Highlights from Hair Balls
Did undercover cops wear Speedos and penis T-shirts when busting gay dudes in Memorial Park?
The answer to that question, according to gay activist Ray Hill, is a resounding "yes."
Here's the deal: A Houston Police Department spokesperson told Hair Balls that officers conducted a "proactive investigation" at Memorial Park recently in which seven men were arrested and charged with misdemeanor indecent exposure.
But for some reason, Hill told OutSmart that more than 20 men were arrested and charged with solicitation of prostitution. According to Hill's account in the article, "Eight to ten male vice officers dressed in Speedos and suggestive T-shirts were along the jogging trail during daylight hours, attempting to beckon male joggers and walkers into the bushes."
Hill also claimed that other officers were "possibly" located by the men's restrooms. Hill told OutSmart that the sting operation "was literally seducing people into arrest."
He also claimed that one of the men arrested told him that one of the undercover officer's shirts "had what resembled a chrome penis on the back, and some of the other T-shirts looked to be gay pride-affiliated."
"We have a lesbian mayor, a 'gay friendly' police chief, and a SCOTUS decision...finding the law against homosexual conduct unconstitutional, yet these men had to post bond, were held an illegally long period of time in Houston City Jail, they must hire lawyers, defend against the charges, some will lose their jobs, and make their family lives confusing at best," Hill told OutSmart.
Yeah, that sorta sucks. But maybe a good rule of thumb is: When jogging in a public park, don't follow a stranger into the bushes for sex, no matter how snug and seductive his banana-hammock. The person could be a mugger, a rapist or an itinerant chrome-penis-T-shirt salesman. We also don't quite understand how a gay mayor is automatically supposed to be in favor of dudes whipping out their junk in public.
And kudos to HPD: There is perhaps no more serious crime in Houston than gay dudes having gay sex behind some trees in Memorial Park. We can't tell you the number of times our leisurely afternoon strolls have been spoiled by the sights and sounds of rampant gay sexing. We'll sleep better tonight...in our comfy chrome-penis-PJs.
Odds on Johnny
Bookies judge Manziel's worth to A&M after signing-for-money allegations break.
When news broke August 4 about Johnny Manziel and his alleged five-figure payday for affixing his signature to 1,600 Aggie football items, the sports world went back into overdrive. Kevin Sumlin prepped for Aggie media day, the university hired attorneys, bloggers wrote, screamers yelled and Vegas went scrambling to recalibrate any Aggie-related number on their betting boards.
If you're willing to look hard enough, if you're willing to scour the bowels of the Internet and every wagering Web site, you can bet on almost any relevant sports occurrence (and many relevant non-sports occurrences, as well).
The Johnny Manziel Ripple Effect certainly put this phenomenon on full display.
Truth be told, as it turns out, Vegas appeared to be tipped off to this whole Johnny thing a week or so ago when the line on the Alabama-A&M game on September 14 moved from Alabama -6.5 to Alabama -9.5 in one fell swoop. Three points is a HUGE move under almost any circumstance, so clearly either a) a monster bet (or bets) came in on Alabama placed by someone who "knew something" or b) Vegas itself "knew something" about a possibility that Manziel could be suspended.
According to R.J. Bell, the founder of wagering expertise site pregame.com, Manziel himself is worth around seven points to A&M on the line for any particular game, so a three-point move was a bit of a hedge by the books. (By the way, there are virtually no other players in Manziel's stratosphere in terms of worth to the betting line on his team's games. Braxton Miller is worth almost that much to Ohio State. Rakeem Cato of Marshall and Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville are each worth ten points to their teams.)
Eventually, when the news actually did break about Manziel and his active right signature hand, all A&M games that were on the board (Alabama, Ole Miss, LSU and Missouri, to name a few) were pulled off the board altogether, as was A&M's season win total futures bet (9.5 before the Manziel news, estimated to be reset at 7 if Manziel is suspended for the season).
This Manziel autograph-apalooza was as close to a Vegas sportsbook five-alarm fire as you can get.
But when one door closes, another one opens, and despite all these temporarily suspended potential A&M wagers, Vegas will find a way, by hook or by crook, to keep wringing your hard-earned dollars out of the Johnny Manziel wagering sponge.
So as the Aggies took the practice field August 6, with Manziel sitting precariously on the edge of some kind of suspension from the NCAA, Vegas (5dimes, to be exact) weighed in with the following offers:
Johnny Manziel plays vs Rice 8/31 +190 Does not play vs Rice for any reason -270
Johnny Manziel plays in any game this season -230
Does not play in any games this season +170
So, in plain English, what Vegas is saying is that Johnny Manziel has a 68 percent chance of being suspended for at least the first game, but a 65 percent chance of playing at some point this year. Drilling down even further, the Ohio State players who traded tattoos for memorabilia a few years ago each got five game suspensions; the above odds would indicate that Vegas seems to think this precedent makes sense for Johnny Manziel.
Adding a few potential wagers of my own, here is what my futures big board looks like for a few more scenarios:
"If he is eligible, what will Johnny Manziel do after he scores his first touchdown of the season?"
Pull out a Sharpie and sign the ball +150
Make out with a female, ANY female +225
Raise a middle finger at the A.D.'s box +300
Tear off jersey to show Tebow jersey underneath +450
Actually Tebow...like, kneel and pray +1500
Politely hand the ball to the referee +25000
"If he is ineligible, where will Johnny Manziel be watching the Aggies' first game of the season?"
(For the uninitiated bettor, "Field" doesn't mean "on the field"; in this case it means "anywhere but Cabo," which technically includes on the field at Kyle Field, I suppose.)
"Manziel Blood Alcohol Content at kickoff of the opener, if he IS NOT eligible"
OVER .028 -110
UNDER .028 -110
"Manziel Blood Alcohol Content at kickoff of the opener, if he IS eligible"
OVER .012 -110
UNDER .012 -110
See? Johnny doesn't have to be eligible for all of us to have fun this season! Well, most of us, at least. When I was in Vegas recently for a UFC event, the Luxor had moved A&M's odds to win the BCS title from 15/1 at open to 4/1 by June 20.
Whoever placed the bets that moved the futures line that much on the Aggies, those people need Johnny Manziel eligible to have fun this season.
Protecting Himself and His Parner
Suspect tries to shoot officer's dog; HPD officer shoots him dead.
Senior Police Officer E. Newman, a K-9 officer, was called to a "discharge of firearms" scene early evening on August 5 at 5725 Fondren and located a fleeing suspect who'd already fired shots at other Houston Police Department officers. Officer M. Alanis had fired at the suspect in return, but missed.
According to a police report filed in the case, Newman's dog found the man — who'd fled on foot — in a nearby strip shopping center.
The suspect "first attempted to shoot the dog. However, upon seeing Officer Newman, the suspect then pointed his gun at him. Officer Newman, fearing for his life, then discharged his duty weapon, striking the suspect," according to the police report filed by HPD Homicide Division Sergeant R. Rodriguez and Officer M. Burrow.
Paramedics responding to the scene pronounced the unidentified man dead. Investigators recovered his weapon. No one else was hurt in the exchange of gunfire.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.