2009 Bowl Pick'em Challenge - Official Post (Pre-New Years Games)

In order to not have ridiculously long post, I'm breaking the bowl update post up. Feel free to relive the pre-Xmas games in the previous post. Here is the Cliff Notes version... I missed every pick.

(card removed and moved to newer bowl post)

12/26 1:17 PM Leader Board Update
Game: Sheraton Hawaii Bowl - Honolulu - Aloha Stadium
Score: Nevada - 10, SMU - 45
Current Points Leader: KW, Dallas D-Bags - 69
Current Statistical Leader: KH, Mr. Smokey Pants
Game Thoughts: I didn't catch this 12/24 Xmas Eve game. I was all up in church, family, dinner, and presents. However, it felt like a big kick in the junk from Santa went I saw I lost an unprecedented 6th straight bowl game pick.
Beverage Thoughts: Milk and cookies seem appropriate. I didn't have any (I had lots of red wine), but it is a classic combo.

12/26 2:08 PM Update: If you guys missed Dave's post on NCAA branding, W, T, F.! Go read that post. It's good stuff and this huge bowl update keeps pushing it further down the page.

12/26 3:16 PM Leader Board Update
Game: Little Caesars Pizza Bowl - Detroit, MI - Ford Field
Score: Marshall - 21, Ohio - 17
Current Points Leader: KW, Dallas D-Bags - 69
Current Statistical Leader: KH, Mr. Smokey Pants
Game Thoughts: Unbefknleivable. 6-6 Marshall?! I'm 0-7 now. I watched the game, but am not in the mood for recapping the suck that Ohio ran out there today. Dave or Gary can provide an update if they want to.
Beverage Thoughts: Piss.

12/26 6:50 PM Leader Board Update
Game: Meineke Car Care Bowl - Charlotte, NC - Bank of America Stadium
Score: (17) Pittsburgh - 19, North Carolina- 17
Current Points Leader: JN, Naked Bootleggers - 82
Current Statistical Leader: KH, Mr. Smokey Pants
Game Thoughts: Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwww. I got a mthrfkn pick. Dudes, I'm not even last anymore.
Beverage Thoughts: Water. Almost done sobering up after Xmas Eve and Day.

12/27 12:57 PM Leader Board Update
Game: Emerald Bowl - San Francisco, CA - AT&T Park
Score: Boston College - 13, (24) Southern Cal - 24
Current Points Leader: JN, Naked Bootleggers - 115
Current Statistical Leader: KW, Dallas D-Bags
Game Thoughts: USC came in absent of some talent. The fans forgot the way from LA to SF. BC was still totally outmatched in this one. Not too fun to watch really.
Beverage Thoughts: On a recent trip to Specs, part of the $175 bill included a bottle of Brewery Ommegang's Bière De Mars. The neck label states it is a "True Belgian-Style Ale" and that is was Batch #2 from October 2008. What separates this beer from the average American brewed, Belgian inspired beer? Magical Space Dust. Don't laugh, it says it right on the bottle. In layman's terms they add some extra zing and a touch of funk. Or, it's the Brettanomyces (wild yeasts). The result? Awesomeness. Another outstanding beer from Brewery Ommegang and another beer that tastes great even as it warms.

12/27 11:03 PM Leader Board Update
Game: Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl - Nashville, TN - LP Field
Score: Kentucky - , Clemson -
Current Points Leader: JN, Naked Bootleggers - 129
Current Statistical Leader: KW, Dallas D-Bags
Game Thoughts: I'm going to work backwards here. C. J. Spiller is awesome, but dude... he doesn't have a future career in the media. Just sayin' (Mangino probably got fired up and pounded a bag of pork rinds at home when Spiller told the on field reporter that someone will have to shoot him to get him off of the field. Super awesome). How does a guy get the name Dabo? Just wondering. Overall, the game was pretty interesting. More interesting than the Cowboy/Redskin game it was competing with, but I watched Milk instead and had both of the football games on with no sound. What?
Beverage Thoughts: During the late NFL kickoffs, I shared a bottle of the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl beer (that was Allagash's Four Ale for those that don't want to track back) with my wife, sister, and NFL Pick'em Leader Kirby. Later that evening I opened up a Brother Thelonious from North Coast Brewing. I actually bought the bottle a day after reading a write up on it in the Houston Press ("Brew Blog: Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale" by Mike Morris). It's not the first time I've had this 9.4 ABV burner, but its nice to be reminded of another 750mL worthy of the beer fridge door shelves.

12/28 11:59 PM Leader Board Update
Game: Advocare V100 Independence Bowl - Shreveport, LA - Independence Stadium
Score: Texas A&M - 20, Georgia - 44
Current Points Leader: JN, Naked Bootleggers - 129
Current Statistical Leader: KW, Dallas D-Bags
Game Thoughts: It was a battle of the Big XII and SEC... even if they were some of the lowest qualifiers. This game didn't start as the offensive shootout that the Worldwide Leader promised. By the end, one team got it going on both offense and special teams. And IMO, the better dog won.
Beverage Thoughts: In the summer of '06, the wife and I joined my parents and sister on a trip to the wine country in Cali (Sonoma-ish area). My parents do this trip a few times a year, so they handled the itinerary. One of the spots they must have really wanted to hit was A. Rafanelli. My Dad, who always pretends he doesn't curse when around family, even said: "They may be @ssholes, but they make fantastic Zins." But these fkrs wouldn't set up an appointment before when we scheduled the trip, at first giving the excuse that it was too long before the visit. Before we flew out, they stated they were busy, but to try another time. The day before we planned to come, they maintained they could not see us. The snubbing really bothered my Dad, someone who doesn't exactly wear his emotions on his sleeves. He was a pretty good customer of theirs, I know know that. We convinced him to drive up to the property anyway... surely they wouldn't bullsh!t us to our faces... but they did. Calling from outside the friggin gates, they still wouldn't let us in. Jack@sses. But it was all for the best. Just when I thought this was going to ruin the entire trip for my Dad, we passed by Lambert Bridge Winery. We decided to go in and drink off the funk. My parents initially settled in on the standard offerings while Amanda and I headed for the reserve tastings, held in an adjacent room. Not to be outdone, we were joined by the rest of the family within minutes. Still on a bit of a low, my Dad goes all out and joins their club right on the spot. The wine steward in the reserve room was a guy that couldn't have looked any more opposite the part. He was a guy from New England named Dean. Given that our spirits immediately uplifted by the place, we nicknamed him Boston Dean (while not original, it was a nickname that stuck, by the way). Boston Dean said "you are family now" and we tasted every wine they had in the place. Long story long, my Dad opened up a bottle of Lambert Bridge tonight and said that if he could keep only 1 of his many wine club memberships, Lambert Bridge would be the the one he'd keep. Just another reminder that when life gives you lemons, try to ferment that sh!t.

12/29 9:19 PM Leader Board Update
Game: Eaglebank Bowl - Washington D.C. - RFK Stadium
Score: UCLA - 30, Temple - 21
Current Points Leader: KZ, Suck It #15 - 137 (broke Jon's 4 game streak)
Current Statistical Leader: KS, DonkeyStyle
Game Thoughts: Temple hadn't been to a bowl in 30 years. On the WWL, it was a toss up whether this fact or the cold conditions were mentioned more. I believe they b!tched about the weather more, but it would have been a good drinking game. This game was much more about UCLA blowing their chances than it was Temple outplaying UCLA. In the end, UCLA did just enough to win.
Beverage Thoughts: How weird that the day after I muse over the A. Rafanelli/Lambert Bridge incident I join my parents for dinner at La Vista (a great BYO restaurant) and they bring a bottle of A. Rafenelli Zinfandel. Totally unplanned. No joke. I snapped a pic after we polished it off... and it was fantastic.

12/29 10:19 PM Leader Board Update
Game: Champs Sports Bowl - Orlando, FL - Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium
Score: (15) Miami (FL) - 14, (25) Wisconsin - 20
Current Points Leader: KZ, Suck It #15 - 137
Current Statistical Leader: JHa, I Will Beat Bob and Gary
Game Thoughts: (What is that? I hear a beat... turn it up)
Uh, uh, check it out
V.E.L.V.E.E.T.A., uh, um
(i like this, yeah)
Uh, yeah, '09 for a couple days more

To all the peeps in the place with style and grace
Allow me to lace these lyrical TD's, take a knee G's
I'll rock grooves about The U and The Cheese
Back at the crib, sippin Zins, is where you'll find me
Not at the club, mackin hoes, I got babies (now peep this)
Badger D lackin', Jocory passin', but that didn't happen
So there I can't quit
'Cause the Cheese didn't sit, Clay knew how to run it
He done it, right through the U, why not
He torn up the U's D a whoooole lot
And check this, they got more Cheese than Kraft, make you laugh
Believe me peeps, Clay rolled like Jeeps
No need to be greedy, he and his friends don't have Benz's
Dollar bills are in their prayers, but they are true bleeping players
So back to the Radisson in Madison
Tell your friends about the after party, all drinks are on me.

(I love it when you call me Big Chees-a)
Throw your curds in the air, shake your dairy aire
(I love it when you call me Big Chees-a)
To the cheese's experteezies spreading molds like colds
(I love it when you call me Big Chees-a)
If you got some cheedar up in your cart that smells like a fart
I see a tray that could use some crackers... crackers.

Beverage Thoughts: I, uhh, popped open another bottle of red and watched Notorious. I think the above is how the game went down though.

12/30 3:45PM Update: Moments before kickoff, I fired off a $200 virtual bet on the UNDER (68) in the Idaho/BGSU game. Then both teams come out and score a TD early. Uh oh.

12/30 6:41PM Update: Dear Roady's Humanitarian Bowl participants: Great Defense. Signed, OVER 68.

12/30 7:22 PM Leader Board Update
Game: Roady's Humanitarian Bowl - Boise, ID - Bronco Stadium
Score: Bowling Green - 42, Idaho - 43
Current Points Leader: JHa, I Will Beat Bob and Gary - 141
Current Statistical Leader: JHa, I Will Beat Bob and Gary (for the first time the points leader and statistical points leader are one in the same)
Game Thoughts: When a game ends with 85 points on the board (grrrrrr), there isn't a whole lot to gush about. Both teams played kind of mediocre, but used their "high powered offenses" to put TDs on the board (it was either big plays or nothing). The end was interesting (if you had Idaho or like comebacks). Idaho, down 7, made a few big plays and ended up scoring with 4 seconds left. Instead of rolling the dice with overtime, they went for 2 and got it.
Beverage Thoughts: Long Trail's Double Bag. On the neck label, this beer reads: “This full-bodied double alt is also known as ‘Stickebier’ – German slang for ‘secret brew.’ The secret is that this brew is so smooth you’d never believe it has an alcohol content of 7.2%!!!! INDULGE IN MODERATION!!!!!!” Double Bag is copper in color and has a nice sweet and tangy bitterness. It is incredibly smooth for a 7.2% beer. On the negative side, it has a bit of slight bitterness and diacetyl flavor I usually associate with beer that hasn’t aged well. However, it is clear in this case that the flavor is intentional and appears to be balanced well with the hops chosen. Double Bag is definitely a beer worth hunting for if your travels ever take you to Vermont. My sister picked up this bottle for me during a roadie last summer.

12/30 10:23 PM Leader Board Update
Game: Pacific Life Holiday Bowl - San Diego, CA - Qualcomm Stadium
Score: (20) Arizona - 0, (22) Nebraska - 33
Current Points Leader: KZ, Suck It #15 - 163
Current Statistical Leader: JHa, I Will Beat Bob and Gary
Game Thoughts: I wanted this section to be about how boring this game was, especially for a Holiday Bowl, which is historically a shootout. However, this game was all about dominance... offensive... defensive... ass whoopings... it was a freaking shutout, but Nebraska also put up 33 points. Damn.
Beverage Thoughts: Whatever Mike Leach is drinking tonight... not whatever Craig James is drinking.

1/1/10 5:05 PM Update: I am going to try to catch up on the New Year's Eve games real quick. Hang in there...

12/31 11:59 PM Leader Board Update
Game: Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl - Fort Worth, TX - Amon G. Carter Stadium
Score: Houston - 20, Air Force - 47
Current Points Leader: KZ, Suck It #15 - 163
Current Statistical Leader: JHa, I Will Beat Bob and Gary
Game Thoughts: At about 11:30 AM, I met Dave and Kirby at Beaver's Icehouse for a pregame lunch before going to the Texas Bowl. From what I saw of the game, Keenum played like crap, the Houston D was channeling their UTEP performance, and Air Force flew to a victory. Some postitives that came out of this game for Houston fans is that it is more likely that Sumlin will be around next year now and Keenum will probably hang around for another year (I think we can permanently file away that Heisman talk too).
Beverage Thoughts: I started the day with a Real Ale Coffee Porter (draft). Their coffee porter is brewed with organic barley and organic fair trade coffee from Katz Coffee Roasters. In the bottle this beer is very good. On draft it is even tastier. I know from experience that it is hard to get a lot of coffee flavor to come through in a beer. On a commercial scale, it seems to be even more difficult (I don't have to worry about filtering, pastuerization, or turning a profit). Real Ale Coffee Porter is a win. Before "lunch" was over, we also had 2 Southern Star Pine Belt Pale Ales. Southern Star is a Conroe brewery that has come a long way in the past few years. Now if only 10 more breweries would move into the Houston area I'd be a little more satisfied.

12/31 11:59 PM Leader Board Update
Game: Brut Sun Bowl - El Paso, TX - Sun Bowl
Score: Oklahoma - 31, (21) Stanford - 27
Current Points Leader: KZ, Suck It #15 - 173
Current Statistical Leader: KS, DonkeyStyle
Game Thoughts: After Beaver's we moved on to this douchey sports bar across the street (fkn Washington Ave), Sawyer Park Sports Bar. Speaking of park and douchey, the parking at Sawyer Park was valet only... $7. Whatever. In my opinion, this game became pretty uninteresting when it was announced starting QB and freshman phenom Andrew Luck would be out. His replacement, some Pritchard fellow, was 8 of 19 for 118 yards and was intercepted twice. I'm probably not the right person for this analysis, but it appears that OU played a pretty decent game.
Beverage Thoughts: We had a round of Real Ale Fireman's #4 drafts at Sawyer's. Fireman's is the perfect thirst quenching beer and also makes a great option when the taps are pretty pedestrian (plus, who doesn't enjoy telling the bartender you want a "firemans", j/k). Kirby and I noted that we hadn't seen a place since Buffalo Wild Wings that had so many mediocre taps. After the pint, we were done with this scene... off to Reliant Park.

12/31 11:59 PM Leader Board Update
Game: Texas Bowl - Houston, TX - Reliant Stadium
Score: Navy - 35, Missouri - 13
Current Points Leader: KZ, Suck It #15 - 192
Current Statistical Leader: KS, DonkeyStyle
Game Thoughts: Reliant Stadium was no more than 2/3 full, but the atmosphere was pretty lively. Both teams traveled very well, with Navy fans dominating, probably because of the service academy connections across the country (it seemed like there were a lot of families decked out in Navy gear). I don't think much of Mizzou this year, but this game proved exactly why I would curse under my breath if I found out my team's matchup was with Navy. Their triple-option offense is an equalizer, partly because the offense is effective and partly because most of their opponents never face the offense.
Beverage Thoughts: Before the game, Dave busted out 3 plastic cups and three Magic Hat #9's for us to have as walking beers (we avoided parking fees by parking in the ghetto and walking... although Dave suggested that the proper term is not ghetto but economically challenged). Inside the stadium, beer choices were just OK... I won't complain because at least they were serving (*eheck-jerryworld-echem*). I had a first half Saint Arnold Amber and a second half Saint Arnold Amber. They were 21oz drafts (poured all the way to the top of the cup!) for $8.75. That is a 42 CPRSO, for those of you that are curious. Also, Kirby and my attempts to sneak into the Club Section was unsuccessful.

12/31 11:59 PM Leader Board Update
Game: Insight Bowl - Tempe, AZ - Sun Devil Stadium
Score: Minnesota - 13, Iowa St. - 14
Current Points Leader: KZ, Suck It #15 - 192
Current Statistical Leader: KS, DonkeyStyle
Game Thoughts: This game kicked off sometime near the end of the Texas Bowl. After the game, we traveled back to Beaver's Ice House for a pre-New Year's Eve destination drink... and we left my car there. It turns out that Beaver's has a deal where you get a free appetizer if you order a cocktail (menu link so the next part makes sense). Score! I had a Belt Strap and wings. Dave had a Belt Strap and smokey queso. Kirby had a Smoky Julep (that's the genteel part of Kirby coming out) and wings. I'm not positive what went down after this, aside from a lot of conversation, but I can tell you 1.) Some dude at the bar got the bowl game changed to the Rockets, 2.) We didn't seem to care, and 3.) Dave had two more beers and Kirby and I had a drink called Stone 1510 each. Apparently this was a good game though.
Beverage Thoughts: Uhh, see above.

12/31 11:59 PM Leader Board Update
Game: Chick-fil-A Bowl - Atlanta, GA - Georgia Dome
Score: (11) Virginia Tech - 37, Tennessee - 14
Current Points Leader: KZ, Suck It #15 - 209
Current Statistical Leader: KS, DonkeyStyle
Game Thoughts: Clearly the only way to make up for being away from the fam from 10:45AM to 9:00PM is to come home with large scallops, lobster tails, steak, and a few bottles of J champagne (or sparking wine... whatever). Then, one must spend the rest of the late evening cooking the feast. I was surprised to find out there was another game tonight. The score would indicate that the game sucked. Just sayin'.
Beverage Thoughts: I won't sit here and pretend to be a champagne/sparkling wine expert. I don't know all the types, what flavors I should be looking for, etc. However, I'm a fairly experienced cross drinker and have had dozens of champagnes and sampled many a bottle of bubbly during winery visits in CA, VA, and NY. If you are looking for a champagne, my sole recommendation is J.


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