Rider's Rants (8/27/08): Eating Pizza with a Knife and Fork?


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Rider's Rants (8/27/08): Eating Pizza with a Knife and Fork?

Shawne Merriman has more guts than brains if he takes the field this season.

Sometimes I have things that just get under my skin and I have to vent about them. For instance, how can they let 75-year old people behind the wheel of a car? If I were the President of the United States, I would make it so once you turn 60, that's it. Ride the bus. And if you think it's impossible for me to become President, just look at the clown that's currently in the White House.

So every week I'm going to rant about things bothering me in the areas of sports, gambling and Las Vegas. This way I get to follow my doctor's instructions to release my anger in a non-violent manner and hopefully you guys will get a laugh or two out of it.

--I come to Vegas and I meet the great Marco D'Angelo. Right away we hit it off. We're both Italian, we both like skinny Asian women and we both live to gamble. As Matty always says, "You guys are Vegas people." Then it happens. We go out for pizza and my Paisano picks up a knife and fork. What kind of Italian eats pizza with a knife and fork? It's unheard of. I was so offended that I almost banned him from watching The Godfather for the next five years. You would think a guy that eats that much would be used to eating with his hands. God knows he talks with his hands. You should get in a car with Marco. I have to say the Lord's Prayer every time he turns the key. The guy is driving on a busy road and he's looking in the back seat talking with his hands. I still respect Marco a great deal as a handicapper but he has a ways to go in regards to being a true Italian. He's a great person and great capper but a terrible Italian and terrible driver. What's next? Marco is going to order vegetable lasagna?

--I'm sick and tired of seeing these NFL players get hurt in the preseason. Then you turn on the TV and these so-called "experts" tell you coaches need four preseason games to get their teams ready. What a crock. From the coaches I've talked with, they told me that most of their roster is set by the second game of the preseason. Look at it this way. Teams use the third game to play starters and the fourth game is a joke. Coaches evaluate these players in practice and training camp for over a month. That's why fans will see some preseason hero who lights it up in the fourth quarter every week not make the team. It's because most of these games are meaningless and the guy never had a chance to make the roster in the first place. The only people who are in favor of four preseason games are the greedy owners so they can make more money off ticket sales.

--It's a shame that Chiefs fans have to endure what's going on in Kansas City right now. In my opinion, Chiefs fans are the best in the NFL. That stadium is amazing on gameday. I suggest that anyone who gets the chance should watch a game there at some point in their life. But the KC brass is trying to insult the intelligence of their devoted fan base by insisting that Brodie Croyle is an NFL-caliber quarterback. I never liked Croyle personally and a lot of people inside the NFL share my opinion. I had one guy tell me that if Croyle was in this year's draft, he wouldn't have rated him as a first-round talent. Herm Edwards is a nice guy and probably not the worst coach in the NFL. However, convincing yourself that Croyle is the man to lead the Chiefs offense will set that team back five years in my opinion. Right now the Chiefs are currently a 16.5 point underdog at most places at New England in Week 1. Click here to see all of the latest lines.

--When I first came to Vegas, there was one thing I didn't like. You couldn't use your cell phones in the local sportsbooks. The reasoning was they didn't want people on their phones moving steam. But as I argued, you could walk 10 feet and use your phone, so if someone wanted to do that, there really is no way to stop them. The rule was irrelevant. Well, the casinos finally realized that they were committing their own cardinal sin: They made people get up and leave the sportsbook. The casino wants people to sit there all day and bet but when your phone rings and it's your wife, you have to get up and leave the premise. In that scenario there is a chance that person doesn't come back. Thankfully, the state has lifted the ban on cell phones in sportsbooks so we don't have to deal with this inconvenience any longer.

--What is Shawne Merriman thinking? I respect the guy for wanting to play but buddy, risking your career to play one season isn't worth it. I know the Chargers have a great chance to win the Super Bowl and their odds only increase with Merriman on the field but is it really worth risking a long career and millions of dollars? I never tell athletes what they do (Like telling Jordan he should retire Matty) but I love the sport of football and I respect the athletes who play it. I would hate to see a great player cut his career short by 10 years because he has more guts than brains. Again, I respect Merriman's passion and commitment, I just hope this doesn't end badly for him. Even with Merriman banged up, the Chargers are still a big favorite to beat the Panthers at home in Week 1.

--Any body that comes to Las Vegas needs to go to the Fashion Show Mall on the Strip. Why go to a mall in Vegas you ask? Because all the strippers and "escorts" shop there. I couldn't believe what I saw walking through that mall. God I love this place! Even if RJ fires me (A distinct possibility) I'm never leaving Vegas. A town built around gambling and naked women. It's so simple, yet so brilliant.

--I see where Oscar De La Hoya is going to fight Manny Pacquiao in December. I don't think this is a good spot for Oscar. Unlike a lot of people, I actually respect De La Hoya as both a boxer and businessman. In a time when boxers refuse to fight the top competition, De La Hoya fought every top contender of his era. And when it comes to money, forget about it. He's the best at maximizing his profits for every fight. But this tussle with Pacquiao could be more than Oscar bargained for at this point in his career. Pacquiao is a relentless puncher who is going to give De La Hoya fits and I actually think he will win the fight. I tip my hat to Oscar for continuing to fight all comers (For $60 million, of course) but this time he's bitten off more than he can chew.

  • Thanks Josh. I would be ecstatic if Ventrone made the Patriots. Shocked, but ecstatic nonetheless.

    I got the Seinfeld reference Chad. Those are always appreciated.

    Sweat Hog, I understand where he's coming from too I just think he's taking one hell of a risk.

  • I think that Merriman has got to be thinking that this is his best shot at the SuperBowl and that it may never be again.  I gotta think that I would probably do the same, as it would kill me to watch my team win it all without me.  If it doesn't look like it's going well you may see him change his mind part-way through the season.  Risky?? Yes indeed, but I understand where his head is with the decision.

  • And what's the deal with airplane peanuts?!

  • Thanks for the tip tommy, il be sure to check that out that mall when im in vegas sometime in the future!

    Also, your boy rey ventrone is really tearing it up in the slot this pre season , hes like welkers mini me.

  • I must admit I agree with you on most of your rants Tommy - I also have never seen two grown men get so excited about going to the mall like you and Marco did on Tuesday LOL

  • I agree about Merriman. It doesn't sound like a smart move to risk your career.