Wednesday, March 4, 2009

We’re Going Streaking

Keller and I were talking the other night and after doing our usual rounds of “Would you rather”, I challenged him to come up with something more addicting than Chipotle. Turns out that it wasn’t much of a challenge, because it took him no time at all to respond with “Streak for the Cash, duh.” I’m not sure if I totally agree that it’s more addicting than Heaven in a tortilla, but I understood exactly where he was coming from.

Streak for the Cash is a game ran by ESPN.com that features conflicting scenarios for all different types of sporting events. Participants must choose a sporting event and then choose which of the two scenarios they believe will occur for the respective event. The goal is to consecutively pick as many scenarios as possible, hence the concept of the streak. All it takes is picking 27 in a row correctly to win a million dollars. On the surface it seems like the game is easier than getting a show picked up by ABC. However, it very well may be the most agonizing thing I’ve ever done, other than trying to figure out if the chick in this video is attractive or not.

I currently have a losing streak of two going, with my all-time best win streak of four. My overall record is 31-37-2 for a .456 winning percentage. Simply put, I hate this game. What makes it even more frustrating is that when I inevitably catch fire and end up getting 27 in a row, I won’t be able to collect the million dollars because the NCAA is NCAA. Nonetheless, I keep coming back for more. It’s easy to see why I’m a Cubs fan.

The reason I’m bringing up my rocky relationship with Streak for the Cash is because the guy who comes up with all the scenarios, otherwise known as the “Streakmaster”, is a fan of the blog. After recently Googling my name for the first time in over two days, I came across a live chat the Streakmaster did a few weeks back. Basically he claimed that he would have one of the games on Streak feature Northwestern and us if I mentioned him on the blog. I was unaware of the proposition and thus failed to give the Streakmaster his shout-out. But even though I dropped the ball with our first game against Northwestern (not literally—I didn’t even get in), we play them again this coming Sunday, which is why I’m stepping to the plate right now.

This is serving as the official shout-out to the Streakmaster. It’s also serving as a warning to him, though. I’m on to you. You can try to fool America all you want, but I’m not buying it one bit. It’s fairly obvious to me that you are the inspiration for the show Early Edition. How else can you explain your ability to tell the future?

Case in point: I was riding my career high win streak of four into the Oklahoma-Texas basketball game in February. The scenario called for me to pick the winner and I went with Oklahoma, seeing as how they were something like 389-1 at the time. I spent the better part of that day laughing at you for foolishly having that game be an option and anxiously awaited the game so I could set a new career high streak of five wins. Then Blake Griffin got a concussion, sat out most of the game, and Oklahoma ended up losing. It may be out of line to claim that the Sooners would automatically win if Griffin played the whole game, but then again when a career long win streak comes crumbling down any argument is a rational one. After unforeseen circumstances such as this, is it really unfair to suggest that you have a cat deliver the next day’s paper to you every morning and you use this information to frustrate the hell out of people? I think not.

It’s baffling to me why you decide to set trap games with your knowledge of the future instead of trying to help people out. If nothing else, use the information to pick the right lottery numbers for yourself. That way you don’t have to ruin my day when I pick no-brainers like the Cavs over the Rockets, only for LeBron and company to decide that losing takes a whole lot less effort than winning and their bodies could use the rest.

That’s why I’m suggesting my own Streak for the Cash scenarios for our game on Sunday that you will hopefully use instead of that futuristic Early Edition crap you’ve been pulling for far too long. Feel free to use any or all of the scenarios and help me get back on the winning track. It’s really the least you could do considering you’ve tormented me for the past year or so.

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The following are “what will happen more” scenarios for every player who will dress for us on Sunday. Choose wisely, America.

Evan “The Villain” Turner – Points or Times my high five requests go ignored

It’s no secret that there’s a little animosity between The Villain and myself. I have always assumed it to be playfully harmless. Yet, there are times when he happens to somehow be oblivious to the fact that I’ve got my hand in his direction and am looking for some face time on TV. I can’t say for sure if he sees me or not, but I can say for sure that I cry a single tear every time the negligence happens.

Danny Peters – Board slaps in warm-ups or Number of country songs on his iPod

Danny is the second leading board-slapper on the team, so it can be assumed that he’s going to put up his fair share during warm-ups. And while he doesn’t like country music all that much, there are some songs that he just can’t get enough of. Trust me.

P.J. Hill – Assists or Hours spent doing his hair before the game

Depending on who you talk to, P.J. has either the coolest or worst hair on the team. Technically, I guess he could have both, but the point is the man treats his hair like it’s his firstborn. I’m pretty sure he is in a group with my grandmother and Bernice, the lady at the front desk from the hotel in Minnesota, as the only three people I’ve ever met before who routinely use a shower cap in the shower (and no, I haven’t seen my grandmother or Bernice in the shower, but good try). His hair is so popular amongst the fans that one fan actually wrote me an e-mail asking whether or not P.J. kisses his lucky egg before each run on the bobsled.

Walter Offutt – Times he looks to Coach Matta for help in a situation that Coach has no control over or Times referred to himself in the third person

I truly believe that Walter thinks that Coach Matta has absolute control over everything in the world. About a month ago on a plane ride to wherever we were playing, we hit a patch of turbulence and the plane was constantly shaking for a solid five minutes. During this time, Walter screamed for Coach Matta to do something, as if Coach was supposed to tell the turbulence to run a suicide and then leave the gym until it decides to play harder on defense. Also, Walter almost exclusively refers to himself as “Walt Disney” when talking to just about anyone. This surely creates some confusion for people who are unaware of his nickname or his inability to use first person narrative, and overhear him say phrases such as “Walt Disney hates cartoons.”

Jon Diebler – 3 point attempts or Bench press max (in pounds)

Jon prides himself on being a better shooter than me, something that I let him believe because I’m a nice guy. However, after going along with his whole “My J is wetter” routine, I kindly remind Jon that I could make him bleed from his ears without even breaking a sweat. Your wet jump shot can’t do anything for you, should I choose to unleash my fury, Jon.

Kyle Madsen – Bone-Crushing screens or Times wiping hands while on bench + Times spitting into cup while on bench

The last time we played Northwestern, Kyle set a screen on a Northwestern player so hard that the guy no longer knew how to use the Euler Method to approximate curvatures in a line segment when he got back up. Before he got on the court to set the screens, though, Kyle literally wiped his hands every twenty seconds and spit into a cup almost as often. I’m not sure if it’s a nervous habit or what, but the dude always prepares himself by hocking up loogies and wiping his palms. Whatever it takes, I guess.

B.J. Mullens – Times watching “I’m on A Boat” in the locker room before the game or Windmills attempted in warm-ups

I love the “I’m on A Boat” video just as much as the next guy, provided the next guy isn’t B.J. Mullens. He watches the thing seemingly on loop, no matter the circumstances. He also is the king of the left-handed windmill during warm-ups, something that apparently gets him zero points in the actual game.

Jeremie Simmons – Points + Assists or Times my locker gets treated as the trash can

Jeremie’s locker is right next to mine, which apparently gives him the freedom to trash my space. On a daily basis, I walk into the locker room and see a pile of papers in my locker and get mildly excited at the thought of the Trillion Man March sending autograph requests to the gym for me. My excitement quickly turns to disdain as I realize that the papers are nothing more than lyrics to some rap song or phone numbers of the girls who just didn’t make the cut.

William Buford – Points or Number of individual hairs on his chin

I constantly make fun of Will for having a weaker goatee than what I had in sixth grade. I’m convinced he honestly super glued some hairs from his head to his chin and went on his way. My man is desperate to have the facial hair prowess of a seasoned veteran such as myself, so much so that he doesn’t care that it looks like he’s got a handful of strings hanging from his chin.

Dallas Lauderdale – Rebounds + Blocks or Number of times he tries to convince The Villain to battle rap me

Dallas is the king of what my teammates like to call “co-signing”, which surprisingly enough has nothing to do with anybody’s credit history. Every time I challenge The Villain to a battle rap, Dallas chimes in with his analysis of the situation and eggs The Villain on. The Villain never complies, presumably because of Dallas.

(By the way, I fully understand how you feel like you should change your vote in the whitest guy on the team election because I am starting freestyle battles amongst my teammates. However, I assure you this is only because I dream of the day when The Villain gets shut down by the whitest guy on the team. As much as I want to win the election, I want to beat The Villain at something he is supposed to be better than me at even more. Besides, my raps are hilariously awful and in no way, shape, or form should be classified as anything other than “white.”)

Mark Titus – Number of times the word “scenario” will be used in this entry or Number of times he will take the towel off of his neck

In case you don’t notice, I almost always have a towel around my neck during the games, which is strange because in the banner at the top of the blog I don’t. Nonetheless, I wear the towel for the sole purpose of being easier to spot on TV and honestly take it off maybe once or twice after the game starts.

This gives me a solid idea. I will promise a shout-out to anybody who goes to the game on Sunday and counts how many times I take the towel off of my neck. I’ll be counting too, so don’t just make something up out of desperation. And for the record, when I take the towel off at halftime to run into the locker room, that doesn’t count. Good luck with the counting.

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I’m sure you are wondering if I’m going to address the ongoing election for whitest guy on the team. Because I want it to be fair and because Kyle doesn’t have access to write on here like I do, I will hold back on my commentary. I will, however, say that this election is becoming a very big deal between the two of us and I encourage you to keep voting. Also, I want to thank the Trillion Man March for informing me that playing/constructing with K’NEX is about as un-white of a thing as anybody could ever do. Who would have ever guessed that?

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Iowa wasn’t too thrilled that their game winning shot was halfway down before it eventually rimmed out, justifying the fact that they didn’t return any of my one armed embrace requests. Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Walter Offutt had an 11 trillion going before he selfishly got an assist and made a layup. As long as he can live with himself, I’m fine with it.

One Armed Embraces: 9 to date (0 last game)

Bone-Crushing Screens: 1 to date (0 last game)

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Your awesome YouTube was sent in to me by Doug W. There's your shout-out, Doug. And here's your video.




Your Friend and My Favorite,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder