Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Hope being grown up doesn't last long

You know when you get to a certain point, you want to stop and reassess things?  Bokolis has been doing a bunch of that lately.  I've been taking a lot of vacations to clear my head, energize myself and maybe prepare for what I see to be the upcoming next phase of life...that phase where I can't go everywhere doing a buck-ten.

Yeah, whatevs about that; Bokolis is here to relate it as it relates to football.  Never has media impinged so far upon the rest of our lives.  But, let's stick to football, because it all flows from there.  Like bracket-creep on the AMT, the season gets just a little longer each year, starting a bit earlier, ending a bit later (domestic leagues are playing until ~5/24 and the Champions League final is on June 6th, which I think will be a twinbill with one of the Copa América matches.

I...guess- in and of themselves- you could get into these matches.  But, they will double up on us next year, having another Copa América in, of all places, the USA, under the logic of it being the centennial.  So, they will stage it in a locale in which it has never been staged and expand the field to 16 teams.  It has NOTHING to do with being able to score top dollar (pardon the pun)...we'll get back to this.

The '16 version will run largely concurrently with Euro 2016, which will be staged in France.  Bokolis points this out because Platini essentially pulled all types of rank to snatch this one away from Turkey.  When the Turks whinged, his reply was, when a Turk becomes president of UEFA, then Turkey can get a Euro.  And, to think, Platini the genius of a player turned into the same asshole as a bureaucrat.

The 2020 edition will involve venues in at least 12 different countries, including Baku (that ain't Europe!?).  As is well-known the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were backroom deals.  Since the major tournaments of the next 8 years are all premised on shadiness, it all works out to 8 lost years of international football.

By then, mobility of labor will have rendered national teams indistinguishable from one another.  It was one thing for the Dutch to have kids of Surinamese in the national side.  France turning into North Africa- eh, okay.  But, this is now seeping into every country.   Every side has a pet Brazilian; Bokolis was watching a CL match between PSG and Chelsea where the Spanish-language announcer, upon seeing David Luiz, Diego Silva and Thiago Motta standing next to eachother, said, oh, look, it's three Brazilians who play for three different national teams.

Bokolis is not quite at Sacchi's level but, the allure of watching national teams was to see how Italians and their style would match up with Germans, or Spaniards, or Brazilians and Argentines (many of whom have Italian ancestors who mated with buffalo).  Notice I didn't say English; they can't play football and Gazza and an 18-year old Michael Owen have been the only things worth watching in my lifetime.  Really, it was to see all their distinct styles (yes, even the English) match up- and the Mexican heart, the American self-belief to make up for lack of know-how, and all the lesser sides' guts.

It is not quite that way any longer because they all play continental football- even the Brazilians and Argentines- and they are all starting to melt the same...you couldn't be jingoistic even if you wanted to.  The national teams will eventually look no different from club teams.

Of course, after these competitions, but before the onset/onslaught of the domestic league season, the circus will come to town.  The clubs will tour the USA, charging us (at least) double what they charge for domestic league matches to watch tired guys forced to be there giving 60%-70% effort in ill-fitting parks, all under the banner of some marketing gimmick cup competition.  The team ultimately winning on spot kicks will do its best to celebrate like they give a fuck.

So, Bokolis will withdraw from international competition, and it will be a precursor to slowly withdrawing from club competition as well.  I still like to watch on matchday.  But the soap opera aspect of the season does not interest me like they want it to, as the domestic league winners are pretty much set in stone beforehand.  I mean, did you not know Real or Barca would win La Liga, Juventus would win Serie A, Bayern would win the Bundesliga and Chel$kiy would win the EPL?  Did you not know that Arsenal, after people tried to put Wenger out to pasture, would cruise into the top three?  You may have thought City would have done better, but Bokolis knew that AFCON would drain Yaya Touré, especially considering that he's on his last legs (31) as an elite player anyway.

I can now imagine a life without football; it sucks, but when the football in your life sucks, your best bet is to take back the bandwidth.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

people wanna kno-o-w...rugby for fairies...the bowl

Seahawks (PK) over Patriots - As Cantona said, "when the seagulls follow the trawler, it's because they sink sardines will be srown into the sea."  When Bokolis follows the Seahawks, however, it is because he thinks Brady and Edelman will be thrown into the sea.

Accordingly, I think this is the Seahawks' game to dictate.  It does not bother Bokolis that the Packers had to fuck that game six ways to Sunday for the Seahawks to advance.  This hasn't stopped other teams from winning it all.

While I was (and am) able to score +1, it makes little difference...we'd all be laying at least three if Russell Wilson didn't play like crap for 57 minutes and the Pats played with regulation balls.  Bokolis will not rehash all the angles and nonsense.  For me, it's a matter of which team can push the other around; the Seahawks will do most of the pushing and there will be Skittles for everyone.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Choketown

After doing some back-checking, this is the 5th year running that Bokolis has sent y'all to the window with a smile.

I don't know how people still invest so much time into watching the NFL.  Right about the time the Packers had decided they had done enough to win that game, Bokolis had decided that I've had enough rugby for fairies.

Actually, with the number virtually clinched by halftime, Bokolis probably cashed the chips well before the Packers started thinking about Arizona, DUIs and tent city.  But, you couldn't convince me of that by the way the Packers played that fake FG.  I was thinking, of course it was a fake- you're the ones playing in this game; whatthefuck are you thinking?  Yes, the chances- which already weren't great- of the Seahawks coming back by playing it straight were zero.  At 16-0, was the importance of trying to stop three points so great that you wouldn't just sit on the ends?

Of course, it stood to reason that a side that left so many points on the table would also gift a few.  Hell, why not gift them the whole game; it's not like they have to stay in Green Bay after the season is over.  This time, the Seahawks didn't even need the officials to steal a game from the Packers.

Bokolis was so checked out that, the only thing I remember thinking during the Pats game was, fucking hell, all this shit the Pats do is so infuriating...unless you've bet on them.  Then they came out and said that the Pats had taken the air out of their footballs so that they could more easily throw and catch them in the rain, which flashed me to Hakeem Nicks, on the play before the Revis interception, dropping an otherwise easy catch.

While no one can seriously suggest that this made the difference, can't this muthafucka do anything on the up and up?

The line for the bowl opened, depending on whom you believe, at Seahawks laying 2 or 2.5.  Of course, that didn't last for long and the line moved to PK.  As of Monday morning, you can find +1 or -1 for a pair of teams the deserve each other...you do remember who was the coach of the Pats prior to Belichick, no?  This may come down to the best cheater wins.

Compared to Belichick, Bokolis is on the up and up, and, at 7-4, is up for the 5th year running, going 6-1 after dumping the wild card weekend.  I'm doing more for y'all's lifestyles than your money manager.  You remember the name of the town, don't you?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

rugby for fairies 2014 conference championships

Facing a 5-4 standoff, the bookmakers went and dropped a couple of spreads- both opened at 7- that gave Bokolis absolutely no feel for the games.  After a recent wobble in the lines, it's not much better, but enough to take a position, even though I don't really want to.

Packers (+8) over SEAHAWKS - Any way Bokolis has flipped this, I've found it hard to believe that Rodgers and co. will be able to improve on the drubbing in the opener so much as to pull off the victory.  I do see them improving, in part because Rodgers will be more dialed in than (and not holding back like) he was in week 1.

Bokolis still cannot see the Packers winning this game because we cannot reliably believe that the Packers' defense will handle the Seahawks attack.  While Seattle is hardly high-powered, they have little difficulty doing as much as they have to.  Frankly, I don't expect them to do more than they have to.  I'll take my chances with Rodgers and eight points.

PATRIOTS (-6.5) over Colts - Again, history tells us that this is the point where teams like the Colts bow out.  Much is being made of the sudden surge in the Colts' defensive performance, with comparisons being made to the comparable rise during the championship year.  While Bokolis does not think all that much of the Patriots, the Colts will find that, unlike the Broncos, their quarterback can still throw the ball.  The Pats should get their shit together enough to win this game by at least a touchdown.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Poor John Fox

All Bokolis was able to watch of this weekend's games was very little of Ravens-Pats, the last 30 seconds of the first half of Cowboys-Packers and much of both Panthers-Seahawks and Colts-Broncos.

Bokolis was 4-1 this weekend.  I want to crow and say that I made good on my promise of traction this week but, let's face it, in three of those situations, the game fell on either side of the number, and fell kindly in two of the three cases.  The Colts whupping the Broncos was serendipitous.

Bokolis had written off the Pats game when Brady threw the pick- which I saw- just before half.  I didn't watch the rest of the game.

I did get into the Seahawks, mainly because of laying 7-1 on the money line.  I never had any worries that they would lose, but the number was in play.  While trying to enjoy my beverage, I had to endure a band of mongoloids and their football malaprop.

At least they were laying on the Seahawks; at one point when Carolina was driving while trailing 24-10, threatening the number, Bokolis had to (quietly) interject when the worry-warts had gotten particularly loud, relax, the pick-six is coming.  I had to lower myself to call it a pick-six.  On that fateful play, I saw the receiver (Benjamin?) up top slip...ding.  Cam Newton desperately turns the other way, where Cam Chancellor was squatting, to look for a valve.  Before the frat boys saw it coming, I had my left hand pointing.

Bokolis didn't watch the Cowboys either.  For the eagle-eyed who caught the typo in the previous post, that is supposed to read Cowboys (+5.5)...  I'm very glad that the Packers went for two, as I didn't want to have to explain that I actually got +6 (a lot of times, I'll just put up whatever the line is at the time on any given site, which isn't the line that I necessarily get).  Either way, Cowboys paid on the missed conversion.

Of course, the talking point remains the Dez Bryant catch/non-catch on 4th and 2, with many (and those many are from Detroit) saying that it was just desserts for being on the right side of a dubious call the previous week.  Bokolis is very much a cookie-crumbles type- given that the game ended with the Packers well into Cowboys territory, the Cowboys can't really whinge about it costing them the game- but it won't stop me from telling what really happened.

Bryant caught that ball, and the officials- the NFL, really- fucked that call to high hell.  First, Bokolis will undress the NFL's commie rulemaking by telling y'all that I didn't see any replay that shows the ball hitting the ground.  It is presumed the ball hit the ground to make the ball pop out of Bryant's hand, which I may or may not buy.  Regardless, presumed does not equate with clear and indisputable.

update:  I've now seen a replay that shows the ball on the ground...given that it took until Monday evening for the NFL Network to show it- maybe showing Deion Sanders and Michael Ivrin clowning around was more of a contrived diversion than I'd thought- I gather they didn't have this angle on the live broadcast.  It doesn't change what follows.

Then there's the other part of this, the part that the geeks made up, the part that says he has to make a move common to the game of football after getting two feet down or control the ball throughout the process of going to ground.

Again, Bokolis didn't see it live.  I heard it on the radio and subsequently listened to various calls, yet didn't hear the FOX jibber-jabber in the interim between the call and the reversal.  The part of this that (I imagine) NO ONE brought up- not the announcers, not the league, not the refs, not the geek reporters, not even Dez, because he is not very articulate- is that he gets two hands on the ball and taps it into his chest; anything that he does after that is a football move.

The NFL doesn't see it that way.  Because they'll tell YOU what a catch is, it dictates that, if the receiver is in the process of going to ground, be it by opponent's contact or not, before he gets control and two feet, the required period of control is extended until he has hit the ground and he is effectively disqualified from making a football move while going to ground...they may as well require him to spot the ball for the next play.  In this case, process wins out over pragmatism- as if the tuck rule wasn't bad enough, they've made the receiving corollary to it- making for a shittier game.  To further show you how stupid they think you are, during the game, they probably ran a commercial of Larry Fitzgerald ordering jerseys while catching footballs (or, is that catching footballs while ordering jerseys?).

Why Poor John Fox?  Because Bokolis preemptively blamed him for why the Colts would cover.  After feeling so lucky to cover the Cowboys, I'd've happily backed out of Colts-Broncos.  When I finally got in front of a monitor and saw P. Manning doing his impression of Mike Tomczak- way back when, Tomczak used to throw these balloons for passes- I was like, oh dear, the Broncos had no shot...and, they didn't. another update:  John Fox was promptly canned on Monday by Elway, who apparently sees nothing wrong with his own arm likely being stronger than P.Manning's.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

rugby for fairies...2014 playoffs divisional round

The theme here is for those teams that blew Bokolis out of the water last week to be a dear and just go away.

PATRIOTS (-7) over Ravens - While it's always sketchy to give the Ravens a touchdown, I think we are getting value here.  Bokolis refuses to believe that last week's strong performance was anything but a case of the Steelers being weakened.  Brady should be able to carve up a suspect secondary and, if we see anything approaching a return to Revis island, the game just may be simplified enough to pressure Flacco into some errors.

SEAHAWKS (-12) over Panthers - The only question here is whether the Seahawks will be motivated enough to lay the hammer down on Carolina.  Bokolis will even lay the 7-1 on the money line, as I think Carolina has a snowball's chance in hell of winning this game.

Cowboys (-5.5) over PACKERS - Bokolis will stick with the Cowboys and their perfect road record.  Rodgers may be great, but the side is just not that powerful to me and I see the Cowboys as a bit more well-rounded.

I figure the worst that can happen here is that Romo will be driving for a winning score, but piss away the game (one more time) with an INT.  Hopefully, he comes through, causing simultaneous heart attacks for the lizard man and governor Freddy Fat Fuck.

Colts (+7) over BRONCOS - Ironically, the game that interests Bokolis the least will likely be the game that I view from the treadmill/bar.  The thinking here is that John Fox will keep this game close in ways that Luck and his flimsy supporting cast will not.

Monday, January 5, 2015

2014 WC round post-mortem

Well, that was an awful blowjob, wasn't it?

Hey, Bokolis told y'all that I wouldn't go near the Saturday games.  Nonetheless, I did like the chances when the Cardinals had (goal to go?) deep in Carolina territory.  Then that god-awful QB threw the pick, upon which I almost fell off the treadmill.  That's when a voice said, that's why you didn't take the game in the first place.

True.  Bokolis didn't take the Ravens game, either...I'll write off that one as a bad pick.

Bokolis did get down on both the Sunday games.  It took a fair bit of willpower to avoid getting suckered into taking the over on Lions-Cowboys.

The Bengals held to form.

The Cowboys did indeed lay the egg and many feel it was a shady reversal of a pass interference call, that wasn't pass interference, but probably still should have been called, that bailed them out.  Bokolis calls bullshit.  Nobody told the Lions to punt on 4th & 1...and nobody told the punter to shank it.  Nobody told them to let the Cowboys convert on 4th & 6.

Even though the Cowboys laid the egg, once they recovered the fumble they were 50-50 to cover the...hey, where is this fucking jabook going?!?  Whatta fuckin' banana.  As if FOX had that powder on standby, they bring up that Leon Lett is coaching the d-line.

Getting out of the wild-card week at 1-3 is par for the course for Bokolis.  The silver lining is that it typically weeds out teams addled with issues and/or baggage and makes the divisional round easier to forecast.  Next weekend figures to bring with it some traction.