October 25, 2011

SIFUABS!

By Robb Witmer Full  |  October 25, 2011

PUSHMASTER PICKS '011: WEEK EIGHT


The football season is reaching make-or-break time and the author responded by posting a disappointing 1-4-0 record in Week Seven of the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool, referred to those in the know as simply “The Invitational.”

This put the author in 22nd place out of 25 players and reduced his chances of winning the ultimate Jackpot to roughly that of a Jm J. Bullock comeback that doesn’t involve a reality show about hand-jobs.

To make matters worse, the author’s final game of the week to be decided was Tim Tebow’s comeback win against the Miami Dolphins.




There’s not a lot else that needs to be said, eh? That sign manages to totally sum up the state of our Country and our Culture, but more than that it perfectly encapsulates my PushMaster Season.

A fourteen point favorite getting hammered by almost thirty the other way? That shit is fucked-up. Tim Tebow bringing the Broncos back from a fifteen-point fourth quarter deficit? That shit is bull-shit.

I probably deserved the last one. The brief instant the on-sides kick was between Marlon Moore’s hands was probably as close as the Dolphins will come to a win all year. Wait, do they play the Rams?

Never forget, though, that bad teams cover spreads too. The point spreads are there for a reason, which is to drive me to madness.

A .500 record by mid-point of the PushMaster season is usually a reasonable thing to shoot for if one is to have a chance at the top spot. That means I’ve got to make up six games in fifteen picks before I aim strictly for pushes. That’s a lot of winning. Not sure if I have it in me.

That’s all theoretical anyway. Even if I fire off a 10-4-1 record to break even, then what? This is where the math gets mind-melting. To get over a 60% mark from there would take roughly 33 wins in my last fifty picks, given my current rate of Pushing. That is an insane wining percentage. 43-17-5 in my last sixty-five picks? Good lord.

At least it’s not any dumber than acid-wash.


WEEK EIGHT PICKS

Michigan St. v. NEBRASKA (-4)
This is a perfect example of a Blown-Load pick, as in Michigan State blasted Wisconsin in the face with a last-second Hail Mary.

Washington St. v. OREGON (-36.5)
The Cougars are supposedly better this year, and yeah, they are, but, considering how bad they were before I fully expect them to be overwhelmed by Oregon in this game.

Colorado v. ARIZONA ST. (-31)
I can’t imagine there’s a BCS conference team that is worse than Colorado. Do any come to mind? This looks like a team that would finish at the bottom of the Big East by a mile. The basketball team is no juggernaut either. I don’t really know what the PAC-10 thought they were getting in CU. The Denver TV market? Believe me, nobody in Denver cares about CU when the team wins ten games per decade.

STANFORD (-7.5) v. Usc
If there is any team that is on a mission from God, it’s Stanford. Which really helps in this game because God hates Lane Kiffin.

LIONS (-3.5) v. Broncos
Tebow is getting all the credit for the Broncos winning last week, but shouldn’t some credit be given to the coaching staff who made the Dump-Off the focal point of their offense in the fourth quarter? It’s the only throw Tebow can make consistently, and the Dolphins had hot-dog vendors on defense by that point... The Lions, well, they’re not exactly playing like a team that I want to be picking right now, and seem like a prime candidate to reel off three or four straight ugly losses. Then again, Ndamukong “Looked it Up” Suh has been waiting to eat Tebow alive for years now. Rumor has it that the Detroit coaching staff plans on strategically starving their defensive line starting on Thursday, setting up a Sunday Jesus Feast.

5Dimes.com, Tuesday, 12:48 PM MDT. By the way everybody, Jeff Memmott friended me on the Facebooks, so he is indeed out there somewhere. Hopefully smiling. If that is not the ultimate proof that SIFUABS, I don’t know what is.


Robb Witmer Full spends his time doing other things besides letting football brain-hump him. It’s not like he's obssessed with it or anything. He’s on Twitter, for instance. That’s a thing.
@robbwitmer

October 21, 2011

The Age of Tebow

By Robb Witmer Full  |  October 21, 2011

PUSHMASTER PICKS '011: WEEK SEVEN


In the previous two weeks of the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool the author amassed a 7-2-1 record, putting him within three victories of .500, and keeping him in the race for his second Invitational Championship in seven years.

With his confidence growing, and his Gambling Insanity subsiding, the author decided for the third week in a row to make his picks blindly, without knowing the spreads and in some cases not knowing the opponent.




How glorious it was to come home from work last night to find the big, gleaming, shit-smearing face of Tim Tebow looking back at me from the cover of ESPN: The Magazine, a publication I reluctantly enjoy.

Hopefully, in a few weeks the decision to put him on the cover and declaring a new era of professional football that begins this Sunday will look as stupid as devoting the ENTIRE NFL preview issue to Michael Vick (true).

I never understood the Tebow Thing. At all. In college he was good, yeah, but not as good as Pat White, say, but he played for Florida and won a lot, so he’s popular. I get that.

But watching him play football is not exactly the ethereal experience people (read: ESPN) make it out to be. He could run some people over and make some good plays. Okay. That’s cool. White, though? He was electrifying. He made Denard Robinson look like a rube.

What made Tebow the figure he is was The Speech. The one where he yelled at his teammates in the locker room about something. I don’t remember when it was, or what it was about -- because I don’t care -- but I do have vague memories of an almost instantaneous transformation from football player to Deity.

From then on every time Tebow got hit hard on a one-yard gain, or made an above-average throw on an out pattern, it was about Something Else. Tebow’s balls have been in ESPN’s mouth ever since.

What are the chances he becomes an Elite Quarterback? Not good. Chances for stardom? It’s almost guaranteed. It’s already happened.

There’s no way in hell that no matter how he plays, or how successful his teams are, he won't be overrated and overexposed. And so long as he puts up good Fantasy Football numbers, he will be an American Legend.

Tebow is a prime example of one of the myriad reasons I try to ignore professional football as much as possible and direct my football obsessions toward the College Game: At least then you only have to put up with these assholes for four years, tops.


WEEK SEVEN PICKS

WEST VIRGINIA (-14) v. Syracuse
The Mountaineers’ loss to Syracuse last year was what probably finally doomed Bill Stewart, sending him into exile to his solid-gold stick-whittlin’ hut in the West Virginia mountains. They have no business winning this game by anything less than twenty-eight points, and if this spread isn’t covered I will be calling for the firing of Oliver Luck and Dana Holgorsen within twenty-four hours.

Oklahoma State v. Missouri OVER (69.5)
This way I can roll out of bed, turn on the second half, and have some points to root for while I’m having breakfast.

OVER IN WHICHEVER GAME IS ON ABC IN MY AREA AT 6 P.M. MDT (63) [Washington v. Stanford]
Both of these games looked like Total Picks. I could have gone with Stanford again, but that’s been working out a little too well for me to stay with it. It would make way too much sense, and that, my friends, flies directly in the face of my new Out-of-my-Ass Strategy.

WHOEVER IS PLAYING TIM TEBOW (pk) v. Tim Tebow
Enough. I’m already sick of this bull-shit.

OVER IN THE FALCONS GAME, IF THEY’RE PLAYING (47) [they are]
The last time I picked games like this the Falcons/Over popped into my head, if I remember correctly, and it did again. Not sure if it worked out before, but this time it feels like a solid pick because I checked, they are playing... Come to think of it, wouldn’t the continued success of the Strategy of Assery in a way disprove the strategy itself. PushMasterians, discuss.

SBGGLOBAL.com, 2:27 P.M. MDT, Friday, in my pajama pants even though I’ve already been out of the house today and plan on leaving again.


Robb Witmer Full is barely scraping by with a 12-15-3 record in the PushMaster Invitational. Not the worst record, but not exactly surging toward victory either.
@robbwitmer

October 13, 2011

Go With the Funny Misspelling

By Robb Witmer Full  |  October 13, 2011

PUSHMASTER PICKS '011: WEEK SIX


With the help of Dr. Lou, the author stormed to a 4-1-0 Week Five in the PushMaster Invitational, the bastion of Success and Sportsmanship on the Internet since 1891. The thrustingly successful week put him within striking distance of a .500 record for the first time in a long time.



As I inch back toward respectability, I have to remember what has turned the tide for me: blindly making asinine picks that go against my terribly flawed judgement.

And Dr. Lou, he helped too. I’m still trying to shake off the hangover that proves it. Nothing like a four-day bender to get yourself re-centered and balanced.

This change in strategy was not without struggle. Initially, the thought was to pull a Costanza, to pick the exact opposite of what I think the right play is on a particular game. The biggest problem with this strategy is that you will soon find yourself lost in a maze of Escher stairs and mental rat-traps.

Fuck that. The PushMaster Invitational is tortuous as it is. I’m teetering on the brink of Gambling Insanity (that’s what all the “medicine” is for), and there’s no reason to bring infinity-quicksand into it.

So instead of picking the opposite of something I already can’t figure out, I’m going with the “why-would-I-pick-this?” strategy. It’s not without precedent. That was largely my strategy in ‘06 when I won my first of (probably) many PushMaster Championship Trophies. (I propose we start calling it the Jeff Memmott Trophy. I’ll submit it to the Council of Five.)


WEEK SIX PICKS

Usc v. Cal UNDER (58.5)
I have the night off and am going to be making a wicked batch of homebrewed beer, so I might as well have football on so I have something to throw empty bottles at. Why the Under, you ask? Because it just FEELS stupid. I’ll be rooting for muffed punts all night long.

INDIANA (+40) v. Wisconsin
The only reason I’m picking this is because Cochran called Indiana the Hossiers. Imagine my surprise to find out they are forty point underdogs on the road. Hilarious. With a point spread this high, both sides of it are fucking ridiculous, and in such cases, I say go with the funny misspelling.

STANFORD (-21) v. Washington State
Next, I picked Stanford to balance out the underdog/favorite point-scale. When I saw the spread was only twenty-one, I got worried because it seemed like a good pick. But I suppose my instincts can’t always be wrong... Or can they?

EAGLES (-1.5) v. Redskins
I made my NFL picks without looking at games or point spreads. The Eagles are a total disaster, from what I’ve heard. My Ultimate Theory of NFL Football states that every team is pretty much the same, with minor differences that are also usually kinda similar... Okay, that doesn’t make any sense, but neither does the Eagles being a favorite.

Bills v. GIANTS (-3)
The New Jersey Giants are a total shit-ball team, and they’re playing America’s Darlings, the Buffalo Bills. Again, inexplicably a favorite. If I had let my brain or emotions anywhere near this pick, I would have taken the Bills faster than Ripper on the money side of a glory hole. Instead, I used sheer Assery.

MGM-Mirage, 11:19 AM MDT, Thursday


Robb Witmer Full is now sporting a 9-14-2 record in the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool, meaning it could really go either way at this point.
@robbwitmer

October 6, 2011

A Visit With Dr. Lou

By Robb Witmer Full  |  October 6, 2011

PUSHMASTER PICKS '011: WEEK FIVE


Four weeks into the football season, the author’s record in the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool  perhaps the greatest football pool in the history of the Internet  stood at a paltry 5-13-2, good for 22nd place out of 25 Players.

Seeking council and support, the author used his connections at America-Thrust and within the PushMaster Council to get himself booked as a guest on ESPN’s smash-hit
Dr. Lou program.

While Dr. Lou has recently halted his recreational addiction to intravenous adrenaline shots, he remains on a prescribed regimen of large doses of both Oxycontin and synthetic mescaline, which oftentimes leads to rambling incoherence.

In the event that Dr. Lou’s lucidity is compromised and his material becomes too unintelligible, ESPN’s standards & practices board will scrap the episode completely, destroying every known copy. It is also their practice, however, to transcribe these episodes for preservation in the ESPN Vault, located one-and-a-half leagues below Storrs, CT.

According to expert sources, roughly 75% of
Dr. Lou episodes do not make it past the s&p board, which would explain why an average of only three episodes are broadcast each season. Unfortunately, the author’s episode was one of the many rejects.

Following is a transcript of that episode. All known video copies of the episode have been destroyed. The transcript was obtained through underground sources that run deep into the ESPN empire.



BEGIN TRANSCRIPT


DR. LOU: Well, folks, it looks like another week of college football is upon us. Who knew I would have made it this long? Not me. Nor my credit card company. To hell with those fellas anyway. Wouldn't mind if their balls fell off and into their cup of morning joe.

But hey, Holy Toledo, I have good news. It seems that while I was splitting a hefty sack of yeyo with my old buddy Reeg, I mistakenly agreed to allow a special guest for this episode of Dr. Lou. Normally, that wouldn’t be a problem, but the couch is already pretty full of pink giraffes. But here he is, right here to my left, some fella named Bob.

ROBB: Robb.

DR. LOU: Oh, whatever. It’s like they said about Shakespeare: It doesn’t matter how the rose smells, so long as the boat can float. What seems to be the problem, Bub.

ROBB: It’s my football pool, Dr. Lou. Nothing’s going right for me this year. Overs, unders, underdogs, favorites, I’m losing them all. What the fucking hell is going on here? Did I mention I’m losing to a squirrel in my neighborhood pool?

DR. LOU: [laughs] Don’t underestimate the raccoon. He’s still in it.

ROBB: I’m not, but, Doc, can’t you just give me some winners? I’m desperate here.

DR. LOU: That’s not quite what I do, Bubba. Last time I placed a point-spread wager was in a back-alley handball match deep inside the heart of Bangkok, roughly 1933. Lost the shirt off my back and the lint from my pocket. It cost me a few bucks and I spent six months as a sex-slave, but I learned a valuable lesson about childhood.

ROBB: So you’re saying I should...

DR. LOU: Here’s a list of games. Now close your eyes... Good, now point.

ROBB: OREGON (-24)? That’s a lot of points. On a Thursday night game? This can’t be right Doc. I don’t know anything about these teams. I hate this pick already.

DR. LOU: Speaking of hating things, let’s take a phone call from the reigning King of Self-Loathing, my old pal Rich Rodriguez.

RICH-ROD: Hi, Doctor Lou. How’s the syphilis?

DR. LOU: Raging. How’s the taxidermy business?

RICH-ROD: Mostly squirrels these days. It’ll pick up soon. At least it gives me something to do when I’m not in my back-yard burning garbage.

DR. LOU: Rod, we’ve got a young man here looking for a winning football pick this weekend. Now, he seems like a nice enough chap. Why don’t you pull a trick out of your sack.

RICH-ROD: I don’t know who they’re playing, but I’d have to go with MICHIGAN (-7.5). I hear the new coach spends his time on the sidelines doing things besides arguing with ball-boys and pouring Gatorade down his pants. Did you know that during my last ten games there my headset wasn’t connected to anything?

ROBB: Ugh, I hate Michigan, and I just know Denard Robinson is going to fumble away at least two touchdowns. Do I seriously have to make this pick?

DR. LOU: That’s just great Rich. Do you have one more?

RICH-ROD: Um, what about STANFORD (-29.5)? Are they still a team?

ROBB: Dr. Lou, that’s almost thirty points! Plus Stanford’s on a roll, and one thing I don’t do is pick a college team on a roll!

DR. LOU: Shut your eat-hole, son. Sometimes you have to go against your instincts in order to better follow them.

ROBB: Wow, this is like some Mr. Miyagi shit.

RICH-ROD: Hey guys, this has been great, but I’ve gotta go. Someone just threw a flaming couch through my living room window. [hangs up]

ROBB: This sucks, Doc. I mean, I usually hate my picks, but these picks I want to drag behind my car through the desert.

DR. LOU: What did I say about shutting up? Have you seen the lines for the NFL yet this week.

ROBB: No. Hey are these cameras on? We’re taping? I already said ‘fuck’ a couple times I think.

DR. LOU: Okay, without looking, what are the two worst picks of the week?

ROBB: Well, the VIKINGS (-3) are super shitty. You’d have to be a moron to pick them.

DR. LOU: Good...

ROBB: Oh, and the Lions are playing great right now. Going with WHOEVER IS PLAYING THE LIONS (+6) is clearly a bad pick.

DR. LOU: Well, sir, it looks like we have this week’s winners.

ROBB: What? These are my picks? You’ve deceived me, Dr. Lou! I can’t take them back.

DR. LOU: You’ll thank me later. Hey, if you’ve got a little extra time, I’ve got a handful of mescaline. A friend is stopping by in a minute, and we might go out for some tomfoolery.

ROBB: Synthetic?

DR. LOU: Pharmaceutical grade.

[Dr. Lou gives Robb a small pile of mescaline and they both swallow some with water. They high-five.]

DR. LOU: My Oxycontin is around here somewhere...

[Loud tire-screeching can be heard from outside the studio. Robb and Dr. Lou are both startled and turn around quickly to see Regis burst through the door.]

REGIS: Dr. Lou! What the fuck are we waiting for? Let’s go old timer, these strippers aren’t going to snort cocaine off of their own asses!

DR. LOU: Well, Bob, let’s go.

[Dr. Lou and Robb run out of the studio behind Regis, knocking the camera over as they pass it. The video cuts out.]


END TRANSCRIPT


Robb Witmer Full got these lines from the MGM-Mirage at 12:54 PM MDT on Tuesday, and while he can barely remember his appearance on the Dr. Lou program or making the above picks at all, he remains fairly confident that his luck in the PushMaster Invitational will remain as shitty as ever.
@robbwitmer