Posts Tagged ‘Soldier Field’

Laces out!

College football opening week normally is set with boring match ups between powerhouse schools and Division 2/NAIA cup cakes.  Most teams are looking for those easy wins to get their team off to a nice start all the while hoping to find some consistency in their teams starters.  2012 brought us a few interesting match ups but mostly it was much of the same boring crap.  If you woke up early enough you might have caught Notre Dame making a joke out of Navy.  Or maybe you decided you’d wait to catch the most hated program Penn State taking on the mighty University of Ohio.  Sadly that’s what a tuned into, I thought Bill O’Brien did a great job preparing the kids from Penn State only to fall flat on their faces in the second half.  I’m sure most of the nation was happy about this, I know I didn’t mind it, but really at this point I hold no ill will to this new administration or the players who decided to stick it out.

If you were smart you would have started with the Northwestern/Syracuse game.  Not because either of these teams are in the upper echelon of college football, but they put on a great show.  Syracuse did a great job of battling back only to watch a second string QB come in and save the day.  Speaking of which, what an odd coaching decision by Pat Fitzgerald.  Who brings in a back up to lead the team to victory?  Talk about taking a huge risk!

At this point you were left with watching a few ranked teams that should (key word here is should) take care of their opponents with much ease.  That however was not the case for both Wisconsin and Florida.  Both would eventually win their first games but neither looked very good in doing so.  I decided to take in the Iowa/Northern Illinois game.  Yes, that same Husky team who owned the longest winning streak in the nation.  I was surprised at how Northern took it to Iowa, but after playing 3 ½ quarters of football they gave way to the Big 10 conference.  The bigger story in this game might have been the turf at Soldier Field.  Sounds as if the city of Chicago may need to invested in an artificial turf of some sorts.  Sad to think that the legendary Soldier Field, in all its upgrade glory, forgot to worry about the most important part of the stadium, the field.  Paging the Sod Father!!

The rest of the day was largely uneventful with most teams doing exactly what they should do.  So I waited for the big time matchup between Michigan and Alabama.  This was the game that had bowl implications resting on both teams.  After watching the first quarter you could totally tell that Michigan was well overmatched.  Alabama on the other hand is a team to be reckoned with and should be odds on favorite to win the SEC this year.

Best Performances:

Le’Veon Bell MSU:  Maybe the best game of the week was between Michigan State and Boise State.  Michigan State had to really battle for this opening day victory and who better to lead the way then Bell.   Bell shouldered the load by touching the ball 50 times (44 rushing attempts) racking up 210 rushing yards and 2 rushing TD’s.  Maybe Montee Bell will have a little competition in the Big 10 this year.

Austin Franklin WR NMST:  This will most likely be the only time you will see me mention New Mexico State.  Franklin had one of the best games in the past week hauling in 8 catches while totaling 236 yards and 2 touchdowns.  What’s most surprising is that last year the sophomore had a total of 524 yards.  Talk about having a career day.  I’ll keep an eye on this kid, but when you’re playing Sacramento State I’d hope you’d have a chance to run up the score.

Gino Smith QB West Virginia:  Nobody should be really shocked that senior Gino Smith put up good numbers against Marshall.  Throwing for 323 yards while completing an impressive 32 for 36 should be something to pay attention to.  Smith last year finished 4th in total yards last year and I would not be surprised if he challenges for the top spot this year.

Bjoern Werner DE FSU:  Picking up 4 sacks against anyone is pretty special.  Sure Murray State is not Alabama, but you can only play who’s on your schedule.  We may never hear another thing about the German Werner, but he still should be proud of getting to the QB as many times as he did.

What to watch for this week:

 #24 Florida vs. Texas A&M:  Texas A&M comes into the 2012 season with a lot of question marks.  New coach, new conference and a freshman quarterback trying to lead the way.  Florida came off a win against Bowling Green which was not really impressive.  The Gators had to work for their season opening victory, coming up with two touchdowns in the 4th quarter to hold off a feisty MAC team.  Florida should win the game, but if A&M can keep Johnny Manziel he will have many senior targets to throw to.  Manziel threw for over 3500 yards and 44 td’s his senior year at Tivy Antlers in Texas.

Vanderbilt vs. Northwestern:  It’s kind of a boring week of college football matchups when I put up a game between these two teams.  I’m trying to get excited for an Illinois team and I guess this will be the one I focus on for a while.  Vanderbilt comes in to Ryan Field after losing 17-13 to a very talented South Carolina team.  Northwestern, as mentioned earlier, just survived against a poor Syracuse team.  Vegas has Vanderbilt favored by 3.5 points, but don’t count the Wildcats out.  Fitzgerald clearly has a good read on his team and will have them ready for their home opener.

In other news:

– Savannah State  might not care about taking a 84-0 drubbing by Oklahoma State last week.  The Tigers will take away a hefty 385 thousand dollar check.  But what does this say to the student-athletes?  Sure you made some easy money, but nothing can make a team feel much worse than knowing they were whored out for money.

– Who is Sam Durley?  I know I asked myself that same question.  The Senior quarterback for Eureka College in Illinois broke the single game passing record last week.  Durley threw for 736 yards while leading the Red Devils in a come from behind 62-55 finish.  Durley is not new to holding records as he holds his high school record for passing yards with 375 passing yards, but this one has a little more meaning to it.

Gambling notes:

Last week 1-0-1    Season 1-0-1

This week

If I were you I’d save my money this week, most of the spreads are not worth staking your hard earn money on.  But knowing myself I’ll probably wait till half time on a few of these games.  So if you’re following my bets check out my twitter feed as I’ll post some of my plays there.

aw@99sportsproblems.com   twitter: spike1057

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Snow : precipitation in the form of small white ice crystals formed directly from the water vapor of the air at a temperature of less than 32°F (0°C) – Merriam-Webster.

Snow last year.

It comes every year, sometimes sooner and sometimes later, but every year many denizens of this city react to a “minor” snowfall as if they’ve just found out Vader was Luke’s father. Mom drops a pan of casserole on the kitchen floor, dad almost chokes on his beer, sister decides to make the weekend out of it with her boyfriend, a car screeches to a halt in the middle of traffic in the distance and a fairy falls dead when they all hear the news about the inches of snow that are scheduled to fall down on the city.

“Six to eight inches!? Holly fuck! What will we do?” someone will say. What indeed? Ya know, six to eight inches is not that impressive. In fact it’s about average. Just ask any woman about six inches and see what they have to say about that. Shit, ask a man if that’s your thing. Or if you’re brave enough, ask a black guy.

Man, that ain't shit.

Me, I don’t deal with the Chicago winter the way some people do out there. I don’t get frightened. I don’t panic. I don’t make it ruin my day. I listen to the news and I accept the fact that snow will fall and then I go on about my day.

Sure, I participate in the whole ordeal like I’ve done every winter. I’m careful on the road, I take it slow and easy and I do not hurry. I obey the rules of the road, I give the other drivers the benefit of the doubt, and certainly, I do not make hasty decisions. I let it be and I let the usual winter mode of driving carry me home safely.

However, I always hope that that ONE prick driver, be it male or female, who is doing 35 miles per hour or more next to me in the snowstorm finds a ditch somewhere soon just because they are proud that they have an all-wheel drive.

And they usually do find a ditch or a problem of some kind a few streets down the road. You slowly get to the stop light that they were rushing to and you find the same car spun out of control with the emergency lights on and the driver outside in the snow is talking on the phone. I’d like to be the witness to that conversation.

“What happened?”

“I was doing 40 miles per hour and then my car slid and I hit this fire hydrant.”

“In the snowstorm?”

“Yeah.”

“Why were you driving so fast and rushing in the snowstorm? Didn’t you listen to the news?”

“I wanted to selfishly skip ahead in front of ALL of these people who were essentially feeling the same way I was, except that they didn’t act on it like I did. Plus the ‘Bachelor’ was on at 7 p.m. I can’t miss the ‘Bachelor.’”

Here’s what you do in a snowstorm.

After you brush off the snow, warm up your car and get near the vicinity of your home, find a liquor store, stop there and buy what you need for the night. When I was a teenager I would make stupid decisions during a snowstorm. I always wanted to drive somewhere with my friend, like an idiot, to make money shoveling other people’s driveways. Yeah that was the 1990s.  You could make some cool money back then working your ass off in the worst weather.

And you know what we replaced those poor door-to-door kids with shovels with? Those industrial snow throwing machines that always come out when one inch of snow falls on the ground and some dude wants to get the most bang out of it because he paid $500 for it 10 years ago. He needs to fucking use it. And you see those guys out there and they will do the whole block if they have to. “Just being a good neighbor.” “Don’t worry Sam, I got it.” Granted, this year’s storm is nothing compared to last year because those throwers were really useful. But still. “I had some gas left in it and I thought I would use it.”

So find your liquor store, dig out that parking spot and shut the door. Things will all be better in the morning.

Here’s what you should be drinking during a snowstorm, but feel free to improvise. Who am I to tell you what to drink?

  1. Not Beer. I know that some men entertain some fantasy that colder is better and that the Coors Light Silver Bullet train rolls into town when there is a snowstorm, but it doesn’t. In fact, getting a buzz of beer during a snowstorm is like getting a hand job during an orgy where EVERYBODY is fucking except you.
  2. Alright, you can’t let the beer thing go and I get it. So try what the Germans do. Warm up some brew in a pot to desired warmth, put some sugar in it and enjoy. It tastes wonderful. It’s great for colds too. But yeah, warm beer is un-American so forget I mentioned it.
  3. Not hot chocolate. This is Chicago, A Drinking Town with a Sports Problem. And in some instances drinking is a sport. So put your tampons away.
  4. Brandy. Some people can’t handle it, some don’t like the taste of it or some have nightmare experiences after it. I like to look at it like Samuel Johnson did. “Claret is the liquor for boys; port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy.” Also, it warms you up. What do you think those giant St. Bernard dogs have in those barrels around their collar in the cold countries? (For the record, I’m skeptical if actual St. Bernard rescue dogs ever carried barrels of brandy to warm up skiers who were dug up in the snow, but let’s just live in the fantasy that they do or did.) And it’s cheap. Christian Brothers can’t run you more than $12 if you get lucky.
  5. Not rum. I don’t care how much you mix it to make it look like a naval officer’s drink, it shouldn’t be done during a Chicago snowstorm. Rum can be used during a Chicago heat wave if you want to feel like a true pirate who is sailing the high seas, but we’re not there yet skipper.
  6. Definitely not Everclear. I know the Bears didn’t make the post-season and there is no opportunity to paint your chest with a giant “C” on it and go howling in the wind in sub-zero temperatures at Soldier Field, but it just shouldn’t be done. Listen if you have succumbed to drinking grain alcohol, then you don’t have a sports problem, or even a drinking problem. You have a death wish. Go get help. As Mr. Raul Parra of Omegawatt Studios said on here, “Quit drinking like you’re 18.”
  7. Bourbon. Bourbon is good for any occasion. It makes and destroys lives. So it doesn’t really fucking matter when you drink it. Drink it if you want to. Preferably on ice or in shots. And lots of it.
  8. No gin. Ever. Not for me anyway. But yeah, I had some bad experiences with gin. But if you didn’t, then go for it. Gin and tonics are great when done right. Hospital trips if done wrong.
  9. Wine. Wine can be good if you live with a woman and you just got done shoveling the snow and are about to enjoy a nice dinner with the wifey or girlie. Then you can cuddle by the fire or a warm space heater, watch some romantic comedy, stare into each other’s eyes and watch the snow fall, open another bottle of fine wine or two and talk about what you will name your kids one day. I guess that’s okay. Don’t drink a jug of Carlo Rossi Sangria by yourself. You will wake up stupid and won’t be able to read. If you’ve gotten to the point in your sport drinking career that you are drinking MD 20/20 out of the bottle then you’re probably not reading this because you are homeless. And none of this shit about “what a great wine” or “great value” it is. That’s just bullshit.
  10. Scotch. Drink as much as you want. Scotch can be replaced with tequila because tequila is fucking awesome. Drink as much as you want.

Well we’ve come to the end of the list. And I know what you will say. “Hey listen jerk off, I like drinking beer in the winter and fuck you and your list. What are you drinking you faggot?”

Vodka. Ice cold vodka. Shots and many of them. Many Europeans drink this instead of water, I know. But vodka is the perfect drink sometimes when you have a giant driveway to shovel and you don’t have those fancy snow blowers or throwers and your neighbor is a dick and won’t let you borrow it for a bit. Even after you offered to pay him $10. Okay $5. The economy is tough.

Vodka is a winter’s drink. It comes from Europe. Many theories have been floated around as to who actually invented it. Was it the Russians, or the Poles or the Swedes, or some people in Finland? But where ever its true origin is, you know it has been made with winter in mind. How do you think the fucking Russians outlasted the Germans during WWII? Vodka. My dad actually told me that they would feed the Russian soldiers a few shots of the stuff before going into battle. The Polaks swear by it. It kills germs in your body.

In Chicago, the snobs will tell you to drink the most expensive shit which I won’t name here. But what I will name is a good Polish vodka that has been making the rounds in the United States. Bruce Willis is the face behind the vodka when it comes to marketing. But fuck Bruce Willis. He might be a face to sell the product, but guess what, the price sells itself. Sobieski Vodka is $9.99 for 750 ml. and $15 for a liter. If you see other prices you are getting fucked there. And it’s good. Svedka Vodka used to be $9.99 but they got too big and decided to charge $12.99. Get your hands on Sobieski before even those Poles raise their prices. Word from the grape-vine is that things will be changing in March with Sobieski so stock up while the prices are low. Some changes in the company are coming.

I am the face of Sobieski Vodka

But I raise my shot glass to all Chicagoans who don’t bitch about the snow falling, to the ones who get through it like they do every year with their balls in their hands and the shovels in their teeth, and to those who are proud that winter doesn’t mean shit to us. It’s Chicago. This is what it is. That’s the main reason most of those California fucks don’t live here “because the winters are so bad.” Good. Fuck ‘em.

And Fuck Bruce Willis too. (I don’t even know why I say that, I like Bruce Willis.)

"Whatchu talking about Willis?"

Listen I don’t care what your drink is. You know what your drink is. I don’t care how you drive in the snow. You know how you drive in the snow. I just want to get home in one piece, shovel the fucking parking spot and drink my drink in peace and watch the Wheel of Fortune. Maybe a Bulls game. It’s just snow.

If you got a better list, feel free to share.