Week 8 picks: I remember

Jim Vallett and Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

There are disadvantages to getting older. Some of the disadvantages that I can speak about here include not running as fast, not looking as good, not hitting the golf ball as far, and some discomfort after eating some foods.

But there are advantages, too. One of them is that I have lots of things that I remember.

Memory is a strange sort of thing. Although I struggle to remember what I had for lunch and if I took my medication today, I remember events that happened 50 years ago as if they happened yesterday.


I remember being harassed and denigrated because I was serving our country.

I remember paying for a tankful of gas with change that I had in my pocket, and I didn’t even have to pump it.

I remember having to get up to change the channel on my black and white TV that only got four channels and went off the air at 1 a.m.

I remember when people swept the street in front of their houses instead of blowing the crap they didn’t want on their lawns into the street.

I remember when ordering a pizza was a really big deal and a large one with pepperoni and mushrooms only cost $3.95. On top of that, leftover pizza was never near as good heated up in the oven before microwaves. It’s also, at least for me, much safer because one time I started an oven fire when I reheated leftover pizza wrapped in newspaper (hey, I was single). My terrible logic at the time was that the temperature that paper catches fire is 451 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, if I put paper in the oven at 400 degrees, everything should be ok…

I remember when we got our news from newspapers or trusted broadcasters, not from Facebook or X, formerly known as Twitter, or from  “Balanced and fair” networks where broadcasters go to only certain campaign rallies.

I remember when video poker machines did not tell you that you had a winning hand.

I remember going to lots of high school football and basketball games and never worrying about getting shot.

I remember a nun slapping my hand because I was holding my pencil in my left hand.

I remember when it was cold enough in Detroit to have a backyard ice skating rink.

I remember lots of flat tires and all our cars that hardly ever happen today.

I remember when we wrote instead of typed during class.

I remember when public libraries used to have fines for books returned past their due date.

I remember when World Series games were played during the day, and some teachers letting us watch them on a TV that they wheeled into the classroom.

I remember when 91 criminal counts against a political candidate would have been disqualifying. 

I remember when Dunkin’ Donuts had the best doughnuts and the best coffee. And, they had counters where a customer could consume both. If you wanted to find a cop where I lived, hang out at Dunkin’ Donuts for a while.

I remember the incredibly loud and annoying ringing of the old wall rotary phones. No caller ID, but no potential spam or robocalls, either.

I remember when calling a girl in 8th grade meant risking your siblings listening in on the other line. 

I remember when there were funeral processions.

I remember not knowing anything about gluten or MSG.

I remember surviving, somehow, without seatbelts in closed cars filled with second hand cigarette smoke.

I remember when flying on a commercial airplane was fun. No one knew, or cared, what was under my shoes.

I remember when it didn’t cost anything to watch TV.

I remember double feature movies on Saturday afternoons. It cost 25 cents to get in, popcorn was 10 cents and Hot Tamales were 5 cents. Hot Tamales were not the best tasting candy sold, but they could become the best projectiles. With a little saliva, you could squeeze a Hot Tamale out from between your thumb and forefinger at good velocity, but not with great accuracy. The lack of accuracy was acceptable because who you hit was never as important as just bugging other patrons. Also, the usher who was always standing at the back couldn’t tell who had squeezed out a Hot Tamale, but he sure would pounce on the rookie dumb enough to throw anything.

I remember 7:30 bedtime, Christmas Eve with our rotating aluminum tree, and terrible Friday dinners since we couldn’t eat meat.

I remember looking forward to every single game or practice for whatever sport was in season. I was sure that the Zamboni driver intentionally drove slowly so I would have less time on the ice. We didn’t get trophies unless we actually won something, and no parent was in charge of bringing treats. But, what was better than going to the Dairy Queen or A&W after a game?

In school, the only way we knew when one class ended and another began was the textbooks we were using. No visual aids, no computers, no adding machines. All my teachers used the ditto machine quite a bit. 50 kids in one class. Getting a job got you out of some class, and that was great. I was in charge of filling up crates with all the different milk orders, good enough for 10 minutes less of class. Out of 50, there were 48 or so orders for chocolate milk and 2 requests for white. We were always a little suspicious of kids who wanted white milk. After all, who would order white milk if you could have chocolate? 

I remember after school fights, but never weapons. If you needed a weapon to be tough, you weren’t.

I guess our lives were better in some ways, and not in others. 

My picking football games is not great again. I’ll try again this week against the spread. Lines are from on Wednesday, Oct. 25.

Dallas Cowboys (- 6 1/2) vs. LA Rams: I don’t think the spread matters when the Cowboys win.

Green Bay Packers (+1) vs MInnesota Vikings: I can’t imagine this line even 10 days ago.

NY Jets (-3) at NY Giants: I don’t think this a real road game for the Jets, who are coming off a bye.

Jacksonville Jaguars (-2 ½) at Pittsburgh Steelers: I stand by the statement I made last week, I have not seen the Steelers play a game this year that they deserved to win. Also, I am finally conceding that the Jags are good.

Cincinnati Bengals (+3 ½) at SF 49ers: This line has moved 2 points in the last 24 hours with the news that Brock Purdy is in the NFL’s concussion protocol. Normally, I don’t like to bet with the steaming team, but the 49ers are hurting (again) and the Bengals are getting better while coming off a bye. I’ve seen what Sam Darnold does when under the pressure the Bengals can bring, especially if Trent Williams doesn’t play.

Kansas City Chiefs (-7) at Denver Broncos: The Broncos will struggle to move the ball against KC, and the Chiefs should have no such issue against the Broncos.

Last week 1-6

Season 18-27-1

Robert’s picks

Tennessee (-3 ½) at Kentucky: A fumbled returned for a touchdown handed me a loss last week on Tennessee in a game Alabama had no business covering. Alabama did completely dominate the second half, but this is a prime bounce back spot. The Volunteers have won 35 of the last 38 meetings with Kentucky, and the Wildcats come in with the 105th ranked passing offense in a game where they’re going to have to score. Over 60 minutes, the Volunteers have more ability to make plays than the Wildcats.

North Carolina St. (+10) over Clemson: Clemson poured heart and soul into last week’s game against Miami, only to lose in double overtime when quarterback Cade Klubnick decided to play hero on fourth and goal and disregard the play call from the sideline. That loss knocked Clemson out of the ACC conference championship race, and although they’re clearly better than NC State, I’ll take 10 points with a competent foe against a team that has had all of its preseason goals taken away, the latest in heartbreaking fashion.

Nebraska (-2 ½) over Purdue: Nebraska has won four of five since switching quarterbacks. The Cornhuskers are basically content to run the football and play defense. It ain’t pretty, but It’s been effective, which is more than the Boilermakers have been able to accomplish.

Georgia and Florida under 48 ½: Georgia tight end has 10 more catches and 234 more yards than the Bulldogs’ second leading receiver. But Bowers is out for the rest of the regular season with an ankle injury, depriving the Bulldogs of their most explosive offensive weapon. Georgia coach Kirby Smart is a defensive coach by trade, and I think he’ll try to compensate by playing ball control and let his defense loose.

New Mexico (+1) over Nevada: I bet this game at 1 ½ earlier in the week but I like it down to pick-em. Nevada snapped it’s 14-game losing streak last week against San Diego St., but the Aztecs are similarly offensively challenged like the Wolf Pack. New Mexico is much better offensively, with quarterback Dylan Hopkins and running back Jacory Croskey-Merritt leading the way. The defense isn’t very good, but Nevada is by far the weakest offense they’ve played.

Cowboys (-6 ½) over Rams: The Cowboys offense hasn’t done much the last two games, but they’re an explosive unit, especially facing less than stellar defenses. Offensively, the Rams have no balance because of running back injuries. I smell a Cowboy breakout coming.

Vikings (-1 ½) at Packers: I was encouraged about Jordan Love early in the season, but the way he’s looked like he’s regressing lately, I’ll take nearly anyone against him in an evenly lined game until he shows otherwise.

49ers (-4) over Bengals: I was planning to lay 5 ½ with the 49ers here, then they announced Brock Purdy is in concussion protocol. He could still play, and if he does the line will go back right where it was. If he doesn’t my reason for the play still stands and that is after the last two weeks, the pendulum is about to swing back the other way for the 49ers.

Last week

College: 3-1

NFL: 2-1


College: 14-18

NFL: 12-8-1

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