Friday, November 16, 2018

Nurse the Hate: The Espresso Situation and NFL Week 11

It has been a week of crisis.  I had forgotten to order my Illy espresso capsules on Amazon, the single least cost effective/environmentally conscious way to have a small cup of rocket fuel in the morning.  I got that espresso monkey on my back a few years ago when I went to Portugal on a redeye and needed to stay awake until a reasonable hour to re-acclimate my body clock.  I was sitting outside in an outdoor café in Lisbon, the sun shining down on me, drinking a black sludgy espresso and thought “I like this.  Why did I stop drinking these?”.  And just like that, I was back on the junk.

While wandering around France and having their notoriously bad coffee, I stumbled into an Illy branded café.  Besides the high quality of the espresso, the smart Italian design won me over.  I’m a sucker for good packaging.  Next thing I know, there’s an overpriced Illy espresso machine on my counter and I’m locked in to only buying their capsules as none other will work in the machine.  Damn.  That’s how they get their hooks into you.  Now I’m a slave to the Pusherman and his expensive capsules.

I’m not sure how my good friends at Amazon and their legion of digital product pushing slaves allowed me to run out of powder.  Yet, on Monday morning I discovered an empty tin of capsules.  This left me no other choice than to go to the dreaded suburban Starbucks.  This is a mission fraught with danger.  The sheer amount of wasted time that is possible in a suburban Starbucks cannot be overstated.  I am sure there is a graph available that illustrates the number of suburban women ordering multi ingredient drinks involving whipped cream, caramel, chocolate, gummy bears, and pixie sticks versus average time spent in the establishment.  A quick word of advice…  Never, under any circumstances, enter a Starbucks line behind four college girls in sweat pants.  There will be more whipped cream and “double pumps” involved than any porn movie from the 1970s.  You’ll never get out of that line.  

However, perhaps the biggest issue of all is when standing behind someone that somehow arrives at the counter unprepared.  I really need someone to walk me through this.  The guy in front of me is fucking around on his phone while waiting for the yoga pant legion to order their high calorie dessert drinks masquerading as coffee before he can order.  I am 100% ready with my order.  I am focused and cognizant of everyone else in line probably also being under a time constraint.  I wrongly assume this is a shared state of mind.  That is confirmed when the guy in front of me looks up from his phone to the woman at the counter and says the following.  “Umm…  Ahhh…. Let’s see…”

Look man, did this actually come as a complete surprise to you that you would eventually be asked what you wanted?  Were you stunned to discover all the options available to you despite standing directly in front of these options for a solid 10-12 minutes with nothing else to do but narrow down why you walked into this store in the first place?  I almost killed him when he began to squint closer at the bakery case and say “I was thinking about the egg sandwich” as if to float this concept by the woman at the counter that he would receive the positive affirmation to pull the trigger on the order.  “An egg sandwich?  What a devilishly clever idea!  Let’s discuss your drink options and see if we can zero in on something that might be perfect for you!”  I spent less time buying my last car.

Look, I need to stay out of that Starbucks.  I also need some NFL winners this week.  That’s why I am getting on the Kansas City Chiefs +3.5 over the Rams.  This game was supposed to be played in Mexico City.  The cerebral Boy Wonder coach Sean McVeigh decided to give his Rams an edge by practicing at altitude in Denver all week to get ready for Mexico City’s conditions.  Little did he know that the NFL flew down to check out the conditions in Mexico City and found out the field was totally fucked up, as things in Mexico are generally fucked up.  Game cancelled in Mexico City and now to be played in LA.  This means that the Rams played in LA on Sunday, flew out to Denver on Monday, got the word on Tuesday, and then flew back to LA on Wednesday.  That’s not ideal while trying to prepare for arguably the best team in the NFL.  So, to review, you get the best offense in the league + 3.5 points against a road weary team with an overrated defense.  I will have a doppio espresso and Kansas City +3.5.

We all have things we would like to do.  I would like to go deep water cage diving with great white sharks.  I would like to travel to the Piedmont wine region of Italy.  I would like to lounge in the lobby of the Peninsula Hotel with champagne and good conversation.  I would like to be able to reliably pronounce French wine label words.  I would also like to believe in the Chicago Bears.

I had a lengthy conversation with a friend that spent a good chunk of time trying to convince me the Bears are loaded!  When I think of the Bears, I think of second rate offense struggling in the wind and mud while bundled up fans look on with irritated facial expressions.  That might be of a result of my mind being frozen in time as a clearly outgunned Bears QB Bob Avellini ran around tossing interceptions in the 1970s.  The play of Bob Avellini is a childhood trauma, like the time I got hit in the temple with a rock from that finky Spath kid, or when I got bullied as a seven year old by our bus driver because I was a “hippie”.  Side note, though I did have long hair for the time and place, it should be clear that I was about as square as can be, though I did own a copy of the “Woodstock” movie soundtrack.  I think the bus driver’s physically aggressive behavior led to my unease with public transportation while the Woodstock double LP led to an otherwise unexplained fondness for Jefferson Airplane.

Let’s not get too sidetracked in psychoanalysis.  Here’s what I see.  The Vikings defense keeps playing well.  The defense has the allowed the lowest 3rd down conversion in football.  That keeps them in every game.  The Vikings have had a couple of big stage losses that taint public perception on them.  Yet they have won 4 of their last 6 and the losses were one score games to the Rams and Saints.  Meanwhile the Bears have won 3 of 5, the wins being against the uninspiring trio of Buffalo/Jets/Lions with the losses to Patriots and Dolphins.  I’m not bought in on the Bears being able to beat good teams while in the limelight on Sunday night.  This game will be close, so I will tease the Vikings with the Chargers.

The Chargers do what good NFL teams do, win the games they are supposed to win.  Are they the best team in the AFC?  Nope.  Are they better than the Broncos?  Yes, they are!  The Broncos are 1-3 on the road, and get exposed when they leave the oxygen depleted confines of Mile High.  The Chargers will probably win a game closer than it should be, but that’s all we’ll need.  The Chargers are a great team to root for if you are looking to have a team you like lose in the first round of the playoffs.  Surf’s up.  Vikings +8.5/San Diego -1

Season Record:  7-7

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Nurse the Hate: I, Italian Wine Scholar

I am in the midst of Unit 2 of The Italian Wine Scholar program.  This is a self created torture where I am trying to gain a heavy understanding of obscure Italian wine regions that I have had only a passing interest in.  As I had previously warned, I am going to see if I can pass the Master of Wine exam, a feat accomplished by only 39 Americans ever.  As I am currently not in the wine trade in any shape or form, this is akin to my trying to win the NBA Championship without ever playing previously in an organized basketball game.  It’s an incredibly foolish endeavor as I not only clearly don’t belong in the game, no one else wants me in there either. 

For me to enter the Master of Wine program, I need to pass an entrance exam.  Though I did pass the rigorous set of WSET Diploma exams, let me be frank.  I did so with my usual “shuck and jive”.  I got incredibly lucky on the theory questions where they just happened to have asked me things I knew about.  It was like I walked into a crowded bar and someone yelled out, “Do we have anyone here that can sing some Johnny Cash songs in an uptempo punk rock style?”.  The holes I have in my knowledge base are big enough to drive a truck through.  Hence, my attempt to cram a lifetime of Italian wine information into my head in a few months.

I have never been an aficionado of Italian wines.  There.  I said it.  I understand why others get excited about Barolos and Brunellos in the same way that I intellectually understand excitement about camping, musicals, jam band festivals and Indian restaurants.  These are fine things to do, but you can go ahead without me.  Despite me telling people that I don’t care for musicals, there is always someone that urges me to go see “Hamilton”.  “Oh!  Even if you don’t like musicals, you’ll love that!”  By combining a musical with rap music, two things I dislike, I know goddamn well that not only won’t I like it, I will hate it with the intensity of a thousand white hot suns.  It is my version of combining salmon and bubblegum, two shitty things made worse by being thrust together. 

Now if given the choice between a nice glass of Brunello or having to endure Hamilton, I will take the Brunello every single time.  It’s just that I have never been excited about these wines, probably because I only had a flimsy understanding of them.  When I was a young lamb wandering the dangerous forest of Italian restaurant wine lists, I would usually just order a Chianti as that was the only familiar thing on the menu.  Italian wines are confusing, and I avoided most of them, as every time I ordered something unfamiliar, I would get a glass of wine that tasted like old cherries and dust.   “Is this good?  It is?”  I learned enough about Italian wine to be dangerous in my WSET studies, but to say I had a grasp of what was going on would be a great overreach.  If asked a question of some depth by a wine professional regarding 85% of Italy (i.e. not Piedmonte, Veneto or Toscano), I would be exposed for the fraud that I am.  Hence, I am now ALL IN on Italy.

The problem is that I am going this alone.  It’s like I am playing tennis by hitting a ball against a brick wall.  It’s difficult to get a real feel for Elba Aleatico Passito DOCG when it is a paragraph in a book.  I don’t think I am going to be afforded the opportunity to order myself an Acquabona Aleatico dell’Elba DOCG 2011 anytime soon, so I need to somehow remember the concept of what that is and where it came from in the off chance that I am asked in the future, “Can you assess the quality of this passito versus that of a Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG made in the traditional appassimento method on the graticci?”.  It’s not easy learning a new language, geography, soils, climate conditions, Italian history and key producers in small villages of wines you’ve never tasted while chipping away at it two hours a night.  Yet, this is what I have taken on.

I am surrounded by bottles of wines I can barely pronounce while looking at maps with sing songy names that I cannot seem to remember.  I have made a stack of flash cards that is teetering dangerously.  I could spend the rest of my life on this and not make a dent.  The shit is overwhelming.  The Wine Scholar Guild gives you a year to prepare for and take the “Wines of Central and Southern Italy” exam.  I am going to pass it in 10 weeks.  Then I am going to pass “The Wines of Northern Italy”.  After that?  I’m going to go drink a Barolo at a performance of “Hamilton” motherfucker.


Sunday, November 11, 2018

Nurse the Hate: NFL Week 10

We went to Buffalo to play this week.  Buffalo is the exact same town as Cleveland except the weather is somehow worse.  The people have that same scruffy toughness that is completely lacking in places with pleasant surroundings like San Diego or Tampa.  I think when you wake up and sleet is coming in sideways and you are faced with the dilemma of giving up or just getting on with it, a tough leathery skin exoskeleton spreads as a form of survival.  I cannot go on.  I must go on.  I will go on.

The club we played does whatever they can to scratch out an existence by doing a Happy Hour show, our featured gig, and then a DJ night after live music is done.  We had a nice crowd of people come out to see us play.  They were extremely vocal and supportive.  It was a pleasure to play for them.  We still got outdrawn by the DJ night though, as I believe all live music does nowadays.  It can be very depressing to not be as compelling to the greater masses as “Depeche Mode Vs. New Order” DJ night.  It's not a kick in the teeth, but it's not a real boost for the ego either.  It was a very different crowd.  I had no idea how large of a gender fluid population was living in the NW corner of New York, much less how much those young people struggling with their sexual identity liked to dance awkwardly to New Order and Depeche Mode.

A quick observation I made about Buffalo.  There are people there that just can’t get a break.  Example.  It’s tough to be a young man that wants to be a woman.  It is an even tougher break to put together a great outfit, have your makeup done perfectly and still not be able to conceal your rough beard.  The only thing worse I could think of is if he is a Buffalo Bills season ticket holder.  Or is it she?  Grandpa doesn’t always know the right pronoun in these situations.  As Bill Parcells said, "No offense". Hair, clothes and makeup like a woman, but boots like T. Rex and five o’clock shadow like a Greek mafia hit man.  It was a confusing confluence.  Go Bills.

The Bills take on the Jets today.  The Bills are going to start Matt Barkley over Nathan Peterman, perhaps the worst starting QB in the modern era.  Peterman was starting after the Bills signed 39 year old Derrick Anderson out of retirement, who was promptly given a concussion after overthrowing receivers for a couple weeks.  This was because draft pick project Josh Allen injured his elbow previously after their “bridge QB” AJ McCarron had his collarbone broken.  I would refer to this as a “bad situation” for Bills fans expecting success.  Vegas agrees and has made this the lowest point total in 5 years.  This should be a terrible football game.  I hope all those Depeche Mode dancers got enough sleep to start pounding the gallons of Labatt Blue that will be necessary to make it though this game. 

The Jets are going to start backup Josh McCown, which is probably an upgrade over rookie Sam Darnold in that he won’t turn the ball over 3+ times.  McCown isn’t that good, but he will look like Johnny Fucking Unitas compared to whoever trots out in a Bills uniform.  The Jets will have a game plan of “just let whoever is playing QB for the Bills fuck it up”, or at least that’s what they should do.  I am going to take the Jets on the moneyline and not watch a second of this game.  I don’t want to feel sad for the gender fluid 80s retro dancing Bills fans.

In the last ten years in the NFL, if you bet on underdogs of 10+ points, that bet will win 75% of the time.  It is difficult for the “fanny pack” NFL gambler to pull the trigger on a team that is obviously mismatched like the abhorrent Arizona Cardinals who have to play the high powered KC Chiefs today.  I watched KC last week live at the stadium.  Let me give you the secret of the Chiefs offense.  All five receivers are wide open on every single play.  Every single one of them is running around like a gazelle in the defensive backfield.  That is a tough situation, especially when you suck as bad as the Cardinals.  Fanny pack Vegas guy will dismiss the idea of taking the Cardinals because "they suck", and frankly I don’t feel great about it myself.  My fingers will tremble a bit as I type in the wager, especially when I imagine the guy at the other end of the line laughing out loud upon receiving it.  However, let me offer you my shaky reasoning…

Kansas City has a huge game next week against the Rams in Mexico City.  There is a “look ahead” factor at play in this Cardinals game.  I expect the Chiefs to drop 21-24 points on the Cards by halftime and then take the foot off the gas to avoid injuries for the big game next week.  Arizona is getting 16.5 points.  That is an absolute shit ton in an NFL game.  The Browns, clearly outclassed last week and having one of the worst defenses in the NFL at the moment, would have covered that number.  Arizona at least can play some defense.  But can they score?  That's why they call it gambling buddy!

The Rams are hosting the Seahawks in a divisional game and giving them 9.  The Rams lost their perfect season last week in a shootout with the Saints in a high profile game.  When teams have gone more than 8 games in after being undefeated, and then lose a game, they are .500 in their next game straight up.  Next week the Rams have to travel to Mexico City to play KC in what is probably the NFL game of the year.  Once again, a strong chance to lose sight of this game after the tough Saints loss and KC next week.  The Seahawks head to LA at just the right time.  The Rams have only won one game by more than 10, and they might have the smallest home field advantage in the NFL.  Russell Wilson has been playing very well, and he can singlehandedly keep them in it against an overrated Rams defense.  I like Seattle here. 

I am going to tease these two big underdogs making it Cardinals +22.5/Seahawks +15 and then take the Seahawks +9.

The Dallas Cowboys are terrible.  They had that one outlier game where they destroyed Jacksonville, but other than that, they haven't been able to score.  Jerry Jones is freaking out, the coach is probably going to get fired, Troy Aikman is calling them out, and they have to go to Philadelphia to play a football game while drunk asshole Eagles fans yell shit at them and pelt them with debris.  I would not call this a "recipe for success".  I think the Eagles are going to dominate this game.  I also think 10+ Eagles fans will barf on someone at the stadium, I will fall asleep watching it by halftime, and then I will be surprised that Dallas scored some garbage time points.  Philadelphia money line

Season Record: 5-5

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Nurse the Hate: Active Shooter Training

Yesterday morning I attended company mandated “active shooter training”.  A man from Homeland Security came to the conference room and presented the government approved power point while everyone politely watched.  The man making the presentation was bookish and clearly well intentioned.  He was retired military but seemed more like a kindly small town hardware store owner.  He used all the necessary buzzwords to let us know that he was legit.  “Maniac with gun” became “active shooter” and so on.  Various statistics and crime histories were scrolled past us.  There are so many mass shootings now that on many of them I struggled to remember key details.  “Florida?  Was that the one with the guy that fired into the dance floor with an AR-15 or was that the one where he killed a bunch of people sitting at church?”  They have begun to blend together.

The facts are numbing.  Slide after slide.  We learned that there is more than one mass shooting per month now in the United States.  Most incidents last about three minutes on average.  95% of the shooters are male.  Most do not present a clear indication of their intentions beforehand.  A short educational video was presented to help us identify a potential shooter.  It had the same exaggerated tone that all training videos contain.  “Hmm… Maybe something is wrong with Mark…”  We were instructed to call an 800 number if we saw something “unusual or suspicious” around a “soft target”.  The assembled group stared on politely.

Then we came to the meat of the training.  What do you do if you find yourself involved in a situation where a stranger starts shooting people for no reason?  It was a variation of “Stop/Drop/Roll”, in this case “Run/Hide/Fight”.  In case you are unable to be trained by Homeland Security, allow me to fill you in.  Run away.  Hide.  If there’s no choice, fight back with your office equipment.  That’s the plan.  Thanks for coming.

What I found most illuminating was that this room of people allowed the idea of an armed lunatic to become normalized.  At no point did anyone raise their hand and say, “As opposed to me having to plan an exit strategy or hiding place every time I walk into a Dairy Queen, what if we just gathered up all these guns so lunatics can’t rapidly kill dozens of people?’.  Nope.  It was no different than attending the health insurance seminar.  It’s just protocol now.  Diving under your desk to avoid bullets is the same as dealing with co-pay on doctor’s office visits.  Ho-hum. 

As luck would have it, this morning I woke up to find out that a dozen or so people got shot at a bar in California by an “active shooter”.  There is no doubt that the idea will be floated out that “soft targets” like this need to have armed security at all times.  This sounds logical until you realize that any location you can think of can be classified as a “soft target”.  This means each and every one of us will need to pull a shift as an armed security guard in addition to our normal jobs.  Early reports are saying that the security guard at the bar as well as a sheriff’s deputy both were among the victims, but let’s not think about cause/effect of guns in society.  We’ll all feel better if we call them “heroes” instead of “needless casualties”.  Perhaps we can run a montage of their photos at the football game this weekend as a fitting tribute.

The normalization of mass shootings is almost complete.  I heard a news anchor say, without irony, “this is the worst mass shooting in a week”.  The blonde next to him made the tightened lip expression meant to convey suppressed grief mixed with the determination to find the strength to get past this.  Hopes and prayers.  If only there was something that could be done.  Let’s gather in the conference room everyone.  Watch the power point.  Run.  Hide.  Fight.  Fill out your benefits information.  Another day in America. 

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Nurse the Hate: NFL Week 9

Last week I was able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as both of my wagers came to catastrophic finishes despite looking like stone cold locks for almost the entirety of their respective games.  This is why people continue to pour money into 401ks and mutual funds, long games which are rigged to siphon the vig from you and make someone else rich.  I don’t know.  I often think it would be more satisfying to lose my savings on a missed late field goal from Robbie Gould instead of death by a thousand cuts from “maintenance fees” via enormous financial corporate concerns.  At least that way there would be a tangible villain in Robbie Gould instead of trying to figure out how much you actually paid the various assholes at Schwab.  However, let’s say Gould hits that kick.  Suddenly you are going out of your way to buy Robbie some hot wings and a frosty cold one on the off chance you run into him at a horrible sports bar named something cliché like “Bleachers” or “Fanz”.  No way you will ever buy Ernest J. Bullington III from Schwab a dozen wings.  He won’t deliver the goods like Robbie Gould would.  Time to bear down on Week 9.

The Browns fired their coach this week for what they called “internal discord”.  They really fired him because he totally sucked and is unable to coach at this level.  Yet, all week I have seen interview after interview from Hue Jackson where he places the blame on having the NFL’s all time worst coaching record on anyone but himself in a sickening passive aggressive manner.  If Hue Jackson wrecked your car, he would say the following.  “Listen.  I wrecked your car and that is on me.  I was behind the wheel.  However, the roads were very slick and you, as the owner should have probably replaced the tires.  It was also dark last night and no one told me to put the headlights on.  Now as the driver, I should probably have turned on the lights, but you never specifically said, “Hue, if it gets dark, put the lights on so you can see.”  I am not trying to say I don’t bear some responsibility, but I was in the dark on tires that were not very good.  So now I am going to just get back to being the greatest driver in the world and move past the 17 accidents I have on my record. I’d love to drive your car again if you repair it.  I’m the best.”

The Browns must have all exhaled when that fucking clown left the building.  Unfortunately, they have to play the Chiefs this week.  They will roll into this game with less preparation than normal, outgunned, and outmanned.  One of the things to note is when coaches get fired; the team tends to respond with greater effort.  Effort usually translates to better defense.  Look, there is no way the Browns win this game.  But they are at home, the fans will be behind them, and they finally got rid of Hue.  The Public thinks this is going to be 145-3.  I think there will be plenty of bend, don’t break effort on the defense’s part leaving too many field goals.  This game smells like an UNDER to me, and I will white knuckle the Kansas City/Cleveland UNDER 52.  Gulp.

I have attempted to watch the Tennessee Titans play three games this year.  Each time I become so bored I inevitably start to flip around on movie channels and start watching “The Royal Tennenbaums”.  If given the choice between watching Marcus Mariota throw an incomplete pass to a tight end for four yards or watching Owen Wilson’s character in full western garb drugged up behind the wheel of that convertible speed towards the wedding saying “Here I come…”, there is really no decision.  I go “Royal Tennenbaums” every single time.  I wasn’t even sure the Titans were still in the league until I noticed they were playing the Cowboys this week.  They are the vanilla ice milk of NFL franchises.  They are like a Buick Encore.  They remind me of one of the Rolling Stones records in the 1990s.  It’s sort of OK, but the second it is over, you forget it ever happened.  Frankly, the Titans should ditch that awful Titan logo and use the Stones “Voodoo Lounge” logo in some sort of licensing deal that could give Mick a few more sheckles to invest over at Schwab.  I know Bullington would love the fees. 

The Titans are playing the Cowboys.  Neither team is especially good at playing offense.  A couple years ago everyone thought that Dak and Mariota were the future of QB in the league.  Now they seem like the new version of Daunte Culpepper and Jon Kitna.  I won’t even try to watch this game because if I do, I know damn well I will change the channel to start watching the Royal Tennenbaums again.  True, I like it when Royal takes the kids out to drive go-karts and bet on cockfights, but I don’t want to put myself in position to watch that movie yet again.  I know this game will be low scoring and boring.  Give me the points.  Tennessee +6.5

Season Record:  4-4       

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Nurse the Hate: The Trick or Treat Laced Apple Story

Despite the pervasive Culture of Fear in which we all now live, I have not heard the re-telling of any wild urban legends about doctored Halloween treats.  This is a shame as this was a rite of passage for any child growing up in the days when news was mainly transmitted via story on the school bus.  Where do eight-year olds get their information now?  The Skimm?  What kind of upbringing is that?  I didn’t get photos of Kim Kardashian’s ass sent to a phone when I was 8.  I had to make my buddy Alan my news source.  Granted, he didn’t diligently vet his information or sources, but he really did have his ear to the ground.  Alan was the one that told me he knew, for sure, about how Keith Kunick’s running partner Steve had been horribly disfigured with a tainted apple a few Halloweens ago.

The story went like this…  Keith and his buddy Steve were trick or treating.  It wasn’t in this neighborhood.  It was somewhere else. Just far enough away that we didn’t know anyone there, but we had heard of it.  That made the story legit.  As a couple of teenage punks, Keith and Steve put the bare minimum into their costumes.  This enabled them to walk the difficult tightrope of demonstrating to others that they “didn’t care about this Halloween shit” despite the obvious duality of going trick or treating in the first place.  So, the story went that Keith and Steve went to a house where someone was giving out apples, a real drag but better than getting a dime.  They talked some shit to the man that was handing out the apples, and the guy was very deliberate in which ones he handed the boys.  The boys left the house, and Steve reached into his pillowcase to retrieve the apple.  As they walked along he took a big bite, and quickly gargled in pain and fear. 

The apple had been laced with a straight razor blade.  Steve had ripped his entire mouth apart, slicing a rip up his cheek exposing his molars.  Blood poured out of his face as he screamed, his words garbled as he had sliced off part of his tongue.  The boys ran home where they were rushed to the hospital.  Steve received countless stitches and was left with a hideous scar on his face.  His speech was forever ruined by the tongue wound.  All the kids made fun of him in school, so his family moved away.  That’s why I never met him.  He was three years older than us.  Ask Michael Johnson.  His brother Victor was in his class.  Alan was adamant of the truth and accuracy of the story.  It became a well known fact in our school.

I absolutely love urban legends.  At no time in any of these horror stories has the victim been someone that can be directly identified.  It’s a friend of my cousin, a kid the next town over, or a guy my brother knows.  The victim is close enough for it to hit home, but never close enough to verify the information.  The best stories have key details that lend an air of truth, yet when you dig in they don’t really add up.  Why didn’t the cops arrest the guy who gave them the apple?  (They were so freaked out they couldn’t remember which house it was!)  Why haven’t I heard this story from Keith directly?  (He doesn’t like to talk about it man.  Don’t bring it up.  He’ll kick your ass.)  Why haven’t my parents brought this up?  (They are worried about panicking all the kids!)
I knew that story was probably a lie, just like the ones about the cyanide in the Snickers, the poison in the apple cider and the pins in the Milky Way.  Still, I remember it as clearly as I do any other legend like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.  I know they are all bullshit, but they became part of my memory.  I will also tell you this.  I always look for a slit in an apple before I take a bite.  I'm not going to end up like that kid...        

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Nurse the Hate: NFL Week 8

The only people that will be watching the 49ers at Cardinals game today will be complete degenerate gamblers, people so sick that they should never show their faces in daylight.  The level of depravity it takes to spend a few hours watching this completely irrelevant football game makes wearing assless chaps in a nightclub seem sensible.  I should know, because I will be one of these sick twisted individuals, watching it via my NFL Sunday Ticket satellite package.  Yes, I ponied up the extra money necessary to watch the unwatchable.  When the 1-6 San Francisco 49ers take the gridiron versus the 1-6 Arizona Cardinals, you won’t need the whole seat, you’ll just need the edge.  Well, you will if you have a sack of loot on the 49ers…

I am “taking a position” on the 49ers.  This flies right in the face of a Vegas axiom.  Never bet on a bad team.  However, I think the exception to the rule is when that bad team is playing a worse team.  The Cardinals are awful.  One of their three good players, Patrick Peterson, demanded to be traded last week.  The team, in an unsurprising move, said “Um, you’re one of our only good guys and you are under contract, so get the fuck out there”.  That’s not helpful for what is known as “team chemistry”.  Toss in that rookie QB Josh Rosen, who has looked dodgy in an antiquated offense, is playing with turf toe.  One of the things I am not interested in doing while having turf toe is running away from big angry dudes intent on hurting me.

Now while the 49ers are 1-6, they have been recipients of some horrible luck.  Of the last 14 turnovers in their games, they have lost all of them.  That’s not all on Beathard.  This is a trend that will equalize, and I’m hoping it will do so today.  The 49ers have kept playing hard, and look like a 6-10 team.  The Cardinals look like the worst team in the NFL that’s not Oakland or the Giants.  Don’t judge me.  I’m betting on San Francisco +2.

The Los Angeles Rams are probably the best team in football.  The Packers sort of suck.  Well, except they have Aaron Rodgers, who can make any team he plays for look pretty good.  It’s annoying watching national TV broadcasts where the guys in the booth spend the entire game touching themselves because they are so excited about how well Rodgers is playing.  The thing is, they are right.  That fucking guy is unbelievable.  He doesn’t even look like he’s trying.  As a result, The Public is absolutely pounding the Packers as an underdog, moving the line from Rams -9.5 to Rams -8. 

I will say it until I am blue in the face.  The Public doesn’t know ANYTHING.  They think Tim Allen is a funny comedian.  They think the Ford F-150 is a sensible automobile.  They like the music on the Top 40 and Country charts.  They are goddamn fools.  The Public also is very focused on the Saints beating the Vikings tonight.  The narrative says that the Saints will want to exact revenge for their flukey NFC Playoff loss last year, in some sort of “we’ll show them” redemption moment.  This line has gone from Minnesota -1.5 to now Minnesota +1.5.  Couple quick facts here…  If you blindly bet the Vikings at home in their current regime, you’d cover 72% of the time.  They just win at home.  Also, in their last three games, they have allowed 5 first downs from third down conversions.  Five.  That defense has come together.  As a result, I am going to fade The Public.  I am going to take Minnesota +1.5 as well as a tease of Minnesota +7.5/Los Angeles -2. 

Season Record: 4-2