Friday, December 15, 2017

Nurse the Hate: NFL Week 15

If I had played my cards differently I would right now be relaxing on a tropical island with my biggest concerns being where to make a dinner reservation, hoping I don’t kill myself diving, and hoping a sand flea doesn’t hop into my champagne.  “Cocktails at the Sand Bar Luv?”  I operate well in that scenario.  Instead I was walking the bassets in 17-degree weather on crunchy icy sidewalks trying to make heads or tails of this weekend’s slate of NFL games.  It’s very important to provide distractions for the mind so as to not look around your surroundings and go completely mad.  I don’t hear the phrase “completely mad” often these days.  I would like to be able to take off a pair of glasses, wipe them with a handkerchief and say something like “Leo?  Oh, he’s gone completely mad.” before replacing the glasses and crossing my legs with a dismissive expression.  I suppose there’s nothing stopping me from doing so.  I’d probably have to wear a three-piece suit and check my pocket watch to really pull it off.  I just bought a pair of expensive boots, so taking on the added expense of a pocket watch might be a bit much right now.  Yet another crushed dream.

The reality is December is cold and bleak.  Don’t let the festive plastic Santas lit up all over town fool you.  It’s the time of year when many NFL teams have realized they are playing not to get hurt and put down “good tape” for next year’s contract negotiations.  It becomes very important to ferret out who is playing for something and who is going through the motions.  That’s why this Chargers at Kansas City game is worth a look.  We are talking about two teams somehow fighting to win the AFC West at 7-6 though both look dicey at best.  A couple of key points in this one.  The game is on Saturday night where a well-oiled bunch of Midwestern drunks are not worried about going to work on Sunday as they wear ugly red Chiefs gear in the Kansas City night.  That is not a scenario that portends to great success to a team flying in from Southern California.  I was walking around in San Francisco on Monday in shirt sleeves while tourists from LA were outfitted in down jackets with scarves.  People from LA think temperatures under 68 are polar exploration weather.  It was 58 degrees in The Bay, not nice and chilly like it will be in Kansas City on Saturday. 

Now it’s true that most of the Chargers are likely tougher than Kaitlyn and her yoga class from Orange County, but the Chargers don’t travel especially well out of their time zone.  Certainly, not to Kansas City.  Kansas City is 4-2 against the spread at home this year and 9-2 against the spread at home in prime time.  They are also 8-1 vs the AFC West in their last 9.  On top of that, they’re getting points.  Oh, I like the look of that.  I like that quite a bit.  To give the Chiefs points at home seems “completely mad”.  Kansas City +2

I am going to bet against the Browns.  This should always be assumed unless I make a point otherwise.  It’s like swinging by a hospice and betting on “death”.  The only two things certain in life are taxes and a Browns loss.  This week they play the Ravens at Browns Stadium.  Normally the savvy gambler would factor in home field advantage, however I think there will be more Ravens fans than Browns fans at the game.  Tickets are currently $6 in the secondary market.  It’s really a nice weekend for Baltimore fans.  Fly in Friday, eat at a Michael Symon restaurant, Saturday go look at Jimmy Page’s dragon pants at the Rock Hall, Sunday pop over to the stadium for a win and then home by 7p. 

The Ravens are giving seven, which might be too many.  The Ravens offense is terrible, despite lighting up the Steelers last week in their heartbreaking loss.  They are getting better at the end of the season, like all good teams.  The Browns, like all bad teams, are firing people in the executive office.  Anyone that is associated closely with the old regime would be recommended to take some shit home in a box over the holidays.  With the Ravens at 7-6 and on the Playoff bubble, I am expecting them to win.  Yet, I don’t want to give 7.  Therefore, I am tying in the LA Rams at Seattle as well as Ravens moneyline.

The Rams are for real.  No, I don’t know how they got so good so fast either, but they are the real deal.  They go to Seattle this Sunday who is absolutely decimated on defense.  The Public is under the impression the Seahawks never lose at home.  That’s why the Rams are getting the points.  Seattle is 1-5-1 against the spread versus a team with a winning road record.  The Rams are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games.  I am going to tease Baltimore -1/Rams +8.5.  I don’t know if the Rams win, but I don’t see them losing by two scores.  Hell, like the rest of you I will be watching that Pittsburgh v New England game.  Someone let me know when I win. 

Season Record:  18-16-1

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Nurse the Hate: Pat DiNizio

Pat DiNizio of the Smithereens died this week.  There has been a shift this year from “classic rock guys I listened to” dying to “guys I listened to that I thought were my age dying” in 2017.  I’m not talking about the beautiful death of the heroin overdose or romantic rock suicide.  Kurt is always young and tormented.  Morrison is perpetually the Apollonian Lizard King in leather pants.  Jimi is stoned.  Beautiful.  Immaculate.  Pat DiNizio died after a fall like a goddamn retiree.  Damn.   

I got hip to the Smithereens when I was a DJ.  A guy slid the “Especially For You” record to me promising I would like it.  I recall his words being “this is that garage rock Merseybeat shit you like”.  He was absolutely correct.  I played the shit out of that record on air.  The Smithereens were great, almost completely because of DiNizio’s fabulous writing.  The band was not a good looking group.  They looked like a bunch of Jersey guys that collected records.  If  they didn’t have material three times as good as anyone else, there is ZERO chance they’d get that record deal over a band with good haircuts.  The Smithereens had the material.

Most people became aware of the band from the “11” record with “Girl Like You” on it.  That received a lot of "modern rock" airplay, which really meant it was too good to ignore.  I preferred the first three records, though they were all good.  As an aside, I would especially recommend that readers check out "2011", a record that they recorded in 2011 that sounds like a companion piece to "11".  I assume no one heard that record when it came out, which is a crime.  The Smithereens didn't lose a step.  But it was the first three records that were constant companions to me.  When I hear any of those songs I can smell the apartment where I lived.  I can feel the way the sun would come in the living room window in the late afternoon.  I remember blasting those records getting ready to go out for the night when "going out" meant absolutely anything could happen that would change life as you knew it completely.  It was one of the few records my roommate and I agreed on. 

Pat DiNizio saw me play once.  It was unsettling to look out on stage and see my record collection staring at me.  I was friends with a guy that was his record rep in the region.  The Smithereens had played a radio showcase early, and the rep brought DiNizio out to see us and Dick Dale at Wilbert's.  I was really surprised by how curious he was about our band.  He was very complimentary and bought three of our seven inch singles.  I had assumed he was there to see Dick Dale, but he was much more interested in learning about the underground label scene that we were involved in at the time.  I tried to give him the copies but he insisted on paying for them.  He left in the middle of Dick Dale's set and thanked me for the records.  A couple weeks later he sent me a note telling me how much he liked one of them in particular.  I always appreciated that gesture. 

I would fall out of the Smithereens from time to time.  Then I would unexpectedly hear a song and have to dredge up the entire album, which would lead me to listening to additional albums.  There are so many songs there.  I have a few that I have direct associations in my mind.  "In A Lonely Place" ties me back to an autumn night with a pair of brown eyes.  "Time and Time Again" was playing when a party at our house was so out of control the cops came to break it up.  The officer walked up the porch and asked me "Do you know who lives here?".  No sir.  I have no idea.  Snare drum roll.  Time and Time again... Time and time again... When would I ever learn... guitar riff.  "Strangers When We Meet" was playing when I walked Joe Walsh to the bathroom to "get right" one Saturday morning that was more like really, really late Friday night.  "House We Used To Live In" live at the Agora on the "11" tour when every song ripped my guts out.  Damn that guy could write.

I feel like history won't give justice to the Smithereens.  They played great rock songs at a time when that had fallen from fashion.  They will likely get lumped into the "bands from the early 90s before grunge" dustbin.  That's not fair, but then again life is never fair.  I think to be remembered in life is a great accomplishment.  I don't know how many people will remember Pat DiNizio, but I will.  He was one of the greats of his era, frankly of any era.           

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Nurse the Hate: Hate San Francisco

Without question, one of my favorite bookstores is City Lights in San Francisco.  The store is essentially unchanged from when the Beat writers used it as their base of operations.  Black and white photographs of Ginsberg, Kerouac, Cassidy, and Bob Dylan at the store dot the walls showing that as times have changed, City Lights has not.  I have spent hours in there trying to decide which subversive books I can cram in my luggage home.  I bought a hardcover copy of “Howl” there once while staring at a photo of Ginsberg making the infamous first reading with his cadre of contemporaries hooting him on enthusiastically.  What could be better than “Howl” actually bought at City Lights?  I wonder where that book is now?

Next door is the bar Vesuvio.  It’s a grimy little place where I usually stop for an Anchor Steam and wonder if the place has ever been re-painted since indoor smoking was outlawed in California.  I was hoping to watch the end of the Steeler game, but in true Vesuvio fashion the single old TV played a re-run of “Bosom Buddies” no one paid attention to.  I wondered if I should ask the groovy bartender woman if she could change the channel to the game, but felt the possibility of consternation about even acknowledging the television or sports as a whole placed me at risk for expulsion.  Instead I talked to a couple of Irish guys I could barely understand that sat next to me.  I would have preferred the game.

I had to walk through Chinatown to get back to my hotel.  Store after store has absolute garbage for sale, each one trying to undercut the other.  I assume they are all owned by some Chinese crime syndicate that chops off the store owner's thumbs when sales dip.  Low quality t-shirts, plastic waving paw cat clocks, throwing stars, knock off luggage, and desperate little restaurants plead for business.  I considered realizing the dream of every 12 year old boy that walks through the area by purchasing a samurai sword.  It is true I would have limited use for a samurai sword and would tire of it quickly.  Still, isn't it my Constitutional right to have a sword?  My thought is that if people can conceal carry military grade pistols, I don’t know why I can’t walk around with a poorly made samurai sword.  I couldn’t work up the energy to haggle with a shop owner over the price, so I just kept moving.   

A block before the Dragon Gate entrance to Chinatown is a street with an extremely steep hill.  It was Sunday at about 830p so it was relatively quiet.  Traffic was light.  There was an Asian couple across the street waiting to cross.  I stood at the signal waiting for the light to change while clutching my stack of books.  That’s when I heard the noise at the top of the hill coming my direction.  I wouldn’t call it a scream exactly.  It was more like a woman’s voice making an excited yell.  It was a middle ground between panic and thrill. 

I couldn’t figure out what I was seeing at first.  But as she wooshed by it became crystal clear.  A middle aged Asian woman was on one of those scooter type contraptions that are used when you have a leg injury.  The injured leg is placed on a kneeling position on the padded seat and the other leg propels the scooter.  (see above photo)  This woman, extremely conservative and “normal” from what I could gather, was flying down this amazingly steep hill on this scooter yelling out “Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!” as she shot through the intersection at about 25 mph and proceeded down the next graduation down the multi block slope.  It was odd though as I couldn't decide if she was terrified or had done it on a dare and was excited. 

I cannot undersell to you the steepness of these hills.  There is no way I could ride a bike up it.  My heart would burst.  People ski on less on Ohio and New York.  I have never seen anything like this woman flying past.  It was like a combination of some Chinese mother in trouble and a Mountain Dew TV advertisement.  It was maybe the most radical thing I have ever seen.  The woman's "Ahhhh!!!!" faded with distance.  The other couple and I looked at each other after she flew by and descended down the hill.  Then we both pretended it didn't happen.

I walked though the intersection and passed the couple.  They looked down on the ground to avoid eye contact with me.  They were no help.  I wanted to speculate.  I need to know what happened.  I find it hard to believe that this woman after cooking Sunday supper for her family decided to hobble down to the street with her broken ankle and just get crazy.  "Listen everyone.  After we finish this spicy chicken, I'm going to do something totally rad!  Come on out front!"  Alternately, it seems impossible that Mrs. Chen could have been trying to wheel across the street a few blocks away and things just got away from her.  Could she have been wheeling over to the bank and then became incapacitated with fear as she gathered speed rolling downhill?  Yet, it had to be one of those two options.  Then, the moment had passed.  Traffic resumed and people walked past like the incident was a fever vision.

I walked another block past the Hotel Triton where I had once stayed in the room with the Kerouac scroll wallpaper and been serenaded by homeless drifters all night.  It was quiet tonight.  I paused to look in the window of the hotel lobby.  When I turned to resume walking, a dirty homeless guy with a mustache sauntered towards me.  He pointed to me and smiled.  He made a thumbs up.  “Looking good man!”  I laughed.  No, you’re looking good my man!”  He nodded his head as he walked by.  “You got that right.”

San Francisco is a great town.      

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Nurse the Hate: NFL Week Whatever

I am not going to be able to watch many of the games this week.  Normally I would be stuck watching the Browns lose to someone, but as some sort of Christmas Miracle I will be spared that fate.  As Christmas Miracles go, it's a big one.  If I look around I might be able to see a wise man walking past with some frankincense or myrrh.   If I have said it once, I have said it a hundred times.  The problem with society today is not enough myrrh.  I’m not even sure if I could identify myrrh if I saw it.  Where can someone even buy myrrh?  If I assume that a savior of some type has been born, what am I supposed to do?  Show up at the hospital without a big box of myrrh?  I suppose Amazon might deliver it.  They probably have a decent myrrh section on the website.

Sorry, I got off track.  The point I was trying to make is that I am not as engaged with the slate of games this week as normal.  I suppose I could bet against the Browns, but it’s not as much fun without laughing out loud at the team’s misfortune.  DeShone Kizer is actually a very fun player to watch if you have a big stack of money riding on his failure.  I love that guy.  However, this week the Browns take on the Packers.  The Packers without Aaron Rodgers are a VERY different team than with him.  With him all things are possible.  Without him they have no offense whatsoever.  Combine that with the Browns lack of offense, and the makings of one of the NFL’s worst games of 2017 is clearly present.  I just can’t muster up the energy to feel connected to something I see unravel on my phone updates.  Yet I would be a damn fool not to bet on the Browns to lose.

The Browns can be counted on to lose weekly.  They are 1-26 in their last 27.  Allow me to let you in on a little inside information.  This is what gamblers call “a trend”.  I do have some reservations regarding this week.  Every team that plays the Browns has the tendency to look past the Browns, which is normal because they are fucking terrible.  The Packers are just not very good without Rodgers.  They could find themselves down 10-0 after the first quarter and not be able to come back.  The Pack won last week after only throwing for 84 yards, so maybe they have more moxie than I think.  For those of us wishing for The Perfect Browns Season of 0-16, this is a game that causes some concern.  The Browns have a legitimate chance at winning at home in crappy weather.  Yet you don’t go 1-26 without good reason.  Bet the trend.  Green Bay money line.  

I might get to see some of the end of the late games.  With that in mind, I am going to go in on Washington +6 over the Chargers.  The Chargers might be the best team in the AFC West.  As I have noted before, it’s like being the best 90s Pop Punk Band.  You might be top of your heap, but your heap is terrible.  The Chargers have that great skill of being close in every game they play.  Hell, they managed to allow the Browns to hang around.  They always play to the level of their competition, up or down.  Now it’s true that Washington is horrifically injured.  If I read correctly, most of their starting backfield is currently in medically induced comas to prevent the men from screaming in pain in hospital beds.  Yet, whoever the Redskins have found in the Greater District of Columbia Area to play football for them this Sunday are likely as good if not better than the Browns.  Washington will hang in there.  I think San Diego wins but doesn’t cover.  I am hoping to see a cheap backdoor cover in this one with Vernon Davis catching an otherwise meaningless touchdown with 13 seconds left.  I can already visualize myself screaming out “Yes!” as indifferent sports bar patrons stare at me.  Washington +6

Season Record:  17-15-1

Nurse the Hate: Great Success In Tasmania's Past

I have begun the last unit of the never ending WSET Diploma Wine Certification.  It is the sparkling wine unit, so there are worse things than spending a weekend in San Francisco drinking champagne.  Note, it doesn’t sound nearly as bourgeoisie to position it as “spitting out sekt into a plastic bucket in a windowless conference room in a Holiday Inn Express sitting next to dudes with beards” which is far more accurate.  Why split hairs though? 

In preparation for the weekend I had extensive reading to do on the entire sparkling wine industry.  In case you want to know about the particulars of the emerging Chilean sparkling wine market, I’m your guy.  However, what caught my eye was information about the infancy of the Australian sparkling wine market.  I learned a man named Hans Irvine spearheaded the movement in the 1890s after making a fortune as a young man in textiles and mining.  He seemed to have an unusual understanding of the potential market for sparkling wine.  He made some wine but then traveled to Champagne France to learn more of the nuances of production.  That was a hell of a trip back then, so he was totally committed to this wine venture.  He then returned to Australia and with Tasmanian grape sources managed to win a medal at the next World’s Fair, effectively launching his empire.  It was said he was an expert in wine advertising.  He used tactics and methods of marketing well before their time.  That really got my attention.  It seemed familiar somehow, like I was having some sort of déjà vu.  A man that seemed ahead of his time making wine from Tasmanian grapes that was an expert in advertising?  There is only one conclusion.  As I have mentioned previously on this blog, my long term goal has been to corner the Tasmanian sparkling wine market via time travel.  Based on this reading, I believe I have done it.  I can only conclude that I am Hans Irvine

My best guess is that in the near future after internalizing all of the information in this sparkling wine class, passing the final exam, and then assembling my time machine, I have traveled back to Tasmania in the 1880s to build my mining empire to fund my wine venture.  It’s very exciting to know I have succeeded.  I am more focused than ever in passing this class with merit knowing my guaranteed future (or past) as a Tasmanian Wine Baron.  Although, if I now know I have already accomplished my goal, perhaps I can slack off knowing it’s all going to happen anyway.  Wait.  It has already happened.  But if I slack off, will I fail and then that paragraph disappear in the reading because I have not grasped the material?  Will I change the past tomorrow by not focusing on the now?  And if it does change, will I remember I read it in the first place?  Goddammit this time travel business is complicated.

Let’s get back to basics.  Here’s what I know.  Everything goes great for me as Hans Irvine.  I am rich and powerful.  I corner the market.  I then head to London to deal with a gastric ulcer and it appears that things don’t go well for me there.  I die in 1922.  This is obviously a great concern as my plan has always been to corner the market, return to the present year, and enjoy my further expanded empire without dealing with 1922 English medical tortures to my digestive system.  There must be horrible steel drills and “tonics” they force down my throat in a London Hospital in that era.  I better look into my ulcer treatment now.  I don’t want to be screaming about needing to fix my time machine in the 1922 London hospital.  They will throw me in “the mad house”.  That’s no picnic in there friend.  

I am not positive why I will change my name to Hans Irvine in the future.  Wait.  That’s isn’t going to happen.  It already happened because of something I have yet to do.  I did that in Australia in the late 1800s based on a decision I will make in the future when I go to the past.  Well, regardless, Hans Irvine is obviously a made up name.  I must have combined a foreign sounding name like Hans with that celebrity chef guy with the big body and pinhead Robert Irvine.  We did a TV show episode of “Dinner Impossible” with him in the band once at the Rock Hall.  That explains that.  I probably panic when I run into my Aboriginal henchmen.  “Greg Miller” doesn’t sound very Australian Wine Baron.  I need to blend in, be one of them.  I need to fit the part.  A dude named “Hans Irvine” will send miners to their death to make a buck.  “Hans Irvine” will exploit workers at textile mills to make his fortune.  A guy named Hans Irvine grows a big bushy mustache and grows introspective staring at the fire while speaking with great certainty of his vision of The Future.  I think I will like being Hans Irvine.  Well, with the exception of that gastric ulcer situation.  I need to figure a way out of that.     

As you proceed with your day wondering about the idea of destiny versus free will, think of me.  I am right now spitting out Cava into a plastic bucket invigorated with the certainty that I have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.  I am free of nagging regrets and fears.  It all works out for me, exactly as I have foreseen.  My scheme has succeeded.  As you float about the cosmos completely unmoored, I have found the answers.  I have rigged the game.  I have broken the time space continuum for my own personal gain.  I have made my own destiny.  I am Hans Irvine.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Nurse the Hate: Chicago Monday Afternoon

The wind blew on Chicago’s Gold Coast because that’s what it always does.  The weather was finally going to concede to winter.  The dry crisp leaves rattled among the footsteps of well appointed footwear.  It was cloudy but most of the women still wore their designer sunglasses.  Some carried small nervous dogs in leather tote bags.  The dogs faced ahead with fixed expressions between shock and anger.  The women had practiced blank faces of boredom as they clicked ahead on their created task of the day.  They were all dressed in the style of the moment, almost impossibly long thin legs with perfectly cut denim that was professionally ripped in the exact right locations.  They dedicated their lives to their art.  Their art was creating themselves, the most idealized version time and money could buy.

I sat at the bar of the landmark old money restaurant for a late lunch.  At a glance all the locals could tell I was a nobody with my pedestrian clothes and cheap shoes.  I was like a faded photograph on the wall, something that was there but could be safely ignored.  I watched and listened.  The two striking Latin women to my left were dressed in animal print.  The older one had large breasts which were dramatically framed by her plunging neckline and pushup bra.  She seemed almost a mentor to the younger woman.  They were both dressed like it was New Year’s Eve.  It was 2:00pm on a Monday.  They discussed the necessary machinations of maneuvering the men in their lives.  They pulled strings for a living.  This was their sales meeting.  They split an entrée and lazily picked at the onion straws.  

The older woman sat turned on the stool so she was parallel to the bar and visible to the room.  She scanned the room to see who had noticed her.  She spoke with an accent.  Argentina maybe?  “Dahn?  Dahn?  Could you get me a ketchup and the hot sauce I like?  I also need one spoon.  Place it to the left of the sauce.  No Dahn!  The left!  Yes…  Thank you Dahn.”  The bartender swiftly attended to her needs with a strained smile.  

A woman sat to my left.  She greeted the staff who pretended to greet her like a friend.  She placed an order with multiple changes to the menu.  “I’m going to an event later so I need to eat something now, but I don’t want it too heavy.  Can I get that fish I like but without any of the sauce.  Also can you give me those vegetables I like?  You know the ones?  But box them up separately because I don’t like them in the same container as the fish.  I need to go so could you make this a priority?  Thank you so much.”  She put the menu down to announce that she was done with the bartender and expected the task completed.  She was a woman that was used to being catered to.  It would never occure to her she would have to wait for anything.  She opened an electronic tablet and fussed with her hair.  The tablet made a connection and she began to loudly chatter in French with a relaxed looking man.  He made a quick remark with a gasp and then chuckled at how clever he had been.  She cackled.  She spoke as if she were the only one in the room and this was her home. 

The waiter could tell I didn’t really belong there and addressed me with too much familiarity.  He gave me my salad with the salutation “my man”.  Here you go my man.  The older man in the Burberry suit at the end of the bar was “sir”.  I didn't carry that type of authority.  I was “my man”.  Perhaps my Chuck Taylors had identified me as one of the server class of the neighborhood and I had earned the “my man” as a notation of inclusion.  Maybe it was a not-so-subtle dig meant to note that he knew this wasn’t my neighborhood and I was a tourist.  It didn’t really matter.  I ate my overpriced salad and watched the show around me.      

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Nurse the Hate: Trickle Down NFL Bets

It was great for America that the tax reform bill passed, and by “great for America” I mean “great for anyone that is a billionaire or a CEO of a corporation”.  I like to think of all those flag waving morons I saw at Trump Reich Rallies last Fall who were under the delusion that The Swamp was going to be drained.  Yes, the swamp was drained.  Right into your living room.  Make sure to wear your “Make America Great Again” baseball cap as you wait for the trillion dollars your boys just gave themselves to “trickle down” to you.  

The idea of “trickle down economics” is so ludicrous it is hard to imagine people falling for it.  The idea is that by the ultra rich and corporations not paying for any of the shit the rest of us pay for, they will drop a good chunk of that money into opportunities for Y-O-U.  My gut tells me that a subgroup of people that is willing to have an insane king in charge and allow our brief empire to fade into the sunset so they can go from “obscenely wealthy” to “slightly more obscenely wealthy” is probably not focused on The Greater Good.   Any corporate job I have ever had has been the same.  When the company has a prosperous year, the four or five people that clawed themselves to the top cut themselves massive bonus checks.  Everyone else gets access to the new coffee machine.  The only thing that “trickled down” was indifference.

It’s every man for himself in our New Trumpian Age.  That’s why I am focused on the only things that matter.  Good wine and gambling on football.  It’s the only thing left in my control.  Of course, there is a valid argument that even that isn’t under my control, but I do need something to hold onto to not fly into the void.  

The problem this week is I don’t feel great about this slate of games.  All the teams now have devastating injuries they are dealing with, and that’s just the ones we know about.  It’s amazing how people like me brazenly say something like “Oh, he’s got a shoulder but he’s going to go”.  That essentially means that some man has a shoulder injury so severe that a normal human being would be incapacitated, but this guy is instead going to run 4.5 forty yard dashes and intentionally run into another 250 pound man doing the same thing.  It’s insane if you even think about it for a second.  However, this is the path I have chosen so let’s get on with it. 

The Houston Texans were an exciting team with DeShaun Watson.  With Tom Savage that is not the case.  He turns the ball over, misses open receivers, and makes Houston fans yearn for the Good Old Days of Brian Hoyer.  They have been getting blown out by decent teams.  Tennessee is a decent team.  They are not a good team.  In fact, they surprised me by beating the Colts by four last week.  Yet at this point in the season, the injury depleted Texans on the road are worse than the Colts.  Look, I get it.  It’s hard to get excited about the Titans.  It’s like trying to pretend you are excited about the vegetarian option airline meal.  Like that meal, this isn’t going to be good.  But I think we can get the job done with Tennessee.

The New York Giants are a total shit show right now.  They somehow decided it was a good idea to publicly humiliate Eli and drop Geno Smith into the starting lineup.  I am aware that Geno Smith is a terrible football player.  The Giants live in the same town as the Jets, so I am very surprised that no one has mentioned to the Giants front office that it is impossible to reliably win a football game with Geno Smith.  Shouldn’t they know someone at the Jets they could have called for a referral?  “Hey, I’m glad I got you on the phone.  We were thinking about benching our two time Super Bowl MVP quarterback, take on a bunch of bad PR, and then fly to the Bay Area to play the Raiders with Geno Smith at the wheel.  As I recall, Geno worked there for a few years.  Would you call him a good employee?  He what?  You don’t say…  Really? Hmmm…”

I am not betting on teams at this point.  I am betting against teams.  I am going to tie these two games together on a tease as well as bet them straight.  Tennessee money line.  Oakland money line.  Tennessee -1/Oakland -2

Season Record:  14-15-1