State of The Rcok

State of The Rcok
NFL News and Commentary

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Christiaan Bezuidenhout - What Doesn't Kill You...

A toddler in a grocery store mistakes rat poison for a can of soda and his life is changed forever. The toxins he ingested nearly kill him and severely damage his nervous system. 

The damage caused a crippling stutter that left him uncomfortable in social situations. This led to anxiety and depression. 

Often teased by other children, his disadvantage  steered Christiaan away from team sports and toward golf.  Lucky for us. 



PERSEVERANCE
In spite of his difficult start in life, he persevered and excelled at golf. As a teen, doctors put him on beta blockers to help him with his condition. By 2014 he qualified for the British Amateur at Royal Port Rush. During that event he was selected for random drug testing. He listed the blockers on the form and thought nothing of it. That year his career goal was finally coming to fruition. He would represent the South Africa team in the Eisenhower Trophy tournament.  

INSULT TO INJURY  
Two days before the event - he received a 2 year ban from the International Golf Federation. He was branded a cheater by some and his career was over.  

REPRIEVE 
Family and friends stood by him. South African golfing legend Ernie Els also rallied for his cause. The ban was reduced to 9 months, and after the facts of his story were made public, critics became fans, and he could just get back to playing the game he loved. 

NOTHING GREAT COMES EASY
Working hard on the European Tour he was in contention on a bigger stage AndalucĂ­a Masters at Valderrama last year. I was watching that Sunday and thought "Really? "Here's his chance to win and he has to take down Jon Rahm on his home turf (home crowd) in Spain? He went head to head with Spaniards Rahm and Sergio Garcia. He later stated regarding the crowds - "I figured I would just use the negative to my advantage". Christiaan won by 6 strokes! 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WELCOME TO THE BUZZ SAW 
He won again last month in South Africa and gained entry into this weeks Arnold Palmer Invitational. This is only his second start on the PGA Tour. As luck would have it - the course conditions this week have destroyed the best players in the world. Books Keopka missed the cut at 9 Over and the field average was 76 yesterday. 

PAR FOR THE COURSE
Considering all that Christiaan has been though - this weeks challenge at Bay Hill is really just par for the course in his life. I think he's up for it!  After all, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. 

Christian is just 3 back going into the final round. He's paired with Rory today, so we will get to see him, but the gallery will be rooting for McIlroy.

GO BEZ! 

(3/8) UPDATE ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL:
Rory and Bez came out strong the first few holes, with pars on a day when those were at a premium. Then like most of the field, they fell out of contention. The good news is that Bez is playing in Florida on the PGA Tour again this week at The Players. 

Oddly enough, as hard at Bayhill played last week - Bez has a better chance of winning this week against the toughest field in golf. 

GO BEZ!  

(3/12) UPDATE THE PLAYERS
















Round 1: Christiaan shot a 7 under 65, finishing 2 shots off the lead. 
I had bets paying around $4000 on Christiaan who was 150-1. 
Rumors the tourney could be shortened to 56 or even 36 holes increased his chances and mine even more.

That Thursday The NBA and other major sports suspended their seasons due to Corona Virus fears. On Thursday PGA commissioner Jay Monahan announced that The Players Championship would continue without fans. 

The PGA had the opportunity to be the one great, much needed diversion for the nation. No fans was a sensible move for players and fans. This is an outdoor event and the players had already taken the risk of getting there on a plane and exposing themselves.
Let them play!
Let golf shine!

By Friday the decision was made to cancel the event entirely. No winner - just cancelled.
I cannot fault Monahan or anyone for a decision made on limited information under tremendous pressure. However, it was a shock, and as much as I felt robbed, that was nothing compared to what the players must have felt. 

Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Twitter):
"Not a great feeling to shoot 65 in your debut and not count. 65 is the same as a 81 today" 

THE SILENCE HEARD ROUND THE WORLD 
Last week I woke up each morning ready to check the leaderboard and watch some golf. Then remembered there wasn't one. There were no sports of any kind being played. I can only imagine the shock to the system this was for players. 

I went to Westgate Casino and cashed in my Players ticket refunds. It was a ghost town. 














The grocery store shelves looked like a scene from a zombie apocalypse. 















But, "What doesn't kill you...  

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES AT AUGUSTA
The PGA Tour has cancelled tournaments leading up to The Masters - which has also been postponed to an undetermined date. Christiaan has earned a place in the field at Augusta. 
A win or top 10 finish there would make a great ending this article. His inspiring story will continue for many years to comes.

GO BEZ!

Update The Masters 2020

Bez hits most fairways and greens and finished in the 30s.  The greens at the Masters make putting treacherous. His performance from tee to green was impressive though. 

11/29/20 Alfred Dunhill Championship South Africa. 

His tee to green prowess continues, add stellar putting and a 2nd win to his resume. 


 

 

 

 

 

 

One Week Later...

12/6/20 Alfred Dunhill Championship South Africa.

His 2014 goal of representing his country in the Eisenhower Trophy tournament is dwarfed by an opportunity to win his countries National Open.  Never in doubt, he holds the lead wire to wire and defeats the field by 5 shots in the final round. 


 

 

 

 

 

 

12/10- 13th /20 DP World Tour Championship.

?????

This article may never end. I truly believe is just the beginning of a long illustrious career. 

GO BEZ!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Where Do You Stand?

Ruining The Game?

It's 10 am Sunday morning week 1. I have the 8 game NFL Sunday Ticket mosaic on my TV. My eyes are fixed on the frame with my favorite team. The anthem is playing, half the team has taken a knee. 3 minutes later the game starts, I’m cheering and enjoying the NFL.

Yeah, I’ve just been reminded that things are not perfect in our country, in fact, people are dying. Blacks are systematically being brutalized and killed by police. Not to mention immigrants and other innocent people.  

OK thanks! I don’t mind being reminded that my actions and my voice count. Perhaps that message will effect what I do and say with family, friends, at work, on social media, and at the ballot box. It may even change, or save a life. If a couple minutes of social awareness ruins the game for you, you have a pretty low tolerance for it. 

BTW, I think most cops are good, brave, decent people. However, that doesn't mean we should ignore injustice or brutality by even a few. Calling out a bad cop does not indict the good cops. People are individuals. We cant lump them into groups. All cops aren't this, all blacks or whites aren't that. When you stereotype, you will always be at least half wrong. 


[ As player protests gained momentum last year – the NFL stopped broadcasting our National Anthem ]

Do You Like Being Censored?

You are.  Did you notice that as player protests gained momentum last year – the NFL stopped broadcasting our National Anthem? Think about it? They stopped airing The National Anthem! Isn’t censoring protests reserved for fascist regimes and 3rd world dictatorships? Something no one is talking about, is that whether players Stand, Kneel or Stay in the locker room. You probably won’t be allowed to know.  What if Vietnam War protests were never broadcast? Where does this end? You OK with that?





That’s White of You

“I don’t care, I just wanna watch the game” I’ve heard that expressed by several friends when I bring up the new NFL rules regarding Anthem protests. The new rules require players to stand during the anthem, or stay in the locker room.

Really? That’s your response? You’ve just sided with and maybe even influenced the new rule Trump promoted and the NFL enacted. You may not realize it, but that makes you part of the problem. I know you’re good people man, but that’s like getting mad or denying it when someone tells you your fly’s open. This white knee jerk reaction of anger or denial, anytime someone points out injustice in America is tearing our country apart.

[ A white Green Beret, Nate Boyer, gave Kaepernick the idea to take a knee ]


Making America Great
Great nations only stay great by constantly identifying and addressing inadequacies and inequalities that affect the quality of life of its people.  Our founding fathers left England to escape religious and political tyranny. Soldiers have died to protect our freedom, our right to choose whether or not to salute the flag. A white Green Beret, Nate Boyer, gave Kaepernick the idea to take a knee.  Boyer recently commented that they actually died for “The man on their left and right, and if we don’t live for the man on our left and right here at home - what did they die for?


 The Golden Rule

What if you had been harassed by black cops, and several of your white friends were shot by black cops in the last few years? Some white athletes were using one of the few national network platforms they had at their disposal, to mount a silent peaceful protest. The response from your black friends was “I don’t care, I just wanna watch the game”.

Is that really who you are? I don’t think so, you’re better than that.

-Rick Jansen





Tuesday, February 6, 2018

GAMBLING - THE TOROISE AND THE HAIR

When we think of gamblers, we often think of the movies. Guys running for their lives from bookies and loan sharks. They hit a win and instead of paying their dept, they gamble it all away chasing a bigger win. 






I wrote this article because I discovered a simple truth this week that can prevent tragic losses and help the recreational and professional handicapper succeed. BUDGETS MATTER!

I was reviewing our year betting the NFL (57% T3 in the World) and the first 11 weeks of our Online Golf Bank (7 Wins in 11 Weeks best in world) and discovered a common thread, a money management mistake that drained away 20% of our success from both Online Banks. OVERSPENDING!

Fewer Bets Early in the NFL Season
First the NFL. Most of my losses came in the first 5 weeks. A time when stats really don't matter yet and we are trying to separate pretenders from contenders. If I cut half those losses - I would have been around 70% - best int he world. I will apply that knowledge next season. 

Size Matters
Back to the budget. Looking over the balances for each week of the NFL online bank I noticed that the big losses came when I bet a larger amount on one game. It paid off a few times, but when it didn't, it hurt the bank big. The lesson here is base your unit bets on your budget and don't go over. Spread the risk among several bets and don't expose yourself with a large bet on one team. There is no such thing as a sure thing in the NFL.  

Parlays and Straight Bets
Our NFL Online Bank made money again this year for one reason. The biggest improvement we made this year was the implementation of Straight Bets Only - No Parlays. If you've followed me the last few years you know I love parlays and have hit some great ones. But, I'm here to tell you - they are a losing proposition long term. Lets say you bet 3 teams in a week at $100 Each. You win 2 out of 3. If those were in a parlay you lose $300. If not you made money and had a good week. Over the course of a season Parlays will kill you. You may hit a few, but every other week you are just paying to keep the lights on in Vegas. Going 1-3 once in a while wont kill you - if you get paid for the one win.

Golf Betting Budget
I wrote this article because I realized I had carried that same budget error into the Golf Bank. 7 wins in 11 week is stupid good, But, money management is key. The bank was up about 30% about 4 weeks ago. The budget was $50 per week per tour. That way, 1 win of  $300 every 5 weeks per tour makes you money. I went over budget betting $200 per week for 4 weeks and now the bank is down. YOU HAVE TO WIN BIG IF YOU BET BIG - SO DON'T!

Live and Learn and Make Money
Fortunately Golf has a very long season, about 50 weeks per tour. The PGA and Euro combine for about 100 tournaments. So as the Carpenters would say: "We've Only Just begun".

Favorites vs Field
Golf is a little different than the NFL in one way. If you stay within your budget, betting more on just a few solid favorites or trending players can pay off better than spreading your budget across a large field. That seems to be ore true for the PGA than the Euro where longshots winning is more common. 

The Moral of the Story
There are no sure things and when the game is over, you have rent or a mortgage to pay and people counting on you. So, NEVER BET WHAT YOU CANT AFFORD TO BURN.

If you bet once a year hit a parlay. If you bet once a week. remember, when it comes to gambling... "The Tortoise will always beat the Hair".


Monday, November 14, 2016

Water Cooler Wars

Well, There's an outdated term. Do they even have water coolers at work anymore? I think mellinnials just strap on a bottled water man purse when they leave the house in the morning. State of the Rock is about sports. Today it's about the Rock we're living on. It's spinning at about 1,000 miles per hour, and since November 9th, it's inhabitants have been separated by a socio economic centrifuge called the 2016 Election.

I'm old enough to remember when water coolers and TV shows actually brought us together. With only 3 major Networks, there was a good chance most of the people you worked with watched Johnny Carson the night before. Even then, there were shows that separated us too.


"All in the Family" introduced us to an old racist (Carol O'Connor) "Archie" and a young hippy (Rob Reiner) "Meathead" trying to cohabitate without killing each other. Their opposing viewpoints resonated with large sectors of the population. In one episode - black super star Sammy Davis Jr - kissed the old man on the cheek. It was a smooch heard round the world. Blacks and gays cheered! Klan members ran to the store for gas and wood.


These days, Facebook and Twitter fill our paper cups with opinions. But the results and implications of the 2016 Election have spilled over into our real worlds, where we work and live.
I vehemently opposed Donald Trump getting anywhere near the oval office. However, I had mixed feelings about the protests in the streets, after the votes were tallied. Trump almost lost by not guaranteeing he would accept the results - if he lost. Doesn't the left have the same obligation? The quick answer is Yes! The right answer is a Rubix Cube of global significance.

I posed that question in confidence to socially conscience entertainer in LA. My concern was, if the protests grew, the white supremacist faction of Trump supporters might retaliate (They want a race war anyway). This could force Trumps hand - to show he is not weak. Trump campaigned on a "Law and Order" platform he borrowed from Richard Nixon. The next thing you know, we have 1968 Chicago. Cops bashing heads in the streets. We have enough of that already. 


He pointed out that the world was watching the results of the election. We needed to let them know that we are not all batshit crazy. Someone has to reassure our global neighbors there are some American virtues we're going to insist stay in place. You know, little stuff, racial equality, not banning all Muslims or deported 600 million Mexicans. Oh, yeah and that we do not all "Love war".

Those issues are just a few of many that have divided our nation. Heated arguments are breaking out at workplaces across the country. You have to keep in mind that along with Russia and China; England, Germany,  France, Japan and the rest of the word heard the crazy shit Trump promised to do in his campaign. This effects the whole planet. So how do we all get along as we sort this mess out?

I realized this week, just how much our ethnicity, where we are from, and whom are parents were - impacts our view of the world, and our political affiliation. I'm from California (left), my family was white (right), my dad was a cop (right), but he was also a Sonny and Cher fan who collected bongs he confiscated, so (middle?). Yeah, these sound like marching orders. I didn't follow them  I just happened to prefer Soul Train over Bandstand and Shaft over Dirty Harry.

I am blonde, and maybe 20% Native American, But I chose the Indian playing cowboys and Indians. I watched the movie "Little Big Man" as a kid. As the light from the big screen poured over me - I witnessed American soldiers killing women and babies. That painted my view of the military as a high tech version of the Cavalry. Sometimes brave Patriots,  but not always on the right side either.

I lived on the plains in a tent with Lakota Indians for a year. I also lived in South Central LA during the riots. I wanted to punch Howard Stern in the face for racist comments he made to fuel the fire from the safety of his studio, far away in New York. But those are my experiences, that cultivated my view of the world and my political affiliation. They do not necessarily make me right. And if I am, it is not more important to be kind?

At the same time, what about my black brother getting cut down in the street by police? My Indian brother having his land and water threatened. What about a Muslim patriot, or gay couple afraid to walk down the street? Does my tolerance hurt their cause and help fuel indifference? "Help Mr. Wizard Help! 

What about my white friend that grew up Christian Republican in the Midwest? If I'm taught 2+2 = 5, it is! 4 is just communist bullshit. Right now we are all struggling with this new math. Hey! on Tuesday Night for Democrats - 2+2 Did Equal 5.

For the right, they can come back out of the closet now. They have been vindicated. America has spoken! Hell yes! That's how I feel, and how I grew up and how my family and friends feel. "Hillary is a crook! "Van Jones is a communist agitator! 
But seriously, Abortion is an ugly business, and a lot of straight people do not want anal sex taught as an acceptable alternative to their 6th grade son. Our political system has failed us. Some just figured its broken, lets break it all the way and see what happens. There are people who are not racist that voted Trump, for those, and other reasons. 

We have to find a balance. Plan B does not cause abortions That's RU486. It prevents conception. The Bible is not against contraception. Plan B could probably prevent 90% of all abortions, even in the case of rape. It works within 72 hours. You're probably also willing to respect gay rights and serve lesbians lunch, if you're not forced to promote the lifestyle or film a gay wedding.  


For the left, we thought the good ole boy racist ideology had died of old age. It was as antiquated as blood letting. We let political correctness run roughshod over common sense because at least it kept racism in check too. Those both went down from the 3 point line late in the game Tuesday night. It is true that the Republicans House has run this country into the ground for nearly a decade and we have 2 yrs to get that message out. And Yes! Stand against racism and discrimination of any kind. In the meantime, we have to give Trump a chance, he may surprise us.
 
My dad had a drinking problem for a short time. He imparted some wisdom to me one morning after a drunken argument. "Drunk Talk" doesn't count. Of course it does, but the point is, people say things they regret or don't mean when they are drunk. I think the same can be said about campaign promises. Hillary went after Obama, Sanders Clinton, and Trump, well he offended every life form on the planet. My hope is, he will fail to make good on most of his promises too. I will give him a chance to do that.

Corporations are running this country and pulling all our strings. If Mexicans hate Blacks, and Democrats hate Republicans - that's good for business. It takes the spotlight off the real villains - Corporations ripping us off and ruining our planet. Republican President General  Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us all of what we should really be afraid of - War. He warned that we should fear the growth of the "Military Industrial Complex".  War is "Not" good for the economy - Google it - basic economics. It kills our sons and daughters and only benefits Military contractors. Foreign wars drain Empires. 

Before his death, Prince was asked if he supported Obama for president. His answer surprised a lot of people. "I don't have a horse in that race." He had recently become a Jehovah Witness. A group free of racism, that remains politically neutral and refuses to kill their fellow man in war. He looked to the creator, not man to save our planet. He may have been onto something there. But if you're going to call yourself a Christian - act like one! Jesus denounced discrimination and instructed us to feed the poor.
 
If you're like me, you had hoped the democrats might take the house and start fixing infrastructure. This, in addition to keeping bridges from falling on us, would create jobs, and boost the economy. That would help my small business. You also hoped that the Dem's might put some checks and balances in place to protect civil liberties and our economy from another collapse. Like an astronaut, you were about to take your *helmet off and breath a little fresh air. Well, put your helmet back on, we may be in for a long ride home. 

It's not the end of the world though. Work hard, fly low and save money. we'll get through this. 

But how do we all get along?

I wont pretend to have the answers. But I have learned that being "kind" is more important than being "right". You wont regret it, or get fired for it. That doesn't mean you condone, or turn a blind eye to racism. But you don't have to pick a political fight in the break room either. Look for things we "can" agree on. Thank god for sports right?  Except Soccer, I can't find a pick up game anywhere anymore, they put nets on all my local Football fields... sorry got off track.

Actions speak louder than words anyway. When you quietly walk away from a racist conversation, people get the hint eventually and realize you hold them to a higher standard. Treat women and minorities with respect at work, make them feel equal and welcome. They are. When asked why you did, you'll have something worth talking about at the water cooler.

-Rick Jansen 


Note: The word *helmet was used in this article, making it a legitimate part of this sports blog.  





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