Sunday, November 29, 2020

Nurse the Hate: Pass The Dressing and the Covid or NFL Week 12


The pandemic has reached an interesting point.  After weeks of Americans solidifying their position of "not giving a fuck", hospitals are overflowing, death totals are hitting records and most importantly, the Denver Broncos don't have a healthy QB for a game that goes off in about four hours.  The highest levels of infections are in the Dakotas/Montana/Idaho, an area of the country that firmly believes in the alternate reality put forth by noted grifter and failed casino mogul Donald Trump.  A friend of mine that was visiting the region told me he was the only wearing a mask or taking any precautions what so ever once he drove past Chicago.  Thus, it is not exactly shocking that the Broncos don't have a QB this week.  What is shocking is that the NFL is forcing them to play today, not even delaying the game for a couple days to see how some covid tests shake out.  Insiders are reporting that the league is tired of teams ignoring protocols, and will not only make Denver play the game but also take a 2021 draft pick.  What does this mean to you?  Well, as soon as this news began to swirl around, The Cheetah got on the New Orleans Saints at -9.5.  The line has skyrocketed to Saints -16.5, but that still seems reasonable in that Denver will either start a wide receiver or running back at QB after the NFL told them they couldn't start an assistant coach.  The Saints defense, quietly becoming one of the league's best, will probably be difficult to score on for a guy playing the toughest position in all of sports that has had roughly 12 hours to prepare.  Saints at whatever you can get it at.

Things change quickly in covid life.  On Tuesday the Ravens +4.5 seemed like a pretty good pick.  Now a few days later, twenty (20) Ravens players are on the Covid Inactive list including all of their noteworthy skill position players.  I am thinking that a team that has been struggling that has 20 of their 52 players unavailable might have a tough time against an undefeated Steelers team with extra time to prepare.  Once again, The Cheetah was on this at Steelers -4.5, but perhaps -10 is a bit too rich for your blood?  Please allow your mind to ease when you reflect that RG3 of the Ravens is playing in his first noteworthy game since being destroyed in his first Browns start versus the Bears about a hundred years ago.  The Ravens are busy calling guys they have only seen on tape and trying to figure out if they have a uniform to fit them.  They're in a bad spot.  Why not parlay this game with the Saints and make it Pitt/Saints

Nobody in their right mind would bet on the Philadelphia Eagles right now.  They look absolutely terrible, and they are either going to start shellshocked Carson Wentz or untested rookie Jalen Hurts behind a grim offensive line that allowed the piece of shit Browns D-line look like the Fearsome Foursome last week.  However, I am a big believer in buying low and selling high.  The Public LOVES Seattle and perceives Russell Wilson to always win close games.  Wilson has not played very well down the stretch, and Seattle's defense has been historically bad.  I think this is one of those games where the NFL throws you a curve.  I might be out on an island on this, but I am taking Philadelphia +6.  

One more quick one...  The Jets are terrible.  They might be as bad as that 0-16 Browns team.  They go out each week with no chance to win as long as Flacco starts.  Last week Joe Flacco completed 36% of his passes before garbage time.  His expected completion rate was 68%.  They also have no running game.  Or defense.  At no point were they in the game versus the Chargers last week, though as expected the Chargers allowed a back door cover.   The bad news for the Jets is that they are playing Miami, a much better team than the Chargers.  Even worse is the Dolphins are starting Fitzpatrick again as Tua has been a tad "raw" shall we say.  Fitzmagic is a MUCH better QB than Tua, and is going to play with a chip on his shoulder after being benched.  Give me Miami-7. 

Season Record:  15-16-1

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Nurse the Hate: Got To Clean The Gutters


Did you hear about that guy Tim I used to work with?  He’s in the hospital.  They thought it was covid, but it turned out it was something else.  They can’t figure it out.  They thought it was like lupus or something like that.  Isn’t lupus the thing that makes your skin go hard like a statue and freezes up your internal organs like cement?  Shit, I can’t remember.  Anyway, this guy is still in the hospital.  He’s been in a coma for four months.  He’s just laying there shitting through a tube.  His wife can’t even go see him because of the covid.  So he’s just there by himself day after day, not getting better and not getting worse.  He’s just laying there with no idea what is going on.  I just thought of him out of the blue when I was thinking about some work I gotta do around the house.  I have to go out and clean those gutters.

Did I tell you about this guy that lives down the street from me?  He’s wound up tight like one of those terriers.  You know those dogs that can’t chill the fuck out and are always in your face?  That’s like this guy.  He spends most days complaining about how he’s getting a raw deal from some other guy to anyone that he can get to listen.  He chews your ear off about how he’s always the one getting screwed.  Then as soon as you walk away, he starts talking shit about you to whoever else wanders by.  This fucking guy is a piece of work.  He’s one of those guys that goes out of his way to tell you, “I’m not someone that calls the cops on people”, and then tells you five different stories about how he called the cops on people.  It’s like he’s talking to you but he’s really trying to convince himself that he did the right thing ratting those other people out to the cops.  I could tell you all about this fucking guy, but I really need to go out and clean those gutters.

I was walking in the woods the other day and I found an old nickel.  It was from 1936.   Something told me to look down and boom, there it was.  It was the craziest thing.  I was on this trail that used to be part of an old electric railroad line.  You can still feel the cinders crunch under your feet.  I guess the thing went out of business in The Depression.  They ripped out the old rails to sell as scrap and just left all the rest. Most people have no idea that an old train line used to run right through there.   I bet that coin I found was someone’s fare.  Probably fell out of their pocket or something.  After all those years, and I found it.  Crazy, right?  I can show you where I found it, but I really gotta go out and clean those gutters.  

Did I tell you what happened the other morning?  I got up and and it was still dark and sorta misty.  You know how that mist rolls off the Lake sometimes, right?  It’s spooky like a horror movie.  So I walked out to my car to get that nickel I was telling you about.  I left it in the ashtray and I didn’t want to forget about it.  I’d be pissed if I handed it away on a takeout coffee or something.  Anyway, I am out in the driveway and I see this dog looking thing, but it’s moving weird, shuffling along like it has a fucked up back or something.  It looks like a scrawny German Shepard.  So I’m staring at it and it hits me.  That’s a coyote!  I see those signs in the park, “beware of coyotes”, but I’ve never seen one.  I heard some stories about how a coyote ate someone’s dog and shit like that, but it’s never someone I actually know.  It’s always one of those stories like “my sister’s stylist’s friend” or whatever.  It’s like when we were in school and someone in this other school far away killed themselves and all the other kids in the class got A’s in the class.  It was never someone you knew personally, but yet everyone knows someone that knows someone that it happened to.  That’s why I’m so psyched that I finally see this coyote.  Then I’m staring at it for a minute and I see it sniffing around the streetlight and I get a better look at it.  It’s just a dog.  Man, I was really disappointed.  Oh well.  I’ll probably see one sooner or later.  Hey, I really need to run.  I got to go clean those gutters.     

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Nurse the Hate: Thanksgiving Galaxy of Wagers


This is an unusual year where Thanksgiving traditions have been upended.  Normally I would be battling a combination of lack of sleep and slight beer hangover as I struggled to get a turkey stuffed after a late night drive back from a gig.  This is one of the first years in memory where I don't feel like I am on tape delay on Thanksgiving morning.  It's odd to be living this life of a normal citizen.  I'm getting softer while Charlie is out in the brush getting stronger.  I wonder if the meal will turn out better this year as I can likely focus on the task at hand instead of having those moments where I am standing dumbstruck trying to remember what it was that I was in the middle of doing.

I think Macy's is still doing their parade.  As these are "unprecedented times" (cue sad piano music), the parade route was made very small to limit the number of people crammed onto the streets.  I always enjoy seeing the D-List celebrities that are hired to MC the event, vainly trying to pump life into seeing a giant balloon or regional marching band.  As opposed to JJ Bullock or whatever is the current equivalent, I would love to see Leo handle the job.  There is NO chance he would review any notes beforehand, and instead just react to whatever it was he saw happen in front of him.  "Dude... that's a big fucking balloon... that looks like a fox... wait... is that a mouse... I don't know what the fuck it is but it's really fucking big... Oh!  Here comes some fucking marching band band playing "Fly Like An Eagle"... Did you know that I used to play that song with my brother Chris when we had a band called USA Rockers.  It was fucking awesome.  We played a show in my garage and lit off smoke bombs before we put the door up.  The whole neighborhood was there.  We had this song called "Space Cowboy", and... wait... what the fuck were we talking about?".  

I could watch that all day long.

This could be a year to start new traditions, but it probably won't be.  I have a gut feeling that despite whatever the CDC said about people not getting together, we are going to see a massive surge in covid because no one is going to pay attention to any of those warnings.  The airports were packed.  Look for a lot of funerals for grandmas and obese uncles in mid-December thanks to Cousin Mark bringing a nice helping of covid from Omaha.  What are you going to do?  These gatherings and rituals are the fragile bonds that hold this entire society together.  Hopefully everyone reading this has a Pod of Trust of people you can share a meal with in relative safety and keep some sense of continuity together.    

Thanksgiving traditions mean different things for different people.  For some people it is Mom's homemade pumpkin pie.  For others it is having the turkey drumstick.  Maybe it is playing in an ill-advised "Turkey Bowl" where men are faced with the reality of their own aging when they discover that they tore a hamstring jogging during the first play.  We all have our own lynch pin of what indicates "Thanksgiving".  For me, it is creating what Krusty so aptly termed "A Galaxy of Wagers" going on any and all televised sports.

Usually I like to get crazy and make a teaser across the three Pro games and maybe even tie in The Egg Bowl, the traditional Mississippi v Mississippi St game where I have little to no information on either team.  The problem is this year everything is getting cancelled because everyone has covid.  Look, I will probably have covid by Wednesday, so I better make this wager count.  I'm sure my health insurance sucks, so Papa needs some cash to cover his ventilator bill.  The way to make big money is on foolhardy parlay wagers.  Making these wagers even more foolhardy is that I will be forced to look for games to include out of my wheelhouse of knowledge.  Yes, college basketball is on today.  However, I'm thinking even bigger.  I am getting into Europa League soccer, matches that I have absolutely no information on whatsoever.

The Ravens v Pitt game is off the board.  Covid.  The Air Force game is off the board.  Covid.  Let's not let the pandemic beat us.  Let's get creative.  Let's make some money with this SURE THING parlay.  Soak this in.  Houston Texans money line over the Lions/Dallas Cowboys money line over Washington/Roma FC over CFR Cluj/BSC Young Boys over CSKA Sofia.  That pays at 7-1.  Look, they are GIVING money away on that one.   I researched this one to death, and let me tell you that you need to be VERY careful when doing a search for "Young Boys".  Turns out it is some Swiss team that is a bit of a juggernaut, though early search results brought back other disturbing results.  DO NOT do this on a work computer.  There will be a very uncomfortable Zoom meeting if you click on the wrong result.  

If you don't have the stomach to throw down on Europa League soccer, you're missing out, but I have another recommendation for you.  Go with the old fashioned teaser of Lions +9/Washington Dallas OVER 39/New Mexico Utah St OVER 44.  We are absolutely printing money over here.   Let's make a little more with a parlay of Houston v Lions OVER/Gonzaga/Arsenal.   Those football games might go south, so pony up for ESPN Plus and enjoy a new Thanksgiving tradition of screaming for the Young Boys.  It's a new age.  Embrace it.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Nurse the Hate: The M-200 in Athens and NFL Week 11


Sometimes you get a bad idea that you need to make blossom into action.  For example, I once visited my brother at Ohio University.  This in itself isn’t a bad idea.  The Cowslingers played The Union, a beloved but not especially good club that was the only real place to play in Athens OH in the late 1990s.  Its had a horrible fight of stairs to load in, a somewhat dodgy sound system, poor lighting and not especially cold beers available at the inconveniently located back bar.  I think it was one of those joints where if you had gone to school there as an 18-22 year old, it was likely you could have romanticized it as a great club, much like I have with Mother’s Junction in Kent, a similar horrific load in with even more filthy men’s room.  There is a certain freedom in playing rock music in a college town as a 20 year old that can’t be beaten.  For that moment, you are a big deal as you are commanding the only real stage in The Bubble you live in.  Your friends are probably supportive as they are excited to be in the inner circle with the rock stars of the moment.  The whole thing is built for feeling invincible, the illusionary glow of a somewhat successful gig lighting up your night.

Now when I was there on this occasion, I was probably about 26-27.  That is old enough where you have outgrown college hijinx but not old enough to forget how to do it.  Coming off a gig like that, you get into the spirit of the college town.  You can decide to act in a manner calling back your glory days of only a few years ago.  Look, I don’t know why I had that M-200 with me.  As I recall, a friend had come back from Mexico with a bunch of them.  I guess in the late 1990s you could fly on airplanes even with 1/4 sticks of dynamite in your bags.  We can easily forget that Pre-9/11, America was a place with a bunch of personal freedoms that are long gone.  You could walk into the airport and meet people at their gate, eat dinner at the airport without a real reason to be there, or fly fireworks back in your luggage.  Perhaps this is the "Great America" that Donald Trump was trying to re-make, though I have never seen evidence of Donald doing anything as fun as smuggling fireworks.  

As an amateur explosives enthusiast, I liked to have these M-200s at hand.  One never knows for sure when they will need to blow something up.  I can tell you with great certainty that the M-200 is the tool to get that job done.  I had blown up an almost life sized plastic Santa, a Barbie Beach House, numerous watermelons and one cantaloupe in the past few months while achieving magnificent results.  Its was at the after party at my brother’s rental house nestled in comfortably next to a graveyard that I discovered a huge plastic pail of peanut butter in the pantry.  I knew that it could make for a spectacular explosion by shoving the explosive into a cut hole in the side of the plastic.  As you can imagine, it didn’t take much for the enthusiasm to grow in the party about this project.  Now, it was pointed out that the peanut butter’s owner Mike would likely be very disappointed by the destruction of this as it probably represented 50-65% of his food for the remainder of the semester.  Yet, sometimes the enthusiasm for bad ideas snowballs into an unstoppable motion.  This was the case here.

We took the peanut butter outside.  It was a massive plastic container of peanut butter, a discount brand that featured a creepy clown on the label.  I cut the hole into the clowns’s head, and lit the wick.  An indelible image from what can only be referred to as a “massive explosion” was the outline of my brother running away silhouetted by the harsh white light of the pyrotechnic.  The volume of the explosion was deafening, providing a visible thump onto your chest.  It was the type of explosion that would bring a SWAT team in 2020 America.  There was no other way to say it but that the peanut butter and container were gone.  It all just ceased to exist.  We looked for a moment or two, but could find no evidence of the container.  Let’s face it, even college towns have their limits, and an explosion of that magnitude at 3am was going to bring a police presence that would not be in the mood for  some out of town wiseasses in cowboy shirts with illegal Mexican fireworks.  We scampered into the house like mice.

I will admit that I felt bad when I went to sleep about blowing up Mike’s food.  He was just some poor sap with no money walking around in thrift store clothes that just so happened to have the bad luck of having my brother as a roommate.  It was a tough break, but bad ideas can just come to fruition sometimes.  I didn’t really know how bad the idea was until daybreak when we discovered that all the peanut butter had been blown up into the leaves of the trees.  I say “daybreak” because that was when all the birds of Southern Ohio discovered and descended on a feast unlike any they had ever had or likely ever would have.  The collective noise of hundreds of birds was deafening.  These are the unintended consequences of bad ideas.

I am feeling like that same young man in a cowboy shirt lighting that wick as I prepare to bet on the New York Jets for the second time in 2020, and this time to WIN OUTRIGHT.  This cannot end well, and there will no doubt be collateral damage just like that time with the peanut butter when I talked my brother into it.  Yet, hear me out on this and let’s see if we can get you on board too…. The Jets are winless.  They are winless because they deserve to be winless.  They are terrible.  They are coming off their bye week where for the last 13 days the merciless New York media and their National Press brethren have been talking endlessly about how awful the Jets are.  The Jets must be motivated to get a win, and this week the LA Chargers provide one of the last real opportunities for the Jets to do so.      

The Chargers head coach is Anthony Lynn.  If the Jets can keep this game close, Anthony Lynn has shown us time and time again he will allow his opponent, no matter who that team is, to either get a backdoor cover or steal a game outright.  The Chargers are now 2-7 with their season essentially over.  The LA media is openly asking the coach if he’s about to be fired, assistant coaches are busy lining up their next jobs, and guys are playing for individual stats.  The Jets on the other hand are motivated.  Jacksonville won the first game of the year, have sucked since, but no one gives them any flack.  The Jets are winless.  They need that target off their back like Jacksonville.  Joe Flacco, a shell of the player he used to be, does not want the last chapter of his player bio being him taking a franchise 0-16.  Will they win?  Probably not.  Can they cover?  I figure they will play as hard as they have all year versus a team potentially sleepwalking.   I think the move is to split your bet in half.  I am on the Jets +9.5 with the other half Jets +400 on the money line to win outright.  That could be a nice little payout.

The Browns last two games have been low scoring affairs played in horrible winds.  The weather was so bad last week an enormous tree blew over in my back yard almost killing my neighbors.  You think Baker Mayfield can complete a long pass in that?  Hell, the weather last week was better than it was two weeks ago.  The Browns have been under the total two weeks straight, and now play the Eagles on a forecasted rainy Sunday.  Gamblers are going to pound the under after hearing it is going to rain all day here on Sunday and that Carson Wentz can’t play football anymore.  The good news?  The wind is going to be light to moderate.  Rain doesn’t kill scoring.  Wind does.  The better news?  Myles Garrett isn’t playing so someone else will have to make a play on the awful Browns D.  The total is 47.5, way too low for teams that average 53 points if you take out the two gale force wind games.  I am taking a firm position on Cleveland/Philly OVER 47.

I have lost a lot of m money betting against Aaron Rodgers in big games.  I am not doing that today.  For some reason, The Public believes the Colts are better than the Packers.  This is largely due to a high profile win over an overrated Titans team in prime time thanks to a couple of blocked punts.  This line opened at Green Bay -2.5 and is now Indy -1.5.  If we are saying that home field in Covid Times is worth one and half points, this means that Green Bay and the Colts are even on a neutral field?  The 7-2 Packers with Rodgers in a big game looks quite nice, especially with the Colts #1 D line player on the covid list.  Rodgers has somewhat quietly thrown 26 TDs and 3 INTs this season, while Phillip Rivers waits in the shadows to throw a back breaking pick late.  I will take Green Bay and points all day over an overvalued Colts team.  Green Bay +1.5.

Season Record:  14-14-1

Friday, November 13, 2020

Nurse the Hate: My Life In The Dawg Pound or NFL Week 10


There was a period of time when I had season tickets to the Browns.  My roommate shortly after college and I had four seats in the Dawg Pound.  This was the real Dawg Pound, not the corporate sanitized version that exists now as a profit driving section of the facility with focus group tested cartoon logo.  This was when the dregs of Northeast OH sat in those seats because they were cheapest.  They were cheapest because they were backless wooden benches that were almost totally exposed to the always howling Canadian winds.  There was one small men’s room for 10,000 really drunk dudes.  People romanticize it now, but it would never fly in today's cushy fan "experiences".  There was drinking and fighting and barfing and arguing and yelling and more drinking.  It was exciting when I was 24.  I felt like part of something.  This was before I got to look behind the curtain of pro sports and realized the whole thing is a cash grab and I was The Mark.  

I remember one Monday night game where one of our mutual friends broke his ankle playing catch in the parking lot and still went to the game.  I think he felt like if the players manned up and played the game injured it was the least he could do.  Even though he downed a heroic number of beers and healthy slugs from a wine skin of bourbon, I recall he got carried out in the 4th quarter.  I’m sure the Browns lost.  They lost every big game I have ever attended.  I have almost no good memories of being at Browns games.

When the Browns “returned” in 1999, I started working for the team in third party positions selling sponsorship and advertising packages.  Whatever company I was working for at the time had access to tickets, and I usually hosted clients 2-3 times a year.  That was great at first, but after that first decade of losing, it became a chore to stand around and make small talk while watching a Jeff Garcia/Brady Quinn/Colt McCoy/Charlie Frye/etc. led team get pasted.  In the 20 years the team has been “back”, I think I have only attended four wins.  Sure, they’ve won 63 games in those 20 years, but I’ve only seen four of them.  I always seemed to be the guy that was at Steelers/Ravens/Broncos games.  It seems impossible, but I think my personal record at Browns games since 1999 is probably something like 4-36.  

Yet, even after all this reinforcement of futility and failure, I think they are going to win this Sunday over Houston.  Please do not mistake me for a homer for these Cleveland Browns.  I firmly believe that they are going to flame out and somehow miss the Playoffs despite being 5-3 with the Giants/Jets/Jacksonville/Eagles on the back half of the schedule.  Still, I do feel good about their chances on Sunday.  There are a few factors playing to their advantage.

The weather is going to be windy and shitty.  This should be a slightly lesser version of the crap that blew in against the Raiders a couple weeks back.  The Browns get to play a dome team in conditions they just went though which will favor a running team.  The Texans do not run the ball well, and their best back (David Johnson) is out.  That will leave scat back Duke Johnson as the primary ball carrier.  Meanwhile unlike two weeks ago the Browns will have their best back and best lineman back in the starting lineup., as well as a healthy Myles Garrett.  

The Texans are a veteran team used to winning.  They are sitting at 2-6 with Romeo Crennell at the helm.  That has to be a drag.  Look, these guys know the season is lost.  They are going to come out and play hard, but it is asking a lot for them to beat a Browns team off a loss in these same conditions and now coming rested off a bye.  The Texans just aren't very good and the Browns need this game.  I will take a shot on Cleveland -3.

The most difficult wagers are the ones that are terrifying. The only chance to win at NFL gambling is to take horrifying underdogs and white knuckle it through spreads that seem too thin.  You have to buy low when teams are at their public perception lowest.  I present to you the horrifically depleted San Francisco 49ers.  It is hard to imagine that this team was a few minutes away from winning a Super Bowl last year.  They have so many guys hurt that I could probably get a try out in the defensive backfield.  Between you and me, I don't think I would do well.  I'm not quite as "physical" as most of the guys that do that for a living.  The Niners were poised to be the team of the 2020s.  What happened?  All the buzz now is that they are going to blow this team up and start over again.  Jimmy G was The Man.  Now he might get cut loose and be scrambling to become a backup for the Jags.  The NFL is cruel.  

The poor Niners have to play the Saints, fresh off completely destroying the anointed by God Tampa Bucs.  The Saints stock has never been higher.  The Niners have never been lower.  This is the spot you look for all year.  This seems like a game where the Saints take a breather after that big Tampa win.  Look, this thing could go horribly south, but you have to do what you have to do.  Take a chance.  San Francisco +10.

With the same mindset I am taking Carolina +5.5 over Tampa.  I usually avoid all the ESPN/Fox Sports national talk shows all week, but I know what the narrative is on this game.  “Brady got embarrassed on national TV.  He is going to get payback.  Ye shall see a terrible vengeance stuck down on thy Panthers of thy Carolinas.”  

I don’t buy it.  Brady is a 47 year old QB.  47 year old QBs have bad games.  They tend to have worse games after getting hit a bunch of times by 300 pound dudes on the other team.  Here’s the thing…. The QB to focus in on here is Teddy Bridgewater.  Teddy is 22-5 ATS as an underdog.  The Panthers are 5-0 in their last 5 games as an underdog.  I watched this Panthers team three times in the last month scrap and claw in 4th quarters where most other teams with their pedigree would have given up.  I don’t think Carolina wins this game, but 5.5 is too many to give these guys at home.  Carolina +5.5

I screwed up last week and took Arizona.  I wanted to believe.  The Cardinals are going to be good, but they aren’t good yet.  They are in that Browns/Chargers/Colts middle class of the NFL, capable of winning or losing any game at any time.  Buffalo is one of the elite teams in the AFC.  Take away their injuries in the defensive backfield and I think they could have won the AFC.  Who knows.  With covid and “uncertain times”, anything can still happen for the Bills.  We don’t need them to win the AFC this week, just not lose to the Cardinals by three points or more.  Buffalo +2.5 

People sure love themselves some Russell Wilson.  He has a great shot at the MVP.  Too bad he can’t play defense.  Seattle’s defense is historically bad.  That means Wilson has to play flawlessly just to get a chance to win the game at the end.  He is showing some cracks of late, throwing 4 INTs in the last two weeks.  He isn’t going to get a break this week with the Rams.  LA gets great pressure straight up the middle.  I did some research on which QBs do well with pressure straight up the gut.  You know who does well?  None of them.  As an added bonus, the Seahawks have their 4th string RB starting to help provide protection.  Yeah, I'm sure he won't miss an assignment.  Give me the Rams at home coming off a bye.  LA Rams -2.

Season record:  12-12-1   

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Nurse the Hate: The Four Seasons Mixup and NFL Week 9


The news has been filled with grim stories.  Death, disease, division, and rabid politics.  Every once in awhile, a story comes across that just cuts through all the clutter and lets you know that everything will be OK.  I am, of course, referring to the disastrous Trump team press conference at the Four Seasons in Philadelphia.  I have had numerous spirited debates with Trump supporters that have rejected the obvious evidence that Trump and his cast of clowns are totally incompetent.  To me it has never even seen like a debatable point.  The last word on that flimsy debate of Team Trump’s competence was loudly made yesterday when the Trump Team realized they hadn’t booked the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia for their press conference but instead booked something called The Four Seasons Lawn and Garden Center which is located between a crematorium and an adult book store.  Incredibly, once they realized their error, they just went ahead with the event.  In fact, Trump tweeted about it and even clarified that it was in fact at the landscaping store.  Yes, you read that correctly.  That happened.  I laughed at the photo of the event so hard I cried.    

While I suppose it is possible to initially phone the wrong Four Seasons, it seems impossible that once the phone was answered that the mistake wouldn’t be quickly realized.  What did the landscaping guy say when faced with “Hello, I am calling for the President of the United States and we would like to book your facility for our afternoon press conference.”?  Did he/she just say “OK”?  I would do anything to read a transcript of that discussion that led to Rudy Giuliani standing in front of a cheap podium next to a dildo store.  The best part was that the election got called while he was doing it.  Watch the clip.  What a fitting end to the Trump Era.  As comedy writer Zack Bornstein noted “I could write jokes for 800 years and I'd never think of something funnier than Trump booking the Four Seasons for his big presser, and it turning out to be the Four Seasons Total Landscaping parking lot between a dildo store and a crematorium.”

What a great day.

I’ll admit I haven’t been as focused on these games as normal.  However, I have a pretty good feeling about the Arizona Cardinals at home vs the Dolphins.  People are sky high on Miami right now, and their win last week over the Rams was big.  However, while Miami did score 28 on the Rams, 14 of those came from a fumble return and a special teams TD.   They only gained 145 yards in total offense in Tua’s first game.  They averaged 3 yards per play.  That’s not good.  Going on the road to play the 5-2 Cardinals isn’t going to be any easier.   I’m on Arizona -5.5.

I am betting against the Jets.  I am going to keep betting against the Jets until there is a reason not to.  I am also going to take the Under as the Jets are not able to score because of the simple fact that they have no (0) offensive weapons.  Look, the Patriots are not good.  They might even be less than mediocre.  That will be all they need against the Jets.  Belichick has had to eat some crow the last couple of weeks.  There is no way that guy is going to go into a game versus an inferior team and not be prepared 17 different ways to win that game.  Under 41…. New England -3.5/Under 47      

Season Record:  12-9-1

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Nurse the Hate: The Wrath of Zeus or NFL Week 8


I went out for Halloween one year as a Roman Centurion.  I was in my senior year of college so I had no budget for a costume.  It has always annoyed me when TV shows would have their special Halloween show and the characters would arrive for the big Halloween party dressed like they fell out of the set of The Wizard of Oz.  Let’s say the show “Friends”…. How the fuck are some struggling young adults in America’s most expensive city going to come up with a legit Tin Man costume?  I was 21 and wearing a sheet, paper helmet and carrying a trash can lid for a shield.   

I remember it was cold that night, the first hint of a long NE Ohio winter.  Of course I had an exposed shoulder and chest as I wanted my toga to look as good as a multi color sheet could look.  I drank about 117 beers wandering around parties and downtown Kent, finally ending up at the Psycho house.  There is a house in Kent that was supposedly used as the model for the Psycho house.  It is perched on top of a hill and I’ll be damned if it didn’t look just like that house in the movie.  I can’t recall Kent having a hill, and I couldn’t find the house now, but I know I walked there.  Some friends of mine had rented it out for the school year and had a party.  I mean, if you have the Psycho house, you might as well have a Halloween party.       

The party was pretty dead when I got there.  It was late.  I was at that point where it just didn’t matter if you had another beer.  You can’t get any drunker.  You are just pouring water into the overflowing jug and maintaining the buzz at that point.  I was standing outside looking at the well done jack o lanterns flickering in the windows while talking to a couple of people I vaguely knew.  “Hey, aren’t you cold?”  I was essentially standing around shirtless in the crispy autumn air.  I wasn’t cold though.  I was like one of the assholes you see in the stands without a shirt at a football game in a snowstorm.  I was numb to it.  After it was apparent there wasn’t any action about to break out at the all but dead party at 215am, I weaved my way back home.

I have been sick before and I have been sick since.  I cannot recall a head cold/fever roaring in with the ferocity of this one though.  There has never been someone that flat out deserved being ill like I did.  If you are going to act like an asshole, completely ignoring consequence for your actions, you deserve whatever repercussions are handed down by an angry and vengeful God.  That fever was a lighting bolt thrown down upon me from a furious Zeus.  I curled in my bed in a fetal position, resigned to my fate, shivering but knowing that the situation was just.

I am now placing myself in a similar position today by betting on the Cleveland Browns -1 against the Raiders.  A powerful wind has blown up from the Lake, perhaps evidence of the mood of Zeus.  How dare I laugh in his face by taking my hard earned money and waving it in these winds, suggesting that Baker Mayfield is going to throw the ball around gusty Browns Stadium heroically like he did last week?  Dammit, I am doing it though.  The Raiders are the very definition of a hot/cold team.  They are almost a mirror image of the Browns.  They are a decent offense that is forced to win with a shaky QB when the opponent keys on their running game.  They have no defense to speak of.  I don’t see any reason to think the Raiders can fly in from Vegas and win, especially since I am choosing to forget Myles Garrett has a gimpy ankle, the Browns can’t cover tight ends, and on a windy day they will need to run the ball and Chubb is still out.  I laugh in your face Zeus.  Cleveland -1

I felt badly for Ryan Fitzpatrick.  Fitzmagic has been playing very well, and has the Dolphins in position to potentially take a share of first place in the AFC East, something they haven’t done since Dan Marino played QB as opposed to shucking men’s diet plans on TV.  For whatever reason the Dolphins have decided to start Tua this week, even though Fitz just led them to a win a couple weeks ago against the hapless Jets.  I have to think that the 3-3 Dolphins see Tua as being clearly the better QB in practice.  They drafted him #1 and they are going to play him no matter what, but why now?  A team sitting 3-3 coming off a bye must feel good about their chances with Tua in the lineup.  Sure, the Dolphins have shown their management  to be inept over the last decade, but they can’t be stupid enough to run out a guy that doesn’t give them a chance to win, can they?  

The Jets are getting 20 points today against the Chiefs.  Twenty.  There is a natural knee jerk reaction to take the points with the axiom of “No one gets that many points in an NFL game”.  Hell, I took the Jets last week and won against Buffalo.  Let me say on the record, I got lucky.  The Bills got in the Red Zone six times against the Jets and only managed 18 points.  As the NFL average is 65% touchdown conversion rate, I got unbelievably lucky.  Here’s a quick fact…. The Jets are the first team in NFL history to lose three games in a row while winning the turnover battle in all three games.  465 times teams have lost three straight.  The Jets are the only ones to manage that turnover battle achievement.  They are a historically bad football team, perhaps in the same paragraph as the 1-15 Browns and winless Lions teams.  (The 0-16 Browns were a special team.  Never forget.). 

The Jets are 1-6 against the spread and they should be 0-7.  There is no reason to think they are going to stay in the game versus the Chiefs in Arrowhead.  Kansas City is 6-1 ATS and just pasted the Broncos.  There is no reason to think they will take the gas pedal off the Jets.  I am going to tease the Chiefs and Dolphins to help mitigate the uncertainty about the Tua situation.  Kansas City -14/Dolphins +9.5.

Season Record:  11-8-1