Oof. So this is why I'm not chilling in my Vegas penthouse, making a small fortune by prophesying the outcomes of college football games? If these trends continue, I am going to have to re-evaluate my life's goals and ambitions. (Worse comes to worst, I may be forced to take up the time honored Marionaire hustle: heroin trading. I might dabble in it anyway, seeing as the Marion police just created a heroin vacuum by taking $12,000 worth of heroin off The City's streets. *Makes a mental note to call his stock broker*)
If Minnesota can't even be counted on TO LOSE STRAIGHT UP anymore, then I am afraid I don't know much about the current hellscape we seem to find ourselves in. Is it college football which has been below par this year? Is it just the Big Ten? IS IT ME? (Wait, please don't answer that).
I know most of you hate the ESPN-SEC hype, but you know what I did on 'em this week? I embraced the hyperbolic promotional machine. I savored every morsel of it too. LSU's defensive coordinator giving a bland interview to Erin Andrews? SIGN ME UP. Pictures of the one time Nick Saban thought about smiling? GIVE IT TO ME. The Honey Badger possibly decapitating Alabama's generic southern white quarterback? PUT IT ON A LOOP AT MY FUNERAL. The possibility of the camera panning Alabama's crowds as their entire notion of self-worth is stripped from them by Les Miles? I'LL TAKE 30,000 OF YOUR FINEST BOOTLEGGED DVDS, SIR.
I honestly don't care about any other game this weekend. Sure, I'll watch Ohio State blitzkrieg Indiana, but that's only if the game isn't decided by the time I wake up. (*Blogstar lyfestyle, might not make it*). As far as I'm concerned, there is only one game this week (sorry about you Arkansas-South Carolina) and really, it's the de-facto national championship. I'm ignoring the rest of the national games (as you should too; they're terrible) and making things up about the Big Ten games. In between those ramblings you will find the crux of this weekly banger: the blood-soaked words of the 29th President President of the United States: Warren Gamaliel Harding.
Gambling. Les Miles swaggering about. A resurrected President putting college football parlays. Mediocre jokes about a mediocre football conference. All via the internet. IT'S NO WONDER AMERICA IS FOREVER #1.
LAST WEEK: 5-6
#1 LSU (+4.5) at #2 Alabama - 8:00 EST - CBS
I want you to watch this video right now. Go on, do it. It's only 48 seconds long.
Ok... so... feel that adrenaline coursing through your veins? How amazing is that? Over the course of the month I've known of this video's existence, Les Miles has inspired me to take showers, play video games at a higher level, do homework, and even kill a man. And this is all over YouTube. Imagine the speech he will give out before he leads his tribe into Bryant-Denny Stadium? I have goosebumps thinking about a speech which will take place in a little over 48 hours in Tuscaloosa... and I'm sitting here in Ohio. And yet, here I am: feeling responsible for the outcome of this game and ready to strap on a helmet and to give my life in the service of Les Miles, if I am blessed enough to have that honor.
After watching this video over 800 times, I think my favorite part is the closing: "TEAM ON ONE!" I loved that. TO HELL WITH THOSE EXTRA TWO SECONDS, WE RIDE NOW. Think how much extra preperation this has bought Les Miles' teams over the last few years? I'm no mathmatician, but I'd wager at least an extra month. That's the power of Les Miles: he can shift the sands of time.
Vegas is steepling their fingers in glee at people thinking "I'm taking Alabama (-4.5) at home against LSU's 80th ranked offense." LSU's offense is statistically pedestrian, yet LSU's lowest scoring game came in a 35-7 win against Kentucky. That's because LSU is a machine. Don't concentrate on the finger. Worry about the iron-clast fist that is LSU.
Alabama's best win was against a pitiful Penn State team. LSU, on the other hand, has had the toughest schedule of any national contender, and they have eviscerated everybody who has stood before them. LSU will feed off the negative energy in Bryant-Denny Stadium, and the Alabamanananans will be dumb enough to give it to them. Also, enough about Lil' Nick Saban. There's nothing special about him. Saban is simply your run-of-the-mill asshole. America has abundance of them. Make no mistake, Nick Slaban is one of college footballs most efficient slave-drivers, but he lacks Les Miles' mysticism. Want to know something else? Trent Richardson won't get over 100 yards. I also doubt he has a run over 18 yards.
Lastly, if LSU gets behind -- they have the luxury of adding Jordan Jefferson to the mix. If Alabama were to fall behind 14-0, how exactly would Alabama come back from that? Honey Badger is probably dreaming about that right now.
LSU shows they're the kingpin this year. Just get it over with and crown their asses.
WARREN G. HARDING'S $10,000 PRESIDENTIAL power PARLAY
The 29th (and greatest) U.S. President, Warren G. Harding, was a renowned gambler, golfer, and lover of life. As such, his words are brought to you here through the medieval art of necromancy. Seeing as President Harding ushered us into economic success unheard of in human history (before being tragically assassinated by his jealous wife--which tanked the economy), his words here might as well come to your doorstep in the form of etched stone tablets. (All views and opinions presented here should be considered only those of Warren G. Harding himself, obvii).
LAST WEEK: -10,000 [
Oklahoma State (-14); Stanford (-7.5); Kansas State (+13.5)]
THE SEASON'S HONEY POT: +$141,157.02
I apologize for my brief communiqué last week, my friends. It's as the streets of Marion say, "The only thing Warren G. Harding clutches closer to his chest than your wife is his hand of cards." I also didn't want to jeopardize any of my loyal flock, for my enemies are as numerous as they are diabolical. They would feed your own entrails to you if it meant my capture. But make no mistake: for the last week, I have been making moves in these streets. Soon, we will all bathe in glory.
When the G-5 left New Guinea, it had a full working crew and all of my freed hostages. I was not, however, on board. Nay, my path was much more treacherous.
After three weeks of forging my way through the jungles of New Guinea, I came to where jungle met sand. By that time, my machete had been dulled over jungle plants and the scalps of those who had obstructed me. I found myself in quite a primal state; I was shirtless, tired, hungry and most unfortunately: out of cocaine.
As I looked into the skyline, seeing nothing in front of me but barren dunes of sand, I took stock of my supplies. I had 18 Newports and a quart of Dairymen's chocolate milk. To ward off thirst, I bent over and picked a pebble off the jungle ground and placed it under my tongue. (An old Navajo trick I learned from one of their high priestesses during an independent study in college). I then threw down my dulled, blood-stained machete. (I no longer needed it) and took out one of my eighteen Newports.
"Ko'... Ko'... Ko...'" I whispered. The Newport flickered to life. I hit it, took a deep sigh and began my thousand mile journey with a step.
None of you have you even heard of the Emerald Desert because none of you really know shit. It is a cursed land where hopes and dreams go to die. There are no resources. There are no industries. There are no souls. There is nothing. The sun never sets on the Emerald Desert. It is always high noon and 130 degrees. If you lose consciousness, your tombstone will merely be a pile of sun-bleached bones amongst a sea of sand.
My trip into the Emerald Desert was going to take three days. I had no choice but to delve into my bag of tricks and use the 72-Hour Hallucination Hustle.
None of you have probably ever heard about the 72-Hour Hallucination Hustle, let alone had the heart to give it a go. I warn you though, it's not for the feint of heart. At the depths of the 72-Hour Hallucination Hustle, you will find yourself on the brink of madness. Nothing is real, yet... nothing has ever been realer. Your entire life -- every fiber of your meager existence -- is laid out in front of you. No man emerges from such a voyage into himself without being changed for life.
I plowed through the first 48 hours of the fabled hustle as if I were General Sherman marching to the Sea. "If only I had some cocaine," I kept muttering to myself. Still, a Newport and some chocolate milk is something which can put a breeze in any man's sails. For a second, I almost thought it was going to be easy as it seemed.
Until I came across her.
She was standing there amongst the hills of sand, her long black hair flowing in the wind from under her red bandanna. A red jacket with gold-trimming over her white, frilled frock. The sun gleaming off her golden belt-buckle. Her black leather boots cutting off her denim leggings at the knees. Her eyes appearing to be made of diamond as she leaned against the hilt of her scimitar.
"By Jupiter's Cock," I said as my wits failed me, "You're even more beautiful than on the bottle. Is it really you?"
The brigand cocked her head back and laughed. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard.
"Lady Bligh," I said, dropping to my knees, "the honor is mine, my Lady."
"Warren, my love," she said, smiling, "why don't you stay here with me? I am the only woman who has ever satisfied you."
"I... I... I know, my Lady. You have always been loyal to me. Unlike any other woman."
It was then I saw behind her. The cool seas. The hammock. Lady Bligh and I running trains on extoic looking women. A stack of unlimited opiates. It was everything I had ever wanted and more. I could have stayed there. I could have been hers forever and been content. And, for a second... I was. I was going to give it all up... until I saw... him.
From behind my treasured stack of all worldly opiates emerged a baby. Only, it wasn't just any baby--it was a baby which looked exactly like me, complete with the full head of slick white hair. When he pulled the Newports from his diaper and lit one, my worst nightmares confirmed: it was my future son.
Then, from under the sand rose a white picket fence, which surrounded me. I suddenly realized I was trapped. Baby Warren G. Harding, who appeared to be high on cocaine, cocked his head and looked into me with the dead-eyed gaze only a baby can muster. I felt as if a javelin of ice had been thrown through my sternum.
Wordless, the baby flicked his Newport into the fence. It erupted in flames. Lady Bligh began cackling as if she had lost her wits. As the flames began to get bigger behind her, my beautiful Lady Bligh turned to a pillar of ash and fell into the sand. Then, from the ashes -- like a phoenix from the pits of Hell -- materialized the leader of the Marion Hooded Rats Society: my wife, Florence Harding.
I couldn't believe my eyes. She had haunted my nightmares every night since I killed her and twenty-nine of her followers three weeks back in a heroin den on the west side of Marion.
"By what sorcery is this?" I demanded. "I slew you three weeks back. I watched you burn with my own eyes."
She smiled. For a second, she almost didn't look like the grotesque bag of bones she was. "Gamaliel, do you think I would part from this life so easily? And leave you here to fend for yourself?"
Baby Warren G. Harding waddled to her side, still tugging on another Newport. My blood turned to ice. I was paralyzed.
"When we leave this earth together, Gamaliel," she continued, "it will be together. All of us... entwined forever." Florence and Baby Warren G. Harding looked at each other and began laughing. They then erupted in flames; but the flames did not harm either of them. If anything, they laughed harder.
I began to feel my bowels shift.
Run, you fool. The command came from nowhere. Still, I couldn't move.
Run, you fool. The voice boomed again. What stands before you isn't real.
It was then I realized, I wasn't in the 8th Circle of Hell but the Emerald Desert. I turned away from the two balls of fire and sprinted the other way. When I braced for the impact of running through a burning fence, I simply passed through it as if it were made of mist.
When I run from the cops, by rule, I run until I can't run any further. Then I keep running. I knew I wasn't being pursued by anyone or anything real, but I ran all the same. I passed visions of my secret hopes and my darkest secrets. If they ensnared me, I would die. I pressed on until I came to what appeared to be a birdbath affixed a giant sand dune. I knew it was real, because the birdbath had a green tint to it, which only an Emerald in the sunlight can bring about. Slugging the last of my chocolate milk, I rushed up the hill. In the birdbath, amidst a pool of strawberry milkshake, I found a mockingbird made of stone.
"AKHAI!!!!!! AKAHAI!!!!!! VAMANIS KALOOS SARKA!!!!!!!!!" I shouted to the Gods, clutching the mockingbird in my fist above my head. "AKHAI!!!!!! AKAHAI!!!!!! VAMANIS KALOOS SARKA!!!!!!!!!" I turned around, put both hands on either side of the emerald birdbath and drank the strawberry milkshake until my stomach was full. I then collapsed to to the ground, and for the first time in three days, I slept.
I awoke to Bill Cosby dumping the contents of a Greygoose bottle down my throat. Feeling the burn in not only my innards but my eyes, I began gagging and coughing as I turned over on all fours. No longer able to contain myself, I vomited all over the stone floors.
"Seriously, Cosby? GREYGOOSE? What the fuck, bro? Were you out of deer piss?"
Cosby simply smirked as he lit one his damned Cuban cigars. "Hey man, you were passed out in here with no shirt on. I thought you had suffered a true death. Why are you here, anyway? Did you overdose on heroin again? Gods dammit, Warren, that's what it is, isn't it? You fool! Don't you remember when you OD'd the night you were elected President? It almost cost us everything. EVERYTHING!!!"
I stood up, shaking the vomit from my limbs. "No, I came here through fires of the Emerald Desert."
Cosby squinted as he inhaled from his cigar this time, "72-Hour Hallucination Hustle?" he finally asked.
"I had no other choice."
Cosby seemed to find that amusing, "So what brings you back here?"
"I request the presence of my father. I must speak to him immediately."
Cosby found this so amusing he allowed himself a chuckle, "High Lord Zeus is a very busy man. You won't be able to see him until this weekend, after all his football games are done and his inner-court has adjourned for the day."
"I didn't expect anything less. Just tell him his firstborn son would like a humble word with his lordly father, whenever so he gets a chance."
"Very well," Cosby said, dragging on his cigar as he walked to the door, "I will send for you. Until then..." he gestured to the far end of the room. There was a dresser with a pile of cocaine on it, and next to it were two giggling girls in a bed. "I think you'll find everything you need here until Zeus is ready for you."
So here I sit, friends. Relegated (for now) to the pits of Mt. Olympus with only a half a kilo and two whores -- as if I'm some commoner. Though, I suppose there are worse ways to await your enemies as they take their final few steps into the middle of the kill-zone.
Now, I must have misread the Stars of Fortune last week; and for that, I apologize. Sure, I'm trying to keep the galactic scales balanced, but I must never forget the band of my most loyal disciples. This week, there was no haste in my approach. I have looked into the future and I see what it beholds. Let me offer you the fruits of my labor, because it's a poor shepherd who doesn't feed his flock.
Investment in this week's $10,000 Presidential Power Parlay will yield an untaxed profit of $86,582.64, according to my Secretary of Collegiate Football Wagering, W.A. Titsworth. THE BANGER: LSU (Money Line), Wisconsin (-26), and Vanderbilt (+14).
Remember to be generous to your neighbors with your harvest, as I have been generous to you all. The squabbles between Men must be put aside, for now. The day of reckoning is swiftly approaching.
Minnesota at #15 Michigan State (-27.5) - 12:00 EST - The Big Ten Network
So remember when Michigan State almost collapsed in the 4th quarter against Wisconsin, only to be saved by a last-second Hail Mary? Then remember how Dan Wetzel typed an entire article about how THIS IS A DIFFERENT MICHIGAN STATE TEAM? Well, the elephant in the room throughout that entire piece was the fact Michigan State still had to go to Nebraska; and if they were to lose, they would be back to being "the same ol' Michigan State". We all know what happened next. I can't say I didn't smile at #E2B as I watched Kirk Cousins get his head bashed into the ground repeatedly. I haven't seen an alleged bully get knocked like that since Buster Douglas floored Mike Tyson. Minnesota, on the other hand, shocked the world last week by not only covering a spread but actually winning a football game. IS MINNESOTA ON THE RISE? I am not sure, but Michigan State is at home (where they've been a different monster), and Dantonio will get the execution he needs to get Sparty back on the tracks. I think they'll put up 40+ on Minnesota.
#13 Michigan at Iowa (+4) - 12:00 - ESPN
(Talking to my weekly reader here) So, remember last week, how I said "Man, Vegas sure wants you to take Clemson (-4.5) against Georgia Tech?" And then I proceeded to pick Clemson anyway? I'm like the toddler who knows the iron is hot, but sticks his hand in it anyway because why would the laws of nature apply to him? Granted, I had to scald my hand to learn this lesson, but I did finally learn it; and Michigan (-4) looks too easy. I'm sure Vegas has some crazy insider stat based around Kirk Ferentz coming off a loss and Michigan playing poorly at Iowa or something. While I hope Michigan wins (I want Ohio State to kick them off the highest peak possible), I'm going to have to ride with dem goonz in Vegas.
Northwestern at #9 Nebraska (-17.5) - 3:30 EST - Big Ten Network
Northwestern is a Swiss army knife of averageness. I want the names of everybody who thought Dan Persa was a serious Heisman candidate delivered to me; there should be a public shaming for those people. Sure, Nebraska could get caught napping before their stretch run of @Penn State, @Michigan, and Iowa; especially if Nebraska's habit of starting sluggish rears its ugly head. Though, I've tried to make a few troll wagers on Northwestern this year and almost every time it ended with me saying "Why the hell did I do that?" Not this time, no sir.
Purdue at #19 Wisconsin (-26) - 3:30 EST - ABC (Regional)
Poor, poor Purdue. Like a wife getting beaten within an inch of her life over a lukewarm pot-pie, they are simply a victim of circumstance. It's becoming a fall tradition as dependable as the changing of colors in leaves: Wisconsin steamrolling their way through a cupcake-ass out-of-conference schedule and then folding like Oragami when faced with actual adversity. Crazy thing is, Russell Wilson falling into their laps - coupled with Jim Tressel's timely demise - almost paid off for them. They're what, two plays away from being the undisputed boss hoggs of the Midwest? I want to believe this is karma for Bret Bielema shamelessly running up the scores on lesser foes, but then I look at some of the things happening in Africa, and I'm suddenly not so sure the world is that just. What I am sure about is this game being right in Bret Bielema's wheelhouse. I bet he's had an erection for the last 72 hours (one of those mystical ones Viagra is always "warning" you about) from thinking about running the score up on poor Purdue. Will Bret Bielema feed the crowd's bloodlust by ripping out Caleb TerBush's ACLs? It would be cruel, but you can't expect mercy from a guy who picked his wife up at a Blackjack table in Vegas.