AND A MAY WE GO

        Three things can not be long hidden:  The sun, the moon, and the truth.  –Buddha

Good to have you back sun, we missed you.  Stop hibernating.

Clearly an epic last few weeks in the world.  So I figured I’d break it all down piece by piece.  Let’s take a quick look.

April 30, 2012:  First day of sunshine and spring in the state of Oregon.  One day it’s 50 degrees and overcast, the next day 78 with an odd color up above.  I think people call it blue, I forgot.

I am a huge history nut and in terms of the past, April 30th is a monster.  Next year remember, in 1789 on the balcony of Federal Hall in New York City, George Washington took the oath of office to become the first elected POTUS, solidfying this whole U.S.A. deal.  Unfortunately, he was not in attendance 219 years later when the bubble burst, or he would have pistol-whipped every power broker, chopped down 17 cherry trees, and roadhoused the housing market back into fruition.  G-Dub the Original Badass.  And if you read that link, speaking of the French…

14 years later the United States wins the day with the Louisiana Purchase in April 1803 for a mere $15 Million from France.  We in the business like to call this Jeffersonian Pwnage.  The domestic policy actually mirrors a tactic implemented by Oregon head coach Chip Kelly almost 2 centuries later:  Spread out offensively and aggresively, spend money in somewhat controversial means, gain traction in Texas and the midwest, and garner world-wide recognition.

 The Coach, The Purchase, The Offense, The Weapon

May 2, 2012:  How did we get here?

The Scream, by Edvard Munch, sells at auction in New York for a record $119.9Million, because let’s be honest, $120 Mill is a little too steep for a painting.  What you may not know is that it is actually one of four versions drawn by the Norweigan expressionist.  One of the less popular earlier versions still safely resides in Springfield.

I know what you’re thinking, well Charlie what would you buy for $120Mill?  You mean other than 8 Louisiana Purchases?  Ohhh French burn!  For myself it’s simple – Dr. Emmitt Brown and the Delorian.  To be used to go back in time to buy the NY Yankees and relocate them to Japan, and to let the fan with the billy goat stay in the stands so the Cubbies win the Series.  I have modest wishes.

Life Lesson – If you ever meet anyone named Edvard, give him a crayon immediately, make the Home Alone face, and get him drawing.  Thank me when it sells for the GDP of Palau.  My head hurts.

May 5, 2012:  Cinco de Mayo.  A virtual hurricane of sports events collided with the Mexican holiday where Caucasians gained their independence to be belligerent and dawn sombreros.  ¡Viva Mexico!

Kentucky Derby – I’ll Have Another overtakes Bodemeister in the final stretch to win the stakes at Churchill Downs, proving once again that anyone with the suffix -meister, will lose.  It’s like Lebron with 1 minute left, you just look the other way and shake your head.

Mayweather v. Cotto – From this point forward, for any boxing, MMA, jujistu, or taekwondo fights I will bring in my brother Connor to break down the bout.

On the Ropes presented by Connor™

Last week Floyd Mayweather fought in a title bout against someone named Miguel Cotto.  Unfortunately, Miguel Cotto is not a psuedonym for Manny Pacquaio.  Therefore, I am unable to even aknowledge this fight or Floyd Dismayweather’s very existence until he agrees to step in the ring with the Pacman.

I mean, I’m not going to sit here and say Mayweather is scared, or that he is making excuses about his future health, or that his $40Million offer to Pacquaio is outrageous as he could gross well over $100Million himself, or that he simply fears losing his undefeated status, or that his PED claims against Pacquaio are unfounded and egregious, or that he’s just continually making excuses, or that he appears downright afraid.  I’m not.  Connor out.

Floyd Mayweathermeister, fading down the stretch.

May 11, 2012:  Manchester City beats Queens Park Rangers, scoring 2 goals in stoppage time to claim their first Premier League Title in 44 years, edging out their cross-town rivals Manchester United.  It is already being dubbed one of the greatest matches in the history of the Premier League.  The platinum goal:

My apologies about the quality.  The English are copyright pythons.

To you Americans who hate the footie, let me break down how epic this story actually was.  Man City, the Premier League’s perennial version of the New York Mets, absolutely stole the title from Man U (NY Yankees) in the most improbable fashion.  While Man U was preparing their victory speeches, City drops two miracles, steals the trophy, and kicks The English Franchise in the teeth.  So take 20th century bitter Red Sox/Cubs fandom, add a neglected little brother complex, throw some hooligans into the mix and you have Disney’s first R-rated version of Cinderella.  Just imagine the 2004 Red Sox actually down 7 games to 0 to the Yankees, in a best of 15 series, rattling off 8 straight walk-off homers to take the series 8-7, and send their rivals home in a bodybag.  That happened a week ago.  Announcer Martin Tyler captured it perfectly,

“I swear you’ll never see anything like this ever again… Two goals in added time for Manchester City to snatch the title away from Manchester United! STUPENDOUS!!!”

Yup.

May 12, 2012:  Aaron Sorkin delivers the greatest commencement speech I have ever seen to his alma mater Syracuse University.  It is authentic, gripping, moving, and absolutely original; the Moneyball of graduation speeches.  In case you don’t want to watch the video, just read the best part below:

I’ve made some bad decisions. I lost a decade of my life to cocaine addiction. You know how I got addicted to cocaine? I tried it. The problem with drugs is that they work, right up until the moment that they decimate your life. Try cocaine, and you’ll become addicted to it. Become addicted to cocaine, and you will either be dead, or you will wish you were dead, but it will only be one or the other. My big fear was that I wasn’t going to be able to write without it. There was no way I was going to be able to write without it. Last year I celebrated my 11-year anniversary of not using coke. In that 11 years, I’ve written three television series, three movies, a Broadway play, won the Academy Award and taught my daughter all the lyrics to ‘Pirates of Penzance.’ I have good friends.

You’ll meet a lot of people who, to put it simply, don’t know what they’re talking about. In 1970 a CBS executive famously said that there were four things that we would never, ever see on television: a divorced person, a Jewish person, a person living in New York City and a man with a mustache. By 1980, every show on television was about a divorced Jew who lives in New York City and goes on a blind date with Tom Selleck. Develop your own compass, and trust it. Take risks, dare to fail, remember the first person through the wall always gets hurt.  Don’t ever forget that a small group of thoughtful people can change the world. It’s the only thing that ever has.

Yup.

MAY 12, 2012:  Vice-President Joe Biden declares gay marriage is cool.

May 13, 2012:  President Barack Obama declares gay marriage is cool.  Later in the press conference he also beats Biden to the punch and declares cool:  Torn skinny jeans, the Washington Nationals, vintage indie styled clothing, kale salad, Daniel Tosh, Sperrys, James Harden’s beard, denim jumpsuits, and the color purple.  Obama wraps the presser with a Mutombo finger wag directed at Biden.

May 14, 2012:  Manny Pacquiao declares gay marriage is uncool. Floyd Mayweather smiles and keeps bobbing and weaving.  In Portland, Connor impatiently waits….

So it was written.  So it was done.

Roll Tide.

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SMOKE AND ROSES: OREGON HIPPIE LETTUCE

Breaking News:  Reports have surfaced that University of Oregon students, including members of the football team, have allegedly tested positive to the illegal narcotic marijuana.  Please remain calm, and allow us to assess the situation.

Recently RollingTide sent a correspondent to Eugene for confirmation and further details regarding this groundbreaking report published by ESPN: The Magazine.  Before further research could be confirmed, our on-site reporter mysteriously broke all contact last Friday April 20th, between the hours of 4 and 5 PM.  What’s worse, sources believe a member of the Oregon faculty (seen below) may have been involved in the reporter’s absence.

Last week ESPN The Magazine published an article, written by columnist Sam Alipour, illustrating the widespread marijuana drug culture in collegiate athletics, most notably the Oregon football program.  I for one, thank the crack squad of journalists at ESPN: The Magazine for uncovering what so few of the American public knew:  College students, even athletes, experiment with recreational drugs.

Let me start out by first stating that if you are a magazine that has to state your title followed by ‘The Magazine,’ you open yourself up to some ridicule.  RollingTide: The Blog and Charlie: The Person, find this amusing.  Anyways, the article (also published on ESPN: The Website and later Sportscenter: The Television Show…ok I’ll stop) paints a picure of a lawless, undisciplined, drug-influenced program with apparent disregard for any and all NCAA bylaws.  It reads much more closely to James Fray’s A Million Little Pieces, both being over-sensationalized, and littered with fiction and misinformation.

I’m actually not going to touch any drug controversy in this post.  If you want clarified opinions on recreational drug usage in the United States just fly to Berkeley, CA and hang on Telegraph for an hour.  Or just watch one episode, actually just 5 minutes, of The O’Reilly Factor.  Instead, I’m going to take a few minutes and explain why this story is ridiculous and my problem with this type of journalism.

It’s Just Factually Incorrect

Oregon football players use marijuana before practice, games, and even the Rose Bowl.  The entire premise of the article centers on 1 player, my guess a 3rd string weakside linebacker stating, “Some of us smoke, and then we went out and won the Rose Bowl.”  Accompanied with testimony from ex-players, the report estimates that up to 2/3 of the team is actively using marijuana, even before practices and games.  Head Coach Chip Kelly responded to this claim by stating, “The single biggest determining factor on sports performance is the central nervous system readiness, i.e. your brain.  If we had that many kids doing it, we wouldn’t be 34-6.”

I actually moonlight as a make-believe physician and would have to concur with this prognosis, Oregon football would not be 34-6.  Whether laying the skull or moving the pigskin, do you really think these kids are high?  Just watch the video.

This video demonstrates repeated violent collisions wherein, much like the NFL, concussions and traumatic head injuries can be equally problematic in collegiate athletics. While the NFL faces massive class-action lawsuits from retired players suffering post-career head trauma often leading to premature death, the NCAA needs to immediately recognize and address these same injuries and plan accordingly……Oh wait….sorry, I forgot we were discussing the epidemic problem of kid’s smoking weed.

While I could let the defense rest, I want the jugular.  Addressing the jury:  One player’s claim regarding widespread drug usage does not indict an entire program.  RollingTide cites precedent – The State of Maryjane v. TCU Football 2012.  Defense rests.

40%-60% of Oregon football players are actively smoking marijuana.  First of all, that’s just bad science.   In scientific terms, a 20% probability range is virtually useless, 100% of the time.  Defense rests, again.

Side note –  In this article, never once is an active player sourced.  While I understand anonymity, this renders an argument or point virtually meaningless.  Without accountability anyone can reference someone regarding a specific point.  Case in point, during college I met someone who actually dealt marijuana to Oregon students and football/basketball players.  I asked him one time if he sold drugs to players during the season, and he said rarely if at all, and never to starters on any instance.  I will absolutely not source this contact, much like my ESPN counterparts.  So to recap, I interviewed 1 DEALER, who refuted these claims.  Therefore 100% of my sources refuted the referenced ESPN article.  So 100% – 100% of said article is false.  I hope OregonLive picks up my last sentence.  I like this type of reporting TheMag, keep up the good work.

In conclusion, I figured I’d let correspondent Eric ‘Otter’ Stratton close us out.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be brief. The issue here is not whether Oregon players broke a few rules, or took some liberties with their little budded friends.  They did.  But you can’t hold a whole team responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted potheads. For if you do, then shouldn’t you blame the whole athletic program? And if the whole athletic program is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Alipour and ESPN TheMag – isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to me and my program, but I’m not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.  Gentlemen!

Roll Tide: The Mission

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A PLEDGE TO ALLEGIANCE: THE STATE OF THE FAN

Part I — The Oakland Shuffle

After my brief hiatus, it’s seems to be somewhat of a slow period in day to day sports.  So I decided to focus on fandom for a bit.  Most notably the rivalry between teams from Northern and Southern California.  Today provides an in-depth examination of the Oakland..…Wait L.A…..nope I meant Oakland Raiders.  Unfortunately, if you are living in the Bay Area we are blacking out this post, as no Raider television has ever actually been locally broadcast.

Last week I watched as the Sharks locked up the 7th seed in the playoffs by beating the LA Kings twice in the final games of the season.  The games were marred with fights, cheap shots, and the play of the year, where Ryan Clowe deflects the puck, FROM THE BENCH!  Ryan Clowe you are a hero.  Watching the game brought back all kinds of memories of my NorCal roots and the feeling towards our SoCal neighbors, most notably in the art of sport.  In reality, the rivalry of north and south actually seems to extend further to all aspects of life:  The lifestyle, fashion, music, sports, even politics.  Just watch Chinatown, L.A. stole our water!  OUR WATER!!!  Channeling NorCal speak, “That was Hella weaksauce.” Before I perpetuate the battle and begin my story, we’ll take a moment and look at the two sides in terms of sports.

Giants/Dodgers, 49ers/LA Rams, Raiders/Chargers, Warriors/Lakers, even Earthquakes/Galaxy gets a little heated.  Growing up watching the Sharks scrap in the Tank with the LA Kings was one of my favorite events of the year as “Beat LA” was a rallying cry for 2 solid hours.  Last year a man was almost beaten to death after a Giants Dodgers game, that the Dodgers WON.  Suffice to say, the two regions do not care much for one another.  So I wanted to explore this underlying sentiment by looking at the supposed pride of the East Bay:  Your Oakland Raiders and their flip-flop relocation between the two rival regions of California.

My choice of topics may have been sparked by the Raiders recently suing Nation’s Hamburgers, one of my all-time favorite burger joints.  We all know The RollingTide is always un-biased, accurate, and true.  So never one to shy away from controversy, I’m going out on a limb with this one as many of my friends remain die hard members of the Raider Nation.

It is absolutely incomprehensible how any rational person can remain an Oakland Raiders fan.  It’s inexcusable, intolerable, downright insanity.  It’s lewd, lascivious, salacious, outrageous!

But before you torch me, allow me to explain in terms of an allegorical tale regarding a friend of mine from NorCal named Alameda.

Our protagonist Alameda found the love of his life in Jennifer White Baby, or as she liked to tell everyone -Just Win Baby.  The two had a wonderful relationship and flourished in the 70’s and early 80’s.  Over time though, Alameda found J.W.B.’s eyes wandering and a sense of distrust developed.  This culminated one day when Alameda came home to find an empty house with nothing but a note that stated:

“Alameda, it’s been great, but remember your sworn enemy Compton?  I’m actually in love with him, moving in with him, and we’ve been cheating on you for the last year.  Even though an injunction was filed prohibiting my move and was denied by a 22-0 vote by our friends and family, I’ve decided to sue and will be moving anyway.  Additionally, I took your dog and the toilet is clogged.  I hate you.  — J.W. Baby”

Alameda was devastated, distraught, and lost.  With the love of his life gone the future was bleak at best.  His only saving grace was his roommate Atleticos and their beautiful backyard view of the Berkeley Hills.  Over the years Atleticos actually developed into a phenomenal friend, particularly during the late 1980s. One day Alameda came home and found another letter from an acquaintance named Francisco:

“Alameda, I know we aren’t exactly friends.  I know we have somewhat of a rivalry and that we don’t particularly like each other.  I just want you to know I too share some bad blood with Compton and some of his friends down south.  I also know that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.  You’re welcome anytime to this side of the Bay, just bring Caesar salad and wine, we don’t do dogs and beer.  – Francisco”

Alameda, while conflicted, realized that he didn’t have to love, even like, Francisco.  However, they shared a common mutual bond of ill will towards their neighbors.  I mean even the U.S. and UK needed the Soviets.  So the two sides began to co-exist.  Although in 1989 Alameda made the mistake of introducing Atleticos to Francisco and the world exploded for a few minutes.  Some people just don’t get along.

One night around 1994 Alameda received a drunken text from J.W.B. wondering how he was doing, if he ever thought of her, and seeing if she could stop by.  Atleticos didn’t seem to mind and Francisco was too ingrained in illegal gambling, so they set up a meet.  After a long conversation the two decided to give it another shot.  Only problem was J.W.B. had some demands.  First, Alameda would need to remodel his entire house, and most notably, build a huge wall in the backyard essentially blocking all views of their beloved Berkeley Hills.  J.W.B. would pay $10/month in rent, while all food and maintenance would be paid for by Alameda.  Furthermore, Alameda would actually finance the entire move from Compton’s home.  All additional expenses would be financed exclusively by Alameda and his friends and family.  It was a ridiculous contract by any and all standards.  Yet both sides agreed to terms and the world forever changed.

Unfortunately, the only true victim was Atleticos who became another example of collateral damage.  Having been somewhat forced into the remodel over time he came to realize their new home was now ridiculously large, the worst on the block, and empty all the time.  He tried to move out on several occasions, but could never find a place to live.  In a cruel twist of fate, Francisco actually blocked a potential move for Atleticos to a start of the art house, built by his friend Jose.  Francisco felt it was much too close to his pad and that it would cramp his style.  So while Francisco flourished, Alameda and Co. were in utter disarray for years and no one was even remotely happy.  At least Atleticos had a magical run for a short period of time, a movie was made, but even that had a somewhat sad ending.  For Alameda it was like Les Misérables, only without any signs of retribution or transcendance.  It was just plain miserables.  The End.  Roll credits.

Lets re-cap:  Girlfriend leaves boyfriend for sworn enemy.  Girlfriend realizes new boyfriend isn’t what he’s cracked up to be, decides to move back in with old boyfriend while citing ridiculous demands.   Boyfriend caves and pretty much plays dead.  After a forced remodeling, roommate realizes house is the worst in the nation and while scraping by, can’t leave because there is nowhere to go.  Boyfriend and roommate begin to hate each other and most of all J.W.B.  Everyone loses, and over time all become virtually irrelevant.  Sound about right?

Ladies and gentleman, your Oakland Raiders.  Screw ’em, Sue ’em, Dine and Dash.

So I put it to you – In this scenario, could you in good conscience actually let this transpire?  Can you honestely tell me that if Art Modell had tried to move the Baltimore Ravens back to Cleveland, they would have welcomed him with open arms?  The Baltimore Colts evacuated team offices in the middle of the night to avoid an eminent domain seizure proposed by the state of Maryland.  You think Baltimore fans would take a ‘We’re here if you need us, take as much time as you need’ mentality?  Would Oakland, with some of the most loyal and ferocious fans, allow a team to return from their regional enemy?  The answer:  YES.  And we’re going to do it all while wearing Darth Vader masks and sitting in a section that personifies our team and outlook on the future:  The Black Hole.

Gotta love them Raiders.  Just Win Baby.

Roll Tide.

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THANK YOU CAPONE

Dear Chicago,

Thank you.  You have restored my faith in humanity.

You are perfection for so many reasons:

The Transportation:  Grab a deep dish and kick it on the El train.  The El, short for ‘Ella Friggen Awesome, can get you anywhere in the city above or below ground.  In the span of  about 40 minutes you can escape the SouthSide and Leroy Brown, hop off at LaSalle to lay some action on Hog Futures at the Merc, and shoot 6 stops north to cap it off with some Old Style at Wrigley.  Bam! Chicago in 40.  Eat that Rachel Ray.

The Guts  –  Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs.  It just sounds like a partner’s meeting at the Devil’s round table.

The President:  Chitown Obama.  With intel, anyone clips Osama.  To make it count, that takes calculated Chicago drive.

The Talent:  2nd City Comedy Club.  You know it or you don’t.  I didn’t, but I do now and I’m a loving it.  Perhaps you’ve seen the short running clip show, Saturday Night Live.  Belushi, Akroyd, Short, Carrell, etc.  The list is astounding.  The 2nd City is the Oakland Athletics of NY comedic talent.  You break ground in the Chi, you get paid out in the Apple.

The Pizza:  Deep dish.  Deep love.  Nuff’ said.

The Bean:  Gage and the jelly belly in Millennium Park.

The Nicknames:  Chi City.  Windy City.  2nd city (Because it burned down and had to be rebuilt, NOT because it’s 2nd to NYC), The Chi or Chi Ill, The City that Works (coined by Mayor Richard J. Daley….More on him later), The C,  The Breeze, My Kind of Town (Nice work Sinatra, you know your glorious blue eyes always rested on the Chi), and my favorite….New Gotham.  Probably says something that Hollywood actually shunned the Big Apple and turned to Chicago to film The Dark Knight.

The Gangster:  Capone.

The Gangster II:  Black political ops.  Wait, the Chicago river canals are polluting the water supply in Lake Michigan?  Well reverse the flow of course!  Which Cook County officials did in the early 1900’s, by reverting all of Chicago’s river sewage in a 180 degree to their neighbors to the south.  Who the heck cares about Missouri anyway?  Chicago literally told the people of St. Louis to eat their shit.  That’s gangster.

The Theo Epstein:  Outgoing letter from BoSox Management – “One time this gentleman rescued me from drowning in a pool, pulled me out, resuscitated me, roundhouse kicked Chuck Norris, and 2 years later won me a championship for the first time in 100 years.  He even went on to win me another championship 3 years later.  So naturally I fired him last year and he went on to manage control of the Chicago Cubs.”  #BoSoxmissTheo

Turtle Racing:  Apparently Chitown cornered the market on this thing.  Basically, you put a ticket in a bucket and hope that your baby Yertle slowly walks off the plank first, and you earn yourself a free shot.  I hitched my wagon to the Corona turtle and went 2-2.  Gage remains 0-12.

The Architecture:  Frank Lloyd Wright, The Bean, Holy Trinity, The Robie House, Millennium, Buckingham Fountain, and of course the Sears Tower (Wait what, Willis Tower?!?  Who the heck do you think you are Willis Family?  I got Kirk Russell on my speed dial and he will straight Backdraft that entire building if you don’t return the Sears’ naming rights).

The Richard M. Daley:  I’m going to close out with an awesome story.  Back in 2003, fresh off his 5th successive mayoral election, Richie M. secretly decided to bulldoze an entire active Chicago lakefront airport at 1am after city commissioners blocked his closing the airway.  Daley’s goal was to use the waterfront property as a public attraction.  Foreseeing future litigation and political pressure from people like the ever integral Governor Rod Blagojevich, Daley simply bulldozed the flight deck and gave a big middle finger to City Hall.  Citing national security concern issues due to flight patterns near downtown buildings, Daley actually stated, “Mickey get’s a no fly zone, so does Chicago” (referring to Orlando’s Disneyworld actually being granted several flight restrictions).  This doesn’t happen anywhere but the Chi.  Best part, Daley’s punishment…..standing ovation.  That’s gangster.

That is why Gage, Cole-bot, and all the Chi City Crew…….Roll Tide.

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SORRY SINATRA

Well I just got back from a break in the fight, I was weighing in heavy but still feeling alright. All I hear in the distance – mines and shells. Here come the sirens wailing, another attack to be repelled. — Dropkick Murphys

Dear New York Giants,

Hate is a strong word, but guess what:

I hate you.

I really really do.

In fact, I hate New York City in general now.

I now hate Seinfeld and Friends.  Thanks for that.

I hate that you have 5 buroughs.  Also known as counties, you pretentious a-holes.

I hate that your NY Chupacabras (Yankees) pillage and feed upon my Oakland Athletics on an annual basis.

I hate that you ruined 19-0 a few years back.

I hate that the Daly family roots for you…because I like the Daly crew.

I hate that Super Bowl Sunday was my youngest brother’s birthday, and you killed it by beating his Niners.  Thanks Eli.

I hate that Payton wasn’t in attendance.  WTF big bro?  I called my little bro on his birthday, where were you Captain America?  Andrew Luck anyone?

I hate that beer has apparently become a credit card.  Really, Bud Light Platinum?!?

I love the Dorito’s dog that iced the cat.  Take that felines.

I hate that I don’t even know what Lucas Oil is.  Lucas, the movie with Corey Haim and Charlie Sheen = Cool.  Lucas Oil = Crap.

I hate Madonna.

I love the F-U by M.I.A. in the halftime show.  Love it.  But back to the hating.

I hate Danica Patrick.  No I will not .co this website.  We’re a dot com society woman.  Go back to doing what you’re good at – Not racing.

I hate Mr. Met.

I hate the movie Escape From New York, only because it’s not reality.

I hate the sequel, Escape From L.A.  It too, sadly not reality.  But don’t think your getting off the hook L.A.  You’re next.

I love I am Legend, because all of NYC is dead.  Except Will Smith and his dog….both cool.

I hate Madonna.  Oh, did I already say that?  Sorry.

I hate Madonna.

I hate that they showed the Times Square postgame, and there were approximately 17 people celebrating.  It was an ‘off night’ was the explanation.  Nice work NYC.

I hate The Voice.

I hate that I watched the Voice.

I hate that I secretly like The Voice.

I hate Christina Aguilera.

I love Cee-Lo.

I hate that I love Tom Coughlin.  The man epitomizes resiliency and steadfastness.  Worst yet, the city of New York has no idea, nor will they ever of his Hall of Fame career.  He’s Sean Connery in The Hunt for Red October.  The entire world (NYC) is on the brink of nuclear war and he’s always three steps ahead and strategically game-planning.  Don’t worry, when the NY Giants start next season 0-2, they’ll be calling for his firing.

I hate that Wes Welker is getting a raw deal.  Should have made the catch, but awful pass.  If Brady hits him in stride that’s an easy 6.  Which brings me to….

I now hate Gisele Bundchen.  Football Barbie decided to weigh in and offer some insight on the game regarding some dropped balls by NE receivers.  Hi Gisele, in front of you is a big yellow school bus, would you be so kind as to throw your husband’s teammates underneath it?  Wait, I don’t think Wes is quite….wait…yup he’s dead.  Nice work.

I hate that I wasn’t in the New England huddle channeling Top Gun after the bad pass to Welker.  “You coulda had him man, you coulda had him Tom.”  Followed by Tom Brady-Cruise screaming – “I will fire when I am God damn good and ready!”

But back to NYC.  Did I mention…

I hate you New York, all because of one simple algebraic equation:

NYC Fans + 1 Championship = Not enough Championships + Fire coach if he does not replicate + Inordinate amount of salary + Yes Network + Donald Trump’s combover + Donald Trump + Namath drunk…Strike that.  Namath you get a pass.  It’s not his fault you’re so kissable Suzie Kolber.

In the end though what I truly fall back on is hope.  See hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and hope never dies.

I hope that winning has ended in NYC, I hope the Sox destroy the Yanks, I hope that I get to see my friend Red…..wait…..sorry, I hope that Ted Williams is really frozen and it’s only a matter of time, I hope that Walt Disney is frozen and it’s only a matter of time, I hope that the Niner’s make it back to the dance someday, and lastly I hope that I never again hate. I hope.

Roll Tide.

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SUPER BOWL XLVI PROPS PREVIEW

In the clearing stands a boxer and a fighter by his trade, and he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down or cut him till he cried out in his anger and his shame, “I am leaving, I am leaving” But the fighter still remains.      —  Paul Simon

If only.

Took me more than a week to get over the Kyle Williams muffed punt that led to Baby Eli walking into the House that Payton built.  With all due respect to Brady and Eli, you just witnessed a pure cut diamond of a season from the City by the Bay.  The Niners have exited the premises, but more than a fighter still remains in that defensive squadron.

I’m actually not going to break down any of the Super Bowl.  Instead, I’m going to give you accurate insight into the best prop bets you can actually lay money on in Vegas.  Away we roll.

The Top Props

How many times will Payton Manning be shown on TV (3.5)

Far and away my absolute most favorite bet in the past 5 years of Super Bowls.  Payton has said he will be attending, this is the stadium he built with his legacy, it’s an absolute no-win situation as his brother overtakes his greatness with a win or Brady is crowned the greatest QB of this century, and you run the chance of them showing his pops Archie and him sliding in to the shot.  My feel is Payton sightings are at about a 7.  I will bet my youngest brother Gage on this bet.  If I lose, I’ll sell Gage into feifdom I’m so confident.  Sorry Bean.

How many times will Giselle Bundchen be shown on TV (0.5)

Tough tough call.  Giselle has not indicated if she will be attending, so if you want to lay early action I’d take the over and hope she’s cheering Team Brady (Sorry Michelle Moynihan).  If she’s in Indy, this line goes to 2.5 in my opinion.  Eat the point and go over again.

Time it takes Kelly Clarkson to sing National Anthem (1:34)

Another toughy, but I again am leaning over.  I ran some film and listened to “Since you been gone” and “Because of You” to get some insight, and because I’m a 13 year old girl.  Since this is the Anthem, I say she hits the breaks and carries the highs for about a buck and 44 seconds. Remember, they gave Christina Aguilera 1:54 and that was extremely close, even with her botching the words and leaving out a verse.

Beers Consumed By Jim Daly Jr. during Super Bowl (17.5)
Beers Consumed by Deidre Daly during Super Bowl (0.5)

Jimmy Jr. over.  Easy money, would be higher but he will be eating only his fingernails by the fourth.  Dee under, with her it’s one or none (unless Jameson is in attendance).  And like all of America, wishes this was not played on a school night.

Color of Gatorade dumped on winning coach’s head:

Yellow 3/2
Water 2/1
Orange 5/2
Lime Green 5/1
Red 15/2
Blue 10/1

Normally, I always fall back on old reliable Lemon Lime.  However, Coughlin is a cyborg who cannot process sugar, so if you like NYG go water.  And besides Chuck Noll, the NFL has never had a more working class coach then Belichick, so go with the blue if you’re leaning Pats.

Miles my Dad Jimmers logs on his Trek bike on Super Bowl Sunday (49.5)

My dad will sit and watch the most boring of Giants baseball games, yet pass on the BCS National Championship.  He’s what we like to call a flier.  Completely hit or miss, Goose or Maverick.  Jimmers will be glued to the tube or tackling the Berkeley Hills when the fourth quarter rolls around.  I’m leaning TV, but it’s a tough call.  What would Lance do?

Who will the Super Bowl MVP thank first:

Coach 12/1
Teammates 7/4
Family 7/1
God 4/1
Owner 4/1
No one 11/4

I always ride with la familia on this bet.  It’s a winner all day.  Mom, Pops, Wife, Kids, Sibs, Dog, babysitter, mailman.  It’s a lock.

Side note – My MVP speech:

“I am so honored to be MVP of this game.  I just want to thank the God that is my family, teammates, coaches, and ownership.  I also want to thank me, my accomplishments, and no one in particular.”  At which point Vegas would explode in utter confusion, Tim Tebow would overthrow Obama armed with peace and goodwill, and Skynet would become self-aware.

So in the interests of self-preservation, I guess I’ll allow Brady to accept the MVP and just thank his teammates and owner Robert Kraft (yawn).  Patriots by 6.  Should have been Niners by 1.5.  Just another reason to hate New York.

Roll Tide.

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THE NFC CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW – 49ER GOLD

“The stars are blazing like rebel diamonds cut out of the sun, Can you read my mind?”

–The Killers

So speaking of stars;  It’s truly amazing that one franchise has cornered the market on touchdown reception playoff miracles.  Sure, you can include the Helmet of God (David Tyree’s catch to beat the Patriots) and of course the Immaculate Reception by Franco Harris.  But if you actually broke down the greatest catches in NFL postseason history, you could argue the Niners have an amazing 3 of the Top 5.  So let’s start off with a couple of video appetizers:

The Catch

The Catch II

I took the choppy video because it includes the 49er radio announcer Joe Starkey with the greatest line ever, “Terrell Owens, he hasn’t held onto anything, including his fingers, all day.  I don’t believe it.  I just don’t believe it.”  Wait a tic, late game heroics with Joe Starky at the helm?  Where have I seen this before?:

Wait, The Play?

Oh that’s right.  Hang on…Was there a band on the field?  Oh college football, you are so silly.  Sorry, I digress, back to the action.

The Catch III

Side note, if you watched both Terrell Owens and Vernon Davis after their game winning grabs, both were seen sobbing.  I’m not talking single tear, both men were literally bawling after winning the day.  You know who has no emotion and thus no heart?

NY Giant QB 1

No Tears = No W;  It’s simple science.

Eli Manning is the reason I’m taking the Niners, eating the 2.5 points, and chowing down on a bloomin’ onion from Chile’s while I’m at it. Why?  Because crybabies win championships, SF smokes NY in awesome factor, and I like deep fried onions.

But let’s get back to championship crybabies:  Rocky Balboa screamin’ for Adrian through puffy eyes, Walter Payton in the Chi and his Hall of Fame speech, Michael Johnson on the podium after sweeping gold in the ATL, Federer’s first at Wimbledon hoisting the cup at Centre Court, and The Ultimate – Gretzky leaving Edmonton and abandoning the entire country of Canada for the City of Angels.  Catch a trend?

Champions weep, and Vernon Davis losing it on the sidelines cemented the fact he will never buy an Anchor Steam in North Beach ever again.  Even better, you can bet he’ll get a crack at the Mount Rushmore of 49er greats:  Montana, Young, Rice, Lott (sans pinky).

Either way, I could spend hours breaking down why the 49ers pull this one out.  But the number one key is the defensive front.  Offensive efficiency and special teams are key factors, but as the G-Men proved last week against the NFL’s best team:  Offense gets you the girl, but Defense lands the trophy wife.  So we move on to the blood and guts.

New York Defense:  The last time NYG visited Candlestick in November, they were without both supremely talented defensive ends Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora.  This presents a slight challenge, as Osi basically made MVP Aaron Rodgers lay down and play dead for 3 quarters.  Alex Smith is not Aaron Rodgers.  Suffice to say with the game on the line, Smith won’t be running a naked bootleg like he did on New Orleans.  Giant’s lost by 7 on a 49er goal line stand.  This one will be closer, mainly because of 2 superfreak exterior defensive lineman.  Keep an eye out.

San Francisco Defense:  With all due respect to Vernon Davis, SF really needs another brilliant day from Justin Smith, your sure fire defensive MVP.  This is by far the greatest season I have ever witnessed from a Niner defensive lineman since Bryant Young laid thunder in the 90’s.  If the Niners win it’s because Eli was engulfed in pain grenades from Smith all day.  So keep your eye on number 94, and that secondary which is the best in the league.

Gambling:  NY Giants at San Francisco -2.5.  Eat, swallow, and relish the points.  I was thinking it would open at an even 3, so I’m giddy to hope for at worst OT, and SF relying on the foot of Akers.  Get in early, because I bet this thing could be 3 or 3.5 by Sunday morning.  And do not do not touch the over, Alex Smith could win by putting up 9 or 41.  You just don’t know.

Gambling by Fan Base:  Jim Daly Sr./Jim Daly Jr. (NY) at Connor/Charlie (SF) Profanities/Punches Thrown – 43.5.  I took four wildcats and basically put us in the octagon.  I’m just happy we’re separated by 3000 miles.  Take the over in a hurry because this one will be a dogfight.  It’s like Jim Daly Sr. (Mr. Meadowlands) taught me, the Giant’s defense is like an old fashioned – Sweet start, little rough around the edges, and then your knocked out (courtesy of Lawrence Taylor).  I tried to respond with a comment about Ronnie Lott, but got pistol whipped by Phil Simms.  Either way, from coast to coast punches will fly.  Plus, my Southie compatriot Jimmy Jr. is not a happy camper when Eli doesn’t move the rock, and Connor goes ballistic when Vernon doesn’t get the pigskin.  Combined it’s nuclear.  Looking like Chernobyl on Sunday, and that is why we….

Roll Tide.  TWDY.

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