College Pigskin Winds Down, Joey the Vig Goes Down: Fun is Bowling, Part Deux

funbowlJoey The Vig always gets his. The vig, you know. That’s the moolah he rakes off the top before he pays any of the winners of his annual bowl pool.

The Kid here was defending champ, after a run last year that was incomprehensible, given the reality that, despite the aura of authenticity and expertise I try to project here, I have nary a scintilla of insight as to real pigskin pulchritude, and know even less about how to beat point spreads.

Nonetheless, through sheer dumb luck, I brought The Vig and his minions to their knees again this bowl season . . . measuring them three games before the season shall end.

At the behest of other players, The Vig sent his goombahs, Guido and Enzio, knocking on my door, demanding a blood sample and urine test. They convinced me it was in my best interest to comply. So I did.

#31 was in the lead, before an ofer run in the pod of post New Year’s schlepper bowls. His tag reminds me of the darkest moment of my favorite #31’s college career. That would be former Louisville Cardinal, Hall of Fame resident Wes Unseld, whose 2d ranked Cards needed only to win the ’66 NCAA Midwest Regional to come home to a Final Four on its Freedom Hall Court. Only to be upset in the Lawrence, Kansas regional by — Ugh!!! — SMU on a last second bucket, after a botched jump ball.

Which is to say, #31, I feel your pain.

Other players in the Also Ran Dept. include Hawaii 5-0, who may or may not be related to Jack Lord, whom I once saw filming a scene on Waikiki Beach, wearing, on a gorgeous day, a black suit, and enough pancake make up to impress even Tammy Faye Bakker.

And Johnnie O, who may or may not have monikered himself after Iconic Johnny Otis, he of “Willie and the Hand Jive” fame. And Big Hugh, whose name reminds me, of course, of Big Hugh Baby, iconic clear channel WLAC deejay in the 60s, who introduced me, and many others, to the best of Rhythm and Blues. (“Coming your way, thanks to White Rose Petroleum Jelly. Apply liberally to prevent chaffing in your comfort zone.”) And P. Noonan, who musta been a frat bro of Delta Tau Chi in “Animal House.”

And Electric Poop, about whom I shall say no more. And Older Wiser, who I doubt is older than me, if, perhaps, wiser, though he bobs in my wake this bowl season.

Then there’s The Professor, who weighs in often on these pages, and who is but a positive Arkansas State performance +2 1/2 away from taking home a few dracmas for finishing in the cellar.

By this point, you might be inquiring of yourself, and me, is there a point here, such that you might considering reading on?

Well, yeah, there is. I’ll get to it, the sign off.

Even, if like me, you’re not a gambler, but are a college football fan, enter a bowl pool.

All of a sudden, Louisiana Tech vs Illinois, a couple of afterthoughts, becomes a compelling watch. Would you otherwise care about Rice vs. Fresno State? Of course not. But when there’s a few Euros on the line, it morphs into must see TV.

If you’re thinking that I’m now going to give you my obviously successful prognosticatory strategies, think again, mes amis. They remain a secret between me, The Vig and too many others to whom I couldn’t keep my big mouth shut.

And, yes, I was serene watching East Carolina choke late when it could have forced OT against the Gators yesterday, knowing it mattered not to me what happened.

And I’ll be able to root for my Oregon Quack in the title game, without a bottle of Pepcid by my side.

Bottom line: Fun is Bowling. Even if your favorite team gets blasted in the Belk Bowl.

* * * * *

Aside: The best line by an announcer during the hours of bowls I watched, was the guy who opined that Alabama punter JK Scott should declare for the draft.

It would be a most wise draft day move by some NFL team, who understands that, like Al Davis did when he drafted Ray Guy in the first round in ’73, that punters can control a game.

Scott’s an incredible weapon. He averaged 55 yards on 7 punts in the CFP semi, one traveling 73 yards, and three downed inside the 20. Though that effort wasn’t enough for the Tide to roll the Buckeyes.

But, the deal: He’s only a freshman, so shall be toiling in Tuscaloosa for another couple seasons anyway.

— Seedy K