. Sure, he's had 4th quarter comebacks in the past (as any player with his ability will occasionally have) but mostly he's been a guy who wilted under pressure. Okay, maybe that's too harsh. Maybe he didn't wilt, but he rarely stepped his game up or rallied the troops the way a $100-million face of the franchise should. Regardless...I can't explain the sudden change, but I'm not complaining, either.

2. As for those horrible interceptions...

Look, Brett Favre and Kurt Warner are responsible for some of the most horrific interceptions in recent memory, so Palmer shouldn't be killed merely for that (although they worry the hell out of me). What Palmer desperately needs to do, however, is compensate for awful early-game picks with big plays in the passing game in the first three quarters. All or nothing guys are fine as log as they produce more all than nothing.

That's why Favre and Warner are given so much slack. Sure, they can look like rookies on one or two plays, but more often than not they make up for it and then some.

The way I see it, there are only two reasons Palmer isn't getting shredded by the media thus far: (a.) The team's record and (b.) his last-minute brilliance.

Let's face it: Palmer has been a subpar quarterback this season in the first three-and-a-half quarters of nearly ever game. That can't last if the Bengals are going to do any damage in January.

3. And they will be around in January. I haven't peeped at the schedule, but they've already faced plenty of formidable opponents, and more than held their own in each contest. The only game where they were outplayed was Pittsburgh, but it wasn't by much. A 4-1 record is a good head start, and I'd kind of be shocked they didn't eke out a 10-6 record (which should be good enough for a Wild Card spot).

4. Lavernues Coles has been a bigger disaster than even I could've imagined. I hated the signing because (a.) his reputation always outweighed his production, (b.) he wasn't exactly a young'n when the Bengals inked him, and (c.) the quickest way to ruin a franchise is by signing other team's aging free agents to five-year deals. WASTE OF MONEY!

5. Okay, so Chase Coffman can't block. Fine. But I know he can catch. How many times have we heard how he's never dropped a pass in practice? A billion, right? So, why can't Coffman be used as a 3rd-and-long/two-minute drill receiving tight end? I'm sick of seeing Daniel Coats drop critical passes.

6. I feel horrible for Mike Zimmer and his family, obviously, but does anyone else feel like this will be something the team rallies behind for the remainder of '09? I certainly do.

7. Fear the Texans. I don't have a great feeling heading into the weekend.

-Brad Spieser (

Posture, Baby. Posture. (Meet The 90-Degree Angle Lady

I'm assuming you've been to the Monfort Heights Walgreens (at the corner of North Bend and West Fork). If not, you're missing out on something pretty great. And by "pretty great," I mean they have an employee -- an older woman -- whose body is a 90-degree angle. I'm not exaggerating, either. Her legs are vertical, and the rest of her body is parallel to the ground. And best I can tell, she can't do a damn thing about it. When I go to purchase soap, or raisin bran, or Trapper Keepers, or whatever, there is no eye contact whatsoever. Hell, there isn't even an attempt. I have to slide my product (or products) directly under her nose so she knows what to ring in.

I know you think I'm making fun, but that's simply not the case. For one, she's pretty damn efficient. For two, I'm just amazed by this woman, and I'm more than a little surprised a word-of-mouth phenomenon hasn't spread throughout Cincinnati as a direct result of what's going on at the Monfort Heights Walgreens. I mean, really, why aren't cars lining up to see the great 90-Degree Angle Lady the way cars lined up to see Ray Kinsella's baseball field?

And why hasn't the circus called? I'd pay fifteen bucks to watch her do nothing but stand there.

How does she drive? Knowing what I know, this seems kind of impossible.

How does she sleep? Does Craftmatic even make a bed that accommodates her?

How did she get the job? She must have lights-out interviewing skills.

Questions, man. Questions.

-Brad Spieser (

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bengals 17 Points, Ravens 14 Points!

When exactly did Carson Palmer morph into John Elway? Can somebody, anybody, please explain what's going on here? The man who was once an unclutch robot is suddenly a late-game assassin. Consider what's happened late in the fourth quarter in four of the Bengals first five games in '09:

Week 1, Denver (trailing 6-0): Unable to move the ball at all since the first quarter, Palmer engineered an 11-play, 91-yard touchdown drive that left Denver with 38 seconds on the clock. Of course, this was forgotten immediately after the Brandon Stokley Miracle, but still...this was one hell of a drive, especially considering what Denver's been up to on defense this year.

Week 3, Pittsburgh (trailing 20-15): What's worse than a brain fart? I'm thinking brain diarrhea. And brain diarrhea is what Marvin Lewis repeatedly produced on the final drive as he inexplicably saved his timeouts and ordered up spike after spike. But it didn't matter. No. 9 found a way. Somehow. In the end, Palmer led his team on a 16-play, 71-yard touchdown drive, leaving Pittsburgh with a mere 14 seconds to operate.

Week 4, Cleveland (trailing 20-14): A 4th-and-goal TD pass to Chad Ochocinco capped an 11-play, 70-yard touchdown drive. It should've been the game-winner too, but the kicking game reared its ugly head and the extra point was blocked. Uncharacteristically, Palmer left the Browns with a whopping 1:55 to work with. No harm, though...the Bengals triumphed in overtime.

Week 5, Baltimore (trailing 14-10): 11 plays, 86 yards, touchdown. Was the drive aided by Baltimore penalties? Yep. Were all of the calls valid? Yep. Okay, then who cares? Besides, Palmer made big plays all drive, and didn't flinch when Daniel Coats dropped what would have been the game-winner with under forty seconds remaining. Two plays later Palmer found Andre Caldwell for a 20-yard TD pass with only 22 seconds to go.

For those scoring at home, that's four do-or-die drives...all longer than 70 yards...trailing by more than a field goal in each...all resulting in game-tying or go-ahead touchdowns...all completed with under two minutes remaining.

Let me go ahead and guarantee that this has never happened in the million-year history of the NFL. I would provide proof, but I'm not sure Scouts, Inc. keeps statistics on this sort of thing -- in fact, I'm positive they don't -- but it doesn't mean we shouldn't be blown away by Palmer's remarkable end-of-game quarterbacking thus far.

Because I am. I'm blown away. And the fact that it's coming from Palmer makes it 60 trillion times more shocking.

Now, if he could just cut down on those back-breaking interceptions...

-Brad Spieser (

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Lee Corso Is Struggling On My TV Screen

The modern day Lee Corso reminds me an awful lot of Joe Nuxhall's final years in the Reds broadcast booth.

I know you're expecting a joke here, but not today. This is pretty fucking sad. I'm watching College Gameday like I do every fall Saturday, and I cringe every time Corso opens his mouth. He simply can't do it anymore. I hate when media jackasses (i.e., Skip Bayless and everyone on Around the Horn) suggest Aging Former Superstar shouldn't hang on at the end of his career, but I kind of wish Lee Corso would just bow out gracefully and let Gameday become just another show.

-Brad Spieser (

Friday, October 9, 2009

Gambling: Season Two, Episode 8

No time for foreplay this afternoon. Onto the picks...

***NCAA $50***

NC State (-14.5)
vs. Duke

Marshall (-4) at Tulane


***NCAA $100***

Syracuse (+10)
vs. West Virginia

Flyin' Illini (+3.5) vs. Spartans

A & M Aggies (+5.5)
vs. Okie State Cowmen


***NCAA $150***

Arizona (-3.5
) at Washington

Iowa (-8) vs. Michigan


***Ten Star NCAA $300 Lock of the Millennium***

Old Mississippi (+4.5)
vs. Alabammer


***NFL $50***

Chiefs (+8)
vs. Cowboys


***NFL $100***

Dolphins (+1.5)
vs. Jets


***NFL $150***

Lions (+10.5)
vs. Steelers


***Ten Star NFL Lock of the Millennium***

Rams (+10)
vs. Vikings of Minneapolis


For the Record, we vetoed three games: Tampa (+13) at Philly; Raiders (+14.5) at Giants; Broncos (+3.5) vs. Pats.

Last week: 9-4 (+$610)
Overall: 34-29-1 (-$115)

-Brad Spieser (

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

George Grande Says Dumb Things

The folks who think I cross the line with my criticism of George Grande always counter with, "Yeah, but he was such a nice guy."

Okay. But you know what what? So is my mom. My mom is a heckuva nice guy, and she's nowhere near qualified enough to broadcast Reds games on my Samsung television. So there.

I really hate George Grande. I don't have a single nice thing to say about the man. In my opinion, he was the luckiest man in the history of broadcasting. And when I read somewhere recently that he's been a working member of the media for 45 years, honestly, I threw my niece off the balcony.

But anyway, I've broken down my hatred for George Grande into three categories: Lying, Impossible-to-believe quotes and Nicknames. Enjoy:

1. Lying. Hands down the most underrated aspect of the George Grande Experience. George Grande often lied to the fans he supposedly adored. You want examples? I gots em:

He described Reds reliever Mike Lincoln as "brilliant" after a 2008 season that ranked somewhere between (a.) lousy and (b.) decidedly average, depending on your view of things. But he never approached brilliance (not with a 4.48 ERA he didn't).


He once said that Reds OF Willy Taveras reached base safely 75 percent of the time when he hits the ball on the ground. If this were true, Cooperstown, NY would change its name to Taverasville (or something).


You'll have trouble believing this next lie...

In mid July, 2008 -- in other words, well into the season -- Grande described Mets reliever Scott Schoenweis thusly: The good news for Schoeneweis, he's a strikeout machine; 37 innings, 19 strikeouts."

This was Grande's way of saying something nice about Schoenweis. It was also a disgusting lie. Scoenweis pitched nineteen more innings that season, and actually improved his strikeouts-per-innings-pitched ratio...and...wait for it...wait for the end of the season a whopping 292 pitchers in Major League Baseball had struck out more batters per inning than Schoenweis. In fact, when factoring in every pitcher who threw at least 40 innings in '08, only 79 humans finished with a crappier ratio than the so-called "strikeout machine." What a joke.

Whether you accept it or not, George Grande was a liar. Or maybe just stupid.


2. Quotes that either (a.) made absolutely no sense or (b.) made you want to puke.

Everything you're about to read was taken directly out of Geroge Grande's mouth. Verbatim. Ver. Bay. Tum. The grammar is often horrible, but that was part of the George Grande Experience, as well. You might think he's a nice guy. I just think he's an idiot. Enjoy...

Here's Grande describing a pre-game meeting between Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Don Mattingly (a guy who last played in an All Star game when Bruce was two-years-old):

"For Joey Votto and Jay Bruce today, kind of a special day--they had a chance to meet and greet and talk with Don Mattingly, the great first baseman. Outstanding hitter, .300 career hitter, and a guy who I think in both of our minds is a Hall of Famer. No, his numbers didn't warrant that simply because his career was cut short with back difficulties, but a Hall of Famer on the field, a Hall of Famer off the field, too."


Grande on Adam Dunn (a guy who never seemed to care too much about anything, especially not a player from the 1950's) passing Ted Kluszewski for most HRs by a Reds lefty:

"252 HRs as a Red left-hand hitter. That's number one all time, one better than the great Ted Kluszewski. And it's not lost on Adam Dunn. Dunn, since he put on a Reds uniform, has marvelled at Big Klu's numbers. Not just the home runs, but the few strikeouts in his career and the kind of player he was, and leader he was, for the Reds."


On lifetime backup Jeff Keppinger:

"The more you see Jeff Keppinger, the more you like about his approach to the plate. Just very solid. Not spectacular in any way he plays the game, but very solid in...a great team player both in the field and at the plate"


On Ted Kluszewski and his widow (in a conversation with Reds broadcaster Chris Welsh):

"And the Big Klu, not only a great hitter, a great gentleman, and Eleanor still graces us with her visits every once in a while at Great American Ball Park. And she lights the place up whenever she comes, doesn't she Chris? (Welsh agrees, Grande laughs the way I did the first time I saw Borat, and continues...) The Reds family, not just the players but their wives and widows that have meant so much to this great franchise."


On Paul Janish, a professional athlete, playing hard:

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


On multi-millionaire pitcher David Weathers being willing to pitch whenever he's asked:

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


On the young players in the organization being such quality people:

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


George Grande, while interviewing Reds owner Bob Castellini, had this to say while talking about all the dead people connected to the Reds organization (and nothing was taken out of context; this was a complete thought for Grande):

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


3. Nicknames. George Grande loves nicknames. He once called Gary Majewski, one of the worst relievers in recent Reds history, "Magic" seven or eight times in about three minutes. And it's actually worse than it seems. Grande would say things like, ""Magic" hasn't walked a batter over his last two outings." or ""Magic's seen his ERA lower from 7.73 to 7.09 since the start of May!"


Of course, there's the time Jonny Gomes was dubbed "Never Say Die" Gomes after hitting a home run to shrink the Reds' deficit from ten runs to nine. And Grande was serious.


When lifetime .176 hitter Andy LaRoche strolled to the plate, Grande dropped a "Here's Andy" on us, as if Honus Freaking Wagner came back to life.


I'll never forget the time he called some retired umpire that we've never heard of "Spanky" approximately 45,000 times in a half inning.


The Pirates aren't the Pirates, of course, they are known as the Buc-O's and only the Buc-O's.


But the most mind-blowing example of Grande giving every MF'ing schmuck in baseball a nickname is the time he referred to Bud Black as "Buddy" Black. Grande was so determined to give Black a new nickname that he lengthened an already existing nickname. "Bud" is a nickname, always has been, always will be. "Bud" is something you're called when you have a stupid birth name. In Black's case, it was Harry Ralston Black (stupid indeed). So, anyway, Black's lifelong nickname wasn't good enough for Georgie Boy. Grande had to give Black's nickname a nickname.

If George Grande was around to broadcast 1920's Yankees games, I'm sure he would've called Babe Ruth "The Babe-ster."


With exception of the first two stories in the "Lying" section and the "Never Say Die" Gomes thing, all of these stories/quotes were gathered from the rougly 120 games I watched in the 2008 baseball season. So, when you consider that Grande probably called between 1,500 and 2,000 Reds games in his career...and when you factor in the thousands upon thousands of hours I've been subjected to this bozo, it's easy to see why his retirement was one of the happiest days of my life.

Good riddance, loser!

-Brad Spieser (

Monday, October 5, 2009

George Grande Retired. Damn.

"If there is something that comes along where I don't have to travel on a regular basis, I will do that too," Grande said. "I'm not leaving to take another job. I'm leaving to spend more time at home. If something happens, fine. More than anything, I will miss the people. I will miss everybody I worked with. We've all been pretty lucky and fortunate -- the broadcasters and writers, everybody - to have a great relationship. The people I worked with made 17 years a joy."

-George Grande

In case you weren't paying attention back there, here's the funniest line in funny line history:
"I'm not leaving to take another job."



1. this

2. this

3. this

4. this

5. this

6. this

7. this

8. this

9. this

10. this

11. this

12. this

13. this

14. this

15. this

16. this

17. this

18. this

19. this

20. this

21. this

22. this

-Brad Spieser (

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Bad Coaching + Bad Coaching = Every Game I Watch

Scene set: Miami leads Oklahoma 21-20 with two minutes and change remaining. Miami possesses the ball. 3rd & 6 at the Oklahoma 35 yard line. Sooners out of timeouts. Hurricanes earn first down with 7-yard pass. Clock running...and the Canes wouldn't have to snap the ball again until around 1:58 or 1:59.

In other words: Game over. Hurricanes prevail. Several people clap their hands and high five their friends. Others hang their head and wish to be alone for the rest of the evening. And so on. And so on. And whatnot.

Well, that's the way I saw it. It seemed pretty simple. But Miami's head football coach Randy Shannon and Oklahoma's fearless leader Bob Stoops must be pretty new to this whole football thing.

Instead of instructing quarterback Jacory Harris to milk the clock and kneel on three consecutive plays, Randy Shannon figured it would be wise to run another play. Seriously! More on this in a second.

Meanwhile, on the opposite sideline, Bob Stoops was channeling Marvin Lewis, and somehow out-dumbing Randy Shannon...

Okay, with the play clock resetting to forty seconds after each play, and with Miami not needing to snap the ball until just under the two-minute mark, it's not difficult to do the math: forty + forty + forty = two minutes = Oklahoma has no chance to get the ball back. None. Zero. Zilch.

So, that being the case, Bob Stoops should've subtly ordered up the "If they're stupid enough to actually run another play, as opposed to kneeling down and ending the game, make it seem like you're really trying and let 'em score a touchdown" defense. For some reason -- even when it's their absolute last resort -- coaches rarely employ said strategy.

Okay, back to Miami's first down play...

They ran a simple run off right guard, and Running Back X made it through the first wave of defenders, cut back left and gained 12 or 14 yards. Of course, Oklahoma's defense hustled to the ball, dragged Running Back X down from behind...and ended any chance of (a.) getting the ball back, (b.) tying the game at 28 and (c.) winning in overtime.



Randy Shannon is a dope. Again, all he had to do was take off is headset and order up three kneel downs. This is basic stuff here, boys and girls. But he risked a turnover, which could've led to a catastrophic loss. Which would've more-or-less ruined their chances of making a BCS bowl game. And in case you haven't watched collegiate football since 1998, the difference in dollars a school earns for its conference by participating in a BCS bowl game is a teeny tiny bit different than playing in the Blue Bonnet Bowl (or whatever). For instance: In (I think) 2006 Rutgers barely missed playing in a BCS bowl game -- which would've netted something like $13 million for the Big East -- and wound up playing in a bowl game that raked in a whopping $600,000 for the conference. See what I'm saying?

Now, I realize I'm going overboard with all the hypotheticals, but screw you, this is my website.

So, like I said, Miami ran the damn ball when they absolutely, positively didn't have to. This was a monumentally stupid decision by Randy Shannon. I mean, he literally gift-wrapped Oklahoma a chance to get the ball back with about 1:45 remaining, trailing by eight. Literally.

This was Oklahoma's only chance to win the game. You let the other guy score, or you lose the game. Simple as that. And a win, sports fans, means Oklahoma would have successfully weathered the storm without Sam Bradford and kept open the slim possibility of playing for a national championship.

Did Bob Stoops think of this? Of course not. He's only paid several million dollars a year to figure out stuff like this.



On first down from well inside the the Sooners' 20, Randy Shannon finally came to his senses and went to the genuflect offense. A few snaps later the game was officially over. And then I started typing the words you're currently reading. It would be safe to say I was in a rage. It would be equally safe to say that I care too much about this crap.

How can two people at the top of their profession be so careless with so much on the line?

More importantly, why am I the only one who notices? Brent Musberger and Kirk Herbstreit, two mammals I really respect, didn't mention what seemed so obvious to me. What gives?

Questions, man. Questions.

-Brad Spieser (