Thursday, December 31, 2009

Nurse the Hate: Hate College Bowl Games

As we continue to spiral through the inconsequential college Bowl season, it becomes evident how unpredictable each of these games truly are. Wisconsin, Big 10 also ran, knocked the crap out Miami for no apparent reason at all. Bowling Green (they were good enough to play in a Bowl?) lost a game last night 127-126 or something like that. With these games only serving the purpose of being fodder for the degenerate gambling community, it's hard to get an angle on the vibe of the teams. The questions you must ask yourself are these:

Does this team care if they win? This is the key question. Did the college kids on this team show up to get a final win for their seniors, pride, and legacy of the school? Or did they come to a warm climate to eat some free meals, get free gift bags, and try not to get hurt? Are the players paid assassins for Pompous U. or do they actually care? Miami, perfect example, has a long tradition of producing players that can't even read and write. Do you think they care if they win the Tostitos Holiday Bowl? No fucking way. They'll show up for the BCS Championship Game, but not the Progressive Insurance Emerald Bowl.

Does the team have a bunch of NFL caliber players that want to improve their draft standing? This is huge. If the players think NFL scouts are viewing this game as a showcase, and they can move up from being a #6 pick in Tampa to a #3 in Dallas, these guys will kill their opponent. Wouldn't you? You move up the draft, it's worth half a million to multi millions of signing bonus money. This is why I like Virginia Tech tonight -5.5 by the way. They'll put any sociopath on the field for a chance to win. In exchange some of these border line criminals go to the NFL.

Will people actually be watching the game? If you're in the Rose Bowl, you know 50 kazillion people will be stretched out in sweat pants on their couch watching. Meanwhile if you are 6-6 Minnesota playing 6-6 Iowa State in the Insight Bowl shown on the NFL Network at 6pm, you may not be as fired up. (As an aside, who wins this one in the ratings? That game or 30 Minute Meals with Rachel Ray?)

Is the coach a tyrant or a "good guy"? If the coach is no nonsense he'll keep the team focused on the game, and make the players miserable. There will be no fun. Bed check at 9pm. Big guys in sport coats at team dinners where no one smiles. The "good guy" lets the team take part in all the zippity doo dah fun times around the event. The "good guy" lets the team go to the amusement park and live it up. The "good guy" is also known as a "loser". That's why I like Penn State -2.5. Paterno and his staff are 500 times the coaches those rubes from LSU are and will win despite the fact LSU probably has better players.

I also like the UNDER in the Auburn/Northwestern game. Auburn has gone under the total in their last 9 Bowl appearances. Why not 10? I'll also take Florida -12.5 over Cincinnati. The SEC has to be 12.5 points better than the Big East, right? And with the game in the south, it's going to be all those annoying Gator chomping crackers going crazy. Florida State +2.5 is interesting. If you're feeling especially randy, take the otherwise mediocre Seminoles as they play well in the post season.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Nurse the Hate: Hate Late Season NFL

It has been a joyous time around the hearth and giant flat screen TV as I was all over the Chargers on Xmas and USC yesterday. There's only one thing to do now. Time to give it all back in Week 16 NFL action. The problem with the NFL this late in the season is there are some teams that have packed it in, while others are playing their asses off for the playoffs, jobs next year, pride, or whatever motivates these dinosaurs. The trick becomes in finding the group of guys that are already packed for Aruba and are playing not to get hurt. It's not like they print that up in the paper either... Buffalo Bills Looking Forward To Off Season of Chasing Skirts, Drunken Behavior... Tampa Bay Defense Hopes To "Not Get Too Banged Up" This Week...... Russell, Raiders Hope Cleveland "Not Too Cold, Don't Want To Get Sick Before Vacation".

I usually avoid any game without two teams playing to get into the playoffs at this point in the season, unless someone has clearly packed it in. Hence, let's look at the Miami v Houston game. Miami is playing their usual scrappy, never give up football that is the usual bill of fare for a Parcells run team. Houston, as usual, has failed to meet expectations and needs a win on the road to stay alive. Miami at home? Houston after having lost 4 straight to playoff bound teams? I'll take Miami.

New England hosts Jacksonville in an interesting game. Jacksonville has been flying under the radar all season, while the general public waits for the Patriots to "flip the switch". The problem in New England is there is no switch to flip. The defense is old. The team cannot run consistently. They win games, but never big. You're giving the Jags ten? Yes please. The Pats have covered a ten point spread once since Halloween (and that was against the shitty Jets and ex-boy wonder Mark Sanchez). While you never know what the hell you are going to get with Jacksonville, at least they hang in there. I'm taking the points and will white knuckle it at the end.

Want to violate my cardinal late season betting rules? (After all, I have proven that a tree sloth knows more than I do when it comes to predicting thee games.) Someone gutsier than me would take Kansas City +13.5 since Cincy doesn't blow anyone out. That same person would also take Oakland +3.5 since Derek Anderson can't complete short passes and Oakland has the best cornerback in the NFL in Asomugha. That means Cle will run early/often, and eat up plenty of clock. Take the under 37.5 while you're at it. I'm not, but you should...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Nurse the Hate: Greatest News Story From the South Part 2

Here in Northeast Ohio we get gang violence, wide spread government corruption, and crumbling economic infrastructure news. However, we don't get stories like this. This is my new favorite news item of 2009. Awesome...

Tennessee Tot Found Drunk, Wearing Dress

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Dec. 17) -- Tennessee investigators say a 4-year-old boy was found roaming his neighborhood in the night, drinking beer and wearing a little girl's dress taken from under a neighbor's Christmas tree.

The child's mother, 21-year-old April Wright, tells WTVC-TV the boy "wants to go to jail because that's where his daddy is." Wright says she and the boy's father are going though a divorce.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Nurse the Hate: Hate Tiger

The Tiger Woods situation is hard to grasp. For years the public has been told Tiger Woods=control, discipline, and perfection. Now as the veneer has slipped away forever, people can't believe it. Women ask, "How could Tiger sleep with all those women with that beautiful wife at home?". Answer: Because he could. He didn't sleep with those girls instead of his wife. He probably slept with them in addition to his wife. While most men would not admit to this kind of behavior, if afforded the opportunity that Tiger Woods has, almost every deadbeat friend of mine would have done the exact same thing. Yeah, I know, it sucks, but that's the way it is...

While the public struggles with the basics of the story, I've moved on to the most compelling part of the whole thing. Woods allegedly slept a woman named Mindy Lawton that worked at a Perkins. Now let's get past the fact that you would assume Tiger would be hooking up with better looking women than Ms. Lawton. The big question no one can seem to answer is this: How the fuck did Tiger Woods meet a woman that worked at Perkins? Are you trying to tell me that he pulled off the interstate and woofed down some pancakes with a whipped cream smiley face and said to himself, "Oh yes, indeed she is the one. At last... My opportunity to make love to a Perkins waitress". Is Tiger Woods really eating at Perkins? Are waitresses at Perkins getting into the A list parties that Tiger Woods must be attending? How in the hell did they even meet each other? Can someone please explain this to me?

If I knew anyone that said to me, "I just met this really hot chick that was working at Perkins." I'd pull them aside for a strong talking to. They would have obviously taken a blow to the head. In the few times I have pulled off the highway and went to Perkins, I remember a restaurant filled with the deformed masses of your typical Southern Indiana Wal Mart. To think of one of the most famous men on the planet is not only eating at Perkins, but hitting on waitresses... It makes your head almost explode. What's next? George Clooney banging some Home Depot check out girl? Peyton Manning hooking up with an overweight single Mom that works at a 7-11? The world is slightly off axis.

There's two ways for Tiger to go in this situation. 1) What he's going to do. 2) What he should do.

What he's going to do is this: He'll be advised to take a leave from golf to do some "soul searching". Rededicate himself as a husband and father. Declare himself a "sex addict". Seek counseling. Remove himself from the public eye. Reappear with the wife and kids at a charity event where he spends a kazillion dollars donating to something no one can criticize... something like "Humanitarian Fund For Amputee Children's Cancer Relief In Flood Ravaged New Orleans". Go on Oprah or a Barbara Walters special and cry as an act of contrition. Win some golf tournaments. Pretend nothing ever happened a la Kobe Bryant.

What he should do: This is a dangerous idea. But I remind you, these are dangerous times. What if Tiger totally sanded down the image and emerged as the guy he really is in an "in your face" way. He could be re-established as the Bad Boy of Golf. A rugged man's man that does whatever he wants, because "Dammit, I've earned it!". Picture this... Tiger holds a press conference and walks out to the crowded dais in that red golf shirt he wears on Sundays. "Ladies and gentlemen, I have had a number of transgressions that have recently been made public. I regret the pain and suffering this has caused my family. However, I would also like to remind everyone that I have a billion dollars and will win another $50 million this year by playing golf. I am going to do whatever I want whenever I want. I'm Tiger Woods! A sound system would then crank up with Salt N Pepa's "Push It" at top volume while Tiger stood next to the podium doing The Robot while reporters scream out unanswered questions.

Now that's a moment. You want to talk about adding interest to the PGA Tour? Heck, I'm even watching now.

Quick Note: I like Cincinnati +6.5 tomorrow. The Bengals have allowed the least points in the NFL, so they should be able to stick close in this one, and maybe even win. MInnesota is the real deal, but 6.5 is too many to a team with a good defense and a good clock eating ground game... Every talking head is saying the Cowboys will win tomorrow at home vs San Diego. Uh-oh. If that line moves to San Diego +4, SHOW ME YOUR THUNDERBOLT!... I love Juan Diaz tonight over Paul Malignaggi. Diaz won a decision in his hometown Houston in their first matchup that was closer than expected due to a cut over Diaz's eye (by headbutt if I'm not mistaken). However, I don't think Pauly can hurt the Baby Bull. He's too light a puncher. Diaz by decision.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Holidays

Once again I find the Holidays bearing down on me and I am completely unprepared. No gifts have been purchased. No Christmas cards sent. No plan has been formulated. I will once again blindly purchase items while fighting off other desperate saps in the same boat as myself. "Box with that Sir?" What the fuck do you think? You think I am going to wear that small sweater vest? Box that shit up and wrap it if you can! I've got to have gifts in hand Goddammit! Move it Sister!

If you are on my Christmas gift list this year, I would expect a gift that seems poorly thought out and probably purchased in quantity. "Hey! Can I get a price break on these margarita sets if I buy that whole palate?" It's not that I don't care. I do. I just don't have any time to get involved in The Process. Is this a fundamental failure of mine? A deathbed regret that will haunt my nightmares? Yes. Yes it is. Can I do anything about it? No, it doesn't appear so.

The one good thing you should know is that I will not make the complete defeatist move and "donate cash in your name to the Blah Blah Blah fund". People pretend to be happy about that when they receive that card, but we all know they're not. They glance at it, force a smile, mutter how thoughtful that was, and pitch the card in the trash thinking "Shit...doesn't he usually send me those mixed nuts? I sure could go for a macadamia..."

My brother has really taken matters into his own hands. While you are sitting around a crummy Christmas tree listening to your Aunt Sheila ask "Why aren't you married yet?", he's sitting in the Gold Nugget sauna in Vegas sweating out a Bacon Martini. Sure, maybe that Christmas Eve dinner at the Raffles Coffee Shop is a little bleak. ("Gravy on your hot turkey sandwich platter sir?") However, he has managed to successfully deflect the pointless Holiday Hoopla and have a good time. Who needs to have a panic attack hustling to make a Gingerbread House on some party deadline? That green bean casserole your girlfriend is slaving away on? Nobody really likes it, and they just take a spoonful to be polite. After the seven minutes of gorging at the table, no one even remembers what they ate anyway. But yet, it's hard not to get caught in the wave of anxiety that is awash over everything this time of year.

Yesterday I was trying to accomplish 14 hours of activity in 10 available hours and I found myself parking in Chagrin Falls OH. This is a town that looks like a movie set for "quaint". Attractive well dressed people strolled casually with gift bags, poking their heads into shops for pleasant conversation. Perhaps they'll stop for a latte and scone later. I'll bet they have their shopping done. Me? I'll be scarfing down a gas station rollerdog while hurtling down the highway at excessive speed, late for something. How did I get here? Happy fucking holidays.

Random Notes: I have been getting my ass kicked in NFL Football. It is impossible to consistently pick winners in that game. Why do I even try? The Browns covering three weeks in a row hasn't been good for anyone. Well, it's probably been real good for those guys at the Gold Nugget. Tomorrow the Browns get 9 at home vs a struggling Pittsburgh team. Public opinion has shifted to say that the Steelers are done and the Browns will maybe even win. Do I dare bet against the Browns again?... If you like the Rolling Stones "Sticky Fingers" record, you should probably immediately buy the Flamin Groovies "Teenage Head" record. That's the best 6 bucks I've spent in a long time...That Tiger Woods situation is the most compelling thing I've seen in a long time. It's a horrible car crash with bodies strewn in every direction, but it's impossible to turn away... Do yourself a favor and click on the photo up top to really capture that young fella's expression. Doesn't that just say "Christmas"?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Nurse the Hate: Hate CSN

I laid sprawled out on the couch. I was in the "Sunday Fear". You know that dread that begins to seep over you when it has become apparent that no matter what you do, you'll still have to get up early and pursue gainful employment in the morning? The myth of the weekend has almost passed over completely like a puffy summer cloud tossed aside by an oncoming storm. There will be no more singing for you cowboy. There will be a nice hot steamy shit sandwich waiting for you Sir. Now, lay there and wallow in the dread...

You wouldn't think it could get worse. But it did. If I would not have changed the channel to HBO to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Concert I never would have seen it. But I did...

There on my hideously over the top high def TV was David Crosby singing "Almost Cut My Hair" with his alarming grey Bozo hair. To his immediate right Graham Nash pantomimed expressions while singing back ups and harmonies that reminded me of that creepy High School art teacher we all had. You know the one. The one that rumor had it "fondled a boy" a couple years ago. No one could remember who exactly, but Larry's older brother's cousin knew the kid's best friend personally and he had to transfer out to the Catholic School. Now you winced whenever the art teacher would touch your shoulder and comment on the shitty watercolor you were failing on. Who needs to be reminded of that during a supposed "rock show"? Not me Friend...

All the way on the end of the stage was cranky frumpy old Stephen Stills. He could still play that guitar, but what was with the hair that was dyed too brown? Maybe that ad on TV said you could just blend it in naturally and no one would notice. However, I noticed. You're 65 years old. You shouldn't have hair the color of a pony's mane sitting on that craggy pumpkin head. Christ, even though Crosby is shocking with that wispy hair, at least you know he's like AARP Captain Kangaroo on microdot. He's not trying to fool anyone.

Crosby, Stills, and Nash are perhaps the most overrated band of all time. Let's say we give them that first record. OK. It's not "rock", but it is certainly well performed music. I don't like it, but I can see how other people can. (Having your first show be Woodstock probably helped sell a few records, no?) The second record is chock full of filler, and pretty much blows. After that they would get Neil Young to come around and try to suck some inspiration out of him like hippie vampires. They haven't done ANYTHING since 1972. Yet here they were on my TV, playing song after shitty song soaking up applause from the corporate wonk sponsors and VIPs of that "event". "Woodstock"? Pretty topical guys. And didn't Joni Mitchell write that? "Almost Cut My Hair" That's about as relevant today as "If You're Going To San Francisco (Wear Flowers In Your Hair)".

The thing that really helped sink me further into depression was how they just thought they were kicking ass, and they were knocking out these timeless classics. Shit, Little Anthony and the Imperials at least realize they are an oldies act. That makes them endearing. These guys? You just know they were busting everyone's balls for the best dressing room, 3 hour sound checks, and holding court like they were still The Shit. This was not the way to end the weekend.

Just when I thought it couldn't get worse, it did. Yes, James Taylor was brought out to sing with them.

Ye Gods.

Side note: I recently read a book about The Byrds, and David Crosby sounds like the biggest asshole ever. The Byrds old producer was asked a few years back. "Who was the most difficult person you ever worked with? The biggest pain in the ass, most impossible artist?" Without hesitation he said, "David Crosby". He then said, "You know who is second? Charles Manson.". That probably doesn't help me summon up those warm cuddly feelings about CSN.