Monday, January 16, 2017

rugby for fairies 2016 divisional post mortem

Well, Bokolis scrounged out a winning week, splitting the matchups and picking up the over on the Seahawks.  The 3-2 week leaves it at 4-5 for the playoffs.  The trends I offered went 7-1, including all four totals...16 of those plus signs up, 3 down.

The plays Bokolis settled on with the lads are not exactly the same- and sometimes contrary- from what gets listed here.  As with last week, the in-game action helps tell the story of the weekend.

Right off, the Seattle play hurt a bit, as the line ran all the way to 6.5 and we bought two points to run it to 8.5.  Bokolis expected a tight game, but it totally changed on that bullshit penalty that nullified the massive return by Devin Hester, who nonetheless blessed us with one more- possibly his last- show of brilliance.  To call a penalty when two guys are on the ground tugging at each other as the ball is being kicked smacks of over-regulation...that's the nice way of putting it.  This is the playoffs!

That said, the Seahawks secondary was lost.  Bokolis must say that Atlanta did an excellent job of wearing and breaking them down, getting better as the game went on.  How much of that was because of a momentum change after the penalty, we'll never know.

The saving grace was that the over hit- Bokolis cheekily told the lads beforehand that, while I didn't expect them to get to 60, I was certain they'd get to 54 (the number was 51.5).  We had designs on taking the Falcons -1.5 for the second half.  However, with the Falcons already up 9 points, that would've exposed us to getting fucked both ways if the game fell on 9 or 10.  That was enough to ditch the idea.  The over was the bigger play, which was virtually washed out by the odds on the Seahawks play.
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When the Texans were down 14-3 and failed to convert that 3rd & 1, Bokolis was just about checked out.  I was thinking, call me later with the 35-6 result.  Then, a bunch of nonsense happened, and the Pats were held on a goal to go situation, so it was a scramble to get to the half up by 4.  Nonetheless, I cheekily told the lads that the Pats would still cover.  Though I didn't cosign it, I suspect they cheekily took the Pats in the second half.  One of my guys took the Texans/under reverse for both the first half and the game.  I tried to get him to hedge after he hit the first one, but he has some serious ADD and hedging would've played games with his central nervous system, especially when he's not following the rest.

Again, Bokolis got -15, but told y'all -16 and the line ran to -17 as the late money scrambled to the home side after the fifth convincing home victory of the playoffs.  Order was restored in the second half, but the Pats needed that last field goal to cover- that incongruous noise level you heard as the ball went through the upright is known as the gambler's cheer.
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This GB-Dal line settled on 5 so, despite Bokolis giving y'all the Cowboys, we grabbed the Packers at +7 (buying two points at a cost of -150) and took the Cowboys ML at -220.   The late switch-up was the expectation of mean reversion from the home teams being 6-0 against the spread to that point.

The amount of Cowboys fandom/sentiment in the inner group and their connections also spooked Bokolis- I didn't have much conviction in them anyway- but this play was the only happy medium I could achieve with these guys.  Not surprisingly, there was way more money laid on the Cowboys ML than the Packers at +7.

There was plenty of time to hedge in-game, but we took the over (53.5, Bokolis instructs never to buy points on combined totals) as a semi-hedge because I expected a Packers cover/victory to be accompanied by them scoring over 30 points.  After the Cowboys early field goal, we grabbed the Packers at +7.5 without having to lay further odds.  aside- I always raise a people's eyebrow when the first score is a field goal...it may not mean much, but I always see it as a sign of weakness.  After the Packers scored on their opening possession, we grabbed them again at +3.5.  Seeing poor body language on the Cowboys during their second possession, we grabbed the Packers one last time after the next change of possession at +1.5.  Again, I'm dealing with Cowboys fans, so this is NOT an easy thing to do.

Despite what Bokolis saw and thought, the Cowboys managed to drag themselves level at 28.  Despite being soft most of the day, they toughened up in a few key moments, and the referees, who let the Green Bay offensive line hold with impunity, let the Cowboys defensive backs off on a few holds of their own.  At this point, the lads are texting, they're gonna win! we should've never did that last one...I knew they'd come back.  It's called hedging for a reason, you muppets.

They called a pass interference on the Cowboys on a foul that clearly occurred before the pass.  Given the leeway typically afforded in those situations, that was another brutal call.  The Packers banged home a long field goal after being held, so those extra yards gave them just enough to poke their noses out front...sort of a big deal.

Leaving everything aside, the Cowboys biggest mistake on their last drive was spiking the ball on first down from the 40.  There was not so much urgency that, with a timeout remaining they needed to burn a down in that situation.  As it turned out, they were held on downs and banged home a long field goal of their own to tie at 31, but they left Rodgers time.

They get to 3rd & 20 with like 12 seconds left.  On the prior play, Rodgers gets sacked on a clean hit from behind, which left everyone surprised that Rodgers didn't fumble.  Bokolis' instant analysis was that he didn't fumble because the white boy that sacked him didn't go for the strip sack, because white boys don't go for the strip sack.

Rodgers leaves the pocket and rolls left.  Because these guys have no game awareness, they always fail to realize that, when a QB breaks the pocket, you are allowed to check the receivers for loose change.  It is imperative that you throw them off their routes because you are not going to be able to mark them for the extra time that Rodgers has bought.  Guys closer to the line of scrimmage have a dilemma, because they will have to choose whether to leave coverage to tackle the QB.

But, DBs 25 yards down the field are committed to coverage.  They have to latch on to a receiver and throw him off his balance so that he cannot roll with the QB.  Rodgers has been regularly doing this for...all of his career, really, but with regularity in the last month, for all of the NFL universe to see because he's been the standalone game.  He flicks his wrist and shoots the ball 30-40 yards; it's uncanny.

The Cowboys failed to tend to this, Rodgers burned them for 35 yards and the kicker banged home another long one at the gun.

At least we hit on all those hedge plays.  No muthafuckas, at least you had Bokolis to save you from yourselves.  I didn't count on winning, nor want to win, the last one.  For all they dumped onto the Cowboys, all those hedges didn't even get them even.
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One of Bokolis' homeboys is on vacation in Mexico- it IS MLK weekend- and sent me a picture of the people in the room next to him.  They are Chiefs fans, and they decorated their room- and left the room open- for the game.  They actually hung a lighting fixture that lit up "KC" on their balcony.  Don't worry, it's a resort; the pirates aren't coming to get them.

Since he was complaining all through the Cowboys game about having to listen to the Spanish broadcast, Bokolis told him to ask those people about an English broadcast...because those muthafuckas don't look like they speak Spanish.

Silliness aside, this line went off at Steelers +2.  Bokolis caught all sorts of flak about having these guys piece in at -1.  The action is also in on the ML (+110), +2 and +3.5 (-140).  There was no hedging here, as I took a stand against the Chiefs.  That I had these guys in 7 days ahead of time should have made this abundantly clear.

Of course, we had the under, for both the half (22.5) and the game (45).  Despite Pittsburgh racking up yards only to settle for field goals, the aberration of a quick strike by the Chiefs had Bokolis thinking trouble.  I thought it was done for when the Steelers were on the 5 at 9-7, but Ruthlessbuggerer matched Alex Smith's interception with one of his own.  Still, since the Chiefs went 3-and-out, I had to keep the Steelers at bay.  Thankfully, they took their sweet-assed time.  Not only did they take a delay of game penalty, they ran the clock when the play clock restarted, which the Steelers ran down to :05 before running the next play.

The Steelers did get into field goal territory by the 2-minute warning.  But, they then pulled out some playbook they must have found after Herm Edwards left it behind years ago.  They got conservative and settled for another field goal.  With 55 seconds left, keeping the Chiefs out of the endzone was never going to be an issue.  But, the cunts go and fumble the ball with :03 left.  Pittsburgh lined up for a 58-yard field goal attempt, which had Bokolis thinking of a Kick Six by the always dangerous Tyreek Hill.  Not only did the Steelers come to their senses but, instead of a hail mary, they simply dumped it off to Antonio Brown, who ran for 20 yards before running into a checkpoint of Chiefs.

Bokolis gave the best stripper Thank you I could muster.  I packed it in on the in-game action at that point.  Picking up the first half under gave enough of a buffer and there was no hedging to do.  I was certain the Steelers had this, and the lads were pot-committed enough.

As far as the larger game, Bokolis was not worried about the quick strike on the Chiefs first drive, even though, as you heard Al Michaels say, almost on cue, that the Steelers hadn't allowed a touchdown on their first defensive series all season.  It is not all that uncommon for any shit team to look great on its first drive, especially when the plays are scripted, which Andy Reid usually does.  The Chiefs walked to the locker room with just those seven.

Just like Bokolis told y'all, the Chiefs were good for 17 points.  With the Steelers trying to get to 21 the hard way, 17 points wasn't going to cut it.  So the Chiefs had to go for one extra and missed.  Thank you.

Early lines for the conference championships are Falcons -4 (60) and Patriots -6 (51).  Not feeling anything just yet.

That's all the fuck I've got.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Rugby for fairies 2016 playoffs divisional round

During this NFL season, Bokolis has relied on the team trends to pick the winners.  Personally, I put more stock in the over/under and was really picky on letting the trends pick a winner against the spread, but I'd let it find me outright winners.  So, before getting into the games, I'm going to tell you what I perceive the trends to say.  These are ratings range from 1-5 ++.

Seahawks:     +++      Over:    ++++
Patriots:         ++        Over:    +
Packers:         +++      Over:    ++
Steelers:         +          Under:  +++

The NFL pulled a fast one and effectively flexed out the Pit-KC game into Sunday night.  On the surface, the reason being given is that a nasty ice storm is coming through Kansas City starting Sunday morning and continuing through the day.  The upshot is that they're going to have us up until midnight on a Sunday night, even if many of us don't have work on Monday.  Since moving a game after scheduling it is unheard of- they didn't even stop the fog bowl- the cynic would conclude that the NFL, still suffering in the ratings, jumped at the chance to move a game to prime time.

In all four cases, we have matchups of teams that played in the regular season.  The NFC matchups were close affairs, while the AFC games were utter thrashings.  Only division champions are left, so these are certainly the big boy games.

Seahawks (+5) over FALCONS - We all remember the regular season matchup- actually, Bokolis doesn't remember shit...oh, wait...Atlanta got hosed on a non-call on pass interference and Seattle snuck out with the victory.  Seattle has done nothing on the read all season, except when they felt an attack of pride at New England.  They didn't score a touchdown in Los Angeles, Tampa Bay or Arizona.  This is consistent with the Seahawks of prior years, but was something forgotten as they made two bowls.

We were told that their offensive line was utter shyte.  But, when it mattered, they walked right through and over the Lions.  The deal is, whether home or away, their offense played according to how Russell Wilson's leg felt.  Similarly, we've been told that, without Earl Thomas III, the secondary has been shaky...unless it hasn't. 

For Atlanta's part, they've been carried by the play of Matt Ryan, who has been better than very good.    They have the nastiest muthafucka in the league at wider receiver.  Even though they lit up almost every team they've played, their play at home has not been as dominant as you would think for a dome team.

These are the big boy games, so Bokolis has got to go with the side that has operated in them.  Regardless, I love the over, enough to add it in here.

PATRIOTS (-16) over Texans - Let Bokolis first say that I can get -15 with no issues.  I'm listing 16 because it seems to be the midpoint between the range of lines and the most common.  I don't have much conviction on this game.  I'm basing it on the first meeting.  Sure, the Texans will show more pride.  That's why the spread isn't 27.  Their defense is better, but their offense is worse.  I think they will struggle to score more than 10 points.  So, even if the Patriots limit themselves to 27, that would be enough.

COWBOYS (-4.5) over Packers - The trends like the Packers and this, for many of the Cowboys, their first rodeo.  You saw what happened to the pretenders last week.  The difference is that Dallas has already beaten Green Bay, as well as other good teams, in their place.  Dallas is also home, as the top offensive line and the true MVP of the league at running back.  But, they seemed to level/tail off the last 5 games.  Are they about to hit the wall?

Green Bay has not had much of a secondary.  Further, they are being overvalued because of last week's result, which was as much a Giants capitulation, marveling at the resurgent Rodgers- he must have stowed away his DreamKiller- and conveniently forgetting the first 25 minutes of that game.

The thing that has impressed Bokolis about Dak is that he quickly learns from his mistakes, sometimes in the next series.  He was impotent against the Giants, but I strongly suspect the cold and windy Jersey night had a lot to do with it.  The climes are pleasant in jerry's world.

Steelers (+1.5) over CHIEFS - Bokolis was needled by my boys, who are breaking my balls for the line head-faking me and going the other way.  So much the better, I say.  I think the Chiefs are cunts.  The two best skill players are on the Steelers.  The question is whether Alex Smith and the 17 points he'll provide, combined with some Ruthlessbuggerer mistakes, are enough to hold off the Steelers.

Unless the Steelers spend the extra time in the barbecue shops, Bokolis is not worried about the time change.  I am worried about the Steelers pedestrian performances on the road this season.  The funniest stat I saw out there was that the Steelers are 6-14 ATS outside the Eastern time zone.  How many games have the Steelers played outside the Eastern time zone this season, you ask?  Zero.

But Andy Reid off a bye, dude?  He's 19-2?  First off, throw out the three in the playoffs.  Coming off a bye in the playoffs means a home game, which you are supposed to win.  Besides, the last playoff bye was in 2004 (pause to lament how fast time marches on that 2004 was that long ago).  He's 3-1 with the Chiefs, if that's what's important.  Andy Reid is also the guy who makes curious calls in the big games, making curious calls and going away from the team's strengths to button up.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Rugby for fairies wildcard postmortem

On the surface, Bokolis going 1-3 in the wild card round of the NFL playoffs seems like just another year...I'm always 1-3 after the wild card.  As discussed in the previous post, the sea change in wagering is to the point that using your powder on picking to a pre-game point spread is so last century.  In fact, going at it alone is so last century, as there is ample analysis out there and insight to be gleaned by corresponding with other gamblers.

For example, Bokolis is involved with a group that picked up a trend that, for the college bowl games, the play was, first half under.  If it hits, be done with the game; if it did not, place double the amount on the second half under.  This strategy worked in 7 of the first 8 bowl games before it came to my attention.  I would never have picked up on it because I was too busy making fun of the guys for betting on teams and circumstances about which they knew nothing.

Bokolis never had any objecting sentiment, so the strategy played and kept working, all the way through.  The notable exception was the Rose Bowl, and Bokolis looked the whole group off going under there.  My exact words were 100 points is not out of the question.  I'm not trying to brag because it came in at 101- I only took a line that they would easily hit 75 points.  More importantly, even though we all thought USC would handle Penn State, I kept the group on message to key on the over, where we were confident.

The point is, this past weekend, Bokolis had my boys all over the in-game action.  Of course, it doesn't play here because trying to post this kind of stuff real time would take away from the real work.  I relate it because it helps tell the story...you'll just have to believe me, or not.  Otherwise, the only thing to write would be, what you saw this weekend was four teams that played in the playoffs last year played against four teams that didn't play in the playoffs last year.  That's the extent of the analysis.

This hadn't dawned on Bokolis during the first game.  My anti-Texans bias had me leaning Raiders, but I wasn't exactly heavy...as per some texts to the group, I'd feel better waiting for a decent 2H line on the Seahawks than I do about the game lines.  Make no mistake- I don't like either of these games. Of course, I immediately get bombarded with c'mon WTF you gotta take a side!  I explained that, if you're playing x on the game line and subsequently playing 5x to 10x on in-game bets- do I really need to be so married to a pick that I'm going to chase it down the rabbit hole?

Therefore, it was easy to jump off the Raiders when, in a case of if at first you don't succeed at cocking things up, keep at it, they ran their first sets of plays without trying to get the ballpast the line of scrimmage.  They even ran some version of a screen three times in six plays, until Clowney finally intercepted it.  The ensuing touchdown (and 10-0 score) prompted a panic-buy of the Texans at -10.5, even though Bokolis hadn't yet completely lost faith in the Raiders.   When the Raiders broke off a punt return and finally looked like a viable offense on a short field, I was thinking it was a mistake.

So no chirping for that one.  We'll save that for the under 44.5 grabbed on in-game and, in particular, the under 27.5 for the first half that we grabbed during the quarter break (score was 10-7).  They asked, do you see more than 10 points in this quarter after seeing 17 in the first???  Yes it was ???  Recall that it was widely thought that both teams would struggle to score.  Bokolis' response was, I see exactly 10...do it.  After the fact, I teased, if you looked hard enough, I'm sure there were odds for exactly 10.  There may have been a few cunts sprinkled into that exchange.

To show that I hadn't picked up on the trend, Bokolis' post-mortem on the Raiders was, I can't believe the Raiders were the ones to lay an egg.  Right down to the o-line, coach called bullshit game, receivers didn't want the ball, even the punter couldn't punt.  Notice that I didn't pin any of it on the quarterback starting his first game.

Similarly, in Seattle, the Lions didn't show up at all.  As pointed out in the prediction, it's not like Bokolis expected the Lions to win- I had the lads on Seattle money line while it was still -380; between gmes, it shot up to -500- but I thought we'd get a half of decent football.  The best the Lions could do was two 50-yard field goals.  As Seattle 2H was my most confident pick of the weekend, I had the boys send it in- Seahawks were -3 (GIFT!)- and, like picking up a pack of gum at the counter, we grabbed under 23 on the way out, or at least we tried to...the line dropped to 21.5 before we could get out the door.  My consoling was that there was little chance that it falls on 22.

Bokolis turned out to be correct on the Lions bombing the second half.  But, we found out after the fact that Stafford was pretty much useless with his shanked middle finger, and that was the explanation for the poor second half performances.  Well, this time it was also the explanation for a poor first half performance.

There was so much anti-Dolphins sentiment out there that the Steelers shot up all the way to -12.  Sunday was more busy-with-life for Bokolis.  I had been running around, but was listening in the car.  It is amazing the perspective you can gain from just listening to the game.  With television, the broadcasters refuse to let the game breathe.  Because they have to say something, they often say things that are contrary to what you are watching, which actually worsens your experience, whether you consciously sense it or not.  On the radio, the tone of voice of the announcers conveys as much as their words.  Their word conveyed that the Dolphins did not bring their winter jackets with them.  When I finally got in front of a TV for a minute - during the third TD drive- the body language was as I expected.  So it was an easy move to grab the Steelers 2H at -3.5.  The boys also grabbed the under, but I wasn't in a position to cosign.

Bokolis was again on the run.  But, we had discussed the script of the Giants-Packers game beforehand.  The script was technically holding at 14-13, but the wheels had come off the wagon well before.  I had advised the lads that, for the first quarter line, to take the team who got the ball first.  Green Bay won the toss, but deferred.  The idea had been that since the line for the first quarter was  Packers -0.5, the Packers were the play.  When they deferred, the Giants became the grudging play.

aside - When discussing modern wagering, Bokolis forgot to point out that one of the main features is the ability to buy pup to two points at half-point intervals.  So, we were on the Giants for the game at +7.5 and we felt sooooo good about it.  I got flak for taking the Raiders, but not so much for the Lions, as the 2H play on the Seahawks was a heavy play.  Buy the time of the Steelers, I was conscious of what the returning playoff teams were doing to the debuting sides.  While my heart was on the Giants, the big picture of what I was seeing was telling me otherwise.

When discussing the path of this game with the lads, Bokolis saw Rodgers- when I speak of the Packers, I always speak in terms of Aaron Rodgers- getting consecutive scores at some point.  Where the Giants were at that point, I reasoned, would determine how this game would play out.  So, when the Giant's scored to cut it to 14-13 with 5:16 left in the third quarter, on the surface, that's about where we were supposed to be.  But it doesn't mean we were on the rails.

After a Green Bay punt, the Giants had possession deep in their own territory with about 5 minutes left in the second quarter.  At that point, I told the boys that this was the most important possession of the game.  It was imperative that the Giants see out the half from there.  If they didn't, given that they were only up 6-0 despite their dominance to that point, they would lose.

They went 3-and-out.

Rodgers blew down the field in three plays and a minute twenty five.

Well the Giants may be able to withstand that blow because they have enough time to do something here.  They go 3-and-out again, keeping their top two running backs off the field on 3rd and 1 and running with Rainey, who has consistently proven to be as useless as tits on a nun.

The Packers were using time outs all the while.  Crunched for time, they only managed to cross midfield and the half was set to run out on them after throwing a ball deep down the middle, only to have the receiver drop the pass, serendipitously, as it turned out.  The clock stopped, leaving time for one heave into the endzone pile-up, which the Packers caught for a touchdown.

In a few minutes, this year's Giants had turned into last year's Giants.  Bokolis had just walked in to see it. My last text to the lads was, don't ask me, I'm steaming.  I hope they knew what to do.

In the ruin, one of my buddies said, as a Cowboys fan, I'm not so upset with the result.  Bokolis immediately responded that his boys haven't been in the playoffs either.  We'll see what lesson they learn.

Looking forward, I had them grab the Steelers at -1 last night because Bokolis expects this line to be up to -3 by game time.  It hit -2.5 today, before settling back to -2.  I suppose that it will move some more once people feel better about Ruthlessbuggerer's ankle.  The Patriots line might hit -30.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Playoff Eli and the backup QBs

Bokolis knows what y'all muthafuckas want.  I've sent you to the window for something like 5 years running, so this time of year has been like a second Christmas to y'all.  Well, look here baby- you hittin' them corners too goddamned fast...you need to slow this muthafucka down, you understand.



In a serious departure from form, Bokolis has watched a lot of rugby for fairies this season, particularly the NFL.  I went and involved myself in one of those survivor pools.  I lasted until week 13, but this pool is giant and I knew I was done for after week 10.  After settling on week 11 last year, there were still so many people left this year that we had to start picking two teams for week 13, which sunk me.  Six people actually made it through the regular season and they are apparently having issues settling on a chop, so they forge ahead into the playoffs.

The upshot is that Bokolis paid very close attention to the NFL this season...and it takes up way to much of my time.  A couple of venturing sorts even enlisted my help in picking some winners.  After a long retirement, what I've found is that you can do all sorts of degenerate gambling online.

Unlike the old days of calling the book on the phone, it's all online and, whereas you would bet the spread and the totals, you can now take the money line, bet each quarter, bet in-game, to say nothing of the prop bets.  Most importantly, you can buy points when you take the game lines.  For these purposes, I use the prevailing lines.

These days, data are abundant and available.  If you can process information and understand  patterns, dynamics and body language, you can gain a serious advantage on the house because, while the house has far better data gathering capabilities, its processing and modeling is relatively primitive.

Bokolis won't say that I've come out of retirement, but I've made a few people happy this season.  Now that I've set myself up to fail, I'll tell about the NFL playoffs.  As always, remember that this information is worth about what you paid to read it.

Raiders (+4) over TEXANS - This is quite a tough game to pick, but the Raiders can definitely pick off the Texans here.  The QB matchup is the unknown Cook missing his left tackle vs the known scrub Osweiler, demoted to backup and elevated due to the concussion of his replacement.  With Cook, all we know is that he had an effective half of football last week against a far better defense, albeit a defense that had the game in hand.  The sentiment is that Houston, having almost won (in Mexico) against a full-strength Raiders, is home and its defense will carry them through against the third-string QB.  Bokolis disagrees, and has decided that Osweiler is bad even beyond his play.  I've decided that people just don't want to play for him, as Denver's offense magically shaped up when a chicken-armed P.Manning was restored and the Texans offense regressed as the season wore on, ostensibly as people replaced faith in with bitterness for the $72 million quarterback.

Lions (+8) over SEAHAWKS - It's been said that the Lions haven't won a road playoff game since, like, 1954...and that Stafford is, like, 1-23 on the road against teams with a winning record.  Bokolis harbors no illusions about the Lions clipping the Seahawks here. But I see the Seahawks coming out flat and rallying to win.  Since I'm not excited about the game pick, I'll also be keen to find a good second half line for this one.  While the pundits are chirping about Detroit having been behind in the 4th quarter in every game this year and winning 9 of them, I will focus on the last three games, where the Lions have laid an egg in the second half.

STEELERS (-10.5) over Dolphins - The Steelers tend to respond in a big way when their pride's been fucked with.  In the regular season game in Miami, courtesy of Jay Ajayi, it was definitely fucked with, and Pittsburgh will be eager to redeem itself.  The Fish will be out of water in the Pittsburgh winter and will capitulate in the second half.  Laying the wood is a worry but, as with the Lions, Bokolis would be shocked if the Dolphins won this game.

Giants (+5.5) over PACKERS - Around NYC, everyone is acting like they have the roadmap.  They've seen the Giants twice ride to Super Bowl victories from this position, so they think it's all set up to happen a third time.  Despite the offense trudging along for the balance of the year,  there is suddenly this talk of a Playoff Eli, where in the face of the smallest margin for error, E.Manning magically puts it all together to find razor-sharp focus, eliminate mistakes and inaccurate duck-throws, and carry his team to narrow victory.  He's got five playoff road wins!  He's got as many playoff victories in Lambeau as Aaron Rodgers!

The fans and analysts cling to these statistical anomalies and the magic carpet rides without acknowledging that E.Manning has no playoff victories in seasons other than those in which he won his two Super Bowls.  They tacitly admit, even without properly acknowledging, the impact the defenses had on those two rides.  This year's defense seems to have rounded into form, having clamped down on Dak, Stafford and (what a scrub!) Cousins in the past four weeks, even as it didn't handle the squirmy Wentz down in Philadelphia.

To Bokolis, that's the cause for concern.  They will be up against Rodgers, a master at buying time to either throw his receivers open or scramble is way to a first down.  You can certainly count on 21 to 24 points out of him.  That may be beyond the capability of a middling offense, however uptrending, and the idea of Playoff Eli might be better applied as a name of a rock band.  Nonetheless, according to Football Outsiders, the Giants have played to the most consistently close scorelines (it's down there in other notes) in the history of...their history, anyway.  I like getting the points, but let's wait until they win a game before trotting out Playoff Eli.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

You're in Trumple now

Bokolis has spent the morning after Donald Trump's electoral college victory gauging the reactions.  About the time Hillary Clinton was in trouble in North Carolina, I saw the sharks trying to short sell the equity markets- Asian and our overnight indices- slamming the US indices 5% to the downside.  This inevitably reversed itself as those shorts, knowing the jig was up, covered.  Trump playing the grace card in his victory speech heartened markets and has them dreaming of a tempered Trump.

The markets had recovered by the open and closed over 1% above the previous day.  After puckering up through the night, the snickering and the hubris returned to all those fuckers on television, with one of them saying, after the fact, something to the effect of which one of you assholes sold the lows?

It wasn't limited to the hosts.  They ran on waves of creeps who were jerking off all over themselves at the prospect of a corporate bordello.  Hooray for deregulation! was the unwavering message.  Let's get back to raping the worker and the consumer and make that stock price go! go! go!  While Bokolis agrees that raping the worker and the consumer is too often an easy trick an unfortunate consequence of these cocksuckers nearly scuttling the economy was too much regulation, these fuckers are all set to- happy medium be damned- wind the clock back 10 years, when the last set of cowboys let them do whatthefuck they wanted.  All that is missing is the countdown clock to the next bubble bursting.

As for the commoners, we have the butthurt on one side and those trolling the butthurt on the other...and, about six feet behind Hillary, Bill Clinton snickering to himself.  Bokolis hesitates to use liberals and conservatives because I don't wish to help perpetuate such perceptions as these people may have of themselves and each other.  For the most part, they are not liberals and conservatives.  They are babies, people who cannot think for themselves, who have formed and reinforced ideologies primarily through indirect information from biased sources.  In any event, their reactions are like going to a Mets-Yankees game, seeing something good or bad happen to your team and, rather than rejoicing or despairing at your team's fortune, your first action is to look over to fans of the opposition to see if they are rubbing it in or to make sure they are wallowing in despair.

Bokolis is disgusted both at the self-pity and the gloating.  I didn't want either candidate- I have a distaste for one and no faith in the other- but I never decided which one I would rather see win or lose.  To me, the only reason to choose one is for dread of the other.  That is no reason to choose, as choosing sides would've implied some measure of happiness/unhappiness with the result, some measure of self-pity or gloating.

While Bokolis doesn't think much of people, as a member of society, I fully embrace that the people have spoken (or, at least, the voting machines say they have).  Of course, they don't realize what they have said.  They have reminded us of something I've seen saying for years:  there is one country east of I-287 and west of the San Bernardino Mountains, and a whole other country in between.  Those people in between, particularly white guys, I presume, decided, we've got broads telling me what I can say, how I should spend my money, that I can't drink...so, now I've got this bitch trying to take my guns?  Fuck that!

Did y'all think that it was about e-mails and Obamacare premiums?

It probably didn't help that Hillary was running around with Beyonce, Jay-Z, Kim K, etc.  Those cow-towners who came to the big city thought they could, at once, make themselves cool by embracing these played-out people while disavowing their own cow-town roots were shot in the ass.

Well, here we are.  For the commoners gloating, as if Trump is going to change things for the better in any way benefitting them, Bokolis will offer the same as he offered all the kiddies who thought Obama would bring change.  Change isn't happening- about the best you can hope for is more of the same.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Goodell to the last drop?

It seems the media has gotten its panties in a twist over the NFL's drop in viewership.  Bokolis doesn't have the numbers to share with you so we can jerk ourselves off to period-over-period comparisons.  Those numbers are probably all bullshit anyway.  As they say in the corporate world, garbage in, garbage out.  Slightly more seriously, it's not like we can definitively assign a portion of any decline to each cause.

With regard to the numbers, the finger pointing is towards Sunday and Monday night, where there is a significant reduction in the numbers, most of all on Monday night, which is generally attributed to cord-cutting (and NOT Gruden).  Allegedly, the traditional time slots are holding steady.  This relative strength may be distracting the NFL from reflecting, isn't Sunday-day supposed to be growing?

The discussion as to why is mainly about Kaepernick and the election.  That's what surveys are yielding, but there may be some bias at work, where people are responding with both what they think the asker wants to hear and what they think the issue is.  They've lost a few people objecting to how much smack my bitch up is going on.  Whatevs, it's never only one reason; at best, these are tipping points, not causes.

Bokolis would add that our Sundays are no longer sacrosanct.  Once upon a time, the typical family structure was such that a man could bunker up on Sunday and his old lady- and everyone else- knew to leave him the fuck alone.  That is no longer the case; there's always shit going on.  If you think I'm bullshitting, think about how many times your friends, in advance of sending an actual invitation, send you a save the date! message...even they know they're competing for your Sunday.

It doesn't help that there is too much of the product.  Even in the intact nuclear family, it's tough to ask for Thursday night, 10-12 hours of Sunday, then Monday night, especially when your budding narcissists are clamoring for attention and for you to take them here and there.

Even for those free of such obligations, by Sunday/Monday night, anyone who isn't invested in the outcome is done with it.  We've seen this in the football where they actually kick the ball; not content with virtually every week having mid-week fixtures, they are now in the process of regularly impinging on our Mondays and Fridays.

The profiles are of the viewers are different- football fans are closer to fanatics; NFL fans have more who watch because they think that's what they're supposed to be doing.  By nightfall, there is other programming that they think they are supposed to be watching.  If they don't believe Bokolis, then they should do some kind of digging to find how many unique viewers come aboard for Sunday night and how many drop off.  While they're at it, they might want to look into how many of its Sunday-day viewers had already been watching the European matches, as this may be contributing to the weariness.

Bokolis is astounded that none of the discussion involves the product.  The root cause is the product.  The NFL would be foolish to think otherwise, and to think that much of this issue isn't its own doing.  So, I'm'a tell you what the fuck is gomes on.  The following is longhand for, Goodell is a cunt.
  • There has been too much change from what we used to know as football...the game is now rugby for fairies.  This is how you lose the older audience, as they lose connection with the game they knew in their youth.  The NFL and NBA might be changing with the times but, while they corrupt their product they are trading demographics.  Contrast it with MLB, whose statistics are sacred and which is essentially the same game it has been since the live-ball era/spitter was outlawed, plus or minus the tightness of the stitching of the balls.  Its fans are aging, and the younger crowd finds the game boring.
  • Proving that it's lose-lose, you can't please everyone, and some other platitudes, people are avoiding the NFL because, even in its pussy-whipped state, they still see the game as barbaric.
  • There is too much shit besides the game being pushed on us by the NFL, like its cause of the week, those god-awful bright jerseys and American flags the size of the field.  I'll bet y'all didn't know that the reason they came up with flag laws in the first place was to prevent the flag from being used for commercial purposes.
  • There is too much talk from the ex-jock- or worse, Gruden- analyst/color commentator.  Leaving aside that what I think about the analytical abilities of a guy who largely had to do exactly as he was told for his whole career, let the game breathe.  If I have to suffer through an analyst, at least get someone on there who was largely thinking for himself on the field, who had a rationale for doing things that wasn't drilled into him by the coach...and don't give me that coach, either.
  • There are too many commercials, the content of which indicates what they think of our intelligence.
  • There are too many rules, with too many nuances, including some that defy logic and one or two that defy sensibility.  It used to be a socialist league, but has devolved into Soviet communism.
  • There is too much replay without suitable resolution.  They've gotten a little better this season, but it's just too much.  There has to be a point where the resolution is, too fucking bad- run the clock.
  • There is far too much involvement by people other than the players.  The coaches talk to the QB and one defensive player via speaker in helmets.  Most plays are called from sideline, or from offensive coordinators who operate from above.  In fact, the offense goes no-huddle to force defense to line up so the offense can call a play accordingly.  The head coach can call timeout himself, and throw the challenge flag, after the geeks have had a look at the replay.
  • Conversely, there are far too many instances of boneheaded plays and acts, as there is ample opportunity for ill-prepared, ill-focused players across all caliber of teams to do whatever the Light shines upon them to do.  These coaches are so involved in the game yet, having all week to teach these guys their jobs, they fail to do so.
  • The thing that insults my intelligence the most is that the structure is such that the last 2-3 minutes matter more than the rest.  57 minutes of superiority can be undone by tactics, strategy and effective use of time outs.  If that's the case, I'll skip the 57 and show up for bonus coverage, or just watch the red zone channel.
Because an immediate effect was not seen, Bokolis didn't even consider the distaste from the last CBA negotiation, where the owners locked out the players and effectively stuck them up in starving them until they accepted a markedly worse deal than the existing, even with projected brisk revenue growth.  That's another story.

Individually, none of these dissatisfiers are going to make anyone altogether drop the game.  They do, however, chip away at commitment, enough to let other things sometimes take precedence and, eventually, hold.

That's all the fuck I got.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Two Clintons, two Bushes, one Obama and the wingbats' Trump all

Like showing up to the fruit stand later in the day, in a short time, it will fall upon the American people the painful duty of selecting a leader from two undesirable options.  Bokolis is not going to get into a full-on tale of the tape- that's not the point of this.  It's not so important to me to determine the better or more preferable choice, or the lesser of two evils- I gather supporting one side always partly been about not liking the other side but, these days, it seems predominately about that, regardless of the merits of your preferred side- so much as it is to reflect on how we've gotten here, including wondering WTF is wrong with the Republican party that they let themselves into a position where the Trump character is the prevailing sentiment of its voter base.  I don't care to get into solutions, as there's little chance this fixes itself nicely.

Once upon of time, we had Bill Clinton as President.  Halfway through his first term, the Republican party gained control of both houses of Congress for the first time since Hoover*.  They ran in there like it was a Black Friday sale and, like regime change from one dictatorship to another, undid 60 years of legislation in a hot minute.

* Bokolis knows that the Republicans snuck in a couple of sessions where they were the majority.  I said control.

In those days, Clinton profiled very much like Obama did in his first days.  Clinton more or less came out of nowhere.  Despite numerous derailments, he managed to gain his party's nomination.  With Ross Perot involved- think Ron Paul with a sprinkle of the pragmatic side of Trump- in the general election, enough votes were pulled away from George Bush (41) that Clinton carried some southern states and rode to victory with only 43% of the vote.

While they both had shallow ascensions, Obama was more obscure than Bill Clinton.  Obama gained the party nomination essentially because Hillary Clinton is unlikeable.  He was able to win because the opponent was carrying a flighty hockey mom, never mind that he fooled all the youngins that change was afoot- Bokolis knew better, of course- but, after the mess the Republicans made during the prior eight years, they deserved to go 20 years without a Republican in the White House.

Similarly, Obama didn't, then couldn't get shit done.  He had carte blanche, even more so than Dubya after 9/11, to rein in and shatter the banks, which managed to scuttle the economy in less than 10 years after given their own carte blanche.   Even with ~59% control of both houses, he tanked, opting for, and, perhaps, being bought off with, Obamacare, which, far from universal health, is a massive giveaway to the HMOs- like when the carting company comes to your business and tells you that you have to use them for garbage disposal...and, if you don't, when they aren't vandalizing your business, they call the health inspector on you.

Then, when he deservedly lost control of the House, its next Speaker spent four years cockblocking any legislation, doubtless at the behest of the political donor class.  Boehner, when no longer beholden to the money, lashed out at his erstwhile puppetmasters when he stepped down from Congress, intimating that these tactics are no good for the long-term well-being of the nation...way to get religion there.

Clinton's shallow victory was just as much a repudiation of Bush for going back on his "read my lips..." election promise and raising taxes, as well as for a recession happening on his watch.  Ironically, his broken promise, ill-timed to boot, was for the good of the nation in the intermediate term.

The country had changed a lot since the last time there was not a Republican in the White House.  Because of the markedly lower tax rates of the highest earners- even after Bush raised them- said highest earners found it expedient to use this money-directly or indirectly- to help influence policy, which is another way of saying tilting the playing field further in their favor.  The outgrowth was a new breed of Republicans, who, either beholden to their backers or married to a perverse ideology, sought to implement the wishes of said backers.  The 104th Congress was the payoff.

Clinton found it impossible to get much done.  Moreover, because the political donor class was still manageable back then, and it had been a good while since we'd poured money into a boondoggle of a war, significant money still found its way into research and development in the '90s.  This led to a rolling economy in the middle of the decade and the tech boom-turned-bubble in the late part.

Clinton got with the program.  His second term was what Bokolis jokingly likes to say is the best Republican president we've ever had.  He signed all sorts of shit the Republicans ran through Congress, including the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which effectively undid part of the Glass-Stegall Act and paved the way for the finance monoliths of Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo...funny how the next bubble was already being inflated before the previous bubble had even burst.

Not content with having a Democrat president who is functioning as a Republican, the Republicans tried to run Clinton out of office under the pretense that he was lying about smashing out one or more broads.  Clintons' levels of impropriety depend on your moral code.  Not everyone's is the same, so Bokolis would back off trying to rub Clinton's nose in it.  This kind of temperance is lost on a bunch of petulant zealots, seemingly having no moral code of their own, yet hell-bent on imposing one on you.  The alarm bells on this new-age McCarthyism couldn't be heard over the closing bell- these days, Wall Street money buys whack jobs all the air they'd like.

When it was time to elect Clinton's successor, well, we didn't quite accomplish that.  We had this WWF (E) dusty finish, where we eventually installed another George Bush (43).  Whereas our first impression of his father was as goofy George because he didn't often come off as a commanding presence, he was downright stately compared to Dubya, who came off as a straight-up fratboy dipshit.

This Bush embraced an economic theory that his father called voodoo economics.  Without getting too technical, the basic tenet of supply-side economics is that, by reducing taxes, the extra money to the taxpayer will be churned at a fast enough rate so that tax revenue will eventually increase.  In theory, there are conditions where this is possible; the most likely would be where the extra money is placed in the hands of those who would spend the money as fast as they get it.

In practice, however, they gave the tax breaks to the highest earners, who have enough money so that they don't spend money as fast as they get it.  Such tax breaks didn't come to the lower half of earners.  When someone called bullshit! on that, we were told to pay no attention to that man behind the curtain; that, similarly, the richest having more money means that the economy will churn so that everybody will have more money.

In reality, this tilts the field so that the factors of production are concentrated in fewer hands, who then control the spigot.  This means that, far from having more money, the best that everybody else gets is a low-paying job working for the guy with all the tax breaks.  Mr Taxbreaks doesn't spend his lighter-taxed profits in any way that benefits his workers...well, he might buy pizza on Fridays or some shit.  More likely, he will spend his money on tax attorneys and legislators' ears to further tilt the playing field.

Quite ironic, isn't it, that, while the theory claims that the resulting increased velocity of money would overcome the decreased rate of taxation, the effect on velocity is to slow it.  Propaganda, obligations and complacency conspire to convince the masses that this is is the best course, that rich guy problems are somehow far worse than their own.

That wasn't true in the days of the robber barons, it wasn't true during Reagan's presidency- Reagan's legacy greatly benefits from the economy having nowhere to go but up; he correctly made obvious moves, but overdid it- and it's not true today.

If following along is too much trouble, simply remember that, if everybody had money, it wouldn't be worth anything.  Nonetheless, Bokolis maintains that, if you have nothing better to do with your money than lobby the government, then you have too much of it and are deserving of a punitive tax rate.

Dubya's history is still reasonably fresh, as it still shapes our present.  So, beyond the two tax cuts and two wars and two market crashes, Bokolis doesn't feel the need to rehash it.  Suffice it to say that he is a lowly-rated president.

However, he didn't ride in that way.  Even though Dubya was installed and not elected, even though the air was coming out of the tech bubble, times were good and there wasn't enough conviction in Al Gore for us to bet bent out of shape.  If that had happened in today's climate or, if we had some hindsight, shit might've just jumped off.

But, Dubya got a relatively wide berth.  In the aftermath of 9/11, despite a recession, after the bread and circuses tax cut, we gave him full support.  It took until about when the markets bottomed out for some real grumblings.  Even after it became apparent that he was a blithering fool- as opposed to the affable idiot we'd already known- we gave him a second term, likely because we were pot-committed.

The war criminal pieces started soon thereafter.  Whether that's the case or not, Dubya surely earned the vitriol.  But, with Obama, the worst president ever nonsense started and his ass hadn't yet warmed the seat.  In fact, the petulance extends to all things liberal. The upshot was that, unlike the Bush bashers there could be no credence given to the Obama bashers, no matter how ineffective Obama turned out to be.

It used to be, about 15-20 years ago, that you'd run into a few of these yahoos, indoctrinated into thinking keep calm and fuck those evil liberals.  These days, the countryside is full of them, lathered up that liberals are plotting to overrun their cow-town with Blacks, Jews and queers...and, oh yes, Arabs now.  Bokolis wondered why that is.  It could be that

  • the internet had become more navigable to all,
  • Facebook had turned to the old folks home it is,
  • back then, we could play online poker and trade music files, leaving not as much time for 9/11 conspiracy theories and porn,
  • the contentious nature of war, and the contentious circumstances of the Iraq war, have triggered a pervasion of a choose sides mentality,
  • after their boy took such abuse and, hopped up on conservative talk radio, the right-wing crazies were loaded for bear,
  • that we're simply bigger jerks than we were

That last point is definitely true.  Bokolis would like to link this to the rise to exalted status currently enjoyed by the corporation, which favors such sociopathic behavior.  But that is PhD-thesis shit, so I don't want to do it here and deny any of those muthafuckas the opportunity.

If you buy the idea, and you believe shit rolls downhill, you can picture it rolling down to the rank and file and carried over to the public sector, as the utter lack of ability to run a tight ship in government opened the way for the pragmatic to step into the void.  Of course, it doesn't happen so that we correct to some happy medium- we get some Newton's laws shit happening, where the opposite undesirable scenario takes hold.  In this case, it's the reign of the hyper-pragmatic asshole.

In that regard, Giuliani was the archetype.  Those who had suffered him since his days as US Attorney- no, he didn't lock up Bokolis or any associates, but we used to call him Giussolini- knew him to be a dickhead bent on taking over the city.  As mayor, he got shit done, being a massive prickbag in the process.  Fewer guns (and panhandlers) on the streets cleaned up the city for the chain stores, but also gave room to the fake thugs and frat boys, who, no longer fearing the reign of the tec, found voice to chirp.  Nonetheless, for his work in the aftermath of 9/11, when a guy like him comes in handy, the cow-towners adopted and christened him America's mayor, just as we were getting rid of him.

While they didn't follow the boilerplate, the Giuliani image spread to the rest of the nation, spitting out all these tough-talking, ass-kickers.  Around these parts, a noteworthy example is Chris Christie- that fake thug all grown up, still believing he's a tough guy, but even money in any conflict to have strips of bacon cut off his back.  In politics, they use the term chickenhawk, which is not an exact depiction, but gets the point across.

Christie was always an asshole- Bridgegate should have eliminated all doubt.  Sometimes, through some anomaly, they have charisma.  Bokolis has been aware of Donald Trump on the TV since I started giving a shit about things other than sports and cartoons.  I've always understood him to be a windbag, and likely a scumbag.

He's been threatening to run for President- always as a Democrat- since the '80s.  But, he's always been the essence of no labor pains, just the baby.  It never stuck, but Bokolis always sensed that, as much as he lacked the necessary diligence, he was throwing things out there to see what stuck.

At some point, Trump went national, with a TV show acting like the sociopath described above, like a Steinbrenner.  It didn't so much reveal Trump to the masses as it revealed the masses to Trump.  As a NYC parochial, he was stuck operating as a Democrat.  He's always said this kind of shit, though to a lesser degree, as he didn't often get his (figurative) hair mussed up like he has in this campaign.  But, nationally, he played better to the peckerwoods as a Republican.  This switch quite likely played no small part in why it stuck this time.

People have romantic notions of themselves.  Many are delusional enough that they see a bunch of themselves in him, or delusional enough to want to be Trump (or at least a contemporary), a guy with fuck you money, a guy who talks a good fuck- or at least a good pussy-grab- a guy who looks like he gets shit done.  Maybe they think they are just a half-step removed from being able to project as such a bad-ass.  This is the new American Dream.

So, irrespective of reality being almost certainly far from it, all you have to tell them that Liberals are conspiring to keep you from this dream.  That's more than enough to turn many men, even thinking men, into wingnuts, or at least a bunch of Barry Goldwaters.  As can be implied, this had been in place well before Trump; he is an effect, not a cause.

He is also a tool, but not so much in the pejorative sense.  Considering Hillary had bought her nomination beforehand, she had the time to engineer her matchup.  If there was one Republican she was certain to defeat, it was Trump, where she wouldn't have to campaign on the issues; just wind him up and wait.  It was a total sucker job, only possible if you have obstinate ideologues at the helm.

Trump winds up being a vehicle to indicate how, you can throw up any dingbat and they will still get the support of 40% of the people- 43% if the opponent is utterly unlikeable.  He could never be a viable candidate- I mean, really, WTF would have to happen so that a wave develops, not to carry Trump to victory, but for a majority to conclude, yeah, we this is the muthafucka need in there.  As the good of the nation would demand an honest-to-goodness Republican, Bokolis laments that the party was snookered into running him up there.

Bokolis supposes that, as they have during the previous two Democratic administrations, the Republicans get what they want just the same, as Hillary fights almost as dirty as Cheney, is as beholden to the political donor class as Boehner was and will do its bidding.  The only thing different is the sign on the bathroom.  It's left for me to rhetorically wonder, as many a shady associate used to say, who's fucking who?