Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Shocker: Jeff Brantley's Still An Idiot

"Speed will beat you more times than not."

-Jeff Brantley

The Mississippi Wordsmith said these words after an infield hit by Drew Stubbs on Friday night. It was a complete thought for Brantley. A beginning, middle and end. Two seconds of silence preceded his statement, and two seconds followed. Brantley said what he wanted to say.

The moment Brantley's words registered, I started analyzing them. Within a minute I arrived at the following conclusion: Regardless of context, there will never be a situation where the above quote makes a lick of sense.

In case you forgot, yes, Jeff Brantley makes a lot more money than you. Except he doesn't work as hard as you, and he's nowhere near as competent.

He's literally an idiot.

-Brad Spieser (

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bengals Beat Steelers...Marvin Lewis Still Stupid

Bengals 23, Steelers 20.

From where I'm sitting, there's a more important story.

Marvin Lewis is a big problem. If I didn't know any better, I'd accuse him of trying to blow the game on Sunday.

Win or lose, the following four 4th-quarter decisions are indefensible:

1. (14:56) Allowing Shayne Graham to attempt a 52-yard field goal.

It was week nine of the '06 season the last time Shayne Graham nailed a field goal longer than 49 yards. 2006! And over the course of his career he's only made 50 percent of his 50-yards-or-more attempts. While that might not overwhelm you, maybe this will: In his entire career Graham has only attempted fourteen field goals longer than 49 yards. Which means...what, exactly?

It means that he can't be trusted with kicks of that range. Want proof? Green Bay's Mason Crosby just played the third game of his third NFL season, and he's already attempted thirteen field goals over 49 yards.

Funny thing is, Marvin Lewis knows this too. Think back to all the instances when Lewis would order up a punt, even though the Bengals were on the opponents' 34-yard line (and passing up a 51-yard field goal in the process). Take your time. This exercise could last all day.

What I haven't mentioned is that the Bengals were trailing 20-9 at the time, and facing a 4th & 3. Had it been a three point game, or a 4th & 15, try the field goal. I understand. Two seconds left on the clock, ditto. But three yards is a manageable distance (and maybe even a better bet than a 52-yard FG attempt), especially considering (a.) you'll still need a touchdown at some point, and (b.) the offense hadn't moved the ball all day (i.e., now might be the best chance we have to score a touchdown).

I'd like to leave you with one final stat: In his 114-game NFL career Shayne Graham has connected on one kick longer than 51 yards.


2. (5:14) No sense of urgency at the start of the final drive.

Okay, you're starting the possession on your own 29-yard-line, down five with three timeouts in your pocket. When you consider that you've barely moved the ball all afternoon, it would be wise to speed up the tempo in case your drive stalls and you're forced to punt, right? Right? At least that way your defense can force a punt and you can get the ball back with a decent chunk of time left on the clock.

Well, that's not what Coach Lewis was thinking.

At first they were running the ball up the middle and taking their sweet ass time in the huddle. The ball was snapped on the first play at the 5:14 mark; it netted three yards. (Huddle) The next play didn't begin until the 4:34 mark. Palmer connected on a 17-yarder to Coles, but the Bengals went right back to the huddle. Once again, an eternity passed before the drive continued. It wasn't until the 3:50 mark when the Bengals began their third play of the drive (a Cedric Benson run that netted five yards). The fifth play of the drive got going at the 3:05 mark, and it put the Bengals at the Steelers' 38.

Let's stop right here.

From 5:14 to 2:27 (the sixth play would begin at 2:26), the Bengals ran five plays. So, in two minutes and forty-seven seconds they hadn't even entered field goal territory. Which means, had the drive stalled, or if Palmer had been sacked into one of those 4th-and-16-type situations, the Bengals couldn't punt and hope to quickly get the ball back with use of their three remaining timeouts. They were officially in no-man's land. After burning so much of the clock, the drive that started with 5:14 left had turned into a two-minute drill.

Did it work out? Yes. Miraculously. But not because of Marvin Lewis.

For the record, there are only a few times when you should try to milk the clock for a final score:
a. Tied game. This makes the most sense. You don't want to leave your opponent with any time left as you score the game-winner. And if it doesn't work out -- if the drive stalls along the way -- you punt. Simple as that.

b. A shootout. If you know your offense can score -- and you know your defense has been breaking more than bending -- it's not always a lousy idea to try to drain the clock on the final possession (and even sometimes when you're losing)

c. Trusting your offense. If the 2007 version of Tom Brady is you're guy, and you're trailing by a field goal with four minutes left -- and if you don't trust your two-minute defense -- maybe you feel confident soaking up the clock on a final drive.

But with 5:14 to go, three timeouts remaining, down five to your arch-nemesis, and with barely any offensive production to speak of for the previous 55 minutes?! No way. You try to do as much as you can, as fast as you can. If you go three and out with three incompletions, fine. Punt the damn thing away, and stop the Steelers. There was plenty of time to accomplish this.

Math: More possessions = More opportunities to score.

If it doesn't work this time, it might work the next. Is it that difficult?


3. (00:48) Spiking the ball.

So, let me get this straight: With five-plus minutes on the clock, holding three timeouts and the two-minute warning, you decided to play for one final drive. Correct? So, how is it possible that, after only a handful of plays, you're now rushing around and spiking the clock? Wasn't the idea to score a touchdown with little or no time remaining for Pittsburgh? That would be my first question to Marvin Lewis if I were still permitted in the PBS media room.

My second would be, "Have you ever heard of calling a timeout, jackass?"

The Bengals were down to the 15-yard-line, staring at a 1st & 10. The previous play ended with around 00:54 left, and they still had two timeouts available.

Any reasonable human can tell you that, with fifteen yards and nearly one minute to go, an NFL football team doesn't really need two timeouts. In fact, it often times doesn't need any timeouts. What it does need, however, especially in do-or-die situations, is all four downs to work with.

But spiking the ball with 00:48 left is inexcusable on every possible level. There isn't a single thing Marvin Lewis can tell me today that would make me see his side of things. Aside from his Monday-to-Saturday motivating skills this man is in way over his head.

Again, Marvin Lewis had the following options late in the Steelers game, when trailing by five from the 15-yard-line:

a. Three downs, 48 seconds and two timeouts.

b. Four downs, 54 seconds and one timeout.

Of course, he chose the first one. Of course he did. I know, I know, it seems impossible. But it happened.


4. (00:19) Spiking the ball.

(Note: The Bengals spent their second timeout to set up the 4th & 10 conversion)

After Palmer and Brian Leonard hooked up on what could be a season-defining play, Marvin Lewis ordered up another spike, instead of burning his last timeout and giving Palmer four cracks at the endzone from the 5-yard-line. Had Lewis called timeout at the conclusion of Leonard's miracle, 00:25 would have remained. And 25 seconds, if you've been reading me for more than a week, is an eternity when all you need is to squeeze out four plays from the 5-yard-line.

And don't give me any noise about, "What if Palmer gets sacked?" It's all nonsense. He's a $100 million franchise quarterback! I'm pretty sure he knows not to take a sack at that juncture. Besides, as I just pointed out, the difference between three downs and four is monumental.

I could go on and on, but my head is beginning to hurt. Watching Marvin Lewis coach my favorite football team will do that every now and again.


So, be happy about the win. Rejoice and whatnot. Scream "Who Dey!" in your neighbor's direction. Just understand that Marvin Lewis is a handicap to a franchise that's been in a wheelcair for the better part of twenty years.

This won't end well.

-Brad Spieser (

Friday, September 25, 2009

Gambling: Season Two, Episode 6

One quick thought before giving this week's picks: Last night on ESPN's college football pre-game show (or maybe it was an extended Sportscenter segment -- after all, the often decent Jay Harris was moderating, and I'm not sure I've seen him on anything but Sportscenter), Mark May and Craig James shared pleasant dialogue with one another for about five or ten minutes...and not once did I hear May say "Craig," nor did I hear James say "Mark." Nope, Craig James was only called "Pony," a nickname I've never ever EVER heard before last night, but was bludgeoned over the head with probably twenty times (including a few times by Jay Harris)...and Mark May was only called "May Day." That's it, "May Day." Never anything else.

The same thing happens any time Mark Schlereth makes an appearance anywhere on ESPN (this especially includes radio interviews). Every goddamn person at that network (a network I stick up for constantly) tries so hard to sound conversational (the goal of every radio and TV bossman) that Schlereth is referred to simply as "Stink." It's annoying. Listen to Mike and Mike when Schlereth is a guest and I promise you'll want to shoot yourself in the brain.

I get it, you like the man. But let's not act like you guys go to the movies and on vacations together.

Stop trying so hard. It's making my ears bleed.

The all-time worst (or best, depending on how you look at it) example of this comes from a not-so-surprising source...George Grande: He once interviewed Ozzie Smith during a game, and -- I swear to Christ -- called him "Wizard" several more times than he called him "Ozzie." And it wasn't like, "Here's Ozzie Smith, known as "The Wizard."" ... it was like, "How's the golf game, Wizard?" ... or "How's the family, Wizard?" I've never recovered.

(Whether you believe me or not, the great majority of highly paid broadcasters would not upgrade the quality of our teeny tiny, recorded-in-my-kitchen podcast.)


Okay, allow me a little more venting before I make the picks. If you've been paying attention to the Vickers System in '09, or lost coin as a follower, you're no doubt aware that we've endured two or three months worth of crappy luck through the opening few weeks of the football season. For instance:

***Week 1***

Memphis (+18)
vs. Ole Miss -- The Rebels returned three - THREE! - interceptions for touchdowns in this beauty! Three. Did you watch this game? I sure did. This was a seven or ten point game, and not the 31-point "blowout" it turned out to be.

But things didn't get ugly 'til just this past weekend...

***Week 3***

Eastern Michigan (+24)
vs. Michigan -- I threw my remote watching this sucker. Trailing by 21 with seven or eight minutes to go, an EMU WR dropped a TD on 4th and Goal from the 5 yard line. Michigan followed with a three-and-out. Eastern Michigan started their next possession near midfield, with a little over five minutes remaining (and a win all but assured for us). On the first play their QB dropped back, planted his foot and fell to Earth...leaving the ball on the ground. The jerk suffered a non-contact knee explosion and didn't bother protecting the football. Michigan recovered. Two plays later, Michigan scored on a long touchdown. Final score: I can't remember, but the Wolverines won by 28 (despite outgaining EMU by less than 150 yards).

Minnesota (+14) vs. Cal -- tied with seven minutes remaining, the Gophers somehow managed to screw this up and lose by 14. Bettors occasionally come away relieved with a push. This was not one of those occasionallys.

Duke (+23.5) at Kansas -- I didn't watch a second of this game, but here's the facts: With a minute and change on the clock, the Devils were down 21 and covering. With 0.00000000000000 seconds left, they were down 28.

Kansas State (+12.5) at UCLA -- This game was tight from start to finish, except K-State kept settling for field goals. Midway through the 4th UCLA ripped off a long TD, and K-State, despite taking the ball deep into Bruin territory on their next two possessions, came away with no more points. Final: UCLA 23, Kansas State 9.

Dolphins (+3) vs. Colts -- Let' see...Controlled the entire game, dominated time of possession, Ted Ginn drops a game-winning TD, etc. Et Cetera. Final score: Colts 27, Dolphins 23.


That's six games, all with either (a.) moderately bad luck, or (b.) I feel like Shaquille O'Neal just had condom-free sex with me. I've been looking at pointspreads since I was nine, and gambling since I was twelve (not including NCAA tourney pools, which I'm pretty sure I invented), and I can tell you I've never seen such bad luck over such a short period of time.

And you know what's funny? Not including last night's South Carolina win, the Brian Vickers System has delivered a respectable win-loss record of 15-18-1.

So, our overall record isn't lousy, but our luck has been. Our account balance isn't pretty -- mostly because of the bad luck thing, but also because the public has beaten up Vegas this month -- but that is going to change. Oh yes, it will change. Trust me, you'd be an idiot to drop the Vickers System this early in the season.

The picks...

***NCAA $50***

Northwestern (Pick)
vs. Golden Gophers

Mississippi State (+12) vs. Louisiana State

Marshall (+2.5) at Memphis State

Words: Less than a field goal for a traveling Marshall team? Really?

Hokies (+3) vs. Canes

Words: I've gotta say, I'm pretty much like everyone else with this Jacory Harris character. He's one smooth dude in the pocket, and he's one of the few people alive with a strong arm and an effortless throwing motion. That said, everyone is stroking The U this week; I'm going the other way.

Iowa (+9.5) at Happy Valley

Words: Really? Shouldn't this be fourteen points? This spread just seems too low for me.

***NCAA $100***

Oregon (+5.5)
vs. Cal Golden Bears of California

Words: The media is stroking them Bears this year, ain't they?

South Florida (+14) at Florida State

Words: South Florida's QB Matt Grothe has been their entire offense for four years...and now he's out for his career. And now his team is playing in Talahassee, against the Noles, who just hung 50 on No. 9 BYU. Sweet!

***NCAA $150***

South Carolina (+4)
vs. Old Mississippi**********Last night

Boise/Bowling Green UNDER (50.5)

Words: The Vickers is also telling us to bet every dime on Bowling Green (+16.5), but we can't pull the trigger. Betting against Boise State -- especially when they're playing against a mid-major -- isn't the wisest of moves.

Ohio University Bobcats (+23.5) at Knoxville, Tennessee

Words: Okay.

Kentucky University (+21.5) vs. Florida

Words: I can't imagine there's even one soul on this planet who's brave enough to wager on Kentucky this week. Not one.

Stanford (-8.5) vs. Washington

Words: Didn't Washington hang tough with LSU and beat USC? Isn't Stanford Stanford? What the hell?


***NFL $100***

Seattle Seneca Wallaces (+2)
vs. Bears

Bills (+6) vs. Saints

Bengals (+4) vs. Steelers of Pittsburgh

Cards (-2.5) vs. Peyton Manning

Words: Seriously, what non-Cards fan is betting against the Colts here?

***NFL $150***

***UPDATE***Veto Power***We simply can't bet on Cleveland here***

Browns (+13.5)
at BALTIMORE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Words: Not even the power of the Vickers can ease my mind with this expected trouncing.

Byron Leftwich never (wink, wink) overthrows his receivers (+6.5) vs. Giants of New York City


Last Week: 9-10-1; -$465
Overall: 15-18-1; $-795 (not including last night's $150 winner)

Good luck, my people (even though you won't need it)!

-Brad Spieser (

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Gambling: Season Two, Episode 5 (+ Podcast)

***Most important news of the week***

I posted a new podcast. It's highly offensive and really funny. We mention Alicia Silverstone's role in Aerosmith's "Crazy" video (director's cut seen below). It's titled, "Feeling Guilty About Praying." Listen.

***Most important news besides the most important news***

South Carolina is only a four-point underdog tonight against No. 4 ranked Old Mississippi. So far, South Carolina eked out a 7-3 win over putrid NC State, allowed 41 points to Georgia and needed a second half surge to put away Florida Atlantic.

And again, Old Mississippi is the fourth ranked team in all of North America.

Vickers loves the Gamecocks tonight.

To be official, South Carolina (+4) vs. Old Mississippi is a $150 play.

Tell your friends.


I'll post the rest of the Vickers picks tomorrow. We're due for a big week. I's promise you.


The aforementioned Alicia Silverstone horniness:

-Brad Spieser (

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mike Tirico + Tony Sparano + Jim Caldwell = Jackass

"And now you're probably down to a snap...with six seconds left in the game."

Mike Tirico said those exact words as the Dolphins lined up on 2nd down from the Colts' 30 yard line.

You already know my thoughts on this sort of thing.

And, of course, the next play was the final play; Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano must have been listening to the Monday Night Football broadcast. The final play, for those who didn't watch ESPN1 last night around 11:30, was an interception in the over, Colts win. I knew this was going to happen because Chad Pennington doesn't have the arm strength to fit a ball into a tight window from 30-plus yards out (especially when eight defenders are crammed into the endzone).

But 15 or 18 yards out, now that's slightly more manageable, even for a guy with a cap gun for an arm.

But, why Brad? Why do you mention 15 or 18 yards? I'll tell you why, my friend. Because, with six seconds remaining, you can easily attempt a pass play that will net you 15 yards in about three or four seconds-----and if it doesn't work, you can try your quasi-Hail Mary with two seconds left.

Making things a billion times worse for any Dolphins fan reading this...

Indy's defense on the final play was begging Miami to grab the same fifteen yards I just wrote about. The Colts rushed only three and planted seven defenders at the goal line. Only one Colt -- besides the three down linemen -- was visible on my Samsung television screen, and he was eleven yards off the line of scrimmage, facing three Dolpins receivers on the right hash.

Which means...

The two Dolphins receivers on the left side, Davone Bess and Ted Ginn, were uncovered for at least -- AT LEAST -- fifteen yards (and probably more like twenty-five). The Colts were conceding those yards, because, apparently, their coaching staff also thought six seconds wasn't enough time to run two plays.

Part of the blame should fall on Dolphins QB Chad Pennington, as well. I'm positive he recognized the Colts' alignment, so why didn't he get the Dolphins in some sort of quick screen-type play to Ted Ginn and allow him to run as far as he could along the sideline before stepping out of bounds with a second or two left?

I typically hate when armchair quarterbacks try to simplify the NFL, but this one really is as simple as I'm making it out to be. A quick pass to Ted Ginn -- one of the world's fastest humans -- would've netted 15 yards-----and greatly improved their chances of winning.

Stupid idiots.

-Brad Spieser (

Friday, September 18, 2009

Gambling: Season Two, Episode 4

Disappointing week for the Vickers System, which means it was a disappointing week for Vegas. Will we bounce back? Of course! We always do. The picks...



North Illinois (+12) at Purdue

Oregon Ducks (-4) vs. Utah Runnin' Utes

Nebraska (+5) at Virginia Institute of Technology

Buffalo (+4.5) at Cental Florida Daunte Culpeppers

Tulsa (+17.5) at Boomer Sooner

Florida State (+8) at BYU Mormon Country



Akron Zips of the Mid American Conference (-4.5) vs. Indiana Hoosiers of the Big Ten

Duke (+23.5) at Kansas Dana Stubblefields

Kansas State (+12.5) at UCLA and St. Teresa have the same nickname

Golden Gophers (+14) vs. Golden Bears

Rice Fighting Owls (+32) at Oklahoma State

Armal Academy (-8) vs. Ball State University

Words: The Armal Academy should never be favored by more than a touchdown! Ever! Against anybody!



Frestucky (+7.5) vs. Boise Murdering Murderers***Friday Night Game***

Eastern Michigan (+24) at Ann Arbor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Marshall (+3) vs. Bowling Green State


Anti-Vickers pick...

Last week, I begged you not to bet against Boise; this week I'm begging you not to wager on Washington State. Oh yes, they're a Vickers play, but Craig and I are betting the other way and taking SMU (-6) at Washington State.



Panthers (+6.5) vs. Falcons



Bengals (+9) at Lambeau Leap

The Jay Cutler Experience (+3) vs. Steelers

Dolphins (+3) vs. Colts***Monday Night***



Lions (+9.5) vs. Vikings

Last week: 4-6; -$310
Overall: 6-8; -$330

-Brad Spieser (

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Jim Tressel Ain't So Bad

The natives are restless in Columbus, Ohio. They're also stupid.

The natives are stupid.

Following Ohio State's home loss to USC, more and more fans are complaining about Coach Tressel. Incomprehensibly, many are calling for his head.

You might be wondering why I just used the big word that begins with the letter "I."...

Well, here's why:

2001: Double-digit underdog Ohio State beats Michigan in Ann Arbor.

2002: Ohio State wins BCS title.

2003: Without Maurice Clarett -- and with no running game to speak of -- Ohio State scratches and claws its way through the regular season, and comes within a Michigan win of playing for another BCS title.

2004: Ohio State destroys Michigan behind otherworldly performance from sophomore QB Troy Smith.

2005: Loses two regular season games -- a heartbreaker to eventual national champion Texas (where the Buckeyes outplayed the Longhorns), and to Penn State in Happy Valley -- before thumping Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.

(By the way, I'll always contend that the 2005 Buckeyes were the best Ohio State team of my lifetime.)

2006: Ohio State breezed through the regular season undefeated (behind Heisman winner Troy Smith) before running into a super athletic, super motivated and super well-coached Florida team that not only peaked at the right time, but had the same Eye of the Tiger that Ohio State had in the '02 championship.

2007: Another championship game appearance, this time a 38-24 loss to LSU which is incorrectly remembered -- both locally and nationally -- as a lopsided affair. It's true Ohio State trailed by three touchdowns late in the game, but this game was much more evenly matched than Ohio State gets credit for.

Consider: Sure-handed Brian Robiskie dropped a TD, and the Bucks settled for a FG...which was blocked. Austin Spitler (who was only in his fifth year at the time) somehow screwed up the easiest blocked punt I've ever seen. I don't recall the exact details, but I remember it being in LSU territory, and I remember Spitler not only not blocking the kick, but roughing the punter in the process.

Both plays were huge momentum shifters (the game was played in New Orleans, by the way) and LSU scored touchdowns immediately following both Ohio State gaffes. Was LSU the better team that night? Of course. Todd Boeckman was at the helm for the Buckeyes. But, play that game on a neutral field ten times and I wouldn't be surprised if OSU triumphed three times (or more).

You want facts? Okay.

OSU: 30 carries, 145 yards (4.8 YPC); 15-26 passing, 208 yards.

LSU: 49 carries, 152 yards (3.1 YPC); 19-27 passing, 174 yards.

Again, this game wasn't a dominant force paired up with a lucky, overmatched and slow Big Ten team. Try to remind your friends.

2008: Ohio State awkwardly juggles freshman QB Terrelle Pryor with 9th year QB Todd Boeckman all season. Once again hated and considered overrated by everyone not named me, OSU still manages to have a lead against No. 2 Texas with under twenty seconds remaining in the Fiesta Bowl. Of course, they lost. But things could be much worse.

2009: Outplays USC for 55 minutes, only to come up short in a game that (probably) features two of the top eight teams in the land. S**t happens.

(In a related topic, college football desperately needs a tournament, because both USC and OSU will get a lot better by season's end.)


Before you throw Jim Tressel into an active volcano, try to remember that he's had Ohio State in the thick of the BCS championship race towards the very end of six of his eight seasons in Columbus. I weren't never no good at math, but that's around 75 percent.

Not bad for a guy you want to send packing...


Vickers coming tomorrow.

-Brad Spieser (

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Only The Bengals...

In the aftermath of the Bengals-Broncos debacle, when a little white guy (who's sometimes known as Brandon Stokley) hauled in a deflected pass and scampered down the field for the miracle of all miracles, I received dozens of phone calls and text messages, all with the same theme: Only the Bengals.

Uhhh...No. This stuff has never happened to any team, ever. It was the flukiest win in the history of football. Well, maybe not, but it's certainly in the discussion. Consider: The Broncos were buried on their own 13-yard-line, with thirty seconds remaining. I can't recall if they had any timeouts left, but that doesn't really matter. And the Broncos weren't attempting a Hail Mary, either; nobody can throw the ball 90 yards. The Broncos were so far from the end zone that they were actually just trying to get in position to maybe attempt a Hail Mary! So, this wasn't a Bengal thing. It was just dumb luck.

But there are plenty of things that only happen to the Bengals. For instance:

1. The Marvin Lewis era opened with a delay of game penalty! They had an entire offseason to perfect one play, and they still screwed it up.

2. David Klingler eating lunch in his truck becomes more and more bizarre every time I think about it.

3. So does the story about Ki-Jana Carter buying the team bigger towels.

4. Desperate for a run-stuffing defensive tackle, the Bengals planned to bring in 340-lb. Tony Siragusa for a visit. His plane ticket was for one coach seat.

5. Boomer Esiason reinvigorated the city of Cincinnati in 1997 when he came off the bench to lead the hopeless Bengals to a 4-1 record down the stretch. It was some of the best football of Esiason's career. And then came the offseason. Boomer left for the Monday Night Football booth, but I have it on pretty good authority that he wanted to come back. I don't know if he was ever offered a contract, but I know this: He was only 36, and nowhere near the end of his career.

Mike Brown's solution: Give Neil O'Donnell a four-year contract worth more money than Boomer (probably would've) signed for.

6. The Bengals were so eager to get first round pick Levi Jones on the field that he started his first game, essentially, as a tight end. He was tackle-eligible. It was 1st & 10 in their own territory, but the Bengals opened the game in a goal-line package. Now that makes for exciting football, don't it?

7. The Carl Pickens Clause.

8. The Bengals thought Reinard Wilson had the ability to play outside linebacker. They also thought Akili Smith was intelligent enough to handle the demands of the quarterback position. Both experiments were tremendous failures. And quite expensive.

9. Everyone misses on draft picks, but it should be noted the Bengals selected Eddie Brown over Jerry Rice. And how about Randy Moss? A bunch of teams passed on him, but the Bengals were the only franchise to do it twice.

10. Corey Dillon refusing to enter the game.

11. A few weeks before the Bengals brought back Chris Henry, Marvin Lewis promised the public that Henry's days as a Bengal were over.

12. Ken Anderson, the team's offensive coordinator for several years, routinely had to go on Saturday scouting trips to the west coast less than 24 hours before Sunday Bengals games. This happened as recently as the early part of this millennium.

13. Tiger Johnson over Bill Walsh. Excellent decision.

That's the stuff that only happens to the Bengals.

-Brad Spieser (

Sunday, September 13, 2009

NFL Predictions ...Kind Of

Only four humans have ever thrown 40 touchdowns in a season: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Dan Marino (twice) and Kurt Warner.

That's it, that's the list.

Why do I bring this up? Because I believe Aaron Rodgers joins that list this season.

In Greg Jennings, Rodgers has a superstar WR just entering his prime; with Donald Driver, an excellent No. 2; James Jones and Jordy Nelson are better than any receiver on the Giants' roster; and tight end Jermichael Finley is about to burst onto the scene.

Throw in a defense that isn't allergic to shootouts, and all the necessary ingredients for a 40-TD season are there.

With time running out before the season begins, this is really the only prediction I wanted to get on record.

I was going to predict greatness for Chris Wells -- sooner rather than later -- but I'm pretty sure that was expected out of me.

NFC: Falcons over Packers

AFC: Pats over Steelers

Super Bowl: Pats over Falcons

-Brad Spieser (

Saturday, September 12, 2009

USC 18 Points, Ohio State 15 Points

And now you understand why I didn't drive two hours to watch my child get thrown down the steps and kicked in the mouth.

Also, this goes out to everyone who has my phone number...

Stop calling me. Stop texting me. Stop ridiculing me. I don't want to hear it, shitheads. Grow up.

-Brad Spieser (

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ohio State-USC Preview


Approximately every person I've ever met is going to Columbus for this sucker, and since I love Ohio State football, everyone just assumes I want to go with them.

This is not the case.

Most of my friends seem to forget that I hate generally everyone-----and that hatred is quintupled when Ohio State is struggling against their opponent.

And on the rare occasion they lose, well, I'm the least likable human being in the entire goddamn state of Ohio. I morph into a humorless irrational lunatic, and I have no use for casual conversation with anybody. AT ALL. You could be holding a winning lottery ticket in your hand, with intentions of forking that bastard over to me, and yet -- if it were immediately following a Buckeye loss -- I would make a rude remark and storm off before you could deliver the good news.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think Ohio State will lose to the Trojans, and I really don't want to be drunk and homicidal, not to mention two hours from home, hanging around a bunch of shitheads who pretend to care about the Scarlet and Grey.

Do the Bucks have a puncher's chance? Of course. The game's (a.) in Columbus, (b.) at night, and the visiting team is starting a QB who just last year threw (c.) 18 INTs...(d.) in high school.

Matt Barkley might be the second coming of Sammy Baugh, but he's still just a freshman. Ohio State faced Colt McCoy as a freshman and he was good-----but nowhere near the player he is today.

Again, I think USC will walk away with a victory, but if they return to Los Angeles with a 1-1 record, I can almost guarantee you Matt Barkley turned the ball over at least twice.

Speaking of turning the ball over, Terrelle Pryor can't do it Saturday night. Not even once. But he probably will. Mostly because I don't think he's ready yet, but also because the O-Line is a disaster. Pryor will face constant pressure from the USC front, he'll occasionally react too late, and he'll try to do too much. Oh, he'll make big plays, but he could cripple OSU's chances if he's always swinging for the fences.

If Ohio State emerges victorious -- newsflash -- Terrelle Pryor was the reason. But they'll need other mammals to step up, as well. I could name countless gentlemen on defense, but I'm going to stick with a few youngsters on O: Jaamal Berry and Duron Carter.

Although Berry didn't play (or didn't play much) against Navy, he still offers the wiggle and overall talent that Brandon Saine doesn't, and the speed that Daniel Herron wishes he had. Berry might not play, but he's capable of shifting momentum with one nifty move.

As for the true freshman Carter, I'm going to rattle the establishment with this doozy: He's the best receiver on the team. Right now. When God designed WRs, he basically made Duron Carter-----and you can just tell -- based solely on body language -- that Carter isn't the slightest bit afraid of the competition. He belongs on the field. And he's going to embarrass his opponent, sooner rather than later. I just hope it's Saturday night in the Shoe.

But anyway, it's likely Berry and Carter won't contribute to a win for the good guys. Just don't be shocked if they do. Anyway...

I'll still love football when I go to sleep Saturday night, I'm just pretty sure I'll hate myself.

Trojans 26, Buckeyes 20.

-Brad Spieser (

Gambling: Season Two, Episode 3**UPDATED** (Veto Power)

(No picture today. I'm at work. And my boss told me no pictures at work.)

Opening week of the college football season resulted in the treading of water for the almighty Vickers System. We won a big one, and lost a big one. Ditto for our two small games. In the end we lost twenty bucks.

And I didn't hang myself in the basement.

Which brings me to this week. We're placing our hard-earned American cash on eleven football contests -- six college, five pro -- and things better get better, because my mother hates funerals.

The picks...



UConnecticut (+5)
vs. Tar Heels

Wyoming Bramlet Brothers (+32) vs. Texas

Words: Texas travels to Wyoming all of the sudden?



Marshall (+20) at Virginia Tech

Words: Yeah, like Frank Beamer and his paralyzed face aren't going to motivate his troops to literally beat the hell out of Marshall. (and by the way, don't tell me Mark Snyder is still employed by Marshall. Because, if that's the case, we literally have no chance of winning this bet.)

Miami Redskins (+37.5) at Boise Murdering Murderers

Words: Terry Hoeppner could do a better job coaching than the clowns guiding the ship in Oxford.


...on second thought, we're pulling this sucker; I just can't bet on Miami on the Smurf Turf. Taking things a step further, Craig and I are betting a ton on Boise State. I can't see this final being anything less than Boise 59, Miami 0.

Tulane (+18.5) vs. No. 9 BYU

Okay, cool. Both were on national television least weekend. Tulane was embarrassed by Tulsa., while the Mormons went toe to toe with Sam Bradford and his improving complexion (and won!). And somehow this spread is fewer than three touchdowns. Sweet.

Arkansas State Fighting Joe Hollises (+22) at Nebraska




Browns (+4) vs. Brett Favre is playing football in Minnesota this season. For the Vikings. Seriously!

Lions (+13) at Who Dat!

Words: Matt Stafford will be a good QB -- oh yes, he will be -- but he's far from a finished product. What happened last year with Matt Ryan might not happen for another twenty or thirty years. Of course, Lord Brian thinks it's a great idea to back him and the lousy Lions on the road.

Bucs (+6) vs. Cowboys

Words: Byron Leftwich throws a gentle ball.



Bills (+11) at Boston Patriots

Raiders (+9.5) vs. Super Chargers

Words: Tom Cable is handsome. Just saying.


Last week: -$20
For the season: -$20 (it was our first week, asshole!)

Overall record: 2-2 (which is somewhere around 50 percent)

-Brad Spieser (

Thursday, September 10, 2009

2009 Bengals Preview (With Complete Sentences!)

2009 Bengals predictions and whatnot:

1. Carson Palmer will enjoy his second best season as a pro, trailing only 2005. I'm thinking something like 4,300 yards, with a 30-16 TD/INT ratio. I've been highly critical of the man since the '07 season (go Google "Carson Palmer and Brad Spieser"), but something seemed different about Palmer in his limited preseason duty this year. I'm usually right when gaging not only Palmer put the pulse of the Bengals in general, and I think he (and maybe the team he leads) are in for a rejuvenation year.

2. Bernard Scott will easily lead the team in YPC, as well as receptions by running backs. I say this because he is unquestionably the most talented back on the roster. Now, does that mean he'll be the featured back in any of the first eight or ten weeks? Probably not. Makes too much sense. Scott will likely to be relegated to kick return and third down duty. Which means I will throw things at my Samsung television every Sunday.

3. Chad Ochocinco is back. As in, all the way back...and then some. His finest season begins this weekend. Book it. This might be my easiest prediction yet. There was a certain tone with every offseason article about him that was just different than it had been in recent years. If you've watched his every move for eight seasons, and devoured every thing written about him, it's not terribly difficult to see his future; he really has a lousy poker face. I can see No. 85's cards, and he's sitting on a winning hand. Okay, that was gay, but I can promise you Ochocinco is in for a monster year.

4. Cris Henry catches ten touchdowns...and hopefully 50 receptions.

5. Rey Maualuga delivers several cheap shots and late late hits, drawing umpteen personal foul penalties in the process. And I might be okay with this-----the Bengals need some attitude on defense.

6. Gus Parrish gets brought back and makes the Pro Bowl as an alternate.

7. Keith Rivers = Landon Johnson 2.0. That wasn't a compliment, by the way, although he should be semi-decent (and a slight upgrade over the bums who have been at OLB in recent years). But seriously, I didn't hear a single word about Rivers this preseason, and I certainly didn't notice him flashing his alleged ability. Shouldn't he have been a bigger storyline this past month, especially when one considers how his season ended in '08?

8. Jordan Palmer is annoying. Maybe a little funny, but definitely annoying.

9. He's also a terrible quarterback.

10. I really have nothing else to add to the following statement: It's somewhat comforting to have John Joseph and Leon Hall as the CBs on the team I support.

11. Should Chinedum Ndukwe be starting over Roy Williams? My guess would be yes. But if it's NO -- and if Roy Williams is really the better safety -- then the Bengals will sport an even better defense I expected in '09 (am I nuts, or is Ndukwe pretty good?). They won't be a top six or eight unit (not enough quarterback chasers), but they might be able to finish around tenth, which, if Palmer can stay on the field for sixteen games -- and if the O-Line isn't a complete abortion -- that could make for a sneaky little 9-7 or 10-6 season.

This is the section where I give my prediction for the season...

Up until nine seconds ago I was going to go speak negatively about Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis, and how they're hamstringing the franchise. And they are. They absolutely continue to hamstring the franchise. But you know what? They were doing the same crap in '05, the same season the Bengals offense took the league by storm.

Will they do the same this year? No. The O-Line doesn't resemble its once-dominant self. But you'd be silly to argue that Palmer and Ochocinco don't have their old mojo working. And with a competent No. 2 (Vern Coles) and an unguardable No. 3 (Chris Henry), both Palmer and Ocho are surrounded with the necessary talent to pop off again.

And when I say "necessary talent," I'm including the RBs. And by "RBs," I mean Bernard Scott. If Marvin Lewis plays his best players, Scott isn't just a complimentary 3rd down guy/kick returner. In my perfect world, Scott is good for 210 carries and 60 receptions, while Benson can be the change-of-pace thumper/goal line back with maybe 150 carries and 25 receptions and ten total TDs. I hate to keep bringing it back to the O-Line, but I just don't think they're good enough to have Ced Benson as the primary ball-carrier. He needs holes to run through, and when it's improvisation time, he's screwed.

Now, Bernard Scott, there's a guy who can improvise. And if Coach Lewis allows Scott to display his unique skill set, the patchwork offensive line might not become the scapegoat. More importantly, Palmer might stay upright for 16 games if opposing defenses have to worry about Scott gashing them for fifteen-and eighteen-yard gains.

Okay, I know I've sort of rambled here -- and I'm not sure this post has even an ounce of flow to it -- but here comes the section where I kind of wrap things up before giving a final prediction...

I envision about six or seven nail-biters that could go either way (last year's Cardinals might be the template). A fast start is important, however unlikely (weeks two and three see the Packers and Steelers on the schedule, and I see the Packers and Steelers as being infinitely better squads). But I'm holding out hope (of course I am) and I really do have a different feeling going into '09 than I did in '07 or '08. And again, I'm generally spot-on with my preseason Bengals predictions. They're loaded at the skill positions, and I'm content with the overall talent level on D. That alone should make them competitive in most games (and, at the very least, interesting again)

It wouldn't be a shocker if they made the playoffs.

But they won't. The 2009 Bengals will finish with a 9-7 record (unless they don't).

That is all.


Extended fantasy coverage and an OSU-USC preview coming in the next 24-48 hours. I'm aware the NFL season starts tonight, but I gots to work. As for a quick '09 prediction regarding the relevant players in tonight's Steelers-Titans contest, here goes:

a. Chris Johnson will continue to be one of the most exciting players in the league (and improve upon last year's numbers), while LenDale White will continue to be much better (and more talented) than Chris Wesseling gives him credit for.

b. Kerry Collins will be a disaster (and the Titans will drop off dramatically).

c. If the Steelers throw the old ball around more (like they should), Roethlisberger becomes a top 8-10 QB, while Santonio Holmes moves into the Roddy White/Ochocinco/Dwayne Bowe mix of WRs.

d. Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall are the names of professional athletes.

Go Football!

Yeah Sports!

-Brad Spieser (

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gambling: Season Two, Episode 2

You might be wondering the significance of the number 3,875. Well, settle down for a second and I'll tell you, hot shot. 3,875 is the number in American dollars I wagered a week ago on both college and NFL futures. Mom, if you're reading this, NO, I don't have a gambling problem. Anyway, here are the winners for the 2009 season:

2009 NCAAF

$75 Baylor QB Robert Griffin more combined passing and rushing yards than Terrelle Pryor (-105)

$75 Oklahoma RB Demarco Murray more rushing yards than Oklaoma RB Chris Brown (-150)

$75 Old Mississippi QB Jevan Snead more passing yards than Tim Tebow (-145)

$50 Arkansas RB Michael Smith more rushing yards than LSU RB Charles Scott (-125)

$50 Georgia WR AJ Green more receiving yards than Alabama WR Julio Jones (-110)

$75 Ohio State over 9.5 wins (-155)

$100 Oklahoma over 10 (-130)

$150 Georgia over 8.5 (-120)

$200 Boise State over 10.5 (-190)

$100 Cincinnati over 6 (-120)

$50 Houston over 7 (-120)

$150 Central Michigan (-120)

$100 Stanford over 5.5 (-120)

2009 NFL

$50 Felix Jones over 6.5 total TDs (-115)

$50 Drew Brees over 29.5 TD passes (-110)

$100 Chris Wells over 750 rushing yards (even)

$100 Jay Cutler over 22.5 TD passes (+110)

$150 Adrian Peterson over 11.5 total TD (-130)

$100 Jason Witten over 6.5 TDs (-110)

$75 Trent Cole more sacks than Darren Howard (-150)

$75 Larry Fitzgerald over 10.5 total TDs (-115)

$150 Anquan Boldin over 1,050 rec. yards (-115)

$75 Steven Jackson over 1,100 rush yards (-145)

$100 Matt Forte over 400 receiving yards (-135)

$75 Calvin Johnson over 1,200 rec. yards (-130)

$75 Aaron Rodgers over 27.5 TD passes (+110)

$150 Greg Jennings over 1,100 rec. yards (-125)

$100 Matt Ryan over 21.5 TD passes (-115)

$200 Tony Gonzalez (Falcons) UNDER 950 receiving yards (-145)

$100 Marques Colston over 1,025 rec. yards (-135)

$75 Dwayne Bowe over 1,000 rec. yards (-120)

$200 Chad Ochcinco over 1,150 rec. yards (+110)

$75 Maurice Jones-Drew over 1,050 rush yards (-150)

$100 Jones-Drew over 12.5 total TDs (-125)

$100 Cardinals over 8.5 (-130)

$250 Falcons over 8.5 (-115)

$100 Packers over 8.5 (-200)


-Brad Spieser (

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chris Spielman + Brad Nessler + Bobby Bowden = Jackass

(No picture today. Me's at the library. Me's stolen Internet connection isn't working. Fucking neighbors. Inconsiderate pricks.)

Ohio State survived a scare from the Naval Academy, while Sam Bradford faked an injury out of embarrassment -- and yes, getting tackled by a Mormon is embarrassing -- but that isn't what caught my attention over college football's opening weekend. Here's what did...

1. Chris Spielman, during said Ohio State-Navy contest, had this to say about Bud Foster's Virginia Tech defense: "They play long, they play strong, and they bring their lunch pail every week...literally." Idiot.

2. Brad Nessler is generally one of the better play-by-play announcers on the planet. However, he has the same problem seemingly all of us (both announcers and commonfolk not named Brad Spieser) have: He has no idea what can be accomplished on a football field in just three or four seconds.

Example: With five seconds remaining in the Florida State-Miami barn-barner (thanks, Chuck), and with the Noles facing a 3rd & Goal from the Miami 2, Nessler said something to the effect of, "...and it all comes down to this one play."

Wait, what?


It's quite easy to run a 12 or 15-yard out in three seconds-----seriously, watch a game clock some time and tell me how long a 15-yard out takes. I guarantee you it's never longer than four seconds.

And five seconds...five seconds is a goddamn eternity, especially when all you need is two yards. Tyus Edney raced the length of a basketball court in under five seconds, and he was changing directions and making fancy, behind-the-back dribbles. Thousands of mammals across the universe can run forty yards in four-and-a-half seconds or less. Think about that: Forty yards! I'm talking about two here. Two yards. Five seconds. That's it. I was furious with Brad Nessler as FSU lined up for the 3rd down play. And then...

3. Bobby Bowden, or whoever is calling plays in Tallahassee, must have been listening to Mr. Nessler, because that 90-year-old slapnuts ran a slow-developing rollout pass that took the full five seconds. Incomplete pass. Game over. Canes win. Noles lose. JoePa envy gains momentum in the Bowden household.

But anyway, why not run a quick slant, or one of those nifty fade-stop, back-shoulder deals that (I think) Dan Marino perfected about fifteen years ago? If either of those passes fail to work, you still have a fourth down opportunity, and the playbook would double. Because, if all you need is two yards, and you know it's the last play of the game -- AND IF YOU HAVE A MOBILE QUARTERBACK LIKE CHRISTIAN PONDER -- you can even choose to run the ball.

Jesus, it's not that hard. Really, it's not.

-Brad Spieser (

Friday, September 4, 2009

OSU Preview 2009...Finished (Kind Of)

Ohio State football.



Really happy. It's he only consistent joy in my life, really. But we've been through that already. Showing complete and utter disregard to foreplay, here's my Ohio State preview (with use of numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 ,9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15):

1. I'm sold on Terrelle Pryor as a committed athlete. I'm sold on Terrelle Pryor as a charismatic leader. I'm sold on Terrelle Pryor as a future All American and Heisman finalist.*** But I'm not yet sold on Terrelle Pryor as the be-all-end-all Savior at age 20

Pryor showed flashes of brilliance as a freshman, but that's a lot different than being brilliant. I'm mostly sold on Pryor being able to live up to the hype, but I'd like to see further growth out of him before I rename my pet turtle Terrelle (nee John Cusack).

(***Also, I'm not completely sold on Pryor as a tough guy. How many times last year did we have to see him weakly finish off runs. Who knows...maybe I'm nitpicking.)

2. But Pryor is the answer here. If he combines for 3,500 total yards and 30 TDs (18 passing, 12 rushing), I'm thinking that will go a long way in covering up all the question marks surrounding this team. Such as...

3. The O-Line. Jesus, how long has it been since the Buckeyes had a dominant line? I mean, Big Ten football is the constant butt of jokes for its perceived lack of speed and skill, but shouldn't they -- or in this case, OSU -- make up for it with dominant midwestern offensive lines? I gotta believe Jim Tressel is recruiting the right guys. So, what gives?

Translation: When will Tressel stop being so loyal to O-Line coach Jim Bollman?

4. Aside from essentially the entire offensive line, the Buckeyes need players stepping up and making sizable contributions at WR, RB, TE, LB, and CB. Again, why is this team ranked so highly? Sure, I'm fully aware of the talent they possess, and living up to the No. 6 spot in the AP Poll isn't unattainable, but teams ranked this high generally have a proven star...and the Buckeyes don't.

Now, Terrelle Pryor looks like he'll be a star. Ditto for Thaddeus Gibson. And I'd place my money on Jake Stoneburner (if used properly), Brian Rolle, Jermale Hines and Nathan Williams (yes, Nathan Williams) making their mark sooner rather than later. Cameron Heyward, too. You know, if he gets to play DE in a 3-4 defense. Which brings me too...

5. A little over a week ago I openly wondered why the Buckeyes don't line up more in a 3-4 defense...and Friday I read that -- based on all the reasons I stated on my shitty blog -- Ohio State is going to line up far more often in the 3-4 setup.

6. What's the main reason I think the Buckeyes have a legitimate shot at an undefeated season (aside from the relatively weak conference)? Fresh blood on defense. Wait, allow me to rephrase that. The main reason is attitude on defense. Before the USC game in '08 I wrote how I'd take USC's Rey Maualuga any day of the week over James Laurinaitis, mostly because Maualuga gets fired up, and fires up his teammates in the process. A businesslike approach works in many walks over life (namely business), but not on the defensive side of the ball in a collegiate football contest.

I want to see emotion, which is why I'm excited to see the doubling (or maybe even tripling) of minutes for Brian Rolle, Jermale Hines and Nathan Williams. Those dudes bring the fire I like to see out of my defensive playmakers. There's nothing better than seeing a big sack followed by the type of celebration 20-year-old kids patented in Year Twenty. I know some guys aren't wired that way, but -- when all eleven guys on D aren't wired that way (read: 07-08 defense) -- it gives fans (or at least me) a bad taste in their mouth.

My bold prediction: This year's defense is the best since '05, and the defensive front is better than the dominant '02 D-line.

7. Why do showers make you feel so good?

8. Taurian Washington and Devon Torrence will be counted on to play key roles in the '09 season. This would excite me a lot more if both were sophomores, not juniors. Redshirtting is a good thing, knuckleheads! And if you're reading this, Mr. Torrence and Mr. Washington, please smack Lamaar Thomas in the skull while you're at it. That fact that Thomas is a true sophomore, and stuck at No. 6 on the WR depth chart is borderline criminal. That dude is far too talented to be wasting his years.

9. Is anyone else ready to witness Brandon Saine's free-fall on the depth chart? Okay, maybe that's a little harsh, but -- even with an inexperienced stable currently backing him up -- I think you'll soon find that Saine's natural running ability doesn't come close to matching his blazing speed. The man has two left feet. But, he can fly...nobody is disputing that. And he possesses excellent hands, so he does have value. Now it's up to Tressel to put him in positions to be a difference maker.

10. An unexpected senior or two always seems to step up and have a career year under Tressel. In the recent past we've seen Roy Hall, Jay Richardson , Andre Tyree, Antonio Smith, etc., come out of nowhere to make noticeable contributions in their last year in Columbus, and since nobody did it last year (that means, you, Nader Abdallah), it seems like '09 is as good a year as any for multiple seniors to make a name for themselves in their last year on campus. Dear Robert Rose, I just called you out...

11. Which true freshman -- if any -- will not only not redshirt, but end up being a key contributor from the get-go? '02 saw Hawk, Mangold and Sims; in '05 it was Malcolm Jenkins; '07, Cameron Heyward; '08, Nathan Williams. So, who is it this year? There's already too much hype surrounding RB Jordan Hall, so I'm going with DL John Simon (but it will probably be a DB).

12. Will Lamaar Tomas transfer? God, I hope not. But the signs are certainly there. He's an out-of-state kid playing a different position than he played in high school. And now he's a sophomore, buried on the depth chart. Jesus, I'm scared to read what I just wrote.

13. Jake Stoneburner! Trust me.

14. Other words.

15. Since I'm feeling a little less than fantastic on this fine morning, let me move on to predictions and whatnot...

I say Terrelle Pryor makes huge strides, but doesn't resemble 2011's finished product (and yes, he's staying all four years). They might beat USC -- and hell, they might beat Penn State, too -- I'm just expecting a hiccup along the way. Too many question marks, in my opinion.


It's official: I'm quitting this post. I don't have it in me to write another word. I'm quitting this post because I'm a quitter-----and anybody who's known me for longer than eight seconds knows that about me. It is now that I will retire to my comfortable couch in my meat locker of a basement to watch Desmond Howard butcher the English language. I will do this with an oversized fleece blanket draped over me.

I barely care about football at this point.

Ohio State will be good this year.

-Brad Spieser (

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Naked Baseball Players And Smelly Urine

1. Within the last few days I saw pictures on a cellular phone belonging to a female co-worker. And by "pictures," I think you know what I mean. If not, well, here's what I mean:

(a.) A picture of Reds outfielder Laynce Nix wearing only a towel, checking himself out in the mirror. (For the record, he's fucking ripped-----as expected)

(b.) A picture of Nationals reliever Jorge Sosa's erect penis.

I'm not making this up.

The bar industry has completely changed my life.

2. I once blogged about my urine smelling like tuna after eating the canned treat. Several readers responded to confirm that tuna is one of many foods -- asparagus, for instance -- that will have such effect on urine. Okay, cool. But that's not why I'm here today.

What about Honeycombs, the delicious sugary cereal?

Because I was just making a toilet, and I swear to Christ my pee reeked of the Honeycombs I ingested this morning.

Question: Am I crazy? Have you ever experienced anything like this? And for the brilliant minds out there, what other foods transform the scent of urine?

I need answers.

-Brad Spieser (

Gambling: Season Two, Episode 1

The football season is upon us, which means...what, exactly?

It means that I'm going to gamble on a whole bunch of games, of course...and win you some money in the process.

Yes, the Brian Vickers System is back for year two! (By the way, please click the link if you want the ensuing words to make any sense.)

And as successful as it was last season, I'm promising better results this time around. Why? Minor tweaks, my friend. Minor tweaks.

Craig and I (henceforth known as we), although winning gamblers in the 08-09 gambling season, didn't win enough. Sometimes we just threw money away when we knew better-----and sometimes we didn't wager nearly enough on games with head-scratching pointspreads (which is the same as throwing money away).

In the first year of our experiment we wagered $50 on every game; didn't matter if it was a slam dunk or a borderline bet. Too often, that strategy burned us. This time around we have a weighted scale.


Important side note: Craig and I once again loaded a healthy sum of American dollars into an online account and when I post our wagers on this very decent website, it means that we've done precisely the same in our online account. If we win, you win. If we lose, I blame Craig.


Craig and I are breaking our bets into three groups: $50, $100 and $150. I know, I know, it seems difficult.

And a fourth group: $300.....this is reserved only for the most confident of picks (i.e., Our 10-Star Lock of the Millennium!)

Essentially, we'll wager $50 on the games we like (but don't love)...$100 on the games we really really like (but can't pull the trigger on more than $100)...and $150 on the games that jump off the page.

It's hard to say how many $300 Locks of the Millennium we'll have, but my guess is somewhere around once every two weeks.

If that seems preposterous, just remember: I'm trying to make money here...and I'm desperately trying to gain notoriety for myself and this website. It makes sense for me to win as much as possible.


When I first thought the Vickers System needed minor tweaking, I instantly assumed we would reduce the number of wagers for a particular week. On second thought, nope. All we needed was to scale down the dollar amounts for some bets. We might wager on fifteen college football games on a particular Saturday, but only five of them might see us plunking down more than the minimum of $50. This system simply makes more sense.

One thing we learned last year is that the Vickers System -- by simply betting $50 each game -- is bulletproof. You'll either win money over the long haul or come close to breaking even.

At worst, the new system guarantees the same (I think), only this time with a greater potential for a handsome profit.

Either way, you're sinking or swimming with us.


In '01, '03 and '06 I destroyed the college football gambling world. I knew what was going to happen, and it did. I wasn't using the Vickers System (or even a precursor to the Vickers System); I was merely watching a ton of games and betting on what I knew. Trust me, it's possible.

Which is why I have veto power when Craig and I are eyeballing Monday morning pointspreads. What we try to do is think along with the public and go the other way. But the public is correct every now and again, and it's my job to figure out when that's going to happen.

So, when Craig and I each agree that Pointspread X is maybe a touchdown off -- and, on the surface, a game we should be wagering $150-$300 -- it will be up to me to determine if it's too good to be true. Let's say this happens twenty times over the course of the year, and let's say I'm 13-7 in said games. Boys and girls, I just saved you a lot of cash. (Note: I will do my best to alert you to the games I veto each week.)


Finally, I will document not only our seasonal record, but our actual account balance-----and it will be updated every week. This will show you that, as impressive as our W-L record was last season, it wasn't nearly as impressive as the money we would have earned had we weighted our bets.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but I have all year to address any changes we've made to the glorious Brian Vickers System.

Besides, games start tonight, and so does the hot betting action!


Math: Reduced week one schedule = fewer games for Lord Brian to attack...


Boise State (-3) vs. Oregon

Words: Oregon is the sexier team; the more talented team; the better team. They send guys to the NFL, and Boise doesn't. And yeah, yeah, I know about the Smurf Turf and all that, and I love Boise's QB Kellen Moore...but this puppy opened with Boise as a six-point favorite. Nonsense, I tell you! Nonsense! It was no surprise the public jumped all over the Ducks, betting this sucker down to three (and reinforcing my initial thoughts). Boise is Thursday's play.

Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters (+13.5) at Auburn

Words: I know Auburn has fallen off a bit of late, but they're still Auburn, you know? And the last time the Lady Techsters were relevant Tim Rattay was prominently involved. Had Vegas made Auburn a 17-point favorite I wouldn't have flinched. But 13.5 seems like they're begging me to back War Eagle. Not this time, friend-o!



Washington Husky Dogs (+17.5) vs. LSU Tigers (or as George Grande undoubtedly calls them, "The Bayou Bengals")

Words: Let's see, Washington was winless last year and starts over with a new coach (again), while LSU (just like each of the past six seasons) has top five talent to go along with a lofty preseason ranking. This is too good to be true.

Memphis State (+18) vs. Old Mississippi

Words: Didn't the media just spend the entire offseason blowing Jevan Snead and the Old Mississippi Runnin' Rebels? Aren't they a top ten team? Yes. Yes. Then why isn't this spread higher than three touchdowns?

Okay, my people, there you have it for week one.

Good luck to you all.

-Brad Spieser (