The 29th (and greatest) U.S. President, Warren Gamaliel Harding, was a renowned gambler, golfer and lover of life. As such, his sage wagering advice and stories of criminal bravado are brought 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 — thus tanking the economy), his words might as well be chiseled into stone tablets. (All views and opinions presented should only be considered those of President Warren G. Harding.)
LAST WEEK: (3-4 overall) Iowa State (+9), Ohio State (-7), Ball State (+5.5),
Arizona State (-6.5), Mississippi State (+10), Utah State (-6.5), Illinois (+10)
SEASON RECORD: (10-12)
THE HONEYPOT: $-240,000
"You don't have to do this, you greedy son of a bitch!" whaled the Gypsy King as my wing-tipped Italian pennyloafers pressed down on his larynx. There was death all around us; slatterns, bodyguards, dancers, servers and party revelers all lay dead.
The Gypsy King had been throwing a pagan soiree in his syndicate's catacomb headquarters when a gang of Helado Cartel hitmen and I rolled in dressed as caterers. Women, kids, gypsies, non-Gypsies... it didn't matter. They all had to fall.
After Utah State's QB, Chuckie Keeton's knee got ripped open like a crab leg, I knew last week's 7-team banger wasn't going to cover. I also knew it was only a matter of time before the Helado cartel sent its A-team to shuffle me off this mortal coil. So, I did the only thing a man in my position could do: I sprinkled some beer in my Dead Guy Ale, lit a Newport cigarette, and waited at the OK Cafe. If these hitmen were worth their weight in salt, it'd be the first place they'd look.
The Warren G. Harding File
- Term: 3/4/1921 - 8/2/1923
- Position: 29th U.S. President
- Trade: Dope/Newspaper Peddler
- Hometown: Marion, Ohio
- School: Ohio Central College
- Rivals Ranking: 5-Star
- Quote: "Damn, I hate being sober."
I didn't see the goon squad enter, but I felt the cold steel of a gun barrel pressed against the side of my skull. In the talkies, there's often a smooth minute where the executioner asks the condemned if they have any last words. In real life hits, this is not the case.
This didn't mean I was going off this world like a lamb, however. Without turning around, I said, "I have your boss' money. In fact, I have what is owed threefold. Why kill me when you could make your boss richer?"
When my query wasn't immediately answered by a bullet through my frontal lobe, I knew I had opened a window for survival. "Hell," I added, "your boss doesn't even have to be aware of the surplus. I doubt you guys feel you're getting paid what you're worth. I doubt he'd be any-the-wiser."
"Do you know whom my employer is?"
"It is no concern of mine," I replied. "I'm sure he enjoys money as much as any mortal."
There unseen gun nudged me in the temple, "Well?"
So, I led the gang of masked assassins to the gypsy den. At the door, we surprisingly weren't on the list; so we put our names on the list with the blood of the doormen. It's been that kind of year on the collegiate football wagering circuit.
Through the massive catacombs and aqueducts we went, descending farther and farther into the earth's crusts. As the stench of human excrement was replaced with that of opium, heroin and marijuana, the gang knew we were drawing close.
"Y'all know what the time is," I said as I cocked my Desert Eagle. Behind the silk curtains, I could hear Gilderoy Scamp's guttural laughter above the music and other party revelry.
The Mexicans — I will give them this — were efficient as they were ruthless. The party-goers never had much of a chance. The Gypsy King was petrified as the butchery went down and the bodies fell around him.
I, however, never fired a shot. I simply walked up to the monstrous throne of the Gypsy King, grabbed him by a roll on the back of his neck, and threw his fat ass to the floor. He tried to roll away, and that's when I brought my Italian penny loafer down on his neck.
As the smoke settled, I looked up at the scene. Some Mexicans were reloading their weapons; some were looting the corpses of the partiers. Either way, they had fallen into my trap.
Six Mexican assassins. Six .50 caliber shots from my Desert Eagle. Six more corpses on the floor.
"This is madness," squeeled the Gypsy King. "You don't have to do this!"
"I know," I replied before I ended him.
I then scavenged the C4 of one of the dead Mexican hitmen and placed it on Gilderoy Scamp's throne. Most thought the Gypsy King's riches were buried even deeper in the endless labyrinth of Marion's sewer system, but I knew better. The Gypsy King was an obese game-fixer, and he would never walk that far to see his riches. Those were always kept in a secret vault... right under his opulent throne.
"Mao Zedong! You ol' big dicked bronco-buster!" I said as I stepped into the executive suite of the Venetian in Macau.
100K PRESIDENTIAL POWER PARLAY
- STAKES: $100k to win $600k
- BAYLOR (-18) vs. Kansas State
- WISCONSIN (-10) vs. Nerds!
- TEXAS A&M (-6) vs. Ole Miss
"Comrade Harding, I was shocked to learn you were still in the game. With all the cocaine and heroin we put up or noses as young lands, I figured your heart would have bowed out by now. But alas, I should have known. The heart of a tiger never goes without a fight!"
I pictured the lifeless Gilderoy Scamp, missing half his face, with the color drained from his body, laying on the cold sewer floor back in Marion. The rats had probably gotten to his carcass by now. Heart of a tiger; you're god damn right.
"I've come to your massive casino/hotel to lay down a fierce parlay," I said before throwing a duffel bag onto the polar bear carpet. "Are those still legal in China?"
Mao exhaled a plume of smoke after a tug on his cigarette holder. He waived his hand dismissively. "Legal, illegal... these are but words in China. You fought by my side in the Second Opium Wars, Comrade Harding. You know I am a man of action."
"Indeed I do, Chairman Mao. Indeed I do." I motioned to the bag on the floor. "Inside you will find 100,000 washed American Dollars."
"I see I'm not the only one from the Dope Boyz Regiment to rise up from the gutters," Mao said as he leaned back in his alligator skinned recliner.
"I made some wise investments," I said, lighting up a Newport.
"A parlay, huh? You've come do dance with Lady Fortune that way? She can be a cruel, devious mistress."
"I'm from the streets of Marion," I replied flatly. "I need no lecture on cruel and devious mistresses."
"So be it," Chairman Mao said as he steepled his fingers. "Let's here this fierce parlay you've come across the mighty Pacific ocean to lay down in my casino."
"It's a ticket much like myself, the salt of the earth. It's a mere three-teamer, something that would usually pay $600,000 on a risk of $100,000. Is that how it's played over here, Chairman?"
"I suppose it would be," Chairman Mao said while glancing at his watch.
I got the point.
"The first team in my $100,000 Presidential Power Parlay is Baylor (-18) vs. Kansas State. Imagine if you brought back any of the decrepit gasbag Founding Fathers and showed them the Internet; imagine how flummoxed those idiots would be.
"That's what Bill Snyder is going to look like on Saturday when the Baylor Bears are burning down eastern Kansas. Seriously, look at his plan:
Bill Snyder on the challenge against Baylor: "Keep 'em from scoring more than a hundred points, I guess."— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) October 7, 2013
"Yes, some would say 'BUT BILL SNYDER WAS KIDDING;' well, he's going to think it's a jape when Kansas State alum wheel him into a nursing home on Sunday morning, but it won't be.
"The second team is Wisconsin (-10) vs Northwestern. Northwestern plotted on Ohio State for YEARS. Scheduling Ohio State as their homecoming game (to get all 500 alumni interested in football into the stadium) and even went so far as scheduling a bye the week before. Well, well, well, it almost paid off until Carlos Hyde descended from the skies and gave those nerds a bruising they hadn't felt since the elementary playground.
"Carlos Hyde broke Northwestern in half, and this week, the shoe is on the other foot. It's Northwestern going on the road to face Wisconsin, a team coming off a loss and a bye week. Buckle up, nerds; you could be in for the biggest embarrassment since that corporate shit-sucker Darren Rovell managed to graduate from your 'prestigious' university.
"Texas A&M (-6) vs. Ole Miss. Mississippi is a sieve on our great union. Has the state of Mississippi ever given the United States anything other than groan-inducing newspaper headlines? All Ole Miss players did leading up to the Alabama game was talk shit about how they could score on the Crimson Tide defense. Those chicken-heads got rolled on to the tune of scoring zero points.
"Those clowns followed it up by heckling a student-produced play. You know who heckles? Self-absorbed assholes who think people came to pay to see them. Luckily, about 60,000 people will be paying to see those idiots this Saturday. Unluckily, those fools will be getting the dice kicked out of their assholes by my bastard son, Johnny F. Football; (the F stands for Fucky'all)."
Chairman Mao stood up and walked across the lavish room to me. He shook my hand. "Your parlay has been registered, Comrade Harding. Unfortunately, I have executive matters to which I must attend. In the meantime, feel free to shoot some craps, test your fortunes on the card table or visit the champagne room. The ladies are, ah... how do you say? Quite lecherous."
My bank account was robust after robbing the Gypsy king and turning his throne room into his tomb. Lecherous women in the champagne room, however, are more than likely about to ventilate it a bit.
Such is this crazy life we live; until next week, comrades.