this week’s predictions are a bit different than the usual bill of fare. fear not, i get there eventually. i hope you enjoy the ride. jmh
eddie catalina had weathered worse weekends but nothing quite like the past one. in some sort of semi delusional death wish he’d taken his car and rent money and bet it all on 10 of the worse college football picks imaginable. sure, some of them looked good and even made sense in that death wish sort of way. but he knew he was in big trouble by mid afternoon on saturday.
the odd thing was he really didn’t care. the third floor walk up in the eastern part of downtown los angeles and his 10 year old car had lost whatever luster was left or ever had been there. things had tumbled out of control and he was resigned to what would come soon enough.
another strange thing was he didn’t even have the car or rent money anymore. after losing the game that tilted the deal below what would mean busting out even he had taken the car and rent money and blown it all and then some. that was even before the total disaster became, oh so apparent. all the money he had was blown on a bizarre drunken whore mongering night in the illegal after hours mexican ‘nightclubs’ in his neighborhood. a long night that found him drunk, alone and asleep at his kitchen table around noon sunday.
the pounding on the door woke him up. it took a second or two to realize it was morning, the sun was up, and he was still drunk. very drunk. stumbling to the door he opened it. two thugs pushed their way inside. the larger of the two shut the door and stood by it.
the smaller one spoke.
‘so where were you last night? it looks like getting drunk on your sorry ass. and that’s no excuse. there are no excuses. you know the rules. payment is due on bets at midnight sharp. pay up now plus another $1,000 in vig for our trouble. don’t fucking piss don vincenzo off any more than he already is.’
standing there in his under ware, head down looking at the floor he thought, ‘good thing i’m still drunk. maybe the broken bones won’t hurt so bad.’
broken bones or maybe. just maybe. yes, a mad hangover haze grab for the rusty but loaded .357 under the three day old newspaper on the table. for you see, as dawn had broke that sunday morning, lonely broke drunken dreams made him pull it out of the bottom of his old army duffel bag. he’d passed out before he could use it. now maybe. just maybe. he could make use of it for some other purpose.
the smaller man slapped him to the floor. eddie used the table to help himself to his feet. his hand slipped under the paper. he gripped the pitted and splintered walnut pistol butt. he spun around firing. his finger pulling the trigger as fast as he could. sound, smoke and the smell of cordite filled the small room.
the two mobsters lay on the floor bleeding their last seconds of life out onto the cracked yellowed linoleum floor. eddie catalina’s troubles had only just begun.
yep. there ya go. the sad almost coda to the story of eddie catalina. eddie thought he was smart. smart enough to beat the spread every saturday during the college football season. eddie did ok but no one ever does more than ok. because they usually end up just like eddie. broke and hungover on a minor level. on a higher level, staring at a murder one rap straight in the face. worse yet were the two dead mob soldiers. that fact wasn’t going away. ever. no matter what the state decided.
see, kids? it ain’t easy. vegas and others know the only thing that matters is their money. it’s all they care about. and they take very good care of their money. vegas palaces aren’t built on winners dreams. they’re built on the sad dreams of every eddie catalina out there. yours and mine.
this past weekend i went 2 for 10 for the week. i took week 6 off. which means i’m now, 62 for 120, over all. not looking good. but still a tad over .500. however, be that as it may. onward and forward. don’t look back because something might be gaining on you. like an angry wife packing a five iron at 2:30am and swinging it at your head.
ok. so, it’s the last week of regular season college football. a bitter sweet week for those among us who love the game. bitter because the short sweet season is over almost as soon as it began. or so it seems. sweet because we can begin the count down to next year and the first week in september. the sweetest week of the year. don’t be eddie catalina. leave your money in your wallet. right where it belongs.
i’m early again and some of the odds weren’t up yet. i’m going by what’s here. as usual.
rock ‘n’ roll.
12/3 oregon st at oregon. oregon favored by 9.5 points. civil war time and it’s take no prisoners. the game of the week for sure. now you folks back east get a taste of the fine football being played by the pac 10 this year. two of the best go head to head at the loudest stadium in the country, autzen stadium. the home of the ducks and a more rabid fan base would be harder to find than the duck home crowd. this game might reach over a hundred total points. powerhouse offenses from both schools. the beavers run it pretty much like no one else can. the beavers, jacuizz rodgers is something to watch and almost impossible to catch. the ducks, jeremiah masoli is one of the best qb’s in the country. tight game. a bunch of points on the board. last one in wins. take the ducks to win but not by the 9.5 points. QUACK QUACK!!!!
12/5 w. virginia at rutgers. w. virginia favored by 2.5 points. that might as well be even up. home game for ozzie nelson’s alma mater. take rutgers to win.
12/5 new mexico at boise st. boise st favored by 46.5 points. boise st should win but not by 46 plus points. take new mexico to get inside that huge spread.
12/5 arizona at usc. usc favored by 7. this is going to be a good one. the trojans are having a hard time putting points on the board. despite the last second td of last week. bruins blew it. arizona has a good defense. take the trojans because they are at home to win and cover. FIGHT ON!!!
12/5 california at washington. california favored by 6.5 points. if the bears are up for this one they will win. if not the huskies will walk all over them. it’s tedford’s call and coaching that will make the difference here. good one to watch. i’m taking the huskies to win or get inside the spread.
12/5 cincinnati at pittsburg. a toss up. i’m taking cincinnati to win.
i hope i have the last four games and teams right.
12/5 conferance usa championship. huston at e. carolina. toss up. i really don’t care much about this one so i’m taking huston.
12/5 sec championship game. florida at alabama. florida favored by 4.5 points. i thought this would be bama’s year for a national title. i don’t think so anymore. too much trouble trying to put points on the board. florida wins and covers.
12/5 acc championship game. georgia tech at clemson. toss up. i’m going with clemson here.
12/5 big 12 championship game. texas at nebraska. texas favored by 13.5 points. take the horns to hook em. texas wins and covers.
that’s it for this year and the regular season. there will be at least one more blog on the college bowl season coming from me. i hope you come back around to read it or them as well. you’ve made this a banner year for me here. i hope you come back next year to take the college football trip again. thanks for reading and your support. ah, i’m not going anywhere. i’ll be right here writing about other stuff while i wait for september 2010.
story and predictions copyrighted by john hauge 2009