Friday, January 31, 2014

Super Bowl Props, 2014

Time once again for my annual attempt to give you money.

This will be the fourth year I've posted my Super Bowl "prop" picks. "Props", or proposition bets, are the side bets one can make on the Super Bowl. Cumulatively, for the past three Super Bowls, you would have made $1105 if you had followed my advice. Here are the links to my past three posts on the subject.


And, in case you don't remember what happened those years, here are the posts immediately following, detailing the results.

2011 results
2012 results
2013 results

I always stress that there are no guarantees. As with most investments, there are ups and downs. We made money two years, lost money one year. Here's the breakdown:

2011  + 530
2012  - 300
2013  + 875

One more bit of math, then on to the selections. Here is the total amount of money I asked you to invest each year, then the percentage return realized.

2011 - Risk = $3750  Return = +14.13%
2012 - Risk = $ 410   Return = -73.17%
2013 - Risk = $4000  Return = +21.88%
Total, Three Years - Risk = $8160  Return = +13.54%

If you think you can get a better return on your money for approximately 12 hours of investment, I wish you would write a piece detailing how.

(The usual disclaimers: I am not suggesting you contravene any laws. If gambling is not legal in your jurisdiction, then don't blame me when you end up in the slammer. Also, although I got all of my information for this year from this bookmaker, I am not being paid by them - or anyone else - and all moneys you risk are YOUR RISK. I will not cover your losses, if you lose. You're a big boy [or girl] and you know the deal. If you don't know the deal, and think you can't possibly lose, these people will set you straight.)

Ready? Here comes the analysis!

(If you're neither a football fan nor a degenerate gambler - in other words, if you're a female - I've probably already lost you. If not, and you want alternate entertainment, GO HERE and I'll see you in a few days.)

I don't see much on the board this year that's a bargain. My main concern is the weather. What with the game being played in a cold-weather outdoors venue, making futures bets is very iffy. If it snows, anything could happen. Even cold rain or just a sudden drop in temperature could affect things in a way unforeseen. If I knew for sure it was going to snow, or that it would be 8 degrees at game time, I'd lay it in on all sorts of bets. I don't, though, so no sense speculating with that as a consideration.

The one thing that shouldn't be affected by the weather is the overall closeness of this game. I don't see either team being able to run away and hide. The scoring chances may be affected, for better or worse, but the abilities of the teams to score (or stop the other team from scoring) will be relatively the same. That is, if it was 55 degrees and sunny, the score might be something like 34 - 28; if 12 degrees and nasty, maybe 21 - 17. So, since I believe this game will be a close one, whatever the weather, I'll take 3 props on the final margin of victory.

Seattle to win by 1 - 6 points (odds: 15/4)  Bet: 200 to make 750
Denver to win by 1 - 6 points (odds: 7/2)  Bet: 200 to make 700
Denver to win by 7 - 12 points (odds: 5/1) Bet: 150 to make 750

(I think Denver has a slightly better chance of getting outside the 6 point margin, so I want to cover that.)

Total Risk: $550
Best Possible Profit: $400

So there you have it. Since I'm only risking a portion of our profits from the previous three years, an overall gain for the four years running is still assured. Therefore, you can expect me to be back here again next year telling you what a great handicapper I am even if I screw the pooch this year.

Soon, with more bettor stuff.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Boston Herald Again Today

The Boston Herald is my friend.

My piece on the Winter Olympics

I like the Boston Herald.

My piece on the Winter Olympics

When I was hungry, the Herald fed me.

My piece on the Winter Olympics

All of the above.

My piece on the Winter Olympics

Yep. Thanks, my editor (who is too nice to be mentioned by name and thus have her reputation dragged through the mud via association with a disreputable character such as myself.)

My piece on the Winter Olympics

I could keep going, but you have better things to do with your life. For instance, you could go read...

My piece on the Winter Olympics

And I thank you.

Soon, with more better stuff.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Richard Sherman, I Thank You For A Payday

My op-ed in the Boston Herald today concerns the boorish and unsportsmanlike Richard Sherman. It also concerns the boorish and unsportsmanlike me.

After the Seahawks-Niners game on Sunday, I (like much of the known world) hit the internet and started posting opinion concerning Mr. Sherman. If you don't know Mr. Sherman, or if you're wondering why anyone might be upset at him, here is his interview from just after the end of the game.

I think the way he presented himself, and the things he said, both in that interview and in further interviews in the locker room (as well as the choke sign he made at S.F. quarterback Colin Kaepernick) completely embodies most of what's wrong with professional sports today. On Facebook, I said many unkind things concerning Mr. Sherman. The things I said were pretty much as brutal as anything Mr. Sherman said; maybe even a bit more so. And, as the old saying goes, two wrongs do not make a right.

Anyway, please read my op-ed and see what you think. If you like the words, thank you.

One more thing: I have MY WIFE to thank for the impetus to write the op-ed. She wondered about all the vitriol, we discussed it, and she suggested that perhaps it would be a good subject. She was right.

Soon, with more better stuff.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

More Me Makes Mass. Mainstream Media

I have had another op-ed published. Yes, I've convinced another editor that my stuff isn't just the inane ramblings of an old fart with incipient Alzheimer's. Today's victims are the audiences of the Patriot Ledger and the Brockton Enterprise.

(Unfortunately, it appears that the on-line versions of the papers aren't quite a complete clone of the hard copy. As of now, I believe the only way to get my words is to buy the physical paper. So, uh, go do that.)

The Patriot Ledger covers what we in Massachusetts refer to as the South Shore. Residents of such fine upstanding communities as Quincy, Braintree, Weymouth, Holbrook, Randolph, Hingham and Hull, who have done nothing to deserve such treatment, will find my mug plastered across the top of a couple of columns of newsprint. Once they get past my face, they'll find my 550-or-so words concerning smoking in public parks.

The Brockton Enterprise is running the same column. This means that the city famous for producing Rocky Marciano and Marvelous Marvin Hagler may also someday be able to say a Pulitzer winner once graced the pages of their hometown newspaper. When that day of bovine aviation occurs, every person able to show me an original print copy of today's column will be my guest for fried clams at McMenamy's (slogan: The fish you buy today swam last night in Buzzards Bay!)

(Suggested additional slogan: We wrap your lunch in Sully's column!)

As usual, any kind words you care to deposit at the doorstep of the editors would be greatly appreciated. If you hate what I have to say, keeping your mouth shut would be equally appreciated.

Once more with links, in case my column shows up there at some point:

The Patriot Ledger

The Brockton Enterprise

Soon, with more better stuff. Maybe someday with clams!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mr. Selfish Gets Published Again!

Hello! I'm Mr. Selfish, the blogger who barely visits your blogs but thinks you'll be delighted and thrilled when I write a blog telling you I've been published again.

Me! Me! Me!

Yes, that's right; I've bamboozled another editor. As a matter of fact, by Saturday it will be at least two of them. I have a piece in one paper today and I'll have another piece in two different papers on Saturday. If you'll make the effort to go to the websites and leave happy commentary, I'll repay you by asking you to do the same again the next time I'm published.

I know! You're welcome!

Aw, what the heck; I'll cut myself some slack. I'm really not a bad guy. When I win my first Pulitzer, you'll all be invited to The Pleasant Cafe for pizza.

Speaking of pizza, that's what my piece in The Boston Herald is about.

Please go there, read my words, and leave a comment (unless you hate my words, in which case clam up.)

This Saturday, I'll have a column in The Patriot Ledger (also in The Brockton Enterprise) and it will not be about pizza. It will be about smoking. The Ledger asked me for a headshot, so there will probably be a photo of me accompanying the column. I don't know how they think that's going to help circulation, but it's the only face I've got and I'll leave the business decisions to them.

So there you have it. Or, rather, HERE you have it. Please go read my deathless prose and give The Herald reason to be happy they pulled me out of the gutter. I will thank you by at least thinking of you. It's possible I could be over to your place later, but the road to hell is paved with me.

(Seriously - You all remain in my prayers, and I am extremely thankful when you leave a comment on one of my newspaper pieces. All you need do, to secure a favor in future, is ask.)

Soon (by which I mean Saturday, when I'll remind you about the piece in The Ledger) with more better stuff.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

11 Questions

I haven't done one of these in a long time. If you find it distressing, rest assured I'll probably not do another one for an even longer time. It comes courtesy of Jenny Woolf, a wonderful travel writer from England, but don't go to her place and curse her out for having subjected you to this. She only suggested that anyone who wanted to answer the questions could do so; she did not specifically say, "Hey, Suldog, would you please bore the hell out of everyone by answering these 11 questions?"

So, having told you that what you're about to read is not likely to be entertaining, and might actually bore the hell out of you, here goes nothing - and I sincerely mean that.

1.  If there is one candy left in the box, do you have to eat it, or can you leave it sitting there all alone for the next few weeks?

There is never one candy left in my box.

2. What do you want to remember most of all, if you survive to be very old?

I am very old. I wish I could remember why I decided to do this meme.

3. Would you enjoy being a very rich and famous celebrity?

You mean I'm not? Bummer.

4. Which of the photos in this post is your favorite and why do you like it?

Photos? Where? Oh, OK, here's one. Since it's the only one, it's my favorite.

5.What piece of music do you personally find most emotionally moving?

6. How do you deal with anxiety, depression and bad times?

I pretend I'm Dominick the Christmas Donkey.

7. What do you love doing that bores everyone else stiff?

I think that's patently obvious by now.

8. Did you ever encounter an inanimate object that seemed to have a will of its own?

This blog. Also, Mitt Romney.

9. What is your very favorite hotel or restaurant?

Deadly serious: my favorite restaurant is The Pleasant Cafe in Roslindale, Massachusetts. They won't let me sleep there, so I can't pass judgment on its fitness as a hotel.

10.  Do you think prisoners who have committed particularly vile crimes should be segregated in jail for their own safety?

I think they should be segregated in jail for my safety.

11. What do you wish you had known when you were 18?

What a boring old fart I'd be by the time I was 56. I assumed I was going to be a rock star and dead for the last 9 or 10 years. Instead, here I am, sitting at a computer in my underwear. How the computer got into my underwear, I'll never know.

And now, if you survived that torture, here's your reward. I am going to give YOU some questions to answer. You can ignore them - if you have any brains - but if you decide to answer them, please let me know so I can come to your place and make fun of you.

1 - Have you ever voluntarily put anything up your nose aside from drugs?

2 - Is it still there?

3 - How many real teeth (that is, not store bought) do you have in your mouth?

(If you have them anywhere else, please elucidate.)

4 - If you could take any two things on the planet and staple them together, what would they be?

5 - Do you think plants can hear you think?

6 - How many rocks are in your house?

7 - If I asked you to shove a toy surprise up my ass and call me Crackerjack, would you compare and contrast Napoleon's march on Moscow with Ritchie Blackmore's guitar solo on Highway Star?

8 - Why are you still reading this?

9 - Do you think it's going to get better?

10 - Why is a kumquat not entirely unlike a porcupine?

11 - When do you think the world will end?

(I think it ended in 2006 but we haven't had brains enough to notice.)

If you answer these questions, soon, with more better stuff, then it will be that.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Little Christmas

As some of you already know - and the rest are about to find out, and would have somewhat sooner if I hadn't interrupted with this - MY WIFE and I celebrate Christmas on January 6th.

"January 6th? Why is that?", some of you say.

"Because we are traditionalists," we reply.

January 6th, otherwise known as Little Christmas or Epiphany, is the date given, in some Christian tradition, as the day the Three Wise Men (or Three Kings, or Magi) visited the infant Jesus and presented their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

(I assume Mary and Joseph appreciated the thought, and maybe especially the gold, but what an infant would do with such things is beyond me.)

Aside from historicity, celebrating on January 6th allows us to reserve our holiday best for other relatives and friends on or around December 25th. We are less harried and hurried during the days when most Americans are collapsing from fatigue. We have a spectacularly relaxed personal celebration on the 6th, reserved exclusively for the two of us.

(For those with an eye for bargains, it also allows one to pick up various Christmassy doo-dads and ephemera at cut-rate prices. Stores remove all vestiges of commercial xmas trappings immediately after the 24th, moving on to Valentines Day and other more profit-driven concerns. That's not a huge incentive for us to celebrate 'late', but it is there and may be of use to you, if you wish.)

In addition to our usual January 6th festivities, we will also be celebrating another Christmas on the 12th this year. That's because my cousin, Scott, and his lovely wife, Andrea, were sick on December 25th and missing from the usual Christmas Day at my Uncle Rick's place. We will be having the clan gather again on the 12th to celebrate with Scott and Andrea. This extension of the season is not unwelcome. Other than a chance to see good people and enjoy their company, it means another day of gifts and another chance for me to cook a Christmas dinner. Yay! And Yum!

So, Merry Little Christmas!

Soon, with more better stuff.

[Illustrations from]

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Well, Shoot... Happy New Year To Me!

I just found out I have a column in today's Boston Herald.

Read it HERE.

Kind comments are always welcome, of course (and will get your New Year's karma off to a good start!)

In addition to that surprise, I was informed today that the Patriot Ledger accepted a piece of mine, for publication there and also in the Brockton Enterprise. When the actual publication happens, I'll let you know where it resides (aside from the print edition, which you should always buy and store away so you can have it years from now when I receive my Pulitzer and then you can sell it on E-Bay for at least the buck you paid for it.)

Happy New Year!


Soon, with more better stuff.