Pints and Picks Week 6: Traveling men


Each week DPB’s Kyle Magin and Andrew J. Pridgen will pour on the prose with Pints and Picks™. Who to wager and what to drink while doing it. Here then, is their point-counterpoint for Oct. 11, 2014. Or, if you’re in the car, simply scroll down for the recap (they may be verbose, but it’s better than clicking through a slideshow).

AJ: Well, well, well KM—after starting the season a ghastly 0-for-6 you seem to be on a bigger streak than if David Niven was presenting a golden statuette in front of you …kudos and hopefully your recent success lets the kids out there know that gambling is like life: The only way you can win is if you keep throwing down …eventually you will taste victory (besides, nobody really frowns on bankruptcy anymore, and betting can be a much better ROI than student loans).

With that, I’m most looking forward to your picks this week to see whether you can continue to roll up the Silver State and shake out its coffers like Elon Musk.

As for me, I’d like to take this opportunity to make my first standing wager of the season. It’s actually one I spoke to the first couple weeks and then kind of let slide to the back of the stove while the ramen-with-egg boiled over in front of me. One of my buddies, a Vegas-dwelling tipster and former usher at the Luxor for Carrot Top’s perma-gig (no joke) told me after Cal/Northwestern FCB week one that he was going to put $50 on Cal on the over and let it ride.

This week he’s wagering $827 on Cal (a favorite for the first time this season) -3.5 at home against U-Dub. The over/under is 70-71.5 depending on who writes your ticket, but a 60-58 final score is not implausible. While my buddy plans on breaking the four-figure mark on this bet, the rest of us can sit back and marvel at whether the O/U will crack an NCAA hoops-style three digits for the Golden Bears’ Oct. 24 match-up vs. Oregon at Levi’s Stadium where the San Francisco 49ers of Santa Clara at Great America usually play.

And so it goes, until it becomes Spread Impossible, I say a weekly wager on Cal scoring big while giving up more than your work-league fantasy team is as safe a bet as against Boise State on an away game.

More Week 6-centric picks in a moment, but first I wanted to solicit a little game day advice as well as turn my attention to the oft-overlooked Pints portion of this column.

Saturday, pending the moon rising in the 7th house and Jupiter aligning with Mars, I was slated to attend UCLA/Oregon by way of an Oregon alumni tailgater at noon on the 14th green of the Brookside Golf Club in Pasadena, followed by a 5 p.m. Giants/Dodgers first pitch at Chavez Ravine. Of course, Los Doyers are nothing if not unreliable—refusing to win when you want them to—and so, I’ll be spending the second half of my double-header tucked into a few pints of Ohana #Hashtag Hops IPA (actual name) at Tinhorn Flats on Highland with a couple like-minded fans/friends toasting to the Ducks’ most recent loss and increased hopes for a bid to the Vegas Bowl as we tune in to first pitch from Busch.

My question is this:
I’m driving down from the Central Coast Saturday am and picking up (you guessed it: said Vegas buddy) at Bob Hope International in Burbank. At that point we have some decisions to make. The main objective is to:

1) Get to the Rose Bowl tailgater by halftime, maybe
2) Not have to drive anywhere

The latter is a toughie in LA.

Do we:

• Park my car at the Burbank airport Marriott and pay the $3.95 for overnight parking (we’ll return in the morning to grab my car/make his flight home), then get an Uber to the Rose Bowl.
• Drive to our motel in Hollywood and park there, then get an Uber to the Rose Bowl.
• Decide to go get food and then go to a liquor store and …”See what happens.”

Personally, I’m always in favor of the “See what happens” plan. But I’ve also found, especially when visiting LA, when I do that I end up waking up the next morning as some version of George Wendt’s quasi-homeless Venice Beach-dwelling informant in Fletch.

The benefit to parking the car at the airport is it REMINDS us that my buddy does, in fact, have a plane to catch the next morning and I, in fact, have a car there.

The benefit to driving the car to the motel and parking is it’s potentially cheaper (free), but also 15 LA miles the opposite way from our Rose Bowl destination from the airport and will probably cause us to go directly to plan See what happens.

I know this isn’t an advice column and really this all goes back to how shitty it must be to go to UCLA and have your parents’ flatscreen in Newport Beach be closer than your home stadium.

If the real goal here is to catch up with some folks and sample a few said pints without the harbinger of having to move my car for the fake LA street sweeper else be towed by 9 p.m.—just about the time I’ve forgotten where in the motel room I put my keys—then what is the most sound plan?

You Make the Call Mr. Magin.

Kyle: AJ, I can’t provide you any guidance on your quest, I’m sorry. I can tell you that Rosa, my waitress at the selfsame Bob Hope Airport Marriott you speak of (I stayed on my friend’s pullout couch there during the 2014 Rose Bowl weekend), makes ace recommendations. Come for the ahi poke, stay for the Stone Ruination IPA.

Speaking of Stone, I’ll be in San Diego this weekend, and last year I enjoyed a rather ridiculous encounter in America’s most beautiful city. My good friend and I were in town for a Friday night Nevada-SDSU game in the endurable Qualcomm Stadium. Since we’re masochists, the next morning we toddled into the Gaslamp’s Tilted Kilt to watch Michigan State play instead of, you know, enjoying the outdoors in America’s most beautiful city.

Twas there we met a guy I’ll call Winston because I can’t remember his name. He was there in an official capacity as a representative of the Poinsettia Bowl, laptop running ESPN3 and taking in the 45 big screens and 35 DDs. Winston’s whole deal besides working as some sort of tax depository at the convention and visitor’s bureau is to help select teams for the bowl game, march in the bowl parade and wear an eminently tasteful fuchsia blazer on gameday. His is a job I’m glad I never knew existed as a child, or I’d be selling real estate in Rosarita today while trying to get like Winston. “This tasteful waterfront features reclaimed driftwood railings, exposed lighting AND a six month protection deal from the Zacatecas Cartel!”

Nick Marshall might want some of that security this weekend as he and his 5-0 Auburn Tigers take on 5-0 Mississippi State in Starkville in a top-3 throwdown. The Bulldogs defense is so good as to be unseemly—they held the Tigers to just 120 yards rushing last year and this season are allowing teams a minuscule 26.5 percent conversion rate on third down. There’s really no give in either defense—Auburn’s defense is ranked third nationally in scoring opportunities at 2.6 points, meaning teams that get a first down inside the Tigers’ 40 might get a field goal. Mississippi State does only slightly worse—18th in the nation—at 5.2 points. The over/under is roundabout 64.5 points in this game, and I’m seriously leaning toward the miserly side.

AJ, I made some hay last week on the little guys (some MACtion and MW football), so I’m going back to the well this week. In American action (sounds so much like a Stalone vehicle), East Carolina moseys into South Florida a 16-point favorite. The SF Bulls actually showed a surprising amount of backbone in a 27-10 defeat at the hands of Wisconsin last week but ECU is averaging 43.6 points per game this season and run their offense like a damn track meet.

Anyway, I’ll noodle those two and we’ll throw it back to you to see if he’s decided to take his summer-weight sleeping bag down south with him.

AJ: Kyle, thanks for the pithy advice on what to do whilst pondering the American Athletic Conference in the immediate sphere of Bob Hope International. One of my favorites of Mr. Hope’s many memorable zingers went a little something like: “You can always tell when a man’s well-informed. His views are pretty much like yours.”

That’s why I’m taking your picks (and your Totino’s-straight-out-the-oven hot hand) to the window this week.

I kind of have a love-hate with your SoCal destination of choice this weekend, San Diego. On the one hand it’s kind of Fresno-by-the-Sea, but with more Tumblr-validated hipsters, faux-bros and military (check those boxes whilst there). On the second hand, there’s the incredible beach and the fish tacos to pair. Not only that, but it’s like: Real Beach and Real Fish Tacos. On the third hand, most of the guys I know still living there have tucked tail and now live in the walled-off stucco-and-granite-countertop’d misery of Scripps Ranch, which means they’ve traded the beach and grilled Mahi Mahi for Target and Baja Fresh …This brings me full-circle to to the whole Fresno-by-the-Sea thing.

The places you actually would want to live in San Diego: Cardiff-by-the-Sea for example, a little post-war working-class bedroom community framed by the shores of the Pacific. Once home to the guys who roofed your home, rooted out your plumbing or tented you for termites—now the average home price for a little 3/2 1,600-square-foot action is in the low seven digits and the kiddies seem to stay out of the streets and beaches, opting to strap the headset on for Titanfall.

San Diego just kind of fits with San Francisco, Seattle, and New York in the narrative of cities that are only anymore a playground for those in financial services or faking their way through venture capital money by way of existing family money and entitlement.

The rest living there just kind of leave me hollow trying to keep up. The notion this American Experiment is simply breaking down into the aspirational 1 percent who maybe have enough to become house-poor and in six figures of credit debt in bergs but stay because they can still look down on the now-working poor who are pushed out of their original neighborhoods by small plates restaurants by those who read blogs all day and work for companies with homepage verbiage like: One brand experience for content, communities, customer engagement on their home pages and can’t explain really what they do or why but they’re there and mixologist was so three years ago, but cocktail apothecary is what’s happening this weekend.

And like, what the fuck?

Since the aspirational 1 percent and the actual 1 percent of these cites controls or at least pays attention to the media/is the only demographic which has time for all the linkbait and the wine and the online shopping and the worrying about whether people drive Subarus and listen to NPR in neighborhoods and the HBO Sundays and the Netflix careening toward $500 for no reason and the vacations planned around Instagram and the wedding registries for couples who’ve already lived together for a decade—it will continue to perpetuate and cities like San Diego will continue to push out whatever and whomever made them have flavor in the first place and you’ll be left with a really pretty fine view that not only nobody can afford, but nobody cares to look at.

OK, sorry about that. You know I’m just jealous that you’ll be drinking a Stone Pale and noshing on a wahoo taco at Blue Water Saturday.


• Texas +14 at Oklahoma: Take the Horns, the points as the Sooners looking to use the Red River game to bounce back is never a good idea.

• Auburn -3 at Mississippi State: Auburn has been looking like the only formidable SEC squad this season and wins this by a pair of scores because their defense holds and 5-0 Mississippi state should be 3-2. Agree with Kyle, take the under.

• Arizona +3 vs Southern Cal: MONEYLINE bet. Don’t even think USC is going to come within 14 in Tucson. The Trojan D hasn’t shaken hands with its preseason hype yet this year and RichRod’s got the real thing. Why the Cats aren’t getting respect is simply a product of timezones.

Kyle: AJ, I’m going to join you in the ‘Horns pick and call it good. Safe travels down the coast.

The PnP Recap:

Last week:
AJ: 2-4
Kyle: 2-2

AJ: 10 for 15
Kyle: 4 for 10

This week:

• Washington (over 70) at Cal
• Texas +14 at Oklahoma
• Auburn -3 at Mississippi State
• Arizona +3 vs. Southern Cal

• Auburn (under 64.5) at Mississippi State
• East Carolina -16 at South Florida
• Texas +14 at Oklahoma