Mascot Wars II: Party Funding

Brett Whitehead
January 5, 2013

Two months ago, I bought a turkey deep fryer. After years of hemming and hawing over whether this purchase would be worth the investment, I finally made the plunge for this year’s Thanksgiving. As it turned out, my fears were misguided, as deep fried turkey is fucking awesome. It takes everything that’s bad about turkey (i.e. dryness, taking forever to cook, no chance of burning down your house), and improves it exponentially.

Almost immediately after Thanksgiving was over, I wanted to deep fry another turkey as soon as possible. Unfortunately (for this purpose at least), many important people in my life are healthy vegetarians, and therefore think fried turkey is an extra gross version of something they already think is gross. I therefore needed to find (1) a social event, (2) held at my house, (3) in which it is appropriate to cook turkey, and (4) where I could invite meat-eating acquaintances. Luckily, the event that best fits this description is only a month away, and I am currently in the process of planning the first annual Brutal Horse Super Bowl Party.

The Theme

All good parties should have themes. As part of a professional wrestling party held at my house, all guests were encouraged to bring unhealthy food to match the civility of the entertainment, which fostered the debut performance of the Five Hour Energy Cake. See, supra, http://www.brutalhorse.com/…/30-hour-energy-cake-a-post-mortem. On two other occasions, I held Hawaiian parties in the winter, which consisted of turning the heat to 90 degrees and requesting that people come over in shorts and bathing suits. I also strongly believe that a beer pong table immediately turns any social gathering into a sporting event.

The theme for this year’s Super Bowl party is two-fold. Since “deep-fried turkey” is not a theme (whatever), my plan is to base the menu on New Orleans, the venue of this year’s Super Bowl. This will include a cajun-turkey marinade and like ten thousand creole dips. The second theme goes more with the practical side of throwing the party, as parties cost money. To fund this party, I have developed the following scheme to help the party get off of its feet.

This Sunday begins the first week of NFL playoffs. This is the by far the most exciting weekend of the playoffs, both for viewing interest and also for purposes of gambling. All televised and radio experts weigh in heavily on each game and there are only four games to choose from. The downside is that NFL football betting is fixed and impossible to successfully bet on. See, supra, http://www.brutalhorse.com/…/let-s-all-go-to-the-horse-track. The most intelligent football minds in the world live by an axiom that a 58% success rate is the best way to win money. See, http://www.drbobsports.com/doc_is_in.cfm. What the hell kind of fun is that?

After years of unsuccessfully gambling on football games, I changed my strategy to base every decision off strength of mascot. See, supra, http://www.brutalhorse.com/…/mascot-wars. Much like how football pools are often won by the people who know the least about football, this strategy was wildly successful, with my first (and admittedly only) experience resulting in a 5x profit. See, supra, http://www.brutalhorse.com/…/brutal-horse-one-year-in. My plan is therefore to re-institute mascot wars to help/try to finance the upcoming Super Bowl party. Should this week result in any profits, my plan is to parlay all profits into next week’s games, and then those results being used to buy weird Trader Joe’s food that sound good, but turn out to be underwhelming and/or gross. See, http://www.whatsgoodattraderjoes.com/…/trader-joes-chocolate-cheddar-cheese.html. Any profits that exceed the wildest decadence of our party will be used to fund my ownership of vintage Hulk Hogan t-shirts. See, http://www.etsy.com/listing/…/vintage-original-80s-hulkamania-wwf.

The Plan

There are four games this weekend, with two on Saturday and two on Sunday. After three years of experience betting on playoffs, I have learned two lessons.

The first is to stagger the bets to ensure that the bets are not lost after the first game on Saturday. Three years ago, Ray and I spent an afternoon at Delaware Park pouring over the right playoff bets to place, coming up with a plan that was both well-reasoned and catchy. We placed a four team parlay bet (parlays are required in Delaware) featuring the Chargers, the Cowboys, the Colts, and the Cardinals (the four C’s of football betting!). Per usual, we were super excited to watch football, until the Cardinals went out and got completely murdered by the Saints in the first game of the weekend. Four hours of analysis lost in about 20 minutes.

This problem is alleviated by taking the amount interested and dividing it by four. Four bets are made parlaying three games each at equal value. The goal is to leave one game out of each of the four bets, so only three games need to be right to turn an overall profit. For example, there are four games (each match up being a letter – A, B, C, D). The bets would be as follows:

  1. ABD
  2. ABC
  3. BCD
  4. ACD

By betting this way, you will be alive after the first game and the first day as long as you don’t lose both Saturday games. Last year, I won both of the Saturday games, leaving the second day with two chances to win. This kept me alive until the late Sunday game, as I lost the early matchup because of the Atlanta Falcons. This loss was compounded by the fact that despite 20 years of best-friendship, Ray went out of his way to send a mocking text message when Tim Tebow improbably cost me $50 by throwing a 70 yard touchdown pass in overtime to beat the heavily favored Steelers (Uh-bow! -ed.).

The second lesson relates to how unpredictable the above-referenced games can be, and to base your bet off of that unpredictability. In Delaware, there are three different bets that can be made. A parlay bet follows the spread exactly, a teaser adds seven points to the spread in which ever favor you prefer and a super-teaser adds ten points (don’t forget the reverse teaser! -ed.). The kicker is that the more points you add, the less your return becomes. Although the return is reduced, adding seven points to the spread via a teaser helps account for the difficulty of picking games, and also to account for the fact that my gambling plan is both random and kind of stupid. Therefore, we will add a seven point shine to every game we pick, even though losing one game will significantly impair our return. Should that happen, however, we can at least run it back for next week to help buy party favors. If all the games win, we’ll turn a significant profit and then everyone can get vintage Hulk Hogan t-shirts. With the specifics out of the way, let’s get on to the games.

The Games

Texans* (-4.5) over Bengals

Two anecdotes before the pick. First, on Thanksgiving, I made a mascot wars bet that picked Lions over Texans (lions eat Texans), Patriots over Jets (patriots fly jets) and finally the Cowboys over the Redskins (history of America, basically). I was in a hurry that morning buying turkey supplies and I made my pick without fully fleshing out the benefit the Redskins would have on the day of Thanksgiving, a holiday celebrating the union of Native Americans and settlers. Predictably, the Redskins crushed the Cowboys and the lesson learned was to make fully informed decisions before placing bets.

Second, I have been watching a lot of ABC On Demand lately to catch up on Happy Endings, a show that I enjoy in part because one of the main character looks a friend I wished I hung out with more. Anyway, Comcast On Demand has obligatory commercials and one of these commercials requests donations to help the tiger population. Apparently, there are only 3,200 tigers left in the world today, most of which live in captivity. Just as an aside, I, as a dutiful watcher of Animal Planet shows featuring people getting eaten by tigers, will not be supporting this cause.

Originally, I thought tigers were a slam dunk for this pick, but Ray reminded me that if there’s one thing humans are good at, it’s extinguishing other species. Let alone, these humans are Texans, originators of big things and chainsaw massacres. Picture Leatherface and Yosemite Sam and the answer just kind of falls into place.

Vikings (+7.5) over Packers*

In the last few years I have developed a familial relationship with a guy from Wisconsin, and so far it has been pretty great. During my first use of the turkey deep fryer, this person taught me how to work a propane tank and kept me from burning my mom’s house down. He also has a wealth of practical apocalypse knowledge about hunting, fishing and riding snowmobiles. My point here is that people from the Midwest are not to be trifled with.

That being said, they are not Vikings. Even the goofy Vikings from the Capital One commercials seem dangerous. So while Brutal Horse has utmost respect for people who work in factories from Green Bay, this is Vikings in a wash.

Colts (+6) over Ravens*

This match-up sucks. A colt is a baby horse and a raven is a boring bird that doesn’t have a razor sharp beak or claws. In fact, the playoffs generally lack the excitement of bears, giants, and raiders in favor of full grown horses and more birds.

In the spirit of research, I tried finding anything that could help lend some insight, but googling whether or not ravens carry germs that could affect newborn horses did not turn up any leads. I suppose that if these two animals were required to fight, a colt would be more apt to trampling a raven than a raven would be to bore a colt to death. Avoid this game, ladies and gentlemen!! No excitement to see here! See, http://blogs.nfl.com/…/memories-of-experiencing-chuck-strong-2012-nfl-ballooza/, http://news.yahoo.com/ray-lewis-retire-playoffs-172636539—nfl.html.

Redskins* (+2.5) over Seahawks

This is the week’s best matchup in regard to mascot violence. While one may doubt the power of the Seahawks, Seahawks, or Osprey, are raptors whose Latin name translates into “bone-breakers.” Public perception of the Seahawks mascot is just another example of the lack of respect facing dinosaurs in professional sports. There are only two teams named after dinosaurs and neither of those teams are “the Tyrannosaur Rexes.”

Redskins, or “horribly racist, antiquated stereotype,” are known for strength and, in part, for acumen in hunting. Although the actual football game is being held in Washington, I assumed this matchup was being held on the west coast. To lend further insight, please review this website about Native American culture in the Pacific Midwest. See, http://nativeamericans.mrdonn.org/northwest.html. Due to originality in totem poles and woven mats, the Spokane, the Nez Perce, and Puyallup win out over the deathbirds.

Overall picks – Texans, Vikings, Colts, Redskins

Please tune in next week for updates.

brett.whitehead@brutalhorse.com
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