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Hartley vs. The Humans: Week 9 Results


Ouch, what a bad week for the dog. After rolling to two straight wins, Hartley stumbled last week and absolutely collapsed this week, going a year-worse 1-4. True, I didn’t do much better, but at least I beat the dog and helped the Humans tie up the overall score. To recap the week…


Furman vs. LSU (-47) 


After a shaky first half, the spread of this game was never in doubt. A sure-thing LSU victory, though, was in question, but the Tigers got their shit together in the third and fourth quarters to win 48-16. Still, a 32-point win is nothing near the 47 points LSU needed to cover.

Furman was my “Bet the Farm” pick, and again, I continue to do well with these picks. Katie also picked Furman and was correct, while Hartley went with LSU and lost.


Tennessee vs. Alabama (-28)


Tennessee had been good at beating the spread this year, even if the Vols fail to win most of those games. Sadly for me, Tennessee didn’t even show up against Alabama and lost 45-10. Katie and Hartley took Bama while I lost with my Tennessee pick.


UCLA vs. Oregon (-22.5)


I was sweating this one as Oregon only led UCLA 21-14 after three quarters. Thankfully, Heisman hopeful Marcus Mariota decided to put the game away in the fourth quarter and the Ducks won 42-14 and covered the spread. I won, while Katie and Harley lost with UCLA picks.


Penn State vs. Ohio State (-14.5)


I could not have been more wrong with this game. I thought Penn State had a legitimate shot at knocking off Ohio State after the Nittany Lions’ upset of Michigan. Oops.

The Buckeyes took a 42-7 lead at halftime and handed Penn State its worse loss since 1899 with a 63-14 final. Katie was the only one to pick Ohio State.


Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma (-7)


In the best game of the weekend, Oklahoma escaped a back-and-forth game with Texas Tech to win 38-30 and cover the spread. Again, Katie was the only one to pick this game correct.


As previously stated, Hartley finished 1-4 (20%) for the week. I went 2-3 and Katie went 4-1 to give the Humans a 6-4 (60%) record. The Humans dominate this week and tie the overall record 4 ½ to 4 ½.

Week 10 will feature some ho-hum games, but hopefully betting against the spread will make it more interesting. We’ll see.

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Shake, Shake, Shake Senora

We are three days away from the wedding of Brian and Katie, people. Rejoice. Yay!

72 hours left of the single life, and the question I’ve been asked the most is “Are you nervous?” My answer, “No,” but in reality it’s “Shit yeah.”

Nervous about the wedding? No. Nervous about getting married? Absolutely not. My nerves are sweating for one reason: All the handshakes.

Yes, you read that right. After the wedding, after the I Dos, after the introduction, it will be nonstop hand shaking for 3 hours while we try to eat, drink, dance, do whatever we want because, God damnit, we’re married.

It’s not so much a germs thing, although the thought of eating after shaking all those hands might make me invest in some hand wipes or Purell. It’s the different types of hand shakes I’m doing to have to deal with during the reception. Let me break it down for you:

The only acceptable hand shake is a strong hand shake. Don’t bring this weak wristed shit to my wedding. Strong, straight wrist. The V where the thumb and pointer finger meets should touch or be within a quarter of an inch to the other person’s V. The pressure, this is where many of these shakes go wrong, needs to be strong without being deadly. Imagine squeezing an orange at the grocery. You don’t squash it, yet you don’t give it a light tap. Put some pressure into it. Be a man, and learn to shake a hand properly.

The problem is for every one of these handshakes I’ve encountered in my life, they have been followed with around 7 unacceptable forms. These are characterized as:

The weak wrist.

We’ve all seen it in TV and in movies where one guy brings the weak, limp wrist in for a hand shake, also called the dead fish. What the hell is this? If I wanted to shake a cooked noodle, I’d go to Olive Garden. There is no way to remedy this handshake because the nonlimper has no choice but to go weak also, lest they break the poor bastard’s wrist. This is the worst of the handshakes, especially when coupled with …

The fingertip shake


This example occurs when a person gives between 1/3 to 2/3 of their fingers to an open, extended hand. This results in the most awkward handshake because the other person is usually so befuddled by this greeting that they lose all focus and end up giving a weak wrist shake. The result of the weak-wrist, fingertip shake is equivilent to two men hosting tea parties while wearing camisoles and watching Gilmore Girls. It just isn’t right.

The Cut Off

The cut off is when you go to grasp someone’s hand and they prematurely close their hand and clamp onto your fingers. To the outsider, it looks like a weak-wrister, and unfortunately, no matter how hard you practice proper shaking technique, it happens to the best of us. I have accidently closed too early and have been closed on too early also. The only solution to this is awareness. Just know your surroundings and focus on what you’re doing and this can be avoided.

The Lingerer

This handshake is the one that just won’t stop. It’s firm, deliberate and by all accounts a proper handshake. The problem is that it continues past the initial greeting and well into the conversation. Like basketball, this is why handshaking needs a shot clock. After 3 seconds, a buzzer needs to go off and a ref needs to blow the whistle to call a foul. Problem solved.

The too much grabber.


The opposite of the fingertipper is the too-much grabber (I just made this word up, so if there’s a proper word for it or if anyone has a better idea, let me know). This occurs when Person A extends his hand for a manly shake and Person B grabs a hold of A’s wrist, resulting in not a hand shake, but a wrist shake. While it can still be strong and firm, it is uncomfortable, awkward and really creepy. There’s no place for this over-aggressiveness in today’s society, so let’s drop this, please.

The handshake-pull-in-hug

This has become a growing trend among men today. You go in for the shake and when you think it’s over, they pull you in and do the one-arm hug while still holding on to you palm. To be fair, I practice this when my friends, but rather than the handshake-pull-in, we go with the cupped-hand-slap-pull-in. It’s really the same thing, but a tad less formal than the full-on handshake. For the wedding, I’m doing to practice safe-shake and just say no to hugs.


Another name I made up, this is when the shake starts off as a normal handshake, then goes to the cupped hand slap, then turns to the curved fingertip hook. Again, in all honesty, this is the greeting my uncle and I give each other, so I don’t consider this one to be too bad. I just wanted to put this down as another shake example.


Exactly like the name says. Handshake first, then cupped handshake, then a front hand slap, then reverse hand slap, then a high five and ending with a reverse low high five. It’s practiced rarely, but when it’s done right, it’s awesome.

Sports guy chest bump

If you’ve seen Modern Family before, then think of the scene with Mitch and Cam in the first episode. I’m hoping this happens at the wedding, but not as much as …


BEST. GREETING. EVER. Do this at the wedding, and I’ll name my first born child after you. Boy or girl, it doesn’t matter.

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DE-BATE … clap clap … DE-BATE … clap clap …

This is your cover, Scott? Eye yai yai

Fellow Briantologist Kristen Ralph Hansen has been in an online debate recently with author and podcaster Scott Sigler and his fanboys over the novel “Infected.”

Hansen posted a review of the novel on her reading blog  (there’s five more hits for you, Kristen), and Sigler replied to the posting, wanting to know what she didn’t like about the book. After Sigler’s post, the author’s fans came out in force to question Kristen’s tastes in genre and writing style.

First of all, I am the one who recommended “Infected” to Kristen. I bought it at Barnes and Noble awhile ago thinking it would be a quick, easy, no-brainer read, and it was. My review of it? Meh. I agree a lot of what Kristen says in the review. Good story, good flow, sketchy logic and lacking character development, but overall enjoyable.

Now my review is neither here nor there. What I want to say is good for you, Scott Sigler. Good for you for reading websites like goodreads and actually caring about what your readers think. So many times I hear people complain about a director’s (ahem, Michael Bay) story development or overcomplication of plot to make themselves feel smarter than the audience (JJ Abrams, you around?).

But those directors or authors don’t care. They’ll ignore audiences’ complaints and continue to do what they do because it makes them money. Their technique has worked so far, so why change it now?

But here, Sigler is a well-known author (as proven by his fan support) and a renowned podcaster (according to the back of “Infected”) and he actually wants feedback from readers whom he has never before met.

So while his novel wasn’t Pulitzer worthy and did not make me want to read any of his other novels, I applaud his interest in others’ opinions.

His fans, though, need to lighten up a little bit. It’s like little white triangles have gotten into their nervous system and are causing them into terrible fits of rage.

Because that wouldn’t be CRAZY at all.


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Behold the beard

Beard it up! (AP Photo)

Beware, PGA golfers. Your Tiger-free world is about to come crashing to a halt.

Sure, Tiger Woods hasn’t won a tournament in two years, he’s only played nine terrible holes of golf since the Masters and Rory McIlroy has established himself as golf’s new white knight. But this week at the AT&T National, Tiger unveiled his secret weapon to regaining his crown.

The beard.

Behold the wonder and majesty of the facial fur. It may not connect, but it isn’t a Texas beard with wide open spaces. This, faithful readers will propel him to the top again.

But why would Tiger, who once said on Twitter when asked why he doesn’t grow a full beard said “I can barely grow a goatee,” rock the bank robber look? Simple … Rocky 4.

I must break you

If you haven’t seen the movie, then leave this blog, never look back and stop being my friend because you’re obviously an idiot. If you have, here’s a recap…

After Rocky’s friend Apollo Creed dies at the hands of roided-up Russian Ivan Drago, Rocky moves to the Soviet Union to conduct awesome training montages and regain his boxing strength that so many people thought he had once lost. More importantly, Rocky also grew out a beard for his training.

Sexy time!!

The Rocky training beard is something near and dear to my heart. During my training for the triathlon last fall, I myself grew out an awesome, sexy beard that propelled me to finish the race. The Rocky beard is scientifically proven.

But the Tiger, Rocky connection doesn’t end with facial hair. During the movie, Rocky is overcome emotionally with the loss of his dear friend, an event that many wondered whether Rocky could overcome to win again?

Sound familiar? Like a recent divorce of a famous golfer?

Or what about the talk that Rocky was too old for the younger, physically superior Drago? Does it sound like the talk that Tiger has a new, young challenger in McIlroy who will destroy the once dominating golfer and keep Woods from claiming the all-time Major title record?

Sure, all this is circumstantial. Rocky is a movie and Tiger is real life. But Tiger’s beard is blurring those lines, and in the movies, experience always wins out.

Here’s how the rest of the golf season will play out: Tiger, while continuing to grow his facial hair, will miss the British Open but will come to Atlanta full of bearded energy and take the PGA Championship. Then it’s on to Augusta, then San Fransisco for the US Open, then Royal Lytham for the British Open, then South Carolina for the 2012 PGA, then Nicklaus’ record, then the White House, yeaahhhhhhhh!!

For now, though, Tiger needs to rest the knee, heel the Achilles and get the beard going full strength. Tiger will heal. His knee will get better. And when it does, with the Rocky beard, he will overcome his adversaries and get back to major victories.

And that will be a beard getting it done.

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We, we, we, all the way home

This may come as a surprise to most, but today I actually watched a soccer game!! OMG!!

In all honesty, I actually watched MOST of a soccer game. I took a 50-minute break in between the Women’s World Cup game between the United States and North Korea. I know you’ll be shocked, but I did not miss a goal in my absence.

But that’s not the point of this column. I could write a novel about why soccer is not exciting to watch, but what got me is color commentator Julie Foudy continuous use of the word “We.”

There was a constant stream of “We’re passing the ball well, er, the US is passing the ball well,” “We need to, um, the US needs to defend the corners,” “These points are important to our, um, their chances to advance.”

Foudy is a former US soccer player and a captain of the US national team, so I can understand the bond she has with this team. And while she’s in the media and is supposed to be independent and unbiased, I will forgive her connection with the team and her use of the word “We.”

We can?!? All of us?!? Even that guy over there?!?

Fans, on the other hand, are a different story. When watching a game with people, I am always amazed, and usually perturbed, by fans’ commentary and their use of “We.”

“This is a big play for us.” “What are we doing on offense?” “Why can’t we run the ball?” “Damnit, Les, you’re ruining our team.”

Do you put on a helmet and uniform each week? Do you practice with the team? If the team wins the BCS, Super Bowl, World Series or whatever, do you get a ring? No? Then you’re not a We.

I understand the connection people have with sports. Unless you’ve not watched TV in the past decade, you’ve seen the countless stories about the bond the city of New Orleans has with the Saints, and despite living 500 miles away from the Big Easy, my 24 years in Louisiana will attest to that claim.

Still, I’m not a We.

Maybe YOU want that guy on your team, but I don't. He's slow and can't catch!

I am not a member of the New Orleans Saints. Chances are, I never will be (But if you’re reading this coach Payton, I can be one hell of a water boy for you). Therefore, I have no business calling myself a We.

We, as fans not players, need to understand the difference between 300-pound football players and 300-pound football watchers. We, as fans, need to develop at least some sort of separation between ourselves and our teams.

If you look up “Pot calling kettle black” on google, that last sentence will be your first hit.

I am guilty of this beyond belief. During a game, I am Drew Brees. I am Les Miles. I am Jordan Jefferson (with maybe a stronger arm). I am LSU and the Saints, but I shouldn’t be, and I acknowledge this. (Acknowledgment is the first step toward recovery, right?)

I know that disassociating yourself from your team is hard, nearly impossible, so exceptions can be made.

If you cry when your team loses in triple-overtime to a terrible team, you can use We. If you want to march down your wedding aisle to your team’s fight song, you can use We. If you paint your face, or better yet your chest, team colors because you’ve got to support the team, you can use We.

But only temporarily. Because while it’s impossible to disconnect from your team during the three hours it’s on the field, after the game is over, fans need to return to their normal lives at their normal jobs that are not on their team’s staff.

After all, if there’s one thing Obama taught us, it’s “Yes WE can!”

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