Friday, March 29, 2013
Granted: you have to wait all spring, summer, and into fall to get paid. Granted: he only "releases" two winners. But if like money, and don't like to "gamble"... then I suggest you pay attention. Here goes...
PS: You can follow him on Twitter at @justcallmemrx.
13 years on Czabe show, and 77% clip. I feel a bit like Brandon Lang, and I don’t know how to stop this madness! Oh, the pressure to win. I can’t raise the % without a perfect year, but it can always go south.
I have a good story about an “early year” of this, that might be better than just baseball talk J (in 2001, when I “released” my top play at end of our Calcutta), this guy grabbed a phone and called in $5k AGAINST me. Right in my face – in front of all. Then he said, in the immortal words of Vito Corleone, “it’s not personal, it’s business”. He said, “nobody can keep winning every year” (and I had taken the same Oakland A’s OVER that was my #1 the year before. He assumed I was being a “fan” and not a handicapper. I was no fan. They went over the 88 so easy – and won 102. It was the “moneyball” movie year – but when I watched the movie, they somehow left me out of it.
General observation: Never seen such “bunching” of numbers. Usually the top teams are around 94-95, but this year there’s a cluster around 89-90. It’s tempting to take the 2 best teams OVER, since somebody always flirts with 100, and it ought to be Detroit and Washington. But I won’t. There’s no room there for an easy win. I do like them as best teams though.
General rule 2: if most of your plays are OVERS, then you are probably a fan and not a good handicapper. EVERYONE is optimistic and if things “break right” you go over. All the teams that go “under” have injuries and “off years”. DUH. I only like a couple teams OVER, I usually go UNDER or “pass”.
Two best plays:
1. Cleveland over 77. They quietly got much better. Their division sucks with only 1 decent team (Det). CWS is way overrated and performed well above expectations last year. They will be under .500. KC is getting the annual “over” hype, but they just never get there. The Twins may contest the Astros for worst record. Cleveland should be an over and the other’s weaknesses make it a top play. I see them getting to 85 and even battling for the extra WC slot.
2. Toronto UNDER 90. Yep, when odds first came out, the Jays and Nats were “co-fav” to win the WS. They made the most moves in offseason and that draws attention. But, every time I look at their 25 man roster, I see a .500 team – so I’m against the grain here. They need excellent years from their strong SP to do better than that. They won’t ALL do it. The division is stronger than most think, and 3 or 4 teams can go OVER, but it won’t be the Jays.
You probably should stop there. Take the 2-0 and call it a year.
Yeah, I know most can’t. So here’s some snicky’s:
1. The ONLY teams “over” are Mets, Cubs and TB. If you are playing any other teams OVER, you don’t have Mr X’s blessing. Sure many teams will go over – but playing any other teams Over,…..you may win, but well, it’s ALMOST like GAMBLING. J
2. Next best play (#3) is White Sox under 81. Although whatever I’d put in on CWS under, it makes sense to roll it onto Clev over. CWS won’t get to .500
3. Lean to unders on ATL (87.5) and STL (87).
4. Finally – every computer model picks Hou OVER 59.5. I don’t. I think they lose 110 and that means closer to 50. I think missing in most projections is that they are in AL and not only overmatched, but nearly every day they face a “new pitcher”. It is possible that they will be an “underdog” in about 150 games this year. Not sure I’ve seen that before.
Division winners – with value
1. Only dog with value is TB at about 5 or 6 to 1.
2. Others are mostly chalk this year, Tigers, Nats and Reds are solid and Angels and Dodgers likely to win. A’s, Red Sox, Giants are best long shots, but while could come close, won’t get there.
Det and Nats in WS.
Strasburg and Verlander in game 7, sounds like a collision course to me....
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Too bad they can't work Jessica - Jep's stunning wife - into the show a bit more, but Jep's not a main character so I doubt they will despite the fact she's a true smokeshow.
I like Korie and Missy. They seem... er... "reasonable." But you never know until you are in that marriage, do ya?
Miss Kay? She's the shit! Love that woman. Any genuine "frontier woman" who can cook skinned squirrel - or any other critter Phil drags out of the swamps - is a true keeper.
Sergio goes "full tarzan" to escape a tree.
Matt Every makes eagle from lakeside beach.
Nicolas Thompson gets up and down from the water.
Phil Mickelson says: "Do not try this at home!"
And last but not least, EA Sports pits Tiger and Arnie against a bunch of would-be video game thugs!
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Best would go to Butler, making the championship game, back to back years. Only to fall agonizingly short of cutting down the nets.
Second and third best would be VCU going from play-in round to the Final Four, and George Mason becoming the first modern "little school that could."
But this is fun. Crazy, fun.
Deadspin has an excellent "one stop shop" for all of your FGCU needs, including a must-watch highlight reel of every on of their post-season dunks.
I even saw on another highlight package of the G-Town win, PG Brett Comer inbounding it OFF THE BACK of the Hoyas' clueless Nate Lubick, then scoring!
If you want to see the view from one of the DORMS, you can just click here and say "shut the FRONT door!"
And if you want the overall geography of where the place is, you go google earth zooming here.
Then, if your kid is torn between Harvard, Yale, and FGCU, you can click here to listen to their whole academic pitch.
Oh, and does Harvard have a beach?
No. No they don't. Suck it, Harvard.
Oh, and here's the coach's lovely wife. She was a model. He won her over with a date at Taco Bell.
No, really. He did.
Yes, that's her!
In an awesome mock photoshoot of the legendary scene in Basic Instinct, Vonn aptly channels her inner Sharon Stone. (minus the leg-cross-switch move, darn!)
Here's the original, with a few more shots of Tiger's new Tigress!
Monday, March 25, 2013
Sure, I wish I could say our weekend was as epic as "The Hangover."
It was not.
Yours won't be either. But that's okay. Because nobody just laughs off a stolen a police car, and drug dealers shoot you in the head and leave you dumped in the middle of the strip. They do not become your buddy.
What you will get if you have a good time in Vegas, is a nice collection of little odd, funny stories. People you meet, things you see, moments you will joke about with your buddies for years to come.
For me, I got these bottles at the airport. They don't taste that good, and they don't cure hangovers. But I like the collection.
I spent 4 hours playing blackjack at the god-awful-when-are-they-tearing-this-place-down Riviera. Me and professional hanger-on "Clarkie" were grinding away on a $5 table. We were at the so-called "Passion Pit" set of tables, which does NOT contain any real passion, but DOES contain music and pole dancers.
Good enough for me.
Clarkie almost ended up witnessing history. I told him so. "What? History?" Yes, I said looking at my pathetic stack of 4 $5 chips left from my $100 buy in. "If this dealer wipes me out, I am officially RETIRING from blackjack forever. Right here. Right now."
When I sat down I promptly lost the first 5 hands. Most of them in absurd fashion. Our dealer even had a 6-card-21. Those are always fun. I actually TIPPED her for it, just for some kind of reverse-karma. I was getting crap cards after crap cards.
I'm playing standard strategy. Nothing nutty. And there I was, about to be bled out in 45 minutes.
Stupid. Fucking. Game.
But then... I guess the Vegas Gods had other ideas about my retirement. Because after I was already to walk away triumphantly in the blackjack sunset, the rally began. The dealer went from Brad Lidge 2008, to Brad Lidge 2009. Busting all over the place.
I clawed all the way back to a stack of $110, and could have walked away quite satisfied. But the free barrage of Southern Comfort and Diet's were just too nice, and I was not ready to go to bed yet. I gave back another $50 doing completely idiotic things just for fun. Like SPLITTING 6's! Wheeee!!! At $5 a hand, why the hell not?
At some point, a completely disturbed looking man who was barking out HIS recommended plays in what sounded like an Eastern European accent from a few feet off the table, decided to sit down.
He bought in.... with $20.
He then pushes one $5 chip onto the circle, and promptly loses the hand. Since my boy Clarkie had to play for $10 because he came in after the minimum change, I said loudly to our dealer: "Hey, how come he gets to play for $5?"
Uh oh. Idiot. WHY did I do that?
The dealer shuts him down at $5, much to his quiet dismay. I am sure he had a helluva plan to turn that $20 into something huge, but alas, now SOME ASSHOLE (me) decided to be the "dealer's pet student."
I nervously watch across the table at him (let's call him "Kreplach" from Slovenia just for fun) as he proceeds to sit out the next 2 or 3 entire shuffles of a 6 deck shoe. I keep thinking: oh shit, what have I done? This NUT is going to rise up at any moment, and drop me with Saturday night special hidden in his pants.
I finally ask the dealer: "Hey, can you help my boy over there and ask the pit boss if he can play his $5 hands?" She does, to no avail. Shit. The guy isn't leaving. And he's not looking real happy.
So what happened, Czabe? Did you guys become best friends, go to a strip club, win $10,000 on video poker, then steal a police car?
Kreplach ended up slinking into the slummy Riviera night, and I decided it was probably a good time to leave, since at least when he was at the table I could keep an eye on him.
And that's the kind of story you get in Vegas in real life. Plus many others. I enjoy my collection of these little moments, as I am you enjoy your collection of Vegas anecdotes and vignettes.
So where are my pictures this year? I didn't take any. At least not any on my phone. If you want that stuff, just go back and look at the collection of Hangover pictures "recovered" from the phone. They are better than anything you'll ever get in real life, and it won't get you in trouble at home, or at work.
How am I possibly going to make this event even better?
Because at this point, I am pretty sure I can't.
The 2013 edition of this annual event (I should start roman numeraling them for easier reference) has to go down as perhaps the smoothest, most efficiently perfect one yet.
Thanks to everyone of my listeners who signed up and showed up at the Hard Rock, and further reinforced my belief that good radio, is a shared experience.
To be able to talk to so many of you, and meet you, and to laugh at past show moments, bits, and segments was truly a blast. Your appreciation of the show's organic honesty with you, the listener, makes that infernal 5 a.m. wake up call very much worth it.
I offer my continued thanks to Mike Larragueta at the Hard Rock for being our group host. Don't ever leave Gaucho1, because I have grown an affinity for the Hard Rock that will make ever having to stay at a strip casino again.
For Eden Kovari, Mike's right hand gal and supreme organizational hostess, my gift to you is no longer having to take a call or an email from me, trying to tweak some tiny detail about our event! You handled all of my obsessive requests with professionalism, charm and diligence.
For Matt Shendelll of the Paige Group, operators of the Ainsworth Lounge where we chillaxed Thursday and Friday night, I can honestly say our spot was the most comfortable, perfect, and professionally staffed location to watch all these games in the entire city. Period. Not only did your group upgrade an already nice space, but any group that now books a private party will feel like they actually own the room.
My winners of the Bloody Horns golf tournament this summer enjoyed the two rounds at the Paiute Resort where the weather was springlike nice, but with a brisk desert breeze. Conditions were perfect, and my only regret was not being healthy enough with my lymie wrists to join them. I did play our 9-hole par-3 event on Friday under crystalline 72 degree sunshine and hardly a puff of wind.
My right hand men, Scott Linn and Eric Gitter were essential helpers in setting up the great "outdated souvenir dump" of 2012! (ha!) I tried my hardest to unload every shotglass shirt and basketball, but a few dozen are still getting shipped back home to my basement!
Bob and Brian showed up on time, mingled and chatted with everyone, and were diligent foot soldiers of the extended Czabe Army. I could not ask for more (Although Bob saw fit to jump up and "rahhhhh, YEAHHH!!!" no less than 2 feet from my face when his North Carolina wager came home, and my opposing piece of $ on Villanova went down in flames. Dick.)
The weather was great. The drinks were free. No injuries. No arrests. Nobody locked out on a hotel rooftop.
In sum. No complaints. Damn near perfect trip, perfect promotion.
Well, there was one minor complaint that kept coming up, over and over and over again. It went something like this..
"How come Solly and Galdi didn't come out this year."
I didn't have a great answer on either one, so I just left it like this to everyone who asked: "Next year, they'll be here... or they'll be fired."
Now I just have 361 days to work on making that happen.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Monday, March 18, 2013
CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE PDF
Thanks to Bradley Turner, the evil genius who took my vision, and made it happen. Thanks to...
1. Microsoft Excel
2. Eyes of steel
5. Five-Hour Energy
Sunday, March 17, 2013
I know that seems downright impossible, reading this blog, or listening to my shows.
But I am. I swear.
When I see these basketball programs gathered in front of a TV, or maybe a jumbo-tron at their stadium backed by thousands of loyal fans, I still get that romantic sports tingle in my soul.
Look at them.
These are kids of all backgrounds. From the hood to the cul-de-sac. Black, white and in-between, with coaches, coaches wives and kids, other program members and their families.
And I see their pure joy at just seeing their team name on a big bracket next to a number?
Damn. It's magic. Still, magic.
I guess it's because I was once part of such a family, as the once-upon-a-time radio play-by-play voice of the good ol' UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. I've felt the elation of being an at-large berth (1990) and the sting choking away an almost sure bid by losing in the first round of the Big West tournament as the #1 seed.(1992).
The professionals, they just don't care. Not like the amateurs They care. Deeply. They act stupid, dance around, hug each other when they win. And they cry in a puddle on the court when they lose.
Go ahead. Say the modern D-1 college "kid" is nothing more than an exploited, unpaid professional, I say bullshit to that.
Look at the faces of the kids leaping in the air for Gonzaga, just to see that they were a 1-seed after all, a forgone conclusion, in my mind. The reaction was amazing, as if they were kids at Christmas seeing a pile of presents under the tree, after being told by their parents not to expect much.
None of them gave a shit about how much money CBS was paying the NCAA. None of them cares that they don't own the video game rights to their jersey number.
They are just living the joy of being an athlete, in a sport they love. At the (second) highest level in the world.
It's beautiful. It's magical. And it does not exist anywhere else in our current sports ecosystem.
Given the absolutely cynical and corrupt moral death spiral pro sports are in these days, it makes March Madness seem even better by comparison.
I am so, so, ready for this tournament. Let's tip it off, and see what happens.
Friday, March 15, 2013
Thursday, March 14, 2013
But there are also some 400 plaintiffs who never played a single down in a professional game, but participated in training camps or served time on a practice squad.
"You've got situations where cases could be sent back from one court to another because the plaintiffs have such wildly different circumstances," said Gabe Feldman, director of the Tulane Sports Law Program.
So far, publicity around the litigation has centered on players who incurred countless blows to the head and have been diagnosed with dementia and memory loss. So vulnerable are quarterbacks that in recent years the league has imposed new rules to protect them.
But the list of plaintiffs seeking damages for repeated mild traumatic brain injuries also includes roughly 50 former punters and kickers—men who spent the bulk of their time standing on the sidelines for all but a few plays each game, and often took no hits at all.
The punters and kickers argue that even occasionally taking a block or tackling a returner poses an extraordinary risk. "I weighed 142 pounds and I didn't wear many pads," said Garo Yepremian, the 5-foot-7 field-goal specialist who played 15 years in the NFL.
"Every hit was like a car crash. Maybe you only get hit eight or 10 times a year, but if you experience eight auto crashes a year you're going to feel it."
Although free of dementia symptoms, and although medical tests have yielded no diagnosis of brain injury, Yepremian, a plaintiff against the league, said he suffers from mood swings that he says may or may not be related to football injuries. Sometimes, he said, he'll be sitting with his wife of more than 40 years and "the slightest thing gets me so aggravated. I'll throw a tantrum for 45 minutes, screaming and shouting."Yeah. Sure, Garo. It's the football. Not your wife.
Hard to be sympathetic to former players now, when it didn't take being a neurologist from Harvard to deduce that repeated head smashes were, um, BAD for you and could have consequences.
And just wait. Once Tony Gonzales retires - again! - he'll be quick to rush in himself, if this whole debacle isn't thrown out of court by that time.
And just wait. Once Tony Gonzales retires - again! - he'll be quick to rush in himself, if this whole debacle isn't thrown out of court by that time.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Renaldo Balkman was in the NBA just last year. You know, the NBA, NBA. The one where you get paid lots of money, and you are kinda famous?
Well, Balkman evidently wore out his welcome stateside, and so he was plying his mad hoops SKILLZ in the Phillipines, when THIS happened.
He has been banned from the league.
Well played, Mr. Balkman.
Thanks to everyone for the tremendous support and enthusiasm for this event. Please double-check my accounting here, as I have been known to miss people every now and then.
For some reason, I allowed 2 "extra" lucky stiffs in on Friday's show, UNLESS I have botched the lists of names somehow and the nights requested.
If you are coming next week, and something on this list looks wrong, or you are SURE you had paid but don't appear, CONTACT ME NOW!
Otherwise, you will be met by a burly bouncer in a tight black t-shirt at the Ainsworth, who has no sense of humor.
On the Par-3 Tournament front.... I HAVE ONE OPEN SPOT LEFT!
So if you want in, let me know.
Viva Las Vegas.
See ya'll in a week!
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
But when I saw the DirecTV genie ad that shows her getting literally, BENT OVER and thrusted by a promotional "wind dancer" display, I nearly blasted milk through my nose in shock.
Sure, the act of thrusting is a split second (I know, I freeze framed it! /pervert) but I was pretty shocked that network lawyers said: "Okay, we're cool with that."
Well for those keen eyes, she is also the lovely perv who loads her man's cell phone with a NSFW video en route to the airport. Hoooo, yeah!
And thanks to a tipster, she also stars in a Funny Or Die video short on a lottery for orgasms.
I mean, if you really want to see her fake an orgasm, if that would brighten your day, then go ahead, click away on the link above!
In the meantime, Ms. Emery you just keep being fabulous, and let's hope you get a breakout role soon in proper television!
The timeline looks like this.
- Musburger ogles.
- Inside Edition hires her for SB coverage
- Celebrity Diving
- SI Swimsuit Issue
- Vanity Fair photo spread
And... I think I'm done. She's alright. But the angular features, a touch mannish. Still, if you like glistening wet shots of her climbing out of a pool, then this link will be worth your while.
Monday, March 11, 2013
That said, Crean inherited a mess at Indiana that was just one step better than how Robert Swift left his McMansion in Seattle to the new owners before being evicted.
Here was Crean on a recent interview on "The Sports Reporters" with me and Gary Williams in ESPN980 in Washington, D.C. Basically, he walked into an academic shitstorm on top of the sanctions and the exodus of talent.
If you want the full context of his remarks, you can listen to the long version below.
Gary himself knows all about rebuilding a program from scratch. He took over at Maryland following the probation imposed by Bob Wade's reign of error. Three years probation, two years of post-season ban, and even one year OFF TELEVISION!
You'll never see that last part again, given how beholden schools, conferences, and the NCAA is to lucrative TV dollars.
So if you see the above clip and think Crean is some fanatical grudge-holding dickhead, well, just know that there is of course, more to the story for those who aren't hard core hoops fans and don't know how far Indiana had fallen.
Like a flamethrower of truth, it's an awesome listen. But make sure to listen at home, or at the very least with headphones securely on at work. Now, you WILL have to explain to co-workers why you are pumping your fists wildly in the air and shouting "whooo hooo! My man!"
But that's a small price to pay.
God bless Adam Corolla, who so aptly points out how the politically correct crowd systematically and relentlessly attempts to shut down dissenting or "non-mainstream" opinions on current problems in American society and politics today.
I don't have a pirate ship, yet, but as a well hidden sniper with good ol' Czabe.com up in the jungle hillside, I am happy to add whatever supporting fire I can to the majestic "Gunship Corrolla" blasting away just off the coast.
Uhhhh... huh. Really?
You can read the website yourself if you want. I got about two pages into it and said, okay whatever.
Still, I just can't wait to tee up a shiny white dimpled FOOTBALL the next time I play golf with my boyz, and see their reactions.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Trevor Releford, you magnificent bastard!
With his team on the NCAA bubble, having pissed away a 17 point lead at home, with Georgia ready to stick the dagger in with a wind-the-clock-out-and-fire game winner in their hands..... THIS happened.
Or, as Ricky Bobby would say: "What does that do? Did that just blow your mind? That. Just. Happened..."
A metric ton of great games, great moments, and great intensity in college basketball over the weekend. And we're still a full week away from selection Sunday. I know that I have lamented the (undeniable) decline of the college game, and the college scene in hoops the last few years. But the simple fact remains: these kids play their assess off for the front of the jersey. If only for one year, sure. But if it's just one year for some of them, we'll have to take it.
Releford may, or may not, someday make crazy NBA coin and buy himself a mansion with a grotto and fish tanks full of bull sharks.
What matters, is that this moment for him, is indelible and worth more than whatever the Toronto Raptors might some day pay him.
He won't have to TELL his kids and grand kids about this shot. He'll just say: "Go ahead, think I'm exaggerating? Google it..."
I loved watching this game ending sequence so much, I nearly broke the rewind and pause button on my DVR. Some things that popped to the front of my mind....
1. When the opponent has the ball, shot clock off, and a chance to win the game, it is THE WORST! It's like an execution, where you have to stand against the wall, and hope the guy with a pistol from long range misses.
2. The turnabout dagger, which this was, is exceptionally rare. Most of the time, you MIGHT get them to miss, then rebound, and call timeout for a last second play. That dynamic is not nearly as awesome as how this game played out.
3. Watch the Alabama bench as Releford is about to launch. Even though the pure statistical prospects of a running half courter are pretty damn low, those guys in warm-ups are crouched and ready - almost as if they had seen the script for this epic finish and know how it turns out. I love the guy at the end of the bench who is pogo-hopping as the ball makes its final descent into Bama hoops lore.
4. When the horn sounds as the game winning shot is about half-way home, it is the FUCKING BEST. The best! And now with the red-light LED's around the backboard, it's just so damn cool when guys hit buzzer beaters.
5. Thank god for whomever invented the mic'd up rim in basketball. Somebody smart, a long time ago, knew that clean audio of where the pumpkin-meets-the-twine would make for an excellent broadcast "sweetener." And in this case, the audio is awesome. The ball rips through the rim with an epic "ssssshhhhhWUNK!" that makes the entire building explode.
6. The announcers made the perfect call: "OHHHHHHH..ooooooohhhhh....." They say in TV you should "lay out" and the "big moments" speak for themselves with pictures and natural sound. But not always. On these kind of plays, the pure orgasmic wonder of the paid professionals wearing the headsets is absolutely pitch perfect.
Let's hope this moment is a harbinger of a great tournament. Hell, it's pretty hard to fuck up the NCAA's, even though the NCAA is trying their darndest. With the sheer weakness of the top teams this year - it's possible that 3 of the #1 seeds will have FIVE losses each, un-heard of! - I think this bracket is the most wide open affair since they went to 64 teams.
Let's get it on. And make sure to start planning your creative get-out-work excuses now.
Friday, March 8, 2013
Here's 2 Insanely Better Kickers Than Lauren Silberman, And Even They Have A Hard Time Getting Tryouts!
This first lunkhead is Havard Rugland.
Now normally, I frown upon "trick shot" videos on YouTube, since, hello - EDITING!
That said... hol-lee-sheeeeeet!
Even still, it's DOUBTFUL ol' Kickalicious will EVER play in an NFL game. But he's gonna try. And good for him. Just remember him, however, compared to Missy Toe Stubber who fashioned herself as the Rosa Parks of kicking.
Oh... and here's a high school kid who can WHOMP it 70 yards, and he can't even get a D1 scholarship.
MJ has been cleared for "final approach" on marriage #2, after his first marriage went spectacularly badly.
This time, it's Cuban model Yvette Prieto, who admittedly, is quite lovely to look at. And perhaps a wonderful person too.
I know this much, given MJ's love of cigars, you can't go wrong with a CUBAN hottie!
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Some NBA genius GM drafted this turd 12th overall.
Because he was 7-feet tall.
F'ing idiots, both kids like this, and the men who should know better.
Careful what you wish for, Zag Nuts.
Don't get me wrong, I am still very much a fan of Gonzaga as a program, and the very concept of small(er) schools showing the dopey "big boys" how it's done.
But ever since Gonzaga burst on the scene in 1999 (remember "driveway legend" Dan Dickau?) with a near run to the Final Four, they have been a pretty consistent disappointment come tournament time.
Of course, that was before George Mason made an even more insane small school run to the Final Four under Jim Larranaga. Before Butler made it to the final GAME, back to back. And before VCU went from a mission impossible "First Four" add-on selection, all the way to the big dome the first weekend of April.
So we've kinda "been there, done that" in college basketball.
Still, I wish Mark Few and the boys well. Falling short of the Final Four with the #1 ranking on their head, however, will be used against them until the end of time.