The Ferringo Report: Sometimes It's Hard to Say Goodbye
"Everything ends badly. Otherwise it wouldn't end."
In movies, The End comes with a musical crescendo and an emotional speech. In real life, you never know when it is Over.
You never know the last time you are going to see or speak to someone. The last kiss. The last time you'll visit that place that you've been 1,000 times. Usually, you never know when those last times are going to occur. And you don't realize that it was The Last Time until much later, in retrospect.
Last weekend there were more important things going on. Looming financial crises and potential Middle East conflict. Kids soccer and football games. Week 2 in the NFL was a respite, not a resolution. And it might have marked another Last Time, as it is likely the last time that we will see Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning suit up and lead their teams on the same Sunday.
I'm no more emotionally attached to these guys than I am any other two-dimensional object that I've seen on TV but never met in person. I don't know the men. They don't know me.
But they have been impactful people in my life, for good or ill. We're talking 20 years of entertainment. We're talking major factors in my professional career and, by extension, my financial well being. I can't tell you how many conversations I've had with friends and strangers involving all of these men. I've argued with some of my best friends, Giants fans, for years about Eli's stupidity and entitlement. I've listened to countless insults about Brees from my Falcon-fan neighbors here in Atlanta. And I've read countless stories and heard dozens of moralist screeds about Big Ben.
Now their careers have fractured. I don't think Eli Manning will start another game in the NFL. Maybe he'll get a Week 17 send-off at home against the Eagles. Maybe not. I doubt that Roethlisberger - who isn't exactly a paradigm of fitness - will ever return under center for the Steelers. Brees will be back. But what lingering impacts will that thumb injury have? And he's turning 41 this January.
I remember the last time that a wave of quarterback retirements marked the end of an era. In the late 1990s, the signal callers of my youth, my formative years as a football fan, all seemed to wash away around the same time. Elway. Marino. Aikman. Young. Cunningham. Moon. All gone. Closing that chapter of my childhood never to be re-opened.
So it goes. Time marches on. My Crazy Years are coming to an end. All the markers have been stacking up. I turned 40 this year. My daughter graduated to middle school. And so on and so forth.
This feels no lest significant to me. Manning, Brees and Roethlisberger are contemporaries. I bet Brees had an Atari. I bet Big Ben had a kitchen phone with a curly cord. I am certain that Eli wore a Starter jacket at some point. We grew up in the same era, went to college at the same time, and our careers - theirs as professional football players and mine as a professional gambler, winning and losing money on their exploits - have run a parallel. Now they will all branch off and continue to follow their own path. And the intersection of my life and theirs is finished.
On a nondescript Sunday in September it was The Last Time.
Here are some other random thoughts from my twisted mind in this week's Ferringo Report:
RANDOM COLLEGE FOOTBALL ODDS AND ENDS
- I can tell you that the mood in Syracuse after last week's Clemson game is somber. That was the first sellout at the Carrier Dome in 15 years. It is really the first time that the Orange have been relevant since back when they were the Orangemen. And literally everyone in Upstate New York had been talking about that game since June. Syracuse had a chance, to, trailing 17-6 with the ball in the red zone in the third quarter. Then Tommy DeVito struck. He threw one of the worst interceptions you will ever see, and it was off to the races for the Tigers. That Clemson scored that final touchdown - to negate the Orange covering a 28-point spread - was the final kick in the groin for all the SU faithful that had bet on the Orange.
- Speaking of letdowns and last minute failures, how about the flagrant attempt by Nick Saban to cover to that spread against South Carolina getting denied? I do feel somewhat sorry for any Alabama backers that got screwed by South Carolina's hijinks in the final 20 seconds, which led to a backdoor touchdown. But the fact that Saban so gleefully went for a touchdown on fourth-and-goal (up 24) was clearly bad karma.
- I desperately want to see Ohio State-Georgia in the College Football Playoff. I know that there is a long, long, long way to go before those matchups are set. But Justin Fields looks like one of the three or four best quarterbacks in the country right now, and he was basically run out of Athens (and smeared on the way out). I would give anything for Fields to get a shot at his old team with those stakes on the line.
- I couldn't be happier that Chip Kelly has become an abject failure. That he and Bobby Petrino are basically laughingstocks now makes my heart warm.
- Pat Narduzzi has go to be kidding me.
- I love that Dabo Sweeney continues to troll Alabama. He should. One of the dirty secrets about Alabama's dynasty is that they have routinely played one of the most comically easy schedules in college football. It is a joke year-in and year-out. Sweeney is finally calling them on that.
In case you missed it, Sweeney was asked about fellow ACC mate Georgia Tech losing to Citadel last week. He deftly deflected the shame away from the struggling ACC by suggesting that Citadel was "probably Alabama's toughest game last year until Georgia."
LIES, DAMNED LIES, AND STATISTICS
- I understand the importance of analytics. However, any time that anyone suggests to me that a computer would be a better handicapper than a human being making value judgments while using computer data (you know, what I do), it drives me crazy. Below is an actual quote on ESPN last week in a preview to the college football weekend. It is touting ESPN's super-duper-secret "FPI", an analytics-driven power index. You tell me how this prediction held up (emphasis mine):
"This could be an under-the-radar weekend for a landscape-changing loss. While Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma are all significantly better than their respective opponents this week, all four play on the road. The result? A 49% chance that at least one of the four loses this week.
According to FPI, Ohio State is the most likely of the four to drop a contest this week, with a 22% chance to fall to Indiana."
Those four teams went 4-0 straight up last week and won by an average of 33.5 points per game. They went 3-1 against the spread , with the lone ATS loss coming in the last seconds of the aforementioned Alabama game.
- Is anyone going to score this week in the NFL? Last week was the lowest-scoring Week 2 of this decade. Teams went a combined 3-13 against the total last week. Naturally, I had been betting on the early-season trend of higher-scoring games (the offenses are always a little ahead of the defenses early in the season), so my totals bets fell apart last week. Are we going to see that trend continue this week, or are teams going to get their heads out of their asses?
- We have some random as hell NFL matchups this week. Even though they don't seem it, the Rams-Browns, Colts-Falcons, Broncos-Packers and 49ers-Steelers matchups are really uncommon. This is just the fifth time that each of these teams has faced one another this century.
- Bizarre stat of the week: since 1970, the Steelers are just 26-47-1 when playing in the Mountain and Pacific time zones. Consider that as they head out to San Francisco this week.
RANDOM NFL ODDS AND ENDS
- In case you were curious, Eli Manning is 1000% not worthy of the NFL Hall of Fame. Anyone that suggests otherwise is a Giants homer or delusional. That said, there is a 1,000,000% chance that he will eventually get inducted into Canton. Because that's the type of terrible, who-you-are-rather-than-what-you-do society that we have created in this country.
- It was hilarious to watch Josh Allen troll the Giants and Bills by declaring that the Bills are the "one New York team". It was actually a callback to a quote from Jim Kelly more than 30 years ago when he said on "Letterman" that "the Buffalo Bills are the only New York team". Buffalo and its fans should celebrate wins over the Giants and Jets to start the year. However, let's all be realistic about just how bad the Giants and Jets are right now.
- My wife, like every other woman in America that has ever read an "Us" magazine cover-to-cover, considers herself a capable and reasonable fashion critic. So when she can look at Cam Newton's outfit last week - and if you didn't see it, it is worth Googling - and say "What is he wearing? No. No." then you know it was terrible.
- I am going to be on the Gulf Coast next week, so expect an abridged version of The Ferringo Report.
Have a great weekend! Carpe diem. Good luck.
Robert Ferringo has been the top football handicapper in the country the past nine years, earning nearly $40,000 in total football profit (average profit: +$4,400). He has also posted 7 of 9 winning seasons (including three straight winning years) and produced an amazing 50 of 76 winning football months over the past 12 years. Robert has eight of 10 winning NFL preseasons and he is at nearly 60 percent winners over his last 1,000 totals picks. Also, Robert's proprietary KING College Football Betting System has posted three of five winning seasons. Robert is looking for a fourth straight winning football year and wants more profit this fall. SIGN UP HERE TODAY AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR 3-FOR-1 FOOTBALL SPECIALS!
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