Saturday, February 2, 2019

Nurse the Hate: The Only Super Bowl Preview You Need

On January 14th, 1973 I got punched in the nose by a girl so hard I saw stars and bled all over the floor.  Allow me to explain.  I know the date as I went with my father to his co-worker’s house to watch the Miami Dolphins beat the crap out of the overmatched Redskins in Super Bowl VII.  It looked like the Redskins had some life when Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian threw what still holds up as the meekest interception in league history for a pick six, but the Dolphins got right back to work grinding and won 14-7.  I was holding a towel to my embarrassed face for most of the 3rd quarter, but I still remember that.

As a six-year-old, I had limited experience with girls, notwithstanding a scandal when my parents discovered my neighbor Sandy and I naked in my closet of my bedroom as we inspected each other’s genitalia.  She, like me, was about six years old, so this was not like a Cinemax movie.  This was science.  I was equally as intrigued by her folds as she was with my cocktail frank sized penis.  I would have liked to have known at the time that this would be as close as I would get to female sex organs for well over the next decade.  One thing I do recall was Sandy’s mother freaking out as we emerged from the closet without pants and still in our shoes.  I think whenever a boy in black shoes/without pants pops out of a closet, it puts people on edge.  I don’t hold a grudge against Sandy’s mother.

After Sandy was placed in exile and never to be seen again, that left my interaction with females as almost exclusively as “being treated cruelly by classmates”.  My social value system at that time was largely guided by episodes of The Brady Bunch and playground justice.  None of my neighborhood pals had sisters.  It was all creepy little boys like me.  It was good for wiffleball, bad for long term social skills.  When I met my father’s co-worker’s daughter, this was like being thrown together with a cellmate in a foreign prison.  It was just us, and we were expected to play together.  “Hmm… I have heard of these strange creatures.  She will want to play with dolls or perhaps have a tea set according to the documentaries I have seen on television.”

It turned out that this young lady was quite the athlete.  The top floor of the house had a gym in it, outfitted well beyond what was normal at that time.  I remember wrestling mats, medicine balls, ropes, etc.  I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do with her as she was “just a girl”.  Certainly, physical sports like wrestling or throwing stuff at each other was out of the question as she was “the delicate sex”.  She suggested we each put on one of the boxing gloves and spar with each other. “Nahh…” I tried to play it off like I had just knocked off a speed bag workout this morning training for a Joe Frazier fight.  She insisted.  “Nah…”  Then the gauntlet was thrown.  “What?  Are you chicken?”

This was akin to being asked if you were “a bitch” in the prison yard.  There was no way I would have my manhood judged in such a manner.  I put on one of the gloves.  There were two problems that immediately came to light.  1.  I had never boxed.  2.  What was I supposed to do?  I was taught by The Brady Bunch and probably my parents not to hit girls.  I started to consider my options when it happened.  Pow!  I got hit squarely in the nose with a crisp jab that would have drawn praise from Hector “Macho” Camacho.  My nose made a crunching sound.  I saw stars.  I reflexively had tears running out of my eyes.  I started to bleed.  That ended the boxing.  It probably took four seconds.  If I had a car, I would have driven home.  Instead there was more humiliation.  “Dad!  We were boxing and now he is crying and has a bloody nose!”  The Dads looked at me like I was a pussy.  I had my head tilted back by the other Dad as they stared at the Dolphins and drank Schlitz.  That is my earliest Super Bowl memory.

My focus on Super Bowl Sunday is now entirely on gambling, drinking to excess, and eating too much.  It’s the American Dream.  I am not even betting on the game itself, but instead focusing on the myriad of parlays available.  The game is essentially a wilderness of mirrors with a series of strobe lights going off at every angle.  In theory the Rams are the better team.  They have better personnel, great coaching, and are now rolling into their prime.  But, what are you going to do?  Bet against Brady/Belichick?  I mean, gun to my head I bet on the Rams and take the points as they should probably be favored, but I’m not wading into those waters.  Somehow the Patriots will win and Tom Brady will holding that trophy up in the air trying to look surprised.

I am going to take UNDER 10.5 in the first quarter.  The Patriots have been in eight Super Bowls.  In those games they have scored a grand total of 3 points in the first quarter.  After losing Josh Gordon, they have become a “run first” team with short passes on crossing routes in long time consuming drives.  Even if they get the ball and score, I look for them to grind out clock.  Additionally, teams hit the first quarter jacked up on nerves.  No one wants to make “the big mistake”.  It takes a bit for the game to settle in.  I love the UNDER 10.5.

With that in mind, I will also take “No/Will either team score in the first five minutes” at -165.  The Rams when winning the toss have deferred the kick every time this season.  As the Patriots will likely dink and dunk, it will be tough to get down the field in less than 5 minutes.  What can kill me here is if some long snapper gets The Yips and hikes it over the punter’s head for a safety.  I don't want to be crazed screaming profanity at a long snapper or punter, but I will melt down if this scenario unfolds.  Still, at -165, I will take that chance.

I am also getting on the Under 1.5 yards for the shortest TD of the game.  The over under suggests that this game will have seven tuochdowns.  15% of all touchdowns are one yard.  Think of all the pass interference calls in the end zone placing the ball at the one.  The math suggests that this should be at -210, but I am in on this at -140.  This is what sports gambling is all about.  Grinding away at math looking for small values.           

When I look at the Patriots, I get confused as to who is going to be getting all of these Brady passes.  As usual, their receiving corps looks thin, especially with Gronk being the shadow of the player he once was.  Julian Edelman is "the guy".  That little ball of hate manages to get open on every big passing down.  The entire stadium knows he is getting the pass, but it doesn't seem to matter.  Since 2013, Edelman has averaged 12.4 targets per playoff game.  I don't see any reason for that to change on Sunday.  I am getting on the Edelman OVER 6.5 catches.

The fear is if Pap Pap gets into the hooch early and wanders into the comparative sports wagering lines.  I have a terrible vision of myself all boozed up madly clicking wagers like "Steph Curry total points -1.5 vs Patriots total points scored".  Or maybe "Shortest Field Goal -2.5 vs Jimmy Butler points from field".  At that point you might as well bet on "No...Will Adam Levine wear hat" or "Under... Gladys Knight national anthem time".  If anyone sees me by a laptop over the next 36 hours, please have a six year old girl snap a punch into my nose so I see stars and start crying.  Ultimately, that's what Super Bowl Sunday is all about.


At February 3, 2019 at 9:05:00 AM EST , Blogger Bobdontgiveaf#ck said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At February 3, 2019 at 9:11:00 AM EST , Blogger Bobdontgiveaf#ck said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At February 3, 2019 at 2:11:00 PM EST , Blogger Bobdontgiveaf#ck said...

I offer no apologies for cluttering this comment section with my deleted remarks. That is all.

At February 3, 2019 at 11:19:00 PM EST , Blogger Mike Scott said...

I only wish I had seen them before they were gone.

At February 4, 2019 at 6:36:00 AM EST , Blogger Greg Miller said...

Not bad, huh? And that TD should have been from the one...

At February 4, 2019 at 6:33:00 PM EST , Blogger AZ said...

Beat me to the punch, but those wagers were almost like the new soothsayer Tony Romo. It was 1.49 yards, so no clue why thy put it at 2.

Probably out of spite, or you now know what your knockout artist neighbor does for a living.


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