That is me, fervently pulling levers, turning wheels,
flicking switches, and pushing buttons.

One of the men behind one of the curtains.
Readers, today I am going to let you in on a little secret. I've been leading multiple online lives. Is it misleading? Maybe. Is it a little creepy? Probably. Do I like asking softball questions to myself and then answering them in non-absolutes? Perhaps.

I absolutely believe that you can't have too many Blogger identities and Twitter handles. You probably aren't aware, but I have another thing going on that I want to come clean about today. 

I run a football pick'em league.

Football season is unquestionably the best time of the year. That means that you can't question it. But if I was forced to prove it, I would ask you to accept my invitation to join my pick'em league. This is no creative writing project. This is real. I've been doing this for a decade.

What it is:
  1. NCAA Pick'em Contest – 15 games each week, picks are against the spread, ~14 weeks
  2. NFL Pick'em Contest – All the NFL games each week (typically 14-16), picks are straight up, ~17 weeks
  3. NCAA Bowl Challenge – Confidence pool style NCAA bowl game
  4. NFL Playoff Challenge – Vegas style weekly wagers against the spread
The first two contests are good for about 18 weeks of game picking enjoyment. After that, you'll get an exciting few months of excitingly different post-season excitement for the low, low price of…

But wait, there is more.
This is not your typical stuffy office league or impersonal big box online league. I make this stuff up as I go along. Each week will feature bonus opportunities, casual blog posts, smack talk, incomplete sentences.

Still on the fence?
I just checked this year's Official Registration Form responses… and a baby is playing this year. That's right, a baby! I might also mention to you that one year the NCAA contest was won by a girl who didn't know she was picking the games against the spread, but that may make us all look like we aren't very good, and Crystal may take offense that I called her a girl and not a chica, or that I used her name… but whatever.

The cost is $25. I'm not a mathematician, and I don't feel like busting out a calculator, but that is probably somewhere around a dollar a week. I'm just saying that you can probably fish a buck a week out of a fountain somewhere or swipe it off of a Buddha at a Thai restaurant if you are really hard up. What I'm trying to tell you is that this Pick'em game is a bargain. 

So here is my promise to you:
I guarantee to deliver the most bestest football picking game kissed with randomness and sometimes on the spot rule changes than you will find anywhere on the internets. This is like the Waffle House of football pick'em games.

My guess is that if you haven't already clicked over to the Official Registration Form, you are racing around your screen with your mouse trying to find that link after reading the words "Waffle House." Let's hope that recruitment tactic is more effective than my explanation of pyramid schemes I sent out last year. 

This promotion is now over, but I encourage you to check out the official recruitment blog post over at the league's website: If you are ready to give meaning to each of your weekends this football season, summon up the courage to fill out the Official Registration Form. I promise this game will make watching football a whole lot more interesting. Guaranteed or my money back.

UPDATE: Hop right into the game by filling out the making your Week 1 picks and leaving your name and email in the form.

Drinking Responsibly - Tuesday Wines

Posted by SirRon | Tuesday, August 03, 2010

My Tastes Exceed My Budget

Drinking a great glass of wine can be an otherworldly experience. I have been served wines that made me want to dive right in, and I am not speaking figuratively. The subtle complexities of aroma and flavor in a great wine can uncork emotions and memories that often justify the hefty price tag.

I can't explain the hedonistic nature of drinking an expensive bottle of wine. Price tag does seem to make a difference in the experience. I'll admit that pay more attention my senses when I am drinking an expensive bottle and even challenge myself to appreciate certain characteristics that are initially off-putting.

In no way am I suggesting that I drink this well all the time. I have certainly graduated beyond a box of pink stuff in the refrigerator or Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill (yes I had it in college), but I don't have the strength or wallet size to pretend I belong to the elitist culture of wine connoisseurs. My wine keeper typically contains no more than a few bottles acquired via winery visit or gift, a few mid-priced bottles from my local liquor warehouse, a grocery store bottle, and some homemade wine.

What is a Tuesday wine?

Fine wines are best when shared. Discussing the region, vintage, and acquisition of the bottle can be stimulating conversation. If all else fails, alcohol is a social lubricant. But what of the nights when you popped a Totino's pizza in the oven and your only evening plan is to catch up on all those Burn Notice episodes on your TiVo? There are better beverage options than that Dr. Pepper in the refrigerator.

A Tuesday wine is simply a wine that is easy to open on an ordinary weekday. These are different than wines you may open at the end of the week or on a special occasion. However, Tuesday wines are not embarrassing bottles of table wine. They should be inexpensive, but not necessarily cheap.

Depending on your personal level of extravagance, the price of your Tuesday wines will vary. If you drink $15 to $20 wines on Friday and Saturday, then your Tuesday wines should be $10 or less. If your wine keeper is filled with $30 to $50 bottles, then your Tuesday wines should be $15 to $20. If you are spending even more on wines, then you may be a wine snob and probably found your way to our blog accidentally. Finally if you are wondering, "SirRon what about Monday or Thursday wines?" then you are probably drinking too much or you are European. Regardless of price, a Tuesday wine must be readily available at a your local liquor store. If a wine is hard to get, then it is not a Tuesday wine.

Depending on your palate and wine budget, the terms "quality" and "value" will vary. For some general recommendations, I went to my go-to wine expert. He is someone that I have known all my life and that I trust implicitly. He has been called a lot of things, but I call him Dad.

"Napa Cabs, Bordeaux, and Tuscany wines are not Tuesday wine candidates for most wine drinkers. However, this leaves unbelievable possibilities with emerging wine areas and lesser known varietals.

Some of my favorite Tuesday wines:

(Most of my Tuesday wines are Red.)

Wine, typical price
(shopping online, you'll be able to find these wines for a little less than what I've listed and should be able to find free shipping)

Malbecs from Argentina
, many $15.00 & under


You can usually find good whites to enjoy on a hot summer evening in Texas for under $15. These are some of my favorite varietals)

Sauvignon Blanc (excellent wines coming out of New Zealand)

Viognier (Many can be too expensive for Tuesday)
Chardonnay (Burgundy is way too expensive, stick with California and S. America)
Albarinio and Gavi (interesting wines from Spain)"

It is a no-brainer to save your trophy wines for the weekend, whether you bought them for the label or you can taste the difference in a high quality bottle of wine. I am particularly grateful for the Tuesday wine concept. It has helped me drink better and buy smarter. For some, the concept may be the springboard to starting a modest wine cellar. Just remember, for Tuesday wines, sniffing and swirling is optional.