Nothing for Me Today, Thanks

…and nothing will come of nothing.

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

It’s that time of the year:  where the theme of Christmas infiltrates our metaphors.  As far as bowl games go, the 2007 Fiesta Bowl is the gift that keeps on giving, the Super Nintendo with Street Fighter and an extra controller.  Boise State legitimized their program and accrued the respect of the general public with a wild, improbable overtime victory over Oklahoma.

There were many memorable images:  the hook-and-ladder, the mutated statue-of-liberty play, Ian Johnson proposing to his cheerleader girlfriend immediately after scoring the game-winning two-point conversion.  Not quite as memorable:  Boise State losing to ECU in the Hawaii Bowl last season, losing to Boston College in the 2005 MPC Computers Bowl, losing to Louisville in the 2004 Liberty Bowl.  None of these games have anything to do with tonight’s game against TCU, although some claim that Boise “knows how to bring it” in bowl games and are wagering accordingly, remembering only the good and none of the bad.

Among the people who play ESPN’s Streak for Cash, 75% have picked Boise State to win outright.  Among the two Bowl Pools I am a part of, most of the selections mirror this sentiment — that Boise State will win the game.  I don’t know who will win this game, but the odds makers set the line, and have not moved it in Boise’s favor (it is actually moving in the other direction) despite Boise receiving a majority of the action. 

Texas Christian -3 (-110) for 2x

The Wet Bandits

The number of views this video deserves is way out of proportion to the number of views it actually has.

Lowly NFL Week 16 Shenanagains

Due to the general crappiness of these teams, it was difficult actually pressing the the SUBMIT button.  Passed on the Titans, only because I have been on the wrong end of some Pittsburgh magic too many times this season.  These are for 1x unless otherwise noted:

  • DETROIT +7 over New Orleans (-108)
  • CLEVELAND -2.5 over Cincinnati (-110)
  • OAKLAND +7 over Houston (+100)
  • Arizona/New England Under 43 (-103) for 1/2x

Possibly adding some combination of Seattle, Washington, and Denver in the afternoon games.

NCAA Football Non-Playoff Day 1

New Mexico Bowl:  Pat Hill’s motto is “Any team, any time, anywhere” (or something to that effect); they get national exposure, win road games against BCS conference teams, and aren’t afraid to go to Toledo and win.  Thus, it is no accident that this Fresno State team, one of the most renowned non-BCS programs, has been on the opposite end of many of my larger wagers this season.   Colorado State +2.5 (-105) for 1x

Las Vegas Bowl:  For the first half of the season, BYU — and not Utah, or Boise State — was the trendy pick to go undefeated and crash the BCS after drilling UCLA.  Max Hall was even considered a Heisman candidate.  The Cougars only losses are to TCU and Utah, both are “good losses” (if the term “good loss” actual means what it is supposed to, and is not merely used to describe any non-embarrassing loss).  Arizona does not have any of the previously mentioned accomplishments.  And after another mediocre season, their coach is on the hot seat.  Oh, and they are somehow the favorite.  Arizona -3.5 (-107) for 1x

EagleBank Bowl:  As I am typing right now, this game is already in progress.  So whoever is winning at this instant, I like that team plus/minus whatever the spread is.  And I wagered all of my money.

St. Petersburg Bowl:  The line movement really makes this one tough to gauge.  No opinion.  In both bowl pools I’m in, everyone took South Florida to win outright, so this game will do little to determine the winner of either pool, regardless of the outcome.

Mail it in Friday: The Day

Today is the day.

yesman

Reilly Out of Touch with Reality

The subject of this week’s Life of Reilly column is the Tarheel of Tarheels, Tyler Hansbrough and the hatred that many a college hoops fanatic harbors for him.  In case you didn’t assume that Reilly was going to defend Psycho T, as he is affectionately called, the subtitle of the column, Everyone hates Tyler Hansbrough.  It’s pretty obvious why, tips his hand.  In the column itself, Subtle Rick lists the reasons why people hate the North Carolina senior, reasons which are typeset in bold and followed by analysis (find the loosest defnition of this word in your repertoire, then subtract ten) on why each listed reason is invalid and idiotic.  A sample of the words Rick Reilly is putting in our mouths:

  • “He’s a big baby who gets all the calls”
  • “Big guys are not supposed to be look-at-me-Coach hustle bunnies”
  • “He never smiles! He never reacts to anything!  It’s like he’s a robot after Botox!”
  • “The big dope was stupid to come back for his senior season!  Who turns down all that NBA cash?”
  • “Besides, the oaf isn’t going to be anything in the NBA anyway, right?”

life-of-reilly

Many of the people who keep a close eye on NCAA hopes do indeed hate Tyler Hansbrough, and the reasons Reilly listed certainly contribute to the hatred to some degree.  However, the most obvious reason, the one most pervasive and suffocating, the one coaching ill-will to mature into hatred, seems to elude Rick.  The title in the above image should serve as an indication:  the grown-up media is madly in love with a college student.  ESPN, the company that Rick Reilly works for, the largest and most recognizable sports media outlet on the planet, wants to make passionate love to Tyler Hansbrough.

When a drop of Tyler Hansbrough’s sweat hits the hardwood an ESPN field reporter piously surfaces, towel-in-hand, ready to wipe up the perspiration and prepare a detailed report on its aroma.  People hate Psycho T because of this, because ESPN’s stern, didactic emphasis on his character and his demeanor, because they never hesitate to exhibit how hard-working and wonderful he is.

Here’s a pretty telling indication:  when Sportscenter anchors constantly refer to a college athlete by nickname during a highlight reel, anyone who watches ESPN with any frequency is already intimately aware of said nickname, and the “story” behind said nickname, and would prefer not to be reminded of why said nickname exists, an anecdote which the Sportscenter anchor(s) will almost certainly use to bookend the highlight reel itself.

Everyone hates Tyler Hansbrough, and it’s pretty obvious why.  Because an ESPN-personality like Rick Reilly would actually write a column about the awesomeness of Tyler Hansbrough.  Yeah, that’s it.  That Reilly’s column defending Hansbrough even exists is enough for me to loathe the both of them.

(See how nicely the words “Reilly” and “reality” play off one another in the headline?  That is intentional.)