September 28, 2011

The Magic of the Mustache

By Robb Witmer Full  |  September 28, 2011


The author followed up two consecutive 1-3-1 weeks with a 1-4-0 performance in Week Three of the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool, the top-notchest Football Pool on the Internet.

While the meager record was somehow enough to drag him out of last place, it also managed to nudge him closer to Gambling Insanity, an affliction for which the author has previously spent extended time in the Dr. Clayton Forrester Shock Therapy Institute.

Sucker-Bet Week indeed.

How else to explain dropping from a whopping 25% winning percentage down to a sub-whopping 23.1, and still vaulting into second-to-last place. I’m getting my confidence back, and have a skip in my step. I’m really moving up in this here PushMaster-verse.

Hmm... PushMasters of the Universe! Sounds like a great toy. Cochran! Wake up, get your people on the phone and get some Chinese factories pumping these babies out for market. C’mon, c’mon, c’mon!

Exploiting Chinese child labor and neo-liberal trade policies is just about the only way I can think of to make back the sweet, sweet PushMaster winnings that I have already spent on sweet, sweet blue-jeans.

Um, no, I didn’t just say that. Say? Write? Type? Did I? Oh, man. This season is kicking my Sanity’s ass. All week I’ve been pacing around the PushMaster Command Center muttering to myself like I’m sure Big East Commissioner John Marinatto has been around his backyard shed, the one where he keeps the voodoo dolls.

The Big East should just disband for the good of football, for the good of the schools that are in it. It would at least be a move against the BCS and the way it is sucking College Football into being NFL Jr.

Just give the whole damn thing up and let the likes of Louisville and Cincinatti roam around the vast dustbowl of college football, turn them back into independent Barn-stormers, looking for a brawl.

And mostly getting the shit kicked out of them, like the Travelling Drunk, a.k.a. the Hobo, a gabby fellow who’s judgement has eroded enough that he never knows when’s he’s about to get a bottle to the noggin.

What the fuck? The Big East will probably give it another go, adding some shit-ball teams to stick into the cracks like chewed-up sugarless gum. Who wants Central Florida? I do, I do!

If that bag of cats can keep the can rolling down the road, then I can too. Let's give it a little more time before we begin Operation Shutdown, Part 2...


SOUTH FLORIDA (-2.5) v. Pitt
Is Yinzstachio coaching for South Florida now? Why is this spread so low? I probably don’t want to know, but I literally can’t help myself from making this pick. My fingers keep typing.... Wait, Yinzstachio is an Assistant Head Coach for the Buffalo Bills? Maybe it’s not the Uniforms, but the Magic of the Mustache.

CLEMSON (+7) v. Virginia Tech
I think I’m making this pick as a way to prove I have not succumbed to Gambling Insanity, because this is clearly a Sane Pick. Only a Gamblingly Insane man can turn down seven points in this match-up. See what I’m saying?

Alabama v. Florida OVER (44.5)
This is going to go Over, right? Florida has Elite Athletes that can put up a fight against ‘Bama’s defense. Right? Guys? At least I haven’t started using a coin, or a dartboard, or the squirrel that lives outside my apartment.

Saints v. Jaguars OVER (46.5)
The worst part is that the squirrel is 10-2-3 in a different picks league he and I are in. It’s a neighborhood league. The raccoon is in last place. Stupid raccoon. Me, I’m smart. I know that the Saints always go Over. Always.

Patriots v. Raiders OVER (55)
The Patriots have also been going over a lot, and the Raiders too... This should work in my favor. Fifty-five is not THAT many points. Ugh, I’m getting a fever, a severe case of Football Fever. I think I may need a visit to the doctor... Dr. Lou, that is., 12:28 Am Mdt, Wednesday

Robb Witmer Full at this point really just wants to finish ahead of the squirrel.

September 21, 2011

Like Jesus in the Summer Olympics

By Robb Witmer Full  |  September 21, 2011


The author for the second consecutive week finished at 1-3-1 in the PushMaster Invitational, the Internet’s premier American Football Pick’em. His winning percentage of 25.0% puts him in last place out of twenty-five players.

Jesus Goddamn Mother-fucking Balls.

Sliding into a pit of PushMaster quicksand this early in the season seems like it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but it could be quite a slog from here on out if I don’t turn things around very, very soon.

Even getting a second Push doesn’t put me in a good position. If I did, however, keep up a pace of one Push per week, I’d be shattering records like Jesus in the Summer Olympics.

For all the Glory involved with the title of PushMaster, the monetary difference betwixt that and First Place is far too much to be ignored. I must Thrust ahead, forward to a jackpot of Earthly Riches.

Onward, warriors! Be not afraid of blood or battle or backdoor covers!


San Diego State v. Michigan OVER (60)
There were so many games that I wanted to pick this week, and that is always a bad sign. One trick I learned from some old dogs is to stick with what works. (Or SWWW, an awkward and totally unnecessary acronym, though it was popularized by an obscure pre-Star Trek Billy Shats police drama entitled SWWW! The title didn’t make a lot of sense in that era, either.) This is all to say that the Michigan Over has been very good to me for a long time, and what the fuck, nothing else is working.

OREGON (-15) v. Arizona
Picking Oregon is like picking Nike, which is like picking Satan. Nothing wrong with that in my Gambling Book. In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m in last place, and as desperate as Ripper after two cases of Miller Light at a leather pants convention. Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves; Oregon is going to score a lot of points. Desert Shitstorm-style points. I think.

LIONS (-3.5) v. Vikings
The Lions look pretty good. The Vikings just fuck things up. I’m not going to be the one to not take this pick.

PATRIOTS (-8) v. Bills
Shit, another road team? This season is making me actually want to fight my picks, in a small, sweaty boxing ring, with people hanging from the nearby rafters, last-fight-in-Bloodsport-style. “Why won’t you cover, Goddamnit!?” Punch! Crush!

...I can dream. In Football reality, I’m thinking that since they’ve covered the last two weeks, the Patriots should be a solid pick, even against my boys, the Buffalo Bills. Uniforms don’t matter THAT much. Gambling Insanity, anyone?

Packers v. Bears OVER (45.5)
Um, I dunno, I just dunno... [cue polite laughter to a very inside joke]., 1:46 PM MDT, Tuesday, getting ‘em in early to shut the voices up in my head a few days sooner.

Robb Witmer Full wouldn't mind smashing his picks in the face with a splintery two-by-four.

September 15, 2011

Peyton Manning and Brett Favre, Hanging Out in Their Underwear

By Robb Witmer Full  |  September 15, 2011


The author has for the better part of a decade participated in the Internet’s premier Football picks league, the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool, the Roster for which is among the most exclusive in the world.

America-Thrust has contracted the author to turn his weekly picks — which can be College Football or Pro, sides or totals — into a regular column. It is our hope to document, in detail, his descent back into the depths of Gambling Insanity, an affliction the author has dealt with for years.

The beat-down administered to Colt’s Bar & Dancehall by the Texans was to be expected. The Colt’s were on a sharp decline well before Peyton Manning’s neck got broke, and as PushMaster Alumni will recall I declared the Colt’s “over” in Week Eight of last year, making it official.

A Peyton-less NFL has been on my wish-list for nigh a decade, so thank-yous are in in order for Santa Claus and his elves for my wonderful early present. There’s just so much less to hate about the league without him and (at least for now) no Brett Favre in sight.

If we’re all lucky, Manning will realize there’s something else to life, and choose to retire to his beach-house filled with bean-bag chairs stuffed with fifty-dollar bills, with him and Favre hanging out together in their underwear all day.

Even with that possibility looming, I can’t be pleased with my Week One performance. Per usual, I started off the season by throwing a bunch of things at the PushMaster wall to see what sticks.

Well, not much did, so I have to start the pot boiling all over again, and now I’m elbows deep in League de Futbal Nationale, a treacherous stew.

This is going to be a curious process, convincing myself that I still know something about professional football. Or should I say professional-er football?


Cardinals v. Redskins OVER (44.5)
I’m going to start with this classic over/under match-up. The Redskins are in a division that’s a lot weaker than people are giving it credit for, so who knows? Maybe they could sneak into the playoff picture. Not very likely but for now they believe it, so I expect them to come out guns blazing. Even if those six-shooters turn into Rex Grossman interceptions, I’m still digging this pick. Plus, the Cards need to validate the Kolb-Fitzgerald duo, and will do so by passing like it’s the cure for cancer. Wouldn't it be weird if it was?

Raiders v. BILLS (-3)
I like the Bills this year, mainly for the uniform change. As for the team? Who cares? The Raiders are mistake-prone, and just pulled out a victory against what might turn out to be one of the league’s worst teams. And who doesn't like picking against a team coming off a short week travelling to the other corner of the country?

PACKERS (-9.5) v. Panthers
Either the public or the Wiseguys have a gigantic boner for Cam Newton, because there is no reason to think the Packers win this game by less than thirty-five points. Maybe the Panthers will get close in garbage time, but I expect Newton to be four interceptions deep by that point, meaning the snowball is already rolling down the mountain.

Rams v. Giants OVER (43.5)
The Rams were kind of a sexy pick at the beginning of this year, then they got drubbed and wounded by the Eagles. They’ve got a real shot in their division, but I can’t talk myself into taking the six points against a team outside of it. The over plays here because the Giants, and especially their defense, are on my list of pre-season candidates for 2011’s shittiest team. They just have that stink about them.

EAGLES (-1.5) v. Falcons
The Falcons are total pretenders. Michael Vick will be really good for ten weeks. In the past, I may have been scared of this pick, but I have conquered my fear and now I am a Man. PushMaster Invitational, beware!, Thursday, 12.15 PM MDT

Robb Witmer Full is 1-3-1 for the season in the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool, and has a lifetime record of 274-253-18.

September 6, 2011

The Painful Reality of Football Picksdom

By Robb Witmer Full  |  September 6, 2011


The author has for the better part of a decade participated in the Internet’s premier Football picks league, the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool, the Roster for which is among the most exclusive in the world.

America-Thrust has contracted the author to turn his weekly picks — which can be College Football or Pro, sides or totals — into a regular column. It is our hope to document, in detail, his descent back into the depths of Gambling Insanity, an affliction the author has dealt with for years.

Week One in the PushMaster Invitational is like Spring Training for Baseball: Hope springs eternal. We’re all still in it. Everyone’s got a chance.

Yeah, right. It will only be a few weeks, of course, before Sean has given up altogether, or Ripper is mired in a nearly-impossible losing streak that can only be treated with massive doses of Jacob Best, or Cochran starts making English Premier League picks...

The painful reality of Football Picksdom will bite all of us eventually. Those of us that can elude it for long enough will walk away happy enough, maybe a little richer, but certainly not unscathed.

Any season that ends without a complete psychological meltdown is a successful one in my book. You gotta have goals.


The astute PushMaster observer will notice that I’m going with five road teams this week. An experienced PushMaster alumni will know that while this is not necessarily a mis-play, it’s probably a sign of a major flaw in my thinking, glaring to everyone but me... Auburn’s defense wasn’t so great last year, but apparently it didn’t matter. This year, it probably will matter, and they’re my pick for being this year’s Michigan.

TCU (-2) v. Air Force
A really good coach will make sure his team bounces back after a bad loss, and I think TCU’s got a good coach.

SOUTH CAROLINA (-3) v. Georgia
Georgia should sit out the rest of the season as punishment for the uniforms they wore on Saturday. What a goddamn embarassment, not just to Georgia, but to America.

NOTRE DAME (-3.5) v. Michigan
Michigan doesn’t look that much better than they were last year. Denard Robinson is presumably still a turnover machine. Fuck both these teams.

STEELERS (+3) v. Ravens
Hard to not take points in what should always be a pick’em...

Lines from what is apparently now “,” as if that makes it legal now, 8:47 PM MDT, Tuesday.

Robb Witmer Full is more than ready for the inevitable meltdown.