Saturday, January 5, 2019

Nurse the Hate: Hate Earth Fare But Love Wild Card Weekend

I was feeling very jagged and raw wandering around an Earth Fare store looking for something to eat.  Having realized I had eaten a piece of chicken and a Cliff Bar over the last 18 hours, I became convinced that "eating food" was something that was in my overall best interests.  It is not easy to find something to eat in an organic free range free trade health food multi market when you are not particularly hungry.  I knew I did not want the cold organic falafel in the plastic container, and was also confident that a slice of "power loaf" would only result in a heroic bowel movement on the "sooner" side of "later".  I was numbly walking through the store looking at all the powders, supplements and hippie brands of granola goodness when I noticed what was really going on.  The clientele of this health food store were, without question, the least healthy people I have ever seen in any shopping area.

In what I will call "The Earth Fare Paradox", I put forth that the overall increase in ailments and unfashionable clothing has a direct correlation to your likelihood of shopping Earth Fare.  Every single person in that store looked like they were in the throes of some horrible disease.  I was on edge anyway, but I freaked out.  I found myself completely bailing out on food and standing in line with two different types of seltzer water.  In front of me was an elderly couple that had could what could be described charitably as "restricted movement".  They had two containers of mixed greens which they clutched to their bodies like bundles of currency.  To my right was a woman in Birkenstock earth shoes who was intensely questioning the pony tailed employee on the source farming methods of some canned good she was shaking at his face for emphasis.  She was about 40 pounds overweight with a skin condition of some kind that caused flakes of skin from her face to gather in her sweater.  At the next register was a woman with a pronounced limp that was buying a dazzling array of organic powders.  She coughed aggressively into what I assume to be hemp Kleenex as the man with the disc earring and beard rang up her order.  I certainly wasn't feeling my best, but if an NFL combine broke out in that store at that moment, I would have been the consensus #1 pick.

I found myself to be an outsider in this scene.  All the employees had the groovy vibe of slackers with a smug awareness that "they were doing the right thing for the planet man".  I don't know what the hiring practices are at Earth Fare, but a long history of attending jam band festivals in the woods and being able to differentiate between various strains of weed must be a key qualifier.  Groups of three or four employees would be clustered around the store doing that hippie thing of talking out a problem to death when the answer was as simple as "someone get the mop".  I mean, they got there, but not before everyone weighed in and they talked it through.  Sample dialogue I heard:  "I totally hear what you are saying, but the last time we did it that way things got reaaallllyy crazy."  I knew at that point I needed to get my sparkling free range organic hemp water, flee, and just get back to something where I am comfortable.  In this case, that's breaking down my favorite weekend of NFL Playoffs, Wild Card Weekend.

You know when a hot rookie pitcher blazes across MLB?  It’s a new guy that no one can hit.  He’s unstoppable for a month.  Then the rest of the league starts to break down tape.  Baltimore’s offense is not exactly a multi dimensional air show.  It’s the option.  Now, I agree there is more to stopping Lamar Jackson than saying “we’re going to stop Lamar Jackson”, but I contend the Chargers and their 8th ranked defense are up to the task of keeping the Ravens in their normal 21-24 point range.  Meanwhile, the Chargers are 7-1 ATS on the road.  With no home field advantage, these guys aren’t bothered by road games like most teams.  You’ve had Phillip Rivers with a week to watch the Browns textbook for beating the Ravens defense.  Melvin Gordon is probable, unlike when he missed the teams last matchup.  I like the Chargers straight up after the Ravens having expended so much energy to even get here.  The fact I get a field goal is even better.  Los Angeles Chargers +3

The Eagles are back!  After looking like a crappy playoff pretender for the entire season, Nick Foles miraculously led the Eagles into an unlikely playoff berth despite taking a shot from Javeon Clowney at the end of last week’s game that would kill most normal human beings.  I cannot turn on sports programming without someone telling me how awesome the Eagles are and how, just like last year, they have been “disrespected”.  There’s no doubt about it.  The Eagles are going back to the Super Bowl.  Well, except they have to play the 12-4 Bears in Chiacgo, a team nobody seems to notice.  The Bears, 10-1 against the spread in their last 11, with the only loss when horrible backup QB Chase Daniel stumbled around out there.  The Bears have the #1 adjusted pass defense and the #2 adjusted run defense.  The Bears are 7-0-1 against the spread versus road teams with a winning record.  The Bears are 16-4-1 against the spread in their last 21 home games.  The Eagles?  1-4 against the spread in their last 5 Wild Card games.  This is a classic media driven/heavy public betting situation.  The Bears are really good.  The Eagles aren’t.  Chicago -6

Season Record:  17-11


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