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 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.