Golden Boy Promotions MMA Kicks Off Shamefully

Right off the bat, I want to go on record saying that I suspect Oscar De La Hoya is a cocaine addict, which might explain why tonight’s old-timers’ card in Inglewood, California featuring a grudge match main event between eight-years-retired Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell and 43-year-old Tito Ortiz was even happening in the first place. Besides being an obvious cash grab by a boxing promoter obviously tired of playing second fiddle to MMA cards as the sport fades in relevancy and recognition, there’s no other explanation to hold a PPV event for two fighters this far out of their prime years, especially when one has obvious CTE issues and is 48. This was like watching The Wrestler for just under five minutes. It’s something the California State Athletic Commission shouldn’t have even sanctioned.

To see one of the first breakthrough, household name stars of the UFC of yesteryear trotted out with abs toned by insulin shots and HGH, his trademark mohawk thinning in the front and trunks I’m sure were retrieved from a long-forgotten storage unit in the Inland Empire is depressing. Chuck Liddell helped turn MMA into the premiere combat sport internationally, and to watch him hardly recognize where he was during the weigh-ins only to briefly light up again once he heard his name called and got to make what is hopefully his last walk up to a ring is so unfathomably cruel. Maybe he needed the payday, pocketing more than $200,000 to fight Tito Ortiz, his arch-rival whom he beat twice in their heyday.

It was a bloodthirsty time for America, when Ortiz and Liddell’s seething hatred for each other helped drive PPV numbers towards the newly-legitimized UFC. Nu-metal and an aggressive, “kill ’em all” kind of patriotism helped color that whole era of fight sports and masculinity in the US and I think collectively we can agree that it’s a culture that’s aged poorly. Seeing that decay, some fifteen years later, in a first-round knockout that Liddell hardly looked present for is something that might stick with purist elements of the sport’s fanbase, people that have harped for years that this is a legitimate test of athletic skills and not a bloodsport. Continue reading →

Week 5 NFL Picks

NFL Record 7-8-3 -1.5U

Parlay Record 0-2 -2U

Scraping back! Pats covered on Thursday against Indy, Browns pushed, Broncos covered. My week was better, basically broke even. Let’s see if we can make some money this week. Unit bets are a little lower to play it safe, not that it matters to you.

WEEK 5 NFL PICKS

Denver Broncos @ NYJ -1 1U – This opened up at +2.5 for Denver, which I placed for a friend as a side bet after losing fantasy last week (KAMERAAAA!!!!), and I tailed it at -1 for Denver after the line movement during the week. I’m not really sure why even on the road, the Broncos weren’t heavy favorites against Bradford. There’s an understanding that Denver plays poorly on the east coast, but it’s the fucking New York Jets. As a Bronco homer, I want to say Keenum is overpaid and Vance Joseph’s days are numbered as head coach. They need to dispatch the Jets handily to buy some time on decisions related to those conclusions and after blowing a ten point lead and ruining the game winning play against KC, desperately need this road win to remain remotely optimistic about the rest of the season.

GB @ Detroit Lions +1 1U – I still don’t trust that Rodgers knee, even after last week’s domination against the abysmal Bills, and Detroit is at home. GB has the 7th ranked pass defense, which I expect the Lions to light up being that they’re not great on the rush. I like Tate and Marvin Jones Jr is still a WR people sleep on. This is the game I feel like is most likely not going my way, but I have some confidence in Stafford and crew wanting to prove a point in what’s being framed as a struggle this season between coach and team. Smart bet, Coops, bet on the team with a lot of internal strife.

OAK @ Los Angeles Chargers -5 1U – Fade the fucking Raiders all season. Vegas called in a favor in overtime last week against Mayfield and the Browns. That call was bullshit and everybody knows it. While a LA game for either the Rams or the Chargers is still basically a Raider home game, and LAC fucked me by not covering a foolish 10.5 line I bet on last Sunday against the crippled 49ers, I still think Rivers smells blood in the west, especially with KC being a bit exposed by Denver’s defense in week 4.

NYG @ Carolina Panthers -6.5 1U – I’m trying to swallow my second guessing that Carolina doesn’t cover this line, especially because my logic here is the Giants suck, Carolina is coming off of a bye week and they’re at home. I still think some of my theory about disasters influencing sports holds some water, pardon the pun, so perhaps the waterlogged and devastated Carolina shows up rinsed of coal ash and pig shit to show Big Blue that Florence didn’t cow them from rooting on an increasingly irrelevant Cam Newton. I miss Greg Olsen.

Parlay:

DET +1

LAC -5

CAR -6.5

1U to win 5.8U.

Week 4 NFL Picks

NFL Record 5-7-2  -3U

Parlay Record 0-1

Jesus Christ what a shitty couple of weeks. Vikings pushed Thursday. Here’s this week’s picks, because I’m consistent and show my losses. Let’s hopefully dig out of this hole. Unit bets have been a little higher, thus why my losses seem a little minimized. Still up overall on my account if this week clears.

WEEK 4 NFL PICKS

Cleveland Browns @ OAK +3 1U – Fade the shitty 0-3 Raiders even at home, Baker Mayfield is rookie Jesus and will feed off the negative energy of the Black Hole.

KC @ Denver Broncos +5 1U – WHEN WILL I LEARN. Denver 0-2-1 ATS but I think this is a trap I’m navigating correctly. +5 at home is pretty good, and the KC defense is absolutely shit. This is the Monday Night Football game and I always like the Broncos in primetime. Homer fucking idiot.

SF @ Los Angeles Chargers +10.5 1U – Jimmy G likely out for a year and Rivers smells blood in the West at “home.” Probably should’ve bought the point.

Parlayed all three at 1U for a gain of 5.61U on the hit.

 

Week 3 NFL Picks

This is for posterity. I’ve been sour all week because betting +3 Jets against the Tyrod Taylor Browns didn’t pan out on TNF when Baker Mayfield had to come in just before halftime, demonstrating he is in fact The Truth. Fucked my whole parlay up. Last weekend sucked too.

NFL Record +1U

4-4-1

Parlay

0-1

WEEK 3 NFL Picks

PIT @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1 1U – Buccs at home getting a point with redhot journeyman Fitzy against a wounded Big Ben? Probably a trap but I’m taking it.

Green Bay Packers @ WASH -3 1U – It’s Green Bay. Rodgers has something to prove but is nursing a knee injury. I have Davonte Adams on my fantasy team. This made sense when I had a four-team parlay.

DAL @ Seattle Seahawks -1 1U – Can Seattle beat a completely floundering Cowboys by a point? Yes.

LATE EDIT: Denver Broncos @ BAL +6 3U – Hammering this even though the Broncos are 0-2 ATS. 6 points is ridiculous and Flacco has been struggling. Good luck to me.

Week 2 NFL Picks

NFL Season Record

3-1-1 +1U

My dumbass didn’t know how to stay away from the Thursday night game and I lost 2U on Baltimore at -1.5 against my better judgment. The Broncos pushed last weekend but otherwise everything else covered. That’s a lovely way to start the season! Need a book? Come on down and play with me at Bovada!

WEEK 2 NFL PICKS

LA Chargers @ BUF -7.5 2U – Bought this early in the week because Buffalo shit the bed so badly against Baltimore in the opener I didn’t think there’d be any way they’d be able to cover against a competitive Chargers team. Crybaby Phillip Rivers should stomp the shit out of the Bills, this is barely worth analyzing at a statistical level. It looks like the Bills are going to start Josh Allen, the first-rounder out of Wyoming, which should at least make for a more interesting game than the massacre last Sunday. Chargers cover, I’m guessing by 10.

OAK @ Denver Broncos -6 2U – Homer betting again. Oakland has no offensive weapons, collapsed in the 2nd half Sunday against the Rams, and Denver looks great against the run which should render an aging Marshawn Lynch totally irrelevant. I expect a steadier outing from Keenum, who I don’t blame at all for 2/3 interceptions in the opener against Seattle, and I expect Sanders to open up again and Phillip Lindsay to shred in front of the home crowd. The spread has gone up a half point on most books, but I still think that has a lot of value depending on the juice.

New England Patriots @ JAX -1.5 1.5U – I don’t know what planet we’re on. I stayed away from NE last weekend and they covered the spread by a half point, so I don’t regret that decision, however this line seems unreasonably low against a Jaguars team that struggled to contain the abysmal New York Giants last weekend. Bortles I think is starting out a little rattled being so focused on after last season, and although I don’t think it will be more than a 7 point game, I’m legitimately shocked that even a little neutered, a BB/Tom Brady Pats is this undervalued. Slam it.

MNF looks kind of sketchy, the Seahawks looked better than I thought in Denver but the Bears covered against the comeback Packers. If it stays at -3.5 through tomorrow I might jump on it, especially if the juice stays even for Chicago. I’m also hammering the Yankees against Toronto through this whole three-game series, at least 1U each. I’m running about even on MLB.

NFL Week 1 Picks

For the last couple of years, in addition to playing fantasy football for a little scratch among friends, I’ve thrown some money around betting spreads/futures on the NFL and gradually expanded to homer baseball wagers, the World Cup and a little on fights I’m interested in. During the 2018 NFL season on Saturdays (or Wednesday depending if I’m into the TNF game) I’ll be having a little Degenerate Gambler’s Column where I show you my picks and you can tail or fade at your own risk. If you’re not familiar with the unit betting concept, 1 unit (1U) is generally between 1-10% of your bankroll. If you want to bet but don’t have an online book, I can’t say enough nice things about Bovada and you get some nice bonuses if you use my referral code. Without further ado, here’s my picks for NFL Week 1, along with my logic behind them.

NFL Week 1 Picks

NFL Season Record: 0-0

Minnesota Vikings -6.5 1U – At home against the 49ers and I think Kirk Cousins has something to prove. The Vikings are a little banged up or else I think this line would be substantially higher. Even seeing Jimmy G go on a tear at the end of last year, I don’t see the weapons that can take on a formidable Minnesota. The Elo has this for the Vikings at -8, so I think a -6.5 is a bargain.

Jacksonville Jaguars -3 1U – A road favorite but playing in a house divided, JAX has arguably one of the best defenses in the league and should keep this pretty low scoring against the Giants. It’s going to be tight and competitive in regards to covering, but the Jaguar offense is being a little underestimated as an anemic unit and against a dysfunctional Giants team, I think this might be easier than how murky it looks.

Denver Broncos -3 1.5U – Kind of a homer bet, but an opener at Mile High is like getting balls off the table. Seattle is a straight up shell of itself, losing so much veteran talent in the offseason that I can’t believe the juice is as good as it is and that there’s been little-to-no line movement since I bought this last week. I wish I got it at -2.5, but I think the Donkeys are going to dominate.

Los Angeles Rams -4.5 1U – Fade the Gruden Raiders all day long, doesn’t matter if they’re at home. It’s a coach that hasn’t been in the league for fifteen years on a team with more internal strife and drama than probably any other team in the league. The Rams franchise turnaround since moving to LA is insane.

I’m staying away from the Pats until some of their injury problems work themselves out. Brady is sorely lacking targets against a Houston team with offensive and defensive assets that I think are going to trouble them with -6.5 points to cover. I also put 1U on Colorado +4 against Nebraska just for rivalry funsies, and with the weather apparently looking terrible for the Steelers v. Browns, it might be a little interesting to throw money on the under, although the books are already adjusting downwards from a o/u of 44 so it might be too late. Lots of tight lines opening week, and obvious stuff like Detroit -7 against the Jets or the Packers -7.5 against Chicago seems a little trappy to me. A virtual pick ’em in Miami, with the Titans -1 is something else I’m staying away from, despite some confidence Tennessee walks away with it handily.

Good luck!

Please Call the Epic Pass Something Else

Anyone functionally literate knows that in our modern parlance, there is possibly no word more overused than “epic.” Even the original internet curmudgeon who only writes like twice a year anymore took time to put his stamp on it eight fucking years ago. It’s like “awesome” but never quite casualized down to the point where it sounds nonchalantly correct when somebody says it. For it to be the defining word of the Colorado ski industry’s season pass advertising campaign, which is seen on billboards all over town and heard on radio spots constantly it can be an aggravating experience, especially for those of us who don’t understand or will never reap the tangible benefits. Mountain sports aren’t really for me, I don’t like being recreationally cold and a ski lift is basically a ferris wheel it’s easier to murder somebody on. The Epic Pass makes Colorado feel like living in a state populated entirely by 14 year-old boys playing Fortnite, another thing I’ve never participated in but I’ve about had it with all the same.

Costing nearly $1000 but available in a variety of restricted tiered flavors, the Epic Pass is probably an objective bargain if going down a hill screaming “wheeee” is your thing. Maybe you’re one of those jackasses that leaves them clipped to your snow jacket, desperately inviting conversation at a Starbucks from some other guy in pants everyone can hear when he walks. It’s fine. That’s your thing. I hope both of you end up like Sonny Bono, or Liam Neeson’s wife, whichever celebrity ski death reference is going to track, but it’s your stupid thing and everyone has one. For the rest of us, if as a society we could just rename it that’d really be great. I’ve got some suggestions!

Jake-Burton-and-Tom-Sims-two-pioneers-of-snowboarding-Purgatory-Resort-Colorado-1988-photo-Bud-Fawcett--900x614

Double down on the irritating and obviously dated cool-guy lingo and let’s just go with Tubular Pass! Embrace snowboarding’s awkward DayGlo roots, rock a Wyld Stallyns t-shirt, and hit the slopes with a pass good all season in Colorado, Utah, and Lake Tahoe for one low price! You’re so cool. You bought a fanny pack before the ironic phase, drunkenly cut your own Trevor mullet after Charlie Blackmon decided on turning himself into the walking embodiment of a Duck Dynasty season 4 DVD, and you’re just 2 blazed 2 care. Get up to the timeshare, pound some natty ice, stash that vape pen, hit the lift, and go fuck yourself, brah.

getty-colorado-highway-traffic-mountains-i-70_1200xx3504-1979-0-269.jpg

People like truth in their advertising, so this rebranding campaign would emphasize the nearly three hours in traffic you’ll spend getting from the gentrified, traffic-clogged hellscape of Denver to Silverthorne, a 65-mile drive. Sunday, after you’re hungover from lodge drinking, you’ll have another three hours of mind-numbing traffic to nurse your sore body and ruminate in contemplating suing a child for running into you at 10AM on Saturday. Leave your yuppie LoDo condo life behind for a weekend so you can huff Suburu exhaust fumes until you get so hungry you settle for the seventh Burger King you see in Frisco instead of the planned family meal at Beau Jo’s Pizza (it’s Colorado style!), which you could’ve just gotten in Arvada on the way up. You could take the ski train from Union Station to Winter Park, but you paid almost $1000 for this experience, you’ll be damned if you’re not going to resort-hop in your own Porsche Cayenne. You can’t listen to Imagine Dragons and get all pumped for the slopes on a shuttle! BELIEVER!

Screen-Shot-2017-01-05-at-11.56.26-AM-e1494171579602.jpg

Perhaps I’m being unfair in characterizing people who have hobbies that cost upwards of $5000 a year as resort-dwelling snobs or the type of pampered rich kids that fly in and rent RVs for music festivals. Maybe it was my young California upbringing, where for the base payment of a surfboard and some training in creative parking you could have a lifelong pastime that connected you to nature and a whole community of people in your area. In Colorado, nothing is affordable anymore, and if you work for less than $60K a year, forget being able to live in anything less than a two bedroom house with eight other people you met on Craigslist. Who has Breck condo money these days? This pass reflects the realities of being working class in Colorado while still trying to engage in some kind of recreational activity so you don’t blow your brains out all over the Fryolator. For the low cost of $450 on the season, pick one mountain to ski all winter long, and we’ll throw in your lodging: a futon in a trailer we’ve euphamized as a hip “tiny house” built for resort staff. You’ll be sharing it with a lift operator that’s been addicted to percocet since he blew out his knee in 2007 or a ski patrolman that targets Chinese tourists indiscriminate of gender for his sexual predilections. Bring some kush and craft beer, it’s used as currency in the employee “villages.”