Saturday, September 27, 2008

Nurse the Hate: Hate Confusion

This election is very confusing, isn't it? The best marketing minds in the country are hard at work to confuse your Aunt Janice, and make sure she doesn't get too involved with any facts. They want her to vote for "Change" or maybe "Experience". Maybe she'll vote for that McCain fella because that running mate of his reminds her of "that cute as can be Rachel Ray". Maybe she won't vote for that Obama guy because "that name sounds Arab, and why are his lips kinda purple like he just wolfed down a blueberry pie?"

It's all very confusing.

Here's the way I see it. Let's immediately dispatch with the notion that either of these two political parties care about YOU. They don't. At all. It's all a power and cash grab, and they'll play it any way necessary to get at the golden goose. The window dressing of "Republican" and "Democrat" is the pretty wrapping paper. People lose their minds during elections and don't let facts get in the way of their pre conceived notions. "If the Democrats get elected, we'll all have to give our entire paychecks to taxes so they can give it over to crackhead unwed mothers! We won't have any money for defense and terrorists will go to the mall and blow up Foot Locker!" Or the other side of the coin, "The Republicans will put Adam and Eve on the dollar bill, make anyone with less than $10 million dollars of net worth slaves to a multi national corporation, and begin a Blitzkreig on any nation that dares to question us. I know for a fact that a Neo Con think tank has already drafted up a battle plan to invade Nova Scotia!".

Let's really break it down. There's an Old Guy with this loony soccer Mom. She's kinda hot, but is clearly a dope. The Old Guy is friends with the guys that were in charge when the Trade Center was destroyed, we launched two wars without exit plans, and over eight years destroyed the economy. OK, that's not good. In fact, it's pretty bad... There's this charismatic Younger Guy with an old guy that people don't like very much. The Young Guy doesn't have a lot of experience at this level. The Old Guy keeps saying over and over again that the Young Guy doesn't have the experience that the Old Guy does. I guess that's true. But I think the key point is that it seems impossible that the Young Guy and his friends could possibly fuck it up worse than the Old Guy and his friends. I think any reasonable thinking person has to say, "Well, this Old Guy does have experience. And his experience is in fucking everything up. We better give those other guys a shot and see what happens."

Random Notes: A few locks for this weekend include Wisconsin -6.5. Michigan is really going through a transition, and showed how bad they were losing to Notre Dame convincingly last week. That brings me to Purdue +1.5 over Notre Dame. The Irish blow and Charlie Weiss is fatter that Romeo Crennel (although he must be a better leader)...Alabama +7 I don't see Georgia winning this game with their young and injured O line. Alabama seems like the real deal as they have been blowing out everyone so far...Give me Minnesota +19 over Ohio State. OSU doesn't look like they can beat anybody by 19...Auburn -270 money line over Tennessee. Tennessee lost to UCLA. What more needs to be said? Think they'll go on the road and win at Auburn? I don't... Penn State -15.5 over Illinois. Penn State scores at will, and I think this is an easy cover...In the NFL, get on Denver with the money line, SF/NO over 48.5, Tampa/GB over 43, and Carolina -6. Wow, you're going to be rich with these plays! Thank me Monday. So far this year, Nurse the Hate is 6-4 vs The Spread.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Nurse the Hate: Don't Hate the Locks!

There's a lot of action today, so let's not be afraid to get involved and lay it in real heavy. Despite my reservations with just getting on these favorites, I'm doing it anyway. Here's the way to go on Saturday... Southern Mississippi is one of those schools that flies under the radar. They've done real well on the road so far, and are 3-0 ATS in 2008. Let's take them -7.5 against a pretty sucky Marshall team. (This isn't your Randy Moss/Chad Pennington Marshall. This is your secondary school you wouldn't want to attend in Huntington WV Marshall)... I think BYU's offense might be unstoppable. Well, maybe not by the Baltimore Raven defense, but they're not playing the Baltimore Ravens. They're playing the Wyoming Cowboys. If BYU dropped 59 on UCLA, I think they can cover 28 against Wyoming. BYU is the play...I watched that Buffalo/Temple game last week, and Buffalo couldn't stop Temple at home when the game was on the line. How are they going to stop Missouri on the road? Lay the 32.5 and take an easy win...Why NBC renewed the contract for 20 Gazillion dollars to have exclusive rights to show Notre Dame football, I don't know. They allegedly get these blue chip recruits, but get the crap knocked out of them whenever they play a real team. The most interesting thing that happened so far this season was when that fat slug Charlie Weiss got his knee blown out last weekend by a player that got blocked into him when he wasn't paying attention. (In a press conference, his other knee said "thank you" as it will probably get a break from carting around that 58 inch waist band khaki load around for a few weeks. Hello golf cart!) Notre Dame beat Michigan last week. So what? Michigan sucks right now as they try to learn Rodriguez's schemes. Michigan State brings them back to earth this weekend and covers the 8.5 points...

A couple early plays I like in the pros...The Buffalo Bills cover the 9.5 at home over the Raiders. Oakland is what they call a "total fucking disaster". Despite a win last week on the road v KC, the coach expects to be fired any second. He'd know for sure, but allegedly he hasn't spoken to owner Al Davis in a few weeks. ON the field Fargas is hurt, and rookie Godsend Darren McFadden says he "might be 70%". Not good when future NFL #1 pick bust JaMarcus Russell threw for 78 yards last week in a win. The Bills are no joke, and will roll this Sunday at home...Tampa and Chicago will go over the 35 points. Everyone thinks about the glorious defensive struggles of Urlacher, Barber, Warren Sapp, Mike Singletary, Lee Roy Selmon, Dick Butkus, Red Grange, blah blah blah. In fact, both of these teams average over 20 points a game, and Tampa might actually have their QB situation stabilized now. I don't know (or especially care) who wins this game. I do know it goes over.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Tailgate

The scene outside Cleveland Browns Stadium last weekend wasn't exactly the pre packaged Network pregame shot of smiling fans grilling brats and sipping lite beer. To me it was more reminiscent of when a destroyer docked in WWII and the ships crew was set loose on the seedy port town. Were the smiling fans with rubber dog masks there? Of course they were, but they were nestled into an overflow of shit faced drunks that had completely lost their motor skills. The only thing that made the Cleveland Municipal Parking Lot different than the Philippines in mid 1945 was a lack of guys getting anchors tattooed onto their forearms and tiny strippers shooting ping pong balls out of their crotches. Although I can't say for certain that wasn't happening somewhere down the lot...

The problem with the 4:15pm kickoff is that the parking lot is still going to be full at 8:00 am. That 22 year old girl at the tailgate next to ours might have been able to keep it together if she had made it into the stadium at 1:00pm. That extra 3 hours of drinking is what we in the trade refer to as "the difference maker". That extra three hours is why she had to wash the vomit off of the front of her shirt with water, and she decided to dance/grind into everyone like she was in a low budget rap video. That extra three hours is why "bandanna guy" screamed every time someone took his picture. Wooooo!!!!!! That extra three hours is why you feel comfortable urinating on the train tracks and providing a full frontal view of your equipment (in action) to the passengers zipping by on the RTA. Yes, that extra three hours is why the tens of thousands had convinced themselves that this year was going to be different.

Well, as you know, it wasn't and won't be. The Browns are going to be about 6-10, the Cowboys will be really good, that girl will wash the barf off of her, and "bandanna guy" will be down there next week going "Woooo!!!!" into cameras again.

A few other observations about Week 1 of the NFL:

* The Oakland Raiders are still incapable of running an offensive play without getting a penalty. Their lack of execution will be passed off as being "renegade". That's just because they have a pirate on their uniform. It is, and always has been, a lack of preparation and understanding of the basics. If they were an accounting firm, they wouldn't know how to create a spreadsheet. But they would go to work in an eye patch. They will once again be awful.

* Tom Brady had his knee blown out at about 1:43pm. By 1:47 pm I had seen the clip of it happening 49 times, and heard reaction from 136 different sportscasters and ex-players.

* Vince Young got hurt, and is melting down. The team actually called the police to track him down this week because they must have been convinced he was going to try and kill himself. Prior to the draft, some teams had reservations about Vince because he scored the lowest score ever for a QB on the Wonderlick IQ test. (Sample question: "The fire engine is red. What color is the fire engine? Ahhhh....Blue?") Vince had never really faced any adversity because he was always so much more athletic than everyone else. Not anymore. Now he has to understand coverages, make multiple reads, and can't run away from the big scary defensive linemen. That's not working out, and Vince can't deal. I think he may be done for all intents and purposes. Hopefully he doesn't do something stupid just because he can't play football as well as he thought he could. Despite this drama, Tennessee might be better with another QB, even though that other QB is Kerry Collins.

* Bret Favre led the Jets to an exciting last second victory over the Dolphins. Now he's on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Quick reminder...The Dolphins were 1-15 last year. I still think he'll wind up mangled and in a wheelchair like Commander Pike in that old Star Trek episode.

* If someone says "Want to go to the Rams game?", I'd say "No thanks." That's a gruesome looking situation there.

* Carolina and Buffalo look like they are on the way up, Tampa and Indy look like they are slipping.

* I would have some concerns if I were an Indy fan. Despite all the discussion about Peyton Manning and his health, the real story there is how Chicago ran it right up the gut despite having Kyle Orten at QB. When Kyle Orten is at QB, what you are saying to the other team is "Look, we all know we're not going to pass the ball. The white guy with the mustache is going to hand it to one of the really fast black dudes lined up behind him. You should get ready to stop that really fast black dude." If I knew that, I am fairly sure Indy did too. Despite this, they didn't do anything to stop it.

* Kickoff for this week's Browns v Steelers game is 8:00 pm. "Bandanna Guy" is going to be there at 8:00 am. That's going to be a problem.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Nurse the Hate: Hate Seattle

This weekend I went to Seattle for no particular reason except never having been there (except for a brutal 16 hours when the band played the Crocodile Cafe with a band on a major label called The Grays. As I recall they were dismissive of us and kinda sucked. Their album stiffed and I think they got dropped. Not everyone got to be Soundgarden in Seattle in the early 1990s.).

Here's pretty much everything you need to know about Seattle...

There are 9368 coffee shops listed on Google Maps in Seattle. I have no idea how a city of this size supports that many coffee shops. Of course, there is a Starbucks roughly every 15 feet. On top of that there are other chains like Tullys, Peets, and Seattle's Best. Then there are little local spots that range from Internet cafes w/ coffee to drive up sheds cranking out high powered joe. You can stand on any street corner and see 3 coffee places in any direction. With all of this coffee, you would think everyone is pretty jacked up, when in fact...

Seattle residents are really mellow. Most everyone I met had that white collar hippie vibe that is usually found exclusively on private college campuses. Sample exchange from a used CD store:

Clerk (that looked like the funny one of those guys from "Flight of the Concords"): Hey man, did you find everything you were looking for?

Me: I guess so.

Clerk: (way too excited) Hey man, that's fantastic!

Everybody has that buzzed, in-no-hurry shuffle and dresses like they just emerged from a used North Face outlet store. Lots of multi purpose sports/action/hiking/sandal/hybrid/shoe/boots on people's feet. "Hey man...we can go hiking. That's cool. Let's stop over to the coffee shop first though. OK man?"

There's lots of guys that look like Matt Dillon's character in "Singles". You would have thought that part time lumberjack meets bike messenger look would have flown the coop, but not so! Lots of skinny guys with long hair, multiple shirts, and tight pants with work boots unironically walking in and out of coffee joints. None of these guys appeared to have jobs.

Everyone has a beard.

All the girls look like they have cats and journals. A single guy probably spends a lot of time trolling coffee shops looking for girls. I think the girls go to the coffee shops to write their journal entries. "Today I met a nice guy that had a beard." That sort of thing... If these guys are lucky enough to trick her into letting them into her overpriced apartment, I suspect they will discover a Siamese cat named "Ching", lots of Eastern pseudo religious articles that hold candles and incense, and her star tattoo placed tastefully on her left hip. If the relationship takes hold, they will spend their days walking in their action sport sandal boots while holding a Tully's "to go" cup trying to avoid...

...the shifty characters downtown. Like most upper class hippies, Seattle's best intentions can be their undoing. While priding themselves in a progressive urban attitude, the City of Seattle has let the homeless problem get away from them a little bit. "Hey man, they have rights too. We're all equal, you know?"

In Cleveland (and other sensible East Coast/Midwestern cities) , when the homeless, drug addicts, and mentally ill show up to panhandle outside prime downtown real estate, the cops are dispatched to bust in a few heads, and direct them to whatever backwater sanctioned area the city has designated as the off site dumping ground. Is this the "right" thing to do? Probably not, but it sure is nice not to get shaken down for change every 15 steps.

Seattle has decided the homeless can be near all the areas tourists want to check out, like the market where those fucking guys throw the fish in front of the gleeful picture taking rube tourists. The Buffalo Greyhound station has a more attractive group of people in it right now than then Pike Market at 8:00am. Then again, there was a pretty good sized crowd starting to come together to mingle with the shivering goth heroin chicks, filthy dumpster diving crazies, and well scrubbed camera armed Japanese. Maybe Buffalo should drop a Starbucks next to the bus station and have a stand where workers throw chicken wings across the room into Styrofoam containers.

There's lots of good microbrew. Pike's may be touristy, but the beer there is terrific. I highly recommend the IPA. I can also recommend Hale's Ales. The Hale's Pale and El Jefe were my favorites.

Every crazy homeless person has headphones on. How are these people "managing their itunes"? Who is providing all of these personal listening devices? What exactly are they listening to? The Grays?

Random notes: The early part of the season can be tricky. The linesmakers aren't sure of the lines yet, and we aren't sure how good the teams are yet. With that in mind, here's a couple shots in the dark...I like Oregon State +16.5. Something seems off at Penn State this year, and that spread is a little too big for my liking...Georgia -24 A lot of people are thinking the MAC team can hang since they were so tough last year. I think the speed of Georgia is too much here. Hopefully we'll avoid a back door cover when the underclassmen come in for the 4th qtr...Ohio University +35 I don't see OSU blowing these guys out like that. Tressel usually doesn't lay the wood onto the state schools that come in for these glorified scrimmages. Is OU horrible? Probably, but what the hell...Dallas -5.5 Maybe it's the hype of Hard Knocks on HBO, but I've bought in to the Cowboys in 2008. I think Romo rips apart an injury ravaged CLE secondary for an easy cover...New Orleans -3 over Tampa I think the Saints are the class of the South. They finished strong last year after a horrible start. I think this team remembers that, and gets down to business early at home. Green Bay/Minnesota under 38 The Vikings defense is supposed to be hot shit on a biscuit, and they have no QB. This should be a low scoring game decided in the fourth qtr by a field goal. Get on the under.