Friday, September 30, 2016

Nurse the Hate: Hate London NFL Games

Once again the NFL has somehow managed to send a terrible game to London.  How is this a good promotional event?  When the NFL sends these games over to London to win over the completely oblivious Brits to suddenly embrace American Football, one would think they would send a good game as opposed to the Colts vs the Jags.  Even America’s most degenerate gamblers get a glazed expression on their face when they think of this game.  This must be some sort of Brexit payback.  I would like to formally apologize to the good people of England for sending this over there.  This is the worst thing we have exported to them since Subway Sandwich Shops. 

The poor Brits…  I can’t imagine being over there showering in my tiny ineffective shower, making a spot of tea, calling a cookie a “biscuit”, walking around in the rain, stopping in at the pub after riding a double-decker bus, having a warm pint, thinking about getting some Indian takeout, talking about the Queen, walking around in the rain some more, and then thinking “I should call my mates in their flat to see if they want to see the Jags play the Colts”.  I would definitely prefer having a sherry with me mum, look at nudie pictures of some birds in the The Sun while riding in The Tube and maybe eating some fish n’ chips instead of gambling on this completely unpredictable road game.  How can one know if the Jags defensive backfield is looking at the game plan or taking selfies at Buckingham Palace?  Is Frank Gore relaxing in his tiny hotel room or is he getting fitted for an overpriced suit in Savile Row?  I’m steering clear of that game though I will probably turn it on in the morning and have a very Brit “lie in” while it washes over me.  Maybe at halftime I will have a proper fry up.  Who bloody knows?

I will tell you this.  I am going to really tempt the fates.  I am taking the Jets this week.  I know what you are thinking.  Greg, you have been very outspoken in NEVER taking the Jets to cover any spread.  The Lord himself spoke to you and told you it was sin.  Even God makes exceptions and this week is one of those exceptions.  Here’s how I see it…  All week long the New York press has been going wild about journeyman QB/Norse War Lord Ryan Fitzpatrick tossing six (6) interceptions last week against the Chiefs, thus dropping into everyone’s mind that he will NEVER have success again.  Meanwhile the Seahawks haven’t exactly been lighting it up and roll into The Big Apple with Russell Wilson’s leg held on with tape and hope.  I don’t know who the fuck that guy was that backs him up, but he really sucked when he got in last week.  The Jets at home with points in an early game?  Yes please.  That Jet team is pretty good and underrated while I think the Seahawks are eroding.  Jets +2.5

I have some definite areas of concern looking at the rest of these games.  Vegas has really got these lines dialed in now.  This is when my early season advantage departs for good.  It’s almost time to hand back my early winnings.  With that caveat out for the record, I am going to cautiously take the Oakland Raiders +3.5 over Baltimore.  This is a gut pick all the way.  I have seen the Ravens play twice this year and they aren’t very impressive.  Yes they are 3-0, but wins against the Buffalo/Browns/Jacksonville isn’t exactly murderers row.  I see the Raiders as one of those teams flirting with sliding into the Playoffs so they can get humiliated in Round One.  To be able to get humiliated in the Playoffs, you have to win these kinds of games.  The fact that the Raiders are getting 3.5 puts it up and over for me.  Oakland +3.5

Season Record: 7-2  

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Nurse the Hate: Time Is Relative

I once cracked a molar, the first incident in what would turn into a “problem tooth”.  It was the first major dental incident I had ever suffered.  I had been playing a show in Pittsburgh when it happened.  I remember being really sweaty holding the mic, leaning into a drunk rambunctious crowd and yelling something at them.  Bobby ripped into a solo and I jumped back while I clenched my jaw hearing a very distinctive “crunch” sound that was entirely new to me.  I wondered what the hell it was and took a second to wash back some cold beer.  When that cold liquid hit that tooth, I knew exactly what was going on.  It was like plugging my lower jaw into a socket.  I did the rest of the set on muscle memory while thinking “I wonder how bad that tooth is…  I wonder how bad it will hurt when this adrenalin and beer wear off…”

This is, of course, a minor injury in the history of rock.  On certain nights, when the moon is just right, Michael from the Cynics will tell the horrifying tale of when he slipped on a Madrid stage and had his legs effectively do a split on the stage edge.  While this alone would have been attention getting, he got up to keep the song going.  The show must go on after all.  He felt a warn wetness growing around his crotch and thought “Holy shit…  I pissed myself!”.  That’s a tall order to be a front man in a packed club singing in the spotlight after you’ve wet yourself.  As I heard tell, he stepped to the side for a second and looked down to discover he was actually bleeding.  It turned out he had ripped his penis hole apart and was bleeding like a geyser.  This proved to be a bit much for him to absorb and the show was over.  I think I would have reacted “poorly” to discover my penis hole ripped apart.  Being Spain, they called an ambulance that didn’t show up.  They then corralled a car to spirit him to a hospital where some surprised Spanish surgeon stitched his penis back together.  Michael spent quite some time in a Madrid hospital room until he was shakily rolled out in a wheelchair weeks later like an elderly Greta Garbo.  This would be a much more major injury than my tooth issue in my opinion.

I wound up going to a dentist that wasn’t my normal guy.  Let me pass along some life lessons that are very valuable.  Things you don’t ever skimp on: wine, cheese, shoes, dental work.  Yet here I was with a new dentist.  I was breaking my normal rule on this, but it was an emergency.  When choosing between a painful fucked up tooth and potential relief OR guaranteed relief 48 hours later, I’m rolling the dice on immediate relief. The dentist was a younger guy, relatively inexperienced.  His assistant was out for the day.  It was just the two of us in a grim little strip plaza.

I sat in the chair and explained the situation as “I cracked that back molar in two and it hurts like hell”.  I opened wide.  He fiddled around in my mouth with a pick directly in the area.  Does this hurt?  HOLY FUCK WHAT ARE YOU DOING?  It hurt.  He decided we should get some Novocaine in there to settle things down.  That seemed reasonable to me.  He shot me up.  We waited and made small talk.  The dentist looked at me oddly after I told him I did it on stage at a punk rock club in Pittsburgh.  I think the dentist was very confused by this.  After 75 years of playing rock music I can tell you that the majority of people think that live music is performed in one of two situations.  These are sports arenas to 20,000 people or at wedding receptions.  The general public has no idea that there is a circuit for almost any small sub-genre of music.  You like Death Metal?  There’s a club that does that.  Funk?  Yes.  Country punk?  Once again, yes.

After waiting for a prescribed amount of time, he began to work on me.  As he started, I could feel it.  Hey, hey, hey…  I can feel that!  Are you sure?  I’ve never been more sure of anything.  The dentist stopped for a second and decided to give me more Novocaine.  We repeated the small talk and waited, this time the talk more strained as if he was blaming me for ineffectively numbing the area.  He resumed working on the tooth.  Hey man!  I can still feel that.  He pulled the drill out and looked at me with slight disdain.  I don’t think so.  I have A LOT of Novocaine in you.  He sort of guilt tripped me into thinking I was being a sissy about it.  OK.  Let’s try it again.  HOLY SHIT!  OH MY GOD!  I definitely wasn’t numb.  He pulled the drill out.

I sat in the chair in the reclined position with the suction tube hissing in my mouth.  He hovered over me in his stool.  He pulled down his surgical mask.  “Let me ask you something… And be honest with me…  How much cocaine are you doing?”  What?  What the fuck are you talking about?  I had never done coke after a friend I trusted on these subjects pulled me aside at a party once and said, “Greg… Let me tell you something…  You are someone that should never even consider cocaine.”.  As this friend of mine knew a few things in this area as well as my personality, I trusted that advice and never even considered it.  Looking back, I think that advice was solid as I would have ended up quickly as a dude with a speedboat, stripper girlfriend and a gold coke spoon necklace.  This would not have lasted long as I would have ended up in a discount motel by the airport smoking crack and planning gas station robberies for more crack.

The dentist did not believe me.  He said, “Look I can’t give you any more Novocaine.  We will either have to wait until whatever in your system is out or we just do it without the painkiller working.”  How long will that drilling take?  “Probably about 20 seconds of me drilling right in the middle of it.”  Gulp.  It was decision time.  Fuck it.  I’m here.  Let’s do it. 

Time is relative.  For example, twenty seconds of making love to a woman you adore in her bedroom with soft classical music, the slight scent of perfume, and the curtain lightly blowing in the summer breeze is much shorter than twenty seconds of a rookie dentist drilling directly into an exposed nerve in a strip plaza on a Sunday afternoon.  That lasted about a year and a half.  It was like a grenade was detonated in my mouth, electric blue pain shooting across every cell in my body in cascading waves.  My hands clenched in the fake leather arm rests making a crunching sound as I gripped harder and harder.  Almost done…  almost done…  OK… There we go…  I walked out of that dentist office like you see people in shock walking out of terrorist bombings.

That same tooth was barking at me a bit today, many years later.  I don't know what I did to anger the Dental Gods, but I will tell you this.  I am going to hope this all settles down without further incident.  I am going to plan some type of getaway as if I can outrun the problem.  Though people say you can't run away from your problems, that's probably not true.  You can for awhile at least.  Maybe not your dental problems though.  I was just thinking of really tempting fate and getting away to Spain.  If so, I'm going to try not to rip my penis open there.  More importantly, no matter what, I am not going to a discount Spanish dentist.   

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Nurse the Hate: Hate The Email Scam

-----Original Message-----
From: Linda Hoffman
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 8:38 AM
To: Greg Miller
Subject: Greetings - Linda!

I hope this mail finds you well. This has had to come in a hurry and has left me in a devastating state. I've had to travel to M. D. Anderson (Special Cancer Treatment Center) in Istanbul, Turkey, to see a relative who is critically ill. She's been diagnosed with (Acute Lymphoblastic) leukemia. The doctor has advised that the only way she can survive is by undergoing a BMT (Bone Marrow Transplant). The chemotherapy treatment she had was going fine until last week when the oncologist (doctor) noticed that the disease had relapsed and the only way she can pull through now is by BMT.

Please, I need your help, it is really urgent. Hope to read from you as soon as you get this email.




From: Miller, Greg
Sent: 27 September 2016 14:33
To: Linda Hoffman
Subject: RE: Greetings - Linda!

This is obviously very upsetting.  What can I do to help?


From: Linda Hoffman
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 10:27 AM
To: Miller, Greg
Subject: Re: Greetings - Linda!

Thanks for getting back to me, it really has been chaotic since I got here. As I wrote you earlier, my cousin is critically ill and needs family support. She was diagnosed with (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) - a type of Blood Cancer in 2009 and has been undergoing treatment. Since she flew here there's been an improvement and luckily she's been listed long ago as a recipient and now we've been able to get someone whose marrow matched hers and has agreed to be the donor. We've been in touch with the Turkish Bone Marrow Registry/NHS Cord Blood Bank here in Istanbul as well.

The cost of the operation is €4,205 eur and all that is needed now to balance for the transplant is €970 eur (can't say how much that is in $). But I can not make direct access to my bank account from here as it is a remote area in suburbs of Turkey besides I'm told it would take days for the transfer to be clarified. Paper work and bureaucracy might hinder this development and I can't risk her life over that. Also, the new sim card I registered for here would take about 36-48hrs to be valid, leaving me with minimal access to only emails at the moment.

As it is, I need any form of financial assistance from you. I really don't know your financial status at the moment, but any funds will be accepted with gratitude and paid back after the surgery. I am still making inquiries on how money can be gotten quickly here but from hearsay I think Western Union seems to be the safest. The doctor says all I need do is cash the money with my ID (Passport), which I carry around here. Do let me know if you could be of any help, I will get the necessary details needed in making that sort of transfer. I'll really appreciate this as it needs to be done at the earliest.

Thanks again,

Sent from Outlook


From: Miller, Greg
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 10:44 AM
To: 'Linda Hoffman'
Subject: RE: Greetings - Linda!

That’s a real bear Linda.  The good news is that I hear those Turkish Bone Marrow folks are absolutely top notch.  You know what they say…  If you need to get your bone marrow cleaned out, get your ass to Istanbul.  I think Keith Richards did that after the Exile Tour.

That operation isn’t cheap.  Rest assured, I have the money, but I’m wondering about your cousin.  I don’t want to put a value on human life, but as you recall your cousin really screwed me over on that chinchilla farm deal.  Remember that?  I gave your cousin ten large with the expectations of 20% profits on that scheme, then the next thing I know your cousin is in Las Vegas banging cocktail waitresses two at a time on my dime.

Let’s say your cousin doesn’t get that operation and, shall we say, expires…  Is that really all bad?  Maybe you spin me 5-10K in life insurance settlement money and we are square.  Don’t be offended Linda.  We’re just talking here. 

Let me know what you’re thinking over there.  It will be between us…

From: Miller, Greg
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 2:29 PM
To: 'Linda Hoffman'
Subject: RE: Greetings - Linda!


What the heck is going on over there?  You didn’t talk about us taking your cousin out did you?  Did you?  I just want to remind you that you are in this with me TOGETHER.  If I’m going down, I’m taking you with me. 

Why don’t you do me a little favor Linda?  Open up the attachment on your email.  You see that?  That’s right Linda.  It’s my cousin Spider.  I just dropped him off at the airport.  He’s on his way to Istanbul right now to track you down and get the $10,000 you owe us.  You better believe he is like a coonhound on a trail when I point him in the right direction.  His first stop?  The Turkish Bone Marrow Registry.  You hear that Linda?  It’s Spider!  Spider’s comin!

P.S.  If you have just been at the hospital and not had a chance to respond to email yet, please disregard this message.  I will try to call Spider off.  Sorry for the mixup.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Nurse the Hate: My LSU Dreams At Risk

I was really concerned to see that LSU football coach Les Miles got fired.  I had all my eggs in that basket.  As you know, I am following my dream of becoming a Division 1 college athlete, and I don't need any new blood mucking that up for me at LSU.  I don't want any new coach with "new ideas" to suddenly decide my roster spot is up for grabs.  I was already considering a dual major of chemistry and dance.

I am dropping this in the mail this morning to make sure we are all on the same page.  I hope everyone down there is reasonable.


September 25, 2016

Austin Thomas
General Manager
LSU Football
LSU Athletics Administration Building
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

Dear Austin,

It came to my attention this morning that Coach Les Miles was fired after that heartbreaking loss to Auburn.  I was a little surprised that no one called me personally considering my existing and future relationship with the LSU Football Family.  Yet, these scenarios can often be crazy and I will choose to overlook this slight.  Everyone is probably very busy getting our beloved LSU Tiger Football program back on track.

As you probably know, Coach Miles and I had reached what I believed to be a basic understanding that once I clear up my NCAA eligibility status I would join the team with the intention of being the featured punt returner starting in the 2017 season.  Frankly, I wish I could get on the field and contribute now. It’s frustrating watching the guys lose a close one like last Saturday.  I think my blend of “change of pace” speed and field savvy is just what we need to charge up the offense. 

I don’t know to what depth Coach Miles discussed my future role with the squad.  Just so it isn’t a surprise later, I wanted to make it clear that I am a middle aged man with limited football experience.  I graduated from Kent State in 1988, but did not play on the team during my time there, thus retaining my varsity and Heisman eligibility.  My last punt return in uniform was I believe in 1981.  That really shouldn’t be an issue though.  I have been training up to four (4) days a week for at least one (1) hour per session, and at this point have almost fully recovered from a torn meniscus in my right knee.  Don’t worry.  I don’t feel the injury has impacted my “explosiveness”.  I am right now at this moment as good as I have ever been at returning punts.

I was sorry to see Coach Miles go, but please rest assured my loyalties are first and foremost with the LSU Tigers as a whole.  I committed to LSU and I am a man that honors my commitments.  Let the guys in the locker room know I will still be going to battle with them next season.  I look forward to getting down there and putting the work in.  Let’s win a National Championship together next season.

Geaux Tigers,


Greg Miller

P.S.  Let the guys know I’m thinking about just buying a house down there instead of renting so I would be open to taking on a couple of roommates.  I want the full college experience.  Maybe someone could put a note on the bulletin board or something.   

Friday, September 23, 2016

Nurse the Hate: The Big Winner Week 3

A friend of mine is in Las Vegas this weekend.  The last time she was out there she couldn’t lose.  I think she lit up the NFL for six of six winners.  She won so much money that she had an entire tasting menu prepared at La Cirque and then tossed it into the fake lake at the Bellagio just because she could.  She filled her hotel suite toilets with Cristal just so she could ironically urinate all the Bud Light she drank at the sports book into them.  She didn’t purchase a Pete Rose autograph at The Hit King’s sad little table in the Forum Shops.  She actually purchased Pete Rose, who she then forced to mow her grass and perform various menial tasks around her home until he finally escaped and got back to Las Vegas shivering in the back of a refrigerated semi-truck.    

My thought is that I should “counter select” on all of her wagers this weekend as I feel very strongly she will regress to the mean.  Whenever the NFL provides six winners, it can be counted on that the Gods of Fortune will provide a swift “correction”.  I suspect that by 2:30pm PST Sunday she will be offering up handjobs to sailors outside the Gold Spike just to gather up enough money for a 99 cent foot long hot dog.  Fate is a cruel mistress.  One moment you are riding high and the next you’re checking coin return slots in gas stations for a chance to “get back in the action”.  The problem is I probably have no chance of reaching her as she is swaggering around the Hard Rock pool all drunk up promising "sure winners" having no idea of the staggering swift reversal of fortune coming her way in a day and a half.  

Sometimes you find yourself in a deep dark valley.  A thick black cloud has settled down on you like a shroud of doom.  There is no light.  Everyone has turned on you.  There is little reason to keep on with the grim toil.  Each day you struggle to get out of bed, sure that the day will be filled with more bitter disappointment.  Your dreams have disappeared like smoke.  You wonder how you can put one foot in front of the other.  Then you see it.  A tiny little flickering beacon of hope.  Tampa -6.  Praise Jesus. 

The Rams have yet to score a touchdown.  They lost 28-0 to the 49ers, a team that is universally regarded somewhere in the grey area between “Godawful” and “shit show”.  Now they go on the road to play Tampa in the Bucs first home game.  Tampa got smoked last week by an elite Arizona team.  The Public will remember that game as well as the Rams somehow beating an overrated Seattle team in their first home game in LA 9-3.  This is a game I think the books are begging the public to take the points.  This is why I am swiftly going the other way.  Tampa doesn’t need to score 31 points.  They just need a touchdown more than a Ram team that can’t do dick on offense.  Tampa -6.

Speaking of Arizona, they will be trumpeted as The Best Team of All Time in all the pre-game shows this week.   “They beat Tampa 41-7!  They may never lose again!”  This week they have to travel from Phoenix to Buffalo for an early game.  Buffalo coach Rex Ryan has his back against the wall.  He fired his offensive coordinator in the hopes no one would notice how badly his brother sucks at his job.  This fucking guy really needs a win.  He can’t coach worth shit, but his players seem to love him.  I think that alone prevents an Arizona cover.  Buffalo, despite looking very Buffalo yet again in 2016, usually plays well at home.  I can totally see them losing on a heartbreaking late field goal as the Ryan Brothers chug off the field afterwards with clenched jaws.  Doesn’t cover though.  I hate to give more than a field goal at home, much less to a team that is traveling to an early time zone for a 1p kickoff.  Buffalo +4.5

I have a few opinions.  One should never skimp on toilet paper, cheese, or shoes.  Mick Jagger is a better life coach than Tony Robbins.  There's something to the idea that one of the greatest regrets in life is being what others want you to be rather than being yourself.  Most importantly, all the teams in the NFC East are essentially equally good/bad.  There is no reason not to think that Dallas/NY/Philly/Washington couldn’t beat/lose to Dallas/NY/Philly/Washington on any given Sunday.  Take the Giants v Washington game this week.  Eli could either throw six touchdowns or six interceptions.  Who the hell knows?  However, with Washington you’ll get 4.5 points and that at least provides some sort of edge.  Washington +4.5


Season Record:  5-1        

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Nurse the Hate: Hate Rest

I was speaking with a woman today that is convinced that the source of most of my ills are primarily based on the idea that I am not "resting" enough.  She is quite smug about it actually.  Meanwhile I am quite convinced I spend too much time unproductively and need to press to get even more accomplished.  It’s a bit of a stalemate between us actually.  I think her position is based on the idea of happiness is doing nothing, sort of lounging around like a well fed house cat.  Meanwhile I like to do things so I can have a brief moment of happiness in what I have accomplished.  Then it is time to move ahead once again.  If you are not moving ahead, you are falling behind, no?    

My friend Oliver is a big proponent on the “very tight schedule” concept.  Oliver is German, so this is not surprising.  I can’t ever recall Oliver not having a “very tight schedule”, even while relaxing.  (Say with German accent)  “We will stop for a beer and relax for a moment.”  (checking watch)  “But we will have to leave soon!  We are on a very tight schedule!”  This is the sort of Germanic style of relaxation I have really come to enjoy.  If there is time to enjoy three activities on vacation, the key is to plan four in that time span and somehow get them all done while being stressed out trying to cram them in.  The idea of “fun” is irrelevant next to the responsibility of maximizing your time.  I remember asking Oliver, “Would you ever take a few days at a beach resort and just relax in the sand?”.  He decisively provided the most German answer one could ever hope for…  “Impossible.”  He shook his head after thinking about it again.  “That would be impossible.  It makes NO SENSE.”

I explained this Germanic idea to the woman, mostly to provide a contrast in myself while passively aggressively suggesting that Oliver is the one with a problem, not me.  This only served to reinforce her position that I am going to burn out like a comet .  Furthermore, to have a sick person like Oliver in my life is like Dee Dee Ramone having Johnny Thunders as an enabler.  “You need to take a few days off and re-charge!”  Of course I said it was “impossible” until an idea flashed into my mind.  I very quickly began to scheme an impossible travel scenario involving border crossings with frayed documents, red eye flights, poorly planned accommodations, and almost no prior research done beforehand.  It would be one of my patented "show up and see what happens" ideas that is guaranteed to at least be memorable.  It was probably the exact opposite of what this woman would have suggested as "rest".  I decided to keep this to myself while she explained the travel scenario she thought I needed, which oddly enough would seem to mirror her dream travel scenario instead of mine.  Eh, what are you going to do?

I climbed in my car and relaxed by blasting some Zeke at a volume that threatened to loosen my dental work.  I pulled into the driveway and that same little girl with the missing teeth rolled over unsteadily on her Rollerblades.  "Why do you listen to music so loud?"  I like it.  "Why?"  I like to feel it rip through my skull.  "Oh..."  She scrunched up her face and very dramatically looked up at the sky.  "Do you know what?"  What?  "Wishes don't come true."  Really?  "Yes.  Do you know how I know that?"  No.  Why don't you tell me.  She responded in one breathless sentence.  "Before I was going to school for the first day and they told us what teacher we had I went to bed every night and wished and wished and wished for Mrs. Simmons but then when I went to the school I didn't get Mrs. Simmons."  Who did you get?  "Mrs. Colbert" she said with a dramatic frown.  She looked back up to me.  "Now I know wishes don't come true."  I stared at her for a second, sort of disarmed by the brutal honesty of her statement.  She stared back before I answered.  "It took me a long time to figure that out kid.  You want this soccer ball I found at the park?"  OK!  She lit up and skated home unsteadily with the soccer ball.  I went inside.  

I didn't "rest".  I typed this.    

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Nurse the Hate: The Corey Feldman Today Show Debacle

Life has many unexpected twists and turns.  Moments of great triumph can be swiftly followed by bitter defeat.  Without risk, there is little chance for reward.  However, when I saw this clip of Corey Feldman performing a song from his ill-advised "ten year labor of love" double album, I had to quantify the idea of "risk=reward" to "calculated rick=reward".  If you haven't see this, please click this link.  I will wait here for you...

It isn't often watching something can make me completely uncomfortable while at the same time leave me 100% totally entertained.  I am a man that has provided many questionable performances as a lead singer.  I will wholeheartedly admit this.  I understand how a bad performance can happen having confidently failed in public myself.  Yet, I am unable to fathom how the reality of the Corey Feldman performance hit national TV without anyone in the "Corey Feldman Universe" saying "Whoa!  Corey!  This is a really bad idea!  You're going to make an asshole out of yourself..." 

First, the song is terrible.  "Go 4 It"  When the title of the song has a number in it and you aren't Prince, you need to go back to the drawing board.  Let's get that out there right now.  We have all heard bad songs before, but usually it is evident on what the writer is shooting for on it.  I can't even get my head around what is going on here.  It's like a goth/Christian/rap/arena rock/dance idea gone horribly wrong.  I think of this as the deadly combination of someone with almost no musical talent AND the worst record collection on the planet deciding to pay tribute to all of his horrible favorite artists at the same time.  

Obviously, this isn't even the worst part.  The song itself is really small potatoes compared to the visuals.  What is with the black elf ballet outfit?  Did he dance like that on purpose?  Was he high on dexedrine, peyote and cough syrup?  How did this happen?  I like to picture a cigar smoking agent that handles Corey Feldman.  Maybe he was on top of the game in the early 1980s, but the business has passed him by.  Now he has been relegated to C List clients like Corey Feldman and Screech.  Regardless, he maintains a steely conviction that he knows how to guide his clients to massive success.  He roars out directions to Corey in a small extremely dated Hollywood office. "Look kid!  You want to get to the top again?  You need to listen to me!  We need to get some hot broads!  I'm talking Zsa Zsa Gabor meets Tina Louise!  Hot!  Put them in angel costumes!  Then we get you out there in a black outfit!  Something that scares the shit outtta people like that Game of Thrones crap!  You get out there and dance around!  Give them some Corey Feldman magic!  You know what to do kid!  Drive them wild with your fucking moves!  Now let's make hits!!!"

There had to be a rehearsal for this.  The idea that no one said "Holy shit.  Don't let that guy go on national TV"  is amazing.  Better yet, my gut tells me that the booking agent at the Today Show and the NBC brass knew what was going to happen.  "Lloyd?  Listen...  We booked Corey Feldman for the 10a hour on Today.  Wait...  Hear me out on this...  He is dancing around like a fruit with these chicks in angel costumes knocking out some horrible song.  Then some rap guy comes out in a multi color suit yelling some shit into a mic.  It's a total car wreck but it's ratings gold Lloyd.  Gold.  We'll get 10 million page views on the website.  You can thank me later."

It can't be easy to be a child star with an expired shelf life.  Life was one incredible experience after another as a teenager.  Then you are suddenly a young adult and over the hill at the same time.  Each day you become less likely to resume a real Hollywood career.  The options are limited.  It can all get away from you.  No one wants to be a middle aged man in a black elf outfit.  It seems it might be prudent for someone to pull Corey aside and say, "You know we love you Corey...  But this showbiz thing?  Maybe it's not for you anymore..."     

Friday, September 16, 2016

Nurse the Hate: NFL Gambling Gone Wrong Week 2

Yesterday I was yelled at by a seven-year-old girl.  I don’t know if you have ever been yelled at by a seven-year-old girl, especially one without her front baby teeth, but it’s not pleasant.  Now, I did make the faux pas of suggesting another kid was “the same age” as her.  The little girl rolled her eyes, put her hands on her hips and gave me a real dressing down for not knowing that she was 34 days older than the other kid.  I was trying to defend myself saying that a month apart was essentially the same age and dug the hole even deeper.  What a disaster.  That little girl at seven is already a handful.  The last time I stammered out an apology like that was at a party when I had mistakenly congratulated a woman on her pregnancy that turned out to just be her gut.  Ouch. 

The only way to feel just a tad manly after that debacle is to engage in some heavy duty football gambling.  Please note that I have not run these picks by that little seven-year-old bully to see what she thought, so use them at your own peril.  However, I have watched a mind numbing amount of football in the last week, so I mistakenly feel like I have a decent grasp on some of these teams.  Let’s forget about what went wrong and focus on what is about to go right, eh?  Fuck that little kid.

I watched the Lions pull out a game over Indy last week.  It is very exciting for all Lions fans.  Before everyone in Detroit starts jacking each other off, I’d like to remind you all that every able body in the already iffy Indianapolis secondary was hurt.  They had some trainer kid playing in the dime package at the end of that game.  Brace yourselves.  I am recommending taking the Tennessee Titans +4.5 this week at Detroit.  Tennessee shut down Minnesota last week, which suggests that they have at least an average defense.  Meanwhile Detroit let Indy go up and down the field all game on them.  They aren’t stopping anyone.  This looks like one of those games decided by a field goal at the end.  That won’t cover the spread amigo.  The books know that no one likes to bet on shitty teams like Tennessee.  It’s how they pay for those $1.99 shrimp cocktails.  Take the Titans.

Speaking of Indy, let’s bet against them in Denver, shall we?  Denver beat the crap out of a really good Carolina team ten days ago.  This suggests that maybe if you can win a Super Bowl with an out of gas Peyton Manning that you might also be able to beat a very average Colt team at home after enjoying extra rest.  Did you see what the Broncos did to Cam Newton last week?  Good Lord.  I got a concussion watching it on TV.  You think that defense might be able to do that to the Colts?  I sure do.  Denver -6.

San Francisco kicked the crap out of the Rams late Monday in a game that was hard to be excited about.  Those guys have been driving around the Bay Area with their chests all puffed out hopefully forgetting that they have to fly out for an early game in Carolina this Sunday.  “Hey baby…  You see me Monday night?  Who do we play this week?  Shit, I don’t know…”  Carolina needs to cover 13 points.  That’s what is referred to in gambling circles as “a shit ton” of points.  Consider this:  The 49ers are 1-4 against the spread when underdogs of 10+ in their last five.  The 49ers are 5-14 ATS in their last 19 on a Sunday after a Monday Night game.  The 49ers are also 2-12 against the spread in their last 14 against the Panthers.  Carolina coach Ron Rivera has had ten days to prepare for this game.  The Panthers just lost to Denver.  Again.  This has the feel of one of those “let’s beat the crap out of someone to feel good about ourselves” games.  I’m on Carolina -13.

Season Record:  2-1   

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Nurse the Hate: Three Very Short Stories

The elevator stopped three times on his journey to the lobby.  On the 11th floor a man in an expensive suit winced and blew air from his cheeks while staring down at the floor.  On the 7th a famous musician entered.  He recognized the man first thinking he was a business acquaintance.  He soon realized the man to be Jackson Browne.  The last time he had seen Jackson Browne was when his "Lawyers In Love" video played incessantly on MTV in the late 1980s.  It had been the video playing while he had been caught "dry humping" his classmate's sister in their family rec room.  He still remembered the horrified expression on the brother's face while the Jackson Browne song played from the tinny TV speaker.  It had been the swift end of their fragile friendship.  The elevator stopped again on the 4th floor.  A woman with a toddler got on.  The toddler stared at him the rest of the way to the lobby while he stared at Jackson Browne who stared at the shoes of the man that stared at the floor.  The all exited when they reached the lobby, relieved to be out of the small space together.

When he was seven, he had been knocked unconscious from a rock thrown by an eight year old.  The other boy left him to lay in the dust of the vacant lot.  He woke up in the dusk hours later, dried blood in his ear.  He walked unsteadily home.  He washed his cuts and went to his room, ashamed at having been rendered helpless.  Twenty eight years later he saw the eight year old boy as a man in a restaurant eating dinner with a female companion.  He fantasized about getting a tire iron from his car and bashing him with one forceful swing to the back of the head.  Instead he got in his car and drove home, mentioning it to no one.  He thought about it from time to time though. 


He walked to the harbor to see the clipper ship arrive.  When he arrived in South America two years earlier it seemed a grand adventure.  That initial excitement passed quickly.  Now he felt exiled.  He would sit and watch the ships have their cargo removed, small relics of the life he had left behind placed on the dock.  Crates of biscuits, bitter ale, small jars of marmite.  Everything was different here.  Instead of providing a soothing comfort, these pieces of home just made him more melancholy.  In his chest pocket was the letter he had written shortly after arrival, when he had realized the gross error of leaving her behind.  In it he begged her to reconsider his lack of judgement.  Each day that past made the words inside it less meaningful.  The letter had been stamped and addressed almost a year earlier, the envelope now creased and fading.  He glazed over watching the activity on the dock lost in his thoughts.  He would send the letter next time.  Yes, that would be better.  He walked back up the hill to his home to wait for next time.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Nurse the Hate: The Continued Shark Dive Quest

In an effort to get a few things under control, I have spoken to mi amigo Alvaro in Cozumel.  Alvaro has assured me that the bull sharks will return by mid-December and I can at last go on my ill fated dive to see these beasts without a cage while hovering close to the bottom of the sand.  Alvaro maintains the key is not to freak out and make a dash for the surface when one of these 400-500 pound sharks cruises in.  "Greg my friend, they don't like the bubbles."  So if I keep it together I won't get bitten in half?  "Well, I hope not my friend!"  This is the professionalism and attention to detail one expects from a laid back hippie dive master.  Eh, if one has to go, being bitten in two by a shark is way better than dying meekly at home.

If I survive that dive, the plan is to then dive a pretty dodgy sounding shipwreck in a heavy current at an eye opening depth.  I'm not sure but I think Alvaro has me confused with a much more advanced diver.  In theory I should bring to his attention that I don't really know what I am doing.  I envision that as being awkward though, so I will just play along like I'm an experienced frogman.  If I'm smart I should get there a couple days prior to the scary dives and hop in a shallow reef dive with some beginners so I remember how all the equipment works.   It would be embarrassing to drown on the way down to see the sharks.

I had an image for this trip.  I sort of pictured myself sun tanned and unshaven, a man in the midst of a renaissance.  Kind of a Hemingway meets Captain Quint vibe.  Days spent diving.  Sunsets lounging at the hotel with cold crisp beer.  The loving gaze of a good woman.  Grilled fresh fish cooked simply for dinner.  Nights in a seaside room, the curtain quietly flapping in the breeze and the moon providing pale light.  Now I am pretty sure it will be a "garden view" room at a joint that has water aerobics and a horrible breakfast buffet being savaged by overfed Midwesterners.  I will take a filthy taxi back to the hotel after diving to drink beer from a plastic cup while the hotel sound system blares "Hot Hot Hot" and "Everybody Dance Now".  I will sleep in a musty smelling room with malfunctioning air conditioner above the sparsely attended yet still loud "discoteca".  I can smell the stale towels now.

I am going to do a search on The Google Machine and see if I can find the trip the way I envisioned it.  Yes, it will require vast resources like a time machine and knocking down all of the existing accommodations currently in the area, but I am willing to spare no expense.  This is a New Age.  

Monday, September 12, 2016

Nurse the Hate: The Return of the WSET Fortified WIne Exam

As I suspected, I failed the fortified wine test as part of my impossible WSET Diploma quest.  I learned of this a few weeks ago, but frankly it was just a confirmation of what in my heart I already knew.  I had flamed out during the test in such a spectacular fashion that it may even now be discussed in hushed whispers deep in the bowels of the WSET headquarters.  I looked at three obvious port wines and somehow talked myself into the idea that they were three obscure southern French fortifieds.  Those wines I wrote down are so obscure, they might not even exist.  It was like looking at a hippopotamus and saying “That’s a Pegasus!”.  I can’t really explain my actions.  It was failure pure and simple.  

I now have a chance to re-take this exam in November.  This means I have to re-immerse myself in fortified wines like port, sherry and madeira.  No one in America has purchased as much madeira as I have in the last year since Ben Franklin in the late 1770s.  I have probably moved the madeira market 18% just by purchasing 6 bottles.  There is so little madeira made and sold in the United States, there are right now Portuguese industry analysts trying to figure out the reasons behind “The Great American Madeira Renaissance of 2016”.  They will be equally confused when this “emerging American market” has the bottom drop out of it when I pass this damn exam in 7 weeks and never buy another madeira.

I passed my spirits exam, which is great news.  The great news wasn’t passing the exam as much as it was not having to continue to drink massive amounts of scotch, bourbon and rum.  That whole experience led me to develop a taste for these liquors as well as provide a glimpse into a possible future where I am experiencing blackouts on a regular basis as I lurch around my community holding a highball glass.  While my classes are certainly very advanced, the folks at WSET did not teach me what is in bourbon that makes the drinker feel compelled to ask others “you know what the fuck is wrong with you?”.  Maybe it is the char of the barrels.  All I know is that there should be a chapter in that book that points out the very real possibility of receiving a “Kentucky Ass Whipping” with too many servings of malt grain spirit.  I am going to slowly back away from these spirits much as one would an angry stray dog.

I am now gathering up sherries and ports to resume a tasting regimen.  A local shopkeeper looked down in embarrassment as I came to the counter with a fino, oloroso and amontillado sherry last week.  He knew I must have failed.  I know he knew.  Why else would I be buying an oloroso sherry on a 90 degree day?  No one likes these wines.  Not even the people that make them.  I am probably the only person that has bought a sherry in that joint in the last 180 days.  Oh the shame!  Oh the humanity!  The real problem is more than my wounded pride though.  The real issue is that I suddenly can’t taste.  I have now become unable to taste key markers for wines, and I can’t explain it.  Last week I thought a Chateauneuf du Pape was a domestic pinot noir.  This is like saying a Guinness Stout was a Miller Lite.  I mistook a Washington viognier for a French chardonnay.  I am suddenly the wine equivalent of Chuck Knoblach tossing a throw to first base into a hot dog vendor.  What has happened here?

This pursuit is all about having a clear mind and being able to focus.  I am going to need to somehow learn the basics of transcendental meditation in the next few weeks to clear my head.  I don’t want to have to pack myself into yoga pants and start chanting just to be able to note that ketchup tastes differently than mustard.  I don’t know what else to do though.  The New Age music alone is worth steering clear of the entire yoga/TM/crystal power scene.  Yet, I am completely boxed in.  I will try anything.  I am wandering alone out in the wilderness, a man that was fallen from great heights to being a punchline in the heavily oaked rooms of the WSET Fortified Wine Testing Unit.  A place where men named Roger button up their vests and make dry remarks about others along the lines of “Well, that student’s test was a bit of a disaster, but it was no Miller.”  Sly smiles cross everyone’s faces as they toast each other with generous pours of sercial madeira.  As the madeira hits their palate they will chuckle quietly at Roger’s quip.  Those sons of bitches.  I will show them.  I wonder if I can use the same mantra as George Harrison?  He seemed pretty zen and shit…

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Nurse the Hate: NFL Gambling Gone Wrong Week 1

I have been having what can only be considered a “big” Saturday afternoon.  I have brought my considerable resources to bear in a concerted effort to kill a fly, which has been spending the last two hours landing on my lower legs.  This has met with “mixed” results.  Things have not been going my way lately.  I am hoping I can kill this creature soon, standing triumphantly over his crushed corpse so I may turn my attention into what really matters, distracting myself by gambling wildly on NFL Football tomorrow. 

As I have opined on numerous occasions, betting on NFL Football is the ultimate Fool’s Game.  It is almost impossible to reliably win betting on this savage sport, which should probably be outlawed, as it is only slightly less barbaric than gladiator fights.  However, I know myself well enough that I would have been betting my fair share of Denarius coins on Flavius Augustus to impale +3 Christians in the Coliseum.  We cannot ignore our nature.  I will once again chronicle my efforts to try and make some scratch in this impossible pursuit.

I am going to spend much of the back part of 2016 betting wildly against the Cleveland Browns.  Most of America is vaguely aware of how bad the Browns are, but I don’t think the general population has grasped the idea that the Browns could be historically bad.  I really think this team could go 0-16.  However, if there was ever a game that the Browns could win it would be this one.  Philadelphia will be running out their #1 pick QB Carson Wentz, a kid that broke his ribs in his only preseason series in the NFL and last played against guys that are now gym teachers and personal trainers in small hick towns in the Dakotas.  The good news for this kid is that the Browns have 8 new defensive starters, most of which are cast offs and late round draft reaches.  If Wentz can’t move his team on the Browns in the home opener, the Philadelphia front office should all look at each other and go “uh-oh” while packing up their shit.  Meanwhile, Philadelphia has a real defense.  The Browns right side of the line will collapse like a straw hut.  That Philly defense should be enough in a surprisingly low scoring game to allow Philadelphia to cover a few points.  Philadelphia -3.5.

I was in Chicago last week.  People are down with the Cubs.  They are not down with the Bears.  The city might not even notice that the Bears are playing Sunday.  They are too busy wearing clever Cubs shirts assuming they are going to win the World Series.  Don’t worry, they will have their dreams crushed like the rest of us.  It’s the nature of things.  So while these smug Cubs fans knock back a few Old Styles, I think the Bears will somehow pull out a win over the Texans.  Every year a couple NFL playoff teams regress.  The Texans smell like that team to me.  They kicked Brian Hoyer to the curb, America’s least appreciated 25th best QB to acquire America’s 28th best QB Brock Ossweiler for $150 million more in payroll.  John Elway let that guy walk for a 7th round pick for a reason.  Defensively for Houston JJ Watt is hurt, which suddenly makes that defense pretty average.  Chicago +6 all day long.

I am betting on Tampa Bay.  This is usually a disaster, like betting the Jets.    Tampa is an excellent city to retire in where one can await death amongst strip bars, pawnshops, and used car lots.  It is not a great sports city.  If I wanted to start a real estate scam or sham medical clinic, I would do it out of Tampa.  It’s a good town to sell stolen auto parts.  Like much of Florida, dozens of dead prostitutes are buried just past the city limits.  Tampa is great at some things.  If I wanted to build a great NFL Football team, I would not choose Tampa.  I don’t care for the Disney Pirate Ship bullshit in their stadium.  I do like the Bucs this year though.  I think they could slink into the Playoffs as a Wild Card if things break right for them.  The first step is beating an Atlanta team that lost 8 of their last 9 last year.  (I don’t know if that happened of if it only seemed like it happened.  I tend to be a bit loose with the actual facts.)  Tampa +2.5

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Nurse the Hate: Hate The Pretzel Tattoo

There has been rumbling about the latest Leo P. Love tattoo for quite some time.  At last it has come to fruition and “The Pretzel Bracelet” has taken a permanent place on Leo’s wrist.  Was it a good idea?  No, of course not.  Is it Full On Leo?  Yes.  The key is to really understand the backstory of this magnificent piece of body art.

When we first started touring in Germany I don’t know how much Leo knew about Germany.  I know he was aware of World War II and that Hitler fella.  He definitely knew about the nation’s good beer reputation.  He might have known about Berlin conceptually.  Any other solid information was a long shot with one big exception; pretzels.

Leo has always fully embraced the pretzel as both a means of going local while in country and as his primary source of nourishment.  At any two-bit gas station off the Autobahn, airport vendor, or small town bakery he can be counted on to ignore the 74 other local delicacies and order a pretzel in the same fashion.  “Ah yes… (point to the pretzel)… ahh… one.. ahh… pretzel?”  He then nods in an encouraging fashion as they bag it up for him and request a euro.  He then sort of gnaws at the pretzel all day, pulling it from his mashed up bag out of his jacket pocket.  It’s sort of his German Tradition.

One day we were in what was the old East Germany.  This would have been before most of the population there had at least a working understanding of English.  Any attempt to buy something from a shop could result in complete disaster as a torrent of angry German could rain down on you from any elderly shop lady.  Ken once observed me order a cup of tea from a takeout food stand in perfect German only to have it result in a woman screaming at me in an angry sounding lashing.

Me:  Te bitte?  (Tea please?)
Her:    Wie es wagen, bestellen Sie Tee du dreckiger Teufel? Wie wäre ich einen heißen Tee in Ihrem Arschloch gießen , während Sie wie ein Baby schreien!?!?!?!?!!!!  (How dare you order tea you filthy fuck?  How about I pour some hot tea in your asshole while you scream like a baby?)
At least that’s what it seemed like happened…  She probably asked if I wanted sugar.  It’s so hard to tell with German.

So Leo and I walk into a bakery in this old East German town to get a little snack before loading in.  As soon as I walk in, I realize there might be a problem.  This is an Old School place.  This is not a tourist destination.  The women behind the counter are all 60+ and completely humorless as one would expect.  I pointed to something easily identified and smiled like a mental patient.  Bingo.  Mission accomplished.  Leo stepped up.  It is important to note he is wearing Oliver’s “Henry Fiatt’s Open Sores” hoodie and his voice is a husky croak due to partying too much for too long.  He is unshaven and looks like a drifter.  He asks the woman in this horrible headcold voice “Ahhh?  Bretzelllllll…”  The woman has no idea what he is saying.  “Bretzellllll….”  The clerk looks to an old man drinking coffee at a table.  He shrugs as he also has no idea what Leo is saying.  I note to Leo that it is late, no pretzels are out, and he should point to something else.  No way.  Dude wants a pretzel. 

This is when Leo decides to communicate using some sign language.  The bakery sign has pretzels on the logo on either side of the shop name.  Leo thinks that he will be able to communicate that he wants a pretzel by pointing to the sign and croaking out “Breeettttzzzelllll” again.  Unfortunately, what these people see is a drifter pointing out a window saying an unintelligible word.  Leo!  What the fuck man!  They can’t understand you and you’re pointing out the fucking window!  They don’t know you are pointing to a sign up on the outside wall!  Just get something else!  Nope.  I left him there pointing and croaking.  “Bretzelllllll…”  He never got that pretzel.

I think it was on our last tour there that the interlocking pretzel necklace idea hit him.  He had been “Talking to The Elephant”(or drinking Elephant Malt Liquor).  This is when many questionable ideas can hit a man.  He started sketching on a piece of paper talking about how cool it was going to be, head down, hoodie on.  Like many ideas The Elephant can whisper, I thought this would fade away like Leo’s idea for a Carnival Food drive through, the legendary Mephisto’s, and buying a failing heavy metal nightclub and serving crepes there.  Somehow that piece of paper stayed with him, as did the idea.  Now behold.  The pretzel bracelet tattoo.   

Monday, September 5, 2016

Nurse the Hate: Hate Found Photos and Letters

 I was cleaning out a number of drawers today.  A forced purge of possessions down to the bare necessities is often a very good exercise.  I have been discovering I have way too many things, most of which I never use.  This is mostly because my possessions are the following:  25% CDs and records, 25% books and 50% charge and patch cords for devices that are out of date by at least a decade.  If you need a Blackberry car charger, I’m your guy.  Or I was until I threw it out about an hour ago.  I have learned I have spent the last 20 year accumulating absolutely nothing of value.

I found a cache of old pictures and letters from when various relatives had passed away.  The best time to receive old photographs of yourself in out of style clothes and haircuts is without question right after a tragic death.  Even now I am questioning my fashion choices at the 1996 Miller family Xmas dinner.  (see above)  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  Look at the collarless shirt with jacket!  I’m sorry Aunt Rose.  I hope you can hear me now.  I wish I could go home and change my shirt.  And jacket.  Sorry.

As I tossed out various things that had no value, I found a letter my great grandfather had written my grandfather in 1934.  It was written to him as a young man, attempting to give him guidance as an overbearing father might have done in those days.  What I found most interesting was when I read the letter out loud today and found his voice as I sounded out the bombastic advice.  As a man that has come from a long line of Catholic guilt and heavy responsibility, it was good to see that my grandfather was doomed in 1934 to that as well.  It’s nice to be part of the long lineage of shame.

The nine page letter is a basic guide to life.  Most of it is quite timeless with an emphasis in Great Depression era concerns about debt and earnings.  It is important to note the author of the letter is an amazingly successful man that lived on oceanfront property while thousands starved in the cities.  Still, you can see his overall concern for his boy in the wonderfully detached manner of the times.  Frankly it makes me want to have a baby in England in 1934 so I can be even more detached.  It's the only option available.  "Is Peter choking on his cold porridge?  Hmm...  Let's check back in the morning luv..."

I wonder what my great grandfather would have made of me?  In the letter he is reamarkably uptight about the consumption of hard liquor.  “People are different in the use of liquor.  Some few can drink it without harm, but most cannot. To date, you have never taken a drink of hard liquor , and if you never take your first you will never take your second.  In staying away from liquor entirely, one can be certain he is safe.’  This obviously avoids the fact that my grandfather could crush gin like a beast, and I am sure was doing so in 1934.  I’m glad my great grandfather was in the dark on that.  I’m sure we could all have a gin and tonic and relax by the pool now.  Well, if those guys weren’t dead and all…

I’m a remarkably flawed man.  I come from a long lineage of flawed men.  It was somehow comforting today to hear my great grandfather speak, even through a letter.  That guy was a blowhard, but you know what?  So am I.  God willing one day I can sit down with all of those men.  I don’t think it will happen but I hope it does.  If so, I will tell him I read his letter.  And it helped me. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Nurse the Hate: Hate The Under

Life seldom goes as planned.  Control is only an illusion.  At any moment the floor can fall away under your feet and the bottom can drop out.  It’s all a tightrope walk on a windy day.  That’s why I really appreciate the distraction of sports.  While you struggle with whatever chaos life has thrown at you, it’s good to know of the absolute certainty of the pending failure of the Cleveland Browns.  Whatever personal struggle you are facing pales in comparison to the doomed fate of the Browns this and every year.   While one day you will emerge from crisis, it is somehow comforting to know that the Browns will remain in the pro football version of the Seventh Circle of Hell.  Death, taxes, Browns.  Certainty.

I went to a Browns training camp practice.  I have watched the pre-season games with moderate interest.  I have seen the talent or lack thereof on the roster.  I understand the front office.  I know the history of the team.  So when I saw the Las Vegas line of +115 for the Browns under 4.5 wins, I knew I had stumbled into an opportunity.  Life presents very few opportunities.  You’d better not bungle them all.  This is a big one. 

Sure, the Browns haven’t won the division since 1989.  That’s only 27 years.  However, we are talking about winning a measly 5 of 16 games in a season, not the division.  It’s been a decade since the Browns have won more than 5 games.  That 4-5 line is right where they have been historically.  What makes this such a lock you ask?  Let me tell you the way I see it…

The Browns have constructed a front office that believes in baseball theories of roster building.  While many people were very excited about the new sounding “analytics” theory they are bringing, “analytics” really means “statistics”.  I am going to look into it, but I believe "statistics" have been around for a few years.  The idea of analyzing data might not be new.  Baseball has always been a statistics exercise with brief periods of action.  Pitcher vs Batter.  Grind the stats.  Football is controlled chaos of 11 guys hitting 11 guys with a million variables influencing everything.  I’m suspicious of the baseball template on football. 

That being said, the new Browns management team somehow sold in this idea of burning the current roster to the ground not to “re-build” but “build”.  They continue to say in the press that “we’re not going to measure this season by wins and losses”.  That’s interesting because everyone else will.  What a sales job that was huh?  I am not sure why it is necessary to further destroy a team that went 3-13 and was second worst in the 32 team league.  Yet, they decided to cut or trade most veterans of value with a few exceptions to play “young players”.  This means that five defensive starters from a poor defensive team were replaced with low grade draft picks and unemployed football players that other teams didn’t need on their roster.  The Browns didn’t replace their past defensive starters with other team’s starters.  No, they replaced them with other team’s castoffs.  Consequently the defense has shown almost no ability to stop anyone. 
I think this Browns team might be a historically bad team with the outside shot of going 0-16.  What’s more, I think the organization would love for that to happen so they can make mistakes with more draft picks next year.  What a magical run this will be for the fans!  Don’t get left out of the fun.  If you are like me, you will take what is commonly referred to as a “strong position” on the UNDER win total.  I think even if certain teams suffer a tragic disaster like people weeping by a burning airline fuselage, it will still result in that team being able to throw together a team overnight of drifters that can hang in there with the Browns.  The Browns are coming to the table with almost nothing and they don't care.

Life is a wild ride of uncertainty, triumphs and disappointments.  This is certain.  I am going to spend 16 weeks actively rooting against the Browns, and at the end of it will roll around in so much money I will wet myself with giddiness.  Join me.  Please.