SPORTS

Obscure Sports Quarterly

Decorated poker champion, Phil Helmuth.

Decorated poker champion, Phil Helmuth.

Okay, so I ripped the name from a faux magazine in the movie Dodgeball that Milton from Office Space (because I can’t remember his real name) finds the ADAA Dodgeball Tournament posted in. But ever since the introduction of reality television, people all over the world have been enamored with the idea of watching regular dudes do things that any other Joe Schmo could be doing at that very moment. Slowly but surely the sporting world has come around and various sporting events that weren’t at one point considered strategy or tests of patience plus intelligence have become regular television events.

Poker has gone from a online phenomenon to TV and back. Names like Phil Ivey and Phil Helmuth, Scotty Nguyen and Annie Duke are just a few names that were at the forefront of a first generation along with other bigger names that one might initially think of. And then came Chris Moneymaker. Not just his name, but also his humble beginnings (the beginning of the tournament anyways) were a point of emphasis for World Series of Poker (WSOP) organizers in hopes of pulling in more players year after year.

The show 2 Million 2 Months wasn’t on long and it wasn’t tough to see why. The idea of sitting around and blowing cash in online games sounds great, but the guys that were doing it were the lamest of lame. To capture the minds of those most interested in poker and making it a career, finding the everyman rather than the every-nerd is the best approach. Still, with the emergence of professional gaming and other different largely technologically-based platforms is very much due to the part played by poker and how far it has come so quickly. Given a better marketing/advertising initiative, it could very well be a top 10 sport in a country continually becoming influenced by technology each day.

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ETIQUETTE

Treat Yourself

Creepy adults still enjoy the perks of Halloween.

Creepy adults still enjoy the perks of Halloween.

As far back as time can trace it has been tradition for kids as young as 2 and as old as 14 (and that’s really pushing it) to go around their neighborhood or the one with the most houses and annoy the shit out of the people living there until they give you as much candy as possible. Sometimes you get healthy shit and hate your life. Other times they pass out homemade crap that your parents don’t want you to touch (understandably so). And in the most dire of situations, you walk up to the door of the sketchy neighbor in his underwear that rifles through his drawers to find stale “candy”.

Those are all tales of Halloween misfortune that makes the holiday tough to take, but what happens on the other side of things? When you have to grow up and be the guy on the other side of the door? Frankly, I’m still camped out on the couch watching Hocus Pocus and Witches. But as a lover of all things candy; it’s easy to get amped to hand out freebies to kids rolling through the city. Unfortunately, living in a nice part of the city, there’s more than a few assholes out there looking for free handouts. It’s not even so much the older kids that show up to get candy while “chaperoning” their younger siblings. Most of the time those kids are by themselves. Those kids suck, but there are worse people out there on Halloween.

The absolute worst culprits on Halloween are definitely adults. Yes. Adults. Fucking 30 or 40-year old dicks walking around (not always with kids) and saying “trick or treat”. It’s somewhere between sad and pathetic (which are obvi two different things). Most of em look like drug addicts, but some are from the homes much like us. It’s really ridiculous. Being my first Halloween living in a city last year I had no idea that this sort of thing happens. I’m gonna be ready this year though. Those fuckers are getting the worst of the worst candy fo sho. I’m gonna be handing out black licorice and laugh at all the stink faces I get. Oh well, Halloween is a holiday for kids and young adults. But adults shouldn’t be stealing candy. Fuck that.

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SPORTS

The Infallible NFL Week 7 Straight Picks

Again I am a few days behind on the whole predictions calendar, but if you didn’t pick the Patriots over the Jets you either like feet or are an idiot. The game did end up closer than many expected and almost ended with a big win for Rex Ryan and his defensive-minded band of misfits. There may have been a rules infraction on the ref (by moving Donta Hightower in the defensive backfield) but it wasn’t called and it doesn’t matter. If you’re paying attention to my picks each week, chances are you are leading some kind of office pool or something bigger. Another good week only tarnished by two losses (Atlanta and Pittsburgh) that were not entirely surprising added to a definitely surprising win by Dallas over Seattle. Games have continued to be close with a few blowouts sprinkled in. Take a gander at the previews for Week 7.

Record prior to Week 7 65-25, Week 6 11-3

Atlanta at Baltimore. The last time these two teams matched up the Falcons came through with a big win. The billing was set up for a duel between two quarterbacks with similar ascensions in the NFL. At that point Matty Ice was slightly ahead of Joe Cool in what many thought would become a rivalry of sorts. Well, then never really happened, but the two are still closely associated when considering talent level and abilities. The big difference? Winning. Flacco has a Super Bowl ring and Ryan can’t win away from home. Atlanta has struggled with injuries while the Ravens have played right through them. Both teams can score points, but Atlanta has had trouble stopping the opposition’s offense. Ravens 28, Falcons 24

Minnesota at Buffalo. Two places no one wants to travel to. Not because they are tough at home, but because those places are boring as hell to travel to. The Vikings are about where they were expected to be with or without Adrian Peterson. The QB play is pretty bad and that’s with Teddy Bridgewater under center. Not being able to find consistency at running back has been an issue as well, along with no real playmakers to speak of. The defense has kept them in games. Unfortunately for Minnesota, the Bills  have a pretty good defense too. Fred Jackson has been good this year and there’s been different guys stepping up to catch balls even when Sammy Watkins hasn’t been the featured receiver. Bills 24, Vikings 16

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Look for another big game from Mike Wallace.

Miami at Chicago. In a matchup of two teams with the talent to beat anybody and the inability to blow anyone out as well, we expect another close one. Miami hasn’t had a great running game but Lamar Miller has been their best option and Mike Wallace has quietly had one of the more impressive seasons for a wideout thus far. Brandon Marshall is finally starting to hit his stride as he gets fully healed from an early season injury, if he can get in the endzone it may be a long day for the Dolphins. Meanwhile, the best (and most consistent) receiver has been their best player so far, even with a shotty performance from Jay Cutler this season. Bears 37, Dolphins 24

Cincinnati at Indianapolis. Who woulda thunk the Bungles would be set up to find themselves towards the bottom of the AFC North with a loss in Week 7? Well, after an uninspired tie in Carolina only highlighted by some dirty play by Vontaze Burfict, that very well may happen after their visit to Indy. Andy Dalton has had a hangover most experience after finally signing the long-awaited contract-extension. AJ Green has been hurt, and while the other receivers have done well in his absence, the big surprise has been the disappointing play of their defense. Giovanni Bernard has been great so far and if he’s healthy after last week’s slight injury then their offense should be okay. Andrew Luck just keeps making things work and their defense has been surprisingly solid. Colts 31, Bengals 28

Cleveland at Jacksonville. Cleveland lost a tough one to the Jags last year and their season wasn’t quite the same. But this team is very good and on a good run so far. With only two losses combined for a difference of 6 points, it’s tough to count them out of many games. This might be a blowout from the start. The Jags aren’t historically bad, but they need to start thinking about who they want to choose first in the 2015 NFL Draft. Browns 35, Jaguars 17

New Orleans at Detroit. The Lions are at home and playing with a presumably healthy Calvin Johnson. Much has been made about the Saints’  road woes, but Drew Brees has too much pride to let his team fall this far below the even  mark. Joique Bell had a solid week boosted by a touchdown catch. Golden Tate hasn’t been the answer in Megatron’s stead but he may be the long-term answer at the #2 receiver position. The Lions do have the better defense, but it’s been inconsistent at best. Going against the grain with this one. Saints 24, Lions 20

Carolina at Green Bay. Two teams come together for a game of winning records that not everyone was anticipating. Ever since calming down fans and letting them know everything would be alright,  the Packers have started playing well. One of the biggest reasons has been the improved play of running back  Eddie Lacy along with a solid run-defese on the other side of the ball. Cam Newton has really picked up his play since starting the season with a slight injury and Kelvin Benjamin has finally started to become a reliable option at wide receiver. Packers 27, Panthers 24

Tennessee at Washington. I’d love to have some drawn-out preview for this game, but neither team is much to talk about and  it would be a lie to assume I have any idea how this one will end up. Alfred Morris has been great and Jordan Reed is healthy and ready to be a big part of this offense. Tennessee has played well on D and Bishop Sankey has finally gotten the touches many  expected. Redskins 34, Titans 31

Seattle at St. Louis. The Rams run defense was stout again the 49er run game. We will see how that plays out against a run-first team. Austin Davis has been okay as starter, but the running back situation hasn’t been ideal. Seattle is reeling right now and needs to find their confidence again. After dealing Percy Harvin, who was largely ineffective, the Seahawks will need a new X-factor when things get tough. Seahawks 31, Rams 13

Kansas City at San Diego. Not sure who is the MVP thus far in the season, but it may very well be Philip Rivers. He’s had one hell of a season and it hasn’t mattered who has been in the backfield for him. Branden Oliver seems like a great fit as a Darren Sproles-esque player, but it would be nice to see Keenan Allen make an appearance before the season is over. Jamaal Charles has been good since coming back and Alex Smith has been able to protect the ball while the defense has quietly been getting better and better. If San Diego is for real then they will win this one. I’m not convinced. Chiefs 23, Chargers 21

New York Giants at Dallas. How bout them ‘Boys? Expect Demarco Murray to play well until he doesn’t (obvious, right?) and this one to be a high-scoring affair. Eli needs to throw it to his receivers and not Tony Romo’s. Can Dez Bryant wake up again after a few games in the shadows? I think Jason Witten has a pair of touchdown catches and close to 100 yards. Cowboys 35, Giants 31

Run DMC has quietly had a nice season thus far.

Run DMC has quietly had a nice season thus far.

Arizona at Oakland. Not sure what I can say about the Oakland Raiders. Their fans sure are assholes. Darren McFadden has been nice to watch play well. Not a lot of talent right now for Derek Carr to work with but it’s good to see someone from that family do well. The Cards D is good and they lead the division right now. Andre Ellington has been getting better every week and Michael Floyd is only going to get better with his production now that Carson Palmer is back. Cardinals 27, Raiders 13

San Francisco at Denver. If the 49ers are looking for a game to really get their season going, this is that game. The deep group of receivers hasn’t been great but they’ve been able to win one way or another. They need to run game to produce to slow down Peyton Manning. Don’t know how to stop the Broncos from torching every team going forward. Only they can stop themselves right now. Broncos 38, 49ers 27

Houston at Pittsburgh. You’d think I didn’t hate the Steelers for as often as I choose them to win games but it’s tough to pick much else here. If Arian Foster can run wild and Fitzpatrick can keep Andre Johnson happy, then they have as good of a chance to win this game. Le’Veon Bell needs to have another monster game and the Steelers needs to find a consistent threat in the passing game besides Antonio Brown. Steelers 24, Texans 23

 

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