Any time I lose a big pick (NFL Picks), it's a given that I'll receive some sort of hate mail. If I lose a Pick of the Month? Well, that's when the maniacs go nuts and send me dozens of hate mail.
Even though I had a winning Week 16 overall, I lost my December NFL Pick of the Month with the Giants over the Packers. Immediately afterward, I received the following hate mail (with my responses afterward):
nice pick of the month YOU EPIC F***ING FAIL
I actually didn't respond to this. I tried to, but Twitter (@walterfootball) is confusing and I screwed up.
Give me a break, OK? Technology is difficult for me. I just figured out how to use a DVD player. I'll get around to mastering twitter by 2020.
From Joseph M:
HEY NICE GAME OF THE YEAR A**HOLE WHAT WERE YOU THINKING THE PACKS WERE THE BETER TEAM ROGERS WAS PLAYIN AND YOU DONT NO WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT DUDE WHY DID U DO THIS I HOPE YOU GET ABORT U NOWW I LOST $100 AND DUNNO WHAT TO DO I HOPE PHILLY GETS 13 INCHES OF SNOW AND YOU LIVE IN A IGLU AND DIE
I have a problem with your e-mail. Are you inferring that anyone who lives in an igloo dies? If so, I think you're being racist toward American Indian Eskimos. They live in igloos, and as far as I know, they function normally. Sure, they spend their entire lives freezing their balls off, fishing and keeping polar bears out of their village, but that doesn't mean you have to be racist against them.
From Ahmed H:
Great f***ing pick with your December pick of the month cost me 30k.
I hope you're kidding and are just sending me joke mail, because this was my pick and I didn't even bet 1K on the game. And if you divide out the units correctly, that means you won $18K with the Redskins and $11K with the Lions and Bucs each. So congrats on winning money! Buy your girlfriend or wife something nice, OK?
From Chris R:
Just saw that you made Gmen your Dec pick of the month...R U 4 REAL? What were you thinking? The most turnover prone team and QB in the league, on the road, against a team who's dick you have been on all year about how great they are and in a must win situation with a good D. I ask again sir, R U 4 REAL?!?!?! Worst call you have ever made...
I disagree. The worst call I've ever made was drunkenly hooking up with some fat 40-year-old woman at a random bar when I was plastered out of my mind and could barely walk straight.
From Deco O. (via Facebook):
8 units walt?ask me arse!
I didn't respond to this because Deco O. posted the same message on my wall five times. I deleted all but one of his posts and defriended him, so I can imagine he's heartbroken right now.
I guess I deserved this. I should have known better than to befriend someone named Deco. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Yeah you botched your December Pick of the Month. I lost a substantial amount of money trusting you there. BUT, I followed the rest of your picks this week (and a good amount of them this year) and still came out on top.
Am I pissed I could've made a lot more money? F*** yeah I am. Thats the way the world works. But cant be too angry at you for missing one pick, no matter how big it was, when you've been hitting em fairly consistently all year. F*** you for botching that, but thanks for making me a good amount of money this year.
This is the type of e-mail I wanted to get. F*** me for missing one pick, but thank me for hitting pretty much everything else.
From Kingkhon (via Pick Page Comment Board):
play of the month my a**. there were better games then those ones walter pick. next time u factor in play that include turn overs and mistakes and points earn off mistake and pentalties. need to factor those in next time before choosing a team. i get better result calling psychic hotline.
I may be up about 75 units ($7,500) this year, but that's nothing. Miss Cleo is up $20,000 this NFL season.
From Russ L:
Giants lol? G-Men 0-6 last 6 vs. winning team on the road. That was embarassing, but so predictable!
Let me explain something first. This guy is a professional handicapper. This means that he sells his picks. Many professional handicappers are scam artists. The reason they don't reveal their picks to the public is because they give out one team to half the customers and the other team to the other half. That way, half their clientele gets a winner, so those people become very likely to pay more money for more picks.
I'm not saying this Russ L. does this. But I don't trust any professional handicapper because they're renowned for pulling crap like this.
Anyway, he and I argued about the Packers-Giants game all week. He told me he liked the Giants because they were 0-5 on the road against the last five winning teams they played. I argued that his stat was irrelevant because three of those five losses came last year when the Giants quit.
Now, we argued similarly about the Dolphins-Jets game a couple of weeks ago. Same type of deal. I had the Dolphins (who won) and he argued the Jets based on more irrelevant numbers. After the Dolphins won, I didn't e-mail him and brag about it. I wouldn't do that. Instead, he e-mailed me and said that he had the right side; the only reason Miami won was because the Jets dropped a couple of passes.
As you can see, he bragged about being right this time. In fact, it was "so predictable." What a douche.
I was pretty pissed at the time, so I lashed out at him:
The only thing worse than poor handicapping with irrelevant stats is bragging about a win after handicapping it poorly.
I thought this was a very appropriate response. Russ L. didn't think so:
Russ L's Reply:
Wow I really thought you were a different kind of guy than that, now I know the truth. Last week when you won a pick with the Dolphins who gained a total of 150 yards, I immediately congratulated you. This week your team gets buried, and you take a pot shot at me. Your a real man's man Walter, what a joke
This guy is unbelievable. He's offended that I took a "pot shot" at him when he took a "pot shot" at me first? And notice how he still makes an excuse about getting the Dolphins game wrong.
Here's what I wrote back:
You've gotta be kidding me? I lose one game, and you e-mail me saying "Giants lol?" and "That was embarrassing but so predictable?" and yet you have the gall to send me that kind of response? I'm really disappointed in you.
I was truly disappointed. I had fun discussing picks with this dude until he started making excuses and throwing bogus stats at me.
This only made Russ L. angrier:
Russ L's Reply:
I am a professipnal handicapper, look up my record, anytime you want to pick games name your price, and I'll make you look like a fool! All bets sent to charity of the winners choice, money held by an accounting firm, game on, come on you hairless jerk, I can't believe you come on and insult me, after your handicapping gets a burial!
1. "Professipnal" handicappers' records can easily be manufactured since their picks aren't public. For example, I can say I'm "20-0 with my last 20 picks" if I include only some of my previous picks. That's what some of these scumbags do (not Russ L. necessarily).
2. And my picks are public, so I'm not sure why Russ L. wants to challenge me to a picking contest. All he needs to do is post his picks on my forum/comment board to prove that he's better than me. Not that I care about dick-measuring contests or anything.
Here's what I wrote back:
How can I trust your record? Your picks are not public; you sell them, meaning there's no way of knowing if you give out one pick to half your clientele and the other side to the other half. I'm not saying you do this, but people who sell picks tend to do this.
Russ L's Reply:
You know what, I used to like you, even gave you a bunch of stuff, never asked for a penny, went on your forum, and gave out valuable info and winning picks, and you have the audacity to greet me with this: The only thing worse than poor handicapping with irrelevant stats is bragging about a win after handicapping it poorly.
I'll walk away from this, and you'll never hear from me again, I promise, because it is all in vain.
I wish you the best my friend, in handicapping, and especially life, you have a lot to learn
It's the old fat person adage. If you call a skinny person "fat," they'll either shrug it off or laugh. If you call a fat person "fat," they'll get upset or angry.
I definitely struck a nerve when I mentioned the possibility of this guy cheating on his picks. But whatever. I don't care. I don't want to talk to a douche who brags about how awesome he is when he gets one pick right. As Ray Lewis said, "Even a blind cat will find a meal once in a while."
My final reply:
Good luck to you as well. Next time, don't brag about your wins and insult others in the process.
So, that's it for this edition of my hate mail bag. I can only imagine what type of response I'd get if I ever made a Pick of the Year. I'd probably get suicide notes or something.
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 2: Astoria
My friend Adrienne recently celebrated her 21st birthday at Astoria, a Russian restaurant in Northeast Philadelphia. Here are some things you may not know about Russian restaurants:
1. No Ketchup:
The country of Russia has not invented ketchup yet. I wish I were kidding. If you go to any Russian restaurant and ask for ketchup for your potatoes, the waiters will shrug their shoulders, mumble something in Russian under their breath and give you a dirty look. If you're ever invited to a Russian restaurant, I suggest you steal some ketchup packets from McDonald's beforehand.
2. No Regular Water:
Russians love to carbonate their water. Every single time I've been to a Russian restaurant, I notice a pitcher of clear, bubbly liquid on the table, and I ask:
Me: Is that Sprite?
Random Person: No, that's seltzer water.
I hate seltzer water. It's disgusting. I want Sprite or regular water, but Russian restaurants never have either.
The other non-alcoholic beverage option on the table is usually Coke. So, why don't I just drink the Coke? Because their Coke is never carbonated! Russians love to carbonate their water, but when it comes to soda, oh no. How dare I ask for some soda that's not flat?
3. Pickled Food:
Russians also love to pickle their food. Everything is pickled. One time they brought out watermelon for dessert, and even that was pickled. I tried it, and nearly vomited all over the table.
4. Weird Food:
The only food I eat at Russian restaurants are potatoes and beef. All the other food is either some gooey, slimy crap or weird meat. For example, there was a plate of some odd-looking meat on the table, and I asked:
Me: What the hell is that?
Random Person: That's horse tongue.
Horse tongue? What the hell is wrong with Russian restaurants? What happened to serving cheeseburgers and hot dogs? I don't want to eat horse tongue. But if did eat some horse tongue, I'd want some ketchup to go with it.
5. Bad Music:
Aside from their disdain for ketchup and affinity for flat soda, Russians try their best to emulate the American culture. So, once Russian restaurants begin serving food, they have some Russian musician come on stage and sing the latest "popular" American music.
Or so they think. Yes, they manage to get lucky once in a while (the person at Astoria sang Alejandro by Lady Gaga), but they usually misfire by singing something that came out 15 years ago.
For example, the musician at Astoria - a silvery-haired old man wearing a hat - offered his rendition of Mambo No. 5.
Two problems with this: First, no one wants to hear Mambo No. 5 anymore. That song was bad in the 90s. It's even worse now. And second, the geezer on stage sang it wrong.
Instead of singing, "A little bit of Monica in my life," his Russian accent made it sound like, "A leeeetle beeeet of Moneeeeca eeen my life."
There really aren't many things worse in this world than hearing an old man butcher an awful song.
6. Camera Creeper:
Maybe this is a new phenomenon, but the previous two times I've been to a Russian restaurant, there have been weirdos taking random pictures of people and selling the photographs back to those people for lots of money.
At Astoria, the camera person (let's call him Camera Creeper) was an evil-looking Russian man in his 40s. I couldn't decide whether he looked more like a child molester, or someone who could play the bad guy in a Steven Seagal movie.
He took a picture of my sister and me, and later came back to sell us the picture for $20. Thinking he'd either rape me in the rear end (not that there's anything wrong with that) or slit my throat if I refused, I gave him the money.
Camera Creeper then went around stealing money from other people. I couldn't hear what he was saying to everyone else because of the awful music, but here's what it may have sounded like:
Camera Creeper: I take picture. You buy picture.
Lady: How much?
Camera Creeper: Give me $20, to please.
Lady: That's an awful lot of money for a simple picture.
Camera Creeper: Please to give money now. I give special deal. Three picture for $55. Cannot beat deal.
Lady: Umm... I don't know if I have $20 on me, let alone $55. Let me ask my husband.
Camera Creeper: Please to take time. I vill go make photocopy of picture so I can pleasure myself with zees later.
Lady: What did you say? I can't hear you because the music is too loud!
Camera Creeper: Teeheehee iz OK. I vill stick zees picture in my anus, to please.
Again, not that there's anything wrong with that.
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 3: Us at Astoria
I wouldn't be surprised if the owner of Astoria asked Adrienne and her parents never to come back again. Everyone at my table got super drunk and destroyed the entire restaurant.
My friend, forum mod Injured Reserve, was already plastered when I got there. Every 10 minutes, he'd come around and offer everyone a drink out of a freshly opened bottle of liquor. Eventually, I just had to ask:
Me: Where are you getting all of this alcohol from?
Injured Reserve: I stole the good liquor from all of the other tables and hid the bottles under our table.
Me: You are a genius.
Here are some of the other crazy things we did that night:
1. Salt and Pepper Coke:
My sister thought it would be a good idea to put some salt and pepper into Adrienne's brother's (Will's) Coke. When Will came back to the table, he drank out of his glass and didn't feel a thing.
Will got up again, so my sister added more salt and pepper. When he came back, he drank some more and still didn't notice. My sister and I laughed at him, and he immediately wiped his nose and asked, "Do I have a booger on my face or something?"
See, Russian restaurants? If Will's Coke was carbonated and didn't already taste like crap, he would have noticed this.
2. Mojito in Pasta:
I told Injured Reserve what we did to Will's Coke. He then realized that it was a good idea to dump some mojito mix into the pasta bowl.
When my friend Ces (a Phillipino guy who was very eager to try some Russian food that night) returned from smoking a cigarette, the following exchange occurred:
Me: Ces, why don't you try some pasta?
A drunken Ces immediately grabbed a spoon and scooped a ton of pasta onto his plate. He tasted it, and nodded his head in approval. Injured Reserve and I laughed.
Ces: Wait... wait a second!
Me: Oh, you figured it out?
Ces: Yeah... this is not Russian food!
Me: Yeah, you got me.
Ces: Oh well. It's still good.
Ces never found out that we spiked his pasta. And Ces, if you're reading this: Buhahahaha!
3. Cake in Pitcher:
We went nuts after that. Injured Reserve grabbed some cake and tossed it into the Coke pitcher.
I was thrilled that the flat Coke was finally put out of its misery. My cousin Polina, however, shook her head in disapproval.
Polina: C'mon, we did this kind of stuff when we were 10!
Injured Reserve: And now!
4. Flippin' Fish:
I cover football for a living, so I've seen some incredible feats of athleticism. None, however, were as impressive as what I saw at Astoria that night.
Injured Reserve took some fish on one of the platters and placed his fork under it. He then flipped the fish into the air, and it sailed across the table - right onto another platter.
It was a perfect landing. Not even corrupt Olympic judges would have given that anything less than a perfect 10.
Toasting, however, is a little bit more fun if you make fun of it. Whenever anyone toasted to something during Adrienne's party, Injured Reserve and his girlfriend (now fiancee - congrats, guys!) yelled, "Ovechkin!" This puzzled me.
Me: Did you just yell Ovechkin?
Injured Reserve: Yeah. We don't know what these people are yelling in Russian, but it sounds like Ovechkin.
Injured Reserve's Fiancee: Ovechkin!
Injured Reserve: Ovechkin!
6. Date Raper:
When I got to the party, there was this guy in a sweater vest sitting across from me whom I will refer to as Date Raper (you'll see why later.) Date Raper asked me what I do for a living, and I told him about this Web site. He told me he loved the Eagles, and I said that I hate them for signing QB Dog Killer.
Date Raper was appalled by this. He said stupid things like, "He deserves a second chance" and other liberal crap. I didn't care to argue about it, but my sister made some arguments that made him look stupid.
Date Raper eventually left for a while. Assuming he went to pleasure himself to some pictures of QB Dog Killer, I didn't think much of it - until I saw him gaming a hot chick way down the other side of the table. Considering that she was way, way, way out of his league, I found this odd.
A couple of hours later, the hot chick was unbelievably drunk. She was falling all over the place. I noticed her gag, so she stood up and stumbled her way to the bathroom. Date Raper followed her. Ben Roethlisberger would have been proud.
I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
Me: Hey, that creepy dude is going to take advantage of that super drunk girl in the bathroom.
Injured Reserve: Ovechkin!
Me: No, this is bad. Someone's gotta stop him!
Fortunately, Adrienne ran in and prevented anything weird from happening.
Later, as I was leaving, I said goodbye to Adrienne and the hot girl.
Me: Are you OK?
Hot Girl: Yeah... I didn't even drink that much, I don't know what happened.
Date Raper is what happened! But unlike his master, Ben Roethlisberger, Date Raper could not finish the job. Ben Roethlisberger is no longer proud.
7. The Great Grape Fight of 2010:
I don't know how it started. I remember drinking some alcohol and eating some grapes when I noticed a grape fly by my head. Minutes later, Injured Reserve and our friend Trojan Kegs were launching grapes at each other.
Injured Reserve: Walt, give me some grapes! I'm running low on ammo!
Me: No! I want to eat these! NOM NOM NOM NOM.
Then, an idea popped into my head. Recalling one of the best scenes from one of the greatest movies of all time, I did my best John Belushi impression and yelled:
Unfortunately, people didn't start throwing random food at each other like they did in Animal House. I was very disappointed.
After the party, I imagine that the owner of Astoria and Camera Creeper were walking around and noticed all the grapes on the ground.
Owner: What the hell? Why are all of these grapes on the ground?
Camera Creeper: I do not know boss, to please. But I vill clean up grape by putting all grape in my anus.
For the third time, not that there's anything wrong with that.