sports

2013-14 college football bowl game picks & predictions

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at long last we finally see the BCS BS drift out to sea with the tide on a flaming funeral pyre worthy of king odin himself. adieu, sweet BCS. we come not mourn it but to bury it. ah well, cheap prose aside, the brinks trucks will still be backing up to off load their small, used, and completely laundered cash to all the deans, AD’s, conference commissioners, TV executives, and all the other assorted college football hangers-on across this once great land. however, one of the great axioms of life, be careful what you wish for, looms around the corner. though that corner won’t be around till next year at this time.

bowl season. the extracurricular college football season meant to line the pockets of everyone far and wide in the land of the halls of ivy. of course, if you haven’t played your cards right you’re left out in the bowl cold. no golden cash cow for you, pilgrim. perhaps next year. or the year after. the carrot is dangled. hope springs eternal in the gloomy halls of the have nots and wannabes. next year, kids. next year.

i used to love bowl games. not anymore. yeah, there’s a handful i’ll tune into every year but the list grows shorter with the passing of time. plus i have a new wrinkle, this year DISH has added HBO on demand to their menu. woo hoo. ‘the sopranos’ in their six seasons of glory all there for the viewing. i have something else to watch now instead of my meager few bowl games. works for me. pass the dago red. i only have until december 31st or that’s what they say before tony and crew vanish. sure, i’ve got the whole thing in a boxed DVD set. but who knows how to run a DVD player anymore? ours just sits there like some brick-a-brack collecting dust so the cleaning lady can make the occasional feeble stab at dusting it.

yes, i know. you aren’t here for that. you want a bowl line-up run down. fine with me. you’ll get one. not all of them but a few i may or may not actually tune into while waiting for the next episode of ‘the sopranos’ to download. another sad fact of life is most of the bowl games are junk junkets at best. crack whores dressed as sexily clad sirens luring hicks and hucksters alike to warmer climes. come. spend your cash. watch your team play some other 6 and 6 team. either team may or may not be into said bowl or even playing football this time of year. but who cares? not us. bring your money on down. be drunken sailors on leave for a few days or better yet, a week. so what if you end up with a DUI or herpes or a six inch gash on the back of your head from that full can of PBR lobbed in your general direction during half time while you stood in line for 25 minutes so you could pee in a trough urinal with 10 or 15 of your new best friends. sweet. it doesn’t get any better than that. right? boy howdy, i’ll wager not.

it’s all about the money, kids. with some other stuff thrown in for good measure. football is on the list. somewhere. you may have to do some digging and if you’re very lucky you may even find it. off the top of my head i’m thinking you’ll probably find jimmy hoffa before you’ll find any football.

i don’t waste my time with points or spreads or whatever with the bowl games. just straight up picks. for those that are still reading and maybe even care a tad my overall percentage for my picks this season ended up at 61.3%. a good 10 points above my usual mediocrity.

rock ‘n’ roll.

12-21 las vegas bowl. fresno st vs usc. i may watch this game. or some of it. to bad cajun ed isn’t still around. the sark hire by the trojans is a head scratcher for sure. take the trojans. FIGHT ON!!!

12-30 alamo bowl. oregon vs texas. the ducks need to win this game in order to quell the ‘it’s a coaching problem’ talk. QUACK!!! QUACK!!!

12-31 sun bowl. virginia tech vs ucla. coach mora got a wagon load of money to stay at ucla. if he hadn’t he would have replaced sark in seattle. take ucla.

12-31 chick-fil-a bowl. miami vs texas a&m. one i’ll probably watch. it’s either johnny boys last college game or he begins his heisman campaign anew. hopefully, the month lay off hasn’t raised more issues with his off field behavior. take the aggies.

1-1 capital one bowl. s. carolina vs wisconsin. i’m hoping the capital one guys will be trotting out some new commercials as they’re generally good for a few laughs. the game? take the badgers.

1-1 the rose bowl. michigan st vs stanford. the grand pappy of em all. one i usually watch or at least some of it anyway. though no matter how snooty the bib and tucker crowd in pasadena tries to make the day it’s just another lackluster stab at debauchery and the dry heaves while running for some faded roses who’s smell was bred out of them years ago. there’s a kentucky derby simile in there some place. le gran pooh bah. the stale old vichy french could do no better. as the day drags on i suppose a game lurks about somewhere. the PAC(8)(10)12 vs the BIG 10(12)(?). the storied rivalry of your great grandparents played on the first day of the new born year. the san gabriel mountains glisten in the winter sun as a backdrop. they actually do turn purple as the sun sinks into the pacific. every year i pray for a deluge of biblical proportions if only to stem the tide of snowbirds fed up with their snow and cold. sadly,rain hasn’t happened in decades on jan 1. besides it’s already to late. that train left the tracks back in the early 60’s. however, it won’t stop me from my yearly ritual. the game? screw it. at this point who cares? not i, pilgrim. not i. however, if you do take stanford for the win.

1-6 BCS championship game. florida st vs auburn. the last one of it’s kind. ever. or that’s the thinking. though i guess there’s a possibility of it returning if the next deal doesn’t pan out. get real, that is a possibility. lots of stuff returns. kinda like the ‘touristas’ if you aren’t careful. hmmm. i don’t much care for this game and haven’t watched it in years. neither should you. why? it happens way too long after the season is over. plus, i’ll be busy getting ready for elvis’ birthday on the 8th. come on over. there’ll be drinks. way way to much fattening food. bowl upon bowl of all manner of pills. maybe even some demerol. that by the way is all a joke. i digress. the game itself is one long TV commercial with a few moments of football tossed in every once in a while. you could DVR it and watch it later but why? meh. let’s see. the rose bowl committee, escorts, and strippers from all over the world get another shot at fleecing the poor folk who come into town for the game. yeah, it off loads plenty of cash into the local economy. but you have to ask yourself, is it all worth it? probably not. yes, the chambers of commerce scalawags would argue otherwise. that’s their prerogative. and job. mine is to avoid them and their ilk whenever possible. i won’t be watching but i’d take florida st to win.

thanks for reading this and all my other football insanity this year. some of you get it. others, well, you know. i hope all of you have a joyous and merry christmas season. i hope santa brings you everything you want. sure why not? right? i also hope you have a healthy and prosperous new year. be safe. be semi sane. i’ll see you in nine months or so.

jmh

2013 college football picks and predictions week 13

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i did marginally better this week thanks to two things. the first being there was no line for the oregon game when i published this early last monday. secondly, the improbable hail mary catch to ice the auburn game. i’ll take what i can get. at any rate, my weekend saw me going 6 for 10. making my overall for the year 77 for 120.

why is it so hard to find 10 games this late in the season that i’d actually want to sit down and watch? exactly. this week’s round of games were just as hard to pick as the first couple of weeks usually are. once again, just like last year, we have alabama taking the week off by playing road kill juco st this late in the season. in truth, they aren’t the only school doing the same thing this week. why is this happening on a yearly basis? assorted pundits want me to believe when the BCS bids us aloha at the end of the year this practice of playing FCS or lower schools will not be happening anymore. or as often. really? i’ll believe that when i see it and i won’t be holding my breath.

the whole insanity of scheduling and then playing interstate 40 cafe & gas tech has gotten to the cringe worthy stage. i suppose if you’re the dean of mom & pop a&m the money that exchanges hands is a nice thing. money exchanging hands is generally a good thing. though it doesn’t make for watchable college football when that’s the only case for it happening. even if chicken & waffles poly technic pulls off the upset of the decade. one season changing upset doesn’t make the practice worthwhile. sue me. i guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens next year. though i’m sure AD’s across the land have already scheduled plenty of miserable games for us to sift through next year. the mantra of, ‘it’s too late to change things now’ will be heard far and wide. sigh.

this mess is for entertainment purposes only. never ever use what you read here as wagering advice. set fire to your paycheck in other ways. we’re clear on this, right? good. the odds or points presented here may change over the course of the week. i use what’s here to determine my wins and losses.

rock ‘n’ roll.

11-20 n. illinois @ toledo. n. illinois favored by 2.5 points. northern illinois is everyones BCS buster darling of the year. if they continue to win it will be interesting to see what happens. toledo is doing OK but it is the MAC and the MAC isn’t one of my favorites. why did i pick this game? diversity? middle of the week college football? no idea. though some folks are enamored with the illinois team. meh. toledo is winning. not like illinois but winning. this is toledo’s bowl game even with their 7 wins. take toledo to win.

11-22 navy @ san jose st. san jose st favored by 2 points. this is an odd match-up if there ever was one. see above. however, it is kind of nice to see navy playing a football game on the 50th anniversary of JFK’s death. was this intentional or just a random scheduling quirk type thing? i don’t know. if you’re up in the san jose area this would be a good way to spend a part of your day either at the stadium or if not watching on TV at home. the midshipmen win this one for the skipper of the PT-109. if it were up to me, that’s how i would be selling it to the kids at navy all week long. take navy inside the points and or for the win.

11-23 oklahoma @ kansas st. kansas st favored by 4 points. the sooners should have no problem taking down the wildcats even on their home turf. despite what the odds writers say. we’ll see. me? i’m taking the sooners to win or get inside the points.

11-23 wisconsin @ minnesota. wisconsin favored by 15. this one has a shot at being a pretty good game. either that or the badgers blow out the golden gophers at home. either way. i’m taking wisconsin to win and cover.

11-23 usc @ colorado. usc favored by 22 points. is there any way we can rescind colorado’s invite into the PAC(8)(10)12? just a thought. cajun ed seems to have things back on track at usc. if there is no let down after beating the trees they should take care of colorado without any problem. or that’s the hope. cajun ed has his george costanza do the opposite thing going and it’s working very well so far. can he keep the job? win out ed and take the bowl game then maybe so. maybe so. the crux of the job interview begins here. don’t let the buffaloes win this one or even get close. yes, coach o, most things happen for a reason. take the trojans. FIGHT ON!!!

11-23 oregon @ arizona. oregon favored by 18 points. the ducks need to win. simple as that to have any shot at playing in the PAC north title game. mariota shreds. take the ducks to win and cover. QUACK!!! QUACK!!!

11-23 arizona st @ ucla. arizona st favored by 2.5 points. kind of a surprise that. at least this week i should have the bruins playing on the correct day of the week unlike last week. traffic in and around pasadena shouldn’t be as miserable as it was for last friday nights game. it will be bad but not with the added friday night going home from work/leaving town traffic tossed in for good measure. i digress. one of the better games of the week. i’m not making the mistake i made last week and taking the out of town fave. take the bruins to at the least get inside the maven’s meagerness.

11-23 byu @ notre dame. byu favored by 1 point. another toss up. the golden domers have played themselves out of any big time big dance bowl games this year. though if they win here and next week against the trees things might change. how much remains to be seen. notre dame wins at home.

11-23 baylor @ oklahoma st. baylor favored by 8.5 points. probably the most interesting game of the week because it could be a shoot out of epic proportions. along with it being two of the BCS big boys. baylor wins but doesn’t cover the spread. take the cowboys to get inside or maybe win.

11-23 texas a&m @ lsu. lsu favored by 4 points. it surprised me when i finally noticed this game. i’d changed my tenth game twice and when i was looking up the odds i saw this one. i wonder where it had been hiding? johnny boy needs to shine and i think he will. two weeks to rest and glue a game face on. works for me. not many points pretty much straight up. take a&m to at least get inside the slim point pickens and probably even win.

enjoy your week and try to remain safe and semi sane over the weekend. the brown eyed girl and love of my life is improving but is looking at at least one more surgery in a month or so. good thoughts and prayers are still most welcome. thanks.

jmh

2013 college football picks and predictions week 12

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the brown eyed girl and love of my life continues to improve. however, it will be at least a couple of months before things are anywhere near normal around these parts. your good thoughts and or prayers on her behalf are still most welcome. about the only thing normal around here is i’m back to using the points/odds/spreads again this week along with publishing this insanity early monday morning again. yes, i’m repeating myself.

things didn’t start off very well last week and my picks didn’t improve much over the weekend. i went 5 for 10 bringing my season overall to 71 for 110. nothing stellar but i’ll take it.

as always this is for entertainment purposes only. never use anything here for legal or illegal wagering. do not do it. stupid is as stupid does. you’ve been warned. one more, as always…the odds/points used here may change over the week. i use what’s presented here to determine my wins and losses for the week.

rock ‘n’ roll.

11-14 georgia tech @ clemson. clemson favored by 10.5 points. the yellow jackets have won 3, lost 3, and won 3. a semi sort of nice symmetry to their season. from where i’m sitting it looks like they’ll begin another streak this week with a loss to clemson. take clemson to win and cover the point spread.

11-15 washington @ ucla. ucla favored by 2.5 points. the huskies thumped colorado this past week but then who hasn’t this year? the bruins almost gave the game away in the fourth quarter to the sun devils. this should be an interesting game and a good way to spend an early saturday evening. well, at least it will be early out here. tight point spread. not even the home court 3 for the bruins. so cal homer says take the bruins to win and cover.

11-16 iowa st @ oklahoma. oklahoma favored by 24.5 points. the sooners were pretty much blown out by baylor last week. a fluke? in some quarters it would seem so. sad to say, the cyclones on the other hand are having one of their most forgettable seasons with only one win. over the years you could usually count on them for at least one upset win during the season. that probably isn’t going to happen this year. certainly not this week. that is until i saw the points. call me crazy but i’m taking iowa st to get inside the points. win? probably not.

11-16 georgia @ auburn. auburn favored by 3.5 points. probably a pretty good game. but one where the bulldogs don’t have much of a chance at winning especially on auburn’s home court. although stranger things have happened. yes, another meager spread. no matter. take auburn to win and cover the spread.

11-16 alabama @ mississippi st. alabama favored by 24.5 points. mississippi st played fairly well in losing to the aggies. the tide however is an all together different story. along with this isn’t going to be the week the tide takes a loss. mucho pointoes for sure. take the tide to win and cover the spread. ROLL TIDE!!!

11-16 texas tech @ baylor. baylor favored by 26.5 points. the red raiders bring their 3 game losing streak into dallas for a neutral field thumping by the bears. or do they? yeah, more than likely. however, the red raiders need some sort of redemption for tossing the season overboard. so, ipso facto, texas tech may not win but they will beat the spread. take them.

11-16 stanford @ usc. stanford favored by 3 points. the trojans rolled over lowly cal while the trees pulled off another win over the ducks. i don’t see the trojans scoring anywhere near what they put on the board last week. yeah, the chances of that happening are pretty slim. ok. i’m supposing you’re as shocked as i am with the points for this one. i don’t get it. maybe cajun ed has some sort of hoodoo voodoo spell up his sleeve and the odds mavens found out. i don’t know. sad to say, i’ve got to go with the trees here winning and covering.

11-16 utah @ oregon. no line. it’s utah’s unfortunate luck to travel to oregon after the ducks sad loss to the trees last week. even with the ducks mariota semi banged up the utes will have their hands full and their hats more than likely handed to them by a hopefully pissed off duck squad. the rabid duck fan base should be out for blood as well. have your earplugs handy while watching this one from your couch. autzen just might levitate like the pentagon never did. ah, you had to be there…or at least watching on TV. no line makes this one easy. take the ducks to win. QUACK!!! QUACK!!!

11-16 oregon st @ arizona st. arizona st favored by 13.5 points. the beaves have had two weeks to get ready for this. my guess is mike riley has put that time to good use. the beaves may not win but i’m taking them to get inside the spread.

11-16 wyoming @ boise st. boise st favored by 22 points. the cowboys round out my picks this week with a trip into the fading blue smurf turf of boise st. where the broncos have had two weeks of preparation. the cowboys are in for a wild ride. or that’s my guess. boise needs to win out for another shot at fresno st. good luck with that. plenty of points but the broncos are antsy. and the cowboys can’t break them. take boise st to win and cover.

the season dwindles to only a few remaining weeks. enjoy what’s left of college football 2013. be safe. be semi sane.

on this veterans day say thanks to any vet you know for the sacrifice they made. to all my fellow nam vets, welcome home.

jmh

2013 college football picks and predictions week 9

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we all knew this was coming. it had to at some point or another. i was even feeling it as i was writing last weeks picks. week 8 my worst week of the year so far. ouch. a sub par 4 for 10. making my overall a 49 for 80 for the season. still above water but taking some in for sure. most of my picks won but didn’t or couldn’t cover the spread. something the casino’s and betting mavens count on. though i did have a couple of nice underdog wins.

yes, my picks are early for week 9. they will also be just straight up picks with no points due to our having to do an overnighter in jed clampett’s old stomping grounds in order for us to be somewhere early monday morning in said general area. the thought of sitting two to three hours in lala land’s monday morning bumper to bumper traffic is not my idea of fun along with the fact i don’t want to rely on hotel wifi that may or may not work very well. so, just straight up picks for this weeks games. win or lose. no points or spread to deal with. hopefully, things get back to normal for week 10.

the most important thing to remember is that these picks and predictions are for entertainment purposes only. using any of the insanity presented here as gambling advice would be pretty bloody stupid on your part on about a bazillion levels. do not do it. find another outlet for you to throw your cash away.

rock ‘n’ roll.

10-25 boise st @ byu. boise st had a little trouble getting started last week. byu had a little trouble stopping houston from scoring. even with all that this should be a good game with plenty of offense to liven up any fall friday night. i just don’t see boise pulling this one off on the road. i’m taking byu to win.

10-26 texas tech @ oklahoma. another barn burner or that’s the hope. probably another case of who has the ball last wins. this should be a close one regardless. i’m taking the red raiders to win because of their passing game.

10-26 utah @ usc. both teams are all over the map this year. one week surprise surprise and the next WTF? the trojans were disappointing in their lose to the golden domers on the road. a semi sort of sleep walk to no where. the utes pound the trees then make a poor showing against a PAC also ran the next week. cajun ed needs to turn things around yet again this week for the trojans. i like the guy and the kids seem to like him as well as do the ‘daily trojan’ sports writers. he needs to keep winning and garner some sort of crappy bowl game in order to have a real shot at staying where he is next year. the trojans at home get things together for the win. FIGHT ON!!!

10-26 ucla @ oregon. the bruins semi imploded last week in palo alto. way too many penalties along with a deer in the headlights sort of look that never went away. they can’t afford either this week against my beloved ducks. i suppose they never really had a chance at winning this one on the ducks insane home turf. though with a better showing against the trees hope might have sprung eternal. the bruins have a ton of work to do this week if they want to make this a close game. none the less, regardless, take the ducks to win. QUACK QUACK!!!

10-26 s. carolina @ missouri. the gamecocks third week in a row on the road along a tough loss against the volunteers last week. missouri continues to roll and one of my upset winners from last week as well. this is the tigers game to lose. the SEC’s team from out of the blue. take mizz to win.

10-26 penn st @ ohio st. it’s beginning to look like the buckeyes will run the table then head somewhere in late december or early january. penn st is doing ok but unless the wheels fall of the buckeyes wagon they don’t have much of a chance here. take ohio st to win.

10-26 texas @ tcu. if you look at the horned frogs record you’ll see a pattern. one that will more than likely be broken this week as the longhorns have had 2 weeks to get ready for this game. tcu has lost only once at home this year. this game will be their second home court loss along with the pattern ending. take texas to win.

10-26 stanford @ oregon st. the trees try to stay in the race for the roses or more on the road against the beaves. the state of oregon gets to host the two best PAC(8)(10)(12) games of the week. oregon st begins their toughest part of their schedule with this game. ending with the ‘civil war’ game the day after turkey day. but that’s for then. they should make a game of it against the trees this saturday. if i were going by the point spread here i’d take oregon st. however, i’m not so take stanford to win.

10-26 tennessee @ alabama. tennessee surprised at home last week. they do have a fairly good running game but the tide at home won’t be their next victim. too much of everything for the volunteers to handle. the tide rolls again. alabama wins. ROLL TIDE!!!

10-26 clemson @ maryland. clemson got schooled last week by the noles in a pretty much one sided contest. maryland clunks along, at best, against a yawner of a schedule. clemson makes up for the embarrassment of last week with a win on the terps home field.

there they are week 9’s gifts. ok. yeah, sure. at any rate, enjoy the waning few weeks of the college football season. eat and drink well. be safe. be semi sane.

jmh

2013 college football picks and predictions week 8

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another outstanding weekend of college ball saw me polishing off my picks with a nifty 8 for 10 for week 7. my over all now sits at 45 for 70. pretty nifty indeed. had the trees not tanked, which was probably my biggest surprise of the week, and had johnny football managed to eek out a couple more points it would have been a perfect week. well, ok. another shot at a perfect week. something i’ve yet to attain but with any luck at all maybe i’ll hit one this season. maybe this week. the way things are going maybe i will. yes, of course, the dreaded bad juju of the vocalized jinxing of something or another. fine. so be it.

the main thing to remember is this madness driven drivel is for entertainment purposes only. nothing picked up here should be used or even considered for wagering purposes. legal or otherwise. do not do it. find something else to waste your money on. if you’re having trouble doing that hit me up and i’ll help you out with a few ideas. vegas casinos aren’t built because people like to go there to ride around in gondolas and eat foie gras. don’t be stupid.

once again, the points used here may and or probably will either go up or down over the course of the week. or maybe not. the point being, what is here is what i go by to determine my wins and losses for any given week. get the picture? one other thing to point out for this week is that i picked my 10 week 8 games before any of the week 7 games were played. maybe it matters maybe it doesn’t.

rock ‘n’ roll.

10-18 ucf @ louisville. louisville favored by 11 points. ucf has played and beaten several, in general, quality opponents. most notably penn st. plus, they hung tough with s. carolina for their only loss. louisville on the other hand has rolled over everyone they’ve played. however, who have they played? exactly. are they this week’s georgia? we can only hope. take ucf to get inside the spread.

10-19 florida @ missouri. florida favored by 3 points. this one seemed like a pretty good match up when i picked it. i think it still is. the tigers thumped the bull dawgs on their home turf and exposed them for what i’d mentioned a few weeks earlier. i didn’t think they were a top 10 team. the gators were unable to hang with lsu last week in losing. a defensive lapse in the second quarter being the biggest culprit. yes, missouri is everyones out of the blue darling this season. and probably with good reason. take missouri at home to get inside the points and maybe even win.

10-19 washington @ arizona st. arizona st favored by 3 points. with oregon schooling the sark’s huskies last week at home it looks as if they might be done for the year. the fork sticking test will be performed at the conclusion of this weeks game against the sun devils. we’ll also see if their heart is still up for the remainder of the season. so, with all of that mumbo jumbo, i’m taking arizona st to win and cover at home.

10-19 washington st @ oregon. oregon favored by 38 points. pirate mike’s cougars fell way short in their shoot out with the beaves last week. it’s bad luck or scheduling for them as they get to make the trip into the autzen thunder dome for another thrashing by an oregon team this time around. my beloved ducks seem to be on a mission from on high this year. though it would be somewhat premature to go down that road. or maybe we can. no, too early. an aircraft carrier full of points, however take the ducks to win and cover the spread. QUACK QUACK!!!

10-19 oklahoma @ kansas. oklahoma favored by 23.5 points. oklahoma forgot to stop and fill the tank before their meeting with the longhorns last saturday. something you should never do when going against an old established coach who’s seemingly fallen on hard times. hard lessons often come the hard way. as for coaches falling on hard times this could be charlie weis’ time to make his statement or at least save himself from another embarrassing pink slip at the end of the season. a good showing here would go a long way in defering that until another time. like next week perhaps? the sooners gas up before crossing the border into jay hawk territory this week. a barrel of crudes worth of points but take oklahoma to win and cover.

10-19 auburn @ texas a&m. texas a&m favored by 13.5 points. johnny football just might find his hands full this week against the other alabama team. a team that’s doing well and has some good numbers where it counts. auburn will give the aggies defense some fits and plenty of trouble. can johnny boy score enough to make up the difference? probably at home. otherwise a bit shaky point wise for my money. take the aggies to win and cover.

10-19 iowa st @ baylor. baylor favored by 31 points. my regular over the years readers know iowa st is one of my on any given saturday upset favorites. they showed their game last week in losing to the red raiders. baylor can score with impunity against the usual suspects state which for some reason makes the pollsters swoon with pubescent teenage girl awe, lust, and wonder not seen since sinatra, elvis, and the beatles. me? meh. but then i was a rolling stone and a dude. still am. though at times i can channel old blue eyes and stop folks in their tracks when i’m in vegas. i digress. take iowa st to cover the spread and maybe even win it out right.

10-19 usc @ notre dame. notre dame favored by 2.5 points. usc won last week despite almost squandering the game away in the fourth quarter to arizona. we’ll see if they can remain on a winning track this week against a tepid golden domer squad. coach orgeron seems to have the bilge pumps working once again but the true tale of the great white whale comes this week in the shadow of that golden dome. this is one of the all time rivalries, kids. the game either catches the barn on fire or it doesn’t. be that as it may, harken back to the halcyon days of john mckay, john robinson, ara parseghian, lou holtz, dan devine, and coach petey. a stellar group of coaches if there ever was one. can the two current sideline gurus give us what we want? lights out college football? a real nail biter? someone shoving someone over the goal line? a phantom pass interference call? the possibilities are limitless in this kind of rivalry. lets all hope we get some fireworks this saturday on touchdown jesus’ home court. i think cajun ed is up for the challenge. take the trojans to win and or get inside the meager spread. FIGHT ON!!!

10-19 florida st @ clemson. florida st favored by 3 points. florida st has had two weeks to get ready for this crucial game. clemson semi struggled last week against a less than stellar boston college team. team stats are very close. however, the noles are heads above the tigers in scoring and defense. two things that should trump the tigers home court advantage. take florida st to win and cover.

10-19 ucla @ stanford. stanford favored by 5.5 points. the bruins didn’t blow out the bears and the trees never got it together in losing to the middle of the road utes. coach mora has his hands full this week and the next with two back to back valley of death road trips. this week up to palo alto and treeland and the next up into the duck blind. both games road testing the mettle of the bruin squad. the trees seek redemption from the embarrassment of last week. the bruins seek to wreck havoc on the PAC(8)(10)12 north. both of which won’t be easy. i have to stay a PAC south homer. take the bruins to at least get inside the points and maybe even win.

there they are. enjoy your next weekend of the waning college ball season. try to stay semi sane and upright. eat and drink well because it will be over before you know it. in many more ways than you realize. i’m usually fairly confident with my picks but i get a gnawing feeling this week could be one of those the little guy at waterloo or yamamoto at midway type things. look em up, kids. damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.

jmh

2013 college football picks and predictions week 7

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it took a bit longer than it usually does. a point here. a point there. way too many penalties. perhaps the wrong cleats on a worn out synthetic turf. stuff like that. the list could go on and on. a rather doleful mediocre week 6 is over. one could even say finally over. my worst week of the season so far. yes, it was coming. that was for certain. possibly even worse down the road. count on it. bottom line week 6 saw me going 5 for 10. if i were a baseball player and did that consistently at bat i’d be a hall of famer. and everyone’s top of the charts player. unfortunately i’m not. i’m also pretty sure you aren’t either. so, my over all for the year now stands at 37 for 60. head still above water but on the other hand i’m not looking for an architect or contractor to begin work on my dream home somewhere over looking the blue pacific and the red ferrari is on hold.

the important thing to remember is that this is for entertainment purposes only. using anything here for wagering purposes would be asinine. last weeks picks and predictions pointed that out all too clearly. do not wager on college football games legal or otherwise. do not do it. spend your hard earned cash elsewhere. hell, wasting your hard earned cash elsewhere is an even better idea.

this week is a road warrior road trip week for me. a very much needed solo road trip and i may not have the time or desire to properly deal with the point spreads. so, i’m just doing straight up picks. win or lose. no points. no spread. none the less, don’t use what’s here for some sort of dumb ass purpose.

UPDATE: that was then is now. i’m already down the road and in my room and/or location for the duration of the trip. yeah, i may venture out of the room occasionally. so, the points are back on board for the week. OK? i thought so. :UPDATE

rock ‘n’ roll.

10-10 arizona @ usc. usc favored by 5.5 points. usc’s interim coach ed orgeron is seemingly a breath of fresh coaching air compared to the late and pretty much not lamented ex coach lane kiffin. who in reality had to deal with coach petey and what he had wrought. but lane didn’t deal with it very well. it’s also nice to see ed getting some sort of respect from the odds mavens as well. practices are once again open to the media and ed actually speaks nicely to them and has some fun with them too. he’s having some fun with his players as well, which the kids seem to be enjoying. fresh air is generally a very nice thing. we’ll see how well ed fares in the coming weeks. this week the men of troy face their first opponent after after the shake-up. thankfully, that opponent is the arizona wildcats. along with the game being on the home court the trojans just might turn things around. i’m thinking maybe they will with the high of new coaching blood streaming through the program. especially against the wildcats. or maybe not. at any rate, a nice week night diversion from whatever ails you. possibly a very close game though either team could blow the other out of the park. with usc’s new coach and all the other related incidentals at usc i’m taking them to win and cover the points. why not? FIGHT ON!!!

10-12 alabama @ kentucky. alabama favored by 27.5 points. a bunch of points but the tide continues to roll. nothing really impressive last week but the job got done. and in the end that is pretty much what it’s all about on any given week. kentucky is about ready to go down for the the fourth time with no lifeguards in sight or anywhere near the water. hence, take the tide to win and cover the spread. ROLL TIDE!!!

10-12 florida @ lsu. lsu favored by 8 points. probably a good game if both teams show up to play. lsu was very impressive on the road last week. they should be even more impressive this week at home. take lsu to win and cover the spread.

10-12 texas a&m @ ole miss. texas a&m favored by 7 points. ole miss is coming off of two losses in a row and looming sensitivity and diversity training due to some pretty stupid actions on the part of about half the team. they look like they’re digging themselves a hole. probably a deep hole. a&m has had a couple of weeks to work on this game. plus, johnny boy has been more than likely nose to the grindstone and for sure out of the lame kid limelight. unlike the kids at ole miss. take a&m to win and cover the points.

10-12 stanford @ utah. stanford favored by 8.5 points. last week the trees held off the huskies to stay undefeated. ucla finally squeaked past the utes to stay undefeated as well. utah isn’t burning up the field this season with anything dazzling. but they are keeping things close even when they lose. which they more than likely will do again this week. take the trees to win and cover.

10-12 cal @ ucla. ucla favored by 24.5 points. so far the bruins are for real. cal’s only win this season was against road kill state. i expect them to be hunkered down in the road kill position this week against the bruins at home. take ucla to win and cover the spread.

10-12 oregon @ washington. oregon favored by 14 points. despite a slow start against colorado last week my beloved ducks continue to light up the scoreboard. this is my game of the week for sure. hopefully, the huskies are ready for this match up. the ducks may not blow up the scoreboard for the first time this year but they should win. take oregon to win and cover the points on the road in hostile huskie territory. QUACK QUACK!!!

10-12 oregon st @ washington st. washington st favored by 1 point. a toss up. for my money another good game with two of my other favorite coaches and PAC(8)(10)12 schools going head to head. both teams can score some points. look for a shoot out. defense be damned. the last team with the ball wins. the question being who will that be? i’m taking oregon st to win or at the least get inside the meager points.

10-12 northwestern @ wisconsin. wisconsin favored by 10.5 points. both schools held their own in losing to ohio st. the badgers have had two weeks to get ready for the best BIG (10)12 game of the week. i’m taking wisconsin to win at home and cover the points.

10-12 boise st @ utah st. boise st favored by 7 points. a short road trip sees boise st return after an off week and looking to improve upon their 3-2 record against a pretty good utah st team. just how wisely did coach petersen use that time? we’re all going to find out soon enough. if the broncos fall to 3-3 coach petersen’s stock will more than likely take a nose dive too. no matter how the bronco faithful and apologists spin it or paint it. this game is a toss up. odds mavens or not make this a tough call. flip a coin? i’m taking boise st to win and cover the spread.

each week sees the season along with the days growing shorter. so, put your feet up, sit back, and enjoy the shortest sweetest sporting season in the realm because it will be over before you know it. yeah, i know, like most stuff for us old timer traditionalists stuff ain’t that easy to take anymore. i digress. at any rate, enjoy the games, some good company, food, and vino. be safe. be semi sane.

jmh

2013 college football picks and predictions week 6

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this past saturday was one of those nifty game days for me. a very sweet 9 for 10 day with my picks against the spread. had oklahoma st not floundered it would have been a perfect day. maybe their booster/alumni created drama at home is beginning to filter out onto the field. we’ll wait and see what happens. at any rate, my over all for the year now stands at, 32 for 50.

week 5 also saw some injuries to key players through out college ball. for me, the two biggest were usc’s marqise lee and my beloved ducks lost running back de’anthony thomas. it remains to be seen just how serious both injuries are. in lee’s case he is usc’s offense.

as for usc’s AD pat haden standing behind coach lane kiffin that all came to an abrupt if not predictable end early sunday morning after the trojans got hammered by arizona st. the fan splashing merde was getting out of hand. good for haden. time to move on. a number of decent coaches are supposedly in the mix for the job. if it were up to me i’d go with an interim coach then after this miserable season is over go for the coach you really want. which is just what they’ve done. hopefully, the interim coach is just that, interim. former trojan and current broncos defensive coordinator jack del rio seems to be getting the most buzz at the moment.

always remember this weekly insanity is for entertainment purposes only. just because i’m doing fairly well so far this year doesn’t mean anything at all. my picks could veer into on coming traffic on any given saturday. or hit a patch of black ice and spin out of control. get the picture? i hope you do. never use what you read here for wagering purposes. do not do it. there are much better ways to spend or waste your cash than betting on college football.

the point spreads used here may go up or down over the week. that being said, i have better things to do than adjusting the points here whenever the odds bosses make a change. my win loss record for the week is based on what is here.

as far as i’m concerned, week 6 is another really poor slate of games. of course, there are some good games but most of them aren’t worth your time. or more importantly mine. so, you’re going to see some teams here you normally would never see or rarely see.

rock ‘n’ roll.

10-1 ucla @ utah. ucla favored by 3.5 points. the bruins travel to provo for a critical PAC (8)(10)12 southern division game. the utes aren’t terrible but they aren’t great either. all in all possibly a tight game or the bruins could blow them out. the early point spread is meager at best for the bruins. probably just as well. take the bruins to cover and win.

10-5 clemson @ syracuse. clemson favored by 13 points. clemson has been on a roll so far this year. should ohio st, oregon, stanford, or alabama tank, guess what? yup. they just need to keep winning. though i’d rather not see a rematch against georgia for the big dance game. i lost my zest for rematches back in muhammed ali’s boxing days. i digress. clemson should have no trouble taking this game to the bank. take clemson to win and cover.

10-5 maryland @ florida st. florida st favored by 14.5 points. despite maryland’s 4-0 record, which the points reflect, this a game the seminoles can’t let slip through their fingers. especially a home court game. take florida st to win and cover.

10-5 n. carolina st @ wake forest. n. carolina st favored by 9.5 points. n. carolina st held their own in a loss against clemson. wake forest didn’t. another one of those ipso facto deals in a game that only matters to the schools, players, and their families. take nc state to win and cover.

10-5 kentucky @ s. carolina. s. carolina favored by favored by 22 points. kentucky is not playing very well. the old ball coach and his gamecocks are doing just fine so far with only one slip up. this is another game the home team can’t muddle through while hoping for the best. take s. carolina to win and cover.

10-5 cincinnati @ south florida. cinncinnati favored by 12 points. possibly the yawner of the week. or maybe the gamecocks game is. south florida sits at 0-4 and is looking straight at 0-5 if the bearcats make to the stadium in time for kickoff. if not, south florida gets the forfeit win. although the chances of that happening are pretty slim. take cincy to win and cover the points.

10-5 missouri @ vanderbilt. vanderbilt favored by 2 points. oh??? any sane person would take missouri in this game. you should too. take missouri to win and or get inside the points.

10-5 notre dame @ arizona st. arizona st favored by 5.5 points. i guess the domers are lucky this one is being played indoors at texas stadium with the a/c pumping at full steam rather than outside at tempe. i’m also guessing this is one of those made for prime time TV venues which under normal real world circumstances would never otherwise happen. fine. the sun devils win and cover the spread, take them.

10-5 ohio st @ northwestern. ohio st favored by 5 points. a vaguely interesting game. the buckeyes have run the table so far but their first real game was last week against wisconsin. northwestern is in the same position but hasn’t played anyone of note so far this season. if there were a few more points on the odds board i’d take northwestern. however, there isn’t. so, take the buckeyes to win and cover.

10-5 washington @ stanford. stanford favored by 6.5 points. the thinning of the PAC(8)(10)12 northern division herd begins in earnest on the trees home court this saturday night. more than likely a pretty good game and one the east coasters may want to stay up and watch. but probably not since they’re more biased than i am. what’s up with that? the huskies will make a game of it but take the trees to win and cover.

the first weekend of fine october light. possibly my favorite month of the year just because of said light. at any rate, enjoy your week of college ball and try to remain semi sane and upright. just remember to eat every once in a while. it does help. or so goes the theory. we’re half way through the season. where does the time go? sigh.

jmh

2013 college football picks and predictions week 4

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there were a collection of good games for week 3 which saw me going 7 for 10. my best week of the season so far. not saying much but it was what it was. that’s usually the case when the games are decided straight up win or lose and no points. those large casinos built out in the desert cost quite a bit of coin and they aren’t built by you winning. at any rate, my over all now stands at 17 for 30. a nice up tick in the numbers.

ucla proved to be worthy of the PAC 12 south title talk with a nice win over nebraska. arizona st also gets a nod with their strange win over wisconsin. winning doesn’t have to be pretty it just needs to get done with or without the officials help. alabama, at times, wasn’t pretty but the job got done. if there’s no let down they could run the table. we’ll wait and see. johnny football played very well but his 2 interceptions were the game changing difference. plus, a j mccarron out played him on the other side of the ball.

week 3 also saw strange or not so strange tales of all manner of NCAA violations at oklahoma st. I imagine it will take the, way past its state of usefulness, NCAA years to come to any conclusions if at all concerning the cowboys. as of this writing we’re still waiting for the miami (florida) decision. i hope you haven’t been holding your breath. don’t start now..

ok. week 4. i had a hard time finding my 10 games even though the exhibition season seems to be over for now at least. not that many exciting math-ups even with league play beginning for most of the schools. just remember this is for entertainment purposes only. taking or using anything here and placing a legal or illegal wager on any of the games would be totally irresponsible and insane. do not do it.

i’m back to using the points again this week after taking last week off so i could hang out in las vegas and not have to work much while i was there. yes, believe it or not this is work. the points may change over the week but i use what’s here to determine my wins and losses.

rock ‘n’ roll.

9-20 boise st @ fresno st. fresno st favored by 4.5 points. boise has been playing better since their first week loss to the huskies. yes, of course, last week’s first half against air force wasn’t very pretty. which seems to be the running theme so far this week. fresno sat out last week due to the floods in colorado. it’s hard to say what the unexpected lay off did to the team. interesting in that the bulldogs are favored. something that doesn’t happen if at all for boise st. boise looks like they’ve righted the ship so i’m taking them to at the least get inside the points and probably win.

9-21 utah st @ usc. usc favored by 7 points. the trojans seem to have worked out their offensive problems last week. yes, it was against boston college and you could even say utah st is in the same league. things should remain the same this week for the men of troy but could go south next week against the sun devils. but that’s next week. the fire lane kiffin band wagon has some what slowed if only for the time being.
things will almost be fall like here in lotus land this coming saturday. a good day for football but also one for staying off the roads with ucla playing at home as well. ok. once again PAC(8)(10)(12) socal homer says take the trojans to win and cover. if they don’t win expect the boo birds to be back even louder than before. FIGHT ON!!!

9-21 michigan st @ notre dame. notre dame favored by 7 points. michigan states first real test of the season. though in some circles south florida might be considered one. the domers shouldn’t have much of a problem at home with the spartans. or that’s the hope from where i’m sitting. take touchdown jesus to win and cover the spread.

9-21 smu @ texas a&m. texas a&m favored by 28.5 points. june jones can’t seem to get the mustangs rolling since taking the reins (pun intended) at smu. which is too bad because like i’ve said before i think he’s a good coach. a bunch of points but the aggies are probably up for it. johnny football in particular. especially with the aggies only playing 4 road games this year. they caught a break with that and a semi lackadaisical schedule as well. yes, ok. to the point. a&m wins and covers the points.

9-21 arizona st @ stanford. stanford favored by 8 points. if arizona st is going to contend for the PAC south title this is their week to kick start the run. the trees on the other hand have been in the exhibition season mode so far against schools they probably shouldn’t be playing. the sun devils make a game of it but the trees prevail. which could be why they are only 8 point faves. or the sun devils are really that good. one to watch. take the trees to win and cover.

9-21 auburn @ lsu. lsu favored by 16.5 points. if it were being played in alabama things might go a bit differently. or maybe not. tigers vs tigers. take lsu to win.

9-21 utah @ byu. byu favored by 7 points. more state of utah bragging rights on the line. the utes almost beat the beaves last week in a nail biter. the cougars thumped the longhorns into some sort of bizzaro through the looking glass world and they’ve had a couple of weeks to relish in the glory of doing so. all in all one of the few really interesting match-ups of the week. well, for me anyway. the utes could stun but i’m going with the cougars to win and cover.

9-21 wyoming @ air force. wyoming favored by 3 points. it’s beginning to look like one of those years where the cowboys have some game and can put more than a few points on the board. air force can usually score points but this year the defense isn’t helping out very much. another home court for the falcons. i don’t think it will matter much in the end. take the cowboys to win and cover the meager points.

9-21 michigan @ connecticut. michigan favored by 17.5 points. for whatever reasons big blue is still in the top 25. i guess beating the golden domers helped. other than that it’s been a yawner for them. ok. i guess more so for me. uconn began the season with losses against a couple of junior high flag football teams. oh right, one of the teams was maryland. as i was saying… michigan should win and cover thus staying in the top 25 for another week. imagine that. in other words take michigan to win and cover.

9-21 new mexico st @ ucla. ucla favored by 42 points. i was going to pick the bama colorado game but with the flooding situation in colorado it’s hard to say if that game is going to happen or not this early in the week. so, with the fact it was hard coming up with my 10 games to begin with it was even harder to find a replacement game. yeah, this is what i came up with. sue me. hopefully, this is the only time the bruins ever play the aggies. plenty of points for the bruins to cover. oh well, take the bruins to win and cover the spread.

another week in the books with summer fading fast. fine by me. i’m fed up with the a/c running 24/7 in these parts. enjoy your weekend of games. be safe and semi sane. toss something on the barbie or do what i did. toss some tortellini into boiling water. toss with butter and parmesan when they’re done and enjoy with a nice caprase salad, good bread, and some dago red. cheers!

jmh

pretty sweet and happy feet

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yesterday morning i was googling around trying to see if my facebook account had really been de-activated like they said it would. the reason being someone had come to this place via an old link in facebook. ah, no matter. what does matter was this link i stumbled upon.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/stewart_mandel/01/09/lsu-alabama-bcs-title-nation-divided/index.html

for some reason i’m unable to get the link thing to work right. mea culpa. just copy and paste the above into your browser. sorry for the trouble.

i suppose it’s a always a good thing to be the lead in a sports illustrated column written by stewart mandel. the only thing better would have been seeing it back in january when it was first published.
how did i miss it? i guess because i had no real interest in the game or the teams. so the pre-game hype and analysis meant nothing to me.

at any rate, stewart missed my point. sure at least 50% of the college football world was unhappy with the championship matchup or rematch or whatever. the point being is we need playoffs in DIV 1 college football. at the end of the season we were tossed a few kernels of corn pone by various league commissioners. we’re going to fix it. fear not. yeah, right. sigh.

after their winter meeting and stripper scavenger hunt was over nothing had changed. other than a few bs rule changes. they had resorted to their usual mantra and treachery yet again. no playoffs. we have finals then. the sacred bowl games and related skimming involved with them. millions and millions out there for the hoarding. we already play 12 games there’s just no time. we’re left at the phony alter of change once again, pilgrims. jilted and abused like a red headed stepchild.

let’s look at things a bit closer since the commissioners can’t seem to do it. the first two weeks of the season at least 85% of the schools play DIV 1A teams or even DIV 2 schools. some even toss in a couple of games against junior college teams or so it seems. then there’s the fact ALL of the schools get a week off during the season. if they stopped playing eastern mid-west jimi hendrix junior college teams they’d have the time for playoffs. they also don’t need a week off. they are football players for crying out loud. supposedly being tough is part of the package. oh right, they’re only tough when they foist themselves upon their fellow students and rip them off or assault them.

it’s a sad world we live in, kids. however, we can change things. we have the power. college football lives and thrives on money. big money. TV money. we don’t watch their inbred half empty bowls they’ll go away and we’ll get a playoff system. count on it.

jmh

wire to wire pt 1

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the cigar smelled expensive. not a cheap smoke for sure but still cigar smoke. he thought of saying something to the guy. instead he looked around for empty seats and searched for some among non smokers. not seeing any he sighed and resigned himself to a day at the races filled with cigar smoke. at least the day was sparkling clear in that early january way you often got in southern california. wet or dry. the day cool in the shadow of the roof over head. the few empty seats filling up fast. first post was forty-five minutes away. waving at some of the cigar smoke with his racing form baldo bustamonte sighed again as he stood up. he unfolded the newspaper and placed it over the back of his seat. the proper way of seat saving at santa anita. if you weren’t aware of that fact you were quickly introduced to it by anyone sitting nearby if you tried to take the seat. common race track etiquette is a way of life in arcadia.

baldo bustamonte made his way to the betting windows where he placed $500 across the board on the number 4, 5, and 8 horses. it was his usual opening race bet. regardless of who the horses or jockeys were or the odds. regardless of anything other than the numbers: 4, 5, and 8. they were a combination of his birth month and birth year. and it was something he’d been doing ever since he started going to the races with his parents back in the early 60’s. too young then to place bets so his mom or dad placed the bets for him. of course, the bet back then was nothing close to his now standard $500 opening bet. over the years he’d actually been fairly lucky with it. maybe lady luck would smile on him again today.

after placing his bet baldo wandered over to a concession stand and bought a couple of hot dogs and a draft beer. he brought the food and drink back to his seat and was elated to see the cigar smoker’s seat was empty and there was no newspaper or racing form over it’s back. maybe today was going to be a lucky day after all. smiling and humming an old gram parsons tune while he ate, baldo almost choked on his beer when a stunning young lady made her way to the now empty seat. stunning and alone. fortune was indeed smiling on baldo this cool clear january afternoon. or so it seemed.

the well dressed young woman got up and placed her racing form over the back of the seat. sweet, baldo thought, she’s here for awhile at least. while thinking that thought their eyes met and baldo felt a quick jolt as the young lady smiled at him. post time was quickly approaching so she was probably on her way to make a bet. baldo decided to let things take whatever course they would take regarding the young lady. he wasn’t going to push it. even though pushing it wouldn’t be a bad idea. she was gorgeous. he was there for the races and hopefully for a much needed inflow of cash. not there to get lucky with the ladies. ladies usually meant a cash outflow. time would tell on both counts.

first post had sounded and the horses were out on the track walking to the starting gate when the young woman returned. she removed the newspaper from the back of her seat and shot baldo another jolting smile. if this keeps up, he thought, i’m in trouble. baldo bustamonte needed a clear head if he was going to make any money on the horses today. though he did smile back. more like a lopsided ear to ear grin. he told himself to chill out as he began to study the second race card in the racing form.

as the horses neared the starting gate baldo put down his paper and watched them enter the gate with his field glasses. they were a calm lot and none of them seemed to be spooked by anything or anyone. probably a good sign. when the last horse entered the gate a split second later the bell rang and the track announcer’s voice came over the speakers. ‘and they’re off!’

as the horses made their first pass in front of the stands baldo was pleasantly surprised to see the 4, 5, and 8 horses in the lead running neck and neck. rounding the first turn it seemed as if they were beginning to pull away while still running as a trio. neck and neck. the clear almost three dimensional san gabriel mountains are the perfect backdrop to the santa anita backstretch. the backstretch where baldo’s horses were still neck and neck and a good two lengths in front of the next horse. as he watched the three horses through his field glasses he began to feel his pulse quicken. there was nothing like it. a bunch of money riding on the first race. a bunch of money on your horses in the first race. and your horses in the lead as they approached the second turn and the home stretch.

coming through the last turn almost seemed to slingshot the three horses down the home stretch. their lead now three and a half lengths. still running neck and neck. baldo stood up and cheered his horses on. the rest of the crowd was on their feet as well. yelling. cheering. urging on the horses. by the time they reached the finish line they were five lengths in front and the number 4 horse had the lead by a neck. the number 5 horse in second by a nose with number 8 in the show position as they thundered past and crossed the finish line. baldo bustamonte was ecstatic as he yelled and jumped up and down. he’d done a quick calculation in his head and figured he was now up in the neighborhood of $2,300. sweet indeed.

the crowd began to calm down a bit but there was still a buzz in the air. they had just seen something almost magical. something almost unbelievable. three horses running neck and neck. wire to wire. a few minutes later when the numbers were posted baldo let out a shriek when he saw he’d won $2,556 on the first race. a new record for him and his standard opening bet. he was still jumping up and down yelling when the young lady turned and looked at him saying.

‘you must have hit the jackpot.’

‘pretty much. it’s a nice hit for sure. my biggest first race ever.’

‘lucky you.’

yeah. lucky me. thought baldo bustamonte. lucky me.

baldo sat down and dug out his winning ticket from his shirt pocket. he held it in both hands as he looked at it. while he was staring at the ticket he was drawn from his reverie once again by the young lady.

‘i won a couple of bucks too. let’s cash our tickets in and get a drink.’

baldo looked up at her smiled and said. ‘sure. sounds like a plan to me.’

as the two made their way to the nearest aisle baldo was thinking this was turning out to be a very lucky day indeed. when they got to the asile baldo introduced himself. as they were shaking hands the young lady told baldo her name was, jenny rider. they walked up the stairs to the pay out windows and collected their winnings, chatting along the way.

since they had forgotten to save their seats baldo suggested an upgrade to the ‘turf club’ for their drink. his treat. jenny agreed and they made their way to the club. once inside they got their drinks sat down and chatted some more. it turned out jenny had come to the track with some guy she’d recently started dating. for some reason or another they gotten into a fight and jenny had left the guy and wandered over into the area where baldo was sitting in order to get away from the guy. baldo just listened and sipped his vodka rocks while inserting ah huhs and nods as needed. jenny was saying that the problem now was she had no ride home. baldo, being ever the gentleman, said he’d be willing to give jenny a ride home after the last race. jenny smiled and told him thanks. the stupid lopsided grin was back on baldo’s face

the two new friends spent the rest of the day in the ‘turf club’ betting on the horses and getting to know each other. they seemed to be hitting it off fairly well. baldo’s luck stayed with him as well. he won several more races and collected another $1,800 or so. after the eighth race baldo asked if jenny had had enough of the races and if she wouldn’t mind leaving now so they could miss the majority of the crowd heading home later. jenny agreed. she then suggested stopping at a restaurant she knew of on the way for dinner. baldo said fine with him. yes, things were looking up for baldo bustamonte. or so it seemed.

jmh