Gambling Is Fun 2020 – Week 1

I’ve got more than a hundred dollars spread out between multiple friends on whether the Cowboys have a better record than the Niners.  After being so often accused of letting my Texas-based homerism / bias overwhelm good judgment (I never really had any), it’s nice to reel in my Bay Area friends to a less-than-blackjack-odds bet at a 1:1.

And here’s what I got lined up for this week:

Yeah, I wrote that on an envelope.  Above it I wrote some schizophrenic note to the politician soliciting my donations saying I would give him the profit.  I crossed my index and middle finger as I thought it.  Close enough.

A Heavy Soul Falls Fast

I know what depression feels like for me.

It’s a very steep cliff that I jumped off of at a rarely random time.  And I have no idea that I’m plunging at the speed of gravity times my emotional weight until I feel it and look down.  A heavy soul falls fast.

When I hit the bottom and spread over the unforgiving surface, I lay there depending on how much I had to feel.  Recognition of the end of this terminal descent isn’t immediate.  I think that’s why I remain prone for a while.

Nothing picks me off the ground except time.   Thankfully, I always get up.

Even contemplating when time couldn’t heal a wound, I’m relieved to know myself well enough to be too ignorant to recognize it.  I’d just plow forward at the speed of my mass without looking down.

Quarantine Beats 2020

DJ Ritchey

Stumbled onto this guy while listening to liquid drum and bass on Mixcloud and was grabbed by one of his “Coffee and Bass” sets while on a long run.

The beats can be smooth and rolling, dancey and melodic, soothing and moody.  They go with anything and the flow carries.

I listen to his sets while on long runs, at my job (thankfully still employed), and whenever I need something to clear and occupy my mind at the same time.  There’s so much heart and soul in D&B and Ritchey puts it on display.

http://www.ritcheydnb.com/

https://dnbradio.com/

Nicole Maudaber

Heard about this hard-working lady of techno when Great Northern notified me she was gonna play at their club.  First listen of the set they promoted was boring af but had great tracks. As I commented to my friend, it sounded like a minimal / dub DJ got a hold of some real techno records.

Then I kept listening to her sets on Mixcloud and loved her range.  Some of the highlights from parties were super dance-able and I envied the heads that got a live listen.  She does a weekly broadcast in Europe and gigs everywhere.

This set banged:

https://www.mixcloud.com/nicolemoudaber/in-the-mood-episode-307/

https://nicolemoudaber.com/

DJ Marky

One of my favorite sets from the Red Bull Choice Mixes .  I love this kind of drum and bass.  Clean, dancey, hearty, and a little mainstream.  The rest of his mixes are varied in style and content.  He’s got a really good ear for music.

Trifonic

My favorite ambient artist.  They create sounds and spaces in noise along with bringing a lot of sentiment and emotion into their tracks.  Working nights required me to explore beat-less music lest I succumb to a melancholy and joyless silence and not disrupt the sleep of those with whom I share walls.

It can be a real challenge.  In Quarantine 2020, it’s important to recognize the needs of the community but you should also cherish yourself and revel like Dionysus is watching.

https://soundcloud.com/trifonic

https://www.trifonic.com

"Are you, like, a crazy person?"
“Are you, like, a crazy person?”
Gramatik

“Denis Jasarevic was born in Portoroz, SR Slovenia, SFR Yugoslavia on 19 October 1984. Jasarevic’s interest in music began at the age of three, when his mother would catch him listening to American funk, jazz, soul and blues from his older sister’s cassette tapes. As he got older, he was introduced to hip hop culture and listened to artists such as DJ Premier, Guru, RZA and Dr. Dre.”  – Straight from Wikipedia

These are some of the best beats I’ve ever heard in my life.  I’m not exaggerating.  When I started getting into “lofi” and trip hop, his tracks came in the rotation.

I was genuinely blown away that these beats came from one person.  All his albums felt like an all-star compilation for great hip hop / lofi jams for the past ten years.

https://soundcloud.com/gramatik

https://www.youtube.com/user/Gramatikk

San Jose Earthquakes 2, Toronto FC 2

Avaya Stadium, Feb 29, 2020

A large crowd, undeterred by a second case of COVID-19 in Santa Clara County, assembled to watch the San Jose Earthquakes kick off the 2020 season in San Jose, California.  Avaya Stadium sold out with official attendance at 17,814.   

I didn't want to stand at the bar so I stood here
I managed to hop the rail and enjoyed sitting here as though I was a corporate sponsor

A chilling wind was blowing south and had me shivering by 3pm no matter where I stood with my “Standing Room Only” ticket.  The players on the field noticeably kept their passes low when going north.  I feel proud of myself for being able to make this observation since I know dick about the sport.

As I was wandering around the stadium, I caught a whiff of a very unsettling combination of incense and barbecue.  I didn’t know what to make of it so I quickly bought two beers for $26 and double-fisted the olfactory memory away.  Luckily I was able to find some cheap parking on the floor for these tallboys because my hands were freezing along with the rest of my body.

A classy display of my taste and habits

Oh yeah, the game …

Early play was conservative with the Earthquakes giving the appearance that they were afraid to make mistakes.  By halftime, I tweeted the team to take more shots hoping someone from the social media department would send it down to the coaching staff.

The opportunistic Toronto FC scored two goals, one by a penalty kick on a bullshit call, and the other on an attack that looked way too easy for them.  San Jose quickly responded to the second goal with a beaut by Alex Rios, an ankle deflection that put the score at 2 – 1.

That score remained until the final minute of stoppage time when Oswaldo Alanis, a loaner from the Mexican club Guadalajara, put a free kick into the back of the net to absolutely stun Toronto and end the game in a draw.

Some of the commentary later described San Jose’s performance as underwhelming and I have to agree.  Toronto looked in control despite having the ball only 37% of the time.  The crowd freaking loved it though and I was definitely cheering with a huge smile on my face.  An urge to run around pointing like I had just scored the goal myself did shoot through my brain.

I have one gripe about what was otherwise a great fan experience: POS terminal failures which resulted in cash-only stands and excessive ATM fees.  ATM fees trigger me and I see red for about 2 full minutes before agreeing to pay an extra $3 for my 20 dollar bills.

The monetary tally for this adventure is as follows:

    • $40 standing room ticket
    • $26 for 44 ounces of premium beer
    • $3 – 6 ATM fees if you weren’t patient enough to wait in the longer lines
    • Rode my bicycle so I didn’t have to pay for parking, but had to walk it back for a while before I sobered up enough to endanger only myself on the road

We’ll be back on March 21st to see the Quakes take on Sporting Kansas City, a team that looked extremely good this past weekend.

In Honor of the 100th Anniversary of Prohibition

I wrote this paper my senior year of college.  I looked at the legal challenges encountered by the Prohibition movement at the state level, which had an enormous influence on the formation of subsequent national legislation.

This was long before the temperance movement in the United States in 1920 utilized the constitutional and statutory form of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution and the National Prohibition Act.

Legal Challenges and Their Influence on the Prohibition Movement in the United States

The Roughnecks Bodyslam the Haters in Week 3.

BIG TIME UPSET FOR A BIG TIME HATER

The Jacksonville Defense, drafted in the 10th round, started things right by allowing Derrick Henry to be the only offensive player with any significant contribution against them in Week 3, a Thursday night game no less.

What followed can be described as either “old NFL players demonstrating experience over speculatively incorrect fantasy talent assessment” or “NRM getting beat by a few players deemed inconsequential yet victorious.”

Patrick Mahones, gamed into a 10th round pick by the Commissioner, could not elevate the mediocre production by the rest of his team.  With only four other positions breaking into double-digits, NRM was yielding by halftime of the afternoon games.

Not many rule changes could have altered the outcome in a favorable way for the franchise in Ben LaBron, but don’t doubt that they’re in consideration.

This places a few questions on the table of discussion.  Has the magic touch faded for NRM?  2018’s Champion has to be looking in the mirror while the coaching community wonders, “Should we ever listen to any Vain In Vain unsolicited analysis in 2019?”

WTFBBQPWN’D BY THE ROUGHNECKS WHAAAAAAAT!?

Bad Luck : Z’Smashmouths QB Woes Continue

In a shocking decision that left the NFL and fantasy owners stunned, Andrew Luck retired a few hours after VeeJay Boynkins selected him in the Seventh Round at the Annual Fantasy Football Haters Gathering in 2019.

“I heard I got drafted by VeeJay Boynkins. I’m out!”

Z’Smashmouths immediately went into scramble mode and offered the El Paso Roughnecks Dak Prescott, hoping to play on the owner’s well-known homerism, in exchange for Phil Rivers, drafted in Round 12. 

The disparity in value was immediately obvious as Dak was drafted in the 14th round.  Recognizing the intentions of VeeJay Boynkins, owner, GM, and head coach NNS wasted no time in ridiculing the offer and refused to allow his backup quarterback to be the savior of a Hater’s franchise.

“Dodged a bullet. Didn’t want to play in that shit system anyway.”

Little did either owner know that Dak Prescott would go on to be the best quarterback in the National Football League so far in 2019, racking up 40+ fantasy points in each of the first two weeks of the season.  Interestingly, he was spared worse fates suffered by quarterbacks retained by the Z’Smashmouths.

In a hilarious twist of irony, Veejay Boynkins signed Sam Darnold after unceremoniously cutting Dak Prescott (later to be claimed by Congo Natty after Prescott’s absolutely incredible performance in Week 1).

The “Smashies” (as some of their front-running fans call them) then traded Robert Woods and Justice Hill in a package deal for Cam Newton and TY Hilton.

Cam Newton started Week 1  and scored an abysmal 5.36 points.  The fashion icon followed that up by recording 13.32 fantasy points in Week 2.  OUCH!

“Oh shit, I’m starting for the Z’s? Damn, man.”

While all this is going on, Sam Darnold reported to San Leandro to practice with his new team, the Z’Smashmouths.  No one knows exactly what kind of parties he was going to once there but he quickly contracted “infectious mononucleosis”  and is out until Week 5.

Jacoby Brissett was signed as a replacement but dropped for the pass-happy, garbage time specialist Matthew Stafford.

Stafford pasted an underwhelming 14.14 points in a sloppy glue job reminiscent of our kindergarten days in Week 3.

“I don’t care if I look like Haley Joel Osment’s younger brother.”

Who’s next on this shit show musical chairs adventure?  Stafford is the latest to be cursed and he will find out just how the Z’Smashmouth’s Kiss of QB Death will affect him in a matter of days or weeks.

The Roughnecks Return for Fantasy Football 2019

San Jose, California - September 8th, 2019

His trusted mentor and dear friend Jerry Jones looking on with pride, Owner / GM / Head Coach Nico Bandito introduced this year’s Roughnecks to a packed audience at the Casino M8trix seventh floor suite.

The line to enter the Casino M8trix – tickets were rumored to be selling for $350

Only hushed whispers and speculative chatter was heard before the reveal.  The crowd’s reaction rose to a cacophony of excitement as the players came on to the stage to shake hands with their new boss.

El Paso Roughnecks
1. (1) Ezekiel Elliott (Dal – RB)
2. (24) Derrick Henry (Ten – RB)
3. (25) Stefon Diggs (Min – WR)
4. (48) Sterling Shepard (NYG – WR)
5. (49) Alshon Jeffery (Phi – WR)
6. (72) Drew Brees (NO – QB)
7. (73) Marvin Jones Jr. (Det – WR)
8. (96) Austin Hooper (Atl – TE)
9. (97) LeSean McCoy (KC – RB)
10. (120) Jacksonville (Jax – DEF)
11. (121) Adrian Peterson (Was – RB)
12. (144) Philip Rivers (LAC – QB)
13. (145) Jordan Reed (Was – TE)
14. (168) Jimmy Graham (GB – TE)
15. (169) C.J. Anderson (Det – RB)
16. (192) Graham Gano (Car – K)

No Cal Roughnecks
1. (4) DeAndre Hopkins (Hou – WR)
2. (17) Joe Mixon (Cin – RB)
3. (24) Kerryon Johnson (Det – RB)
4. (37) Patrick Mahomes (KC – QB)
5. (44) T.Y. Hilton (Ind – WR)
6. (57) Kenny Golladay (Det – WR)
7. (64) Allen Robinson II (Chi – WR)
8. (77) Jarvis Landry (Cle – WR)
9. (84) Sterling Shepard (NYG – WR)
10. (97) Austin Hooper (Atl – TE)
11. (104) Latavius Murray (NO – RB)
12. (117) Derrius Guice (Was – RB)
13. (124) Kyle Rudolph (Min – TE)
14. (137) Golden Tate (NYG – WR)
15. (144) Dallas (Dal – DEF)

So. Bay Roughnecks
1. (7) Nick Chubb (Cle – RB)
2. (18) Dalvin Cook (Min – RB)
3. (31) Devonta Freeman (Atl – RB)
4. (42) Brandin Cooks (LAR – WR)
5. (55) O.J. Howard (TB – TE)
6. (66) Matt Ryan (Atl – QB)
7. (79) Curtis Samuel (Car – WR)
8. (90) A.J. Green (Cin – WR)
9. (103) Minnesota (Min – DEF)
10. (114) Justin Tucker (Bal – K)
11. (127) Jared Goff (LAR – QB)
12. (138) Rashaad Penny (Sea – RB)
13. (151) Keke Coutee (Hou – WR)
14. (162) Greg Olsen (Car – TE)
15. (175) Justin Jackson (LAC – RB)
16. (186) Denver (Den – DEF)

SJ Roughnecks
1. (4) Christian McCaffrey (Car – RB)
2. (25) Keenan Allen (LAC – WR)
3. (32) Amari Cooper (Dal – WR)
4. (53) Cooper Kupp (LAR – WR)
5. (60) Matt Ryan (Atl – QB)
6. (81) David Njoku (Cle – TE)
7. (88) Latavius Murray (NO – RB)
8. (109) Baltimore (Bal – DEF)
9. (116) Justin Tucker (Bal – K)
10. (137) Darrell Henderson Jr. (LAR – RB)
11. (144) Anthony Miller (Chi – WR)
12. (165) Josh Allen (Buf – QB)
13. (172) Dallas Goedert (Phi – TE)
14. (193) Ronald Jones II (TB – RB)