Thursday, October 27, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Costume Contest

On Halloween when I was in second grade, we had a costume contest and parade in my school. My mother, who had the homemaking skills of a 19 year old college boy, sent me out in a store bought Spiderman outfit. This being the 70s, the costume consisted of a plastic mask and a pull on smock made of a synthetic material that later turned out to be so flammable that it was used as fuel in the early launches of the Space Shuttle. I was under no illusion that I would win the contest, but like a born again Christian QB in a sideline interview, I was “just happy to be there”.

Other kids had amazing costumes that their mothers had painstakingly made over weeks. In some cases, the kids had their mothers come to the school to help them prep for their triumphant walk around the playground in the upcoming parade. Seriously, it was like we were shooting a Hollywood film. Kids stood still while their mothers, and in some cases a team of assistants, put together their creations. “Jane! Jane! Where are the bobby pins? Alan’s cape is coming off! It will NEVER HOLD!” I sheepishly looked on plucking the rubber band of my plastic mask.

As showtime neared, we noticed that the teachers were trying to quietly shuffle one of the other students off. My friend Michael hadn’t changed into his costume, and looked a little bummed out. While over stimulated kids ran around and shrieked, he looked downtrodden as our teacher (the leggy Miss Volmer) put her arm around his shoulder and started to guide him out of the room. Just then the PA opened up with an announcement from the stern principal.

“Michael Schultz, Tina Stevens, and Lisa Phillips please report to the brown activity area in the basement. All other children, please report to the playground for candy apples, games, and the costume parade.”

The announcement was very matter of fact. I think our principal saw himself as a “tough but fair” leader, which is great since he was bossing around 7 year olds. My fellow students and I became abuzz with this developmental turn. “Why isn’t Michael in a costume? Where is he going? Where is the brown activity area? Is that the room with the spiders near the janitor’s closet?” These were the things we wanted to know.

This was the day I learned what a Jehovah’s Witness was. My understanding was that the Jehovah’s Witness kids could not celebrate Halloween, Christmas, or their birthdays. Their parents had signed them up for a religion that allowed no fun whatsoever. This was a tough break. I remember seeing Michael looking over his shoulder for a last glance at the fun he wasn’t even allowed to see. The door closed on him as he was led down the hall. I joined my other friends, and got a candy apple. I later lost the costume contest.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate The Friendly Skies

There was once a time when traveling on an airplane was special, and people dressed like they were going to be in public with other human beings. You would enter the magic tube, have a cordial flight, and set out on a great adventure wherever your plane gracefully set down its glistening silver wings. Sure, there was a “smoking section” on the plane, which is roughly like having a smoking section in a Chevrolet Suburban, but they were different times. Try flying someplace now. Now it’s like a half step above being in a bus station in Toledo. Enjoy dodging sexual deviants and swarthy mentally retarded foreigners from impossible to distinguish lands. Pay $11 for a stale turkey sandwich. Have a $9 beer. Midway Airport isn’t really that much different from that bar in the first Star Wars movie except Midway has more annoying security and worse food.

One of my major beefs is that as our society continues to become more about individual comfort and less about empathy, people feel that airline travel is now akin to a slumber party in the sky. Who the fuck was the first person to decide it was OK to wear pajama bottoms in public? Cotton PJ pants with colorful characters and designs should be worn by six year olds waiting for stories and mental patients that have hopped a fence at a nearby facility. 23 year old girls should have form fitting pants or a sundress on. A simple rule of thumb for the ladies should be, if a man is pulling your pants off and these pants make him wonder if he is committing a crime against a minor, perhaps you need to step up the old wardrobe.

Beef number 2… I am not a large man. I would say I am very average in a staggering number of ways. That being the case, why do airline seats in coach make me feel like I am a starting defensive tackle for the Rams? I sat next to some dude on a flight last week that was probably about 5-7 and 165 pounds. He and I had to take turns shifting in our seats like serpents so we could put our backs in a normal position. How much could it possibly cost to make airplanes another three feet wider and give everyone another six inches of width? Don’t even make me get into a flight I had next to a farting Samoan in 2007. I was wedged into the window seat like an old sock in a hamper while that guy rained farts down on me like the Nasal Apocalypse.

Beef number 3… Why does it take so long for people to get on/off the plane? Seats are arranged in the most simple grid system imaginable, yet every flight I am on there is some jackoff that can’t seem to find their seat. “Uh, I think you’re in my seat there buddy.” Even more incredibly, people can’t get off the plane. It takes me 2-5 seconds to get out of my seat and under way. I stand. I grab the bag from the overhead. I walk forward. If it takes 20 minutes to get people off a plane that has comfortably landed, do you think you’d have a chance in hell if you came skidding down into a cornfield? You’d be trapped in your flaming seat while some elderly woman poked around the overheads trying to figure out where she put her carry-on, and double checked her gate assignment at her layover. I would bet you I could get 25 house cats into a Southwest Flight before I could get 25 random people I plucked from Potbellies Sandwich Works at Midway.

Beef number 4… The Airport has become the bottom rung for employable people in the United States. It is a shocking contrast between flying out of the cordial efficient Barcelona Airport and landing at JFK. At Barcelona, the employees are knowledgeable and have social graces, despite the fact they are conversing with you in their second language. At JFK, it isn’t clear if anyone working there has any grasp on any language, much less a basic understanding of human interaction. JFK may consider hiring on a bunch of chimps to cut costs as well as potentially increase efficiency. When I was last in JFK, the bathrooms had standing water. When they lost my bag, the three attendants on duty couldn’t stop clowning around with each other long enough to track my bag. The lazy eyed endomorph at security spoke to me, and said “Muma Fa Muma Na”. It wasn’t much help. Your average Taco Bell has stricter hiring policies, and better leadership. JFK should consider getting that 16 year old kid with the headset at the Parma OH Taco Bell in there. She could clean that situation up.

The one thing to keep in mind? It’s still better than taking a Greyhound.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate Tony LaRussa

I am a baseball fan. Yes, I am one of the roughly 4.6% of the population that is watching the World Series with great interest. Why even more people will watch the Colts play whoever the hell is going to kick the crap out of them on Sunday night is perplexing to me. They will though. A meaningless NFL game will have a bigger audience than the Series in 2011 America. That's a shame. The World Series is for all the marbles baby, and when a story is this big the media has to create some good side stories. My personal favorite is the “Tony LaRussa is a Genius” narrative.

Even if you’re not totally on board with watching the Cards and Rangers play, you owe it to yourself to watch any random 30 minutes of coverage on Fox Television. While Tony LaRussa walks out to make a sensible and routine lineup change, Tim McCarver and Joe Buck act like he may have finally cracked the code for colon cancer.

Tim McCarver: “And there goes the Chessmaster Tony LaRussa to substitute .243 hitter Skip Schumaker for relief pitcher Arthur Rhodes here in the eighth. Look at him pull the strings!”

Joe Buck: “And it looks like Ron Washington is left to scratch himself for fleas like some kind of chimp Tim!”

McCarver: “What chance does Washington have to hope to match up against Tony LaRussa? It’s like he sat down at a chess board with Bobby Fucking Fisher!”

Perhaps the best part is how LaRussa has slipped on this persona like a comfortable robe. He answers questions in a distracted slightly irritated air, as if he has been interrupted doing mental gymnastics on how to gain a slight statistical edge by batting the starting pitcher third ahead of Pujols. Watch the coverage... Two seconds after they speak with the Sage of The Game, the cameras cut to Ron Washington, who is inevitably chewing on a toothpick looking like a guy about to hit you up for change outside the bus station. Frankly, they do everything but flash the word “cocaine” above Ron Washington’s head when he is on camera.

I have seen LaRussa manage himself right out of games, churning through his lineup in 8 innings and leaving himself with a backup catcher on the mound and a trainer hitting cleanup in extra innings. Let’s not dwell on that, or on his questionable results with an unbelievably stacked A’s team some years ago. The World Series is a TV event, and it is important to have an easily understandable cast of characters for the casual fan to tune into and watch Fox sold Taco Bell ads.

Managing a baseball team at the major league level can’t be easy. The players are assholes for the most part. Their agents are douchebags. The fans hate you when you aren’t winning. Newspaper guys take cheap shots. Hell, I’m taking cheap shots and I’m a guy that sings for a rock band. But, let’s have some perspective… Managing a baseball team on gameday is not that difficult. Take the pitcher out when he isn’t effective. If the new guy you put in isn’t effective, take him out too. Your batter doesn’t hit lefties well? Put in one that does. If a guy has hit a pitcher in the past, he just might hit him well again. If the guy you put in gets a hit on The Big Stage like the World Series, you are a genius. What happened Wednesday night? The guy LaRussa put in got a hit to win it. You know what Tony LaRussa is? That’s right. He’s a genius.

Quick Hits: I like Wisconsin -8 tomorrow. Michigan State always folds up like a cheap tent when they actually have something on the line. I think Wisconsin is going to go in there and shove them around… LSU might be better than the St Louis Rams. Then again, so might Auburn. Take Auburn +23…. It’s time for the Chargers to lose a game they should win. Take the Jets +2, even though they are the most overrated team in the NFL thanks to playing in the largest media market on the planet.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate The Plumbing Problem

Horrifying hillbilly story I heard today: A plumber was called out to a house that reported rapidly rising water in their basement. The plumber arrived to find the owners of the house concerned, telling him that the water was almost ready to reach the top of the basement stairs. The plumber walked to the basement door, and the smell made him gag before he could even open the door. He went outside to get a mask, and started to become very concerned about what he would find.

When he opened the door to the basement it became obvious this was no garden variety leak. The water was brown and was almost cresting to the top stair, the water currently just four steps below the doorway. The smell was horrible. This was obviously untreated sewage. It made him gag, and this was a man that routinely hauled sanitary napkins from shit stained pipes. Then he noticed something moving across the top of the water at the far end of the basement. He was worried it was a rat, as the house wasn't exactly the cleanest he had been to that day. It disappeared, and then re-appeared right in front of him. It was a ten year old boy, blowing water out of his mouth, and using the basement like a new indoor recreation facility.

The plumber freaked out, pulled off his mask, and yelled at the father. "You have to get him out of there! That's untreated human waste!". The father, cracking open a Natural Light, said, "Aw, it's OK. It's just like a swimming pool in the basement. He's got my permission." The plumber started to yell at the father about calling social services, and that sort of thing, as the father chuckled while the boy emerged from the six foot deep shit water in his basement.

This is now the plumber's go-to story for "the worst he's ever seen".

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Occupy Wall Street

I can’t help but feeling many of the people involved in the “Occupy Wall Street” movement across this country are the same people that complained as kids when things didn’t go their way. Of course, it doesn’t really help that there doesn’t appear to be a cohesive point to this thing, except to get across the basic point of “I don’t have enough money, and I should get more. It’s unfair.” You knew that when all those years of praising kids regardless of outcome, and giving every kid a trophy in recreational soccer would come back to bite you in the ass sooner or later, didn’t you? “Billy, your team finished eighth, but you sure tried! Here’s a trophy just like the winners got!” Life is competitive. There are winners and there are losers. If you can’t figure out how to win, complaining that the game is unfair isn’t going to help. You better find an edge. Also, if you are going to complain, at least complain about something worth complaining about. It’s all a matter of focus.

If everyone took to the streets to hang Wall Street Criminals from lamp posts, I could get behind that. A little guillotine action in the Financial District would straighten a lot of that shit out. That smarmy investment shyster will think twice about cooking the books and leaving people like you and me out to dry if his head ended up on a pike if he got caught. Ivy League students aren’t exactly known for embracing physical challenges and mass violence. (See War, Vietnam) As it is now, everyone in the system covers everyone else’s ass. The angry mob with torches storming Goldman Sachs will probably keep those pussies in line more than a fine and stern talk. But this isn’t about that is it?

This appears to be every person that spent their early twenties on a friend’s couch smoking weed defending why they weren’t going to class/work gathered in one place. How do you know there are some folks detached from The Real World? The bongo drum. When you see a drum circle form, you are going to get some very naïve ideas about how the world works. “Hey man, there’s enough for all of us. Let’s share all the resources. You go grow some wheat. Have your buddy make the flour. Have someone else make some bread. I’ll be here making love with my new special friend “Star Shine”. Bring us some bread when you’re done working.”

Sometimes it makes me feel like one of those crewcut Union guys that wanted to bash hippies in the head in 1968. Of course, the main difference between 1968 and now is a unified tangible purpose. In 1968 an entire generation wanted to end a senseless war that was killing their friends. In 2011 some ex-Starbucks employees want to be able to get a new iPhone and X-box without having to work that hard to get it. It’s pretty hard to get excited about that, much less write a good protest song about that. People overthrow governments when they can’t eat, not when they can’t eat at Ruth Chris Steakhouse.

The bottom line is that some people have more than others. The people that have the wealth write the rules to make sure they keep the wealth. That was true in 1612 and it’s going to be true in 2012.

P.S. I have been writing sports crap for Defend Cleveland. Check out my take on Peyton Hillis here

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Quick Picks

OK, so I have been batting about .500 so far. Today doesn't look like it will help. It's a wilderness of mirrors out there. The oddsmakers have the teams pretty well figured, and even more importantly, they have the public figured. The lines are not so much a reflection on how good a team is but rather how good the public thinks they are. That's why I really like Tennessee +3.5 today over Pittsburgh. Tennessee looks like a legit 10-6 team, and Pittsburgh looks like an injury riddled 8-8 team. Matt Hasselback is healthy for the Titans, and now is the time to bet on him as he'll only be healthy for another 23 minutes. That man has had more injuries than Evel Knievel, but right now is successfully held together by tape. Take advantage of people thinking Pittsburgh is still the AFC Champ.

I think Houston will win the AFC South. If you are going to win the AFC South, you probably need to beat Oakland at home. I'm sure much will be made to "Win One For Al" in the Raider media, but I don't think a bunch of stupid guys in their twenties give a shit about some 80 year old leathery white guy that looked like the Cryptkeeper. I like Houston -4.5.

The Carolina/New Orleans over under is 51.5. That seems too low, doesn't it? It seems impossible that these two track star teams don't wind up in a 34-31 shootout. Drew Brees will probably drop 31 on Carolina by halftime, right? I see Cam Newton highlights on SportsCenter every time I jump on the treadmill. Everyone knows this game will be high scoring, don't they? That's why I am on the UNDER 51.5.

I watch the Chargers a lot at 4:00. I envision myself one day standing around in that sky blue gear knocking back Ballast Point IPAs in the parking lot singing that disco "San Diego SuperChargers!" song. I will live in La Jolla and have no apparent source of income, but yet wear $900 shorts. I will wonder, like everyone in Southern California, why the Chargers can have so much talent on paper but still can't seem to win big games. I think it is so friggin laid back out there, it seeps into the football team. Out in the Midwest, we freak out if our teams lose. In SoCal, people go to the beach and smoke weed. This week San Diego goes to Denver. They should kill the Broncos on paper. The Broncos are awful. They won't though. In typical Charger fashion, they will play to the level of their competition. I like Denver +4.5.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate Saturday

Penn State and Ohio State are the same thing. Like two Football Wal Marts, each provides the rural residents surrounding the franchise locations with weekend distraction. Like a Wal Mart, you know what you are going to get, in this case nine or so wins and a Bowl Game. It is comforting, like knowing that a McDonald’s cheeseburger tastes the same in State College PA as it does in Oslo Norway. Every year the leaves change color and fall, and every year Penn State loses to Iowa.

I don’t know how I never noticed this before, but Iowa is 8-1 in their last 9 vs Penn State. I am not talking about being 8-1 against the spread. They are 8-1 outright. Iowa is usually pretty good, but not that good. Iowa is like Herman’s Hermits while Penn State is the Yardbirds. And in this case, it is like Herman’s Hermits blows the Yardbirds off the stage every show. “Fucking Peter Noone cartwheeled off the stage belting out “I’m Into Something Good” while on fire! I couldn’t believe it!” I am taking Iowa +4.5 and the under. If it happened 8 of the last 9 years, it has a pretty good chance of happening again, right?

The Ohio State franchise just can’t get past this tattoo scandal. Their best receiver got suspended another 5 games because he was allegedly overpaid by $700 for work he did over the summer. I think $700 is what a pair of tickets cost to the OSU/Michigan game in the lower bowl. Don't worry about that. Let's take away the meaning in that kid's life so we can pretend college football is once again “clean”. Whew! I’m glad that got fixed. Now we can get on with the rich college football tradition of Big 10 Football, where Ohio State goes on the road to play one of the 12 teams in the Big 10, in this case Nebraska.

Nebraska, another Wal Mart franchise, should handle the Buckeyes. That is being held as an absolute truth. That worries me, but let’s move on and ask ourselves, “Can Ohio State stop Nebraska?”. If they can, we’ll have to go with the under. Ohio State is incapable of scoring against grown ups. All their heavily tattooed good guys are gone, and now they are left with the guys that haven’t got their free tattoos yet. That hasn’t gone too well so far. I am going OSU/Nebraska UNDER 45.

I don't have any information on Rutgers. I don't really know anything about Pitt. What I do know is that these two teams are pretty much the same. Pitt is pretty good. Rutgers is pretty good. Nothing to get too excited about. Rutgers is at home getting seven? OK, I'll take a flier on that. Rutgers +7.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate The Facebook

There was a friend of mine that went to a house party. He didn’t drive, as he could be counted on to always (and I mean always) drink to excess. He used to drive to parties, but after he wrapped his Camaro around a tree, he had someone else drive. He was pragmatic in that respect.

At this particular party there was the usual crowd. The “usual crowd” was probably a lot like most people’s “usual crowds”. There was the heavy pot smoker guy in the weird cap with the strange leather satchel hung around his neck. I always wonder what is in that little leather sack. Magic crystals? Magic beans? I know it is something magic, I just could never get to the bottom of what it might be. He was a guy that had records by bands no one else listened to like Hawkwind, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and Moby Grape.

There were the two brothers that drank astounding amounts of alcohol to no apparent effect. “Dude, the Kraus Brothers drank three cases of Utica Club on their own on the drive over!” Riding in the back seat was their buddy who took anything in search of a buzz. In this case, it was a guy named Les that told me he ate the insides of a Vick’s Inhaler. “Man, you trip really hard. The one bummer is that you throw up for 14 hours beforehand.” He had the habit of swiping his Mom’s heart medication and combining it with cough syrup, children’s aspirin, and Aqua Velva. He was a guy that missed 4 days of school when he took something called a "Nine Way Unicorn".

The women’s auxiliary was there too. The two chain-smoking girls with the heavy eye makeup that spoke exclusively to themselves whispered in conspiratorial tones in the corner. Everyone knew their names, but not for sure which was Lisa and which was Nancy. They were friends with the very pretty delicate girl that found herself in this house party of degenerates probably due to the dumb luck of being placed in the wrong Brownie Tribe 12 years earlier. Had she lived in another neighborhood, she'd probably be playing squash at Yale instead of smoking weed from a Pepsi can. There was also Tammy, the heavy girl that compensated for her lack of physical attraction by blowing most of the other guys I knew in the zip code. She was generally VERY popular from 11p-2a on most Friday and Saturday nights, and much less so in the harsh light of morning.

My friend zeroed in on Big Game. He zeroed in Lori. She was the ring leader. She was a woman that found a home in this crowd by being generally acknowledged to be the smartest in the room, but suffered from low self-esteem. This usually led her to be involved in sexually awkward situations with young men she didn’t know very well in stranger’s spare bedrooms. This was the case at this particular house party.

My friend had somehow convinced Lori it was a good idea to go upstairs and “talk”. Within a few minutes, he had removed Lori’s sweater and jeans, and had begun the time-honored tradition of bargaining for further sexual advances. As I recall, he told me he went with the somehow effective “just the tip” strategy. I know almost anyone reading this has either used or fallen prey to the “just the tip” technique. To review, this is when a man suggests he inserts “just the tip” of his penis into the vagina, therefore reducing the significance and potential negative fallout of this sexual congress. As it is “just the tip”, it is almost not worth mentioning,. “Let’s see if we like it, and then maybe we can try it.” This always, and I will hold to “always”, results in full sexual intercourse.

As expected, my friend was involved in casual thrusting into Lori after his successful “just the tip” gambit. What was unexpected was the Kraus Brothers announcing they knew of a party and wanted to leave immediately as this party was now dry. They could drink a lot of beer those boys… They dispatched the driver to alert my friend they were leaving and if he wanted a ride, he better get out of the stranger’s bedroom and get downstairs. Bang! Bang! Bang! “Dude! We’re bailing! You want a ride, you better get your ass out here!”

The word I heard to describe Lori afterward was “disappointed” when she realized that my friend had pulled his penis out of her, and threw his pants on with a “Gotta go!” and was, in fact, leaving prior to “finishing”. Very socially awkward and probably a blow to a young lady’s confidence. Certainly not good for a young man’s reputation with the ladies either.

Through the wonder of The Facebook I saw a picture of Lori today. She was sitting next to her well scrubbed children, smiling a full healthy smile. Her chunky face showed a life of weekend cookouts, lunchroom birthday cakes, and Blooming Onion appetizers. She looked like Everybody Else. Yet all I could think about was when my buddy pulled his wiener out of her because he needed a ride. Helluva thing a good memory.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Sunday Funday

I was up very late last night playing rock music. I went to sleep at a ridiculous hour and then was awoken at an even more ridiculous hour by a basset hound that was very insistent that I enjoy this morning with her. I now have a game plan of mowing the back grass and then being absorbed by the couch and letting a full day of NFL Football wash over me in a tidal wave of razor, beer, and erectile dysfunction ads. I may only move only once, and that is if I have to produce solid waste. If not, I may just urinate into any spare drinking glasses nearby and watch my surefire locks roll in, making me tens of dollars. It is a glamorous life being in a indie cowboy punk band my friends.

I like Pittsburgh today +3.5 over Houston. Yes, the Texans look like they may finally fulfill the annual speculation that after having 10 consecutive years of Top 6 draft picks, they have assembled some talent. Yes, Pittsburgh has looked terrible getting blown out by the Ravens and slipping by a Colt team that is a step above Rutgers. However, the Steelers are the defending AFC Champs, right? They can't be as bad as they appear, can they? I do know they have had ten turnovers vs getting one their way. That'll kill ya. Mark my words, that extra half point will be the difference. Pittsburgh +3.5.

The Buffalo Bills are on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Everyone is very excited talking about how the Bills are undefeated, and NO ONE saw this coming. You know what? The reason that no one saw this coming was because they aren't really this good. I see a letdown after they finally defeated their Goliath in the Patriots last week. The entire gambling community is on Buffalo -3. That's all I need to hear. My #1 rule is, and always will be, if the Public thinks one thing, it is ALWAYS the other. Cincinnati +3.

I think the lack of sleep and copious amounts of Avery IPA I had last night have led me to investing in San Francisco +10. I think the Eagles are all hype, and they have a ton of injuries. Their defense is a fucking mess. Meanwhile San Francisco has a really good D, and should keep this close. I say this knowing full well that the 49er offense is completely incapable of scoring from anywhere on the field. Maybe they'll block a punt or something. I dunno, but I am on SF +10.

I am concerned because money is starting to pour in on Tennessee over Cleveland today. I am even more concerned because I agree. Having lived in NE Ohio for all these years, I can smell a Browns letdown, and this has all the earmarks. The Titans can't run the ball, and it is gusty as hell outside, making the passing game an adventure. I feel like this is going to be one of those "Browns can't do anything on offense, what happened to the rushing defense?" days at Browns Stadium. Let me use technical terms. The Browns kind of suck. After a last second win over a sketchy Dolphins team, they will probably lose in similar heartbreaking fashion today. It's the way it goes when you "kinda suck". Tennessee -1.

I am taking the Raiders +6.5 because of perceptions. If I am not mistaken, people think the script today will be this; "Patriots Right Ship After Tough Loss, Raiders Exposed As Losers, Al Davis Looks More Like Cryptkeeper". That is why Vegas builds giant hotels that look like pyramids and losers like that guy near you at work go home with stolen hotel slippers. I am going against the script and taking Oakland +6.5. I think they have too much defense, and their running game should keep Brady off the field. I may even take a flier on the money line if I can stay awake until 4.

I am having a hard time thinking why I shouldn't take the Brewers or the Phillies today. Greinke has been awesome for Milwaukee since August, and the Brewers don't lose at home. Sure I hate the Brewers marketing department, and I have yet to receive my Rickie Weeks bobblehead that I purchased in a moment of weakness, but that doesn't mean I won't bet on them. I would have bet on Germany over Poland in 1939 if I could have gotten a line on it. Sorry, I digress. I'm on Milwaukee. Cliff Lee is money, and he'll pound the strike zone today. Why the Cards feel the need to pitch Carpenter on short rest is beyond me. Maybe we'll get a chance to see "genius" manager Tony LaRussa manage the Cards right out of the game with a double switch in the third inning that somehow leaves Jake Westbrook batting after Pujols, and Skip Schumaker in long relief. Give me Philadelphia all day.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Rainy Saturday Action

You know it is a rainy and grim morning when the first thing I focus on is the Air Force v Navy game. I have rather mixed feelings about betting on an Armed Service Academy after the disaster with Army last week. (Army managed zero completions against Ball State last Saturday. I am fairly certain Ball State didn't run out Revis and Charles Woodson to play corner either. How is that even possible?) However, let's shake that off. When it is shitty Navy vs shitty Air Force, it is worth a look. Air Force is 1-10 in their last 11 vs Navy. That's hard to believe as both of those team generally blow. Even more noteworthy Air Force's last road win over Navy was in 1997. That's a long time ago. Elton John's "Candle In the Wind" was the #1 song. "Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place" was a show television executives thought would work. 9-11 was 4 years away. Like I said, that was a long time ago. I am guessing that if Air Force hasn't won at Navy since then, they won't do it today either, especially with four defensive starters hurt. Take Navy -3.

I am continuing with my quest to bet against the University of Akron football team at every opportunity. Akron won last week, in a game that offered no line. To put that in perspective, you can get a line on the Miss Universe pageant or who is going to win Dancing With the Stars. You can bet on ANYTHING, yet that game was such a joke last week even Vegas wouldn't throw a line out. That is why I am so excited to see Eastern Michigan -8.5 against Akron today. Eastern Michigan has the marketing tag line of "Education First". I hope it's "Football Second". I think even "Football Third" will be enough to cover 8.5. Eastern Michigan -8.5.

Bowling Green gets to play West Virginia today after WVU got knocked around by LSU on national TV last week. This thing could play out two ways. It could be the "Let's beat the crap out of the MAC team to take our frustration out on last week's loss". It could also be "Let's not focus on this week's team we are taking too lightly and instead talk about what the hell happened last week". That's what I think will happen. It's Bowling Green? Who pays attention to Bowling Green? It's a flat campus outside Toledo with the architectural charm of 1952 Leipzig Germany. It's everyone's "safety school" in Ohio. "Yeah man, I hope I get into OSU, but if I don't I know I'm in at BG. I could live with Randy and shit." However, Bowling Green has a sneaky good football team. Bowling Green is 3-1 with a one point loss to Wyoming. Will they beat West Virginia? No way. But 19 points is way too many. Take Bowling Green +19.

I am thinking about taking Kent +16.5. This goes against one of the cardinal rules of gambling, Thou Shalt Never Take Kent State On Thy Road. I think the Pilgrims wrote that. I don't remember. I went to Kent, and we didn't cover a lot of stuff like that. I do know this though. Kent is at Ohio University, and that's not exactly a real juggernaut football powerhouse either. But Kent is 6-2 against the spread in their last eight vs. Ohio. Kent is also 5-0 in their last 5 in Athens. I hear the powerful echo voice in my head saying "Noooooo!!!!", but those trends are hard to ignore.

The books have the Phillies with Roy Halladay at -215 to make the price so high you won't risk it. A couple things to consider. Kyle Lohse, the Cardinals starter, has been back to being "Kyle Lohse" after a early season stint as Steve Carlton. He is very hittable right now. Roy Halladay, on the other hand, is a fucking machine. In an awful outing he gives up 4. That is if he has no control or velocity. He is an unfeeling strike machine. So ask yourself this... Can the Phillies score five off of Lohse and a dodgy Cards bullpen? I think they can. Phillies at (gulp) -215.