Time to start something else new at the Chin Music Podcast. Let’s meet Tommy Dragani.
Disclaimer: When Brendan first asked me to contribute to his website, I was semi-unsure of what I wanted to add to the good work that is already being done here. In actuality, I wanted to be the angry guy. I wanted to be the one who just picked things out of the sporting world and just ripped into them. Seeing as we already have a “hot take guy” and I can, at 25, benefit from being a little less angry in my life, I settled on a different sort of therapy outlet. One that indulges things that others (certainly not I) would go to therapy for..
So there we are: the pilot article for the Chin Music Podcast’s Culture¹ section. These are going to be pieces about the associated “fringe elements” in sports. I am going to spotlight the things our respected writers and sports journalists won’t admit that they think about. I will admit, if I we’re to concentrate on the more direct sporting things, all you will hear about is Philadelphia sport, as my fandom is very provincial, and how much I hate the hometown heroes of every single one of my fellow contributors. They’ve quickly out-numbered and outgunned me and relegated me to being a lowly VICEroy of Bets, Beers, and Babes.
1 – Culture is used here loosely to make this section sound a bit more reputable. Given here by our Stats and Numbers guy Matt Tardiff, the author of this section rejects the term as to engender moral repute, and will use it henceforth in jest.
Let’s Bet the House! (…errr Maybe Just the Gas Tank?)
“Nicky’s methods of betting weren’t scientific, but they worked. When he won, he collected. When he lost, he told the bookies to go fuck themselves. I mean, what were they going to do, muscle Nicky? Nicky was the muscle.” – Ace Rothstein, Casino
Like Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) in Casino, my methods of betting aren’t very scientific. I only read the lines, where the money is going, and sprinkle a bit of my gut feeling on it. You won’t catch me betting for or against my teams, either, no matter how much of a lock it may be (see Week 8 vs the Cowboys). I can’t ride like that and I need to extract that extra stress out of emotionally investing myself in the Eagles, Flyers, Phillies and Sixers. I will however, be wagering along with you any of the picks I make here.
The King in the North (Patriots – 7 vs Pittsburgh)
It’s going to be really hard for me to bet against the Patriots all season, as it looks more and more apparent that they will be the team to come out of the AFC this year. Tom Brady came riding back into town last week and to no one’s surprise, began his vengeance tour against the NFL, ripping off 376 yds for 82% completion and 3 scores against Cincinnati. They get their next AFC North opponent this week and another name to cross off Tom the Terrible’s NFL hitlist. No Roethlisberger, no win. Look for the Hoodie to gameplan for Bell and leave the rest to Brady against a defense that made even Tannehill look serviceable.
If You Lose, Bill Me Later (Bills -3 vs Miami)
I can’t believe this needs to be said, and that this line is so low in the Bill’s favor, but Miami sucks. They are a perpetual motion device of bad quarterbacking, bad coaching, and lackluster defensive play. I don’t care that Jay Ajayi broke the Steel Curtain in nine different ways, Miami is awful and reality is about to set in when they have nothing to do next week but reflect on how god awful they are in every facet of the game. I find this line of only -3 to be disrespectful. And the Bills are surging. Winning their last 4 and murdering the line against that college football team out in the Golden State, who are, if not for their actual talented players, are about as good as the Dolphins. Finally, this is must win for Rex and Co. because it’s going to be no picnic in Orchard Park when Terrible Tom comes to cross you off his list next week.
Swashbuckling the Swashbuckler (Buccaneers -2 vs San Francisco)
I never thought I would ever call the Buccaneers a lead-pipe lock, but this one has some history to it. A personal history I paid good money to suffer through at the desire of one Chip Kelly. Besides the JV 49ers being in freefall and the Second Chip “the Charlatan” Kelly Experiment looking like a worse failure than the first, this almost identical Buccaneers team carved the Birds a week prior to Thanksgiving in 2015 and forked my hopes and dreams. Doug Martin gashed the Chip Kelly designed defense for 235 yds, while every single one of Famous Jameis’s 5 TDs came from within the redzone. Every single bit of that loss, from my corner of the Linc that day, falls on Chip Kelly, and you’ll see it again on Sunday.
Puck It All
I’ve got one Hockey pick for us all this week because I love Hockey and over the years, betting pucks has actually netted me some coin. Take the Bruins -145 vs New Jersey tonight. Since this article comes out Thursday morning, it’s hard to find the hockey lines for the rest of the week, but this one seems like a no brainer. Boston’s first game at home; the Devils have been nothing but mediocre in the beginning of the season historically. No sweat here.
Add-on: I would suggest parlaying this with the under, but I am less confident about this part. If you can buy it up to 5.5 and take the under, do it.
What Your Tailgate is Missing
And no, it’s not those cute little Bud Light cans with your team’s logo on it.
“I’ve only been in love with a beer bottle and a mirror.” – Sid Vicious, bassist, punk rocker, alleged murderer.
Me too, Sid. Me as well. Though, definitely not an alleged girlfriend murderer, I do admire his stance on the Suds. It’s probably why I don’t have a girlfriend in the first place to never contemplate murdering. This section is going to be where I expose you to new beers, my favorites, and brews I think you may not have heard of. And like my section on bets where I will be betting along with you, I will be sacrificing my liver to this cause.
(A casual thought before I begin: I am kind of willing to consider that the episode of Spongebob where he has the suds, might be code for the pineapple-dwelling porifera having a hangover… more on that never.)
This pint in my hand that I would like to call to your attention today is the Tröegs Master of Pumpkins. Now, I generally shy away from Pumpkin beers because they’re too sweet. I like a dark, heavy, and/or hoppy beer. The sweetness kills a beer for me. Furthermore, I don’t like pumpkin pie, which, so far, every pumpkin beer I have tried has tasted like.
This beer, however has a certain likeability. I don’t always like everything this particular Pennsylvania brewery puts out, but the things that I do enjoy from them, I enjoy immensely. This beer is light on the pumpkin and it brings a bit more of the toasted malt flavor traditional to an oktoberfest lager. On the app Untappd, of which I am a religious user, I gave this beer a 4.25 of 5. Admittedly very liberal with the rating, but the beer surprised me. I think this one is worth a try, even if you don’t gravitate towards pumpkin beers.
If the beer isn’t your indulgence, allow me to introduce you to the one and only Leanna Decker. If redheads aren’t your indulgence either, (1) you’re just Satan, (2) you’re gay, (3) you’re a straight woman. But don’t worry, I will develop this section to suit all types of people. Even you, Satan. I’ve got a spicy pic of Nancy Pelosi coming for you in a few weeks.
This woman checks off ALL of the boxes for me. Redhead. [x] Dog lover. [x] Football fan. [x] Even the slight Kentucky accent works on me. She’s also a Virgo, and I am as well, not that I believe in that crap, but if I ever met her, it’s a point of commonality. She’s a Maxim model and has her own website where you can even purchase her material. She’s been one of my favorite Instagram follows for a long time and I encourage the rest of you to make her part of your scroll.
Follow Tom on Twitter @regulatawn.