The Situational: Week One

By Ramzy Nasrallah on August 30, 2012 at 4:00p
we suck

The delicate art of wagering has both elevated and destroyed an untold number of human lives.

This is because gambling simply shifts wealth from the ill-informed and unlucky to the illuminated and fortuitous with varying degrees of dumb luck sprinkled in just to make it fun for everybody involved.

We don't seem to be creating more wealth these days, so we have to take what exists from each other. Gambling is a convenient, mostly-legal way to do that.

This weekly season series is constructed around a handful of non-Buckeye football wagers each week, but don’t think for a second that the predictions contained within are scientific, based on any intelligence or worth separating you from your hard-earned unemployment benefits.

The Situational is purely concerned with your entertainment. Just as you wouldn’t spend an evening at the Moulin Rouge just for the roquette salad and toast (it is one hell of a salad) you definitely shouldn’t rely on The Situational for sound financial or wagering advice.

This weekly arrangement serves a higher purpose: Football. Sometimes: Culture. Always: Bourbon. Perhaps a couple of jokes you can lift and claim as your own.

Welcome to The Situational. Let's talk about football and stuff.

The Greeting

This weekend stadiums across the country will finally awaken from their long slumber to host millions of visitors anxiously ready for football to begin again. You may be one of those visitors, returning to a place you once called home. Or maybe you're a stranger in a strange land.

For those first-time visitors - at college football venues or anywhere else - here are some suggested greetings you can use to ingratiate yourself with the natives and kick off your weekends on the positive with the natives:

The embroidery on Nick Saban's pajamas is pure gangster.

LOCATION: Columbus (Ohio State vs. Miami)


Note for Southerners: Calmly spoken is preferred, though shouted is also acceptable - simply follow the same etiquette that would apply for Roll Tide.

LOCATION: Dallas (Michigan vs. Alabama)

GREETING: Hey Y'all.

Note for Northerners: Y’all can be used to address either one person or an entire group of people - contrary to what you might believe, Y'all is not strictly a plural pronoun.

LOCATION: Mars (NASA Rover vs. Alien Life Forms)

GREETING: Take me to your leader or I come in peace.

Note for humans: We don't know if extra terrestrials are as armed-to-the-teeth as Americans are, but they definitely should speak English. If they don't they must be stupid! Right?!

LOCATION: Cincinnati (Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati 9/6)

GREETING: Where did you go to school? No, I meant high school.

Note for all: The second part of the greeting is only necessary in the unlikely event you're interacting with a foreigner (like someone from Dayton) or anyone who thinks it's an odd question to ask a person over the age of 20 (like anyone not from Cincinnati).

LOCATION: Dublin (Notre Dame vs. Navy)

GREETING: Cén fáth go bhfuil ár n-chóiste sin corcra agus mar sin feargach?

Note for Subway Alumni: This loose Irish translation for why is our coach so purple and so angry? which will come in handy when the Domers commit their fourth crippling red zone turnover despite Tommy Rees being suspended for the game.

The dead president

Ah yes, dead presidents. Because that cuts right to the heart of why we gamble: To get more of that paper.

Tweaking into a whole new era.

The segment that occupied this space a year ago was the Weekend Update with 11W alumnus DJ Byrnes.

DJ is impossible to define, but his two unyielding constants are 1) he is an unabashedly proud Marionaire, and 2) he holds President Warren Gamaliel Harding in the highest regard. This is explicitly why The Situational has chosen to go ahead and get Warren G out of the way in this first installment. 

Harding was many things: Newspaper publisher, Ohio Senator, Ohio Lieutenant Governor, US Senator and - in accordance with the title of this section - US President. Harding is the most recent of the seven Ohio-born presidents to serve in our country's highest office.

He is also, without much argument, the historical weakling of those seven Ohioans to take the presidential oath. In fact, he's probably the worst US president of all time, independent of birthplace.

But we come not to bury Harding - who died while traveling through San Francisco barely halfway through his first term - but to praise him: He was the enemy of big, inefficient government as well as a staunch advocate for civil rights for African-Americans (more on that in a bit).

He also consecrated the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier following the Great War. In the critical eye of history, he's seen as a weak and criminally inconsequential president who served at a time when the world was in the throes of massive social and industrial change. 

But Warren G is one of our guys, and he is categorically one of America's original gangsters. Don't think of Warren G as being the worst of all time. Think of him as having sold the terrible president schtick better than any other POTUS in history. He was the best at that.

THE SITUATIONAL wagerS: Cat, dog, birD, Man, WILDCARD

This is where we separate the meek from the strong: Why pay your rent when you can pay two months' rent or no months' rent instead? Exactly.


THE CAT: Ohio Bobcats (+9) against Penn State, which is waaaaay too many points. The Bobcats won ten games last season while losing four by a total of 19 points, and they return a whole bunch of starters. Penn State's offense features a giant hole where Silas Redd used to be, which is partially mitigated by the huge hole where Jay Paterno used to coach.


THE DOG: Georgia Bulldogs (-37.5) over Buffalo, because Mark Richt has lost control of Buffalo's inability to stop Georgia's freshmen from running it up in the fourth quarter.


THE BIRD: Rice Owls (+16.5) against UCLA. Jim Mora, Jr. continues the quest to end the football monopoly in Los Angeles by going to Texas to face Rice. When we last saw the Bruins, they were losing the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl to a team that had just fired Ron Zook. Come to think of it, that's probably why Illinois won.


THE MAN: Central Florida Knights (-23) over Akron. UCF has to come back to Ohio next week to play the Buckeyes, but only one of the Knights' opponents is coached by a former SEC champi-uhhh, rather, by a proven big game plann-urrrr, rather, by an incredibly puffy version of his former self.


THE WILDCARD: UMass Minutemen (+25) against UConn, in that strange part of the country that doesn't give a crap about college football. More importantly, UConn doesn't give a crap about covering the spread, doing so only four times in its last 18 games.




In the centuries during which man roamed the earth before high speed Internet, we relied on physical books to remind us of what happened longer than 20 minutes ago.

Those books contained information that was compiled, verified and edited for consumption - but that process took way too long and over time our patience for this kind of stuff waned to the point where most of us have stopped reading entirely.

Fortunately, these days we can quickly read about anything by simply looking it up on the Internet. Take amateur historians like @FreshLee_Baked, A.K.A Heisenberg - or Cool™ as he's commonly known through filings with the US trademarking office (which is his Twitter nom de plume depending on the day):

Yes, America's shame was formally abolished a long time ago. Even those antiquated “history books” confirm that to be true. It’s very likely that Cool™ is under 50, which means he can't be expected to personally recall what happened 50 years ago - most notably in world history, the births of Tom Cruise and Walmart - so those five decades might as well have occurred forever ago. Like slavery. Sheesh!

So whether slavery was abolished by the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 or a mere 50 years ago, it definitely happened. Women were given the right to vote in 1920 with the 19th Amendment but that might as well have been 300 years ago because wow chicks have been super opinionated since forever, right?

Regardless, the past is the past, as Cool™ adroitly suggests. The magic of learning on the Internet is not just limited to history, either: Science can be taught this way too.

It was very publicly suggested recently that any woman who is sexually violated can harness her frustration and humiliation to prevent conception from materializing. Mind over matter, ladies: You hold the power to render commercial birth control products meaningless right between your ears.

Just consider how many women and future rapists now have this valuable knowledge: Fifty years ago when we still relied on those antiquated books and slaves to get things done, not only was this information not as readily available, this form of contraception probably wasn’t even possible.

Now that’s Cool™.

The Bourbon

There is a bourbon for every situation. Sometimes the spirits and the events overlap, which means that where bourbon is concerned there is typically more than one worthy choice.

It’s the same reason Economics operates among the Liberal Arts and not in the Business School: Ask five economists their opinion and you may get five different answers. And they might all be correct.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t wrong answers. Pouring a rare or premium bourbon into cola is the whiskey equivalent of manslaughter. Being uninformed makes that involuntary manslaughter, and that’s still bad - so educate yourself. Ruining good bourbon is inexcusable despite one's intentions.

AND DOWN THE STRETCH THEY COMENot just for Kentucky Derby day.

That being said, we have to embrace the normal distribution curve for incomes that prohibit us from just throwing Pappy Van Winkle 23 at every situation. That kind of cash-dependent heavy-hitter as a situational bourbon regularity is only reasonable for people who order scrambled bald eagle eggs and bloodless diamonds from the celebrity chefs they employ on their 90-ft breakfast yachts.

If life were only that challenging.

There are more contemporary and affordable beverages for the rest of us, along with variables to consider the situation: Earth hasn’t quite cooled yet for the crisp temperatures associated with college football season, so a cold beverage for Week One may be appropriate. Enter: The Mint Julep.

Now, bourbon-based drinks follow two simple rules: 1) Don't overthink the recipe. 2) Let the bourbon do the heavy lifting. All you need to make a julep are a couple shots of bourbon, a handful of mint and a teaspoon of sugar. An old fashioned glass is ideal, but it's football season: A red solo cup will do. You're not at Churchill Downs.

Put the mint in the (preferably cold) glass and dump the sugar on top of it. Use a muddler (or your finger if you're dire straits) to mash things up a little, then drop in some ice cubes with rough edges. Pour the bourbon on top and stir or swirl it around. If you need more mint, add more mint. If you need more bourbon, add more bourbon (SPOILER: Add more bourbon).

As far as brand goes, don't buy better than Woodford Reserve, which is a worthy brand in its own right. A higher-shelf bourbon would require you to simply take it neat in order to avoid manslaughter charges.


The year was 1991 and name of the album was For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. That title only seems like a clumsy, forced word salad until you suddenly notice that the initials spell F, U, C - oh, now you get it. That’s clever.

And that acronym wasn't the only subtlety of the album, which also contained ethereal song titles like Poundcake, Spanked, Pleasure Dome and In n' Out. The music of F*** was seen as a radical departure from OU812, Van Halen’s previous engagement from 1989 which was bluesy, melodic and almost nuanced relative to the rest of the band’s catalog.

However, there was one odd, out-of-place entry in what was otherwise a salute to unimpassioned fornication: Right where Track #9 was supposed to be was a song that would become the schmaltzy piano-driven soundtrack to millions of corporate slide presentations, sales meeting themes and political campaign rallies:



A gooey corporate anthem like Right Now appearing on an album called F***  was as out of place as Craig James administering CPR to an ailing hooker. The song's very existence, let alone on that compilation, violated all logic and was beyond anyone's comprehension. Philosophers are still stumped to this day.

Even more confounding was that it arrived at the twilight of an era when music videos still mattered and significantly impacted music sales. So when this video accompaniment was released in early 1992 with its odd sense-of-urgency-rapid-fire facts normally found in “books” it immediately became an incomprehensible, sappy, misplaced hit.

This was back when liking one song meant being forced to buy the entire CD to get it, which resulted in many unknowing, willfully proper and wholly unassuming suburbanites previously unfamiliar with Van Halen running to their record stores to buy their very own copy of F***. So they could own Right Now along with Poundcake, Spanked, Pleasure Dome and In n' Out.

Regardless, Right Now college football season is starting. Right Now it's really good to have it back.


Comments Show All Comments

FROMTHE18's picture

love the Ivy on Ivy crime

hodge's picture

That also happened in the 2008 high school kickoff classic in Crew Stadium.  Defending state champions Hilliard Davidson against Hilliard Darby.  Davidson fans coppied Darby letterhead and plotted an elaborate card prank to make fans spell "WE SUCK".  I went to middle school with the people who masterminded the whole thing, and the story became a national sensation when they were suspended for three days and were banned from all extracurriculars that semester.  Pretty clean prank, never understood why the punishment was so harsh.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I know. If anything, such a prank demonstrated creativity; good organizational, teamwork, and planning skills; outside the box thinking; etc. If I were on a college application review committee, I'd give bonus points to anyone who participated in such a prank.
As an old man might say (not me) . . . "That's what's wrong with this country, dag gummiit."   

HilliardJoe's picture

I see you forgot to mention that Darby won that game.  This was mainly due to the play of their QB, Jeremy Ebert who played WR four years at NW and was drafted by the Patriots.
Darby hasn't beat Davdison since that game but they play again tonight with the best chance of beating Davidson since then.

hodge's picture

Indeed I did, I was in the marching band for Darby that day.  Wonderful game, and an excellent season. I remember Ebert in tears at Moorehead Stadium in UA after the loss to Coffman in the regional finals...apologizing to the band that we weren't going on to Dayton Welcome Stadium to play the number one squad in the country, Cincinnati St. Xavier.  Guys on the squad still burn about that loss to Coffman, they'd have matched up really well to St. X.
Darby also had one Hell of a defense that season, which was really the unsung hero for them.  LB B.J. Machen would go on to play at Georgia Tech, he'll be starting his redshirt senior season this year.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Ramzy, funny and well-written as usual. However, what bookmaker is offering you Ohio +9?

awwwwwwop's picture

Is there a Ramzy approved recipe for a Bourbon Meyer? Or is that reseverved for Florida Fans who are angry drinking?

"Who cares? Go Bucks." - Aaron Untch

hodge's picture

I've been experimenting with one (future blog post) that uses bacon-infused-bourbon, ginger ale, and a splash of apple brandy.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Hodge: my recollections are unreliable, but I seem to recall that all of your recipes and/or drink mixes involve bacon-infusement.
Hell, I can't blame you. Put bacon and blue cheese on a seitan burger and I'll even eat that crap.
Nevertheless, I must ask - Do you hold stock in that boutique southern bacon/pork company you told me about? 

hodge's picture

Not at all, my good sir, I'm just an rabid fan of everything that I'm passionate about.  And yes, my love for bacon knows no bounds.  I've got a half-pound of said bacon (Benton's) left, so once I cook it up I'll see if I can make a solid infused bourbon out of it (last try came out greasy and uninspired, need a smokier bacon).

Run_Fido_Run's picture

How would you do, by the way? Is there a way to separate bacon liquid from the bacon fat?
How about:

  1. First, cook it until it's just mildly crisp but not crunchy.
  2. Juice the cooked bacon in a high-powered ("veggie") juicer.
  3. Let the "juice" reach room temperature and settle for awhile.
  4. Skim fat off the top. 
hodge's picture

Fat washing is the preferred method.  What you do is cook up a pound o' bacon, and then dump the rendered grease into a mixing bowl with the bourbon.  You cover it and let that sit overnight, and then stick the bowl of bourbon and grease into the freezer, where the grease hardens.  From there, you remove the bowl of bourbon and hardened grease, and filter the fat out using cheese cloth/a strainer and a funnel.  Alcohol has an incredible ability to absorb the flavor of fat, therefore bacon grease makes a perfect vessel to impart bacon's smokey aura to bourbon's sweet, oaky, buttery essence.

spqr2008's picture

Very well done sir.  I salute your comedic genius.

hodge's picture

One, Ohio is "The Mother of Presidents", laying claim to eight.
Two, if you're in the market for a solid, inexpensive bourbon, I highly recommend Bulleit.  ~$20, and they make a Rye whiskey for the same price that is out of this world.  A 95% rye mash (only required to be 51%) ensures a sour, spicy taste.
Three, excellent article.  I'm so glad this trend continues.

awwwwwwop's picture

Fact: An Ohio presidential candidate has never lost an election.*
*To a non-Ohio opponent.

"Who cares? Go Bucks." - Aaron Untch

hodge's picture

Another interesting tidbit is that Ohio has gone to the winner of every presidential election since LBJ in 1964.  I'm sure that we'll hear about this in the upcoming election-coverage-media-barrage.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Ohioans were also known to be good campaigners between 1861 - 1865.

Jason Priestas's picture

Yes. Total War was quite the effective platform.

theDuke's picture

thank you for the Craig James reference in this most heated of political seasons.  Do you, on the off chance, know anything about Craig's days at SMU?


BuckeyeVet's picture

Duke - this is probably only a rumor, but I heard that Craig James had killed 5 hookers while at SMU.

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx

"The recipient of Oyster's ONLY down vote".

Cobrakai's picture

Looking back on it now, it does seem weird how quickly Van Halen sold that song to Pepsi for TV commercials, which is when it blew up.  In hindsight, I think maybe Eddie Van Halen realized after 0u812 that the post-David Lee Roth band was never going to get to 1984 hieghts, so he decided to cash out on the whole thing by selling songs to Pepsi and whoever else would buy them.

Doc's picture

When Dave left VH he took their balls and sense of humor with him. They were never the same after that. The original six albums were pure perfection

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

sir rickithda3rd's picture

When posting odds and picks y not the site the line is pulled from? I prefer5dimes myself

mark may wins douchebag of the year... again

Doc's picture

Thanks for referencing the absolute worst, most anti Van Halen Van Halen songs

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

osumastro's picture

OU line was never +9 it opened at +7... gonna be a long season if this is to replace the presidential power parlay :'(

1stYrBuckIClub's picture

Your words forced me to write, Ramzy. Bourbon (a strong love) and the only Van Halen album I ever purchased (on cassette tape, I believe). I appreciate the Woodside Reserve 'glass ceiling' and need everyone to know that although Jack Daniels 'Single Barrel' costs more than 'Gentleman Jack', it is actually the rejected No. 7's that the company believes taste off from what the recipe was intended. Gentleman Jack, however, is twice mellowed to provide the smoother, better taste. Why pay more for the rejects, right? Also, of interesting note: The origins of F*** come from the abbreviation for 'Fornication Under Consent of the King', when Henry VIII could not conceive a male heir to his throne with his current wife, broke from the Catholic Church to start the Church of England, and thus, allow sanctioned adultery. 

OfficerRabbit's picture

For what it's worth, I believe the origins of the F word go back much farther than that... And it certainly didn't start out as an acronym. Go Bucks!



Ethos's picture

By far the best comment on the "mint julep" video:
"For fuck's sake, you might as well have just garnished it with burnt bits of the American flag."

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

Dougger's picture


I like football

Boxley's picture

Smoothly delivered, pleasing to the palate, and when served on a chilly fall day, even better.
Of course I am talking about the article.

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

Crimson's picture

Love the Econ shoutout (I think), but many Economics departments operate out of Business Schools (just not at OSU).