Discover more from Bald Faced Truth by John Canzano
Canzano: Anyone seen the TV remote control?
A little rant... and my Pac-12 picks for Week 5.
I was sure happy to hear Aaron Judge finally hit home run No. 61 on Wednesday night. It not only means the Yankee slugger tied Roger Maris for the most home runs in American League history, it means we get our college football back.
ABC and ESPN interrupted last Saturday’s college football games by cutting away to the YES Network coverage of a couple of Judge at-bats against the Red Sox. The decision was met with displeasure from college football fans, and also, reminded me that the network has no idea what life is like in my household.
I have three daughters.
We have one remote control for our television. We lose the thing all the time. So we attached one of those fancy bluetooth “trackers” on the back of the remote. When we can’t find it, we just use an app to ping it. A high-pitched sound plays. Then, we dig like bloodhounds between the cushions of the sofa, hunting for the remote control.
Anyway, ESPN and ABC, don’t trust me to find and use that remote. Or they didn’t want me to tune out the Clemson-Wake Forest or Missouri-Auburn football games. The networks utilized a split screen, and I went in search of a John Lydgate quote.
He wrote: “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”
Abraham Lincoln often gets credit for using that quote in a speech in 1856. But that is disputed by historians. Others believe P.T. Barnum and Mark Twain modified the quote and used versions of it. That may be true, but Lydgate was a monk poet who wrote it in the early 1400s.
The world doesn’t need split screens anymore. We barely need the scroll at the bottom of the broadcast. We have Twitter for that. Also, some smart TVs have a picture-in-picture function if that’s your thing. What we certainly don’t need is for a network to assume it knows what we’d like to watch better than we do.
Interested in Judge’s at-bats? Great. I’ll bet you were watching on your television or phone. Not at all interested? I’ll bet you were annoyed or at the very least, puzzled, by the network’s decision to force-feed us pseudo-history.
No winners here.
Judge is having a terrific season. Hitting 60-plus home runs is amazing. But getting to No. 61 only means that Judge now has the seventh-best single-season home run total in Major League Baseball history. He’s tied with Maris. If you’re a Yankees’ fan, you probably loved this development. But again, if you’re a die-hard fan of the Yankees, you were probably already watching the Yes Network on Saturday.
The network programmers need a gentle reminder today — please, stay in your lane. You don’t know what I want to watch, so kindly stop guessing. You’re not going to please any viewers by interrupting the college football games in a clumsy “switch pitch” and forcing baseball on them.
Now… anyone know where the remote is?
Week 5: Pac-12 Conference picks
I had a very respectable performance in my Week 4 college football picks in the Pac-12 Conference. But I completely whiffed on the Cal-Arizona game. I can’t decide what to do with the Golden Bears on a week-to-week basis. I think Cal fans probably relate.
Week 4 record vs. the spread: 4-2
Week 4, straight-up: 5-1
Record vs. the spread this season: 21-17
Straight-up season record: 30-8
My Week 5 picks…
Washington at UCLA (7:30 p.m. PT Friday, ESPN):
I like the Huskies a lot. Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. looks terrific. The receivers are great. I had UW as a sleeper pick to disrupt the conference-title contenders in the preseason and that prediction is looking strong early. I’m not buying the Bruins fast start this season. They look suspect to me. As a result, I like Washington to win the game and cover the 2.5-point spread.
The pick: Washington 35, UCLA 27
Oregon State at Utah (11 a.m. Saturday, Pac-12 Networks):
It’s a huge mental bounce-back week for the Beavers. OSU should have beaten USC at home last week. Beavers’ coach Jonathan Smith told me in a 1-on-1 interview that he talked with his team on Sunday about the psychological challenge of rebounding. Salt Lake City is a difficult place to win. I think Utah wins the game, but doesn’t cover the 10.5-point spread.
The pick: Utah 31, Oregon State 27
Cal at Washington State (2:30 p.m. Saturday, Pac-12 Networks):
I picked Cal to upset Notre Dame two weeks ago. The Bears lost. I picked Arizona over Cal last week. The Bears looked like world beaters and won. I feel like I'm guessing when it comes to Justin Wilcox’s team at this point. WSU is playing at home, but Wilcox is a terrific coach and I suspect he’ll give Cougars’ QB Cam Ward some issues. I think this one is close. Very close. Maybe an overtime game? I’ll take WSU to win, but I don’t think the Cougs cover the 4-point spread.
The pick: Washington State 31, Cal 28
Colorado at Arizona (6:30 p.m. Saturday, Pac-12 Networks):
Arizona is better on offense, better on defense, and playing at home. The Wildcats are a 16.5-point favorite and I think they easily cover that number. Colorado struggles to score points and has had shaky QB play all season. That doesn’t change in Tucson.
The pick: Arizona 41, Colorado 17
ASU at USC (7:30 p.m. Saturday, ESPN):
USC looked suspect vs. Oregon State last weekend. QB Caleb Williams was just… plain… off. Is there something going on with him? Or was his performance a result of the Beavers’ tough defense? I’ll tune in because I’m curious about Williams, but ASU hasn’t shown me anything that suggests it can stay in this game. Still, 25.5 points is a lot of points. Too many points. I’ll take the Trojans to win the game comfortably, but they don’t cover.
The pick: USC 38, Arizona State 20
Stanford at Oregon (8 p.m. Saturday, FS1):
I don’t like 8 p.m. kickoffs. I like them even less than ESPN/ABC cutting away from a college football game to show me Aaron Judge trying to hit a home run. Stanford coach David Shaw doesn’t like late kicks either and went public this week with the sentiment. Stanford always seems to play Oregon well and I think that holds up in this game. The Ducks are 17-point favorites at Autzen Stadium. They win, advance to 4-1 in the standings, but don’t cover.
The pick: Oregon 31, Stanford 23
Give me your picks in the comment section below…
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