Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday Filler

In the event no one was planning on putting in some filler, I offer this. I stumbled upon it on the tweeter a few weeks ago and placed in my back pocket for just this sort of day.
Looks like the South Florida Floridians filled out a few more surveys than the rest of us Floridians. And they like the Sidecar out west. Fuckin hippies. Sex on the Beach is pretty popular where there are no beaches. And you Virginia peeps like the Pisco Sours. Whaa??? Yeah, Pisco Sours, of course.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Now You Tell Me

I dropped a link to a Fast Company story about American drinking and hangover habits into the drafts folder several months ago, figuring it'd be a decent filler at some point. Now, as I finally get back to it and actually read the story, I'm kicking myself. It would've been really helpful had I read it two days ago.

A company called Blowfish markets what they purport to be the most effective hangover cure on the market. In their words, 
Blowfish is a lemon-flavored fizzy tablet that will stop the pounding in your hungover head faster than you can imagine. It’s the only hangover product with a formulation recognized as effective by the FDA (which is kind of a big deal). Doctors use it. Bartenders swear by it. And we guarantee it’s the best remedy out there – so you’ve got absolutely nothing to lose by trying it (except, you know, your hangover).
I started drinking at around 1:00 p.m. yesterday, on a postcard perfect fall afternoon in Williamsburg. I stopped sometime around 2:00 in the morning, though the details are a bit fuzzy. Clarence claims he saw me and another of our friends struggling to get into our hotel room at around that time, which sounds odd to me, as I think I remember leaving him with some other friends in an entirely different hotel room.

Either way, my 7:00 a.m. wakeup call this morning found me somewhere between groggy and abjectly addled. You all know the symptoms, so I'll spare the litany, but this hangover had (still has, really) representation from the entire catalogue. An effervescent assist would've been blessed.

According to Blowfish's research, aptly named Intoxication Nation, Virginia is the 34th-most hungover state in the Union. However, the District of Columbia clocks in at the top of the charts, the single most-hungover jurisdiction in all the land. And since there are large parts of the Old Dominion that considers Northern Virginia essentially an extension of D.C., I feel it appropriate to claim residency in our Nation's Capital, at least for this express purpose. I've certainly lived up (down) to it today.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

What is this, Week 8?

Week 8 Picks! Yeah! I write this from Winchester, post mini-summit with the Marls which was also our first time meeting. A wonderful chap he is if you have not had the pleasure. Mr. KQ - next time my friend. I regret only having a couple of hours to spare but my homeland was calling.

If keeping track at home, you've figured out that Mark and I are pretty bad at picking games. As compared to last year at this time, Mark was around 5 or 6 games above .500 and I 1 or 2 games above .500. Today, Mark is 6-14-1 and 9-12 for yours truly. This weekend we make some changes though. Right Mark? AndI'd like to apologize again for last week's half-ass effort. 'Twas on the annual golf trip with my laddy's. Well let's get onto it shall we?

Syracuse -5 at Wake Forest
I thought I'd start off with a bang here. It'd be interesting to see the TV ratings on the ND/FSU game IF everyone were required to first watch in its entirety, this shitshow of a football game. The doormat of ACC. Hell, the doormat of college football are these two. Five points seems like 3 touchdowns but what the hay. Syracuse has scored some points against far greater opponents including 20 against FSU and 15 against ND, with a few turnovers mind you. Wake has had far less success so for that reason, I gotta go with the 'Cuse.
'Cuse is in house omygod omygod.
Stanford -3.5 at Arizona State
That thar is a head-scratcher. If I'd guess this spread without seeing it I would have figured Stanford by a touchdown. Admittedly, and I'm sure this is of no surprise to anyone, I don't do much research on these games. Much of it is what I've seen and perceive from usually just one of the teams. And what I've seen from Stanford is a team that probably got a little more hype pre-season than it should have. Their offensive line and thus running game is pretty similar to the Jaguars of Jacksonville. My guess of a -7 point spread was more due to ASU being annihilated by UCLA last week 62-27 rather than Cardinal superiority.
Sun Devils
Notre Dame +11.5 at Florida State University
Yup. I'm going against my pre-season edict of not, under any circumstances, betting on an ND contest. Ignoring this game this weekend here at GTB would simply be sacrilege. 'nah gonna do it.
So what's going to happen? One of two things - ND loses by 2 or more touchdowns or they win by a couple. I don't see a middle ground here. One concern for ND is their recent propensity to turn the ball over multiple times per game. Golson alone has 9 of 'em in the last 3 games. Nine times? Nine times! Nine times? Yes, NINE TIMES. Throw in a few more among the other guys and out comes a struggle against Syracuse, and a game they could have lost against UNC. The concern though is also somewhat of a silver lining. Not too many teams regardless of who they are playing will/could come out with wins with that many TO's. The other concern is ND's secondary combined with their blitz packages that when executed flawlessly are effective. When not, not effective? Yeah, not effective. I don't see Winston having any problems play-wise with his distractions this week. He'll play well and so will FSU despite their recent challenges. Everyone gets up to play FSU and everyone gets up to play ND. Should be a good'n. And I'm going with the Irish. Shocker of the day right?
Last Week was a fucking debacle. Danimal and I both went ofer on our picks and I missed Florida blowing an extremely winnable game against LSU because the PGA National Reesort doesn't get the SEC Network. Things have to turn around this week, right? RIGHT?

Kentucky +10.5 at LSU- This is your Daddy's Kentucky team. That's because your Dad's Kentucky team played basketball and was coached by Joe B. Hall. But seriously, Mark Stoops has Kentucky trending up. He's recruited extremely well and has developed those recruits. They should've beat Florida in the Swamp and did beat South Carolina in Lexington. LSU doesn't play defense like the Les Miles coached LSU team we're accustomed to seeing. LSU probably finds a way to win but the Wildcats cover.
Georgia at Arkansas +3.5- Arkansas was a missed extra point away from taking Nick Saban and the Tide to Overtime last week. While the record may not yet reflect it, Bret Bielema has a much improved Razorback squad. They have two big time tailbacks, an offensive line that's bigger than any NFL Offensive Line and a more than adequate QB. It's pretty impressive that's managed to turn this program into Wisconsin South in less than two years. Now he just needs and SEC win to show the nation and his boosters that things are moving in the right direction. Today's the day he gets that win. Woo Pig Sooey.
Tennessee +16.5 at Ole Miss- I was wrong. Ole Miss is for real. Dr. Bo isn't the scattershot QB we've seen the past two years and those stud recruits that Hugh Freeze has brought to Oxford the past two years have developed nicely. Quiet as it's kept, Butch Jones is doing similar things with the program in Knoxville (Side note: Everyone in the SEC seems to be improving, except Florida. Hey Dan Mullen! How, YOU, doing?). Tennessee's issue this year is that they had to replace every starter on both the Offensive and Defensive line. That's a tall task and the main reason we won't see a significant difference in Tennessee's Win-Loss record this year. They're better though and they have some legitimate talent at the skill positions. Enough talent to keep this game somewhat close. Take the Vols and the points.
(My site didn't have the FSU-Notre Dame line listed but I'm with Danimal. Take the Irish and points. If you've been paying attention the one good wager I've been making all year is taking the FSU opponent and the points. They're not the asme team this year. Not even close. FSU wins as usual but they don't cover. As usual.)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Real-Getting Reminder

While November's elections seem increasingly likely to herald at least two years of donkey dismay due to demographic destiny and dragging Democratic disapproval (bygones - started rolling with the alliteration and couldn't stop), there remains a bright spot in our Nation's Capital.

As we told you in August, ballot initiative 71 asks D.C. residents to decide whether to essentially legalize possession of marijuana for personal consumption. The measure is expected to pass by a large margin, and while it may well get hung up in Congress, it'll be yet another blow for the friends of common sense. Oregon's also likely to move closer to legalization in this election cycle. (See how I left that 'common sense' weed joke alone. Showed a lot of restraint there, no?)

In honor of what will likely be the only election result that folks like me will be smiling about on November 4, I've purchased Mark one of these shirts for his birthday. Here's the link for those of you that want your own.

Looking forward to a Williamsburg mini-summit with several Gheorghies this weekend. Just keep the lights on here, will you?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Red Hot Action

As we hunker down for the afternoon arrival of rainmegeddon here in the DMV, I found a video that might brighten up your day.  While it can't hold a candle to the Bullets' "You Da Man", this steaming pile of awesomeness is the perfect storm of mustaches from the 80's, acid wash jeans, matching polo shirts, bad synth music with goooooooooooooood awful lyrics, air trumpet playing and terrible lip synching.   Methinks that the folks up in Calgary could have used Shalra and KQ to help with the production of this one.    

You can't touch a flame when it's red hot!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

It Gets Chili in October

This past weekend while some of us were canoeing on the Russian river, lounging by the pool at PGA National, taking in football games at MetLife Stadium, or attending an animal husbandry conference in Pinehurst, NC; a group of highly trained athletes came together in the nation's capital to put their reputations and their stomachs on the line in the Ben's Chili Bowl World Chili Eating Championship.   Not since TR's performance in the 2001 Festival of San Gennaro Cannoli Eating Contest have I seen such dedication to one's craft.    

In the end, Nathan's Hot Dog Eating champion Joey Chestnut was victorious by ingesting seven and a half bowls of Ben's Chili Bowl chili in just six minutes.  That is over 1.8 GALLONS of chili.  This my friends is the price for glory.  

The attached video is worth a watch just for the fantastic emceeing job by Sam Barclay from the IFOCE, even if the beheading imagery might be a bit distasteful in the current environment.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Brain Smasher.....A Love Story

In 1993, Andrew Dice Clay and Teri Hatcher starred in a very forgettable piece of American cinema entitled, Brain Smasher.....A Love Story.  Typical story of bar bouncer (the Brain Smasher played by ADC) meets fashion model (Teri Hatcher), Brain Smasher and model get attacked by Chinese monks, model loses Brain Smasher, model gets Brain Smasher back and they fall in love.  You know the drill. Despite knowing what's best for her, Teri Hatcher can't help but fall in love with the rough and tumble charms of the Brain Smasher.

By now, you are undoubtedly saying, "Marls, why are you bringing up any Andrew Dice Clay films other the TR favorite "Casual Sex" or "The Adventures of Ford Fairlane?"  Partially, it's because I celebrate the entire cannon of Mr. Clay's work, except for that "Blue Jasmine" crap.  But mainly it's because the title relates well to my current feelings about the NFL.

On Friday, the paper of record (the New York Times, not the Daily Press - sorry FOGTB Dave Fairbank) published an op-ed piece by Eric Kester entitled What I saw as an N.F.L Ball Boy.  Kester is an author and 2008 graduate of Harvard who spent time on the Crimson football team, though he appears not to have lettered for them.  More importantly, in 2003 Kester was a ball boy for the Chicago Bears.  That was 10 years ago, and the NFL will undoubtedly say that they have made the game safer since then, but one can't help but be troubled by a view into the world that we all know exists but don't want to think about while downing wings and crushing cold beers.  As Kester says:
As fans high-fived and hell-yeahed and checked the progress of their fantasy teams, and as I eagerly scrambled onto the field to pick up shattered fragments from exploded helmets, researchers were discovering the rotting black splotches of brain tissue that indicate chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Known as C.T.E., this degenerative disease is the result of players’ enduring head trauma again and again. Symptoms include dementia and extreme aggression, and C.T.E. is considered at least partly responsible for the string of recent suicides of former and current N.F.L. players, whose anger, sadness and violence eventually collapsed inward.
After reading that, even a crisp pint of Pliny the Elder does not quite taste as good.

Kester's op-ed piece is written as a defense of the good things about football while advocating for change to ensure that football can continue.  However, after reading it, I can't help but be moved closer to this blog's prediction of a rugby ascendancy.  That said, as I am writing this, I am getting ready to turn on today's slate of NFL games.

In the end, we the fans are all Teri Hatcher, minus the copious amounts of plastic surgery.  We have fallen in love with a brain smasher and can't give it up.  Only, in our case, the brain smasher is real and we pay good money night after night, weekend after weekend, in support of the spectacle of a modern day gladiator tournament with each player willing to put their bodies, minds and long term health in jeopardy for fleeting money and fame.  All of this is fueled by us, the fans, who are all too willing to rise up in righteous outrage at the transgressions of players or management, but only as long as it doesn't get in the way of our enjoyment on Sunday.

None of this is new or groundbreaking information.  Nor am I saying that I'm going to stop watching.  I guess I'm just admitting that I'm in love with a the brain smasher even though I know that on some level it's wrong and makes me feel like I need to take a shower.

Just to lighten the mood, I leave you with a clip of Ed O'Neil in Ford Fairlane performing the Disco Express classic "Booty Time."