Monday, June 6, 2016

Governors Ball 2016, experience and review

So, Bokolis decided to switch things up by going to this Governor's Ball that's been taking place on Randall's Island for these past few years.  Somehow, over the last two years, I've taken to going to concerts.  I used to not understand why, as Bokolis is decidedly not a people person.

It's not that Bokolis dislikes people; it's that I find them, generally, to be a waste of time or an outright disappointment.  Here's why: if I'm going to be involved in something, everything needs to be done with excellence.  This applies to work, play, study, planning, preparation, whateverthefuck else you've got.  I would tell bosses, I don't leave my house and trudge into the office to fuck off, especially when there are things to fix and riddles to solve.  Similarly, when I was captain of any team, I would tell them- and, I would save this for when I thought we were up against it- that I don't leave my house to lose.

aside- I am far more concerned with performing at a high level than I am with winning, but presenting it as such makes it virtually impossible to get the message across and, consequently, the desired effort.

Most people, being reactive, tend to leave well enough alone.  Bokolis has long-realized this, and often tell my (nominal) superiors that, in everyday situations, because I'm resigned to moving at another's pace, I'm just alright; it's those times when the rest of the world is scared shitless that I come in handy.

Now, this mentality makes Bokolis invaluable in pressure situations but, no matter whether they are superiors, equals or subordinates, it is NOT the way to play well with others.  Bokolis can, at times, suppress this, but I cannot compromise.  I just can't- my beliefs may change, but my system cannot be compromised; suffering is preferable.

Therefore, Bokolis finds people easier to deal with when they need me- not so much me, but leadership- because, in following, they stay out of my way.  What is weirder still is that I don't even like being a leader- unprovoked, I am generally utterly unwilling to impose my will upon people- it typically arises from being the least unpleasant of choices.

To compound that with even more weirdness, I am very keen to see that people have a good time while around me.  It's something Bokolis managed to pick up from my old man without him ever saying it to me.

Having gone to a few concerts with my spawn, Bokolis has gained a sense of how people react, in large numbers, both collectively and independently.  While it may seem counterintuitive, the predictability of people makes them less disappointing.  Furthering the weirdness, in the process, I also realized that I enjoy the vibe of so many happy people, even if I'm good with no interaction...even if it was 2-1 birds, which is useless to Bokolis if they are posturing rather than pursuing.

The concert-going is even more confounding to the people around Bokolis, who, knowing my ambivalence towards human contact, find it incredulous that I would go to concerts alone.  My answer is simple:  When I am inclined to interact, I am engaging enough- and my looks certainly don't hurt- that it wouldn't be a problem.

We'll leave aside that, thankfully, my spawn, to varying degrees, are more social than Bokolis.  I also encourage them to be venturing, especially since they have me as protection (I look like I could fuck you up).  But, they are not yet cool enough to like anything beyond the commercial bubble-gummer crap.  Therefore, to recoup some coolness, Bokolis descended onto Randall's Island for this (scheduled) 3-day event.

I'd done my research and consulted with others who know these bands better than I.  I'd decided that the Friday lineup was strong, Saturday weak, with Sunday falling closer to Friday.  Of course, Sunday was rained out and Saturday evening brought rain (we'll get to that).

With the benefit of hindsight, I'd've just gone to Friday, as my feet were wrecked after two days.  It worked out with the weak lineup on Saturday, because Bokolis had crap to do during the day and the Killers made the whole show- rain, sore feet and all- worth it.

Bokolis rolled up early on Friday to a pleasantly sparse crowd.  I caught The London Souls.  As you see, they look like Lenny Kravitz and the guy from Party Rock song.  They have a good sound and they sounded good live, the best curtain-jerker you could ask for.  After that, it was Black Pistol Fire, who were phenomenal.  The London Souls may have sounded cleaner, but Black Pistol Fire was both a better sound- Bokolis' favorite sound- and a better show, to the point that I was thinking it could only get worse from here.

Then there was Elle King.  Bokolis went with her over Meg Mac because...I don't know, really.  I figured Elle King's stuff was more in keeping with my expectations for acts at this event.  So, this broad shows up looking like she'd just left the bar after about 24 hours of drinking to do her set.  That red get-up she donned- and the mic stand with the cupholder- took far more effort to make than she did to look presentable.  She had the big-boy red cup, too!  I quickly grinded to find a third chubby blond for a bizarro fuck, marry, kill.  I quickly came up with Meghan Trainor, but stalled out.  I suppose I should've come up with Adele, but neither are on Adele's level and it's too easy to say "marry" to Adele for her money.

Bokolis walked out on Elle- I just got tired of her- and milled around, eventually finding Meg Mac.  I heard one song, thought ah, whatever and bounced.  The next act was Bully.  They sounded better than I thought they would and the lead singer has the scream down.  It works proper.  They come off as punk, with a sprinkle of Green Day, or whatever else that bird listened to growing up.

The thing Bokolis picked up on is how shy the lead singer seems.  She could not face the crowd when speaking, instead looking down at and twiddling with her guitar. This, of course, is incongruous with the screams.  This is a pretty blonde girl who, except maybe for the hair, doesn't seem interested in dressing up or cultivating any sex appeal, preferring instead to play Cobain.  Anyway, except for the excessive shyness, it played...well.

Bokolis largely skipped the next batch of performers.  I took in a bit of Christine and the Queens and was almost mesmerized by her weirdness.  I then snapped out of it and figuratively ran for dear life.  This brought me to Action Bronson, which gave me my first sense of how big the crowd was going to get.

Bokolis swore this muthafucka, fat as he is, was going to have a heart attack on stage and die.  He didn't, though.  He paced himself, brought out a couple of other guys to rap a few bars, and passed up the whole watermelon passed to him.  I expected him to Gronk it, but he eventually did a Highland Games toss over the shoulder.  Oh yeah, his flow is good, DJ is better and the show was decent, if predictably sloppy.

At this point, Bokolis needed to get off my feet, so I went and found a perfect view on the berm for Of Monsters and Men and made sure to remember to hit the same spot for Beck.  In both cases, it was the perfect way to watch them.  I was surprised at how many bullets Beck had in his gun...varied, too.  In between, I caught Father John Misty, that is, I caught him when he eventually came on.  He was the first act to blow the timeline, which was adhered to by all previous acts.  While Bokolis gets the whole Jesus-as-pornstar act, it seemed he would play better at a dedicated show, or at least one more in line with his tempo, which seemed too slow for this day.

Bloc Party performed to twilight and increasingly comfortable climes.  It proved to be the most fun time of Friday and the lead singer looks like a cool bloke to hang with.

The Friday headliners were The Strokes, a massive band who need no intro from Bokolis.  Having been at it so long, however, they are often bored out of their minds and, being a crew of New Yorkers, aren't interested in disguising it.  Friday night was no exception, as they went on a full 25 minutes late.  But, even bored, they are a cut above any other band, methodically grinding out the crispest music of the night.

Oh yeah...Kim of Matt and Kim...mileage, but borderline smashable.  Bokolis swears I was once chatted up by this bird in Williamsburg, but I can't substantiate it. No matter- if you've been chatted up by 1(0)((0)) tatted up brunette(s) in Billyburg, you've been chatted up by all of them.

----

Saturday, Bokolis had the aforementioned shit to do, and didn't show up until about the time Lord Huron was up.  I might have liked to have caught Albert Hammond Jr., Jr., and even seeing whether the bird from Misterwives was worth a fingerbang but, in both cases, missing out was probably for the best.

Bokolis got there hungry and parched, so I got myself together and was ready in time for De La Soul.  This took me back to my youth, so I was in a happy place- and strategic spot- for the show.  They paced themselves as well.  The show wasn't great- Bokolis never likes how the rappers make the crowd work- but it was a great time.

Next up was haim- I suppose they style themselves in all caps, but they get none from Bokolis...a link is plenty.  I figured these birds were now too big to pass up.  My prime spot on the berm was occupied by some chubby Asian bird.  This displeased Bokolis.  Once I heard this act, it displeased me even more, triggering an Act of Bokolis.  It poured during their whole set...nyeh!

Bokolis entered the tent a bit before Purity Ring was set to go on.  It already was very crowded in there, and became a human crush- possibly serendipitous in winning some fans for the act- when the rain returned.  I maneuvered myself so that I was around people palatable to be stuck with, and proceeded to bond with them.  I eventually tired of human contact and escaped back into the pouring rain, taking relative shelter under a tree.

The rain stopped soon thereafter, just in time for The Killers' set.  Whoa! Does this son of a bitch ever have the birds melting.  If he told them to <do unmentionable things to themselves or each other> they'd gladly do it.  Bokolis concedes that the lead singer is almost as good-looking as I am, but a far, far better showman.  In the end- talk about masses of people being happy- their show was itself worth the price of admission.

It turned out to be the end, too.  The place was in bad shape...it wasn't bad where it had been sodded, but where there was firm ground was a muddy mess.  The organizers threatened a delay and/or cancellation in a midnight e-mail.  The morning brought a delay, which conditioned Bokolis for an outright cancellation.

Sure enough, it started to rain late in the morning, a flash half-hour downpour, which led to the cancellation e-mail shortly after noon.  While the organizers may have been a little quick in pulling the plug, it turned out to be the correct move.  It didn't rain through the whole afternoon but right about the time announced special guest Prophets of Rage would have been performing in the tent, more heavy rains arrived.  The crush that would've occurred in that scenario would've likely turned things ugly.

Truth be told, Bokolis was out of it on Sunday- can't talk about what happened after I left the concert- and was happy to get a Sunday of rest.  Two days was enough for me...Kuntye not going on was just desserts for all.

Monday, March 21, 2016

reboot what?

Like the rest of the poor slobs out there, Bokolis gets caught up by the onset of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball tournament to the point of being essentially mummified.  In prior years, my interest would consistently hit the wall about midway through Friday's card.  I always figured that this was because I'd been drinking pretty much straight through from Wednesday night to Friday and that I was now surrounded by the amateur work crowd.  However, I've significantly cut down on my drinking since the end of summer and, since about the middle of December, I've been essentially dry.

Also, Bokolis watched virtually ZERO college basketball this year.  Ever since I decided that the format of basketball games are an insult to my intelligence, I've cut down on my viewing.  However, there was nothing to register on the radar to make me follow.  Of course, this would be to my detriment come bracket time, but the whole bracket-as-science thing seems more than a little silly to me.

Besides, Bokolis already told y'all a long time ago how flawed the tournament setup is.  Half the seedings are screwed up because of conference-protecting the regionals, the other half because the selection committee is less than diligent in assessing the one-bid conference champions.

In any event, I don't see the logic of letting at-large teams directly into the tournament while two conference champions have to win a play-in game.

So, how do we fix this? Let in more teams, of course. You can let in teams from smaller conferences that may have dominated the regular season, but faltered in the conference tournament, and some teams from mid-majors. That will surely take the total up, out of bitching-range. The third best team from a small conference, a middling mid-major, the 8th place team from the Big 10 can't say shit, because none can viably claim that they are better than one another.

Structure the tournament like the English FA cup, where the top teams don't play the opening rounds. I would have 76 teams in total. The first round starts with 24 teams. The second round would be 32 teams; 20 teams added to the 12 survivors. For the third round, 16 teams would be added to the 16 advancing from second round. The fourth round would be 16 more teams added to the 16 advancing teams, making for a 32-team, 5-round knockout stage.

That renders useless the already-pointless conference tournaments, which only reward the slackers for getting hot at the right time. I've also added two rounds to the dance, yet reduced the top teams' workload by one round.


Easy enough, right?

For these reasons, Bokolis was interested to experience how I'd receive the tournament this year.  The routine was different this year, with me running errands each morning and hustling back to a television or, if things ran long, resigned to watching on the app.  Sure enough, even with multiple laptops at the house substituting for multiple TVs at the bar, I was done before the Friday evening session.

But, because Bokolis wasn't drained by 36 out of 48 hours spent drinking, I still had appetite for perspective.  Not coincidentally, I stumbled upon some Yahoo article on how the tournament needs a reboot.  Since this banana claims AP status, I gave him a wide enough in the hopes of some insight.  Well, I suppose I gained some, but not the insight I sought.

Now, these kids may be moving a bit too fast for Bokolis, or their ADD is far worse, or the dictionary is now Wikipedia (where anyone can edit) but, I thought reboot meant restart, or maybe even redefine the (selection) process/format.  I did not know it had come to mean forget what you've seen and change your perspective because the event has been forever redefined.

Yet, this banana decided that, just because a 2-seed (Michigan State) lost to a 15-seed (Middle Tennessee State) in the very beginning, the tournament is so fundamentally changed that there is bound to be an outlying result.  No, that is what happened in the super bowl, when, on the Panthers' first possession, they didn't award that catch and, two plays later, sack-strip-recovery-TD.  Even then, that play, while branding the game, wasn't all that different from what subsequently happened.

It works out that, on average, a (2) loses to a (15) every four years.  Given that it's more often than Bokolis would expect, it's hardly cause for uproar.  Besides, MSU got such a cushy trip last year- kind officiating, other teams' melting down, coach Izzo using his resources and abusing a system that allows for cynical tactics- that this year's crashing out amounts to mean reversion.

The historical winning percentage runs pretty consistently, from a perfect record for the top seeds to even for the 8-9 game, except for the 5-12 matchup, where the record is the same as for the 6-11 matchup.  This implies jury-rigged matchups to feed into the 5-12 legend, though Bokolis might be gulled into believing that would be giving the committee too much credit.

The writer claims it's been a tournament for the lower seeds because of the record number of wins by teams seeded 10 or higher, and then followed up with noting that three of the 9-seeds won, which is not a good look.  So, basically, he expects us to jerk off all over ourselves because some teams no one is going to miss were clipped, gashing our brackets.

When a result is perceived as outlying, some analysis is in order.  Firstly, the 7, 8, 9 and 10 seeds are interchangeable.  Their positioning and seeding is for convenience.  If a (10) beats a (7), it's not news.    It's not much more notable if a (6) beats an (11) and the the 5-12 is now a caricature.  For the purposes of addressing them, which, admittedly, is easy to do in hindsight

  • Wichita State is not an (11)- a blatant error,
  • Baylor choked against Yale and allowed some Skull & Bones, shiny-faced white-boy to light them up for 25- it might raise a People's eyebrow, but it's been known to happen,
  • Purdue's choke job- they seemed like they were actively trying to lose- makes Baylor's look like bad luck,
  • Northern Iowa was better than an (11), regardless of the half-court winner- they HAD Texas A&M and pissed it away,
  • Seton Hall (6) was grossly overseeded based on its conference tournament result and came in flat against a Gonzaga (11) side that subsequently smoked its second round opponent even worse- if you flipped the seeds, few would've batted an eye
(11) beating (6) is only significant because it happened three times.  But, we've established that the committee royally undervalued its 11-seeds, two of which had to survive Dayton for the distinction.  Individual upsets become more significant when 13-seeds and above are clipping the higher seeds.
  • Cal had no business being a 4-seed, especially with the distractions- Bokolis picked Hawai'i, so it was expected,
  • West Virginia, in addition to having a useless coach, showed the same brick-city issues it had in its Big East days, hardly deserving a 3-seed- but SFA was markedly better than a (14) and showed as much in the second round,
  • Michigan State losing is legitimately WTF?!-stunning but, as described above, amounts to mean reversion
Not leaving bad enough alone, the writer fires another, saying that the top seeds survived.  In reality, three of them beat the piss out of their opponents and North Carolina, despite sleepwalking through the first half, won comfortably.  Except for MSU, none of these are shocking, a couple were flush or meltdowns, several were cases of bad seeding and a few were even predictable.  Taking an event that happens about every four years and using it to sell that the tournament has been flipped on its head is making a mountain out of a molehill.  

After two rounds, 12 of the 16 teams are seeded 5th or better and six of the eight top seeds are still alive.  We don't need a reboot, but the writer needs a refresh, cuz he thirsty AF for a byline.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

I thought they closed that place down

Bokolis guesses that I shouldn't be surprised but, the New York Post, in its Sunday edition, blew up the ill buddha spot, some place called Spa Castle in College Point*.

* -  College Point, for the uninitiated, is a neighborhood in northern Queens, jutting out to where Flushing Bay meets the East River.  Since Flushing Creek effectively serves as its southern boundary, there are relatively few ways in and out of there.  Moreover, those water boundaries combined to render a good deal of the area as mucky or a mire.  The waterfront area was not developed for many years; much of it is industrial.  With Flushing Bay offering a nasty stank in those days, the reputation of the girls there as loose SLUTS and the guys as mongoloids (blue-collar, middle-class Irish, with some Italian), people from the surrounding neighborhoods- pretty much anyone from northern Queens- would call it garbage point.  So, if a place like this existed, College Point would be the natural guess.

With an online headline of "NYC's 'sex spa' is grossing people out," even while the web address includes, "...the sleezy spa where everyone has underwater sex," the Post is blatantly pandering to the moral (not so?) majority in the hopes of selling a few more papers or getting a few more clicks.  Of course, being a shameless shill for the right wing, the Post dutifully attacks anything that big business can't sell, while furthering the latter's position that people should not be allowed to have fun on their own terms.  Bokolis will get back to that- maybe- after trying to shoot some holes in this piece.

First off, the semantics, necessary to establish the general sloppiness of the article- if everyone there is having sex why is it sleazy- nice spelling fuckwads- and who's left to be grossed out.  It's not underwater sex, it's in the water sex; Bokolis speaks from experience <snicker, snort, chortle>.

The Post does what almost all media does these days- in imposing its desired value-set, it attempts to steer you towards how it wants you to feel.  The writer found a few people who were weirded out by this stuff- three or four out of how many, we'll not know, but they seem to have been momentarily outnumbered on the writer's visits*.

* aside - This broad went there twice and deemed she had enough to go with this as a story.  If that were Bokolis, I'd've strung this out for about 16 visits...and, even then, it's 50-50 as to whether I'd've blown it up.  I'd've blow it up in a different way.  I was tipped off to the article about 10AM on Sunday.  My response was, of course, I'm just getting home from there- fuck, now everybody's going to know.

The article references a kiddie pool, luring the reader to draw the inference that all this is going on in full view of boatloads of small children.  Before calling bullshit on that, note that, while we're told of all the hijinks, the best the article offers is photos- pixelated and without context- of couples kissing.  Bokolis will just bet that there are plenty of pictures of the really racy stuff couldn't make any edition...mmhm.

Now, it does say somewhere that "no establishment shall make facilities available for the purposes of sexual activities..."  While it can be argued that the purported sexual activities were incidental to the visit, let's play along and assume for half a second that this place is nothing but a fuck shop.  Let's further assume that these laws are in place for virtuous reasons- as when the city closed down the bathhouses and places like Plato's Retreat amid the jumpoff of the HIV/AIDS crisis, Koch wasn't playing off of his presumed, but not acknowledged, homosexuality- and not because the city can't monetize sex.

The reason this place is getting shut down is that it's a fucking pig sty.  It's rather apparent that management is cutting every corner it can to turn a profit/minimize losses.  The way it sounds, there is about $1k revenue coming through the doors at the open.  If management is not going to turn it away, the hanky-panky is merely a symptom of a business going downhill, not the cause.  This happens in just about every nightclub in NYC, and the economics extends to this place...it's hot for a while, but eventually goes stale, so you have to cook up theme nights, catering further down the market (that's a nice way of saying two racially-charged epithets that Bokolis will leave to the imagination) until finally breaking down and changing the motif in the hopes of luring back the cool kids.

In this case, the owner, some joker called Steve Chon- Bokolis is picturing Larry Wong from King of New York, but couldn't find the clip of him telling Frank White that he's no greaseball Arty Clay- seems to be no exception.  The difference is, he's not in a position to change the motif.  Hence, he is not in the economic position to toss people seeking to enhance their spa experience.

It must have been asking too much for the Post to present it like that.  It had to go for the salacious.

The problem that Bokolis has with the piece, other than the fact that this broad blew up the spot, is that she's endorsing people's insistence on having things how they want them and only how they want them.  If you show up to a place at off hours, expect to see some off-hours shit.  Let's face it, nobody needs to be bringing their kid to this place at 6AM on a Sunday.  What the fuck is wrong with parents that would drag their kid out of bed early on a Sunday to get to the spa?  In fact, I have trouble believing that any children (13 and under) come to this place- remember, it's a spa, not a water park.  If I were hitting this place after hours like that and there were the strippers as claimed, I'd be pissed at this bitch to no end.  This is as incredulous to me as the teenaged boys (or their moms) selling out the (often hot) female teacher for having sex with them.

The stripper happy-hour aspect of this reminds Bokolis of an after-hours spot I used to regularly hit in the '90s.  This place was for grown-ups.  The location (Manhattan, durrr), events and details of its demise will remain in our ever-hazier memory.  It was protected by the cops, but not from a developer who wanted the land.  I really haven't been the same since.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Oh, the (fat) shame...

Not that Bokolis anticipates such things, but they're apparently pumping out the SI swimsuit issue and, on the cover is some bird called Ashley Graham.  Out in the world where everything demands a reaction, it's caused a bit of a fuss because she's...a...bit...larger than what's been seen on previous swimsuit issues.  To take the middle ground here, she's chubby.

Just as Bokolis isn't trying to front that viewing the cover damaged my retina, I don't want to hear anyone tell me what I'm supposed to think of this broad.  What I think of her form isn't as important as that I don't want to think of it.  As such, I won't be going anywhere near that swimsuit issue.

Of course, when some of us dare to express our view that we ain't tryna see no thick birds in no swimsuit issue, the anti-bully set comes at us to rub our noses in its rubber fly swatters.

This pic is copyright SI or, some shit like that, or the corporate monolith that owns it, I think.  Please don't hurt me.

Bokolis presumes the name of the magazine is Specs Illuminated.  The obvious pig-headed argument is hey, SI isn't supposed to be about fat bitches; it's sports, man...you can't tell me this fat bitch is healthy.  Back in the day, when the subscriber base was like 99% men who'd give their right nut to smash out the ugliest broad in a typical swimsuit issue, we could have our fluff- and, fluff is all it ever was- as we wanted it.

Those days are gone.  The reality is, SI is going to put out whatever it feels like putting out, and its key consideration is whether it sells.  If SI thinks Ashley Graham sells, well, there you go.  And, if in fact Ashley Graham does sell, prepare for more of the same.

Here's the deal- some random bird of exactly the same shape, even if she's walking down the street, shaking her shit like she's the hottest thing we've seen all day, does not deserve to hear, for example, that she is a fat (insert your favorite bovid here).  But, if you trade, at least in part, on your looks, then  critique, even scathing critique, of your looks, even to the point of trolling, is fair play.

This is not to begrudge Ashley Graham being on the cover...hey, good for her.  Ashley Graham should be thanking her lucky stars that she can walk around at, what, 175, and still earn.  The trolling likely won't be coming from Bokolis- the various puns and digs notwithstanding- but, it's coming.

In the interest of disclosure- because Bokolis thinks this demands it- I'm not trying to say that, at 1:48 AM, well liquored-up in a strange town...hey, they haven't all been Playboy bunnies.  But, there haven't been any Lena Dunhams, either.  It may be back-handed for I can see how someone could possibly find her attractive, but that's all I'm conceding.

That ain't the issue here.  This is about what Bokolis wants to look at when I want to look.  I want to look at top shelf (resist urge to insert this bitch breaks the shelf joke here).  She isn't it.  You can see 1000 chubby birds a day in New York, each walking around like they got the goods.  You can ignore them, but it's not like you can swipe to the left and be done with Ashley Graham.  She wasn't given some charity spot to be buried between ads for middle-aged-people drugs.  She has the cover- judgements are going to be made.  She's a big girl; she can take it.  The rest trying to make a cause out of this can eat the dick cookie.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Worst super bowl ever

Bokolis has seen 35 of these things- I discount the 34th and 36th editions, as I was traveling and didn't tune in until well into the 4th quarter of each- and I have to say that the alleged "golden" edition- 50th, Golden State, golden confetti angels, etc.- was the worst Super Bowl I've ever seen.

First off, this is a spectacle and a pageant and a circus, hardly the atmosphere befitting a championship match.  To stay in that mindset and to preserve what remains of my sanity, Bokolis avoids the sideshow stuff.  I spend the anthem re-filling my glass* and key in after the coin toss.  During the commercials- they should be paying me to watch the commercials- I avert my eyes, talk to someone who is similarly inclined, or go for a tinkle/walk.  I certainly don't watch the halftime entertainment and I'm not into Beyonce- I didn't like her when she was hot- so I couldn't tell you shit about her alleged cop trolling.

* - While skipping the anthem may inspire howls of being unpatriotic, Bokolis contends that, between ladyboy gaga in a hillary pantsuit and the fact that you can gamble on its length, that spectacle is anything but patriotic. The only time the pre-game anthem is even shown on television is when they have something- or someone- to sell.  In fact, God Bless America gets far more play...I won't explain what they're trying to sell.  Anyone who considers this whoring out of the anthem as patriotic- feel free- has no space to run around challenging others' patriotism, as it would be tantamount to descendants of slaveowners running around waving racist paintbrushes.

Judging from the crowd noise, it's like a preseason game; judging from Eli...well, Eli had this look like it was his wife who was getting the GH shipments, so forget him.  You can say that it's always been that way, but it's now well past recognizable, or it might just be that it only dawned on Bokolis for good this year.

The Broncos offense didn't score a touchdown of its own making.  The Panthers made more than enough mistakes on offense and special teams to double down the Broncos defensive pressure.  This must have been what Super Bowl IX was like.

The murky definition of a "catch" jumped up and bit them in the ass again, as a dubious replay ruling provided the setting for the subsequent defensive touchdown.  While this fuck-up will fall victim to the control the message spin and didn't depart from the theme of the game, it certainly changed the tone and, ultimately, ruined the Super Bowl.

The soulless referee and a couple of crappy defensive holding calls on the Panthers didn't help, but that may just be the bitterness talking.  Regardless, there were several bullshit personal foul/unsportsmanlike conduct penalties called on both sides.  If the way the league goes about things weren't so reactive and ball-less, the referees just might be equipped to toss Aqib Talib for the blatant and deliberate grab of the facemask on Corey Brown.  That Talib was so glib about his je m'en fous postgame says much about a lot, most of all about what the players think of the repercussions of cynical/dirty play.

It adds up to quite a crappy way to end a season.  Bokolis is disgusted...and I don't invest all that much into the season these days.

The biggest stain on this was the replay ruling that did not give Cotchery the reception, even though it is apparent that the ball never hit the ground.  I'm sure that the league ministry of propaganda will say that, even though we didn't see this, the ball hit the ground as Cotchery does and, even though he had his hand under the ball and maintained control upon impact, as he was rolling over, the Broncos tackler's helmet hits the ball, causing it to slip around until Cotchery came to a stop, this means that he did not maintain the necessary control.

Cam Newton is not going to like his performance, but he didn't play like shit.  His teammates on offense didn't fire, notably his receivers.  Now, to rag on them...

The part of Reggie Wayne (see edition 44) was played in this super bowl by Jerricho Cotchery, who, in addition to not getting the call on the replay, dropped two passes (one of which would've set them up goal to go, but that drive resulted in a missed FG) and got blown off his feet by a (quite smaller) cornerback going high on him when he needed to get to the marker.  Bokolis isn't saying she should have had the first down- he was less than even money- but he should not have been rocked by a DB the way he was.  All that shit adds up, and his shit adds up to the most.

Ted Ginn, apparently was saving himself for a post-game bondage party, was going out of his way to avoid being hit.  His most disappointing moment was when he seemingly missed a gear shift when he caught the ball on that crossing route.  With his speed, which is all he's got, it is inexcusable that he didn't get the angle on a safety and take that to the house.  It looked like he didn't turn it on and made a break for the sideline instead...cunt.

To sort out the predictions, Bokolis hit three out of the four quarter bets, but lost on the over.  These effectively cancel out, as was their intention, so I will ignore them in the tally.  Losing the game leaves the postseason record at 7-4-1.  While it's another success, I've dropped two bowls in a row...it's totally going to fuck me up while I'm sitting on the beach.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

What could've been? Rugby for fairies...50 bowl

In the hopes of being entertained and reading something worth reading, sometimes, Bokolis is in the mood to read what someone else thinks.  So, puttering around the internet, trying to motivate myself to hack up a prediction post, I scratched my arm against Yahoo's fence and gave some banana from Uproxx a shot to tell me about the best teams to not win a Super Bowl.

Is this list incomplete?  Was it supposed to be a list of best teams never to make a Super Bowl?  Bokolis doesn't see 2007 Patriots?  This must have been mailed in, so I'll fix it...here.

While the 1990*, 2007** and 2011*** Giants took out some of the all-time paper champions, Bokolis is sure the Giants were quite happy to have someone else take care of two potential stumbling blocks to super bowl victories.

*     - 49ers and Bills
**   - Patriots
*** - Packers

The 2011 Saints were at least as good as the 2007 Cowboys.  Much to Giants good fortune, the Saints were stuck playing on the slop in Frisco- that field at Candlestick could go a month without water and still not be firm- because the 49ers had the tiebreaker.  Unlike the 2007 Cowboys, the Giants had no designs on going to the Superdome and winning.  Nobody was beating the Saints in the dome that season.

As for the the 1986 Bears, the Bears had whitewashed the Giants in the previous year's playoffs.  To boot, their defensive stats were right there in '86 with the '85 team.  It was going to be a problem.  But, between being better than the previous year, being home and no McMahon, the Giants had reason to be a lot more confident of victory.

The article neglects that, while McMahon was on a super bowl hangover for the first half of the year, the injury that put him out was effectively an assault by Charles Martin, was ejected and suspended for two games for something that would likely get him a year in today's game.

Certainly, Schroeder made some atypical- for him- plays in the '86 divisional round.  But, on that day, the Bears defense just didn't have the mojo working.  The Skins shoved them around.

Towards the present day, Bokolis split the conference championships and is now 7-3-1 for the playoffs.  This is six years running that I've sent y'all to the window.  This year, we'd have some snakeskin boots to go with the gators from last year.  But, there is no resting on laurels here.

Panthers (-5) over Broncos - This line has wobbled around.  It opened at 4, jumped to 5.5, reached 6, and is now inching back downwards.  As Bokolis was typing it was 5 in Las Vegas and 4.5 offshore.  The offshore lines have typically moved in advance of the Las Vegas line.  Bokolis jumped on 4 at the start and would think that the play is to buy it down to 4 if possible.

As for the game, hey, Carolina has shown itself to be the best team all season.  They have not wobbled in the playoffs and their only loss was a throwaway game.  This spared them from all the 19-0 bullshit and they've had a rather quiet two weeks in the lead-up.  The offense will do plenty, and the opportunistic defense will do the job here on P. Manning that the Patriots would not.

In fact, I'm going to both hedge and have a little fun here.  Since the individual quarters all have a point spread of Panthers -0.5, the plays are, Panthers in the first and second quarters, Broncos in the third and fourth quarters.  The combined amounts equals the amount on the game, working out to laying -115.

The next move is to make half a play on the over (43.5).  Why half?  With the rest of the powder, if Carolina is leading by 5-17 points after the third quarter, they play would be to look to come in on Denver on a 4th quarter prop so as to hedge the game result.  If it comes into play, while everybody's watching commercials, Bokolis will try to update accordingly.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Rugby for fairies...2015 conference championships

Bokolis rolls into the conference championships 6-2-1.  Since I figure to be shoveling snow until like Wednesday and the lines don't figure to be going anywhere, I'll enlighten the world while I still have my faculties.  In both of these match-ups, one side has a decided advantage at QB over the other.  I will play it that way.

Patriots (-3) over BRONCOS - To take New England here is to disregard that, allegedly, Tom Brady is 2-6 in all competitions in Denver.  Is it altitude- there has to be a deflated ball joke in there somewhere.  Both of Denver's QBs have taken him out.  What's worse, not only have his two victories have come against sides QB'ed by Tim Tebow and Danny Kanell, but I remember a team led by Jake Plummer defeating him- though, to be fair, I think that one had more to do with Champ Bailey.

Even so, Bokolis was stuck trying to remember whether it was Kanell who kept throwing the TaINTs for the Giants (it was Dave Brown).  Quite frankly, ever since Jimmy Johnson left the Cowboys, it's all been a blur.  I'm also stuck trying to figure out whether the current version of P.Manning is any better than Tebow and Kanell.

Hey, the guy is still the grandmaster at calling a game from the line.  But, he is essentially a statue and, without an arm or the ability to make things happen outside the pocket, the Patriots figure to crowd the box and the middle of the field to dare him to throw outside.  Since he probably won't have that pop-up slide throw in the game plan this week, Peyton is going to need some serious help from his line and running backs to weave some magic.

More likely, the Patriots will be warm to his plan.  Last week's game was just a warmup for this week.  Just like last week, the Patriots will do what the have to do to win this game.

PANTHERS (-3) over Cardinals - With the later starts for the conference championship games, the Cardinals won't fall out of bed like the Seahawks did.  That said, Newton and the Panthers have shown all year that they will score when they need to, and Carson Palmer will not get away with trying to throw the ball to the opponent this week.  Either pick would imply disrespect for the other's record.  But, from what Bokolis has seen from the Panthers this season, the only thing that sinks them in this game is a letdown.