Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Blues

"Is it any wonder I've got, too much, time on my hands, it's ticking away with my sanity, I've got, too much, time on my hands, it's hard to believe such a calamity, I've got, too much, time on my hands, and it's ticking away, ticking away from me..." -Styx- (Too Much Time On My Hands)



Good afternoon everyone.  After posting our 'Football Friday' entry on Wednesday night, you had to figure that you'd see at least one entry from me (if not a couple) before Monday, since I'm not at work right now.  I am in fact at home currently, contemplating whether or not I like football (again)...  Let's start off with the good news (and there's not a lot).



The Texas Longhorns ran their record to 8-3 last night with a 41-16 victory over Texas Tech.  Two of your resident experts picked the Longhorns to win this game, and Joey picked them to lose 38-20...  :P  Don't feel bad for Joey - he gets a staggering salary from me (as does Alyssa), so he can stand a little heat.  ;)  I actually posted this photo on facebook last night with a tag to him, giving him some good-natured grief about his selection.  Oh, and don't fear if you missed our predictions for this weekend - all of our picks, including my 'Ten Best Bets,' are still there to peruse in my previous entry.  As for our other blog favorite, the Texas State Bobcats are currently down 21-14 at the half at Troy.  The game is being shown on ESPN 3, which I don't have.  This means that I am currently following the action on the Rivals.com NCAAF GameChannel.  Don't get too excited about the mention Rivals...  Late in the first half, the splendid webpage had both teams possessing the football at the same time...  The Bobcats actually had a 1st and goal from the 1-yard line and failed to score a single point in that possession right before the half.  This is the final game of the regular season for the Bobcats, and they are projected to be in a bowl game (I read earlier today) pending a win.  If the alma mater loses, I'm not sure what will happen...

I actually left the Texas/Texas Tech blowout early in the fourth quarter last night to catch the end of the Steelers/Ravens game - oh joy...  My Steelers were down 22-14 when I returned home with just under 5 minutes to play, and..., WOW...  If you missed the end of this game, you missed a bizarre finish.  If you did see the final moments of this contest, I have a serious question for you - when Bell got hit in the head (twice?) on the same run, why was that not a penalty on the Ravens, a personal foul for using the crown of the helmet while hitting an opponent in the head?  If you missed this play, the big hoopla over it concerned a touchdown being called back, because once a player loses their helmet (Bell's was literally knocked off of his head), the play is considered dead.  What baffles me is that neither Al Michaels or Cris Collinsworth addressed this aspect of the play AT ALL.  I even heard rumors on the sports broadcasts today where A DIFFERENT PLAY may be reviewed by the NFL, one where Mike Tomlin was on the field during a kick return.  The Steelers did manage to score a touchdown on this late drive, but my contention is that they should have at least had a first down for a personal foul after Bell got whacked, and gained half the distance to the goal line (which honestly wasn't much).  Bell was laid out for several minutes, and as he was helped off the field, staggering, I was (and still am) baffled as to how nothing was called.  Short story long, my Steelers lost 22-20, which leads me to my fantasy team - WONDERFUL... (see Kelley?)  :P

If you've been following along, you know that my fantasy team has to win this weekend, while one of the pair of teams ahead of me has to lose in order for me to reach the playoffs.  Yesterday I faced Matthew Stafford in the early game.  While I'm not thrilled that he scored 19 fantasy points, I do feel lucky that he didn't put up FIFTY!  The Lions CRUSHED the Packers yesterday, but Stafford accounted for three turnovers, and I remember at least a couple of different times that Detroit didn't score at all when in the red zone...  So I'm down 19-0 going to the Dallas game, where I had Jason Witten, and my opponent had..., wait for it..., wait for it..., DeMarco Murray...  UGGGHHH...  Murray only had like 66 total yards, but he made up for it by scoring THREE TOUCHDOWNS...  The end result of the Cowboys/Raiders game:

Good Dotto  46   Bikini Hill Bobcats  5

I can't guarantee you that there won't be any lineup changes before the remainder of this weekend's NFL schedule, but these are the current starting rosters for each of our teams heading into Sunday and Monday...


Good Dotto

Brandon Bolden, Marques Colston, A.J. Green, Harry Douglas, Vernon Davis, Cardinals D/ST, and Steven Hauschka


Bikini Hill Bobcats

Colin Kaepernick, LeSean McCoy, Chris Johnson, Donald Brown, Wes Welker, Larry Fitzgerald, Browns D/ST, and Adam Vinatieri


So it turns out that I REALLY WILL need a Thanksgiving miracle now...  :(  Okay, so now Troy is up 28-14 on the Bobcats with 4:33 remaining in the 3rd quarter, and I'm flipping my t.v. between Arkansas/LSU (I think that the Tigers were a 25-point favorite, and they're down 3 at halftime - I guess that Ashley didn't make the Tiger tailgate today)...




I'm also watching Washington/Washington State, Miami/Pittsburgh, some hockey, some Bourne Ultimatum, and I plan on watching some Arizona/Duke hoops later (among other things) just to root against the Blue Devils.  I was a North Carolina fan even before #23 wore their uniform, so naturally, I'm anti-Duke...  ;)

Well, that should sufficiently catch you up on what's going on here.  I do plan on playing some poker at some point during the weekend so that I'll have that to write about for you.  OH..., and don't think that I was going to leave this out Miletus...  Our beloved long-time blog reader got ENGAGED yesterday!!!  :D  Congratulations Miletus, I'm so happy for you!  I hope that all of you enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving Weekend, and God bless all of my friends and everyone else out there who is working in retail this weekend...  Have a good one, and a safe one!

 






   

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Week 14 Football Picks/13-14

Good evening everyone.  This entry will be a little bit shorter and sweeter tonight since it's Thanksgiving Eve.  I didn't enlist the help of any celebrity experts this week since it's a short week and everyone is bound to be hustling around and traveling.  However, since I'm paying Alyssa and Joey MIND BOGGLING amounts of money, they were kind enough to give me their expert selections for this long weekend...  ;)  To recap last weekend, the Longhorns were off, and the Bobcats lost 38-7 to Western Kentucky in a dreadful showing in miserable weather in San Marcos, America (however, there are several photos of my very enjoyable day that can be found a few entries back - 'My Motto Is, My Motto Changes').  Our celebrities went 2-9 last weekend, with only my brother Pete and my friend Leanne picking Western Kentucky to win.  Here is the update on the experts' current record, and who the local universities will be facing in the next few days...


Celebrity Experts (Last weekend 2-9/Overall record of 102-80 on Bobcats and Longhorns games)

Thursday, November 28th - Texas Longhorns (7-3) vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders (7-4)

Friday, November 29th - Texas State Bobcats (6-5) @ Troy Trojans (5-6)


Just so you know, the celebrity experts will make up for having this weekend off by picking some college bowl games and a little NFL contest known as the Super Bowl in the near future...  As for our in-house experts, they will suffer for making our blog a better place to visit by continuing to stop by even after the end of the college and NFL regular seasons (contract negotiations are underway as we speak)...  ;)  Speaking of them, live from the Palace Station Sportsbook in Las Vegas, Nevada, here's Joey..

  

Joey's Parlay Card (Last weekend 1-1/Overall record of 16-8 on Aggies, Bobcats, & Longhorns games)

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  I have lots to be thankful for.  Watching football and Chris letting me write in his blog are near the top.  This is one of the final weeks, with a full slate of college football (and basketball) along with the pros.  It's time to make money before Christmas.  I picked it last week, and as I said before, the Longhorns have had twelve days to prepare for the Texas Tech "Air Raid" offense.  Few teams have been able to slow them down, and right now Texas just doesn't have the key personnel to do that.  Tech wins 38-20.  Troy has one of the lowest-rated defenses in the country, and is 0-4 as a favorite this year.  Five turnovers last week hurt the Bobcats, but I don't see a repeat performance this time out.  It's another close one, but Texas State wins 34-31.  Finally, the last overall-rated FBS team in the country (my NMSU Aggies) return home to take on an Idaho Vandal team that gave up 80 points last week to #2 ranked Florida State.  This game could be so bad that the last one with the ball wins - here's hoping it's NMSU. Aggies win 42-41.  Happy Thanksgiving and may all of your parlay cards be winners.


Well, I don't know if you remember (or if you've been following the blog long enough to know) when I told you that Las Vegas can be a bleak place to live at times.  Joey saying that writing in my blog is near the top of his list of things to be thankful for has to be the biggest testament to my statement about living in the desert that I can think of...  ;)  I appreciate it Joey, and for you college hoops fans, Joey will be sharing some weekly basketball picks with you in about a month.  Now it's time to visit with our favorite Texans fan - live from Abilene, here's Alyssa...



Alyssa's Corner (Last weekend 0-2/Overall record of 15-17 on Texans, Bobcats, & Longhorns Games)

My wonderful blog readers, Happy Thanksgiving!  Tomorrow I will be venturing back to Houston to spend time with my family!  The six-hour drive with my cat and fish Susan should be interesting. Before a car ride I usually spend fifteen minutes chasing my cat around until I trick her with cat treats.  Speaking of Belle, she celebrated her 12th birthday on Monday!  One more year before I have a teenager.  Ha ha ha...  Everyone have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

31-24  Texas
28-17  Texas State
17-14  Texans (over New England), because I'm not giving up hope...


If you look closely at Alyssa's photo, you may be able to make out the Texas State embroidery - I'm hoping that maybe this photo will give our Bobcats enough good karma to put them over the top, and finish with a 7-5 regular season.  As is the case with Joey, Alyssa has agreed to continue picking football games after the college and NFL regular seasons end, and because she is solely loyal to football, 'Alyssa's Corner' will become something with strictly her own spin after the Super Bowl.  Can you believe that we're already talking about the Super Bowl?  Can you believe that it's already Thanksgiving?  Wow...



And yep, I had to do it...  ;)  I can be a little superstitious, and I went 6-3-1 on my '10 Best Bets' last weekend with Leanne's photo leading into my selections, so here she is again, making us all ask ourselves the question, "WHAT was she thinking when she took this selfie?!"  :D


Coach (Last weekend 0-1/Overall record of 12-9 on Bobcats and Longhorns games)

Tomorrow the Red Raiders roll into town...  This will be the first UT Thanksgiving game that I've attended.  Despite what our punk friend Joey believes, the Horns are a 4 1/2 point favorite heading into this one, so I don't think that UT is losing by 18.  I'm going with the Longhorns over Tech, 38-30 (guns down Jenn, okay?)...  ;)  My Bobcats have been a mystery wrapped in a riddle this year when it comes to calling football games.  We never gave ourselves a chance with all of the early interceptions last week. For those of you who missed last night's blog entry, if you picture the first quarter of the Broncos/Patriots game from Sunday night, and substitute interceptions for fumbles, that's how we looked in the first quarter last Saturday against the Hilltoppers.  Troy is 5-6, but they are currently sitting in 3rd place in the Sun Belt Conference, obviously playing better football once the conference schedule began.  Common sense says that I should pick the Trojans, which means that I'll be taking the Bobcats to win this one, 30-23.


Coach's Ten Best Bets of the Week (Last weekend 6-3-1/Overall record of 63-63-4)

Auburn (+11) vs. Alabama - Taking the points in a hard-hitting, fierce matchup...
Arizona (+12 1/2) @ Arizona State - Giving the Wildcats 12 1/2 after CRUSHING the Ducks?...
West Virginia (-7 1/2) vs. Iowa State - The Mountaineers play well in Morgantown...
Cardinals/Eagles (Under 48 1/2) - Philly weather should slow the scoring down...
Eagles (-3 1/2) vs. Cardinals - Philly weather should slow the Cardinals down...
Chiefs (+4) vs. Broncos - Peyton still isn't a cold weather quarterback...
Broncos/Chiefs (Under 49 1/2) - K.C. weather should slow the scoring down...
Falcons/Bills (Under 46) - Buffalo weather/both offenses should slow the scoring down...
Patriots (-7 1/2) @ Texans - Pats beat Texans by more last year when Houston was better...
Saints/Seahawks (Under 47) - Nasty weather in Seattle will slow the scoring down...


Well my friends, my family has moved in several different directions as I've gotten older, and I've lived in several different places myself.  Although I'm not going to see any of my family tomorrow, I am very thankful for technology and social media, as they will allow me to touch base with everyone during one of my traditionally favorite holidays.  In addition to my family, I'm also thankful for the many friends that I've had the good fortune of meeting throughout the course of my lifetime. It is my sincere wish that all of you have a very safe and happy holiday weekend!  Oh, and if you're not saving any leftovers for me, if you would steer just a little good karma toward the Longhorns, and the Bobcats, and the Steelers, and my 'Ten Best Bets,' and my fantasy football team (whose lineup has not been finalized yet), and my Lucki Duck contest pick, and, and...  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  ;)
  






Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Thanksgiving Miracle?

"It's the, eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight, risin' up, to the challenge of our rival, and the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night, and he's watchin' us all with the eye..., of the tiger..."
-Survivor- (Eye Of The Tiger)



Good evening everyone.  With the UT game (along with several other football games) coming to us on Thursday this week, your 'Football Friday' post will be coming your way tomorrow night, which means that tonight becomes my personal football night instead of tomorrow night.  With all that being said, you get this post right now...

I remember the first time that I hoped for a Thanksgiving miracle...  If you rewind back to last week, you'll remember that our hero's fantasy football team was 1 1/2 games behind 2 other teams for a playoff spot with only 2 games left to play.  This meant that my team would have to win its remaining 2 games, while 1 of my opponents would have to lose both of its remaining contests.  Fast forward to our current fantasy football standings...


East

Con Juevos (8-4)
Dead Crickets (8-4)
Bikini Hill Bobcats (7-4-1)


West

Good Dotto (9-3)
Show Me Your TD's (8-4)


Yes, you're reading the standings correctly.  My Bobcats won last week, while both of the teams that I'm trailing lost their matchups.  I still have to win my game this weekend, but if I do, that forces both teams that I'm chasing to defeat their opponents in order to stay ahead of me.  The bad news is that my Bobcats will be matched up against Good Dotto, who as you can see has the best record in the league.  The good news is that Good Dotto has only scored the 6th-most points in our 12-team league, and has benefitted from his opponents scoring the least points in the league when matched up against his team.  My team has scored the 4th-most points in our league, and I'm only 24 points from having scored the 2nd-most points.  Both Con Juevos and the Dead Crickets will be facing teams with losing records this weekend, BUT those opponents are sitting at 5-8 and 4-7 - they are capable teams in what has been a hotly-contested league, so a Thanksgiving miracle may be in store...  ;)  It is my intention to include my lineup (and my opponent's lineup at "press time") in tomorrow night's entry, so you can follow along at home if your holiday weekend gets slow...  :P

So would you like to hear about how I lost $55.00-ish in cash and merchandise over the weekend?  Yes, this is totally football-related, of course...  ;)  Okay, well when I joined Bovada for mircostakes poker and sports-betting, I deposited $50.00.  As a bonus, Bovada game me a one-time bet worth 50% of my initial deposit.  I decided to use that $25.00 bet on the Carolina Panthers (-4 1/2) over the Miami Dolphins.  If you'll note my '10 Best Bets' for last weekend, I took the Panthers (-4) in this contest.  Sometimes the 1/2-point is HUGE...  I thought that with half of the Dolphins O-Line missing, the Panthers would easily cover the spread in this one.  Well..., the final ended up being Panthers 20-16 over the Dolphins, and I missed having $22.73 deposited to my account, by 1 point...  In a smaller bet, I made a three-team parlay for a buck.  The Baylor/Oklahoma State under (which I should have bet everything that I own on) and the Texas A&M/LSU under came through easily...  AND THEN there was the matter of the Under 54 on the Broncos/Pats game.  New England fumbled the ball in the first quarter of Sunday night's game like it was a hot potato.  By the way..., if you substitute interceptions for fumbles, that is EXACTLY what my Texas State Bobcats looked like in the first quarter of last Saturday's game against Western Kentucky - BAD turnovers....  Coupled with the rush of points that the Broncos scored in the first quarter, and the blitz of points that the Pats put up in the third, my under never had a chance.  Final:  Pats 34  Broncos 31.  That was about $6.00-ish that I lost...  And then there's the Bobcat Nation Sports Bar & Grill weekly football pick 'em contest...  After a full weekend of games, my brother and I both had 17 wins in this contest (the next highest total after us was 15).  This brought us to last night's 49ers/Redskins game, where we both picked Frisco.  And that brought us to the tiebreaker score.  Pete had 42 total points being scored, and I had 45.  This meant if 44 points or more were scored in the game, then I would win the $25.00 tab for the 4th time this season.  However, this is my brother's birthday week, which was obviously a bad omen...  Final:  49ers 27  Redskins 6.  Have I ever mentioned that I hate football?  ;)

In addition to this, both my brother and my friend Leanne were the only two celebrity experts to pick Western Kentucky over the Bobcats on Saturday (yeah, they were right).  And guess what they have in common...

 

ARRRRGGGGHHHH...  They are both YANKEES FANS!  Expect this to be the ONLY TIME that you'll see that nonsense above in this blog...  To be completely honest, they should both be banned from the blog forever...  HOWEVER, do you remember this photo from last Friday, the one that led into my football picks?



Yeah, this would be Leanne, welcoming you to the '10 Best Bets' that went... (are you ready for it?), 6-3-1 over the weekend!  I don't know HOW I managed another tie (oh yeah, that Carolina game - GRRRRR...), but I FINALLY had another winning week, so maybe we'll let Pete and Leanne stay around a while longer, MAYBE...

Well, on that note, congratulations Pete, thanks for the good karma Leanne, and I'll see y'all again tomorrow night with an early 'Football Friday' - have a good one!







Sunday, November 24, 2013

My Motto Is, My Motto Changes...

Andrea:  "If I don't remember, it didn't happen.  That's my motto..."
Me:  "I didn't put you on having a motto..."
Andrea:  "My motto is, my motto changes..."

"You better stop watching me..." -Heather-



Good evening everyone.  Before I get too far into what is surely going to end up being a marathon post, let me start by saying to Heather (and Andrea) that "My motto is, my motto changes," and "You better stop watching me" were in a dead heat for being the title of tonight's entry, and I only picked Andrea's quote because I've known her longer.  However, I wanted to be sure to get Heather's quote in here, because it's one of the BEST stories...  :)  And we'll get back to that...  :P

I got off to a late start yesterday, and even considered staying in Austin and not going to San Marcos due to the nasty weather.  However, I needed to get a haircut (yes, it's not possible for me to get my hair cut in Austin), and there was the matter of the 2013 home football finale for the Bobcats.  I ended up getting my haircut, filling up my gas tank, and grabbing a McDonald's Big Mac large combo meal to dine on while I cruised around San Marcos trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of the day.  I had all of these chores finished by about 3:00 p.m.  I had passed the parking lot which houses the pregame tailgating at about 2:00 p.m., and compared to Homecoming Weekend (which I posted about recently here), it looked pretty much like a ghost town...  Very early in the day I had seen this photo posted on facebook by my friend 'Happy'...



Despite how appetizing this caldo looked, I was SURE that it would be VULTURED UPON by the time that I got to the festivities, so I didn't hold out any hope.  By the way, Happy was at the tailgate representing Grins Restaurant and Treff's Tavern, so be sure to visit these fine establishments if you haven't already...  So it's mid-afternoon, it's cold in San Marcos (yes Sydney, it was COLD), and I'm trying to figure out what to do with my day.  I could VERY EASILY watch the LSU/Texas A&M game AND the Texas State/Western Kentucky tilt in WARMTH, never having to go outside AT ALL...  However, it was at this point, while I was pondering life in my warm vehicle parked in front of Bobcat Nation, that I received a call from my friend Nicole.  She told me that her and her husband Scott were almost at the tailgate, and she wanted to know where I was. Hmmmm...  Long story short, Coach walks up to the Treff's Tavern tent at the tailgate at about 4:30 p.m.  When Nicole tells me that the only reason that her and Scott decided to go to the tailgate at all (their first in three years) was that they knew that myself and our mutual friend Art were going to be there, I was REALLY HAPPY that I decided to show up.  And when I discovered that there WAS still some of the caldo pictured above remaining..., I was REALLY HAPPY that I decided to show up...  ;)  So I enjoyed my caldo, drank a couple of Coronas, and socialized with my friends..., until the tailgates were forced to pack up and leave, due to the impending kickoff of the football game.  Yeah..., I had made no concrete decision on what to do yet...  Should I go to the game, and freeze for another three hours, or should I be comfortable, and not be there to support our team?  Before I answer this, I happened to run into my friend Verissimo before (oops, I can't tell you yet)...  This is a photo of myself and the young lady who was instrumental in helping the Chi Omega's raise over $10,000.00 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation...



Okay, several things here...  If I haven't told you already, Verissimo is very bright, thus the wearing of her whole bedroom set...  ;)  Second, I've had that Red Sox jacket since 1986 (yeah, I know), and I CONSISTENTLY get comments on it.  You see Sydney, it's not cold in Texas that often, thus the long life of the jacket...  ;)  Third, that is some of the remaining evidence that I'm holding in my left hand...  :)

Well, I was a trooper yesterday, and I found myself in line at the ticket window (no free ticket for this game), and I was reading the pricing menu, ready to shell out my $15.00 for the cheapest general admission ticket available, when I heard, "HEY!..."  I looked over to the will call line, and saw my friend Trent hailing me.  As it turns out, Trent and his wife Krista were picking up credentials to watch the game from a suite, and Trent handed me a pair of tickets to watch the game from the... THIRD ROW...  :)  As my friend Mo stated later in the evening when I told her this story, "Coach..., you have good karma..."  That was pretty much PERFECTLY STATED Mo...  I try to treat people right, and they usually treat me accordingly...

As for the game, I was really impressed with the crowd that showed up, considering the weather conditions.  However, a good chunk of this crowd started filing out when we found ourselves down 17-0 early (and I really don't blame them).  We threw some AWFUL interceptions early on. Unfortunately, our play didn't improve much throughout the course of the game, and we found ourselves on the wrong end of a 38-7 final score.  However, as the crowd continued to migrate to warmer places, it did give me the opportunity to explore the whole stadium.  That gave me the opportunity to snap this photo of my friends...

 

Pictured left to right, these young ladies are Brooke and Paige, my two favorite cheerleaders in Bobcat history...  :D  I remember meeting Paige when I worked at the Texas Music Theater a few years ago, and recall telling her that her smile was going to take her a long way in life...  DIDN'T EVEN KNOW that she was a cheerleader when I met her (great read, huh?)...  :)  Over time, I also started seeing her friend Brooke when they would take their study breaks, and they've always been great to me...  Before I headed back to the north end zone, which provided some much needed shelter from the wind, I wanted to ask my friends if they were FREEZING.  They were obviously on the field, and before I even had the chance to ask, I saw Paige mouth the words, "SOOOO COOOLD" to one of her family members.  Yes indeed Paige, yes indeed...

So we're fast forwarding to me reaching warmth.  I'm now back at the Bobcat Nation Sports Bar & Grill, ready to thaw out and use the second of the $25.00 tabs that I've won in their football pick 'em contest this season.  Speaking of that, the Patriots just came back from a 24-0 deficit to beat the Broncos in overtime, which means that my brother Pete and myself will be battling it out tomorrow night to see who wins that prize this week.  Pete (and by the way, Happy Birthday Pete!) has also won the contest once this season.  Also, since I'm about to tell you about my visit to "Bobcat Nation," I have some good news to share with you...







The photos above show the 2013 Sun Belt Conference Volleyball Champions, the Texas State Bobcats, and my friend Ali, a San Marcos native and proud member of that squad, spreading the good news...  CONGRATULATIONS to Ali and the Bobcats!!!  :D

Okay, so I'm cold and starving...  I order a bowl of seafood gumbo, and a shrimp po-boy with onion rings.  When I told my friend Mo this later in the evening, she said, "that's a lot of food..."  I said, "yeah, it was..."  I expected the bowl to be like this (making a circle with my hands about the size of a grapefruit for Mo).  Mo quickly said, "no, it's more like this..."  (she showed me a circle about the size of a frisbee, which was correct)...  So after I finished my meal, and my first beer, I HIT THE WALL...  I was completely docile, just enjoying the Baylor/Oklahoma State game as I hung out with Brandon (owner/operator) and Andrea (bartender).  It was during this time that Andrea and myself had the exchange that I opened tonight's entry with.  This is a photo of Andrea and myself (and yes, there are more photos of me in this blog entry than..., well..., ever)...



Awesome person, very cool, sharp, funny (and yes, I'm talking about Andrea, not me)...  :)  And then there's my new friend Heather...  In the interest of keeping long stories short, and not divulging anything that was basically meant to stay between Andrea and Heather, I will tell you this...  Being a poker player, and a people watcher, I'm usually pretty tuned-in as to what's going on around me...  That being said, I had never met Heather (we had never spoken A WORD to each other), so I was pretty surprised when she walked up behind me, tapped me on the shoulder, and I heard the words, "you better stop watching me" come out of her mouth...  I LOVE awesome people...  :) Fast forward to the Square, when I was leaving Harper's and Heather is RIGHT BEHIND ME, evidently because she had been stalking me without my knowledge after I left Bobcat Nation (okay, I'm probably making that part up)...  :)

You're right, I'm not going to say that little about my visit to the Square...  Upon walking into Harper's, I was immediately greeted by my friends Mo and Amy.  In addition to the quotes above that I've already attributed to her, Mo is the same hero that was responsible for saving the girl from drowning that I mentioned here in the blog this summer...  My favorite lifeguard...



Oh, and Lucki Duck, note the shirt that I'm wearing...  ;)  Below I'm pictured with our mutual friend Amy, and I CHALLENGE YOU to find either of these young ladies out in public without the other. My favorite Angelino...



Needless to say, I had a great time catching up with Mo and Amy, and with all of my friends in San Marcos.  Within minutes of arriving in town, I was already homesick, and I live a WHOLE HALF-HOUR up the road...  Pathetic...  :P  Have a great day and I'll see you again tomorrow!




  

    



Thursday, November 21, 2013

Week 13 Football Picks/13-14

Good evening everyone.  I took the lead in Lucki Duck's pick 'em contest last week and the Steelers beat the Lions, but outside of that, not a lot of good things happened in the football world. My fantasy team is currently trying to atone for its tie as Drew Brees and Garrett Hartley battle the Falcons.  In case you didn't read the blog last night, these last 2 weeks include must-win games for my Bikini Hill Bobcats, while I need either of the pair of teams ahead of me to lose both of their final games in order for me to reach the playoffs (last week's tie put me 1 1/2 games out of 1st/2nd place in my division - 12-team league, with the top 2 teams in each division moving on). Last week was brutal for the blog's favorite college teams as Texas State lost 38-21 at Arkansas State, while the Longhorns took a 38-13 loss at DKR against Oklahoma State.  Once again, none of the experts (celebrity or otherwise) picked the exact final score of a game, but everyone gets another chance as the Bobcats host Western Kentucky on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. This game will be televised on the Longhorn Network for those of you who can't be there in person.  Seemingly like clockwork this season, the Bobcat home game has brought out the worst in the weatherman. Saturday's forecast for San Marcos, America gives us a high of 43 degrees, a low of 39 degrees, and a 60% chance of rain with the wind blowing at 17 miles per hour - LOVELY...  In the meantime, the Longhorns will be preparing for their Thanksgiving meeting with Texas Tech. Without any further ado, let's get to our celebrity experts...

Celebrity Experts (Last weekend 5-10/Overall record of 100-71 on Bobcats and Longhorns games)

Saturday, November 23rd - Texas State Bobcats (6-4) vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (6-4)

TXST  47-21     Nick Kass - Harper's Public House
TXST  31-21     Gabby Contreras - Texas State Superstar & 2013 Homecoming Queen Nominee
TXST  21-7      Alyssa Lesa - TXST Student/Blogger/Sam's Warehouse Accounting Associate
TXST  28-24     Ashley Brannan - Texas State Alum & Well-Renowned Tailgate Crasher
TXST  27-12     Daniel Guerrero - Mayor of San Marcos, Texas
TXST  24-16     Zane McCoy - Texas State Student/The Marc
TXST  24-17     James McDuffie - Texas State Fan & This Blog's Ticket Sponsor  ;)
TXST  27-24     James Needham - Texas State Senior/Louie's Oyster House & Beer Garden
TXST  46-17     Ana Marie - Supercuts, Manager
W KY  42-36    Leanne Calderon - DCI Biologicals/Concordia University
W KY  31-27    Pete Wyatt - Brother/Horns & Cowboys Fan/Judson Alum


And yes, you read that correctly - both the Bobcats and the Hilltoppers come into this game with 6-4 records and both are tied for 5th place in the Sun Belt Conference at this point in time.  With the Bobcats being bowl eligible for the first time, there is an effort to pack Bobcat Stadium for this game so that our attendance numbers will look more attractive to the bowl selectors.  While we do have to contend with that brutal weather forecast, these are the shiny new lids that the Bobcats will be sporting on Saturday...



Speaking of shiny, glittery stuff, here's our favorite ticket writer from Las Vegas...  :)  Live from the Palace Station Sportsbook, here's Joey...



Joey's Parlay Card (Last weekend 1-1/Overall record of 15-7 on Aggies, Bobcats, & Longhorns games)

Another week gone by in the books.  Oh, I should have said another winning week has gone by in the books.  The best part of a new week is that we get another chance to beat the books.  The Texas State Bobcats have the defense working - they are plus six in the turnover battle this year. The D is licking their chops as this week Texas State takes on a Western Kentucky team where QB Brandon Doughtry has 14 picks and has lost 8 fumbles.  It's another close one to the end, but the Bobcats pull out the victory 27-24.  Injuries were big in the loss against Oklahoma State last week and the Longhorns have nothing to be thankful for as they take on the Texas Tech Red Raider high-flying offense on Thanksgiving Day.  I'll make a prediction now and stick with it.  The Longhorns have twelve days to get ready for the Red Raider attack, but few teams have been able to slow it down and right now the Longhorns just don't have the personnel.  The air-raid offense is too much and Texas Tech wins this game easily 38-20.  Finally, my New Mexico State University Aggies get to fly to Florida and play against Florida Atlantic.  NMSU has the 123rd-ranked defense in the country and Florida Atlantic can become bowl eligible with wins in the next 2 weeks.  The Aggies have played well at home, but on the road it's a different team.  FAU sinks my Aggies 42-14.  That's it for this week's parlay card - may all of your tickets be winners.


Making his Thanksgiving pick A FULL WEEK ahead of time - Joey IS an overachiever Alyssa!  :) Joey always gets his copy to me before Alyssa does, so...  ;)  Well, the Texans/Jaguars matchup on Sunday looks EXACTLY LIKE Alyssa's photo does for Houston - VERY PROMISING...  ;)  And here's our favorite Texans' fan, Alyssa...  



Alyssa's Corner (Last weekend 2-1/Overall record of 15-15 on Texans, Bobcats, and Longhorns games)

Happy Thursday everyone.  I have had a roller coaster of a ride my first six months in adulthood. I've had car issues, apartment issues, and now tooth issues.  As you all remember from my post last week, I have a toothache.  Well this toothache is actually an infected tooth and now I have to wait until Monday for a root canal.  As you all can imagine, I'm in a bit of pain.  But tomorrow is payday and I am excited for that.  Tonight a crazy storm is going to come through Abilene:  Hail, sleet, and rain!  Now for my predictions...

Texans vs. Jaguars:  17-14 Texans...if we lose this one, then we really have hit rock bottom...
Bobcats vs. Hilltoppers:  24-17 Bobcats


Okay, first off, Alyssa was the only resident expert to pick against BOTH the Bobcats and the Longhorns last week (and she was right, of course)...  Second, her quote, "if we lose this one, then we really have hit rock bottom..." was the very first part of her post that I read tonight, and I immediately laughed, which makes it very similar to this photo...



Yes, the blog has a new mascot for this weekend's games as Belle wearing the cow costume just wasn't winning enough games for me...  However, if you take a close look at this feline's face, I'm sure that you'll agree that Muddy is in a dead heat with Belle for the title of "most thrilled cat in the universe..."  ;)  Just like with Belle in the cow costume, I can't help but laugh every time that I look at this photo...  This is my good friend Kelley's daughter Lyndi, with her cat Muddy (which she sometimes pronounces 'Money'), and "money" is what I need on my picks this week...  Do you see what I did there everyone?  ;)

Coach (Last weekend 0-2/Overall record of 12-8 on Bobcats and Longhorns games)

Well, my Bobcats are bowl eligible, we have shiny new helmets, and we're making a concerted effort to get people into Bobcat Stadium on Saturday.  Despite being 4-point underdogs, I have to go with the Maroon & Gold...  Bobcats 23-19 over the Hilltoppers...  And I hate to say it, but despite posting losing records over the last couple of weeks, I really am confident in my 'Ten Best Bets' again this weekend.  I'm sure that as you're reading this, your reaction is probably similar to Leanne's...



Again, another picture that I couldn't pass up...  :)  Hopefully I'll shock everyone this weekend with a winning record here...  ;)


Coach's Ten Best Bets of the Week (Last weekend 4-5-1/Overall record of 57-60-3)

LSU (-4) vs. Texas A&M - Hostile crowd in Baton Rouge/Geaux Tigers!...
Texas A&M/LSU (Under 71) - The Tigers play some D, which is why I also like the (-4)...
Baylor/Oklahoma State (Under 78 1/2) - Again, garbage weather in the South on Saturday...
Chiefs (-5) vs. Chargers - The Cali boys have to play at K.C...
Steelers (+2) @ Browns - Beat the Lions by 10, so give us 2 at Cleveland - OKAY...
Cowboys (+2 1/2) @ Giants - Taking the points with the better offense...
Jets/Ravens (Over 39 1/2) - Just a super low number - the defenses might score for me too...
Carolina (-4) @ Dolphins - Streaking Panthers facing just over half of Miami's starting O-Line...
Patriots (+2 1/2) vs. Broncos - Give Pats points at home in hostile, cold environment - OKAY...
Broncos/Patriots (Under 55) - Manning isn't a cold weather QB, and audibles will be hard...


And that's it my friends...   I'll be heading down to San Marcos on Saturday, and hopefully I'll run into Gabby and her "beer purse" at the tailgate, I'll take in a Bobcats win, and then I'll cash in one of the $25.00 tabs that I've won in the Bobcat Nation Sports Bar & Grill football pick 'em contest before heading down to the Square later in the evening...  ;)  Have a great football weekend everyone!





















Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Proof That I'm 100 Years Old

"15 there's still time for you, time to buy and time to choose, hey 15, there's never a wish better than this, when you've only got 100 years to live..." -Five For Fighting- (100 Years)



Good evening everyone.  Earlier this week (even earlier today as a matter of fact), the title of this post was going to be 'Tuning People Out,' due to something that happened on the West Campus bus yesterday.  However, due to a very sweet gesture that was made on the West Campus bus today by a girl named Victoria, I'm now listening to the song credited above via YouTube as I relay this story to you.  For those of you who have followed the blog for a while now, you know that I'll usually save the best for last, and I'll build up to any story that is related to the title of a blog entry, but I decided that this tale is SO GOOD that I'm going to lead off with it.  Also, if you know me at all, or how many times I've mentioned that I'm 100 years old in this blog, then you'll realize how incredibly funny I thought this gesture was.  Don't get me wrong my friends, the gesture that Victoria made was INCREDIBLY SWEET, but upon hearing it, I IMMEDIATELY smiled, politely declined her offer, and said, "but you're going to be in my blog tonight..."  :D

THE STORY...  After leaving work today, I boarded the West Campus bus at the stop in front of the Art Building, much like I would on any other day.  As it turns out, this bus wasn't packed with humanity like it is on a fairly normal basis.  The few people that were standing on this bus were all standing near the very front, and I decided to step by them in case anyone else boarded (normally, as more people board the bus, everyone else has to "scooch back" to accommodate the new passengers, and yes, I just Googled the correct spelling of the word 'scooch')...  ;)  Anyway, once I stepped past this small group, there was no one else standing anywhere on the bus, so while I scoped the rest of the bus to see if all of the seats had indeed been taken, I was also deciding where I wanted to stand, because I did have a choice.  It made sense to me to stand near the back door because there was a little space available which didn't force me to "hover" over the rest of the passengers leaving campus.  As I reached the back door and grabbed the railing for support before the bus left campus, I heard the voice of this girl that was seated near me..., as she spoke up..., looked me straight in the eye..., and asked... (wait for it..., wait for it...), "would you like to sit down?"  MADE... MY... DAY!!!  :D  This young lady ASKED ME if I wanted to sit down - I TOLD YOU that I'm 100 years old...  ;)  Like I said, this was incredibly sweet of Victoria, and after I told her that she was going to be in the blog, I explained to her why I found her gesture to be so amusing, telling her that I referred to myself as being 100 years old here all the time...  As we talked, Victoria relayed an incident to me that has stuck with her...  At some point in the past, when Victoria was on a full bus, evidently a professor made it a point to vent their disappointment that no one had offered them a seat...  :P  So there you have the full spectrum my friends:  I was CARDED WHILE ENTERING HARPER'S last month, and today a UT student OFFERED ME a seat on the bus...  :D  Thanks for letting me share this Victoria - TOTALLY MADE MY DAY...  :) 


I know that this will seem anticlimactic (as if you've ever found a "high point" in my blog), but here are the weekly fantasy football standings...

East

Con Juevos (8-3)
Dead Crickets (8-3)
Bikini Hill Bobcats (6-4-1)


West

Good Dotto (8-3)
Show Me Your TD's (7-4)


As you can see, with only two regular season games remaining, last week was very devastating to my playoff chances.  My score was tied for the highest total in the whole league last week, and as you've already guessed, I played against the other team who scored the most points in our league last week...  Now my Bobcats would have to win their final 2 games, AND have 1 of the 2 teams above me lose BOTH of their remaining games in order for me to make the playoffs.  At least I have a few other football outlets...  :P  Okay, I'm not giving up just yet, but things look pretty dire...

I hope that you have a good one, and I'll be back with Alyssa and Joey (and more questionable football picks) tomorrow night for 'Football Friday...'  ;)
   


                    




Monday, November 18, 2013

Impossible Situation

"It's about bettering yourself and not degrading others..." -via Domonique Gilbert-

"I want to hide the truth, I want to shelter you, but with the beast inside, there's nowhere we can hide..." -Imagine Dragons- (Demons)

"Sometimes following your heart means losing your mind..." -via Alyssa Lesa-

"When you love someone but it goes to waste..." -Coldplay- (Fix You)

"Woo!  Finished training for my first marathon.  Just kidding.  I just ate four chocolate chip cookies..." -Audry Begg-



Good evening everyone.  Okay, maybe the title of tonight's post is a little bit dramatic (but it's probably true)...  I'm in a fantasy football predicament tonight where I'm facing Tom Brady, the Carolina Panthers' defense, and Panthers' tight end Greg Olsen (just for good measure)...  The absolute best thing that can happen for me is for the Patriots to score RUSHING touchdowns (which would subtract points from my opponent without giving any to Brady).  The worst thing that can happen is for Carolina's D to score any touchdowns, and the same goes for Olsen.  Brady scoring TD's would be offset by the points that the Panthers' D would lose.  I currently have an 11-point lead under the ESPN format, and this is going to be a LONG GAME...

In addition to the quotes above that I stole from my friends, I've also snagged a photograph (evidently I've run out of pictures of the Chi O's).  Oh, speaking of them, they were no help on my '10 Best Bets' either (currently 3-5-1 at this point, and I have Carolina (+2 1/2).  Okay, back to the snapshot, check this out...



Now the happy couple is a pair that I met back when they were middle school students (remember, I'm 100 years old), and I want you to take a close look at the faces of their children in the background - PRICELESS...  :D  Great photograph!

Oh, let's not forget - field goals by the Patriots are good for me also (the score is currently 113-99 me)...  #longgame  I did not end up playing any poker this weekend, so it's unlikely that I'll have a poker post for you this week.  My Saturday was occupied by the Texas loss to Oklahoma State, and I was actually so tired that I didn't take advantage of the party that was downtown Austin this weekend.  The Horns' home game was coupled with a Formula One race that was held in town on Sunday, and this meant A LOT of people and music and festivities throughout the downtown area.  Poor, poor 100 year-old me (sometimes I use the hyphen, sometimes I don't - I figure I'm right about 50% of the time) stayed AT HOME on Saturday night, and actually fell asleep before midnight (GASP!!!).  AND THEN I took a couple of NAPS yesterday on top of that...  This HAS TO BE the most interesting blog on the net, huh?  ;)

The one positive thing that happened football-wise this weekend (well, other than the Steelers victory) was that I took the lead in Lucki Duck's pick 'em contest.  I have a "commanding" 5-point lead with 5 weeks to go.  If I'm not mistaken, I don't believe that I've selected a losing team during any of the twelve weeks of the contest to this point, and we all know that just typing that guarantees that I'll lose this week...  ;)  The goal of the contest is to pick the one team each week that you think will win by the most points.  The sheet of paper on my wall where I track all of my football endeavors looks a lot like Jacksonville's schedule when it comes to this contest - I have picked their opponent A LOT this season, although I took Seattle over Minnesota this yesterday.  In the 'Small Potatoes Poker and Sports Betting' blog to the right, you can find the updated standings in this contest.  I've never won anything in my life (total lie), so I'm looking forward to seeing if I can hang on to win a t-shirt or sweatshirt of the team of my choice.  I'm hoping that Mr. Duck brings me a Steelers sweatshirt for the new year...  :D  If I can somehow hold on to win the contest, you can bet your last dollar that there will be a photo of THAT appearing in this blog...  ;)

Okay, it's time to glue myself to the t.v. once again as the second half has begun, so have a good one and I'll see you again on Wednesday!
















Thursday, November 14, 2013

Week 12 Football Picks/13-14

Good evening everyone.  It seems that I never get this entry started as early as I'd like to...  It was another great week for the celebrity experts here last week as Texas beat West Virginia 47-40 in overtime, giving the experts an 8-0 week.  This Saturday the blog's favorites both face challenging opponents as Texas State plays at Arkansas State (currently 2nd in the Sun Belt Conference), while Texas hosts Oklahoma State.  I didn't take my traditional post-work nap today, so we're going straight to the experts...  ;)

Celebrity Experts (Last weekend 8-0/Overall record of 95-61 on Bobcats and Longhorns games)

Saturday, November 16th - Texas Longhorns (7-2) vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (8-1)

Longhorns  31-28     Romeo Gonzalez - @RomeoJGonzalez
Longhorns  38-28     Jack Ellis - @Brumasterj
Longhorns  31-27     Justin Boyd - @rjustinb
Longhorns  28-24     Phranchyze -@Phranchyze
Longhorns  34-31     Aaron Motsinger - @AaronMotsinger
Cowboys   33-27     Reid Laymance - @ReidLaymance
Cowboys   41-27     James Moore - @moorethink
Cowboys   35-21     Lee - @LeeLeeLeeLee


Saturday, November 16th - Texas State Bobcats (6-3) @ Arkansas State Red Wolves (5-4)

Bobcats  35-27     Michelle. - @Ma_shelle
Bobcats  58-35     Candace Collins - @Candusss
Bobcats  27-24     Star Sports - @Ustar_Sports
Bobcats  17-14     Jason Riley - @bobcats9498
Bobcats  28-21     Sassy*Ashley - @maximum_diva
Ark. St.  31-23     Landon Coleman - @landoid
Ark. St.  30-24     Christopher Green - @TalentedGreen


Well, the experts definitely won't be going undefeated for the fourth consecutive week as we have disagreement on both games, but who am I to talk?...  ;)  Not it's time to solicit wisdom from the guy who evidently has one eye on football and one eye on basketball right now (really didn't know that Joey was such a hoops guy)...  :)  Live from the Palace Station Sportsbook in Las Vegas, Nevada, here's Joey...



Joey's Parlay Card (Last weekend 2-0/Overall record of 14-6 on Aggies, Bobcats, and Longhorns games)

With the start of college and pro basketball it's a parlay card bettor's dream, but college football is still the best, and this is the greatest time, when teams must win to keep moving on.  Texas escaped West Virginia last week with a thrilling overtime win.  The Longhorns have won 6 in a row, scoring 30 or more in each of those wins.  I think they score 30 on Oklahoma State and keep the winning streak going.  Texas wins 30-24.  Texas State hits the road to Arkansas State.  The Bobcats are 4-1 against the spread as an underdog this year.  Quarterback Tyler Jones has the Bobcat offense operating at its highest level, but I think Arkansas State will be too much. Arkansas State wins 27-24.  New Mexico State gets a week off after an amazing game against Boston College.  The Aggies tied the score at 27, but gave up a special teams TD that cost them the game.  But hand it to the Aggies, they are still fighting.  That's it for this week's card.  May all your tickets be winners.


Joey has an unbeaten streak of his own here recently, but we're not mentioning that since he has the unfair advantage of being a Las Vegas pro...  ;)  And yes, I still miss the Circus Circus Steakhouse EVERY TIME that I see that photo above...  :D  Okay, since I can't stand seeing Alyssa suffer with her head buried in my shoulder after the Texans lose, and since Belle The Cat playing the part of a cow isn't doing my 'Ten Best Bets' any good (and we ALL KNOW that the key to making successful sports picks is having the right photograph leading into your selections), we're going to let Alyssa have her cat back...  Coming to you live from the big metropolis that is Abilene, here's Alyssa...

  

Alyssa's Corner (Last weekend 1-1/Overall record of 13-14 on Texans, Bobcats, and Longhorns games)

Another week has passed by again blog readers.  My life this past week has been pretty mellow. It has been REALLY FREAKING COLD here in Abilene, TX.  I had to pull Belle's sweaters out of my drawers.  My mother had warned me about the West Texas winter when I moved here.  She has been reminding me to go buy a coat ever since I moved here.  I should have listened to her because I have been freezing!  Momma knows best...  My parents did live in West Texas for ten years before moving to Houston.  Also this week, I have had a terrible toothache.  I had to be a big girl and find a dentist that takes my insurance.  Grown up life is exhausting.  Here are my predictions...

Texans vs. Raiders:  24-17 Texans
Bobcats vs. Red Wolves:  28-14 Red Wolves
Longhorns vs. Cowboys:  35-24 Cowboys


First off, I do like how more than once this season, I have learned the name of our new Sun Belt Conference opponent's mascot by reading Alyssa's submission...  RED WOLVES...  :)  Second, aren't Alyssa's words tonight about the most depressing thing that you've ever read?  She didn't seem to be..., well..., Alyssa when I chatted with her on facebook earlier, and come to find out that she's been freezing (which is why I moved to Texas from New Hampshire after high school), AND that she's had a toothache (did you notice where she picked against BOTH the Bobcats and the Longhorns this week?)...  And I'm not saying that she won't get those picks right, but I just want to give my friend a BIG HUG...  Hope that you feel better soon Alyssa...  As I promised, these young ladies are making an encore appearance to introduce my picks this week.  I am so proud of them for raising over $10,000.00 this past weekend for the Make-A-Wish Foundation!  Coming live to you from San Marcos, America, the Chi-O's...






Coach (Last weekend 1-0/Overall record of 12-6 on Bobcats and Longhorns games)

WOW.  These are both tough games this weekend.  Let's start off with the 2:30 p.m. kickoff at DKR.  My first prediction is that this game will be at least four hours long.  Will these teams EVER stop scoring on each other?  Longhorns and Cowboys, Cowboys and Longhorns, up and down the field...  In a defensive battle, I'm taking Texas 44-38.  Now for the 6:30 p.m. kickoff (the game is being televised locally here in Austin, but I'll obviously miss the start after watching the Horns' 4-hour plus game)...  And that's another thing about Joey - he brings those stats with him every week.  The Bobcats have seemed to have done well when they've been the underdogs this year, haven't they?  And Texas State is coming off of a bye week...  :)  I'm taking the Bobcats 23-20.  And wait..., now who is this???  Ah, it's Bikini Hill's official poster girl for 'No Shave November'...



Our friend Carrie has stopped by, and she moustache us a question:  "Coach..., are you EVER going to have a winning week on your 'Ten Best Bets' again?  I'm sorry to do that to you - I USUALLY hate all of the random fake moustache shots that I see on facebook, but I found this photograph from my friend Carrie to be totally endearing...  And as we ALL KNOW from earlier, it's the quality of your introductory photo that determines how well your football picks do (which is GREAT, because evidently I still have less football knowledge than your average coin at this point in time)...


Coach's Ten Best Bets of the Week (Last weekend 4-5-1/Overall record of 53-55-2)

West Virginia (-6 1/2) @ Kansas - Just 6 1/2?  These were UT's last 2 opponents...
Stanford/USC (Under 46) - SHOULD BE a defensive battle...
Ohio State (-32 1/2) @ Illinois - Buckeyes still trying to impress voters and computers...
Vikings/Seahawks (Under 46) - Where do that many points come from?
Saints (-3) vs. 49ers - Saints impressive last week, 49ers not so much...
Raiders/Texans (Over 42) - Lots of throwing again in the Texans' game...
Chargers (+1 1/2) @ Dolphins - Thoroughly unimpressed with Miami Monday night...
Chiefs (+8 1/2) @ Broncos - K.C. 'D' will pressure already hobbled Manning...
Chiefs/Broncos (Under 50) - Chiefs will limit Broncos, and they don't score...
Panthers (+2 1/2) vs. Patriots - Big primetime game for streaking Panthers...


Well, I feel good about this week also (and that got me 4-5-1 last week)...  :P  Have a great football weekend and I'll see you again on Monday!

















Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Way To Go Chi-O!

"We are the world, we are the children, we are the ones who make a brighter day, so let's start giving..." -USA For Africa- (We Are The World)

"A low of 26 tonight and a high of 85 on Saturday.  Oh Texas, you crack me up!" -Liz Massad-

"We can bridge the distance, only we can make a difference, don't you know that tears are not enough..." -USA For Africa- (Tears Are Not Enough)



Good evening folks.  Well, tonight seems a lot like last night honestly.  I sit down prepared to write about a few random topics, and then the material available just spirals out of control...  :)  However, after some facebook messaging tonight, this first topic deserves repeating, and updating, and DEFINITELY some praise.  Below are a few photos from an event that took place over the weekend...








I mentioned the 'Color Me Chi-O 5K Run' here in the blog last night, and I congratulated my friends on raising at least $6,000.00 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  Although having 460 participants and raising that much money is great, it seems that some counting was still going on...  THIS is how much money was actually raised this weekend...





Yes my friends, that's $10,076.00, and that's NOT COUNTING the money that was raised from a profit share that was held after the 5K.  To every Chi Omega at Texas State University, past and present - OUTSTANDING JOB!  And Miss Verissimo, I am EXTREMELY PROUD of you!!! (Verissimo --pictured above left-- might have put a little bit of effort into the planning of this event)...  ;)


Now we'll switch gears from things that really matter to those that are completely frivolous as we look at the weekly update for the standings from my fantasy football league...  I believe that every team in my league that had a winning record won their game this weekend.  As I look at the standings, the teams shown below are the only teams in my league with winning (or even .500) records...


East

Con Juevos (8-2)
Dead Crickets (7-3)
Bikini Hill Bobcats (6-4)


West

Good Dotto (8-2)
Show Me Your TD's (7-3)


My Bobcats STRUGGLED to score points this weekend, but the two spots on my roster that did reach double-digits scored big.  Drew Brees scored 31 points and LeSean McCoy tallied another 18 as the blog's namesake won its second straight game...


Now I want to take the opportunity to again say thanks to those of you who stop by to read this little blog of mine, and to recognize a small (I don't know how big it is) but loyal group of readers who have been following along for quite some time now.  Last December I made a prediction that the blog would reach 75,000 total views by this coming New Year's Day.  That number probably seemed ludicrous at the time, given the fact that the blog only had 19,000 total views to date, in its first 15 months of existence.  However, I had a plan in place to utilize my (til then, rarely used) Twitter account to let more people know about the blog.  I told you before about how quiet San Marcos (where I was living at this time last year) is in-between semesters.  Well, when I had nothing to do during the break last year, I managed to increase my Twitter following from 93 to about 2,000 in a single month.  What I didn't know at the time that I made my prediction was that Twitter actually has limits on the number of people that you can follow, and that your account WILL BE SUSPENDED if you try to follow too many people too often (I was following others in the hope that they would follow me back you see, and then unfollowing those who didn't, before I followed other new people - brilliant, I know)...  :P

Anyway, I told you all of that just to tell you that a similar thing happened to me with my Yahoo! account.  Yahoo! has something called Yahoo! Answers, and when this blog was in its infancy, that site was the source of most of the blog's readers.  In case you have never visited Yahoo! Answers, people basically just ask questions in an open forum, and then anyone who reads them has the opportunity to answer them.  Well, when I would answer the questions (mainly sports-related, go figure...), I would leave the link to this blog, letting the person that posed the question know that they might enjoy my blog (unlikely, I know)...  ;)  I had read the Yahoo! Answers rules before I started doing this, and the rules stated that as long as any links helped in answering questions, they were okay.  While my link did adhere to this (especially in the arena of sketchy football picks), I think that some users complained because I always left my link, and then Yahoo! later decided that since my blog was Google-sponsored and not Yahoo! sponsored..., well...  And that is totally understandable, but that diatribe leads me to this...  Although I haven't answered a question at Yahoo! Answers in WELL OVER A YEAR, I regularly see in my blog stats where people are still visiting this blog by using the old links that are still visible in questions that I answered there.  Y'all that are visiting here from Yahoo! could simply add this site to your list of favorites, or even type the words 'Bikini Hill' into any search engine (thanks to you, my blog always comes up at or near the top of the list of choices when this is done), but however you find your way here, I REALLY DO APPRECIATE the following...  :)  Back to my prediction, it is unlikely that the blog will reach the 75,000 views by January 1st (unless I hire Verissimo and the Chi-O's to help me out), but the number will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 60,000 views (53,551 currently).  By the way, I helped to sabotage this prediction myself when I changed the name of the blog earlier in the year.  Since I started this blog, I've learned that the more views that it receives, the more it pops the search engines and various other sites (www.vampirestat.com is a site that I receive a lot of views from for example), and in turn it receives more traffic, and so on.  Well, changing the blog's name from 'The View From Bikini Hill' to 'Bikini Hill, 6th, & The Strip' put a halt to this "automatic traffic" that the blog was receiving.  I had a feeling that this would happen in the short-term, but in the long run I believe that the blog's current name better reflects the audience (those who like sketchy football picks) that I'm writing for, and that it's just a better title.  Anyway, to those of you who are finding your way here from Yahoo! Answers, and to all of you who continue to stop by, I really do appreciate it, and hopefully you find something here to make your visits worthwhile.

Have a good one and I'll see you again for 'Football Friday...'  ;)

  















Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day Ramble & Poker 1.10

"Now being without you, takes a lot of getting used to, should learn to live with it, but I don't want to..." -Chicago- (Hard Habit To Break)

"Tank (my three year-old son) refers to our microwave as the "corndog machine."  I think it's time to cut back..." -Brandie Kirby Raney-

"Then it finally happens, and it's all come true for you, and the songs are playing, over and over, till you do it all over again..." -Kansas- (Play The Game Tonight)



Good evening everyone.  What started as a simple little blog entry has evolved into quite an undertaking (funny how that happens)...  I hope that all of you have enjoyed this Veterans Day, and my sincere gratitude goes out to everyone who has served this great nation of ours.  I have said several times in my life (especially every time that our military experiences cutbacks) that if you have something valuable and you aren't prepared and willing to fight for it, then you're going to lose it.  God bless the U.S.A....

Could you remind us of what your rambles were like Coach?  I had several topics that I wanted to touch on tonight, and then I started toying with the idea of including a bunch of photos with this entry, and now the Dolphins/Bucs game is probably going to be finished before this post is...  :) When I woke up from my post-work nap, I found this shot waiting for me on facebook...



My friend Vicki included the following caption with it:

Nevyn:  "YES!  I will rule the WORLD!!"
Vicki:  "God help me now..."


And now you understand how things get added to the blog entry...  ;)  Speaking of photos, a little while back I was "advertising" the 'Color Me Chi-O 5K Run' for my friends (again, Chi-Omega is the official sorority of this blog)...  ;)  Last year this event drew over 300 participants, which is a VERY RESPECTABLE NUMBER considering that you're trying to get a bunch of people (largely college students) motivated to do something on a weekend morning.  Well, all of the ballots haven't been officially tallied, but it appears that this year's run had over 460 participants and raised at least $6,000.00 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation - OUTSTANDING JOB LADIES!!!  Here are some snapshots from this year's festivities...



On the right is our favorite homecoming queen nominee Gabby, and on the left is the soon-to-be-famous (Bikini Hill famous - one person might recognize you) Katelynn.  In the center is the Chi Omega mascot, which may soon be replacing the feline shown below as my 'Ten Best Bets' good luck charm.



I went 4-5-1 with Belle at the helm last week, and I'm sure that has EVERYTHING TO DO with Belle and NOTHING TO DO with my ability to forecast football games...  Actually, I'll probably give Belle's photo to Alyssa because I'm sick of having to post that photo of Alyssa's buried in my shoulder after the Texans lose.  Heck, EVEN THE STEELERS have a better record than the Texans do right now!  I feel for you Alyssa...  Okay, so Gabby, Katelynn, and the owl - congratulations, you're my new mascots!  ;)  Back to the pictures, this is what you look like AFTER participating in the color run...



Everyone is wearing paint in this photo, but 'Lil Angelino' has hijacked the owl's spot.  Is every Chi-O that I don't know yet named Katelynn or Katelyn?  :)  And we've got one more shot from this event for you...



The girl on the left is Carolina, who had the wisdom and foresight to share her birthdate with mine (and who also had starring roles in my birthday and homecoming posts), and on the right is the famous VERISSIMO, who played a MAJOR ROLE in the success of this event.  Great job - I'm very proud of you!  ;)

And we mentioned football before...  The funny thing is, other than my dismal 4-5-1 record this weekend on my '10 Best Bets,' I had a great football weekend.  Maybe spurred on by my brother's recent victory, I once again managed to win the Bobcat Nation Sports Bar & Grill weekly football pick 'em contest (3rd time this year).  I think that it was more a matter of missing the least games as opposed to picking the most correctly as there were A TON of upsets over the weekend.  Speaking of upsets, Lightning36 was kind enough to point out that I was the ONLY contestant in Lucki Duck's contest to even pick a winner (the Giants) on Sunday, so I moved up to second place in that contest (the Small Potatoes Poker and Sports Betting link to the right).  Additionally, my fantasy football team won this week (6-4 now - thank you Drew Brees and LeSean McCoy), and EVEN THE STEELERS won this week...  Throw in my Texas pick being right, and it wasn't a bad football weekend.

You also saw that poker was mentioned in tonight's title, and just for you (not because I enjoy playing poker of course), I decided to enter a little tournament so that I would have something to write about.  This was a $1.10 tourney at Bovada (told you it was little) that I found that happened to have to rebuys or add-ons available (which I like).  I also noticed that a similar tourney run earlier on Saturday was completed in less than three hours, which I also liked.  I would imagine that this tourney might be the one that I write about regularly, just because it can be played so quickly.  122 players entered and the top 18 were paid ($28.09 for 1st, $2.56 for 10th-18th).  Each player started with 1,500 in chips and the rounds lasted 12 minutes each, with the blinds starting at 10/20.  Although the entry fee was minimal, this wasn't just a shovefest.  That being said, I was VERY LUCKY to survive as long as I did.  When the chips go in the middle, I am usually ahead in the hand, but on Saturday..., ha ha...  In the 10/20 round when I had just over 1,300 in chips remaining, I raised A K off to 59, and saw a re-raise behind me to 327, with callers, so I proceeded to SHOVE my remaining stack.  WELL, I had two callers, and they held Q Q (original re-raiser) and A Q.  The board was laid out, and the river was a KING - PHEW...  Then, in the 40/80 round, I got in cheap with K J (hearts).  Nothing happened on the 2-heart, 2 4 5 flop, but when a K came on the turn, I shoved and was promptly called by (wait for it)..., A 3.  Yeah..., my opponent flopped the nut straight, so my kings are meaningless, and I need a BAM!!!, a heart comes on the river!!!  WOW...  I'm usually ahead, and I usually don't catch if I'm not.  So now I'm the CHIP LEADER with about 6,600 in chips, at which point I go pretty much completely card dead..., FOREVER...  I made a VERY UNCOACHLIKE move with about 2,700 left in the chips in the 300/600 round, 60 ante when I CALLED an all-in with..., SIXES...  I can see shoving with them, but this guy had shoved a couple of times already, and...  Well, anyway, he has Q Q when the cards are flipped, and that's the tournament for Coach, 16th place and a $2.56 cash.  Not great, not awful, but I'm not proud of the way that it ended for me.  Again, I'm going to try to do a weekly poker post, and whichever tourney I'm involved in, I'll include it in the title of my entry much like I did tonight (if you're here just for the poker, in which case you've been EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED for a while now, much like my other readers)...  ;)

Have a good one and I'll see you again on Wednesday!
    



















Thursday, November 7, 2013

Week 11 Football Picks/13-14

"Spent 10% of my time this morning on actual work and the other 90% on how I can get Ohio State into the national championship game. #priorities" -Gabby Kraynik-



Hello again everyone.  I just decided to use that quote above on the spur of the moment as Stanford threatens to go up 21-0 on Oregon right before halftime.  Baylor is up 31-12 on Oklahoma at the moment as the 3rd quarter nears a close in Waco, but the Cardinal is doing their part to make Gabby's dream come true.  Well, my laziness in recruiting celebrity experts recently has resulted in a smaller number of score prognosticators, but the experts that have signed on over the past couple of weeks have gone undefeated.  Last week's group went 9-0 as the Bobcats beat the Vandals 37-21, while the Longhorns defeated the Jayhawks 35-13.  Maegan Martin had the close pick on the Texas State game as she called it 35-20 in the Cats' favor, while Jim Sweatervest had that honor in the Horns' game, picking UT to win 35-7.  Also of note, our resident expert Alyssa had the Longhorns winning 35-17 (don't ask me how she does it)...  'Coach's Hall of Fame' (the reward for a perfect score) is still empty, but several people have knocked on the door this year.  I picked the exact score for Kansas last week (so mine and Alyssa's scores PUT TOGETHER would have been right - :P), and Joey picked the exact score for Louisiana-Lafayette, but we'll keep trying to get the scores for BOTH TEAMS in the same game correct...  The Bobcats became bowl-eligible last week with their sixth win of the season, so we'll give them the week off, but the Longhorns will be in action on Saturday as they travel to Morgantown to take on the Mountaineers of West Virginia.  Without any further ado, I give you our celebrity experts...


Celebrity Experts (Last weekend 9-0/Overall record of 87-61 on Bobcats and Longhorns games)

Saturday, November 9th - Texas Longhorns (6-2) @ West Virginia Mountaineers (4-5)

Texas  35-14     Tyler \m/ - @tylerhscott
Texas  34-21     William Anastassiou - @WAnastassiou
Texas  34-17     Andrew Garza - @andrew_garza10
Texas  34-21     J.B. Texas-Ex - @JBTexasEx
Texas  24-17     Marian - @TexasSportsGirl
Texas  27-21     Desperado - @orlandobrrr
Texas  33-20     Russell - @atxpkrgolf
Texas  27-7      Joe Garcia - @PatchesGarcia


Last night I solicited picks on Twitter from 15 people who had given me scores earlier in the season (in the hopes of getting 10 if I could), and these 8 fine people answered the call (or the 'tweet,' if you will)...  I hope that our experts go undefeated for the third week in a row...  ;)  Now for the man from Las Vegas who always has a big steak on his plate, coming live to you from the Palace Station Sportsbook, here's Joey...



Joey's Parlay Card (Last weekend 3-0/Overall record of 12-6 on Aggies, Bobcats, and Longhorns games)

Wow, how the week flies by when you're having fun in Las Vegas.  College and pro basketball has started, but I'll stick to my specialty, college football.  My alma mater gets a special game against Boston College in Las Cruces.  I don't think it will help much that the Aggies are last in every statistical category.  B.C. rolls 49-7.  Texas makes their first trip to Morgantown where they take on West Virginia.  The Mountaineers had a lead into the 4th quarter against Texas Tech but came up short.  The same thing happens this week as the Longhorns eeek out a late 21-19 victory. Finally, the Bobcats are on a roll, the offense is really starting to gel, and the defense looks really good.  Three straight wins and a 6-3 record gets them a well-deserved week off.  Til next week, may all your parlay cards cash...


Ha ha.  After I got home from work today, I heard some of the "talking heads" on ESPN stating that Baylor would not beat Oklahoma tonight because the Bears have only beat the Sooners once in their history.  Right now it's Baylor 41  Oklahoma 12 with 9:03 remaining - nice logic...  :)  At the time I wanted to ask how that train of thought worked out for the Sooners against the Longhorns earlier this season...  ANYWAY, here's the photo that I have to post again to introduce our favorite Texans' fan...  Here's Alyssa...

  

Alyssa's Corner (Last weekend 2-1/Overall record of 12-13 on Texans, Bobcats, and Longhorns games)

It's that time of the week again!  Alyssa's Corner!  Well blog readers...I'm sure you guessed that I'm a bit bummed out that my Texans lost this past Sunday.  It was a good game though and Case did a good job as quarterback!  Now for our kicker...I hate to say this, but I am loyal to him.  He went to my high school!  At the game this past weekend, my mom, boyfriend, and I had suite tickets.  It was so awesome, free food and awesome seats!  This past weekend was the big weekend where my boyfriend met my mom...let's just say he passed the mom test with flying colors.  I loved going back to Houston for a long weekend; I've missed those city lights.  Now for my predictions...

Texans vs. Cardinals:  24-21 Texans
Longhorns vs. Mountaineers:  31-21 Longhorns


Well, Alyssa didn't send along any photos of food this week, so it's time to put the precious photo of her beloved Belle up here again and see if I can't improve upon my 5-5 record on my '10 Best Bets' for last week.  Maybe Belle is just a Bobcats and Longhorns feline, as I did go 2-0 on that pair of games...  Well, it's my turn, so here's our mascot, the "Belle Cow" if you will (bell cow..., get it? - I'm SO CLEVER)...  ;)



Coach (Last weekend 2-0/Overall record of 11-6 on Bobcats and Longhorns games)

So, last weekend I told you ALL ABOUT the weather forecast in Moscow, Idaho (before proceeding to tell you about how I took the 'Under 50' on the game, and giving you my score prediction).  Little did I know that the Idaho Vandals play in A DOME - yeah...  In a completely unrelated story, I fired all of my statisticians...  ;)  Okay, now onto this week's Longhorns/Mountaineers matchup.  The following is a quote from Marian, who submitted her score prediction in the experts' section above via Twitter:  "Going to be a tough game and if UT isn't careful they could lose..."  I think that West Virginia is one of the toughest teams in the country to peg this year.  What I'll never forget about this season was how they lost 37-0 at Maryland, and then followed that up the next week with a 30-21 win at home against then undefeated and 11th-ranked Oklahoma State.  What makes this game scary is that it's in Morgantown, and you know that it's going to cool outside because it's a night game (7:00 p.m. EST kickoff).  I'm going with the Longhorns, but I'm not expecting a blowout by any means...  I'm picking Texas 27-23.


"So Coach, you haven't done as well on your college picks against the spread this season as you have on the NFL, and I see that you have EIGHT NFL bets listed this weekend" - no coincidence my friends...  ;)


Coach's Ten Best Bets of the Week (Last weekend 5-5/Overall record of 49-50-1)

LSU/Alabama (Under 55) - Defense usually tends to be the theme in this matchup...
Utah State (-13 1/2) @ UNLV - Utah State = My old reliable...
Colts (-9 1/2) vs. Rams - Indy back at home facing a struggling Rams squad...
49ers (-6) vs. Panthers - Fresh Frisco off the bye week should cover a T.D...
Lions/Bears (Under 52 1/2) - C'mon weather, help a brother out...
Seahawks (-6) @ Falcons - Seattle should show up in the first quarter this week...
Eagles (+1 1/2) @ Packers - Pack didn't seem to have much confidence in Wallace Monday...
Giants (-7) vs. Raiders - Rested Giants/Crushed, warm weather, long journey Raiders...
Texans/Cardinals (Over 41) - Expecting a lot of passing in this one...
Cowboys (+7) @ Saints - Dallas has lost by more than 7 (San Diego - 9) only once this year...


And that's it folks.  I hate to jinx it, but I actually feel good about my best bets this week - we'll see...  Have a great football weekend and I'll see you again on Monday!