Archive for February, 2010

To Bob the Impossible Bob

Posted in Olympics with tags , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2010 by drawesomeness

While the rest of Canada was watching that snoozefest of a hockey game between Canada and Russia, I was immersed in the real marquee event of the winter Olympics – “Women’s Two-Person Bobsleigh.” Sure, you might have caught the very last couple of runs in which Whatshername and WhosIt from Canada took down the gold medal, followed close behind by ThatotherCanadianwoman and Thatotherotherone, who won silver. But let’s be honest, you weren’t watching during the third heat to see how it all led up to this thrilling conclusion. You didn’t see the spectacular crashes (and there were several), you didn’t see the emotion, and you didn’t see the bravery of those women in Canada1 and Canada2 who left it all on the course despite the dangers. You certainly didn’t see Team Ireland zip to a respectable 17th place. Or the Romanians glide to a heroic 15th place. And you probably didn’t see this:

I'm getting too old for this.

This waterslide sucks!

Which, once everyone was determined to be okay, was totally awesome.

I know, I know. A zillion jokes have been made about sliding sports. I’ll let Mr. Seinfeld sum up the main ones.

But honestly, they’re easy targets. The bobsled, luge, and skeleton are definitely the Leap Year of the sporting world – they’re only relevant once every four years, and even then people talk about them for only a couple of days. Awww, am I being unfair? Okay, right now in your head, name five bobsledders. Any five. Okay, Pierre Leuders. That’s one. Four more. Any four? And no, Leon from Cool Runnings doesn’t count.

For those of you who still think I’m being harsh, I guess I’ll see you all in the stands at the 2011 World Cup of bobsleigh in Cesana, Italy. At the very least you’ll buy a subscription to ESPN 9 so you can watch all the sliding action, won’t you? Should be sick.

My point is that many of us only care about some of these fringe sports for a very brief window because of their association with the Olympics. But they’re truly exciting to watch. When Jon Montgomery won the gold medal in men’s skeleton last week in dramatic fashion, I was jumping out of my chair, shouting at the screen. “We’re #1, we’re #1.” That dude’s going to be on Oprah, by the way.

I have the power!!!!!!!!


Clearly these athletes have trained hard and they are really amazing at what they do. But I’ll be honest – when I’m watching one run after another, they all look like they’re doing the exact same thing. I cannot, for the life of me, discern a good run from a bad run. I can’t tell what the good sliders are doing right and what the slower sliders are doing wrong – unless they completely flip over the sled (that, I suspect, would be wrong). I just look at the times and if the fastest times match up with the Canadian flag, I’m happy.

But the real mystery to me is how these sliders figure out that they’re good at this. Growing up we are exposed to most of the mainstream winter sports and we can quickly determine who is gifted and who isn’t. Hockey, skiing, skating, etc. We give them all a shot and 99.99% of us eventually realize we’ll never come close to being one of the best in the world, let alone in the top three. But then there are some who have a knack for one of these activities and they train hard for most of their lives with the dream of one day winning an Olympic medal. Now, call me crazy but this isn’t how it works in sliding sports. Show me the gold medal luger who tells the reporter after her gold-winning run:

“This is a lifelong dream fulfilled. Ever since I first sat in my dad’s lap on that Krazy Karpet when I was 6 months old, I knew I had a gift for this sport. So I practiced and I practiced. While my friends were going to hockey practice, I was going to the local park where I would slide for hours. The kids with GT Snowracers would laugh at me, sliding on my back on a flimsy cookie sheet. But I knew better. I knew there’s no gold in GT Snowracers. But there’s gold in luging. And I luged my ass off today. And now I’m the one wearing gold. Where are they now? Probably working as teachers, or lawyers, or store clerks….Me? I’m a store clerk.”

Show me that gold medal luger and I’ll show you the heart and determination of the men’s Russian hockey team (hint: it doesn’t exist!)

I’m also curious how they figure out that they’re better lugers than skeletoners and vice versa: “I tried luge and I was slower than molasses. But once I flipped over I was setting course records. Physics be damned! I’m a terror on my belly!”

Want to know when Jon Montgomery first tried skeleton? Eight years ago. He’s currently 30 years old. In 2002 he happened to work beside Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, gave it a shot, and 8 years later he is the best skeleton dude in the world. Would Malcolm Gladwell call him an outlier? Who cares. Go Canada!

Super Bowl XLIV – Let’s Make Some Money

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 4, 2010 by drawesomeness

Hi folks, Will “The Greek” here. As an expert on gambling, I’ve had many people approach me in the past week with the same question, “Who do you like in the Super Bowl, Doc?” (that’s what all my acquaintances call me – Doc). With the big game coming up on Sunday, everyone wants in on the action. It is estimated that over $8 billion is wagered on the Super Bowl each year. One might say that the Super Bowl is the Super Bowl of sports betting. So that’s why they come to me: “Slick Willy.” C’mon folks, let’s make some money!

So as I mentioned, everyone is asking the same question, “Hey Doc Slick Willy The Greek, who do you like – the Saints or the Colts. Well let me tell you folks something – any moron can pick the winner of a football game. When betting on the point spread, it’s akin to flipping a coin. There’s no skill! That’s why I stick to prop bets – now that’s skill gambling. So disregard who’s going to win the game. No one cares. Here are my top five prop bet picks (all bets available at bodog.com).

1. What will be the result of the Super Bowl XLIV Coin Toss?
-Heads/Tails

"Oh shit, I be flipping a POG, not a coin. Lawls. Just joshing ya Dawgs!"

This is my sure thing. Here’s why: typically a newly minted American silver dollar is used for the coin toss. Scott Green will be this year’s Super Bowl referee and he’s known to flip coins in a high arc-low torque manner (yes, I do my research). We’re probably going to be looking at some moderate sea breezes coming in from the south end of Sun Life Stadium. You better believe that coin is going to land heads more often than not. I gotta hunch!

Bet heavy on HEADS (-105).

2. How long will it take Carrie Underwood to sing the National Anthem?
-Over/Under 1 minute 42 seconds.

"How the fuck are y'all Miami?"

Please, why don’t the sports books just hand out coupons for free money?! As we know, Underwood just became engaged to Ottawa Senators forward Mike Fisher. He’s Canadian and he’s a Christian. Also, according to her Wikipedia page, she is “a supporter of the Humane Society of the United States.” Seems pretty straightforward – she needs to get to church and save some animals. There ain’t much time for national pride with this one!

Back up the truck on UNDER 1:42 (-105).

3. What color will the Gatorade be that is dumped on the head coach of the winning super bowl team?
-Lime Green (8/1)
-Yellow (20/27)
-Orange (11/2)
-Red (10/1)
-Blue (25/2)
-Clear/Water (9/5)

"My most sordid fantasy coming true on a national stage! Oh wait, that's Gatorade."

This is just insulting. They might as well have a prop bet called, “Do people like money? Yes/No (-105).” (by the way, the answer would be “yes” because people like money). First of all, they list “water” at 1.8:1. Are they serious? What kind of self-respecting coach would allow water to be poured on them upon winning the Super Bowl? (“Okay guys, let’s go out there and play our game and we’re going to bring home the championship. Oh yeah, and one more thing – if we happen to win the game, could you guys dump the cooler full of water on me instead of the one with Gatorade. I just got this shirt and I don’t want to get all sticky.”) There’s nothing special about that. Why don’t they just flush the toilet when the coach is taking a shower after the game – same effect. If you want to win the Super Bowl you have to be prepared for a hair full of flavoured electrolytes. And Florida is where Gatorade is invented. You better believe they’re going to dump some homegrown product on the winning coach. So which colour? Well, what’s huge right now? Avatar, of course. Take the long shot and cash in!

Put your kid’s college tuition on BLUE (25/2).

4. How many times will CBS show Kim Kardashian on TV during the game?
-Over/Under 2.5

"You dropped something."

My jaw hit the floor when I saw this one. What are the bookmakers smoking? (by that I mean it appears they are using brain-altering substances because it is negatively affecting their judgement when setting the lines on prop bets). Seriously, Kim Kardashian might get more screen time than Reggie Bush. They’re offering other Kim Kardashian-related bets, such as “What color of top will she be wearing” (take ‘black’), and “If the New Orleans Saints win will Kim Kardashian and Reggie Bush be engaged by July 31st 2010?” (take ‘who cares’). But your shoe-in is the number times they’ll show her.

Remortgage your house and put it all on OVER (-120).

5. During the half-time show, if any member of the Who smashes their guitar what does the guitar hit first?
-Floor (1/5)
-Speaker (4/1)
-Microphone (5/1)
-Drummer (200/1)
-Fan (200/1) (must be human, not mechanical)

"It was research."

Well, if anyone is going to smash a guitar it’ll be Pete Townshend and I’ll bet he’s pretty peeved at Miami for putting out a community-wide advisory that he’s a sexual offender. Better believe he’s going to smoke a fan. Also, that would be awesome to watch.

Toss a few sawbucks on FAN (200/1) for giggles.

So that’s it folks. Good luck – but with these picks, you don’t need luck. Just start planning that dream vacation you’ve always wanted (go ahead and put down a non-refundable deposit – these are LOCKS).

(Disclaimer: Doc Slick Willy The Greek is not a medical doctor, nor is he from Greece, nor is he particularly slick in any way. He accepts no responsibility for monies lost as a result of wagering on the Super Bowl. Please gamble responsibly.)