Pints and Picks Week 7: Keeping it Sucka Free with GGG

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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. 18, 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: So, here’s where the story ends for Notre Dame.

Maybe.

To me, the annual Notre Dame-wakes-up-and-can’t-find-its-wallet-or-keys week never arrives soon enough. 2012 may have been the most excruciating. I was made to wait till after I got my W2s to watch Nick effing Saban deliver the L in a January game of consequence but little national interest.

The second-most-exciting thing to happen to me this month (first being the entire Friends cannon available for the first time on Netflix) was that it might happen against Stanford on Oct. 4

…But then I remembered David Shaw is still mad about not getting the call up to the NFL because in the end the NFL is run by a bunch of plantation owners. And, well, life’s not so bad down at the farm even as a carefully disguised malcontent making $3 million annually backed by a $19 billion endowment win or lose.

Either way, it’s going to have to come down to this week where I actually have to root for Florida Fucking State in Tallahassee to get the job done.

Or do I?

It is a terrible terrible conundrum.

On the one hand, if Notre Dame wins, they finally get to exorcise the blight of the Seminoles from title talk (and yet, it actually muddies the national picture and the ridiculousness of a four-team playoff. Would you join an online dating service with exactly four people, three guys and one girl?)

Regardless of Saturday’s outcome, Notre Dame is going to lose, big-time, at Arizona State on Nov. 8. They’re not fast enough and Vince Vaughn isn’t their starting quarterback. They’re also going to get beaten at season’s end by SC for good measure, because the Trojans are a second-half team and well, both will be out of FCB final four talk by then.

By comparison, Florida State plays nobody for the rest of the year.

In fact, they pretty much have everyone’s pre-season doormats en route to another ACC title: Louisville, Virginia, Miami, BC and Florida. The two-loss Gators looked somewhat formidable until they got doubled up by Bama and batted around by some limping Tigers.

Should FSU still have a 0 on the right side of the dash come Thanksgiving, you can bet Florida fans will load up Gentle Ben and fan boat it up to the state capital to try to remind fans of Burt Reynolds’ alma mater along with the rest of the nation that the state is one TCBY-built-on-a-sinkhole mess. Plus it’s humid. Plus there’s only one Golden Girl still above ground.

But wait, what’s this? Jameis Winston proving he knows how to spell his name: e before i except after …never mind—for cash and a fistful of Papa John’s Chkn Poppers resulting in the unrealized threat of a non-start. I say good for the quarterback who just woke up to what it usually takes football players of his caliber five years post retirement, two failed restaurants and 1.38 arrests to realize: I should’ve gotten paid for my signature before the only value it had was on somewhere on the bottom of an affidavit.

Florida State, 10.5-point favorites before Sharpiegate and back on the board as much as a dozen once his start was announced Friday.

FSU doesn’t have the quicks it purports and Notre Dame actually showed some lockdown D capability against the Cardinal, allowing only one touchdown in three and three quarter quarters. Because the game’s gonna end up 14-10 someone, the safe bet here is the under—which is always a safe bet in a battle of bottom-feeders.

Oh, breaking news (for real) Winston rescues puppies.

Kyle, save me from myself here.

Kyle: AJ, I’m not sure I’d look this way for salvation. I’m still flushing my system from a gloriously boozy trip to San Diego last weekend. I drank a lot of Stone beer on Day 1 (the Stone smoked porter is sort of like Where the Wild Things Are in a glass—sweet, a touch dark and mysterious but ultimately soothing), dabbled with something at Pizza Port on Day 2 called ‘The Mexicutioner’ (which made me goddamn amazing at the jet boat arcade game, putting me on the podium in all three of my tries) and really pickled the liver at the Belching Beaver on day 3.

This week I’ve been hitting the pool a lot (100s on the 2 minutes, which your hunch-backed ancient great uncle who swims will think sounds pretty fast), going to bed at 8:30 and hoping the LCS baseball games will get over at a reasonable hour. During my convalescence I’ve been thinking about this Alabama -13 line at home against Texas A&M. The #21 Aggies (5-2) are in full-on free-fall mode, having lost two straight to great teams in Mississippi and Mississippi State. They’ve managed to keep Kenny Hill’s passing game on track, but the wheels are coming off the Aggies rushing attack—they managed just 1.5 yards per carry against Ole Miss and converted less than half of their third-down carries against Mississippi State.

Hill even got (slighlty) bottled up by the Bulldogs, who allowed only 5.5 yards per completion to the heir to the Tannehill/Manziel throne. You can damn well bet Saban was studying both tapes and is dialing up a gameplan befitting his third-ranked defense as the No. 7 Crimson Tide (5-1) look to pull back within spitting distance of the playoff. Pretty much nobody of note is better on third down than Alabama’s D, and with that much pressure on Hill, 13 points is friggin’ charity.

Football is really just an app for me this weekend–bacon wrapped dates, so a nice date app, but an app nonetheless. I’m really looking forward to Gennady Golovkin’s march toward the middleweight belt against Marco Antonio Rubio.

Golovkin (30-0, 27 KOs including 17 straight) a 3-1 favorite to end this thing within three rounds, and it might be alright to take Rubio (59-6-1) to survive the early bells. Nobody’s stopped the Mexican middleweight before round 9 in 60-plus fights—that’s more than 10 years—and I think that with his (total bullshit) WBC interim belt on the line, Rubio keeps his shoulders over his feet until at least round four. The guy is built like your grandmother’s vanity and will be bolstered by a pro-Mexican crowd in Carson that might get him over the hump against Golovkin, who will probably win, and will probably do so by knocking Rubio the hell out. I just don’t really see it happening that early. As a side-note, it’s very interesting to see Golovkin actively promoting this fight as ‘Mexican style,’ which is apparently shorthand for going toe-to-toe until someone mTBIs their way to the canvas a la Manny Pacquiao in his loss to J.M. Marquez.

For the kinda white, kinda Asian-looking Kazakhstani, it’s as good an effort as any to try to appeal to a broader audience than his sparsely-populated home country as a he makes a bid for the kind of exposure that will necessitate a committed fan base to make Pay-Per-View buys. And, Mexican boxing ain’t exactly what it used to be. Marquez seems to only really be relevant when he’s fighting part 16 of his clash with Pacquiao, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., really likes weed and really dislikes training with any frequency, Gilberto Ramirez is probably still two years off and Canelo Alvarez is a little tainted after the (completely understandable) Mayweather loss. Maybe it’s an open market. Maybe you’ll have to go offshore as Vegas shut down the action after Rubio couldn’t help but make a stop at Randy’s Donuts en route to weigh in.

AJ, how about some thoughts on a sport people who aren’t Latino or 70-plus give a shit about?

AJ: Actually, I think some of your GGG platitudes does portend the return of boxing.

I remember a handful of years ago when Real Sports with Greg Gumbel’s little bro started profiling the rise of UFC as the energy drink, shitty olde english grafitti tee and tribal tat answer to fight night complete with piece puffery on Dana White as the second coming of the France Family. It made me think the sport one Gina “yeah, but can she act?” Carano was going to have a quicker turn at the top than Juvenile’s 2006 release, Reality Check and thus far, I’m (sorta) right.

Now that Rousey is an Expendable and angry-looking bikini model, UFC’s biggest pay day is a half-decade gone and because of a newer audience international (including the 122-million-plus directly south of the border) it hath given way back to the ring with four equal sides.

Numbers don’t lie: Mayweather Medina generated almost a million PPV buys …That’s about 500k short of UFC’s biggest PPV match of all time (UFC 100: Lesnar vs. Mir 2) back in 2009.

While boxing hasn’t reached that heavyweight stratosphere since ’91 (Holyfield/Foreman) the new golden age of middleweight (assuming Floyd will jump up) is upon us. Think of it in these terms: HBO is about to cut the cable and go to online-only subscribers which could increase their base by 80-100 million paying customers domestically.

HBO is currently owned by Time Warner and accounts for about 20 percent of the company’s revenue. Revenue is projected to double with online subscipitons. Boxing is seen as a growth enterprise by HBO—one of the channel’s early wins and most consistent performers for more than two decades, so you can be the odds are good that a fighter like GGG will get his day and his due over the peak next four years of his career.

In the meantime, I’m still a little jealous that you had a pint called ‘The Mexicutioner’. That’s a perfect name for the Nacho Libre sequel I’ve been writing one tweet at a time for the past 18 months.

Beer-wise, I took a detour down the Malt Liquor back alley on my similarly foamy 20-hour sojourn to the giant sand box that is the LA Basin. Speaking of, did you know LA actually rises from the ocean rather than sinks into it? This explains why nobody feels a sliding sensation even as their dreams and days slip down the hourglass of traffic and time. …And why Don Mattingly still has a job.

LA has some decent offerings on tap. Golden Road’s (take the 101 to the 23 to the 118 to the 5 to the 170 (south) to the 134, turn off on San Fernando Road, right on Doran, left on West San Fernando Road …and you’re there) IPL is delicions and available at Trader Joe’s. The Placentia-based Bruery (see: above directions and throw in a detour on the 57 south to inland Orange County) is into corking Belgian-style and ryes. It’s actually pretty good stuff but you have to keep your mustache wax in the front pocket of your flannel and line up for brunch and think that starting a business out of cricket flour is a good call to fully appreciate it.

Post Rose Bowl appearance our session beer whilst trying to revive with some Crystal Geyser and Bubble Tape was Lagunitas’ a Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale. After I stung my tastebuds into submission with stadium-temperature Mickey’s before noon, you could’ve put a bottle of Coors heavy in my hand and I would’ve called it more than good, but this offering was so good I pretended I could go back in time three decades and make a scratch and sniff out of its foamy head and wheaty finish. That and NLCS game one was a grown up version of cereal and cartoons, such a sweet, flavorful little pairing, I got nostalgic for that evening while living it. A 12-oz time machine back to the present day …mmmmm beer.

I’m going to make one more football and some World Series picks in a minute, I think… till then, it’s GGG by KO in the 7th.

Kyle? Maybe we should be doing video game reviews instead. Those guys actually read.

Kyle: AJ, you hit the nail on the head. 4.8 million-plus people bought the newest FIFA videogame title this year, that’s roughly a third of Guardians of the Galaxy’s to-date take. Your average Call of Duty: Murder Foreigners rakes in bigger opening weekend takes than a Bond movie or a whole weekend of NCAA football.

We probably should write to that crowd. Problem is, you and I both seem to spend all of our time using technology to talk to seven people instead of, you know, blowing up zombies and making runs with Cristiano Ronaldo in a stadium of our own design. I was going to make a mouthbreathers/no girlfriends joke there, but I’m bugging my office’s landlord to put a new florescent tube in my overhead light and the guys at EA are deciding between the suite and a beach house for the next E3 convention. C’est la vie.

Since I’m riding a bit of a hotstreak, I’m heading back to the well of small college action. I like Colorado State (5-1, 1-1 MW) -5.5 in Greeley this weekend against Utah State (4-2, 1-0 MW). Both teams are hot, but the Aggies have relied far too much on their passing game with an almost completely lackluster rushing attack (138.2 per game) and the unbalanced look isn’t going to play well on the Front Range, where temps are going to be in the mid-40s by the 7 p.m. kickoff. With the win, it’ll be a three-way race in the Mountain West, with both of Saturday’s teams and Boise State continuing with just one league loss.

AJ, I’ll slide it back over to you for the grand finale.

AJ: Though been cooling off on the gridiorn, my 13-1 wild card from The (Sucka-Free) City is heading into battle this week against their second Missouri-bred foe of October. I’m going to go ahead and double down and say Giants in six. But because I know about as much about AL Central baseball as, well, your typical baseball fan—real quick Kyle, what say you about these Royals besides the fact that they don’t have a good DH like Michael Morse?

Kyle: As far as Royals dirt, you’ll find from even a cursory glance that Ned Yost is Mattingly-level bad.

Bochy is going to have a field day with his ass. No joke. In that wild card game, he probably gave away eight outs on a predictable caught stealing and sac bunt every inning from the 6th on. I love the running game and think there should be more of it in baseball, but he strokes it every night to the thought of Lou Brock and Rickey.

Also, look at their attendance figures. Outside of 10k people, nobody in that town woke up to this team until four-five weeks ago. Some of their September attendance figures were White Sux-level bad. Now Paul Rudd (see: clip above) is being seen at games. My buddy edits a sports page in Cards country and says the entire redbirds fanbase is reemerging in blue.

AJ: But you’re still pulling for the home division out of solidarity for your Tigs?

Kyle: You’re forgetting, I’ve been to San Francisco lately.

AJ: You have an aversion to locally sourced Douchebags?

Kyle: Exactly.

The PnP Recap:

Last week:
AJ: 2-4
Kyle: 3-3

Overall:
AJ: 12 for 19
Kyle: 7 for 13

This week:

AJ:
• Notre Dame +9.5 at FSU under 57
Giants win World Series in 6
• GGG KOs Rubio in the 7th*

Kyle:
• Alabama -13 vs. Texas A&M
• GGG win by KO or decision but only after round four*
• Colorado State -5.5 vs. Utah State

*If you can find it.

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