You thought I was down. You thought I was out. Don’t worry, I did too. But as Gus so eloquently put it, there was some European mojo and now we have ourselves a competition. What should scare Gus is I think I figured it out. My 2 wins came when I was free from distractions, without a care in the world, drinking cava and eating lots of food.
So my dedicated readers may have wondered “where was Josh” or “why couldn’t he write an article” or “what did he do to turn it around.” Fair points but I am going to ask a different question that no one asked and no one wants the answer to: “How was Spain, should I visit?” If you do not wish to read about why it is worth visiting Spain, please skip.
Barcelona (Bar-thah-loan-ah)- Barcelona is the land of Gaudi, good weather, fine wine, and cava. Starting with Gaudi, it is likely that some of you may not know who Gaudi is. I recommend wikipedia, but the short of it is that he was a great architect and definitely inspired Dr. Seuss. Gaudi is famous for Casa Batllo (pictured above), La Sagrada Familia (a cathedral that has taken over 120 years to build), and Park Guell (a park). All worth checking out and pretty wild to see in person. Next, the weather. Barcelona was 80 and sunny with a nice wind everyday due to its location on the Balearic sea surrounded by mountains/hills. The result is that Barcelona had perfect vacation weather, similar to San Diego. A short hour drive from Barcelona is a valley called the Priorat, and here is where you find the fine wine. The Priorat is one of two DOQ regions in Spain. It is a valley characterized by (1) shitty conditions for growing wine and (2) old fucking vines. The shitty conditions are a result of extreme temperature swings (as high as 120 degrees in the summer) and the ground being composed of slate and clay. Not the best for growing stuff. But, these unique conditions led to something special. The vines that do grow have roots that go 60 feet deep. This combined with an extremely small yield and vines as old as 120 years leads to complex, unique, and flavorful wines. Plus the wine is 14.5% at a minimum so the wine tours get rowdy. Lastly, the cava. For those in the know, cava is basically Spanish champagne but it is sweeter than champagne and drier than prosecco. It is very good and very cheap, especially in Spain.
The only knock on Barcelona was the food and the beer. The food was just ok and the beer was glorified bud light. As is normal in Europe, the food was cheap and the wine costs as much as a glass of water. I think in Spain, this was a well planned strategy. If you are drunk enough, you can forget how uninspired and mediocre Spanish cuisine is. Sure, black paella is good, but the other paellas were just ok and beyond that the only contribution Spain has made to the food world is chorizo. Spain stands in stark contrast to our trip to Italy, where each and every restaurant we went to had great food.
Overall Barcelona score- 8/10. For those who can get over mediocre food and want to relax, you can do much worse than Barcelona.
Mallorca: Our second destination was Mallorca, an island in the Balearic sea that serves as the resort island for the rest of Europe. It is about 50 miles across with great beaches, mountains, and a bunch of wineries. For those who want to hike or mountain climb this would be quite the destination. The food here was even worse, but the wineries were cheap (one had glasses of good wine for a euro per glass) and the beach was great.
Overall Mallorca score- 9/10. If you want to relax and drink wine, go here.
Ok, you all don’t give a fuck about my trip or Spain so let’s get down to it, because this week is going to have some drama. You heard it here first. Gus’s week 5 recap was fair. I got smoked, he had a good week, this will happen. I am not going to dwell on the past. If I did that I would be constantly reminded of my years and years of disappointing fantasy finishes. Rather, I am going to explain why Gus has screwed up at least 3 picks.
CLE +2 v. SEA: Gus is believing in Cleveland? The same Cleveland that just got railroaded by San Francisco? Thanks Gus. I like my odds here. Clowney gets 2 sacks, Russell Wilson has 4 TDs, and Mayfield has 1 interception.
JAC -1.5 v. NO: Teddy Bridgewater > Minshew. Michael Thomas > Chark. Kamara > Fournette. Even with Kamara questionable and the possibility of Ramsey playing for the first time after missing 2 weeks I think the Saints make it 4 straight.
Now this is the pickle. I think both Oklahoma and Notre Dame will cover the 10.5 point spreads they both face in their rivalry games. However, it is in my interest to choose only 1. Roll Notre Dame
USC +10.5 @ Notre Dame: It feels right.
Down with Gus!