It’s Predicto time (yes, sorry, got a few more weeks of football left) and it’s back to the drawing board. After looking like they might begin to compete under Coach Parker for two consecutive first halves, the wheels came off entirely last weekend against Penn State. So what happens the rest of the way? We’ll tell you what we think happens this weekend against the 6-2 Gophers and we’ll also talk about city preference because a) we’re back to needing distractions during the predicto and b) talking about cities gets B-dowd riled up.
So the questions to the BS guys were:
--Current favorite city to visit
--Most overrated city
--Most underrated city
--Favorite city for eats
We said we’d limit it to the US and then learned (again) that nobody around here listens.
Let’s get toit.
Both bdowd and I were feeling pretty smart about our victory predictos last weekend when Purdue came out of the gates and looked like the better team for nearly a half. To say things turned is a bit of an understatement. Does Purdue just not have the horses to compete with Big Ten athletes for four quarters? Or is it a focus/discipline thing? If it’s the latter, it could mean a surprise win here down the stretch. If it’s the former, which is what it has felt like for a while now, then not much will change and ass-handings will be the norm.
While I am with those who believe Gerad Parker will squeeze a victory out of this crew between now and the end, I’m not ready to predict it for this weekend. Minnesota is certainly no car crusher, but they’ll be good enough to beat Purdue in their own house.
Current favorite city to visit: South Lake Tahoe, CA. I could also have easily chosen Long Beach Island, NJ, the island my family has owned a house on for 40 years. But since they own a house there and this was more about where to “visit,” I’ll go with SLT. I go here every Feb/March to ski and gamble, not necessarily in that order. I’m a cynic by nature and not usually a person who talks about feeling “one with nature” or in awe of God’s plan… but it’s hard not to feel inspired when you’re on the top of Heavenly Mountain and are looking at Lake Tahoe.
(Honorable mention to Duck Key, Florida, where I’ve taken the family the last few years. Amazing.)
Most overrated city: Las Vegas. Now, don’t get me wrong… I enjoy visiting there and certainly you can and likely will have fun in Vegas. But the image of constant partying and beautiful people everywhere is a marketing gimmick. It’s no different in terms of clientele than Atlantic City – certainly some beautiful, rich people, but also tons of grungy, sloppy, smoking slobs playing with their rent money.
Most underrated city: Raleigh, NC. I go there for work a fair amount and it’s got a lot going for it. Many very good restaurants that aren’t chains, friendly people, it’s not the deep south, plus they have hockey which is a big draw for me. It’s also cheap living, it’s booming so infrastructure is mostly new and fresh and it’s not hard to get around.
Favorite city for eats: Houston is amazing for this. I lived there for four years and one of the first things a cabbie or any local will tell you is the great food options. It’s Texas, so beef is going to be phenomenal. For BBQ, many people think of KC but you’ll do much better in H-town. Tex-Mex, hey, you’re bordering Mexico. Even for things you wouldn’t think of like Italian, there are hidden gems because of how many northeastern transplants there are in Houston. You wanna eat well, go to Houston, Texas.
Whatever. Just because I barely get out of the US (back in my day, you didn't need anything more than a conversation and a driver's license to cross into Canada), there's no need to take all the fun away from everyone else. Besides, Mike practically lives in Canada.
Current favorite city: Chicago. Mostly because I've visited enough that I know how to do what I want to do there: stay in the suburbs and take Metra in, stay in the city (near the Red Line, obvs), whatever. It's expensive as heck, but with the raise I got here I'm living large.
Most overrated city: um, I actually don't know. I can't say I've ever been to a city and thought "ugh, so not for me." Maybe Cincinnati? I mean, there's stuff to do there (the Reds' park is nice), as long as you go to bed at 6. Also, it can't decide if it belongs in Ohio or Kentucky, neither of which is a good choice around these parts.
Underrated city: West Lafayette. HOMER - I know. But, if you can get past the waves of corn starch in the air and the remarkable lack of trees on campus (although that's been remedied somewhat in the last 25 years), it's not that bad [Are you listening, West Lafayette tourism? “West Laff…it’s not that bad.”], and Lafayette's been touched up quite a bit too. Plus there is actual variety now, instead of the three different pizza places in my day, none of which would deliver.
Favorite city for eats: Virginia Beach, I guess. Look, I don't travel that much, and usually when I do, like this weekend, it's to visit friends and eat tons of food that we prepare. ("we" is sometimes not actually "we".) But I did enjoy the two business trips I took to Virginia Beach, and even when the weather sucks - it is on the Atlantic Ocean, after all - there are still places, even during the offseason, that will happily serve you fresh seafood, or at least they dress it up so I can't tell.
Minnesota is a bad matchup for Purdue, but then, who isn't? The one saving grace is that they are very much a methodical team on offense, so if the Boilers can at least hold onto the football, there's a chance the loss will be relatively low-scoring. However, Minnesota's +10 in turnovers. Purdue is -12, which is 126th in I-A. Give yourself a point if you knew there were that many I-A teams. (There's actually 128.) So. How about those Cubs?
The Minnesota game was a harsh reality check for a team whose unfavorable reality includes: "not much talent", and "the talent that's there is hurt". Purdue does not have a Big Ten quality roster, and as such, has a hard time competing in the Big 10. I've run out of ways to re-hash that point.
Current Favorite City: Probably Portland. There's a ton of stuff to do, people are generally pretty friendly, there's a nice mix of adult things and kids things for those with families, food is solid if unspectacular...there's a lot to like about Portland. I know it probably sounds lame, but Portland has the best parks.
Most Overrated City: I almost went with Chicago here, but I'm gonna say Key West. My expectations vs. reality with Key West was really stark. I expected hot scantily-clad young people. What I got were fat, hairy, scantily-clad old people. It's where old people go to let it all hang out. Hard pass on re-visiting Key West. I'll give a shout-out to the Las Vegas Strip in this category too. It's hot as balls, impossible to walk in a straight line if you're on the strip, and everything is both gross and expensive.
An Underrated City: Dewey Beach, Delaware. Stay with me for the moment. If you live in the mid-Atlantic, you probably spend a week at a place like Virginia Beach (if you're taking the Pokemon approach to STDs) or some place in Maryland (pass) or some place in New Jersey (hard pass) [Up yours. –J]. But Delaware has some sneaky good beaches. Nothing crazy, but far less crowded than some of the more popular spots. It's a great place to chill for a week or so.
Best for eats: Dallas. Man. Dallas. Dallas is awesome. You want a trashy over-sex pub that makes Hooters look like a convert? Dallas. Want a steak? Hell yeah, Dallas. TexMex, regular Mexican, Asian-fusion, whatever. They have the benefit of being a big city, and as such, they attract all sort of trendy, up-scale places that out-of-towners like to visit. But they also have a distinct feeling and identity. I love eating in Dallas.
I was feeling good last week...and really just wanted to PSU depantsed more than anything...my high hopes were an eye-opener to a few truths:
First, our Boilers are motivated to play hard for Coach Parker and each other right now...that's great!!
Second, our Boilers are injury-ridden and lack depth like we all thought they did...so a program will beat a first team any day of the week...Minny is a program that is solid.
Not sure how much longer Purdue can get up for games only to completely run out of gas in the second half, but this might be a tough one to get up for. Minny's not a rival, it's not at home and there doesn't seem to be any animosity toward Goldy from Boilermakers.
Favorite current city: Either NY or Hilton Head, SC or Portsmouth, NH...I'm not sure it's fair to call HH a city since it's really an island, and Portsmouth is more of a town and J probably didn't want smallish cities in this contest. I love NY- tough, genuine people, great trains system to get into an impossible place to drive, entertainment options, mountains and beaches nearby. That said, I turned down a chance to work in midtown three years ago...mostly because I didn't want to be near J, but the cost of living...YIKES!! No big whoop for my pal J though. SoHo is my favorite part of the city.
Overrated city: Chicago is the most overrated city for me. Many Chicagoans look down on my hometown because our traffic doesn't suck nuts when it rains and our people are friendly and it's affordable (I guess)...don't care. Chicago has some cool stuff; no doubt about that...but wishes it was NY. I think the fact that I've been stuck in Chicago traffic more than any other place probably makes it feel worse than others for me...and the circumstance that I don't really go to Chicago for anything but work doesn't help its case. I like the Evanston area a lot since it's off the beaten path a bit. Midtown near the canal or Navy Pier is my favorite part of the city...90/94 is my least favorite. And their commuter rails aren't as easy to use as NY's.
Underrated city: Most underrated city for me is Portland, OR. Decent cost of living great restaurants, beautiful coast and mountains close by...and tons of jobs in my field. Only issue I have with Portland is that I feel like an old man when I visit...it seems the mean age in restaurants/bars is about 17. It's spread out, but if you know areas or regions, the place oozes character and uniqueness.
Eats: Boston is the greatest city to get a meal for me simply because of the North End. I love Italian food, and there is nowhere in that area that isn't great. From authentic pasta dishes, to real pizza...everything is great on the North End.
Woo boy, we got sick of Purdue’s one-half-wonderness under Gerad Parker pretty quickly, didn’t we? I was at the game (sitting next to the incredibly handsome Boilerdowd and the lovely Boilerdowd family), and by halftime we were excited but expecting the inevitable collapse. And woah boy did Purdue come through; a 45-7 second half advantage by Penn State (on the back of one of the country’s best RBs in Saquon Barkley) spoiled Parker’s homecoming pretty swiftly.
I had way more opinions about cities than I have about this game, so let me be brief: Minnesota is in the nebula of “B10 teams that might be good but really have no reason to be that good at all”, and I think they’ll demolish Purdue. Though this might be Coach Parker’s best shot at a win, the fact that it’s on the road and Minnesota has looked much better of late should have everyone worried. The spread is Minnesota -17, and I’m not sure the good guys cover.
Favorite city to visit: I lived in Boston, I don’t live in Boston anymore, Boston generates strong feelings from everyone who visits (positive or negative, nobody is neutral about Boston), I love Boston very much, Boston is the perfect small-big city, Boston’s public transportation is perfectly awful, Boston’s food selection is amazing and entirely cream-based, Bostonians are somehow simultaneously brilliant/rude/diverse/bold/warm/racist/welcoming/indifferent/die-hard, Boston sports are so fun to hate while in Boston, Boston has my favorite sports bar in the world (mad shouts to my guys at Parlor), I miss Boston.
Most overrated city: New York City or Los Angeles, take your pick, don’t @ me.
Favorite food city: Austin, TX. Barbecue, Tex-Mex, seafood, brunch (though brunch has rapidly become the most overrated meal of the day, don’t @ me), Japanese, Korean, legit Chinese. Throw in local beer and whiskey, fantastic music, and great festivals and I love me some Austin.
Most underrated city: So, I gotta work this in somehow. When people think of cities in India, they usually think of Bombay or Delhi, or maybe Bangalore if they are worldly. Bombay is known as the media center of India, Delhi is the center of government, Bangalore is the tech center, Calcutta’s culture is undeniably charming. My family is from Chennai, a city on the shores of southeast India, and a city my grandfather (a Chennai native) referred to as an “overgrown village”. It’s loud, disorganized, dirty (though they have cleaned up in recent years), overcrowded, obnoxious, and old. But I love it so much. It feels more like home than any city outside Indy, if you go to the right beach it’s beautiful and quiet, the people are proud of their language and their food (omg the food) and their self-isolated environment, and slowly more young people aren’t immediately sneering when they hear “Chennai.” I love it so.