Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Brief And Pointless Rant About Locker Room Behavior

Also A Spitter
I work out, because that's what my brain and body chemistry allow, something like 6 out of every 7 days or so. I do so at any number of gyms, because I do ride share for extra money, and have a membership with a chain that has something like 50 locations in the greater metropolitan area. (When you do ride share, you can be, well, anywhere. The job flexibility isn't exactly total. Also, the gym membership means I always have a bathroom I can use within range. Moving on.)

In nearly every one of these gyms, after nearly every one of these workouts, I shower. I sweat a lot as a general rule, and to catch up to my goals for the year, I have to go pretty hard. What I encounter in the shower is, more often than not, this:

Some dude making ridiculous throat noises in some other shower. Which echo in the valley, and rattle in the dell, and happen so often that when it *doesn't* occur now, I notice.

It would be one thing if it were old guys with respiratory problems. But the folks in my gyms are 95% younger than me, because I tend to go later at night, when older guys are long gone. These are young uns who think that spitting is the new peeing to mark their territory, or maybe the ghosts of previous members trying to clear their spectral systems of unholy phlegm... no idea. It's not like I'm going to go find the perp and tell him, um, dude?



Honestly, I try to remain open minded. The older I get, the more the temptation to judge everything that is younger than you as Going To Hell In A Handbasket goes off the charts, and that way lies Grumpy Old Man Codgerdom. I don't want to be that guy. It's a daily war to fight that urge, especially when I'm driving around picking up rando ride sharing strangers and trying to be pleasant as people who are young enough to my kids pule about stuff that should barely matter to them, let alone the people who you temp hire to schlep you around. I also have a pretty low bar for locker room decorum. All I want is to get out of there before someone starts babbling about politics, or his workout, or whatever.

But... Jebus... Seriously...

Can y'all please stop treating a shared public space like it's a hated rival on the battlefield? Or maybe just learn that the rules for You Are In Public are different than No One Can See Or Hear You?

Week 7 NFL Picks: The New Abnormal

Folks -- each week I mean to get back to a long form column, and each week I just pass out around this time in the week, because that's just what my schedule and life are like now. Priorities. Also, well, picks.

* * * * *

KANSAS CITY (-3) at Oakland

Tampa at BUFFALO (NL)

CAROLINA (-3) at Chicago

TENNESSEE (-6) at Cleveland

NEW ORLEANS (-4.5) at Green Bay

JACKSONVILLE (-3.5) at Indianapolis

Arizona at LA RAMS (-3.5)

NY Jets at MIAMI (-3)

Baltimore at MINNESOTA (-5.5)

Dallas at SAN FRANCISCO (+6)

Cincinnati at PITTSBURGH (-5.5)

DENVER (NL) at LA Chargers

SEATTLE (-5.5) at NY Giants

ATLANTA (+3) at New England

Washington at PHILADELPHIA (-5)

Last week: 3-10

Season: 48-42

Career: 929-931-34

Friday, October 13, 2017

2017-2018 Fantasy Basketball Draft: Whipsaw Bone

The quick five-step process to feel like you've really boned your auction draft...

1) Get priced out on the one guy you wanted to go all-in on, then overpay for second-round talent. (For this year, for me, that was Giannis Antetokounmpo, who went for the high water mark of $86 on a $200 budget. Last year, I stuck the landing on Russell Westbrook at $85.)

2) Get fixated on guys you had last year, and (probably) pay too much for them. That'd be Green, Gobert and Johnson. (Warren and Harkless, not so much.)

3) Fight depression in the middle rounds, because you've overspent on your top 3 guys, and you haven't mentally adjusted to, duh, 14 team league, not 12.

4) Schedule the draft in the middle of a football game for your laundry. Fly, Eagles, Fly!

5) Have a 10+ year track record of finishing fairly well in leagues, so every time you get involved in the bidding on guys, other owners jump in your action.

Having said all that... might be a decent team. We'll defend, I should have nine startable guys every week, I don't have any FT% horrors, and Draymond lets you be short a point guard because he's just that way. But as always, will need health and luck and time I don't have to manage a team. (Pick that makes me very happy: Jonathan Simmons for $7 late. He looks otherworldly so far this year.)

Sexing Mutumbos
1.(17)Draymond Green (GS - SF,PF,C)$44
2.(18)Rudy Gobert (Uta - C)$61
3.(22)Damian Lillard (Por - PG)$54
4.(58)Victor Oladipo (Ind - PG,SG)$17
5.(91)Patrick Beverley (LAC - PG,SG)$4
6.(92)T.J. Warren (Pho - SF)$1
7.(96)James Johnson (Mia - SF,PF)$7
8.(105)Jonathon Simmons (Orl - SG,SF)$7
9.(117)Zach Randolph (Sac - PF,C)$2
10.(142)Jeremy Lamb (Cha - SG,SF)$1
11.(152)Justin Holiday (Chi - SG,SF)$1
12.(157)Maurice Harkless (Por - SF)$1

Eagles - Panthers Top 10 Takeaways: Quick And Dirty

I didn't get to see too much of this -- was screwing up my fantasy basketball league with a classic whipsaw auction draft bone job, and only saw it on my phone-- but here's what I got second hand.

10) It takes work to almost lose a game when you are +2 on the turnover score, but Doug Pederson is freaking talented. But I do have to give him props for pulling the PAT off the board and sticking the 2-point conversion with an open formation power run by RB LeGarrette Blount. That was porny.

9) Carolina's running backs tonight: 14 carries for 11 yards. No, seriously. Cam Newton will make the final numbers seem OK because he ran for 71, but the Eagle defensive line might be the best in football right now.

8) I'm not emotionally prepared to live in a world where Zach Ertz is good at the end zone, but nowhere else. It's Bizarro Land, folks.

7) Wentz's final numbers don't look that great -- 16 of 30 for 222 -- but the 3 TDs, 0 INTs, and 25 yards on the ground are damn fine, thank you. Second straight game where he's popped for multiple scores.

6) K Graham Gano didn't get a chance to hit a long figgie before the half, which really hampered the Panthers in the desperate final drive. So it's not as if Pederson was the only coach on the field with odd decision making in his wheelhouse.

5) I get that Newton had no running game tonight, but he could have been picked a half dozen times, honestly. He just doesn't look right.

4) Amazing that the defense just got the kill shot on 4th and 1 at midfield from the bad final pass. I've watched this laundry for a long time, and to get breaks like that at the close is Not Us, People.

3) The most important stat in the box score to me: 7.0 yards per pass for the good guys, 4.3 for the home team.

2) Nelson Agholor might make the Pro Bowl as a slot receiver. I wouldn't have given him a 25% chance to still be in the league last year. For all of the hair-pulling things Pederson does with his game calling, his personal development has been lights out.

1) With the win, the Eagles go to 5-1, in the top spot in the conference (!), and 4 of those 6 were on the road. It's time to get greedy, folks, and not just take this division by the throat, but ensure none of those unfortunate January road trips to bad places.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Week 6 NFL Picks: Fire

Folks -- even less time this week to write a picks column. My part of the world is filled with smoke from regional fires, work is crazy busy, I have obligations across the board, and about ten minutes to write these. But on the other hand, slapdash went 9-5 last week, and the record for the year is also, well, smoking.

Spoiler alert: this week, I think it's all about road teams covering big numbers or outright winning the game. Blame the crazy old narcissist in the White House for all of that, seeing how he's turned every home stadium into a place where people feel good about yelling at black men who don't want to be killed by police. How dare they protest in ways that remind the world about that! Protest is only OK if no one (and by no one, we mean white people) sees it!

So with that... on to the picks.

* * * * *

PHILADELPHIA (+3.5) at Carolina

Miami at ATLANTA (-11.5)

CHICAGO (+6.5) at Baltimore

CLEVELAND (+9.5) at Houston

GREEN BAY (-3) at Minnesota

DETROIT (+4.5) at New Orleans

NEW ENGLAND (-9) at NY Jets

SAN FRANCISCO (+10) at Washington

TAMPA (-2) at Arizona

LA Rams at JACKSONVILLE (-2.5)

Pittsburgh at KANSAS CITY (-4.5)

LA Chargers at OAKLAND (NL)

NY Giants at DENVER (-11.5)

Indianapolis at TENNESSEE (NL)

Last week: 9-5

Season: 45-32

Career: 926-921-34

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