Riding the Pine: With Joe Clyne '16 and Henry Arndt '16

by Henry Arndt and Joe Clyne | 1/13/16 6:30pm

1-7-16-sports-joeandh-elizamcdonough
by Eliza McDonough / The Dartmouth

One week into Riding the Pine’s return, the reaction from our fan base has been muted to say the least. Our initial plan to recapture the hearts of campus was simply to stick with our sophomore summer shtick: mildly offensive jokes mixed with nonsensical sports analysis and moments of stunning vulnerability. But the game has changed. Our readers are getting older. We’re getting older, too.

Now that the old gimmicks don’t work anymore, we’re forced to turn for inspiration to two cultural behemoths in the news this week: the recently deceased David Bowie and the recently recaptured Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Our content from now on will be as ethereal and omnisexual as Bowie’s finest works but mixed with Chapo’s trademark business acumen and no-nonsense attitude. Such a recipe for success will surely produce a sports blog more addictive than even El Chapo’s grade-A product.

After tuning in to President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address on Tuesday night, we, too, are thinking about our legacies. Will we lie on our deathbeds rich beyond our wildest dreams, but hated and hunted like our old friend El Chapo? Or will we end up rich beyond our wildest dreams and universally beloved in the worlds of music and space travel like our older friend David Bowie?

There is one thing we know for sure. That we will end up rich beyond our wildest dreams. In addition to the substantial royalties that we receive for writing this column, we are sitting on a literal pot of gold. We have bought a bathtub worth of Powerball tickets and calculate our odds of the jackpot at nearly 100 percent. The only decision left in regards to our impending fortune is whether to take the annuity payments or the lump sum. Our minds tell us to take the annuity, but our brass balls tell us to take the lump sum. We have never been the type of guys to listen to our minds. By the time this column reaches your hands, hopefully we will be halfway to the maximum security prison housing El Chapo, ready to bust him out with our newfound windfall.

In the meantime, we’re just sitting around campus killing time, embracing our bohemian side by auditioning for “Legally Drew! The Drewsical.” By some cruel twist of fate, we’ve been sucked into the soulless corporate machine that is The Drewsical and we can hardly imagine a path out of this student-run musical hellscape. Only if Casual Thursday’s racially insensitive sketch comedy takes off will Drew Zwetchkenbaum ’16’s corporate overlords let us off the hook so that we can return full-time to writing.

Since we — very conveniently — left ourselves only about 200 words in this article to discuss sports, we’re going to use the precious space we have left to drop a few mortal locks for you Powerball losers to try to make some money in this weekend’s divisional playoff games.

New England Patriots over Kansas City Chiefs

Tom Brady recently said in an interview that he’s never had coffee in his life, that he’s simply “just never tried it.”No further explanation needed.

Arizona Cardinals over Green Bay Packers

Due to their sexagenarian head coach Bruce Arians and his wily old-timey ways, coupled with the astonishing late career resurgence of NFL journeyman Carson Palmer, the Cardinals have quietly enjoyed a dominant regular season that has seen them emerge as the Las Vegas favorites to win the Super Bowl. Although the Packers managed to squeak out a victory over a decent Washington Redskins team and Kirk “You Like That” Cousins, Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers have surely not forgotten about the week 16 38-8 beatdown they suffered at the hands of the Cardinals. We’re putting it all on red.

Pittsburgh Steelers over Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning is a complete and utter joke. If the 6’7” Brock Osweiler were starting this game, we would bet our entire Powerball winnings on the Broncos blanking the black and gold. However, now that Manning’s HGH supply has been sniffed out, he is vulnerable to being beheaded by the blitzkrieg attack of Mike Tomlin’s Iron Curtain.

Carolina Panthers over Seattle Seahawks

Cam Newton is a chef. Under the tutelage of “Riverboat” Ron Rivera, the Panthers dominated the NFL this season, riding a 14-0 start before falling to the Atlanta Falcons in a meaningless late season game. The Seahawks crawled into the divisional round of the playoffs with their tail between their legs after Blair Walsh shanked a go-ahead chip shot to hand Seattle the win. Their well of luck has surely run out by this point, and in this year of the dab, there is no more fitting champion than Cam Newton.

We like to close every edition of Riding the Pine with a grim acknowledgment of our own mortality. After the mania of our introductory paragraphs, somehow each conclusion is nothing more than a tragic admission that someday, even the fabulously rich writers behind this column will end up six feet under. With that in mind, we want to close our column with a tribute to Ziggy Stardust, the Thin White Duke. RIP DB. We’ll see you on the other side.