How Not To Be A Douchebag While Rooting For Your Team 101

We’ve seen them, we know they exist, and you know exactly who I’m talking about. I’m talking about ‘that fan’. Yeah, that one. He’ll no sooner talk smack to anyone within hearing distance as he will get pissed if you do the same when his team is down. No one likes this guy. He has no friends. None.

We, as fans, have rules by which we follow when watching sports. At least the decent, intelligent ones among us do. For the most part, all that is really needed is some common sense and genuine decency. Sounds easy, right? Not so much for some fans out there. For that faction of fandom, obnoxious behavior is the modus operandi to self imposed superiority. That athlete on tv, the one who has put the work in for 2 decades, scores a touchdown, hits a HR, etc, and suddenly manual laboring Larry is the king of the sports world. And you better not tell him any different either. As soon as he finishes his 13th beer, well, you’re in for it.

From what I’ve seen, football fans seem to exemplify this behavior more than any other sport. Not that other sports are immune to it, mind you, it’s just more prevalent in football circles. All it takes to set them off, more often than not, is a ‘bad call’ by ‘stupid refs’. That’s enough to turn a factory worker into the next combatant in his imagined cage match with whomever looks at him wrong at the bar. It’s enough to send a posse of Brads and Chads into a frenzy, giving them faux confidence to take on the entire remaining people in the room. Next thing you know, salmon colored shorts and fedoras are flying around with such abandon that no one seems to care about the game anymore. It often makes me wonder where their true passion lies.

I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t be that guy. It’s a game. Don’t act like you’re the one on the field. You’re in a bar, or at home, or maybe even at work. You didn’t put the work in; the guys on the field did. Chill out. Your team won’t win every game, so just sit back and enjoy it. If someone has money on the game, it gets even worse. Spend a weekend in a Vegas sportsbook if you want to see it first hand. Those guys are on a different level. Hell, they’re a different breed.

That brings us to the online tough guy. Most of us have interacted with that guy on social media. He’s a mess, in every sense of the word. I believe, at some point, I’ve seen the sentence “_______ fans are the worst”, in which every team in all 4 major sports can fill that blank. Every team has ‘those fans’, trust me. When things don’t go this guy’s way, he turns into a keyboard warrior. He’s tough, as he hides behind his keyboard spitting insults to anyone who disagrees with him. I’ve seen some even tweet their own height and weight, as if that would deter anyone from ever disagreeing with him again. Think again, pal.

So yeah, don’t be that guy. If you’re ever around this type of person, please send the video clips my way. They never get old. I’ll gladly re-post them in order to get these folks the attention they so desperately crave. In the meantime, just enjoy the games. And don’t be ‘that guy’.

Hollywood Casino In Indiana Is Off To A Good Start

The state of Indiana went live with sports betting this past Sunday, with one of the casinos being a short 20 minute drive away for me. So of course, I went today. I was impressed with what I saw and enjoyed myself for the few hours I was there. The true test will be how they handle their first full weekend of football in a few days.

The first thing I noticed was that there was plenty of free parking. A 5 level parking garage with an elevator to take you right onto the casino floor is a great first impression. Walking in, I saw that the place was very clean and well kept. I made my way to Hops House 99, which houses the sportsbook, to check out the games and lines for the day. There were ample TVs, 20 total, to watch the games and the book had a few windows to take bets. There are also 2 betting kiosks in the bar area for those opting to bet that way. 8 more kiosks are in the casino, giving bettors 24 hour access to place their bets. This is a big plus for me, as one of the reason I love South Point in Las Vegas is the 24 hour sportsbook.

If you’re planning on staying for an extended period, Hollywood boasts several dining options as well. We chose The Eatery for lunch today. Very good food at a reasonable price. They also have Hollywood & Grind (coffee shop), the HBar, Epic Buffet, and Final Cut Steakhouse. Eventually, I’ll try each of these too. The surrounding area has a plethora of fast food and the ever present Waffle House that we have all come to know and love in the Midwest. So your smothered and covered nirvana is never too far away.

In all, Indiana seems to be off to a good start, at least in Lawrenceburg. I’ll be back Saturday morning to get my weekend football bets in. With legalized gambling slowly becoming more attainable, it’s really nice to have one so close. Because, let’s face it, as long as Matt Bevin is Kentucky’s governor, we’ll continue to stay in the 1950s here.

So if you’re in the Cincinnati area, make the drive to Hollywood Casino. It’s definitely worth the trip. Spend the day, place some bets, and enjoy a couple good meals. And as always, gamble responsibly.

NCAAF Week 1 is in the Books…….Almost

Ok, so we still have 2 games left. One today and one tomorrow. For the most part though, Week 1 is done. And did it ever give us some excitement and surprises. New coaches, new QBs, new outlooks; Week 1 had it all. The top teams did what top teams do; they won convincingly. Other teams, not so much. I’m going to run through some games that stood out to me. I’ll bounce around a bit because, well, I’m at work. But stay with me and enjoy the review.

We’ll start with the top teams and how they fared. Bama rolled, Clemson rolled, Ohio State rolled, Georgia rolled, LSU rolled. Do you sense a theme here? Justin Fields introduced himself to Columbus with a 5 TD day. I think he’ll fit in just fine up there. LSU’s Joe Burrows had 5 TDs of his own. LSU with a valid passing game should scare the bejeezus out of the rest of the SEC. They haven’t had that since………..JaMarcus Russell. See? They’re starved for it in the bayou.

Wisconsin, behind Jonathan Taylor’s epic day, won easily as well. 183 total yards and 4 TDs placed him at the head of the field very early in the season in regards to postseason awards. Michigan looked sloppy en route to a 40-21 win over Middle Tennessee. I’m still not sold on Harbaugh, Patterson, or the entire program yet. It’s year 5 of the Harbaugh era, time to, you know, or get off the pot. Washington manhandled Eastern Washington behind transfer QB Jacob Eason’s 349 yards and 4 TDs.

We had some exciting games yesterday as well. Auburn’s Bo Nix found Seth Williams in the end zone with 9 seconds left to shock Oregon 27-21. Florida State was rolling right along in the first half. I had even tweeted out that they looked like a cohesive unit for the first time in a few years. Unfortunately, football games are comprised of 2 halves. Boise came out, made adjustments, and took it to the Seminoles in the 2nd half, winning by a score of 36-31. Nevada beat Purdue on a last second 56 yard FG by freshman walk-on kicker Brandon Talton. Afterwards he was given the game ball and a scholarship. Go find that video, but grab tissues first.

Boston College showed that they are for real. They have emerged over the last 2 seasons, but removed all doubt yesterday when they beat Virginia Tech 35-28. Oklahoma State, behind Chuba Hubbard’s 221 yards and 3 TDs, beat Oregon State 52-36. The Pokes need to find some semblance of defense at some point though. You can’t keep hoping to get the ball last in order to secure victory.

The mighty SEC took a few hits yesterday. I’m not an SEC basher, I’m just putting truths out there. The Gamecocks, an 11 point favorite, lost to North Carolina 24-20. Missouri, in Kelly Bryant’s debut, lost to Wyoming (not kidding) 37-31. That brings us to Tennessee. Wow. I spent all last week in Tennessee on vacation. My yearly hiking trip is one I look forward to each year down there. Beautiful state, and boy do they love their Vols. A home opener against Georgia State seemed like a recipe for success, a great way to start the season. On paper. On the field, not so much. Despite a late surge, the Vols fell 38-30. Ouch, that one will be felt for some time.

Oh yeah, and St Francis’ punter got murdered on the field. Clean hit, but murdered. If you’re a true football fan, you loved that hit. I mean, pray for the dude, but holy hell, that was a beautiful hit. It reminded me of Clowney’s hit against Michigan in the bowl game a few years ago. But more brutal. I still cringe watching it. Yeah, it was that glorious.

2 games left to wrap the week up, so let’s hope they’re good ones as well. Then we’ll start preparing for Week 2 while looking forward to NFL Week 1. Isn’t his the best time of the year? Enjoy the games, gamble responsibly.

Thursday NCAAF Matchups

We have quite a few college football games happening tomorrow evening. This makes me smile. Not exactly marquee matchups, but football is really back, guys. Reigning National Champions, the Clemson Tigers, will be starting their season tomorrow. We’ll see how hungry they are after that dismantling of Alabama in the championship game. Let’s take a look at a few of these games.

UCLA @ Cincinnati: UC -3, O/U 58.

Last year was the first meeting between these 2 schools, with UC coming out on top 26-17. The Bruins are coming off of a dismal season, but are returning most of their starters. Dorian Thompson-Robinson will look to spread the field with both his arm and his legs. RB Joshua Kelley is listed as probable, but should get ample carries. UCLA is deep at RB, so fresh legs should be readily available. The Bearcats’ Desmond Ridder is a dual threat QB that will keep the Bruins defense honest all game. RB Michael Warren burst on to the scene last year and will look to continue his success this season. Projected as a close game, but I feel Cincinnati pulls away in the 4th quarter.

Georgia Tech @ Clemson: Clemson -37, O/U 60. Georgia Tech leads the all-time series 50-31, but Clemson is on a 4 game winning streak.

Vegas obviously feels that Clemson will continue to roll right out of the gate this season. I can’t say I disagree either. All the major pieces on offense are back, but they have some holes to fill on defense. That shouldn’t be a problem for the Tigers though. Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne will lead this offense and should contend for a championship once again. Georgia Tech is coming off of a very average season. In addition, they lost a lot of starters. This game could very well get ugly pretty fast. Lay the points. I think the Yellow Jackets struggle from the first snap.

Utah @ BYU: Utah -6, O/U 48.5. Utah leads the all-time series 58-31 and is currently on an 8 game winning streak.

This promises to be one of the better games of the day. Tyler Huntley and Zack Moss both return to lead the Utes on offense. Huntley will also have all of his leading receivers from last season. This team should be in sync from the get go. For BYU, Zach Wilson will be back under center with his main targets returning as well. The Cougars had a RB by committee last season, but this year they look to South Carolina transfer Ty’Son Williams to take over the RB duties. This game could very well come down to a turnover or ST play to swing the bet. I’d lean toward BYU, if only because they’re at home.

Just over 24 hours until it all starts up again. I’ve got my fantasy lineup in place (mostly) and I’m ready to go. Joshua Kelley is my one question mark. I need more confidence that he will get his carries. Good luck on your bets, your leagues, and your team’s success. As always, gamble responsibly.

 

Luckless in Indianapolis

The retirement that shook the sporting world happened last night when Andrew Luck suddenly announced his retirement from the National Football League. At 29 years of age, Luck decided enough was enough. The injuries and rehab stints had worn his body down, so he decided to step away. Twitter ran the gamut of emotions from fans, fantasy owners, players, and former players. In the end, this was Andrew’s decision.

The announcement hit the news and social media in the middle of the Colts game last night. Obviously, like everything else these days, news traveled extremely fast. When the Colts were leaving the field, Andrew Luck got booed by quite a few Colts fans. Now, I understand the initial reaction, I understand the shock and maybe even a little anger with this happening so close to Week 1. I don’t think booing him was the smart thing to do. He came to Indianapolis to fill the shoes of a legend; one of the greatest to ever play the game. And he did so quite admirably.

The fact that players and former players took his side on his decision speaks volumes in and of itself. They get it, they have played the game. I highly doubt that Andrew Luck is concerned with the opinions of a factory worker sitting on his couch, drinking a beer, eating flaming hot Cheetos, while criticizing his lack of heart. That same guy would likely call in  to work with a headache after a weekend bender, much less sustaining injuries that could adversely affect his life down the road. Andrew Luck owes none of us anything. He doesn’t care that you drafted him 3 hours before this announcement.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Luck play in his short time in the NFL. He will go down as one of the greatest ‘what ifs’ in the history of sports. He’ll be mentioned in the same conversations as Bo Jackson, Tony Conigliaro, and several others. We should be thankful that we got to see these guys play at all, even if the career was shortened. Regardless, it’s still a tough pill to swallow for Colts fans this morning. Jacoby Brissett is a very talented QB, so give him a chance. And before you say that he won’t take you to the Super Bowl, no one thought Kurt Warner would either. He was cut by a few teams until he was thrown into the starting role for the Rams, all due to an injury to Trent Green. Lighten up, enjoy the game.

A lot of blame has already been placed upon the Colts front office for not protecting Luck via the draft. They have all but ignored the offensive line, leaving Luck vulnerable to taking a pounding year in and year out. Is that a fair judgement? It’s not for me to say. However, I’ve often wondered over the last few years why they didn’t address that obvious flaw in their team. But I’m just a guy with a blog who is not entirely opposed to sitting on his couch drinking beer and eating flaming hot Cheetos.

In happier news, college football started yesterday. It was glorious, oh so glorious. Both games were great to watch. I love that Florida and Miami started the season by playing each other. I’m not a fan of cake schedules to start the season. I understand it, just not a fan. This was a ballsy move by both schools and I hope to see more of it in the future. The NFL season is 2 weeks away. Let’s keep the positives at the forefront and keep in mind that things quite often happen that are beyond our control. I wish nothing but the best for Andrew Luck. I hope Colts fans come to their senses and appreciate what he gave us rather than judge him for his decision.

A Mercy Rule in Baseball?

Aaron Boone made a statement this weekend regarding the implementation of a mercy rule in baseball. My first reaction was that Aaron Boone has been hitting the bottle a little too hard. Baseball is not a timed game. Its beauty, in part, lies in the fact that you can always come back, no matter how large the deficit. The more I thought about it though, it started to make sense, but with parameters.

I don’t think, under any circumstances, that it should be mandated like it is in the Little League World Series. I feel it should be up to the discretion of the team that is getting mauled 18-1 in the 7th inning. Still, even if that were the case, I doubt we would see it that often. Look how many 10-run innings we’ve seen of late. Again, it’s the beauty of the sport; no time limits.

There may be, from time to time, a team that just wants to throw in the towel rather than bear another inning or 3, late in the season, when they are down by 12 runs. If you’re out of the playoff race, why bother? One of the things that Boone mentioned was position players pitching in blowouts. I think I speak on behalf of most Reds fans when I say that we have thoroughly enjoyed watching Jose Peraza and Kyle Farmer pitch this season. The Farmer ‘Euphus’ pitch is a sight to behold. Coming in at a blazing 46mph, yeah, good luck turning on that one. Jose Peraza has a sidearm delivery that is perfectly suited for, well, the HR Derby. Still, it has been entertaining for those of us that actually still had the game on.

Even with the stipulation that the losing team can request an early stoppage, issues could still arise. Actually, we can almost guarantee that they will. There will be that fan, that one guy that has to be ‘that guy’, who will decide to sue the team because he purchased a ticket for an entire game. Trust me, he’s out there. In this new Litigious America, everyone is ready to take someone to court. They want that easy payday for doing absolutely nothing. Let freedom ring.

Honestly, I doubt this will ever come to fruition. I do like the possibility of it though, but with the main stipulation being that the losing team can request it. And for the record, Peraza’s ERA is 0.00 in 2 appearances this season. At least, it’s 2 that I’m aware of. He may become the Reds closer once they are mathematically eliminated. No? Ok, moving on……

We’ll see where it goes; probably nowhere. Other than Aaron Boone’s comments, I haven’t seen anyone else talking about it. But what if?

 

OSU Wants to Trademark the Word ‘The”

Yes, this is ridiculous. Ohio State University, referred to by their fans as THE Ohio State University, actually filed a patent with THE US Patent and Trademark Office to trademark ‘the’. A common article. I wish I was joking. But alas, here I am.

I’m not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure you can’t trademark a word so widely used by, oh I don’t know, everyone. It’s a common article in THE English language. This would be akin to Michigan trying to trademark THE color blue, or Florida trying to get a patent on alligators. It makes no sense at all. None.

I live about 5 miles from THE Ohio border, so I know quite a few Ohio State fans. Exactly zero of them think this is a good idea. As a matter of fact, they seem more embarrassed than anything. How can any university, in all their pomposity, think that they can do this? This is almost as bad of a decision as sweeping domestic violence under THE rug. My assumption is that this whole thing will get kicked to THE curb. Again, I’m not a lawyer. Common sense tells me it will though. One thing you can definitely count on is some premium Gameday signs regarding this fiasco. I am looking forward to that.

With everything that has taken place in Columbus over the last few years, you would think they would want to lay low for a while…………or a decade. Maybe move some bodies around on THE advisory board to avoid this kind of thing. Hey everybody, we’ve totally screwed up lately, but look at us now. We want to patent a word. That’s a big nope from anyone with any sense at all. I’m hoping, for the sake of humanity, that THE fan base feels THE same.

Time will tell if patent #88571984 lives or dies. If THE patent succeeds, only God knows what trademarks will be filed going forward. Could Texas Tech trademark THE term ‘bubble screen’? Who would get dibs on Wildcats and Tigers? There seems to be a plethora of those in college. If Alabama trademarks ‘Tide’, will Procter & Gamble have to fight that in court? Obviously, I’m joking, but you can easily see how badly this could get out of hand. There is no way any office or court could allow this. I’ve been surprised before though by our decision making in this country.

On THE bright side, we’re 9 days away from THE first game of the season. THE wait is almost over. Florida faces Miami next Saturday afternoon, then Arizona will be in Hawaii later that night. 9 days. It’s here, guys.

THE end.