I thought Justin Verlander was going to throw a no-hitter last night. That’s what Justin Verlander does. There have been some incredible pitching performances in the post-season. Power arms. Makes you wish the Phillies could develop a pitcher. And, I’ve always been a bit of a sucker for post-season pitching. When I don’t have a team in the hunt, I’ll usually bounce around between aces and underdogs, showing loyalty for only a game. When I was elementary school I got caught up in Orel Hershisher even though I didn’t like Hershisher or the Dodgers. I liked them slightly more than the A’s and Mets. Heading into that post-season Hershiser had thrown 5 straight shutouts and a 10-inning (0 ER) no-decision. He then took no-decision losses in game 1 and 3 to the Mets. That’s games 1 and 3. The next day for game four he snuck into the bullpen, told the coach he was supposed to warm up, had the bullpen coach call the dugout and say he was ready, then came in and got a 1-out save. Three days later he threw a shutout in game seven. I love that story. So from Hershisher to Jack Morris to Schill and Roy Halladay I’m always up for a little post-season history.
I know for a lot of you, though, this last paragraph read as: Oh my god baseball-boring! So, onto beer and football.
Week Six Beer: Heady Topper American Double IPA
A couple weeks ago I linked a list that rated the “top beers” and lamented that they were all too random and too high in alcohol content for a novice. Well, thanks to the unparralelled generosity and character of two people who recently visited Vermont, I got my hands on a top-15 beer–The Alchemist’s Heady Topper. It gets 10/10 ratings, 100/100 ratings–it’s a critical darling. It’s also 8% ABV.
A couple of interesting facts I’ve learned about Heady Topper. It appears you can only get this beer in Vermont, and for a long time it was only available at The Alchemist’s brew pub. However, recently they’ve opened up a cannery. That’s right, the beer comes only in cans–not bottles. The cannery distributes to retail spots around Vermont, but as far as I can tell, the beer rarely leaves the state. Combined with it’s high-standing, this leads to a Heady Topper Black Market and I’ve read the beer can fetch up to $15 a can outside the region.
You are also supposed to drink this beer out of the can, for hop optimization, so you really shouldn’t pour it into a glass like you see above. The drinking instructions are printed right there. So, I feel a bit bad about choosing this beer since it’s so hard to find, but it’s the only non-reviewed beer I’ve got in the house.
Am I sorry I didn’t Get Sierra: NO.
Heady Topper lives up to its reputation. They say they aren’t concerned with making the biggest, or most bitter Double IPA, and their commitment to drinkability is evident. The beer is very smooth, but it still hits you quickly. My first taste test was on a bit of an empty stomach and about halfway through the can I had to take a moment of reflection–am I wasted right now? So be careful if you get your hands on a few Heady Toppers, it’s best to lay down a foundation of starch and beef before jumping in.
Rankings So Far:
- The Alchemist Heady Topper Double IPA
- Shed IPA
- Bell’s Midwestern Pale Ale
- Anderson Valley Hop Ottin’ IPA
- Deschutes Brewery IPA
- Sierra Nevada Flipside Red IPA
But, who is going to win these games…
Big Dub, Record: 17-8-1
Washington (+5.5) over Dallas. A lot of people were impressed with Dallas last week. I’m not buying it. Give me a team off the bye against a team that suffered a heartbreaking loss.
San Diego (+1.5) over Indianapolis. Colts off the emotional win have to travel on the road for Luck’s first Monday Night game. Feels like a good spot for the Chargers.
Cincinnati (-7) over Buffalo. Typically I’d say this is a good spot for the Bills, but that could never be true with their current QB situation.
Denver (-27) over Jacksonville. If Peyton tosses 4 TDs it’s a cover.
Kraft, Record: 16-8-1
Philadelphia (-1.5) over Tampa Bay. I will be attending this playoff type game and can’t see how mike glennon will be able to produce anything. Mike Glennon IS WHO WE THOUGHT HE IS! That would be grossly in over his head and not an NFL starting QB.
Pittsburgh (+2.5) over New York Jets. Now that those Steelers can’t play ping pong in the locker room, I can’t imagine how focused they will be right out the gate in this game. Yes, they stink, but they are not losing them all. And, the Jets are not a 4-2 team. Please , if there is a football god, stop this insanity.
New Orleans (+2.5) over New England. The defense has been the key for the Saints so far and I don’t think the Patriots can keep up with Brees and Dalton Hilliard.
San Diego (+1.5) over Indianapolis. I’ve hit five times in a row with red on Indy, now it’s time to bet on black.
Carolina (+2.5) over Minnesota. Carolina does have a good front 7 and the ability to put 10 in the box should limit AP. Seriously, how do the Minny QBs make a play? They have the worst 3 QBs on 1 team- an injured Ponder, that is your starter? Matt Cassel? Or how about a recently signed, new to your offense, QB that has had roughly the equivalent of Blaine Gabberts QB rating over the past 12 games. How about you just go Wildcat for all 65 snaps?
Grossy, Record: 16-8-1
Tampa Bay (+1.5) over Philadelphia. Outright, though the pick implies it anyway. Here are the issues. Nick Poles is a stationary target. Tampa is actually a better team than the Giants. BY A LOT. Mike Glennon plays QB like he’s Geoffrey from Toys ‘R Us, but what difference does that make when he’s just going to hand it to Doug Martin for 32/196/3TDs? Nick Foles didn’t turn the momentum back in the Eagles favor last Sunday. Eli did. Tampa line, it’s just bad news. Sorry.
Pittsburgh (+2.5) over NYJ. Outright again. Do not give Mike Tomlin two weeks to prepare for a mediocre football team with his season and pride hanging in the balance. Actually, he may have lost the team in which case this will be the awful pick of the week…
Jacksonville (+27) over Denver. How many times in my life am I going to get to take 27 points on and NFL game? I assume Jacksonville’s players have gone from their usual level of embarrassment to a hyper-aware state where they are alternating between rage and tears. Henne to Blackmon is a thing–OK? And Denver can give up points, especially late, as well as anyone. Backdoor against the 3rd stringers.
Seattle (-13.5) over Tennessee. Russell WIlson is the only ten I see. Um, this line struck me as awfully high, even with Jeremy Lin’s frat bro at QB for the Titans. So, that must mean that the Seahawks are going to win by 40. Makes sense. Back at home. The Titans will do nothing on offense–go ahead and bench CopSpeed2K in fantasy and the Seahawks will just have one of those slow, ugly burns to 31-9–probably with a pick-6.
Indianapolis (-1.5) over San Diego. Terrible spot for Indy, but if you are good you can go ahead and win ugly in San Diego by at least a field goal. The Chargers’ GENEROUS defense makes the difference here. The Colts offense avoids a letdown somewhere along the lines of 30-21.
DC, Record: 13-10-2
- Seattle (-13.5) over Tennessee
- Cleveland (+2.5) over Detroit
- Cincinnati (-7) over Buffalo
- Pittsburgh (+2.5) over New York Jets
- Oakland (+9) over Kansas City
JCK, Record: 10-14-1
- Pittsburgh (+2.5) over New York Jets
- Green Bay (-3) over Baltimore
- New Orleans (+2.5) over New England
- Detroit (-2,5) over Cleveland
- Philadelphia (-1.5) over Tampa Bay
Nichols, Record: 12-14
- Buffalo (+7) over Cincinnati
- Seattle (-13.5) over Tennessee
- Denver (-27) over Jacksonville
- San Francisco (-10.5) over Arizona