I should have known things weren’t going to end well back during Championship Week.
The morning I was to sit down and knock out my picks, after consuming reams of AI compiled data (From Buck’s Dollar Discount Data Mart not Watson), I got a visit from the emissary of my landlord, who is some rich dude named John Beresford Tipton.
I had to move immediately due to some hazmat situation. They’d found me some space in another property of theirs, Nakatomi Plaza. All well and good, except that on the day in question, there was no internet connection. So I had to write out my picks in longhand, and fax them into my editors, who transposed them.
Alas, given all that it’s not misunderstandable that I only predicted one title game correctly — Texas in the Big 12. Meanwhile the Quack, Bulldogs, Runnin’ Rebels and Cardinals all fell.
1-4, meaning I ended the regular season 48 right, 29 wrong.
Not bad, despite the woeful finish.
So, here I sit trying to work in my new digs on, yes, Christmas Eve. I obviously have no other life than to entertain and illuminate my loyal readership.
Earlier this evening, from the floor above, I could hear the cacophony of Zentonic Corp’s party. Since this guy Clay Vanstone invited me when we shared an elevator, I checked it out, for a few minutes anyway. I’m no longer a drinker, but was bemused at the sight of couples slinking into offices, closing doors and locking them, as secretaries slide down stairway bannisters with champagne flutes in their hands.
I took my leave.
Back at my desk, I heard what sounded like shattering window glass from several floors above. Then disturbing sounds, which resonated more like gunshots than corks. Something is going on. I can hear sirens, and see lots of police cars gathering outside.
So, before ill befalls me, I’m going to finish these picks.
My Christmas gift to you: Winners:
Kansas vs. UNLV (SERVOPRO First Responder). In bowl seasons past, I’ve taken pains not to give free advertising to sponsors, until they throw some swag this kid’s way. I have no NIL contracts. But, if a bowl has no non-commercial designation, what’s even the most ethical of scribes to do? Goin’ with the flow. The Rebs are one of the boffo turnaround stories of the season. This is a program with little success, uh, ever. They last went bowling a decade ago, which broke a 13 year drought. Now they’re ascending, like KU was a season or two back (Who can remember, who wants to research it?) Rock Chalk Jayhawk.
Virginia Tech vs. Tulane (Military). The Hokies appear on the mend, going 6-6 a year after 3-8. Winning record in the ACC, a club which their litigious mate Seminoles don’t wish to belong. Cue the Groucho Marx. Willie Fritz-less Tulane was last year’s feel good, taste good Flavor of the Season. Their 11-2 follow up is excellent, but they lost that league title game. At home. Then their coach. Hokey Pokey has both its left foot and right foot in. The Green Wave is flowing out into the Gulf. VT.
North Carolina vs. West Virginia (Duke’s Mayo). This one started the latest bowling trend. Which is that the winning team or coach has to consume or be inundated by some foodstuff or another. There’s actually a bowl this season, where the victors can consume the pop tart mascot. Literally. Uh, no thanks. Anyhow, getting a bowl of cheese thingies poured over your head is easier for a coach to deal with than being bombarded with globs of the south’s favorite sandwich spread. Even though this is sort of like a Tar Heel home game, I’m guessing Mack Brown doesn’t want to endure what will come to the winning mentor. Mountaineers.
Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma State (Texas). I could swear I saw a commercial for the tax prep software company sponsoring this bowl, in which they claimed all they were about was making the filling out of a 1040 easier and nothing else. Yet, here they are nameclaiminng this pigskin battle at Gerald J. Ford Stadium. (Which is to not address how its software, the time I used it, missed some things.) Is the school in College Station really going to change their nickname from Aggies to Deep Pockets? An inquiring snark needs to know. This appears to be a tussle between a couple of Rent A QB programs. Even Coach Mullet’s son is moving on from the Cowboys. This one’s a toss up. I’m going Okie State, where there’s arguably less turmoil.
Louisville vs. Southern California (Holiday). The Cards are John McClane. The Trojans are Hans Gruber. U of L.
— c d kaplan