Wednesday, February 20, 2008

American Idol: Place Your Bets Everyone!

European odds-makers have already set the betting line on season 7 of American Idol. How karaoke does that sound Simon?

The finals are still three months away, yet the world is already set to bet the house on the winner of season 7 of American Idol. At the risk of losing what shred of cred I may have had, I admit that I watch the show that launched the Hollywood Walk of Fame career of Ryan Seacrest, Simon Cowell, and a slew of national anthem singing, future cast members of The Surreal Life (Chris Daughtry not withstanding). According to tip site, this year's Idol will see more than $1 million bet on the 24 finalists.

UK online sportsbook has action open for non-U.S. residents only. Entering the first night of finals competition, Irish bookmaker has domestic sites like online poker giant a distant second in this year's Sanjaya sweepstakes. While Bodog won't post odds until the men and women merge into the final 12 contestants, Paddy Power is laying odds right now.

Published on, a complete list of the 24 finalists and their odds, which is too damn long to include here. For those of you with enough degenerate gambler in you to get down on Alexandrea Lushington at 20-1, God bless you. Log on, knock yourself out. What I will give you here is the first ever Bill Friday, American Idol prop bets - with no payouts available in the US, the Cayman Islands, the Islands of Langerhans, or any back alley from Gardena to Las Vegas. However, if you can find someone to give you some action on these, take it to the bank (preferably cash, in amounts under $1000 per deposit), unless you have an uncle named Sam. In which case, he gets 40 percent off the top.

  • Danny Noriega... most likely to play Dr. Frank N. Furter in an indie remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. ODDS: 9 to 5.

  • Amanda Overmeyer... within 3 years will retire from a career as a Janis Joplin impersonator after her larynx explodes while opening for a Kansas cover band at the Shelby County Fair. ODDS: 2 to 1.

  • Michael Johns... after being compared to dead rocker Michael Hutchence by Idol judge Randy Jackson, will have more face time on on TV than time at the top of the Billboard charts. Wife will leave him after he is caught on video with Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie and Margaret Cho in a bungalow at the Chateau Marmont. ODDS: 6 to 5.

  • Ramiele Malubay... will play short-lived pop career into second career as a contestant on the 11th season of American Gladiators. Will climb the 30 foot-high foam pyramid and punch out host Leyla Ali. ODDS: 3 to 1.

  • Alaina Whitaker... will continue to tell Simon Cowell just how good she is after he reminds her one more time, "You're not as good as you think you are." After 9 weeks of this, America believes her and votes to fire Paula Abdul and replace her with Alaina on the panel of judges. Paula tells, "She's absolutely talentless!", to which America says, "What's your point?" ODDS: 7 to 5.


  • David Archuleta, the 17-year-old singer from Salt Lake City, Utah (who at the time of this writing already had 4,569 friends on his MySpace page), wins the season 7 finale of American Idol over runner-up Syesha Mercado. David's devout Mormon parents will file for a preemptive restraining order on season 2 Idol runner-up Clay Aiken. When asked why, young David's father will answer, "Just because I can". ODDS: Even Money.
You heard it here first. You could make book on it.

Copyright © 2008 Bill Friday

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Side Effects May Include...

Are you taking prescription medications? If you are, you may want to read this article as soon as possible. Your life may depend on it.

No one likes to feel stupid. That's probably why the furniture with the funny names from Ikea comes with assembly instructions in 47 different languages. Probably why, if you've ever stood in line at the pharmacy inside Kaiser-Permanente, you know that the most thoroughly explained part of your managed care experience is the two minutes you spent listening to the pharmacist tell you what to do - and not do - with your prescription. If Heath Ledger had spent two minutes with the pharmacist at Kaiser instead of several private physicians spread out over three continents, he might still be with us today.

As cautious drinkers know not to mix the grape with the grain, and post-Belushi nug smugglers know not to combine heroin and cocaine, so now every actor from Manhattan to Manhattan Beach knows OxyContin and Vicodin, Valium and Xanax, Restoril and Unisom don't mix.

And don't think you'e safe just because you haven't formed the habit of mixing your meds. A whole slew of "safe when used as directed", FDA approved medications - target-marketed toward YOU - are being sold and sold and sold again through incredibly innovative radio and television ad campaigns. You've seen them. You've sung along to them.

Catchy, sure. But maybe also a little misleading.

What follow is a little "advertising between-the-lines". The things you won't hear when Side Effects May Include...

(cue music intro)

"We're not gonna take it... NO!, we ain't gonna take it!... We're not gonna take it... ANYMORE!"

(up-beat female announcer)

"Introducing YAZ, the first birth control pill marketed exclusively for the viewers of the mindless reality programs Laguna Beach and The Hills. YAZ contains the same hormones as regular birth control pills, but with MORE of the exciting reality generation side effects than any other oral contraceptive.

"Use YAZ according to directions and you too may experience... symptoms of a MASSIVE HEART ATTACK... symptoms of FUGU POISONING... symptoms of a STROKE... symptoms of BOWEL and LIVER CANCER... and, of course, symptoms of CLINICAL DEDPRESSION!

"Ask your doctor if sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body; sudden headache, confusion, pain behind the eyes, problems with vision, speech or balance is right for you. If stomach pain, chest pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, breast pain, loss of scalp hair, vaginal itching or discharge is right for you, then YAZ is right for you. Check it out for yourself at or ask someone who's nearly died from it."

(cue music outro)

"We're not gonna take it... NO!, we ain't gonna take it!... We're not gonna..."

(celebrity voice impersonation of Michael Clarke Duncan)

"Men, you've tried, craigslist, J-Date, even E-Harmony, but still haven't found... the woman of your dreams. With increased competition on Internet dating sites, and the growing Federal restrictions making on-line purchases of Rohypnol more and more difficult, we at the Flunitrazepam Advocacy Group believe it's time to take chemical romance in a whole new direction.

"Introducing... ROPINIROLE. Once used exclusively to treat the symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome, ROPINIROLE is the only FDA approved medication proven to cause increased sexual urges in double-blind, clinical trials. Women taking ROPINIROLE have been shown to regularly engage in obsessive/compulsive high risk behaviors such as A PATHOLOGICAL URGE TO GAMBLE... INCREASED SEXUAL URGES... HYPERSEXUALITY... other UNUSUAL URGES AND BEHAVIORS.

"With more and more clinical evidence becoming available daily, we at the Flunitrazepam Advocacy Group believe that ROPINIROLE, when used as directed, has the potential to become the Roofie of the new millennium.

"If you want to know if ROPINIROLE is right for you or your partner, or if you would like information on how to become a distributor of ROPINIROLE in your area, log on to to find out more.

"ROPINIROLE. Much more than medicine... it's a new way of life."

Finally, the mother of all Side Effects May Include... warnings, courtesy of NOZULLA.


"At Gene Enterprises, we've harnessed the power of the human gene so you can say good-bye to your allergies forever with new NOZULLA. NOZULLA may cause the following symptoms:

"Itchy rashes... Full body hair loss... Projectile vomiting... Gigantic eyeball... The condition known as "hot dog fingers"... Children born with the head of a golden retriever... Seeing the dead... Bone liquefication... Possession by the Prince of Darkness... Tail growth... Elderly pregnancy...

Now enjoy the video one (okay, fifty) more time.

Copyright © 2008 Bill Friday

Friday, February 1, 2008

Lakers Finally Pull The Trigger On Big Trade

Have the Los Angeles Lakers finally made the trade that will return them to the NBA Finals? For NBA fans in the city of Los Angeles, can it get any better than this?

LOS ANGELES. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in June for the Los Angeles Lakers.

For the team that has not seen a trip to the second round of the play-offs since the acrimonious departure of Shaquille O'Neal four seasons ago, February 1st, 2008 may be the day that Laker fans remember as the day the team returned to it's former (and rightful) place among pro basketball's elite.

This afternoon, the Lakers acquired Memphis Grizzlies' forward/center Pau Gasol in exchange for - make sure you're sitting down as you read this - center Kwame Brown, rookie guard Javaris Crittenton, the (semi) retired Aaron McKie, and a couple of first round picks.

That's a 27-year-old, former Rookie-of-the-Year, All-Star big man with numbers (19 points/9 rebounds) for a former first-round bust with no recognizable skills except height, bad hands, slow feet and a $9 million salary that the whole population of Greater Los Angeles publicly, and the entire Lakers' organization privately, has been counting the days to be rid of since he was brought here from from the Wizards to replace O'Neal in 2005. In three full seasons with the team, Brown averaged 7 points and 6 rebounds. This season, 5 and 5.

The moving of Brown, along with McKie, and rookie Crittenton, and their combined $14 million in salaries, for a young, active and skilled seven-footer making the same money seemed to be the no-brainer the Lakers have been unable to pull off since the days of legendary GM Jerry West. Lakers' current General Manager and former West apprentice Mitch Kupchak has never been able to surround all-world guard Kobe Bryant with even marginally comparable talent since the O'Neill debacle.

Until today.

Now, at the half-way point in the season, and with starting center Andrew Bynum out for at least 6 more weeks, the Lakers have a center to fill in - and a new power forward for the stretch run and the play-offs. And now, this Laker team is expected to make a run.

A run all the way to...

Remember late June basketball at Staples Center? Well, maybe Sparks fans remember, but I'm talking Laker basketball. Eight-championships-in-Los Angeles basketball. This team, now over-flowing with promise, is poised to do something not even Kobe Bryant could have told you in a restaurant parking lot in Newport Beach. With a soon-projected line-up of twenty-year-old emerging star Bynum at center, Gasol and comfortably complimentary Lamar Odom at forward, and Kobe and Derek Fisher at guard - along with probably the deepest bench in the Western Conference, the Lakers - these Lakers - have L.A. talking basketball again.

In his blog, CBS2 sportscaster John Ireland ( tells it this way:

"I like this deal from the Lakers' standpoint because they need scoring, especially with Bynum out for at least another month. [And] you pick up caliber player without trading any starters, and you get Kwame off the roster."

Gasol, who was reportedly unhappy in Memphis with a Grizzlies team whose record of 13-33 has them last in the NBA's south-west division. With three years still left on his existing contract, Gasol, the MVP of Spain's 2006 FIBA World Champion team, this trade trade in not just a gap-filling short cut. This trade is for now, and for the future.

Hey, Kobe! I'll meet you in the parking lot of any restaurant in So Cal when you get back from this 9-game roadie. I'll even have my cell camera ready if you want to tell me how you really feel about this trade.

But this time, I have a feeling you'll be speechless.

Copyright © 2008 Bill Friday