Sunday, July 13, 2014

World Cup 2014…über todos

Germany over Argentina - Bokolis will be rooting the other way.  Argentina can definitely win.  But, I think that the Argentines won't have enough firepower to cope with the Germans.  I've imagined more scenarios where Germany wins than Argentina.  Argentina have to hold the Germans, which they can do, and will have to find a way to run at the German back line so as to make it look stodgy.  Germany will just do what they do and hope that Argentina don't get lucky.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

World Cup 2014...The King of Soccer

After sweeping through the semifinals, Bokolis is now 12-2 in the knockout stages of the 2014 World Cup, retaining my position- as an old bookmaker dubbed me- as the the King of Soccer.

I call my winners, I call my losers ahead of time, I call it when it's going penalties.  It IS kind of scary how good I am at this...no, it's not.  What is scary is the amount of China traffic I have been getting during the World Cup.  I figure their government will be firewalling, so as not to put the people in People's Republic.  Who knows, as the traffic may be government officials that Bokolis is making rich.

Despite Bokolis telling y'all that Brazil were inadequate, we all still had to see that steamrolling to believe it.  I thought they would lose 3-0.  After watching about six minutes, I texted some friends that, if Germany doesn't score at least three goals on these impostors they should be embarrassed.  Nonetheless, I still let out a fire-yell when the Germans unpicked the lock.  At some point, the Germans must have felt like George Foreman did during his six-knockdown victory over Joe Frazier- that they had better keep battering them before Brazil get up and kill them.

Of course, the Germans zipped right past three.  On the half-hour, Bokolis gets a call from, of all people, me mum, toiling away somewhere, in inhuman conditions, having gotten wind of something far-flung...Hello.  Is it true?  Yes, Germany have 5. {click}.  The overseers on her plantation don't allow phone use by the minions, but she has a rose card to play.  That she would play it for football, for two non-affiliated nations, so close to quitting time, is all I needed to understand about the shock.

The Dutch played 330 minutes of knockout tournament football.  For about 325 of them, they had no output, as their two goals game in a 3-minute span late on against Mexico.  When Bokolis saw that they would open in a 5-3-2 against Argentina, with de Jong suddenly fit, I thought, uh-oh.  So, it didn't overly bother me that Argentina wasn't scoring because they didn't suffer much pressure from the Dutch.

The bottom line is that the Dutch didn't want that game badly enough to take it.  They were closer to relieved- that they wouldn't have to play any more and that they at least won a PK shootout- than distraught that they lost.  They figured they did well enough.

Bokolis was impressed with van Gaal and is unsettled that he is now off to the theatre of pisspots to run manchester united.  I take solace that he is very likely three-years-and-out (and bored as a nun in his third year) and that they still aren't going to win with the talent they have.

What to do about the final?  Before the tournament, Bokolis had picked Argentina to defeat Germany in the final.  However, I am now leaning the other way.  While I am a clear leader in my pool- and the only one to have correctly picked the final matchup- because of the weight placed on picking the champion, there are two jokers who picked Germany that can still flag me down.  Who fucking makes these pools What to do, what to do...

Monday, July 7, 2014

World Cup 2014...next stop: the semis

Could we have gotten a more uninspiring quarterfinal round than that?  I guess it was a bad idea for all these sides to consult with Bokolis on how to play knockout tournament football.  It's like they set back football 24 years.  Even that 1990 World Cup had relentless hacking and chopping, first to the Swamp Rat, then extending to everyone capable of getting past a defender.

This one didn't even have that, as Neymar's injury wasn't even worth the bit he took.  Bokolis found it telling that his reaction to being legitimately injured was indistinguishable from his myriad other embellishments.

I call it karma for the home cooking the received all match long- not to mention the penalty in the opening match vs Croatia- from the Spanish referee.  This errand boy booked James for far less than the Brazilians had been doing to him all night, when he hadn't even gotten around to really clipping the man on the ball.

That is not to say Brazil didn't deserve to win; Colombia made fatal errors on Brazil's two goals, and Brazil did not.  So, ultimately, it wasn't as bad as the multiple screwjobs in 2002, but it was another case of FIFA engineering a semi-final run for an inadequate home team.  We can only hope that it stops there.

Columbia was worth the 4-1.

We saw Argentina revert to what approached park-the-bus tactics after Higuain snagged an early opportunistic goal.  While Bokolis isn't too keen on their keeper, their back line was underestimated by the pundits.

Similarly, the Germans grabbed an early goal and undertook a guarded position to see it out.

Costa Rica caught a few breaks, but the Dutch should be embarrassed that they didn't score in 120 minutes.

Germany over Brazil - As was mentioned above, even before they lost Neymar, Brazil are inadequate.  If that is the way they have to score, they cannot stand up to the Germans without some sort of chicanery, whether that be a favorable FIFA ruling on Thiago Silva's suspension- hey, how else are Brazil going to score without their defenders- or another dosage of the drugs they were on for last year's Confederations Cup.  This is far from a sure thing, however, and the Germans will have to keep their collective foot on the gas so as to break the opponent's spirit, as Brazil figure to have plenty of it.  If they let the Brazilians hang around, as they did with the French, there's no telling what freakishness will happen.

Argentina over Netherlands - Penalties, anyone?  Having pulled it out of the fire against Mexico and needing penalties against Costa Rica, the Dutch now get the Latino mothership in Argentina.  You have to figure that the Dutch would like to relentlessly hack down Messi every chance they get.  Unlike the last outfit with de Jong and van Bommel, this side may not have the size (or a benign referee) to do it.  That should expose them enough for Messi & Co. to strike.

Friday, July 4, 2014

World Cup 2014...U-S hey? The QF go on

As in 2010, Bokolis went 7-1 in the round of 16, with the USA again spoiling running the table.  At least this time around, I tried to advertise that it was a pick of  blind patriotism, that I really didn't think they would win.  It would've been one of the all-time smash-and-grab jobs, too.  But, Wondolowski missed the sitter.  Aside- several people- typically ignorant American soccer fans- came up to me, knowing that I play, live and breathe football, and said, paraphrasing, you'd've scored that, right, bro?  I responded with, I'd've been the one making the pass.  It's for the best, as it wasn't meant that America should be hailing someone named Wondolowski.

Further, if we apply the Ali G method of rating footballers, we'd've known beforehand that this dude didn't have the goods.  Bokolis knew, without seeing the bird.  It's because I also knew that Klinsmann has not been given a full deck with which to work; he's done the best that can be done with a bunch of not-so-good footballers.  This team certainly wasn't as good as the 2010 squad, and it had nothing to do with Donovan.  Tim Howard, never a Bokolis favorite, was fantastic.  Jermaine Jones may alternate between a poor man's Gullit and a poor man's Rijkaard.  But Bradley, solid in 2006 and 2010, was largely poor.  Neither one of their fullbacks could cross worth shyte, which, when you use them to get forward as much as the USA did, is a massive hassle.  And, of course, if you don't have a striker, which the USA has not had since McBride, you're going to be pissing in the wind.

Nonetheless, we have that uniquely American trait to function at a very high level given far less than ideal circumstances.  But, the flip-side of that is that USA seemed to be waiting for it to turn into a Rocky movie before turning up the effort.

The good news is, all the bananas can go now home and leave the football to the rest of us 24/7/365ers.  We've seen some tense affairs, likely because of parity, but also because of very little enterprise.  Let's hope that changes.

Germany over France - I suppose there is a crack in here about the French ever beating the Germans.  It's a pretty even game.  This French edition is decent- Bokolis has underestimated them and, while I don't think Pogba is as good as his hype, Sakho means business back there- and has as good a chance of picking off the Germans as they'll ever have.  But, getting to the QF seems just about right for them, which is code for saying that I'm married to my SF picks.  Nonetheless, France is another side that's had an easy ride.  They will need something special to oust the Germans, for whom the SF is almost a birthright, otherwise they'll have to wait for those u-20 champs to ripen.

Colombia over Brazil - I had picked Brazil to beat Colombia in this matchup before the tournament.  However, if they both play to prevailing form, Colombia wins.  Hey, Bokolis is getting 4/1 here.  This is some serious reputation pricing.

I've been playing football with Colombians all my life, so I know this style of play all too well and knew ahead of time that the '94 team was shyte.  I've never seen Colombians that play like this.  This is at least a semi-final team.  They've had the benefit of flying under the radar because of diminished expectations with Falcao shelved and having rather impotent opposition.  Brazil with Fred and Jo are even more impotent than the set Brazil had to run out there in the '98 final because of Ronaldo's coke binge. Just to hedge a bit, the draw is 3/1, as nothing shits more than being right and still not getting to the window.

Argentina over Belgium - Lost in the world's frenzy to suck Tim Howard's dick was that the Belgian finishing wasn't much good.  He wasn't as good as Ochoa against the Brazilians, as Ochoa made four superhuman saves, while Howard made one.  All the rest were saves he had to make.

Belgium, despite being well-balanced and stocked in all positions and, even with the soft opposition haven't looked particularly good.  As noted above, they were a missed sitter away from getting bounced.  Further, I suspect that they will look a bit creaky at the back when Argentina eventually figures out how to support Messi in attack.

Netherlands over Costa Rica - We'll just do this one on the papers…sounds good?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

World Cup 2014...Round of 16 Day 4

Argentina over Switzerland - Uhh, what was Bokolis saying- when I talked about the wrong game- about finding out whether Messi & co. are serious about winning this tournament?  Switzerland isn't potent or brave enough to overcome Argentina.  I would like to see this go to penalties, as Tranquillo Barnetta would have the chance- if he gets on the pitch- to be the first person to miss in the PK shootout in multiple world cups.

USA over Belgium - Is this blind patriotism, believing in the American self-confidence, or thinking that Belgium has had a soft ride?  It's probably a combination of all three.  Last go around, Bokolis was 7-1 in the round of 16 (as were the Group winners), with the only blemish being the USA.  It certainly is shaping up for the same, including the mudfight for the US.  Bokolis will bank on Belgium not having its shit together, which will give the US enough time and opportunity to sort out how to get two goals.

Monday, June 30, 2014

World Cup 2014 Round of 16...day 3

Me tink de Argies & de Nort Africans win ear.

update:  These may seem like mismatches on the papers, but it's not out of the question that someone gets clipped.

France over Nigeria - the North Africans French are seemingly motivated and are looking more attractive (rimshot) without the perpetually pissed off Ribery.  The Nigerians slid by on some farcical refereeing decisions in their match with Bosnia.  Will they improve, to continue the ride at the expense of another size that sparkled in the group stage, only to fizzle out in the knockout stage?  If the French get caught running around with the Nigerians, they will find themselves in some shit.

Bah, anything they produce today will be because France has let them, either by bungling or indifference.  Those crazy-ass West Africans don't like for their women to lubed up when they stick it in.  Bokolis can see them getting a taste of their own medicine today.

Argentina over Algeria - Those Algerians certainly have spirit.  But, nothing that they saw in the group stage has prepared them for Argentina and Messi.  This is another instance where we will find out whether Argentina are serious about winning the show.

update update:  It should say Germany over Algeria - Y'all know what Bokolis meant.  Just substitute 10 German bombers for Messi & co.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

2014 World Cup Round of 16…Day 2

Well, Chile didn't wind up winning the PKs like I wanted them to do, but that game wen't pretty much as I expected it to.

I can say the same for Colombia, as Uruguay looked impotent without Suarez (were you expecting Bokoils to say they had no bite) and Colombia eased out to a 2-0 victory.  The eyes of everyone that wants to see Brazil go down now turns to them.

Netherlands over Mexico - Mexico are that side that will almost always play up to the level of its opponent; it's the pride.  They were brave in the Brazil match and were motivated by all the shit Croatia talked before that match.  Don't they know that you never wind up a Mexican like that?  Once insulted, with the spirit and pride worked up, they will fight you to the death…ask Greg Haugen.

I presume the Netherlands are keeping quiet.  I also presume they will have too much firepower.  After two matches played with an attack of pride, the Mexicans will eventually succumb.

Costa Rica over Greece - this is as close to anybody's match as we'll have in this round.  It was said that only Greece could score only two goals in the group stage and still advance, but I was there in 1994 to see Italy do the same.  Granted, Italy did better than a defensive howler and a dubious Samaras penalty for its two.

Costa Rica, on the other hand, defeated Uruguay, albeit without Suarez and Italy.  They are not quite the darlings that Colombia are, but those are two significant scalps.  They've got Joel Campbell, who played his club ball in Greece this year and has stated that he will school his side on how the Greeks play- what…there is no game film- and how to break them down.  Huh?!?  What Greeks?  It's not like Olympiakos has any Greeks in the side.  He should be more concerned about not getting dragged into a patented Greece mudfight.

Regardless, while Greece's 3-0 thumping from Colombia doesn't look as bad, if the best they could manage was to just about defeat a uncharacteristically cautious Ivory Coast, they should not overcome any Costa Rican flair.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

2014 World Cup…round of 16 Day 1

For Saturday's matches.  Consistent with prior editions, the team I want to win is bolded.

Brazil over Chile - Bokolis is in one of those pools.  Since my ultimate rooting interest is anybody but Brazil, I thought about bouncing Brazil with Chile (on PKs)- I was the only one in the pool who eliminated Spain in the group stage- in the round of 16, but didn't want to blow open the bracket.  I think the Colombians are going to take care of that for us.  Brazil are going to let us know in this match whether they are going to win the tournament.

Colombia over Uruguay - You saw how Uruguay played without Suarez against Costa Rica.  Bokolis will watch to see if Colombia are serious about knocking off Brazil.


What do we know…about the 2014 World Cup

Colombia is quite good.  France is motivated.  The Germans are the Germans.  Everybody now thinks Brazil is going to get clipped.  The Argentines should have finally reconciled that their strategy should be to work in Messi's engine room.

We don't know anything about the Dutch, because they've looked stunning in the group stage before, only to crash out in the knockout phase

Chile and Costa Rica have looked spectacular, but will now find out how good they really are.  So will the US, for that matter.

Nigeria and Greece probably don't deserve to be here.  Uruguay surely doesn't deserve to be here.

Nobody said it, but FIFA fucked up with their 9-match + 4-month ban on Handball Suarez.  First, regardless of how the media portrays him as some kind of Lecter, this wasn't a hot-blooded act.  He did that hoping to draw the eyes at the expected reaction, which was a Chiellini elbow to get him off.  At worst, he was hoping to throw the Italians off their game, because his team was not smart enough to figure out that they needed to run at them like the Colombians have been doing.  Her certainly succeeded at throwing them off, as they scored a minute later when a corner kick smashed off Godin's back, not his "magic forehead," as was described by Ian Darke.  Further, this suspension bans him for 9 games from country, but at least 11 for club.  While Bokolis is trying to reconcile my Liverpool bias here- I'm more upset that, instead of getting 100 million Euro, we now can't even sell him- he didn't do it playing for club.  It should have been an 18-month ban from international, with reinstatement conditioned on pulling those bunny-teeth he has.

Ian Darke doesn't know WTF he is talking about.  As with Tommy Smyth, ESPN is banking that people are so busy listening to the accent that they don't hear anything they say.  That's why they have that Brit bird with the bug-eyes.

ESPN has stepped up its game, especially in the non-match coverage.  When the hell did Julie Foudy turn into a fox, btw?  Good for you, Jules…already one of the coolest people around.

Bokolis walked out of work- bartered with the boss to cover at an undesirable meeting- to watch the USA-Germany match amongst the riffraff.  I was shocked at how many birds were at the bar watching the game; a few of them even wanted cock.  Most of them didn't know shit about soccer and were there chiefly to peacock that they could get the time off.

However, I also had Lozo-ian GSF in my midst, one of those broads that screams about everything and curses out the players for not acting in her warped ideal.  Bokolis seriously considered smashing a beer bottle over her head.  It was a quite rational reasoning; I was considering who else (and how many) I was going to have to hit in the wake (I wasn't going to run out).  Once I got to three, I figured that I didn't want to be on the news.  It wasn't so bad, as she lost steam as the game wore on.

Oh, about that game- the US was playing at about 85%, while Germany was struggling to keep it above stalling speed.  The biscotto scenario didn't pay out but, despite the broadcasters trying to sell you that it was played on the up and up, Germany carried the US in that match.

Predictions?  Shit, this is taking too long.  I have to get to the beach.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Amongst all unimportant subjects, football is by far the most important

Much like I lose (even more) respect (than I've already lost) for  a manchester united supporter the further past 1998 that he/she/it started supporting them, I hold contempt for all the janey-come-lately US football fans.  If they tell me something like 2004, Bokolis will end the conversation.  I hold as much contempt for them as I do for all the beaneaters and cow-towners that have infested the Apple.

Call Bokolis a soccer snob, if you will.  But, one of the major benefits of having been a fan of the football when it was a cultist thing in this country- as opposed to now, when it is on the fringe of greater consciousness- is that I almost never had to deal with the over-the-top presentation that is epidemic in the major US sports.


Of course, now that the media conglomerates can sell it, they have started to hit us over the head with the coverage style that has ruined the sports more familiar to Americans.  Where it particularly bothers Bokolis is where the fuss was made over Jurgen Klinsmann stating that the USA cannot win the World Cup.


While, most of the time, the important things have me wrapped up, when I have time for the unimportant, I immediately turn to football.  Still, I figure lacing into the media for complaining about it is a waste of energy.  So, Bokolis will explain it thus:  When Klinsmann says the USA cannot win, it is not said as a coaching tool to his team; he is coaching the media and he is coaching the public because, in all your entitlement, y'all won't shutthefuck up so the team can breathe.


Klinsmann also knows that, if you can get out of a group of death, you've got at least a puncher's chance of doing damage in the knockout stage.


As far as predictions go, Bokolis will see about dropping group previews.  However, aside from the orgy of football it presents, I'm not all that interested in the group stage.  Knockout predictions are more certain to appear.


I will be rooting for anyone but Brazil to win the show.


Bokolis- my display above notwithstanding- used to think the Argentines were arrogant about football, as they are with many things, but they are insecure compared to Brazilians.  Brazilians take the I'm Brazilian; get out of the way to another level.  Where the Argentines will look to cut you down- equal parts petulance and the need for reassurance- if you show that you can better them, the Brazilians don't give a fuck if you get the best of them.  Their mindset remains, at the end of the day, we're still Brazilian, but you're not bad, so we'll let you play on our pitch.


At some point during the latter part of the '90s, Bokolis stopped wearing my soccer jerseys as casual wear because all it did was bring attention from guys.  Unlike most of y'all, I typically go to bars to get away from people.  Dudes would see the jerseys and think it was time for sports talk.  It's always a rabid muthafucka, too...and there ain't no 
muthafuckas rabid about football like Brazilians.

One time, I walked into a bar after the fun job wearing my (Centennial) Flamengo shirt.  By that time, of course, it had turned into a loud-music place.  Some dude sees the shirt and thinks it's time for Mike and the Mad Dog, introducing himself as Brazilian and, after I tried shoo-ing him away, "not gay."  Bokolis isn't worried about those things and I tell him so; I wasn't going to talk football in a noisy bar.


Though he might have made a good wingman, sometimes you have to be a dick.  Bokolis' comeuppance may have come when, a few months later, I tried kicking it to a Brazilian bird and she told me, out of the blue, I don't like {redacted}; I like soccer, which she pronounced like suck-her.


I didn't feel like talking about soccer that night, either.

Monday, March 17, 2014

misMatched

Comment Bokolis made at Barry Ritholtz' The Big Picture regarding a post about Match.com's impressions of the state of love and sex in America.

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Those who turn an NSA or FWB situation into a relationship don't understand the application of what finance folks know all too well: NEVER turn a trade into an investment.

Of course, this is about the young'uns, or the benefit/recoil of the 45-60 set, (I should have put most of) who(m) are removed from that arena. Because match.com is more interested in telling you what you want to find than finding you what you want, they didn't ask Bokolis. I'd've told them...

It is very easy to (mis)underestimate how lonely, attention-starved (and horned up) women are. If they want it, they move fast, and often turn what used to be the one-night stand into the hit-it-for-a-week-and-a-half-and-quit-it volcano romance (or less, if the guy knows how to get rid of them). Coincidentally, or not, women (increasingly so for women born in or after, let's put it at 1986) are as hopped up on porn as men.

Many- if not most- are relationship-averse as guys. It's no coincidence that they've also become similarly narcissistic.

Like Broadway Joe might have said, I don't like to date so much as I just like to kind of, you know, run into somethin', man. For that matter, Seinfeld said that 90% of the population is undateable, and he likely sandbagged. If you must date, and a woman checks the phone on a date- which is most of them, fyi- never mind the personal affront, she is either way too flighty or has way too much bullspit going on in her life; the only reason not to run is to gain the experience of dealing with them.
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All Bokolis can tell you is, if you are smart enough not to get married or otherwise bogged down in a closed relationship, stay in shape as you approach, enter and exit middle age, so that you have the opportunity to apply your advantage over the twinks chumps that pass for men these days. Whether you are on the football pitch or in the arena, your leg-up on the competition will have the bird's legs up in the air.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

rugby for fairies...the weed bowl

Seahawks (+2) over Broncos - First off, if not for it being the Bowl, Bokolis would not touch this game. I simply couldn't get a good feel for the match-up, which is to say that it figures to fall right by the number I can't get comfortable with the idea that the Seahawks will disrupt and topple P. Manning and his machine. This is doubly true because it will be about 50-degrees at game time- so much for the cold-weather Super Bowl.

This is...somewhat more than doubly true...because the bananas at ESPN seemingly spent two weeks talking about P. Manning having a chicken arm. Disregard that Bokolis told you about that chicken arm a few posts ago; I told people when he came back that his arm strength looked like Chad Pennington's. Yeah, right- after being on his dick for 19 weeks, now he's got a chicken arm. His arm didn't just go dead, but none of y'all gave a fuck while he was up record numbers. The thing for me is, if those fuckers are emphasizing it as the are, it surely figures to be a non-factor.

Also, I can't believe how the line is all over the place; you can get 3 on the Seahawks- probably where Floyd Mayweather bet the Broncos- and lay 1.5 on the Broncos. You can surely arbitrage yourself into a virtually risk-free shot to hit the middle at +2.

In trying to hash out the match-up, it's no help that Bokolis got no fucking sleep last night and had to go play real football this morning. So, my head is bumpin' right now and I'm writing this with half a mind to sleep through the game. What y'all need to understand about the American version: there were chicks- fit birds, not ones that look like they try catching footballs with their faces- out in the park playing flag football. This is how fairied-out this game has become.

Where was I...oh yeah, Bokolis couldn't decide for the whole fortnight. I've got the Seahawks throwing up a pair of 23s this postseason; the Broncos a 24 and 26...for the simple, if Peyton gets to 24, he wins. Well, that's about where he's going to get. I'll save the bombast about who has to come up huge...the Seahawks aren't going to get to 24 by threes; they may want to engineer a defensive touchdown, just to be sure.

I've been leaning Seahawks, and was waiting for weather conditions and some other nonsense to decide whether to flip. I've just realized that those are the wrong reasons to pick the Broncos. If the Seahawks have fucked shit up for plenty of good QBs this year, they can do it on Peyton as well, regardless of the weather. Further, as I'm sure the world was told, when the offensive machine meets the defensive powerhouse, the defense usually wins...you'll just have to disregard that this defense doesn't lead from its line.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Doing the double?

While P. Manning ensured that the early game went to form, the Seahawks, through a combination of lucking out, benefiting from the opponent's sloppy play and making great plays themselves, turned around that game, pulled it out of the fire, held on...{checks for some more clichés} and also won the game.

Despite the title, Bokolis isn't here to crow about being on the right side of both conference championships. Yes, Bokolis' head bobs above water, going 5-4-1 on here and 7-5-1 in the carbon-based world. Again, the 0-4 on Saturdays has been outstripped by the 5-0-1 on Sundays. This statistical quirk had me scrambling for the data, as did the fact that it felt like too many of these games came in too close to the number.

Here is the rundown with the respective final lines, or the lines Bokolis remembers.

KC 44 - 45 IND (-1.5) difference 0.5 points
NO 26 - 24 PHI (+1.5) difference 3.5 points
SD 27 - 10 CIN (+7.0) difference 24.0 points
SF 23 - 20 GB (-3.0) on the number (at the gun)
NO 15 - 23 SEA (-9.0) difference 1.0 points (back-door cover)
IND 22 - 43 NE (-7.5) difference 13.5 points
SF 23 - 10 CAR (-1.5) difference 11.5 points
SD 17 - 24 DEN (-9.0) difference 2.0 points (late cover)
NE 16 - 26 DEN (-5.5) difference 4.5 points
SF 17 - 23 SEA (-3.5) difference 2.5 points

That's seven out of ten within 5 points of the number. I doubt they have this high of a percentage on any given week during the regular season. Considering how several numbers danced around, it's a little unsettling that these games are holding form to such a degree. I don't know what it is, but it's bothering Bokolis.

So for the Weed Bowl / Blunt Bowl, the line allegedly opened up on Sunday night with the Seahawks laying at least 1.5 - 2.0 and moved steadily before stabilizing at Broncos -1.5 (-2.0 as I type). Given the info above, it's quite likely that a middle was created. Bokolis only caught it at PK, so I'm a little skeptical as to just how much action went off at the opening line.

But I knew it would move towards Denver and was surprised- I guess it could be factoring the weather- that they didn't open as favorites. Everybody is jumping on P. Manning's dick, suddenly unconcerned about his "legacy" now that Tom Brady isn't on the other side. Something to be said about this nonsense- the people making this contention about Peyton having to win another Bowl to secure his legacy among the best QBs in history, their combined record this year was 0-0.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

rugby for fairies 2014...best four left

I wrote this for the conference championships but apparently didn't post it...when I couldn't find it on the site, I thought I'd deleted it, only to find it in drafts...I'm such a dumb-ass. The doing the double post was written assuming this one was posted...the world can make of it what it will.

People have found me out. They must think Bokolis has hijacked the wagon and are coming to me for these games. Since they've only asked me for Sunday's games, I look like a champ. What is it- 0-4 on Saturday and 3-0-1 on Sunday? They must have been getting the same games wrong and coming to me for bailouts. You know how those touts- or, whateverthefuck they're called- that would call you (and a thousand other people) up and give half one game and half the other- and repeat the cycle until they are a 5-0 superhero to 32 people and hook them in to pay for services. I've wound up in that position for a few people, but without charging them. I always tell people, this information is worth what you've paid (Bokolis) to obtain it.

BRONCOS (-5.5) over Patriots - I've waffled and, for a number of reasons, mostly because of all the chatter of oh, Tom Brady and the points, blah, blah, blah. They almost got to me. I was tempted to take the Patriots. But, Bokolis won't be fooled.

The things that worry me the most are P. Manning's chicken arm last week in the not-so-cold but wind and that, after pulling many games out of their asses this year, the Pats- see the last two champs- are rounding into form. It is going to be in the mid-to-upper 50s in Denver with manageable wind. I'm going to remember Brady is doing it with smoke and mirrors, taking 6-yard bites of the field. I'm going to remember that the Patriots don't have the defense that the Chargers had. I'm going to bank that Denver will know to pressure him and make him take chances down the field, where he will make mistakes. I'm also going to bank- I have to- that Denver will finish the job this time around, that they will not let go of a big lead as they did the first time around- or even last week.

SEAHAWKS (-3.5) over 49ers - Bokolis suggests that, something like the old XFL, Carroll and Harbaugh-A fight it out pre-game at midfield, with the winner's team starting with a 7-0 lead.

I'm figuring that past performance is an indicator of future results here. There is no other way for Bokolis to play this. This was the strongest division in the NFL. The week 2 drubbing is essentially the reason why the Seahawks have this game at home. It is why the Seahawks were fed the Saints at home and why the 49ers were relegated to playing a couple of not-so-strong division winners on the road.

On paper, not much separates these teams. Russell Wilson is considered more accurate, but Bokolis cannot deny Kaepernick's speed to the left (or his baseball slide to avoid contact). Sure, the 49ers' receivers are better, but whereas Kaepernick can't always find them, Wilson will scramble his guys open if he has to. At this point, Lynch is better and more consistent than Gore, but Kaepernick makes up the slack. The 49ers defense can punch with anyone, but the Seahawks defense is on better drugs.

Russell Wilson's numbers look very good. When you consider that the Seahawks receivers are not an impressive lot, it helps reach the conclusion that Wilson does only as much as he has to, when he has to. Dig deeper and you see that the Seahawks have never been threatened this year. When they have had to perform, they have left no doubt.

If they keep Kaepernick in the pocket and prey on his tendency to rely on Crabtree on 3rd down- and bolt if he is not there- and squat on Vernon Davis streaking down and across the middle, they will have opportunities to force mistakes. This is how the Seahawks get you; they will grind and wear on you until you do. They should have more than enough in the tank to hold off and wear down the 49ers.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Now boarding the Selig Railroad

In his own mind, Bud Selig has established/preserved/honored his legacy- and, probably did the Yankees the solid they were seeking- by getting rid of Alex Rodriguez for the 2014 MLB season.

aside - How that meshes with the Yankees trying to get out from under the contract is unclear. The Yankees are trying to tag up on the $189M luxury tax threshhold because they are sick of subsidizing the Pirates' owner's empty ski resort. A-Rod's $25M 2014 salary won't count against the $189M, he's still got $61M in the street, which the Yankees don't want to pay. That is another episode.

It's hardly a revelation to many that A-ro(i)d was (once again) on some kind of "performance enhancer." Bokolis didn't need to watch 60 Minutes to smell the laundry being aired out.

I don't care to, either, as I don't necessarily have a moral objection to professional athletes taking drugs, something I've known all along. I had a problem with them overdoing it as they did. But I have a far bigger problem with Selig targeting A-Rod as he has, trying to dole out OJ-style injustice.

None of this passes the smell test. Is Selig really, like Sonny Black said, ...gonna rub my nose...over a rat? We've already seen- with Clemens- that this nonsense would get tossed out of court faster than A-Rod could run out of there...and we KNOW Clemens was full of shit and his accuser had more credibility than A-Rod's accuser. It's one thing to fail a drug test, which, to Bokolis' knowledge, A-Rod hasn't done.

aside- I understand that is name was leaked as one of the 104- this doesn't count because it wasn't an official test and, again, this would get tossed out of court in a minute. A-Rod hasn't failed any tests. We know this because the rat told us that he helped cheat the tests.

Whereas Clemens could mix it up in the courts, being retired and willing to go to any length to plausibly convince himself that we all believe that he was natural, A-Rod is both trying to collect his contract and get on the field while he still can. Selig isn't necessarily trying to take his money- that may be incidental, or not- but he is definitely trying to run out the clock on A-Rod. When so many were scratching their heads at where Selig found the number 211, I had to- painfully, you've got no idea- explain to people- that the number of games doesn't mean anything. All that Selig cares is that A-Rod isn't playing and just wants to tie him up long enough that he won't be able to play any longer.

And, Selig can do this with little or no recourse. Even if A-Rod eventually gets an injunction or even overturned, by the time happens, it would be, at best, a Pyrrhic victory. At 39, with a year away from live pitching and a rotting body, A-Rod would be washed up and Selig will be floating somewhere on his golden parachute.

So, while far too many play the role of the same snot-nosed little asshole who reveled in seeing others get in trouble that they were as kids, they will miss the true tragedy of this soap opera; that your boss can play infinitely more dirty than you and, with a bunch of lawyers, arbitrators and rats in his pocket, if caught in that game, you could never hope to compete.

back-doors and fish hooks

The divisional round played out all too similar to the wild card round for Bokolis. I took a bath on Saturday, only to salvage Sunday.

The Saints pulled the ol' back-door cover. Since Bokolis lost by a half-point on a back-door cover, you might say I was fish-hooked. Not fuckin' cool, bro.

Shit was settled long before the end in the later game, and sent Bokolis running to the window to press the 49ers before I skipped town. I had to lay a point and a half this time.

So, I didn't pay much attention to either Saturday game.

For that matter, Bokolis didn't watch much of Sunday's games- none of the early game and only the beginning and end of the late game. I'm guessing the late game went how I said, for once, with John Fox holding his Broncos to 24 points. I jest, of course; it was P. Manning's chicken arm that held his team to 24 points. His balls had nothing on them. It's just that the Chargers were getting blown off the ball so badly that they couldn't get it together long enough to attack P. Manning's throws.

I'm pretty sure the 49ers won that game on the second goal line stand. Forget about emboldening the 49ers, it had to have emasculated the Panthers to go down a second time and not get into the endzone. Of course, the cookie crumbled the 49ers way on that TD overturn of an incompletion. But, that is usually what happens for the better team.

After all that, it is 3-4-1 on here, 5-5-1 in the carbon-based world. Considering that 3 of the 4 games lost are from forced picks- because I HAD to pick- I don't feel so bad. While Bokolis can't stomach any of the teams left in this year's tournament, I feel that I've got a strong enough conviction on both games- definitely one- so that the picks will not be forced.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

rugby for fairies...divisional round 2013-14

This is a tough time for Bokolis. I either don't like the games, don't like the teams, or both. Hold on, let me shake free of my ideologies...shaking.../shaking There, all better.

BTW, we are using MGM Grand numbers that Bokolis got while advance-scouting pool season.

SEAHAWKS (-8.5) over Saints - The recent trend has been the wildcard winners giving the bye teams all they can handle and then some. In Bokolis' estimation, this happens because the teams off a bye, instead of coming out aggressive to show the perceived superiority that their regular season form has afforded, come out tight and/or playing it close to the vest, giving the (perceived) underdog a chance to settle into the game.

Where Bokolis thought the Eagles were uncharacteristically gun-shy, I don't think Seattle will give New Orleans this chance. We've seen New Orleans lose a playoff game here to a 7-9 team. We've seen them get run just a few weeks ago. We also saw them win in the cold in Philadelphia last week. It should be abundantly clear to the Seahawks that the Saints must be made uncomfortable. As physical as they play, this should not be an issue.

It's still a big damned number- you can get even 9.5 on the Saints around here if you like. That said, the elements and the Seahawks should combine to suitably sink the Saints.

Colts (+7.5) over PATRIOTS - The Colts aren't that good. The Patriots aren't that good. Last week's comeback notwithstanding, it's the Pats that have made the habit of pulling games out of their asses this year. Bokolis will venture that, at best, they will do so again.

49ers (PK) over PANTHERS - Bokolis watched that regular season match-up between the teams. I had the impression that the 49ers played that game with one hand tied behind their figurative back. This time, they will play with both. Most running QBs have a habit of taking their eyes off the field to look for the defensive linemen to find a way out of the pocket/backfield. If they try to re-focus downfield, the first person they find is most often the tight end.

Cam Newton, the talented yet dumb muthafucka that he is, makes it obvious that he does this, and it is why Steve Smith isn't as productive as he should be. When Bokolis teaches PhD-level defense classes, not only is this concept taught but, rather than overplay the TE and tip off the QB, you funnel him into the help and gull the QB into throwing it. I'll get into how you counteract a running QB when someone is willing to pay. For now, know that the 49ers will make this mongoloid pay.

Chargers (+9) over BRONCOS - This was the game that Bokolis jumped on while the line was still at 10, as I correctly guessed that the line would come down. After crushing the Bengals while a touchdown underdog, I figured that the circumstances of the Chargers playoff birth would be forgotten. I was hoping to get 11 or more at the open, but when I saw 10 and less, I jumped. It's shaping up to be relatively nice, if a bit windy, in Denver. If Rivers could function in that crap in Cincinatti, he'll be fine on Sunday. Besides, at this point, the Chargers' defense is markedly better than the Broncos' defense. With John Fox figuring to play this too close to the vest, all this should be enough to balance the scales.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Who let in the guy without a nickname?

Today, the BBWAA let in Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine to the Hall of Fame. In the process, they left Craig Biggio and Mike Piazza waiting at the altar, while Jack Morris will have to depend on the Veterans Commitee for induction.

There is much speculation as to whom, when and by what criteria to let in. While Morris isn't saddled with the added variable of steroid use, he's a prime example of a guy who was more valuable on the mound than on a stat sheet.

Biggio, Piazza and Bagwell suffer from having played in the so-called Steroid Era*. Their percentages seem to have a good amount of correlation to their respective levels of suspicion. No one believes Thomas was on the stuff, for he naturally had the biggest rump in the history of rumps. Steroids couldn't make that ass.

For Bokolis, there is also a wait-your-turn element at play here. Since the writers aren't yet ready to put in Bonds and Clemens, I'd think no one else with a fair amount of association would get in before they do. Bagwell has the further problem of having similar stats to a crop that includes juicing first-basemen. He's not markedly better than Delgado, Giambi, Helton, McGriff, McGwire, Palmeiro, Thomas or Thome. You really shouldn't be putting in more than two guys from each field position for a given generation.

Maddux certainly doesn't have to wait for anyone. He is Peyton Manning, complete with the ordinary postseason record. However, Bokolis was quite surprised that Glavine got in on the first shot with over 90%. What was everybody watching all those years?

Glavine could've stood to wait a few years; certainly, he did not deserve to go in before Randy Johnson or Pedro. Glavine also had pedestrian postseason stats, but the thing that backs him down is that he sometimes went years in between throwing a strike, yet always got the courtesy from the umpires. He lived four inches off the plate. While Maddux always seemed to run into the hot pitcher, my theory on Glavine was, as the strike zone expanded in the playoffs, it meant that everybody was now getting the same zone he'd been getting all along.

Savor the flavor, homes.

* - As a post-script, Bokolis will provide a cheap-seats assessment (READ: wild-ass speculation) of PED use among players mentioned in the above, other than those nearly universally thought to have used.

Maddux - no, but I wouldn't put it past him
Thomas - possibly at some point, even at Auburn, but probably not
Glavine - no, but I wouldn't rule out that he popped a few pills for shits & giggles
Morris - no, but we don't know what was in that chew
Biggio - on & off, did a few cycles
Piazza - on & off, did a few cycles
Bagwell - used throughout his career and had the good sense to retire when he came off
Delgado - on & off and flew under the radar
Helton - did and, like Pudge, was scared straight when they banned use
McGriff - slightly more likely than Thomas, but probably not
Thome - on & off and flew under the radar
Manning - NFL players are guilty until proven otherwise
Johnson - no, heaven forbid
Pedro - no, we should have been so lucky as to have a juiced-up Pedro on the mound

señol, pol favol

Yasiel Puig getting bagged for doing 110 on Alligator Alley



So here's this fucking banana, hammer-down. He emerges from the car in flip-flops and a too-tight t-shirt. It really shows you how clueless and vulnerable he is that he's meekly blathering to the cop in Spanish, the equivalent of gimme a chance, sir, with the über-slang señol, pol favol in effect. Turning the r to l and blanking the s is some real talkin' the lengua hood shit...que tu cree, ah?

The FHP officer must have known it was Puig, because he was patient with Puig when Puig wouldn't follow directions.

Then the roly-poly "cousin"- Bokolis couldn't make out whether he spoke any coherent English- gets out of the car, only to be yelled at by the cop, who, while abundantly patient with Puig, can't take any chances as to primo's intentions.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers, knowing how vulnerable this kid is, having come from a repressed to a decadent society, don't sit him down to have a facts-of-life talk with him. They'll probably coddle him off the field as they have on it. What do they give a shit? They're only paying him $2M for '14, which is not much investment risk.

Meanwhile, the agent, who already shit on his client by allowing the Dodgers a pay structure resembling an American player, doesn't grab this kid and have a real talk with him. With Puig's contract back-loaded as it is, though he can afford a shirt that fits, this cat hasn't yet cashed in. If Puig winds up diving into the swamp, drowned and eaten by a python, unless he took out a policy, that agent ain't seeing shit.

Now, if you've driven on Florida's Turnpike or Alligator Alley, you know that, while the speed limit is 70, if you drive 80-85 in the left lane, you'll get passed off by old ladies giving you the finger. From the feedback I'd gotten, anyone that was pulled over was doing at least 100. So, the first time Bokolis drove on the turnpike, I went by a FHP doing 89 (in cruise control, deliberately staying under 20 over) and the cop didn't even look at me. I took that to mean that I could drive a buck ten and did Orlando to where traffic starts in North Miami in 2:45.

So, if it seems excessive that Puig was getting arrested for doing 110 in a 70, it's because there's less room for a stern word and a summons these days. The truth is, the cop was probably doing Puig a favor, teaching him a relatively painless lesson to lay off the gas, both off the field and on it.

If the cop got spooked by primo and accidently slammed the door on Puig's ankle, I bet the Dodgers and his agent would have given a fuck then. If he panicked and shot primo in the ass, I don't think anyone would've much cared.

Monday, January 6, 2014

rugby for fairies...wild-card post-mortem

Don't go sucking Andrew Luck's dick just yet.  The Chiefs got out to a lead on the back of a TD and a big play where holding by their RT went unpenalized, torched #28 twice in the process, and lost because they had half their team go down- Bokolis expected Jamaal Charles- Andy Reid still can't call a game to save his fat ass and couldn't scheme to load against the one WR on the Colts who could hurt them.

Who knew the Saints would get 4-4 out of their kicker?  The Saints showed some guts but, that Eagles QB has to learn that winners take chances, not sacks.  Curiously, their coach also played it closer to the vest than he did in the regular season.

The Bengals were another no-show.

It took Aikman about eight replays to point out the mugging that Bokolis saw real-time on that Aaron Rodgers escape.  Buck must have been too busy blowing Aikman to point it out.  Lost in the 49ers victory was that they should have had at least 20 points in the first half.  The game should have never gotten to the point where Kaepernick, on the biggest plays, ran out of the fire and to victory.  He threw a bunch of shit balls, but he answered both Green Bay TDs with a TD drive of his own.

As for Bokolis, imagine the mixed feelings having to pull for Kaepernick.  Run, you cunt...first down!  I knew he was going to run before the snap; how the fuck did you not?  I hate the 49ers- anybody but the 49ers.

I quickly realized my ignorance- maybe I should watch all these hype shows- when I learned Reggie Wayne wasn't playing.  I knew Luck favored Wayne and wasn't as effective without him.  While I thought he was back, he's on IR.  I took that ignorance to mean that I was lost on both this and the Eagles, as I was going against things that couldn't possibly happen.  It's also why, as per below, that I didn't double down on the Eagles.  Bokolis did figure that some kind of perverse mean reversion would kick in and I'd get healthy on my lukewarm picks.

The picks as listed were a typically shitty 1-2-1 for the wild card weekend.  In the heat of the moment, Bokolis doubled down on the Colts when the line dipped to -1.5, so I got double...  Making up for it, was that I also pressed the 49ers when the line moved off -3 to -2.5, so I picked up some consolation there.  Going 2-3-1 in the carbon-based world might mean a better losing winning percentage, but it also means more vig.

In that vein, I've already gone in on one game for the coming weekend because I don't want the line to move against me.  I'd've thrown in on the Auburn(+10.5)-FSU game while I was at it, but realized that I don't care.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Rugby for fairies...playoffs?! 2014 Edition

Bokolis watched a little bit of NFL this year.  It's not because I'm suddenly falling in love with this game.  It's on three nights per week and happens to be on at the gym.  Frankly, there is nothing like having live sports on the monitor- they don't have much of a selection in channels; I'll take whatever I can get- to help while away the time on the treadmill.  As long as Tirico and Gruden aren't working the game, I'll even plug in the headphones.

I should probably confess that I've even ducked into a bar or two to watch the whole slate of games.  I will only do this for the later games, as I don't like to spread my attention too thin.  It's not really for the football.  Now that Bokolis is in about the same shape I was in when I was 20- not as jacked, but surely more fit- and now that they make boneless chicken bites with that hot sauce, I can afford an occasional 1500-calorie session, including the beer...I do it for the sauce.

Of course, even if I do need to stay in touch with how they think, sitting among common mongoloids that do this every week still requires holding my nose.  If I have to suffer a cackling GSF*, I have to hold my ears as well.

That is to say nothing of the ever-expanding NFL rule book, the modern communist manifesto.  It also says nothing about the game having turned into arena football, thwarted only when the elements become factors.  When I have little kids questioning why they even call this game football when they never kick the ball, it is all the confirmation bias I need.

While I call it "rugby for fairies," the best suggestion for a name change may have come from my off-the-boat uncle, who, incidentally, loves the run-n-gun version and thinks rushing the ball is an utter waste of everybody's time.  Going a step further than merely questioning calling it football, he says they should officially change the name of the game to Touchdown! because, hey, look how happy everybody gets when a touchdown is scored.  While I don't agree with his assertion that changing the name is a matter of course, it is in keeping with the dumbing down of everything around here.  Hey, Johnny, let's go play touchdown!  Yeeeeaah!

Was Bokolis supposed to talk about which teams impressed and such?  Yeah, umm, P. Manning broke records.  E. Manning broke interceptions records...actually, Bokolis knew from watching 3 minutes of pre-season, when Eli's body language indicated that he'd never even seen a pigskin or heard of the NFL.  Apparently, his old lady gave birth during the offseason and Eli didn't keep his pimp hand strong.  The kid from Eagles tore it up; Vick getting hurt was the best thing that happened to that coach and his offense.  Kaepernick came down from the moon, but he and his team remain formidable.  Seattle is the new Denver, in terms of being a town of dicks.  Pete Carroll, never one to err on the side of caution when it comes to obeying the rules, has his boys on the shit on the level of this year's Red Sox.

So, now it's the playoffs.  Bokolis didn't do so well last year.  I've had good years and bad years.  If they were all good years, I wouldn't be sharing.  I'll put these out there from now, so that I can spend my weekend tending to more important matters.  These are the lines I got.  Don't blame me if you've got to lay 3.

COLTS (-2.5) over Chiefs - Didn't the Colts run train on the Chiefs in the regular season?  When the Chiefs made the playoffs a couple of years ago, I went against them because they hadn't beaten anyone worth beating.  I believe the same holds this year.

EAGLES (-2.5) over Saints - I want to tell you that the Saints outside>>fish-out-of-water analogy may be a bit overblown, but their performances indicate that they will play well enough to lose.  You have to worry that this is the Eagles' QB's first playoff game.  But, they've also won 7 of 8, and that loss was a throwaway.  I think the Eagles are undervalued here.

Chargers (+7.0) over BENGALS - On paper, this has Bengals written all over it, especially with a road win over the Chargers and a 8-0 home record.  The Chargers path to the playoffs isn't doing much to refute that.  But, I'm not laying a TD with that QB, as he throws too many INTs, even before last week.  I'll take my chances that Rivers will keep this close.

49ers (-3.0) over PACKERS - I forgot the term FOX will use to call the Sunday late game...something about America's headliner or some shit.  Well, it's going to be cold in Green Bay on Sunday evening...cold even for Green Bay.  Maybe they can call it America's popsicle dick.

I want to pick the Packers.  It'd be such a cool story, with Rodgers coming back and throwing that late touchdown on 4th down that was so reminiscent of Favre to Sharpe, which I don't think anyone pointed out.  The Packers could be this year's darkhorse, the fourth year running.  But, they played this game last year, didn't they?  They played this game early in the season, didn't they?  The 49ers can be beat, other things given, when your defense can punch with their defense.  I don't think the Packers defense can do that.  Even with Rodgers back and Eddie The Hammer, I don't think they'll have enough.  Besides, I've already anointed the Eagles as the darkhorse.