Each week, during college football season DPB’s Kyle Magin and Andrew J. Pridgen pour on the prose with Pints and Picks™. Who to wager and (sometimes) what to drink while doing it. This week: #allthatandaUNLVgametoo
You left me to ponder something last week.
Quoth DPB Week 7, PnP:
“Why Kyle do you prefer a North Side party?”
And yea I did ponder your query.
It’s a query that’s been pondered across reddit and video game advertising: What will a party look like that hasn’t been held for 108 years? And in this specific instance—a Cubs World Series Victory—why would I prefer it to parties in LA, Cleveland or Toronto (unlikely!)?
Let’s make a list!
- Chicago knows how to party.
- For evidence, review any video of:
- Time + Desire.
- Nobody in baseball has waited longer for a title than Chicago. Owing to the popularity of spectator sports in that city, I’m going to say no city wants it worse. Even beyond the fanbase—which is mainly made up of North Side locals/Northern Illinoisians/Iowans and imports/bandwagon jumpers—the city is constantly looking for a reason to show off its jewels. There’s no better way to do that than a parade down Lakeshore and a party in Millennium Park.
- These Cubs.
- There’s no other group of 25 guys I’d rather party with than the Cubs players.
- You’ve got team father/catcher David Ross, who is ancient and decided that just one day of celebrating after clinching the NL Central wasn’t enough for him, so he wandered into a Wrigleyville bar for a whiskey shot.
- Anthony Rizzo, the Cubs 1B, is a cancer survivor and likes to party with girls like this after winning baseball games. Praise be.
- Javy Baez seems like he’d be fun.
- Joe Maddon Promises Cubs Will Party Hard was a headline this season. I love the commitment to partying, stated ahead of time. I wanna party with the Cubs because they want to party.
Due to these factors, the party on the North Side will be one people talk about for decades. My dad is already angling for a hotel room or AirBnB in town on the night of a potential clinching game just to see it. It’ll spill out from the stadium and every nook and cranny with a TV in the goddamn city.
/Simba (motioning toward Comiskey in the south): But what about that dark spot over there?
//Me: Joy must never go there, Simba, for that’s the home of a team that broke an 88-year World Series drought and never had it spoken of again.
It even feels like this hoped-for release of joy can avoid becoming a riot, even in this our year of the Lord…
/scans wedding invitation with the fancy cursive.
…two thousand and sixteen. It’ll just be a make-out-with-people-in-the-streets, jump-up-and-down-and-pump-your-fists, let-the-kids-stay-up-or-wake-‘em-up, lights-on-sex-for-the-Mormons, Belushi-on-the-set-of-Blues Brothers party. They’ll blow the lid off of one of the greatest cities in all creation, which is as good a reason as any to hope for a party on the North Side this season.
AJ, can you mount a credible defense for a party in any of the other cities?
First off, you’re just slaying with your intros over the past two weeks (link). The NFL takedown had me gasping for air and this had me spit-taking on the monitor plus calling up Lion King clips on the deep YouTubes.
North Siders definitely deserve their night of binge victorying, I’d say, if it not for the following three factors:
- Cleveland. The Mistake on the Lake is arguably more title-starved than any other place in the U.S. While the Cubs’ century-plus of futility is notable (if not too-oft-noted) Chicagoans have had plenty to cheer about over the decades: The Jordan Bulls, the Ditka Bears and the aforementioned Mother-fuckin’ Blackhawks. To mention nothing of the fact that Chicago has been constantly infused into pop culture’s landscape in that same time frame. What 10-year-old didn’t want to be left home alone in Kevin McCallister’s rambling brick Colonial? Who doesn’t still dream of going back to high school and taking over a parade? And whose Dad’s enthusiasm and vigor for the sport of fatherhood could ever compare to Clark Griswold’s? Chicago to me has always been a fantasy land, a place where middle-class dreams, even when they melt down in a sub-zero-degree roadtrip in a burned out Chrysler convertible with John Candy, are preserved for good. In the meantime, Cleveland is the Asian actor in a sitcom. Just now they’re barely (BARELY!) being taken seriously and being allowed to pronounce their rs thanks to one LeBron James and a handful of bearded hipster entrepreneurs who are showing what that city needs even more than its jobs back is a fucking bagel shop and hipster soda maker. So yeah, am I still smarting from Adam Silver’s NBA breaking bad for Cleveland in the Finals? Absolutely. But I also know the value of giving a people something to cheer for when there’s only been a bunch of squatting, day drinking (not for the right reasons) and opiate use dotting that landscape. Hell, give them all King James chinstraps and trophies and let ‘em burn down the Rock ‘n Roll HOF while they’re at it.
- Los Angeles. It’s been since 1988 that the legendary Trolley Dodgers from Brooklyn have hoisted the Commissioner’s Trophy. That’s a long long long …long-ass time (especially since LA moves so fast it ages in dog years.) So, according to my calculations that’s 197 years to you and me since the boys in blue got theirs. Or, to put it in perspective, Magnum Fucking P.I. was still on the air and Tommy Lasorda still in the dugout last time hardware was brought to the borders of Elysian Park. In that time, true Angelinos have put up with the Dodgers, from the sad and premature exit of the O’Malley family through an absentee Bostonian parking-lot magnate using the team as his personal ATM, to a revitalized ownership group that is (you guessed it) a Chicago-based hedge fund that tapped Magic as a frontman to balloon their payroll past the Yankees and took a quartet of division titles and flushed them out to the Pacific. True Angelinos have long since forgotten about the NFL (even if it’s allegedly “back”) and don’t suffer long enough to slog through the mud when the Lakers have to wait on the next superstar from the heavens to cascade down to center court at Staples. But they love, love LOVE them Dodgers. True blue love. They just do. Though if you’re waiting for some kind of all-hands party dumping out onto Sunset Boulevard and then passing out in front of the Viper room, you’ll be waiting till the next championship, you can bet there will be some explosions at the top of Nakatomi Plaza the likes of which Hans Gruber never saw.
- Here’s the tricky part: I don’t want the Cubs fans to taste that victory, for their own good: I’ve alluded to this in the past, but I’m going to go ahead and say it as plainly as a warning label: Winning makes you an asshole. It just does. Losers are gracious and humble and ever hopeful. And there’s nothing like losing in baseball to keep your body and mind on track. The game comes and goes with the seasons, hope renewed, grass fresh in the spring and dying to a slow, or sometimes alarmingly fast slumber in the fall. As Cubs fans approach the long winter ahead with the prospect of warming their hands and hearts by the fire of a literal once-in-a-lifetime victory, there is also something that will be lost. There won’t be as much expectation, anticipation…sheer disquieting desire come next February when pitchers and catchers report to Mesa. Something, in other words, is lost in the afterglow. And no amount of framed junk to put over your basement bar can compensate for that There’s a reason why none of us actually dated the prom queen. And if you did, you were a fucking douchebag.
So, to answer the original question I posed, I would probably most like to be in Cleveland for the celebration, perhaps because I would wake up the next day and know that I would be able to get the fuck out of Cleveland by the afternoon.
Los Angeles secondarily because I’m partial to LA as the best go-out city (if you’ve saved some room in the tummy and on the credit card for some Uber rides and a nightcap grilled cheese and cherry Coke at Mel’s). As far as a potential fan-bonding experience goes, I harbor no illusion that I’d get caught trying to overturn a Gold Line car or light a trash can next to George Lopez. What makes me smile is the Los Angeles victory would be a very rewardingly isolated experience.
I would be just as happy tucking into a late night patty melt in a booth at Canter’s than I would be slipping on some guy’s Old Style and Goldschlager spew in front of The Irish Oak. Winning for the pasty, lovable midsection of America would likely lead to it considering lap band surgery to compete with the other metros. LA will wake up the next day unaffected and unchanged and keep doing what it does: Ignoring the homelessness and the bright-light-of-endless-summer blight skittering down its streets like wrappers and looking out over the Pacific shimmering like thousands of pieces of broken glass and asking itself, “OK, what’s next?”
And that’s the right tone, because to me, baseball is a constant baptism, renewal over and over and over…and if you can’t see that personified in the City of Angels, then all hope for this coast, definitely, has been lost.
‘K Kyle, I was 3 for 4 last week and on the verge of seeing my Cleveland-as-AL-champs money come through. On the turnaround, I’ll have Oregon at Cal and Colorado State at UNLV…and possibly a World Series pick.
I’ve been so reliably .500 this season it’s almost depressing–2 for 4 last week. This week, we’ll go with three as my nice odd number and see if we can’t upset the apple cart one way or the other.
San Jose State @ San Diego State OVER 48 (Friday Night)
The 5-1 Aztecs and potential NCAA career rushing champ Donnell Pumphrey host the 2-5 Spartans and a defense that hasn’t given up less than 34 point this season before a fluke 14-10 victory over the Nevada Wolfpack in San Jose. SDSU got played tight last week in Fresno, gutting out a 17-3 homecoming win at Bulldog Stadium. They won’t face the same sort of defense tonight–SJSU gives up 5.6 yards per rushing attempt and 223 rushing yards per game. That’s not the scenario you want to face versus Pumphrey and Rocky Long’s run-first offense. Also, factor in the fact that as long as Boise State stays undefeated, SDSU need to head to Idaho in late November for the Mountain West title game. They’ll want to go in with the most inflated record possible, so look for them to feast and try to run up the score on anyone in their way.
Eastern Michigan @ Western Michigan -23.5
This is a fairly easy make for the 7-0 Broncos, who welcome the 5-2 Eagles into Kalamazoo. Their average margin of victory this season is 26.7, and they’re 6-1 ATS. Also, the Broncos, like Boise, SDSU, and maaaaybe Houston, will be judged for the New Years’ 5 games (or…?) on margin of victory.
Texas A&M @ Alabama UNDER 59
Alabama has hit the under in 3 of 4 tries at home this season, and in every successful attempt, it was less than 49.5 points. They should be fine against an A&M team that hasn’t scored more than 29 in two road games so far this season. Besides, ‘Bama is a monster; they’re holding opponents to 15 points per game, 64 rushing yards, 15 TOTAL trips to the red zone and 5 total red zone TDs. Take the under.
Alright, AJ, take us home. Can the Dodgers extend the series by another game in Chicago?
In short, yes, Cubs-Dodgers is going the distance.
After having been transfixed by this NLCS for the last week, or, rather seeing every game through just for the bonus features of watching Frank Thomas attempt to moderate a coherent conversation between A-Rod and Pete Rose. Have you watched the postgame drill on Fox Sports 1? Kyle, it’s kind of how I imagine bachelor parties go in Vegas when the brother of the bride-to-be doesn’t drink, smoke, or carouse and just got off the plane from a three-year stint in Albania with the Peace Corps. Meanwhile, his brother-in-law-to-be is all up in his grill with cargo-short-and-OluKais freaking the fuck out in the afternoon because “someone” lost his Maui Jim’s at the lazy river and fuck it! Jager bombs for everyone. Pete Rose and his cute little bowtie looks like the old man extra in every Western movie saloon whose mouth is parched. A-Rod, the new gunslinger in town, is trying to play it straight and nice but you can tell he’s about one act away from mowing everyone down, grabbing the hottest garter-wearing doe-eyed orphan from upstairs and riding into the sunset to go homestead or whatever.
Slugger emeritus Thomas, meantime, is trying to hold the old pros together with humor and grace, but when Rose says things like, “I don’t think this Cubs team, or many teams with guys so young, can effectively hit a breaking ball,” it’s hard for the Big Hurt not to act a little hurt. And it shows.
I’ve tried to give Smoltz, who looks and sounds like he’d rather be running the rope cutting department of his own small-town hardware store, sipping coffee and waiting for business to come in, or not, and Joe Buck, who is like the uncle you thought was funny when you were little but realize in your 20s his stories haven’t kept up with the times, a chance this year, but unfortunately Kyle, I’ll be preparing an album to listen to should this go seven.
Clayton Kershaw is about to prove whether he can shake off the last quartet of disappointing postseasons, ones where his talents were squandered or he just didn’t rise to the occasion. Kyle, we talked about this offline, but I was a little dismayed to see he didn’t get the start on slightly short rest at what I thought was a must-win game 5 at Dodger stadium to take the series lead 3-2 and looking for a split in Wrigleyville, a much more doable task and one that could have seen him coming out of the bullpen MadBum style game seven. But Roberts, for all the notions and reasons he’s likely to be NL Manager of the Year without closing in the playoffs (see: Joe Maddon 2015) the Dodgers’ rookie skipper has yet to show a creative flash with his moving parts in the postseason; it has been traditional lineups and predictable moves to his very capable bullpen thus far. If the Dodgers want to create beads on the brows of the Cubbies faithful, Roberts is going to have to focus a little less on his winery and a little more on what’s happening between the lines.
Wow, how’s that for a short answer?
Onto the picks:
Cal -3 vs. Oregon
I really don’t see a way out for Mark Helfrich or the Oregon Ducks this season. It’s kind of like when a young Joel Silver sabotaged his early career with Xanadu. Everyone knew it was going to fail, in the words of our Republican presidential nominee, “Big-ly” but he went ahead with a movie musical about a rollerskating goddess who saves an airbrush artist from his own quarter-life crisis and a career pimping out rape vans. She convinces him to instead open a post-Art Deco roller club with Gene Kelly. The moral of the story, if you’re going to fail, fail big and beautifully and with popping and locking mimes.
And that’s 100 percent of the story of the Ducks’ season. Oregon, with a 2-4 start and not much hope for reprieve till they face Oregon State to mercifully end this campaign, is already guaranteed their worst season in a decade. Cal, meantime, is on track for a second-tier bowl game and its potent offense should especially keep Oregon’s Brady Hoke-run 4-3 on their heels more than Olivia Newton John. I don’t like the over for this (89) but I see Cal snapping its seven-game losing streak vs. the Ducks by double digits.
Final prediction: Cal 41, Oregon 17
UNLV -1 vs. Colorado State
This is the second-biggest potential bloodbath on the UNLV campus this week. The first one resulted in the still trending #badhombres and #nastywoman. Regular readers of this feature know I’ve been tracking if not sent an encouraging wager or three UNLV’s way. Thus far, it’s been with mixed results (I’m 1-2 on the Rebels and the spread over the past two seasons. I’m bullish them this weekend mostly because Mike Bobo’s Rams (3-4) have had a tough time finding their groove, dropping back-to-back games vs. the still-trying-to-find-themselves Minnesota Golden Gophers and the better-than-their-schedule-suggests 4-2 Wyoming Cowboys. They also beat Utah State and barely got nicked by (still) undefeated Boise State 28-23 in Idaho.
Last week, Tony Sanchez’s Rebels outgunned Hawaii and now seem poised for some type of turnaround. Colorado State is going with backup QB Nick Stevens as Colin Hill is out with a season ending ACL injury. Stevens was 17-of-31 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns last week and against the Broncos and wideouts Dalyn Dawkins and Michael Gallup combined for two scores and almost 150 yards. Dawkins can also come out of the backfield. Last week, he had 14 carries for 66 yards. Look for the Rams to use their double-edged running weapon similarly against the Rebs.
UNLV QB Dalton Sneed was 19-of-27 for 279 yards and two touchdowns against Hawaii. He also ran for 61 yards on 11 carries, showing he’s becoming almost as effective under center as Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill is at gathering Southern Nevada Trump Nation on a weeknight. UNLV’s real offensive weapon however is sophomore Lexington Thomas who last week had 21 rushing attempts for 102 yards and found the end zone once. The Rebs also feature running backs Charles Williams and David Greene so the ground game advantage goes to the Rebs “Big-ly.”
The late line has moved back toward Colorado State, more because of their body of work and close losses against better teams. So it may be pick ‘em by presstime. I still like the Rebs at home though, because I think they control the tempo against the Rams’ defense which has allowed an average of 33 points per game this year and has yet to give up fewer than 23.
Final Prediction: UNLV 34, Colorado State 31
OK Kyle, by this time next week the World Series will be in full. Kris Bryant’s Express ad curse (column to come if it comes true) notwithstanding, I like Cleveland—who just this week came through for me at 4/1 to win the AL—in six.
Till then, enjoy the weekend!
Last Week: 3 for 4
Overall: 13 for 24
San Jose State @ San Diego State OVER 48 (Friday Night)
Eastern Michigan @ Western Michigan -23.5
Texas A&M @ Alabama UNDER 59
Last Week: 3 for 4
Cleveland also came in at 4/1 to win the AL
Overall: 19 for 30
Cal -3 vs. Oregon. (Friday Night)
Cal vs. Oregon Under 89
UNLV -1 vs. Colorado State