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NFL Week 3 — Plays

Posted by on Sep 22, 2012 in Blog, Sports Betting | 2 comments

 

 

NOLAN DALLA:  2012 POSTED SEASON RECORD 17 WINS – 10 LOSSES – 0 PUSHES —– (+ 23.8 units / 1 unit = $100)

STARTING BANKROLL:  $10,000.

CURRENT BANKROLL:  $12,380.

BEST BETS OF THE WEEK:  1-0-0

Monster result last week — posting a W-L record of 13 wins and 2 losses.  Net gain of +32.6 units.  This is about as strong a week as you will ever see in the NFL.  Be warned — my win percentages will not stay at 66 percent.

Wagering $3,220. this week.

Note:  All wagers are for amusement-purposes only.  I bear no responsibility for those who may decide to follow my plays.

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Who Would Pay Money to See This Quack?

Posted by on Sep 21, 2012 in Blog, Music and Concert Reviews, Travel | 2 comments

 

Fraud Sylvia Browne

 

On the list of the world’s most hideous people, this piece of shit is very near the top.

Her name is Sylvia Browne, and for those of you fortunate enough to have never heard of her, she’s a self-described “spiritual teacher and psychic.”

And in a related news story — I’m the Pope.

This charlatan might have some mild entertainment value if some people didn’t take her so seriously.  In a sort of Andy Kaufman sort of way, she could be a knee-slapping riot.  If she was performing on The Gong Show, her charade would be so fucking bad, it actually might be pretty good.

Trouble is — she’s not amusing people.  To the contrary, she’s hurting people.  Lots of people.  She’s been touring the country during the last few months, shaking down her hopeless audience members (and dare I say “fans”) who have absolutely no clue they’re little more than the latest generation of frightened townsfolk getting pitched with the snake-oil.

It’s really hard to believe we’re living in the 21st Century here — that people believe the same bullshit that’s been shoveled since the days of Pythia, the very first Sylvia Browne incarnate who did her very own Three-Card Monte act way back in ancient Greece.  At least poor Pytha had the decency to commit suicide at the age of 30 — thus sparing the world’s most advanced society at the time more of her delusions.  Browne couldn’t do us that favor.  She’s still conning people to this day, and going strong well into her 70s.

No doubt, Browne is very good at what she does.  He’s a real pro.  Indeed, most con-artists are good at what they do.  She’s flim-flammed her devotees — typically made up of older, poorly-educated women grappling with depression.  Browne has even managed to convince some of these people that she possesses supernatural powers.  And so, she does what any heartless self-promoting opportunist would do.  She bilks her followers out of a few bucks.  Make that 47 bucks a pop, which is the standard ticket prize for her show.

Browne spends much of her time flying around the country masquerading as some kind of 100,00-watt antenna to the grave.  Her act pretty much consists of duping people who are so emotionally vulnerable and so utterly desperate for answers, that they’ll often drive hundreds of miles to witness her onstage “readings.”  Many come with hopes they’ll get lucky enough to be chosen amongst hundreds with similar problems sitting in what amounts to a clusterfuck of basketcases.  Most seek answers to questions which simply cannot be answered.  They beg for solace.  They long for inner peace.  And the grand dame of duplicity, Sylvia Browne is right there on center stage to deliver on cue what they’re so desperate to hear — even if it means abandoning all sense of human decency.

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Two Legends Speak Out in Support of “Sailor” Roberts’ Nomination for Poker Hall of Fame

Posted by on Sep 19, 2012 in Blog, General Poker | 0 comments

 

(Photo courtesy of Card Player magazine)

 

Writer’s Note:  The opinions expressed here are entirely those of Nolan Dalla.  These views do not reflect the official position of the World Series of Poker, Poker Hall of Fame, Caesars Entertainment, or its staff.

 

Let me make this perfectly clear.

I am completely neutral on the question of who should be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame — Class of 2012.

I’ve already made my public pitch this year — and failed.

READ MY NOMINATION FOR DAVID SKLANSKY HERE

 

That said, I remain very much interested in this year’s list of nominees, put forth by votes from the general public and subsequently screened by a committee — of which I’m privileged to be a member.  Each of the ten individuals on this year’s nomination list are worthy of serious consideration.  I’m convinced that just making the list demonstrates an appreciable degree of respect and gratitude by people throughout our game.  Indeed, there can be no greater satisfaction than knowing one’s contributions are recognized by his or her peers.

For those who missed this year’s official list of finalists, they are (listed alphabetically):

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R.I.P. Steve Sabol — NFL Films

Posted by on Sep 18, 2012 in Blog, What's Left | 0 comments

 

 

Pro football lost a giant of a man today.

He wasn’t a player.  He never coached.  You rarely saw his face.

But you must certainly know his astonishing body of work which spanned more the four decades, and which left an indelible impression on the game that’s now been America’s real ‘national pastime” for two generations.

Steve Sabol was the architect of NFL Films.  Together with his late father, Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Ed Sabol, the first family of NFL historians made football into something far more than just a game.

They made football into art.  Their productions were grand theater on the gridiron.  Many of their shows were inspirational and epic.  Everything they did set the bar higher, not just in sports journalism but in all media.

Their narrative often accompanied by blaring trumpets, NFL Films programming was often better than the actual games they covered.  They created legends out of players and coaches most of us had never heard of.  They tore down myths.  Indeed, Steve Sabol wore many hats — writer, historian, filmmaker, journalist, announcer and marketer.  Everything he did showed pro football in a more interesting light.

Steve Sabel’s body of work is extraordinary.  Dating back to his early days as a rival-league AFL cameraman during the mid-1960s, Sabol used his natural talents and creative energies to push the bounds of sports coverage into something grander and greater.  He not only helped to transform many athletes into heroes and legends.  More important, he made them human.

All NFL fans everywhere owe a great debt of gratitude to the late Steve Sabol.  He passed away today at the age of 69.

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XXX-Rated Curiosity — Seriously, Who Writes this Stuff?

Posted by on Sep 18, 2012 in Blog, Rants and Raves | 0 comments

 

porno photo

I wonder if this is a movie about eating hot dogs?

 

Writer’s Note:  Today’s blog contains language some readers may find objectionable.  However, if you’ve been reading my stuff regularly, this will probably seem like just another routine post.

 

It was an accident.

I swear.  An accident.

While sitting in my hotel room alone late at night with the remote control in hand, I must have punched the wrong number.

It can happen to anyone, right?

Instead of watching “Nazi UFO Conspiracy” a riveting one-hour documentary that I’d been anxiously staying up for most of the night, rather than hitting channel “282,” I mistakenly pressed “582.”  I found it odd that The History Channel would be running a show titled, “She Can Take 13 Inches.”  For some odd reason, I don’t think this show was about a ruler.

I must admit, the graphics were jaw dropping.  Oops.  Maybe that’s a bad visual.  Never mind.

I mean seriously, who writes this stuff?  Did someone actually go to college, work their ass off, earn a degree in English literature, and then end up in a career writing plot descriptions for porn movies?

Curiosity piqued, I really want to know — does the writer for Direct TV actually watch all these porno movies first, and then craft his clever narrative?  I would think in this case, the writer could wing the narrative, just a little.  How about a one-size-fits-all movie description, a sort of Huggie blanket for porn aficionados — “People fucking.”  That would pretty much cover all the bases, wouldn’t it?

Here, checkout these literary masterpieces:

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Are You Better Off Now Than You Were Four Years Ago?

Posted by on Sep 17, 2012 in Blog, Politics | 9 comments

Credit to Dylan R.

 

That question was posed to me in an email I received this morning from some conservative political group.

It’s a simple question.

Channeling then-candidate Ronald Reagan’s devastating quip from the 1980 Presidential Debates, 11 simple words which effectively ended Jimmy Carter’s political career, has pretty much become the It’s a Wonderful Life of every election cycle.  The cozy campaign chestnut is replayed and parroted so frequently (usually by the challenger) that just as soon as the first couple of words are pronounced, a hundred million listeners can complete the sentence on their own.  It’s almost like Name that Tune.

Hey, I can name that tune in three notes.  All Mitt Romney has to do is cue up the intro, “Are you better…….?”

We all know the rest.

The question is effective because it’s thought provoking.

So, let me give you an answer.

Yes.

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The Dropped Third-Strike Drill

Posted by on Sep 16, 2012 in Blog, Essays | 2 comments

 

 

Writer’s Note:  This is the second in a two-part series.  This blog is contributed by someone who wishes to remain anonymous.  All names of those in this story have been changed at the author’s request.  Please take the time to read this.  It’s beautifully written — and a wonderful inspiration to kids and adults alike.

 

PART II.

 

If you’re a kid playing baseball, there is nothing that causes more disappointment than striking out.

You walk up to the plate and every eye in the stadium is focused on you.   Regardless of what the statistics indicate about your potential for success, the level of expectation is still high.  When a pitcher gives up a home run, it is certainly a disappointment for him.  But everyone knows that in order to be effective in his role a pitcher must throw strikes.  Pitches in the strike zone are, for the most part, hittable and sometimes they are hit out of the park.

When you’ve struck out however, you have either missed the pitches that were in the strike zone, or swung at pitches that were not.  Sometimes both.  You were given multiple opportunities and you wasted them.  To make matters worse you must now take a long, lonely stroll back to the dugout, which affords you ample opportunity to contemplate your recent failure.

But you are certainly NOT a failure — for in the battle between pitcher and hitter, a significant advantage belongs to the pitcher in almost every case.

It has been said that hitting a round ball with a round bat is the hardest fundamental task in all of sports and yet each time you come up to the plate, you expect to and are expected by others to, hit the ball.

When a player makes an error, he may be given the opportunity to redeem himself on the very next pitch.  A diving catch or a perfect throw results in a stadium full of cheering fans, and the dejection that was felt mere seconds ago has now been drastically reduced if not completely eliminated and replaced by a sense of joy and accomplishment.  Strike out however, and several innings will likely pass before you get another chance to bat.  You will carry that sense of failure with you from the batter’s box to the dugout and when you take your position on the field, that sense of failure will continue to haunt you.  It will likely persist even as you take your next turn at bat.  Striking out can be horrible.  Indeed, the disposition of the entire town was adversely affected — their hopes gone, their dreams crushed — by one single example of missed opportunity when The Mighty Casey struck out.

Every summer there are kids on diamonds all across America striking out.  They walk back to their dugouts with their heads hung low while their parents either sink in their seats trying to hide, or scream at them to keep their eye on the ball, or worse yet, telling them they suck.  Right, as if that beer-bellied dad could hit a 65-mph fastball on the inside corner thrown by a 11 year old from just 45 feet away.

Pick any team, on any summer day, on any diamond in America and I guarantee you’ll see it — unless by some miraculous improbability the team you pick happens to be one that I coach.

When coaching youth sports, I believe that it’s important to be as positive as possible.  Emphasize successes, not failures and look for opportunities to promote success in difficult or disappointing situations.  Give the athlete something specific to focus on improving rather than dwelling on the negative result.

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NFL Week 2 — Plays

Posted by on Sep 15, 2012 in Blog, Sports Betting | 3 comments

 

NOLAN DALLA:  2012 POSTED SEASON RECORD 4-8-0 —– (minus 8.8 units)

STARTING BANKROLL:  $10,000

CURRENT BANKROLL:  $9,120

1 UNIT = $100

Bad start with wrong side of New Orleans-Washington game, which killed three big teasers.  Coming back this week with some bigger weapons, making the NY Giants the key team in the wheel of multiple teasers. 

Wagering $4,200 this week.

 

THIS WEEK’S PLAYS:

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The Penalty Kick

Posted by on Sep 15, 2012 in Blog, Essays | 1 comment

 

 

Writer’s Note:  The next two blog entries are follow-up to a controversial column posted two weeks ago on former NFL coach Vince Lombardi’s famous creed — winning is everything.  I received some interesting e-mails in response.

One reader was emotionally affected by the discussion.  He was kind enough to share his perspectives with me about his own experiences as an amateur baseball coach.  I was so impressed with his outlook on what coaching and teaching really means, that I requested permission to reprint his email.  He graciously agreed.  His thoughts are posted in Part II.  The title is “The Dropped Third-Strike Drill” — coming tomorrow. 

Part I (below) recounts my experience several years ago as a little league soccer coach.

Read Here:  WHY VINCE LOMBARDI HAD IT WRONG


It’s Saturday.

On ball fields all across America, millions of kids and parents of those kids will be cheering and having fun.  But there will also be a lot of ugliness.

You know what kind of ugliness I’m referring to.  You’ve seen it.  You’ve experienced it.  It may have even crept into your own team or family.  It is the ugliness that comes from the twisted mantra — winning is everything.

No.  In fact, winning is not everything.  In many cases, it’s not even that big a thing.  Or at least, it shouldn’t be.

Many years ago, I coached a boys soccer team.  I took the voluntary position because I had been a licensed USSF soccer referee for about five years.  Refereeing kids soccer games subjected me to some serious abuse.  But I loved the game and therefore was determined to get more involved as a head coach.  I also played a few seasons in an adult league as a goalkeeper.  Believe it or not, I was on the local Catholic Church team.  We were called the Crusaders.  And we sucked.

I lasted two seasons as a head coach.  We were known as the Zavala Vikings.  I enjoyed working with those kids, so much.  They must all be grown up now.  I wonder what happened to some of them.  Occasionally, I also wonder if the things I did and said on the field helped them in some small way.

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B-52s and Banana Cream Pie — My Visit to Bossier City

Posted by on Sep 14, 2012 in Blog, Restaurant Reviews, Travel | 3 comments

 

 

Writer’s Note:  The World Series of Poker Circuit is currently taking place at Horseshoe Bossier City.  So, I’m staying in Shreveport, Louisiana during the next two weeks.  Today, I’ll share with you two things that have impressed me most so far about my visit.

 

It sounded like a screech.  A deafening, high-pitched screech.  Almost like the scream in a horror movie.

I looked up into the sky.  There it was.

A giant B-52 bomber.

If you’ve never seen the breathtaking sight of a B-52 in flight, I must say — even from the ground — the visual is awe-inspiring.  Conjoined with its high-pitched eardrum-shattering 120 decibels, the image of the B-52 plowing overhead with it’s beastly eight engines barreling out thick black smoke is a momentous assault on the senses.

Barksdale Air Force Base is located on Bossier City’s east side.  Years ago, I remember well the sight and sound of B-52s regularly hoovering over the Louisiana Downs Racetrack off in the distance, which I frequently visited.  It’s been a long, long time since I saw this aircraft up close.  I had forgotten how intimidating the sight is.  Earlier today looking up into the sky, I rekindled that double-edged love affair with darker forces and was once again reminded of mankind’s inherent aptitude for creating marvels of self-destruction.

It was horribly beautiful.

The B-52 is an astonishing image of national power.  The fleet carries payloads of nuclear weapons.  These are B-52s on high alert — always ready to strike.  Prepared for its target like wolves catching the scent of a bunny, B-52s are always swilring around up in the air somewhere, defending the nation.  This is intentionally so, as a sort of Orwellian flip-flop of logic manifested by explaining the madness as a “deterrent.”

Never mind that their constant presence was one of the things which triggered an arms race and ignited the fuse for a lot of bad guys in the world who came to accelerate their own ambitions for nuclear weapons.  Even with the Cold War long over, B-52 missions continue around the clock, every day and night of the year.  I had just witnessed the conclusion of one of these missions, landing at Barksdale AFB.

But what’s really most impressive about the B-52 is longevity.  This year marks the aircraft’s 60-year anniversary.  That’s right.  America’s nuclear arsenal is hauled around in a fleet of planes that were designed when Eisenhower was President and most the country was tuned into “I Love Lucy.”  I’m not sure if that’s more astonishing, or horrifying.

That’s how incredible these planes are.  That they have stood the test of time for six long decades and remain just as frighteningly effective as the day they first rolled off the Boeing assembly line as the most powerful fighting machine perhaps that’s ever been designed.  Think of all the advances in technology and changes in aircraft design since that time.  And yet, the most destructive instruments in the history of mankind are hauled around in the equivalent of a 1952 Chevy.

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