Monday, January 28, 2008

Nurse the Hate: Hate Fake Grief

The way people are carrying on about Heath Ledger’s drug overdose death, you’d think The Pope just died. Did I miss something? Wasn’t Heath Ledger a guy that pretended to be other people in some pretty iffy movies? I don’t want to be cold, but we all managed to get past The Tragic Death of Rivers Phoenix. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll all pull through this thing if we just lean on one another.

My favorite part of this never ending coverage has been the celebrity reactions. It’s like there’s this belief that all celebrities know each other. What, do they get together for regular weekly meetings in a secret location? Jennifer Lopez, Hannah Montana, and Gilbert Gottfreid are probably there right now discussing problems with their housekeepers while enjoying a cup of jasmine tea and a croissant.

Jack Nicholson gave his best acting performance in 15 years when reporters asked him how he felt about The Tragic Death of Heath Ledger. Hell, you just know those guys were tight. Didn’t Heath always sit next to him at Laker games? They used to grill out on weekends too I’ll bet. The best part of the Nicholson connection is they both played The Joker in one of those awful Batman movies. The new theory is that Heath had to get to a “very dark place” to play The Joker in the upcoming Batman movie. Hey, I don’t remember Cesar Romero killing himself on pills because he played The Joker on TV. I think I was the Joker one year at Halloween, and I somehow pulled out of the mental vortex that is The Joker. A couple trick or treat “fun size” Snickers bars will do that for ya…

It’s terrible that he died like a junkie and left his kids fatherless. But he’s not a victim. He’s the one that decided it was a good idea to mix up a bunch of pills, booze, coke, and God knows what else. He was not a “great artist”. He was just some good looking guy that made a ton of money pretending to be someone else on camera in some crappy movies. I have hope that the nation’s priorities will get back in line soon. Hopefully everyone will forget about this circus in about three weeks and put the focus back where it should be…that kook Tom Cruise.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Playoffs III

Can you imagine how horrible it is going to be to sit through 2 weeks of continuous hype about a "BRADY VS FAVRE SHOWDOWN OF THE AGES"? You will not be able to turn on a television or pick up a newspaper during the entire run of the Hype Machine. "And like Jesus himself descended from the heavens, Tom Brady directed his explosive offense down the field, slaying the hopes of the Chargers while simultaneously healing the sick and washing away the sins of the spectators gathered in the church known as Foxboro..."

Meanwhile, "Can Bret Favre drink deeply once again from the fountain of youth and play a game for the ages, playing the game "the right way", and beating the completely unbeatable Patriots while his dead father gazes down from heaven?" Yes, the situation is bleak...

I am completely resigned to the fact that both New England and Green Bay will win tomorrow. The big question is, will they cover? Frankly, I have no idea, but you gotta have some action on these games tomorrow. Let's get inside the numbers and make a couple of totally unfounded wild guesses.

Green Bay vs Giants: First thing's first...If I hear one more A-hole announcer refer to the Giants as "the New York Football Giants", I am going to lose it. When did the baseball Giants leave NY for San Fran? 1958? I am pretty sure fans have made the mental note after 50 years, and don't need the constant reminders. "Oh! I thought Omar Vizquel, Pedro Feliz, and Barry Zito were going to have to play a football game against the Packers this Sunday! Those guys would get killed! The Football Giants!?! Ohhh! Well that should be a much closer game then...That clears that up for me! Thank you Joe Buck!"

The key to this game appears to be (as always) the Eli Manning factor. Both teams appear to be evenly matched, with Green Bay getting the edge due to the home field. The question remains, when the game is on the line, will Eli make the plays? If you think "yes", take the points. If you think he'll melt down like a cheap candle, take the Pack. Me? I'm taking the Pack.

By the way, this fallacy of the weather playing to Green Bay's favor is crazy talk. 4 degrees is cold for everybody. Plus, it's not like the Packers grew up playing football in Wisconsin in January. These guys went to Florida State, Miami, USC, Georgia, and LSU just like everybody on the Giants. They'll all be cold.

New England v San Diego: It doesn't look like the Chargers have a chance. New England is the team of destiny as officially annointed by ESPN. The problem is that you just can't get value with them. They haven't covered in 7 of their last 9 games. True, their offense is a friggin machine. Jacksonville had a terrific "D" and they didn't stop New England's offense. I don't think San Diego will either. You just have to decide if you want them to chip away underneath, or if you want them to kill you with the big play. They're going to score either way. At least if you make them go 6 yards at a time, they may fumble. (They haven't yet, but you never know...that must be the thinking anyway.) The crux of this wager is if New England's defense can hold San Diego to under 21 points.

San Diego suffered three devastating injuries in the last 2 weeks with Rivers, LT, and Gates all going down. But, here's the thing...San Diego is finding different ways to win with all kinds of guys making plays. Turner is not a major drop off at running back. Sounds crazy doesn't it? He's is going to land a big contract in the off season as a feature running back, so they're going to be OK there. Reminds me of when Priest Holmes left the Ravens to KC a few years back. Rivers is suspect anyway, and Volek can play. I'm OK with that. The Gates injury is the killer, because he runs down the middle of the field and creates defensive shifts that leave the wide outs open.

New England's defense has looked old, and just good enough to win. They don't look good enough to win by 15. Here's the play...Take San Diego -14 for 2 units and bet a unit on San Diego on the money line. I have been singing this team's praises all month, and I think they have a shot. It's worth taking the flier on that money line bet for a pocket full 'o green.

Random Notes: That Roy Jones vs Trinidad fight would have been great about seven years ago. Now? For $45 on Pay Per View? I don't think so...I checked out Nathanial Mayer last night at the Beachland, and it was entertaining as hell. You don't see too many 70 year old crack addicts rip it up like that. Check out "I Found Out" on itunes. It's well worth the 99 cent investment...What's with every brewery trying to "out hop" the other? Every beer in the craft section is called something like "Hop Fucker", "Atomic Hop Destruction" or "Hoppington J. Hop". There's no reason you can't have balance in your ale like Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas, or the standard bearer Commodore Perry from Great Lakes. I can't wait until this fad is over.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Playoffs II

All that money we won on the Wild Card games? Let's give it all back today in a poorly thought out series of wagers that make no sense whatsoever! It's the NFL Playoffs baby! Each game so completely over analyzed...small matters blown up into giant life-or-death stories...confusing stats thrown around....that annoying Chris Bermen screaming some shit into the's all too much. Start knocking back beers at about 3p. Talk yourself into that Seattle +14/over 35 teaser. Lose that, shotgun a Pabst, cannonball a Cuervo, and then double up on the Pats minus the points!!! What can go wrong?

Seattle at Green Bay -8: Everyone nationally has jumped on the Seahawks bandwagon and I'm not really sure why. They still can't run the ball, and didn't start scoring points until Hasselback started chucking the ball around. A problem is that it's going to be 20 degrees at kickoff in Green Bay. Now, that said, Seattle does have the tendency to hang around in games. In the past 5 years they are 4-4 in the playoffs. With the exception of the Super Bowl loss vs Pittsburgh, they haven't lost any playoff game by more than 7. Today they get eight. I like Seattle with the points.

Jacksonville at New England -13: I wish I could see one more story on ESPN about the Patriots. I just doesn't seem like they have received any national coverage. If only I could hear just a little more about Tom Brady, Randy Moss and Teddy Bruschi...I'm sure there's some little nugget of information we haven't learned yet. How about this one? In their last eight games, the Patriots have covered twice. Now there's something ESPN hasn't told you.

Jacksonville is going to try and keep the Pats offense off the field by pounding the running game. Of course, if I know that, I would think NE does too. Therefore Jacksonville QB David Garrard is going to have to make a few plays. Not a lot of them mind you, just enough to keep the chains moving and the clock running. If the Jags do that, they lose 24-13 in one of those "not as close as it looks" games. If not, they get their ass kicked on national TV. I like the Jags in this game. The over exposure New England has received is equaled to the under exposure Jacksonville has received. They're flying under the radar, and they force other teams to play the game on their terms. Take the Jags and the points. Wait until kickoff and you might get 14.

Random Notes: If I were you, I'd go out and buy the Black Lips "Good Bad Not Evil" release. It's a nice sloppy snotty garage rock album just when we needed it...Those two Robert Pollard CDs that just came out are pretty good too. Recorded in Kent OH, and mastered here at Magnetic North too. Coast To Coast Carpet of Love might be the better of the two, but they're both worth your time and $...I got the flu this week and it totally fucked up my week. The plan was to go record a new Daredevils CD in Detroit. Instead I'm walking around somewhat dazed after laying around with a 102 degree fever watching "Rounders" and SportsCenter on cable for 2 days. I can also say confidently that "You, Me and Dupree" isn't a very good movie...I guess the Big 10 isn't so good, huh? How could Ohio State not have been ready for those spread offensive looks LSU gave them? Maybe they were ready, and they just couldn't do anything about it. Sorry Ohio State guy! Better get yourself a Mich Ultra and a new pair of khakis from J. Crew. Go have a salad at Max and Erma's. It'll get you back on course.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Playoffs

This is my favorite gambling weekend of the year...the NFL Wild Card Playoffs. Each game is televised at the perfect time for maximum drinking and gambling enjoyment. All that money you made on the Bowl Games? Now is when you can lose it all back in a shocking, horrifying run of bad luck and poor planning. Let's get started...

Washington at Seattle -3.5: Any sane person would look at this game for the complete joke that it is. Washington sneaks into the playoffs with a shitty second string QB playing a team with plenty of momentum on their home. The media is going to wave the flag of a team rallying around the terrible death of teammate Sean Taylor. Don't be fooled. That's just a selling point. Washington isn't going to get it done on Saturday. Seattle is 7-1 at home ATS, and 3.5 is nothing in the playoffs. The Seahawks throw the ball well, and Washington stops the run. How can I get this point across? How about this? I think the Seahawks are going to kick the fuck out of Washington. Take Seattle minus the 3 and a half.

Jacksonville at Pittsburgh + 2.5: I am very concerned that the line has moved from pick 'em on the open to giving the Steelers 2.5. If the public is on Jacksonville so strongly, you know I want to go against them. On the other hand, Jacksonville just beat them a few weeks ago in Pittsburgh. Why won't they do it again? Without Willie Parker no less? Quite a situation... My head tells me that Jacksonville is the better team right now. Pittsburgh has looked shaky at best, and Troy Palumalu (did I spell that right?) is playing at 75% at best. He's the key to that defense, much like Bob Sanders/Indy and Mike Brown/Chicago. If I see that line move to 3 or more, I'm taking Pitt. If not, I'm on the Jags. This is the most compelling game of the weekend.

Giants at Tampa -3: I'll be honest with you. I have no idea what is going to happen here. How about this? The Giants go out, exert their will and drop 31 points on Tampa. Brandon Jacobs beats down the front seven, and Eli takes the open receivers when he can to move down the field in small chunks all night long. Tampa scores some points, but can't stop NY and loses 31-27. Sounds good, no? How about this? Tampa clamps down on the Giants and forces Eli to try and win on his own. He throws 4 picks and the NY media has him lassoed by his scrotum and dragged behind the team plane on Sunday after the game. Tampa 17-3. I can buy into either scenario. I'll drop something on Tampa if I win on Saturday. If not, I'm not touching this potential fiasco.

Tennessee at San Diego -9.5: This is the best play on the board. You probably have some dimwit buddy talking about how Tennessee's defense is going to keep it close. No they won't. Don't even give it a second thought. This team doesn't belong here, and they are going to make goddamn fools of themselves starting at 4:15 pm Sunday. After 10 weeks, that retard Norv Turner finally has a game plan together. It's tricky, so see if you can stay with me on this. 1) Give the ball to Tomlinson. 2) Get out of the way. 3) Win. Give the points, and bet this game heavy. Hey, I was right on USC! Why not this?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Nurse the Hate: Hate Dick Clark

I must have really tied one on last night because at one point I thought I saw a zombie that looked vaguely like Dick Clark hosting a national television broadcast on ABC. Horrible dark circles, browned teeth, slurred speech, and creepy dyed hair made for the most disturbing image I've seen in a long time. We've all seen people that have stayed on too long in the public eye. Johnny Unitas as a Charger. Willie Mays as a Met. Ronald Reagan when he controlled the world's largest nuclear arsenal...Yet, I've never seen anything as sad as the spectacle as "the world's oldest teenager" completely broken down and on center stage.

With Ryan Seacrest circling the host chair like a blood thirsty buzzard, old Dick refuses to walk off stage for the next generation to take over. Since he's the producer, I suppose it's his call, but isn't there anyone that can pull the plug on this fiasco? Doesn't he have a family? Friends? Isn't there a cold blooded executive at ABC that can put this horse down?

When the ball dropped at midnight, I wasn't filled with joy and expectation of another New Year. Instead I was filled with sorrow at seeing the complete disintegration of a public figure, and consequently began to reflect on the passing of the year as another step towards my own end. It's ten seconds after midnight, and I'm sad for Dick Clark. Not exactly what the "Rockin New Year's Eve" is supposed to deliver to the viewer, is it?

I can see Dick staying on board if he had been delivering great content year in and year out. I might even like it if he had great material. Imagine if that terrifying looking preacher guy from Poltergiest 2 (or maybe it was Poltergiest 3) told jokes like Chris Rock. We'd love that guy! We'd say, "That creepy looking slurring man with the bad dye job sure is one funny motherfucker!". Or maybe he'd zing the audience with wisdom like some kind of spooky Kung Fu master. "You know, I was going to just keep going on the gerbil wheel that is my life, but something Dick Clark slurred out last night really got me thinking. I've got a new path I am going to follow now. Gosh, that fella sure spreads the wisdom, doesn't he?" Instead, all the host of "Rockin New Year's Eve" does is pretend to be excited about whatever girl pop act of the moment is going to lip sync, and tell us how many light bulbs are on that fucking ball. Is that the job of a 76 year old stroke victim? Probably not...Give that little twerp Ryan Seacrest the gig already, and let him be the one to say nothing for the next 40 years.

P.S. If you wouldn't let a guy drive (and anyone that saw that spectacle last night would NEVER let Dick borrow their car), why would you let him broadcast to millions of people?