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Don’t Watch This; Watch That, Week 3: Needlessly Burning Fuel and Money

But enough about Northwestern football—Don’t Watch This; Watch That takes a trip down memory lane to Airbnb hell in New York City.

It’s time for more Northwestern-Duke this weekend.

No, wait, hey, come back!

This game brings up fun memories for me that I now realize I’ve told three different times—it involves an overnight drive from Atlanta, an NC State fan giving me a bottle of Lagavulin, and then me drinking said Lagavulin as Hurricane Irma hit Atlanta and I couldn’t go anywhere from my Airbnb in a part of town I was told I wasn’t supposed to be in.

That Airbnb was a fun, dumb memory from my grad school days, and it led me to reminisce on a few of the other dumb adventures I was privy to in my youth, because so many of them were found at the intersection of academia and college football. TO WIT:

My Night with a Northern Irish Bartender

For a conference in New York back in 2016 or so, the actual venue itself was 45 minutes up the Hudson in some swanky locale that covered all your meals and lodging for something like $750 for three nights to share a room with 1-2 people I’d never met.

Hard pass. I knew better. Or couldn’t afford it.

So I booked an Airbnb in the city, somewhere up around 140th and Amsterdam. Ran something like $50/night before taxes and fees—remember, this is in 2016...though that’s still too cheap. Reviews told me not to look in the fridge, to use the bathroom and bed and that was it. Fine. Easy enough.

My plane from Milwaukee to Newark got delayed by two hours for mechanical issues, so I messaged my host, because instructions had been to buzz the property manager. In retrospect, this should’ve been a red flag:

Subsequent messages made it clear: if I wanted to get into the building, I was going to have to skulk around outside, wait for someone to leave or enter, and sneak in behind them. Otherwise I’d be sleeping in an airport or on the curb.

Because I had to take a bus and a train to the conference town and arrive before 8am, I decided the skulking option would at least get me to the city, where I could better plan my attack and maybe get in before daybreak.

In retrospect, that was a mistake.

Charles refused to communicate with me, meaning I arrived outside the building around 1:30am with no clue where the hell I was, a laptop bag over my shoulder and a full duffel bag in my arms, a dying phone, and no one in sight to let me in. Oh, and it was summer in New York City, meaning I was sweating balls from my walk and everything smelled like rancid garbage.

Over the next six hours, I...

  • Waited outside the building for an hour, missing only one opportunity to sneak in behind someone,
  • Peed in an alley,
  • Changed clothes in a separate alley, then...
  • Settled on a nearby bar—The Grange, long since closed—where I explained to the bartender why I was sweaty, carrying luggage, and just wanted to nurse a beer while I plugged my phone in for an hour (God bless 4am closing times). Paul, from County Omagh in Northern Ireland, not only commiserated, he shared tips for the area, talked about his home and how long he’d been in New York, and at the end of the night turned my $35 bill into a $8 charge. I still wonder what’s happened to him. Once they closed at 4am, I...
  • Walked back to the apartment, tried to catch someone leaving, and failed,
  • Wandered to a Dunkin’ Donuts, where I charged my phone and used WiFi for an hour, then
  • Got back to the apartment around 5:45am, whereupon I caught a neighbor leaving, explained my situation, and begged them to let me in. God bless you, 2D. But wait! There was no key taped to the top of the door frame, meaning I couldn’t leave all my luggage.

By now, it was time to throw my stuff down, turn around, and get to the bus stop. My train left in an hour. I fell asleep on the Hudson Line, waking up at a stop which, by sheer dumb luck, was the last stop before mine, where I’d get off. I changed into my conference suit in the bathroom of a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts.

The conference, for all my sweatiness, went great—I made friends I still collaborate with and presented a good paper. Charles had to come down from Connecticut, but there was a new key in my Airbnb. (Roaches, too, but at this point that’s not the most surprising thing.) After finally dropping my stuff off, I met up with some Northwestern friends for a party in Greenwich Village. The following day, the Twins played at the Yankees and I saw the rarest of birds—the Twins won with six home runs. I flew home, content and sated.

Of course, Charles wasn’t done being an asshole:

After a little more back-and-forth, he just stopped responding to me.

I never did get that bill.

Thursday Night
Don’t Watch This

Bethune-Cookman Wildcats at #22 Miami Fluoride Hurricanes [6:30pm, ACCN]
{NFL} Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles [7:15pm, honestly who cares]

{MLB} New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox [6:15pm, FOX]
{MLB} Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles [6:15pm, FOX]

{USL} Forward Madison vs. Richmond Kickers [7pm, ESPN+]

Watch That

Navy Midshipmen at Memphis Tigers

6:30pm | ESPN | Memphis -14 | O/U 47.5

Big Ten Volleyball

Illinois vs. USC (in West Lafayette) [5:30pm, BTN]
Ohio State at Texas [8pm, LHN]
UCF at Purdue [8pm, BTN]

First, let me stop you with the “You want us to watch what over the Vikings-Eagles game?”

Yes. I do.

Maybe you’re new here, don’t get the bit, or don’t understand how goddamn stupid it is to watch Kirk Cousins throw a two-yard check-down on 2nd and 12, then slap his hands over his earholes to hear a third down play that just involves “throw it to Justin Jefferson and pray.”

I’d rather watch Navy, a near-complete unknown who has only lost to Notre Dame in a stupid gimmick game and shut out FCS Wagner. I’d rather watch Memphis, a team that tries to and tends to score points left and right. Two programs playing for


Thursday night! I come huffing and puffing in the door, make dinner, and put on...

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    (40 votes)
  • 1%
    (2 votes)
  • 46%
    Vikings-Philly, because I need me Paul Allen’s pregame Preach’n’Tickle on THE FAAAAN
    (71 votes)
  • 18%
    Big Ten volleyball!
    (29 votes)
  • 7%
    I’m stuck in traffic trying to get through Minneapolis
    (12 votes)
154 votes total Vote Now

Friday Night
Don’t Watch This

Virginia Cavaliers at Maryland Terrapins (-14.5, O/U 49) [6pm, FS1]

{NWSL} Racing Louisville vs. Houston Dash [6:30pm, CBS Sports Golazo]
{USL} New Mexico United vs. Indy Eleven [8pm, ESPN+]
{Liga MX} Mazatlan vs. Cruz Azul [8pm, TUDN]
{USL} Orange County SC vs. Colorado Springs [9pm, ESPN+]
{Liga MX} Xolos vs. Toluca [10:10pm, TUDN]

Watch That

Army Black Knights at UTSA Roadrunners

6pm | ESPN | UTSA -8.5 | O/U 45

Utah State Aggies at Air Force Falcons

7pm | CBSSN | AFA -9.5 | O/U 46.5

Those reminiscences from above—which, God, I hope you just scrolled past—were going to be part of a series of stories: my night on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, the first time I ever had raw fish, a cat named Oreo who would jump out from under my bed in the middle of the night, a pot-smoking psychology PhD-turned-guitar salesman in Boulder, a zen studio in West Lafayette with a sunken shower, a open shower in a Southie basement.

I keep thinking I’m out of things to write about for this dumbass column—and maybe you’re out of interest. But then something dumb just reels me back in.


Stories from Airbnb Heaven/Hell: worth it?

This poll is closed

  • 65%
    Yes, write more.
    (100 votes)
  • 16%
    Eh, if you’re out of ideas.
    (25 votes)
  • 17%
    This idea hasn’t gripped me.
    (27 votes)
152 votes total Vote Now


Friday night! What’s on?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    (16 votes)
  • 7%
    Utah State-Air Force
    (12 votes)
  • 57%
    (87 votes)
  • 7%
    (12 votes)
  • 15%
    I’ll be down at the local high school, drinking fireball out of a paper bag and shouting HADOUKEN as I huck footballs at children
    (24 votes)
151 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Morning
Don’t Watch This

#3 Florida State (-26, O/U 49) at Boston College [11am, ABC]
#7 Penn State (-14.5, O/U 48.5) at Illinois [11am, FOX]
#14 LSU (-9.5, O/U 54.5) at Mississippi State [11am, ESPN]
Buffalo (+3, O/U 55) [11am, CBSSN]
Louisville (-10, O/U 52) at Indiana [11am, BTN]
Georgia Southern at wisconsin (-19, O/U 64.5) [11am, BTN]
Wake Forest (-13.5, O/U 61) at Old Dominion [11am, ESPN2]
Long Island at Baylor [11am, ESPN+]
Central Connecticut at Kent State [11am, ?]
North Dakota at Boise State [11am, FS1]

Watch That

#15 Kansas State Wildcats at Missouri Tigers

11am | SECN | KSU -5 | O/U 48

Iowa State Cyclones at Ohio Bobcats

11am | ESPNU | ISU -3 | O/U 44

{EPL} Newcastle vs. Brentford [11:30am, NBC]

This is about as bleak a morning as we’ve had on DWT;WT. Georgia Southern-wisconsin could be entertaining if Clay Helton’s Eagles can keep scoring points—they put up 49 on UAB last weekend—but it’s a lot of the mismatches you’d expect for teams who have already played their P5 competition. That leaves Big Ten games that have lost their luster, like Penn State-Illinois, SEC games that you don’t care about, and...Big XII teams doing silly things?

Start there. Mizzou has looked vulnerable in wins over South Dakota and Middle Tennessee (the latter 23-19), while K-State is an untested steamroller. And, if Iowa State comes out and scuffles against Ohio, does Matt Campbell’s seat start to get just the teensiest bit warm? Many people are saying...


Mornin’, Sam.

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    (28 votes)
  • 6%
    (11 votes)
  • 2%
    New Castle-Brent Ford?
    (4 votes)
  • 37%
    My Big Ten team is playing?
    (60 votes)
  • 19%
    It just bothers me you don’t have all the nicknames here?
    (32 votes)
  • 6%
    (11 votes)
  • 9%
    God, I hate these polls?
    (15 votes)
161 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Afternoon
Don’t Watch This

Weber State Wildcats at #12 Utah Utes [1pm, Pac-12]
VMI Keydets at NC State Wolfpack [1pm, The CW!]
Norfolk State Spartans at Temple Owls [1pm, ESPN+]
Indiana State Sycamores at Balls Tate Robotbirds [1pm, ESPN+]
Central Michigan Chippewas at #9 Notre Dame (-34.5, O/U 54) [1:30pm, Peacock]
South Carolina Gamecocks at #1 Georgia Bulldogs (-27.5, O/U 54) [2:30pm, CBS]
#10 Alabama Crimson Tide (-32, O/U 61) at USF Brahman Bulls??? [2:30pm, ABC]
San Diego State Aztecs at #16 Oregon State Beavers (-24.5, O/U 49) [2:30pm, FS1]
#19 Oklahoma Sooners (-27.5, O/U 59.5) at Tulsa Golden Hurricane [2:30pm, ESPN2]
Northwestern Wildcats at #21 Duke Blue Devils (-18.5, O/U 48.5) [2:30pm, ACCN]
Western Michigan Broncos at #25 Iowa Hawkeyes (-28.5, O/U 42.5) [2:30pm, BTN]
Virginia Tech Hokies at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (-7, O/U 39.5) [2:30pm, BTN]
East Carolina Pirates at Appalachian State Mountaineers (-9.5, O/U 49.5) [2:30pm, ESPN+]
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at #6 Ohio State Buckeyes (-28, O/U 63) [3pm, FOX]
UL Monroe Warhawks at Texas A&M Aggies (-26.5, O/U 53.5) [3pm, SECN]
Idaho Vandals at California Golden Bears [3pm, Pac-12+]
Tulane Green Wave (-13, O/U 49.5) at Southern Miss Golden Eagles [3pm, ESPNU, Battle for the Bell]
#8 Washington Huskies (-16, O/U 57.5) at Michigan State Spartans [4pm, Peacock]
Northern Colorado Bears at #23 Washington State Cougars [4pm, Pac-12]
NC Central Eagles at #24 UCLA Bruins [4pm, Pac-12+]

Watch That

UMass Minutemen at Eastern Michigan Eagles

1pm | ESPN+ | EMU -9 | O/U 52.5

Minnesota Golden Gophers at #20 North Carolina Tar Heels

2:30pm | ESPN | UNC -7.5 | O/U 50

FIU Sunblazers at UConn Huskies

2:30pm | CBSSN | UConn -8 | O/U 43

{EFL Championship} Cardiff City vs. Swansea City [1:45pm, ESPN+]

Back off, Michigan State, WE SAW CHRIS CREIGHTON FIRST. I am prepared to die on this hill.

Limited options in what’s actually good here. I like these two mid-major games to be gooooood and ugly, with EMU having the upper hand but UMass showing they can play with mistake-prone teams. FIU has managed to grit out a 14-12 win over Maine(!!!), then turned around and beat North Texas in a 46-39 donnybrook last weekend. Which Sunblazers squad shows up in Hartford to take on Jim Mora? Who the hell cares. It’s going to be a beautiful mess.

Keep an eye on Tulane-Southern Miss—the Battle for the Bell (one of two happening today!) was the Green Wave’s bad loss in 2022, and USM’s head coach Will Hall was formerly the OC at Tulane.


Saturday afternoon! In the hour I get to myself between watching the kid and being dragged off to a pregger kegger, I watch...

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    (4 votes)
  • 28%
    the "Academic Fraud is Unevenly Punisha-Bowl"
    (44 votes)
  • 2%
    (4 votes)
  • 50%
    My own Big Ten team, which plays at this time
    (76 votes)
  • 15%
    ...pregger kegger?
    (24 votes)
152 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Evening
Don’t Watch This

Italics mean games I would watch, but having seven “Watch Thats” feels excessive—these are notable for the likely number of points or closeness of the game.

Georgia State Panthers (-7.5, O/U 54) at Charlotte 49ers [5pm, ESPN+]
Villanova Wildcats at UCF Citronauts [5:30pm, ESPN+]
North Texas Mean Green at Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (-4.5, O/U 68) [6pm, ESPN+]
#11 Tennessee Volunteers (-6.5, O/U 59) at Florida Gators [6pm, ESPN]
Samford Bulldogs at Auburn Tigers [6pm, ESPN+]
Murray State Racers at Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders [6pm, ESPN+]
Northern Illinois Huskies at Nebraska Cornhuskers (-11.5, O/U 43) [6pm, FS1]
Vanderbilt Commodores (-4, O/U 59.5) at UNLV Rebels [6pm, CBSSN]
Miami Hydroxide at Cincinnati Bearcats (-14, O/U 46.5) [6pm, ESPN+, Battle for the Bell]
South Alabama Jaguars at Oklahoma State Cowboys (-7.5, O/U 47.5) [6pm, ESPN+]
Tarleton Texans at Texas Tech Red Raiders [6pm, ESPN+]
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns at UAB Blazers (-2.5, O/U 59.5) [6pm, ESPN+]
Prairie View A&M Panthers at SMU Cocaine Ponies [6pm, ESPN+]
Texas Southern Tigers at Rice Owls [6pm, ESPN+]
Duquesne Dukes at Coastal Carolina Chanticleers [6pm, ESPN+]
Stony Brook Seawolves at Arkansas State Red Wolves [7pm, ESPN+]
James Madison Dukes at Troy Trojans (-3, O/U 47.5) [6pm, NFLN]
Bowling Green Falcons at #2 Michigan Wolverines (-40.5, O/U 53.5) [6:30pm, BTN]
BYU Cougars at Arkansas Razorbacks (-8, O/U 47.5) [6:30pm, ESPN2]
Akron Zips at Kentucky Wildcats (-26, O/U 49) [6:30pm, ESPNU]
Wyoming Cowboys at #4 Texas Longhorns (-28.5, O/U 48.5) [7pm, LHN]
Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors at #13 Oregon Ducks (-38.5, O/U 68.5) [7pm, Pac-12]
Sacramento State BEEEEEEEES at Stanford Cardinal [7pm, Pac-12+]
FAU Schnellenbergers at Clemson Tigers (-24, O/U 52) [7pm, ACCN]
Jackson State Tigers at Texas State Bobcats [7:30pm, ESPN+]

{MLS} Lots of it on AppleTV

Watch That

San Jose State Spartans at Toledo Rockets

6pm | ESPN+ | Toledo -8 | O/U 58

Syracuse Orange at Purdue Boilermakers

6:30pm | NBC | Cuse -2.5 | O/U 58

Pitt Panthers at West Virginia Mountaineers

6:30pm | ABC | Pitt -1 | O/U 50

New Mexico State Aggies at New Mexico Lobos

7pm | Mountain West Network | UNM -1 | O/U 53.5

MACtion-versus-Mountain West games should be mandatory. In fact, line them up in order of finish from last year and make it a challenge. Start ‘em Week 0, play ‘em at MACtion and Mountain West times—CBSSN and ESPN2, bring us home. To wit, this year would be:

  • Nevada at Akron [Wed., 6pm]
  • Northern Illinois at New Mexico [Wed., 9pm]
  • Colorado State at Central Michigan [Thurs., 6:30pm]
  • Balls Tate at Hawai’i [Thurs., 10pm]
  • UNLV at Kent State [Fri., 6:30pm]
  • Western Michigan at Utah State [Fri., 9pm]
  • San Jose State at Miami Hydroxide [Sat., 11am]
  • Bowling Green at Wyoming [Sat., 2:30pm]
  • San Diego State at Buffalo [Sat., 2:30pm]
  • Eastern Michigan at Air Force [Sat., 6pm]
  • Boise State at Toledo [Sat., 6pm]
  • Ohio at Fresno State [Sat., 9:30pm]



M(A/W)C Bowl?

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    (67 votes)
  • 26%
    Is bowl season not enough?
    (30 votes)
  • 13%
    (15 votes)
112 votes total Vote Now


Dear God there’s so much to choose from...

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    I’ll tell you my favorite game in the comments.
    (35 votes)
  • 59%
    My Big Ten team is playing at this time.
    (51 votes)
86 votes total Vote Now

It’s late and I’m drunk...
Don’t Watch This

Colorado State Rams at Colorado Buffaloes (-23, O/U 59) [9pm, ESPN]
Southern Utah Thunderbirds at UC Davis Aggies [9pm, ESPN+]
Kansas Jayhawks (-28.5, O/U 59) at Nevada Wolf Pack [9:30pm, CBSSN]
UTEP Miners at Arizona Wildcats (-17.5, O/U 56) [10pm, Pac-12]

{Guatemala Liga Nacional} Antigua GFC vs. Municipal [8pm, FOX Deportes]
{USL} Monterey Bay vs. Las Vegas Lights [9pm, ESPN+]
{USL} Oakland Roots vs. FC Tulsa [9pm, ESPN+]
{MLS} Lots of it on AppleTV

Watch That

Fresno State Bulldogs at Arizona State Sun Devils

9:30pm | FS1 | Fresno -3 | O/U 50.5

USL Championship

Sacramento Republic vs. Lokomotiv El Paso [9pm, ESPN+]
Phoenix Rising vs. Detroit City FC [9:30pm, ESPN+]

Look, Kansas-Nevada should be on your radar, because there’s always potential something dumb’s gonna happen when Kansas steps on a football field. But this has to be a record for Kansas being favored on the road.

Fresno’s giving points to Sparky, and I still might take the Bulldogs. Jeff fuckin’ Tedford, man.


It’s late, I’m drunk, I’m watching...

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    (24 votes)
  • 5%
    (6 votes)
  • 2%
    (3 votes)
  • 7%
    (9 votes)
  • 25%
    The Battle for Colorado
    (30 votes)
  • 4%
    whatever the bar has on
    (5 votes)
  • 35%
    lol i passed out hours ago
    (43 votes)
120 votes total Vote Now

That’s it from me. Tip your bartenders well, and for the love of God, be a waste of fuel and money for someone you hate.