Before I get to my “5 Things” today, I had to weigh in on the devastation in Houston. Geezuz god almighty. The worst. THE WORST. Of all of the natural disasters, flooding takes the cake. Because unlike fires, and tornados and such, peoples houses are left mostly intact, only they are completely fucked and will never be the same due to water damage.
A fire comes and burns your house down. Okay, bad. But they come in with bulldozer, haul away the wreckage, and build you a spanking new home on top, hopefully with every bit of it paid for by insurance. Flooding? Oh, you’re fucked. I just had a TEENSY tinsy flood in my basement – burst water pipe, about 1/2 of water on concrete utility room, that seeped through and affected 3 other finished areas.
Lemme tell ya… it was as PAIN IN THE ASS to get fixed. First had to get a water removal company with a billion fans running for like 4 days. Then rip out drywall and baseboard and carpet padding. Then I had to get the insurance company to come out and write up an estimate. Then I had to have two different parties come out to fix it all. All the while, moving a bunch of crap on shelves and in boxes all over.
I can’t even imagine the hell of Houstonians with a flood like this. The stink. The mold. The rot. Hell… the FISH in the living rooms! And worst of all… what is a decent time frame to expect somebody to be able to fix your house? A month? A year? Never? Is there enough new drywall and carpeting in the world to fix all of this? Ooof. Godspeed Houston. This is awful.
Now… onto sports.
MAYWEATHER BEATS MCGREGOR
I wanted to pummel Mayweather at -400 for 2K but chickened out at the last minute. It just seemed too fishy for various reasons. But in the end, it was what we thought it would be: a dominant Hall of Fame boxer, giving a professional boxing clinic to an amatuer. Not that McGregor embarrassed himself. He didn’t. But let’s not kid ourselves, he was nowhere close to actually WINNING the fight. And to quote Herm Edwards: “Hello…. you fight… to win the fight!” The fight was interesting, and for the $20 a paid as part of a posse to watch the fight together, I didn’t feel cheated. Hell, it was far more interesting than the Pacquiao fight. I just don’t like how after the fight it was all mutual respect and shit. Nah, keeping talking smack afterward, like they did before the fight. Once you are in the gutter, don’t try to put on a tuxedo after you’ve taken our money.
REDSKINS DRESS REHEARSAL GAME
There will be plenty of panic among Skins fans after their distinctly “meh” outing vs. the Bengals. Kirk does not remotely look like he’s worth even half of his $24M salary (much less even more in a long term deal) the defense looks no better than last year’s wet cardboard version, and the perennially injured Josh Doctson is looking more and more like a guy you would be crazy to think can help fill the shoes of either Garcon or Jackson this year – or ever. Rob Kelly appears to be the “good enough” starter at RB, but not anybody who will scare opposing defenses. I will say that I’m not worried, but don’t mistake that for me saying I think the team is “fine.” I just don’t know. The NFL’s pre-season is a meaningless kaleidescope that is quickly and resoundingly forgotten once real bullets start flying. Plus, the NFL is an “episodic” league in which every Sunday comes individually wrapped. Doomsday follows every loss, and sunshine and lollipops ever win. It’s quite possible the Skins open with a crappy 1st half in Week 1 vs. the Eagles, are trailing 13-3, then rally to squeak out a 20-19 win. Onto Los Angeles in Week 2, and if they beat the Rams and Jared Goff they fly home 2-0 and there’s not enough duffel bags to fit everybody’s happiness and optimism about the season. And yet… they might have only played so-so football to win those two “episodes.”
Not that the Patriots themselves were talking like this, but everybody else was: “They could go 16-0 this year!” Well, karma is a bitch, and with Julian Edelman’s season-ending ACL tear, I’m gonna say 16-0 (a longshot in reality, anyway) is now out the window. Doesn’t mean 14-2 isn’t still doable for the Terminator-like Pats (and their “Division of the Dead”) but Edelman is a massive loss. Worse than Gronk, IMO. So here’s what I keep coming back to. NOBODY knows exactly how much pre-season “live fire” football is the right amount. Even the coaches don’t know. I am sure they have their theories and superstitions, but nobody knows. The “theory” of why to play in August is obvious. Timing, reps, adjusting to new players, etc. etc. But isn’t that also handled in practice, where injuries are far less of a risk? When is the first NFL team going to actually TRY sitting everyone of their 1st stringers for ALL of August? Maybe they would look super fresh, and totally in rhythm come Week 1 anyway. My point is: nobody has even tried it. If just one team did that, and if it appeared to be a brilliant move that worked out, then the copycats would come flooding in. The NFL pre-season would quickly become a starter “no-go” zone leaguewide.
GAME OF THRONES
I’ve been bitching about how bad this season has been for a while – like many Thrones nerds have – but the season finale was an ass-kicking-tour-de-force from start to finish. So many incredible scenes, and action on multiple fronts. The Stark girls getting their shit together and comparing notes for once on who is really causing all the problems, not only made sense from a “don’t these otherwise smart characters have brains?” standpoint, but it led to the great “swerve” that ended in Aria’s cold-blooded execution of Mr. Gravelvoice. Oh, chaos is a ladder? Chaos is you bleeding out from an 8 inch slash to your throat! Boom! The un-boxing of the wight in front of Cersei was incredible. I’ve never seen heavy CGI applied with such realism. To show a dismembered half-dead zombie in broad daylight, and not relying on quick-cut edits, mingling with real human actors was nothing short of jaw dropping. Then we had the Cersei double-cross on brother-lover Jamie. Maybe it’s me, but I find Nikolaj Coster-Waldau to be the best actor on that show. When he had to remind Cersei of how shortsighted her strategy was, it just rang true to me. I don’t know what it is. He was both incredulous at how stupid that idea is as a long term play, and pissed that this woman who has never been in battle brushes off things like Dragon Air Superiority as meaningless. I’m a fan. Plus, the first snowflake falling outside Kings Landing on his leather glove? Perfect. Why he needs a glove for a gold hand? I have no idea. Just go with it. Dany and Jon Snow banging below decks? Bout damn time. The ladies who watch the show even got thrown a bone with a little Kit Harrington booty. Top rate stuff. Now… we wait. A full year. Crap!
We had a perfect weekend in the return of my Ryder-Cup-style amatuer event between Maryland and Virginia this past weekend at Potomac Shores GC. I can’t say enough thank you’s to all involved, but let me hit the high notes. Thank you to the players. This event is only as good, as the men who decide to play in it. We had at least 5 former college golfers in the event, 3 guys who had played in the US Amatuer, and a bunch of club champions. And then there were a good number of guys who were just grinding lunch-pail single digit handicaps with jobs and families. Nobody looked down on anybody. Everybody played hard and laughed with each other even harder. Thanks to the golf course and head pro Todd Van Meer. We were treated like honored guests. The Jack Nicklaus layout is an incredible rollercoaster of spectacular hole after spectacular hole. It’ll get even better when they replace the fairways with bermuda to better withstand our withering summer heat. And thanks to Ron Thomas my brother-from-another-mother and Maryland captain. Dude is the best. Classy. A leader of men. Helluva golfer. He’s the only guy I know who can watch me drain a 15 footer for par on 18 to eeek out a “halve” against him in our singles “Captain’s match” and be genuinely happy. I mean, really, really happy for me. He’s a scratch who’s injured but won’t talk about it. I’m a 7. I shot 81 and careered it. Thanks to Mike Caruso who was the silent “sales rep” who helped broker the meeting with the finals site. Thanks to ESPN980 PD Chris Johnson who supported the event at every step. Looking forward to the event getter bigger, fancier, better in 2018! And… someday, let’s hope, a Virginia win. Maryland 19.5 Virginia 16.5. We’ll get ’em next year.