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Predicting NFL Game Outcomes by Mascot - Week 2 of "Mascot" predictions

By Mike Thayer

NFLFootball is my favorite sport. On Saturday's, Sunday's, Monday nights and Thursday nights, you most likely will find me in front of a TV watching games or at the very least paying close attention to game updates on a tablet or cell phone.

Week four of the 2019 NFL season is now in the history books and my Bears, yes, I'm a Bears fan, took care of the Vikings 16-6 on Sunday. 

With the accuracy of "professional" predictions for game outcomes this season being all over the place and not really playing out as hyped after three weeks of play, I said to myself, "What the heck, I'm throwing all football analysis, Vegas odds, so-called guru expertise, scheduling, home/away, injury lists, insider information and commentary, etc., for picking games out the window."

For the rest of the season I decided, I'm picking game winners by what mascot would logically kick the other mascot's butt.  Surely it can't be any worse than the guessing game that is NFL game prognostication.

I went 7-7 in my NFL week four games.   Not a winning record, but at 7-7, actually better than some of those so-called experts we watch on TV.

Here's the Week 5 Schedule and my predictions:

Thursday Night Game,10/03 - - Rams vs. Seahawks:  The herd scurries for cover from the dive bombing Seahawks.

Sunday Games, 10/06:

Jets vs. Eagles:  The Jets never get off the ground, Eagles fly to victory.

Jaguars vs. Panthers:  In a battle of big cats, Jaguars prove superior.

Vikings vs. Giants:  Viking numbers and their weapons are too much for the Giants.

Falcons vs. Texans:  I'll try this for the second week in a row, don't mess with Texas.

Buccaneers vs. Saints:  This is almost a good vs. evil matchup.....  I'm thinking swords and guns outmatch a team working with a quarterback prayer.

Bills vs. Titans:  The herd is squashed before they can stampede.

Cardinals vs. Bengals:  A lame bird vs. a tiger.   So far Cincinnati has been a paper tiger, but perhaps the claws will finally come out for this one.

Patriots vs. Redskins:  Muskets over arrows.

Ravens vs. Steelers:  The Steeler fire is not hot enough to prevent the Ravens from bringing out their inner Alfred Hitchcock.

Bears vs. Raiders (London):  I'm a Bears fan.  da Bears.

Broncos vs. Chargers:  A bucking horse is no match for lightning.

Packers vs. Cowboys:  Packers bring box cutters to a gun fight.

Colts vs. Chiefs:  Chiefs tame the young horses.

Monday Night Football, 10/07 - Browns vs. 49'ers:   Another gold rush is happening in California.

It's going to be another entertaining week of NFL football!   Let's see if I improve on my mascot prediction record of 7-7.  Remember, my record is better than how some of the analyst pros are forecasting outcomes, 'jus say'n. 

Enjoy the games my friends!


Predicting NFL Game Outcomes by Mascot

By Mike Thayer

NFLFootball is my favorite sport. On Saturday's, Sunday's, Monday nights and Thursday nights, you most likely will find me in front of a TV watching games or at the very least paying close attention to game updates on a tablet or cell phone.

Week three of the 2019 NFL season is now in the history books and my Bears, yes, I'm a Bears fan, took care of the Redskins 31-15 on Monday Night Football. 

Surprises of the season so far

Who thought the 49'ers would be 3-0?  Same for Buffalo, also 3-0. The Colts are 2-1 without Andrew Luck.  The Lions are 2-0-1.  Huh?  Most of the so-called experts had all those teams sitting at around 1-2 after week 3.

As expected:  The Patriots are 3-0.  Same for the Kansas City Chiefs, also at 3-0.   But these are the only two teams really, where the so-called experts were spot on.  An argument could be made for the Cowboys at 3-0, but that's an early season prediction made every year by most, using the line, they've got the talent.....

On the downside and unexpected:  The Steelers are 0-3.  The Falcons are 1-2.  The Redskins weren't predicted to be undefeated, but NOT 0-3.

The accuracy of "professional" predictions of game outcomes this season is all over the place!

So with the season not really playing out as predicted after just week 3, I said to myself, "What the heck, I'm throwing all football analysis, Vegas odds, so-called guru expertise, scheduling, home/away, injury lists, insider information and commentary, etc., for picking games out the window."

For the rest of the season, I'm picking game winners by what mascot would logically kick the other mascot's butt.  Surely it can't be any worse than the guessing game that is NFL game prognostication.

Week 4 Schedule:

Thursday Night Game, 09/26:  Eagles vs. Packers - Eagles have talons, Packers have boxes, box cutters and tape.  Packers box up the Eagles and ship them out of town.

Sunday Games, 09/29:

Redskins vs. Giants: Redskins have arrows, war clubs and tomahawks, Giants are huge.  The arrows and tomahawks have no effect, Giants squash the Redskins.

Chiefs vs. Lions:  Another arsenal of arrows, war clubs, tomahawks and even some lances and knives, but this warrior tribe is up against lions.  Fangs and claws however, are not enough to overcome the weapons of the Chiefs.

Titans vs. Falcons:  Although Titans are menacing, Falcons rip their eyes out rendering them blind.

Browns vs. Ravens:  The Browns don't have a real mascot and I don't care how good a coach Paul Brown was, they need to get a real name.  The Ravens have their way with the not-really-a-name 'Browns.' 

Raiders vs. Colts:  Swords, muskets and cannons vs. a kicking horse........  Raiders take the treasure.

Patriots vs. Bills:  Minutemen take down the herd.

Panthers vs. Texans:  Don't mess with Texas.

Chargers vs. Dolphins:  Getting hit by lighting can mess you up, especially if you're in the water.

Buccaneers vs. Rams:  The Bucs enjoy rum more than winning, get butted by the Rams.

Seahawks vs. Cardinals:  OK, there's no such thing as a "Seahawk" but then, naming your football team after a lame little red bird that flies away when threatened?  Hawks over lame birds.

Vikings vs. Bears:  This is a partisan pick, 'da Bears being my team and all......  Vikings are tough, armed with weapons such as axes, spears and swords, but bears are relentless and SO angry when provoked!  'da Bears in a close one.

Jaguars vs. Broncos:  This one is kind of a no-brainer, a big predator cat vs. a bucking horse.....  Cats have horse meat for dinner.

Cowboys vs. Saints:  Pistols, rifles and roping vs. praying.....  hmmm.....   The Saints don't go marching and the Cowboys yell "Yee-haw!"

Monday Night Football, 09/30:  Bengals vs. Steelers - The big cats finally break out the claws and take down some metal workers without a fire.

This could be fun!  If I have a winning record at the conclusion of week 4, I might be on to something!

Enjoy the games my friends!


Papa John’s and Shaquille O’Neal Enter New Partnership

O’Neal to Join Company’s Board of Directors and Invest in Nine Papa John’s Restaurants in Atlanta

LOUISVILLE, Ky.-- Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) today announced that NBA Hall of Famer and restaurateur Shaquille O’Neal will be joining Papa John’s as a member of the Company’s Board of Directors and as an investor in nine Papa John’s restaurants in the Atlanta, Georgia area. In addition, Mr. O’Neal will enter into a marketing agreement to be an ambassador for the Papa John’s brand.

Shaquille O’Neal and Papa John’s enter new partnership (Photo: Business Wire)

Shaquille O’Neal and Papa John’s enter new partnership (Photo: Business Wire)

A four-time NBA champion and television sports analyst on Inside the NBA, Mr. O’Neal has established a strong business track record as an investor, restaurateur and franchise owner. He currently owns a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts franchise in Atlanta and previously owned 27 Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchises. In addition, he is the founder and owner of Big Chicken, a fast casual fried chicken restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Shaquille’s, a fine dining restaurant in Los Angeles, California. He is also a minority owner of the Sacramento Kings NBA franchise. As a partner, endorser and spokesperson, Mr. O’Neal has significant experience helping to market and grow leading consumer brands across multiple categories.

“We are thrilled to partner with Shaquille and welcome him to the Papa John’s Board,” said Jeff Smith, Chairman of the Papa John’s Board of Directors. “Shaquille has an excellent entrepreneurial background, including as a restaurant franchise owner, and is a natural creative marketer. Shaquille has demonstrated great success through understanding the customer value proposition with product and brand differentiation. The Board and I are excited to work with Shaquille and look forward to the terrific possibilities to strengthen our position together.”

Steve Ritchie, President and CEO of Papa John’s, said, “In addition to his business acumen, Shaquille understands how to build lasting connections with consumers and energize employees. I look forward to working with him as a board member and brand partner to advance the many initiatives we are pursuing across the organization to create even greater success for Papa John’s and our stakeholders.”

“I have truly enjoyed the high-quality Papa John’s product for years and am excited to be able to help Papa John’s raise their game to new heights,” said Mr. O’Neal. “This is a triple threat opportunity for me. I am excited to join the Board and to help lead from the top, while also investing in nine stores in my home town of Atlanta and being an ambassador for the brand. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Board and using my experience in business and community to build on the progress being made at Papa John’s. Papa John’s is building a better culture, and I want to be a part of improving the Company from the inside out.”

Including Mr. O’Neal, six new directors have been added to the Company’s Board of Directors in 2019. This includes four new independent directors, Jeff Smith, CEO of Starboard Value who also is Papa John’s new independent Chairman, Michael Dubin, CEO and Founder of Dollar Shave Club, Jocelyn Mangan, CEO and Founder of Him For Her and a former executive at Snagajob and OpenTable, and Anthony Sanfilippo, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Entertainment, as well as Steve Ritchie, President and CEO of Papa John’s.

About Shaquille O’Neal

Mr. O’Neal’s business career includes success in broadcasting, endorsements, music, television and gaming. He has served as an analyst on Inside the NBA since 2011. He has been an investor in franchised and other restaurants since 2010 and actively operates Big Chicken, a fast casual fried chicken restaurant in Las Vegas, and Shaquille’s, a fine dining restaurant in Los Angeles. Mr. O’Neal is considered to be one of the most dominant basketball players in NBA history, drafted by the Orlando Magic with the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft. His NBA career spanned from 1992 until 2011. He serves on the national Board of Directors of Communities In Schools, a non-profit devoted to empowering students to stay in school and achieve in life.

About Papa John’s

Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) is the world’s third-largest pizza delivery company. In 2018, consumers rated Papa John’s No. 1 in product and service quality among national pizza chains in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). For 17 of the past 19 years, consumers have rated Papa John’s No. 1 in customer satisfaction among national pizza chains in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). For more information about the Company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John’s at www.papajohns.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain matters discussed in this press release and other company communications constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Generally, the use of words such as “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “will,” “forecast,” “plan,” “project,” or similar words identify forward-looking statements that we intend to be included within the safe harbor protections provided by the federal securities laws. Such forward-looking statements may relate to projections or guidance concerning: business performance; revenue; earnings; cash flow; investments in certain growth initiatives, advertising, marketing and promotional activity, rebranding efforts, and technological investments; capital allocation; consumer sentiment; profit margins; unit growth; unit level performance; capital expenditures; corporate governance; board composition, performance and strategy; shareholder and other stakeholder engagement and support; strategic decisions and actions; and related initiatives and actions. Such statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from those matters expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. The risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are involved in our forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to those in our risk factors discussed in detail in “Part I. Item 1A. — Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 30 2018. We undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of future events, new information or otherwise, except as required by law.


February Specials at Yoder Meats Make Meal and Snack Planning Easy

By Mike Thayer

Yoder MeatsBe sure to take advantage of the February Bundle and Butcher Bag Specials going on at Yoder Meats, THE best butcher shop in town!

February Bundle Special

  • 2 lbs. Stew Meat
  • 3 lbs. Beef Roast
  • 2 count Whole Fryer Chickens
  • 3 lbs. Pork Butt
  • 5 lbs. Ground Beef
  • 2 packages of Helmuth Noodles
  • 2 count Multi Pack Snack Sticks

Yoder Meats Feb BundleAll that variety and only $73! That's under $3.50 a pound of high quality meat and think about all the meal potential there!  Talk about COMFORT FOOD CITY!  You could make a fantastic Beef Stroganoff with that stew meat and noodles;  How about an easy peasy, tender and juicy crock pot beef roast and veggies?;  Drool over a fried chicken dinner on Sunday; Imagine a slow smoked Pork Butt and some tangy BBQ sauce that will satisfy everyone;  Break out the shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream for a batch of chili or toast some buns in garlic butter for great burgers using that ground beef!  All those meals will no doubt provide some excellent leftovers, but don't forget about the fantastic Snack Sticks with flavors like Sizzlin' Bacon and Zesty Barbecue!

I'm going to be grilling a Buffalo Beer Can Chicken with one of those chickens, stay tuned for the recipe and pics!

Butcher Bag for February

  • 1 lb. Pork Tenderloin
  • 2 lbs. Chicken Breast
  • 1 lb. Ground Pork
  • 2 lbs. Lamb Shoulder Steak
  • 1 count Multi Pack Snack Sticks

A very nice selection of meats and just $42! Imagine all the great meals you can create with this offering.....  An Asian Flare pork dish; Chicken Parmesan is always a crowd pleaser;  Put together a meatballs and marinara dish; Think about lamb steaks slow smoked in a marinade of olive oil, Kosher salt, Rosemary and freshly cracked black pepper; And don't forget the great Snack Sticks if you don't feel like cooking.  They ROCK!

The specials are available at all Yoder Meats locations.  I shop at the East Central location, the staff is super!

Yoder Meats
6458 E. Central
Wichita, KS 67206
P. 316-201-6409

Yoder Meats Feb Butcher Bag


Women, don't try to change your guy - it only drives him away

Mike Thayer

Sooner or later....

Trying to change your man may not drive him away right away, after all, he loves you.

But mark my words, it may take 20 years, constantly trying to change your man to how you want to do to things, WILL only drive him away sooner or later.  And then what do you have?  No man.  You drove away somebody that loved you, but he ended up not being able to live with you and your ever-trying-to-change-him ways.

And I'm not talking about the little things, like putting the toilet seat down, or not farting in public.

I'm talking about core values, core needs.

Your man needs a room to call his own in the house.  It could be a man cave, but that's not always feasible for every relationship or household setup.  Man gets that.  But let your man have his own space, somewhere.  Sure, you get the rest of the house/apartment, and that's fine by man.  Decorate how you want all the rest of the house with your flower patterned couch, frilly curtains and lace covered end tables, but do NOT tell a man how to decorate his cave/space.  And no, a home office space does NOT count!  A man needs a space to go AFTER work!  Let him have a man cave or some kind of space/room in the house to call his own, unless of course, you want him to spend time at the local neighborhood bar......

If your man wants to store BBQ seasonings in the kitchen, don't make him put them in a box in the basement or the garage, it's his kitchen too!  SHARE the kitchen to some extent at least.  If you, as the woman of the house do the majority of the cooking/baking/food prepping, by all means set up the kitchen to your liking.  Man is OK with that, but give him some space, a cabinet, a shelf, to call his own for when he wants to put some meat on the fire or yes, make you that occasional dinner.  Allow him to have that monkey butt fire spice or 5 alarm volcano rub in the kitchen, you may not like it, but I guarantee, he doesn't like the herbs de provence you've got in the spice rack either.  You're a couple, right?  Give your man at least some of that kitchen space.

If your man wants to wear jeans to a casual party, don't make him put on business casual.  Just don't.  You want to dress him right for a formal party?  Fine, he probably needs your help on that.  But for a gathering of close friends, do NOT tell him what to wear.  You want your man to be in a COMFORT zone and in his element at casual gatherings.  What you don't want is to get him all anal-retentive-wound-up before you even get to the party because you're nagging him, worried about how he looks......  Relax.  It's about the party, the friends, the conversation, NOT the clothes or the "image."

If your man is trying something new, or working on a project that makes him happy, do NOT interject/interrupt his thought process, let HIM figure things out.  A man needs a sense of purpose, to see a project/new task through as he sees fit.  Trust your man, he'll pleasantly surprise you, IF you let him.

To sum, when you met your guy and you were attracted to him, despite his burping, his occasional obnoxiousness, his scratching somewhere on himself that shouldn't be public......   Don't try change that behavior, it's man behavior!  Let it be.  Yes, have a Beatles moment.  Telling your guy to NOT do that stuff only creates an argument, or at the very least, pisses your man off.  Sure, he may be passive/nice about your nagging at the moment, but eventually, the nagging will cost you, sooner or later.

It is imperative that you allow your man to be his authentic self.  Look in the mirror and reflect on yourself BEFORE you try to criticize and/or be a control freak over the man in your life.   In other words, if you are unhappy with yourself, you're probably being overly critical of him.  As a general rule of thumb, the feedback to your man should be 75 percent positive, 25 percent negative, a.k.a., constructive criticism, NOT nagging!  If all you're doing is nagging, guess what, man leaves, maybe soon, for sure later. 

And guys, by all means try to squeeze the cheeks to avoid the complaint if you must, but ladies, if a guy farts in his own house, don't bitch.  Laugh it off or better yet, fire one back!  It's a human function after all, not just a man thing.

 


Chapter 13 - Accessories & Gadgets - Grilling Good Eats

Chapter 13 - Accessories & Gadgets

Mike ThayerGrilling Good Eats

by Mike Thayer

I already covered 'must have' essential tools in Chapter 2, but let's do a quick recap of the basics needed for cranking out a great meal from the grill before we get into accessories and gadgets.  

The charcoal chimney: For me, there’s really no better way to light charcoal.  They’re easy to use and there's no foul lighter fluid smell or residue. 

Grill gloves: Get a good glove for working with charcoal chimneys, re-positioning a grill grate, lifting a hot lid or even pulling some hot baked potatoes off the grill. 

Tongs: NO grill master is without a good pair of metal tongs. For added control and gripping power, be sure to buy a pair with some kind of scalloped edge in the tip end. 

A good spatula: A metal spatula for the grill is a MUST have. Pay the extra buck or two for quality, a metal spatula with a rubber or silicone grip. Stay away from wood handles!

A basting brush:  Get the newest brushes made out of dishwasher safe silicone. They don’t grab as much sauce like the traditional brushes do but they last longer, the brush ‘hairs’ don’t fall out and they clean up much easier. You’ll have to do a little more dipping, but that’s OK.

Meat thermometer: An instant-read meat thermometer is a good thing to have, especially if you want reassurance that what you've prepared for family or guests has hit the right temperature. Safe eats are good eats.

A good quality wire brush: It’s simply the best tool for keeping your grilling surface clean.

A good quality cast iron skillet: It can take the heat, they’re versatile and a well seasoned skillet, like charcoal, delivers another layer of flavor.

via www.grillinggoodeats.com


Grilling Good Eats: Chapter 13 - Accessories & Gadgets

Grilling Good Eats

by Mike Thayer

I already covered 'must have' essential tools in Chapter 2, but let's do a quick recap of the basics needed for cranking out a great meal from the grill before we get into accessories and gadgets.  

The charcoal chimney: For me, there’s really no better way to light charcoal.  They’re easy to use and there's no foul lighter fluid smell or residue. 

Grill gloves: Get a good glove for working with charcoal chimneys, re-positioning a grill grate, lifting a hot lid or even pulling some hot baked potatoes off the grill. 

Tongs: NO grill master is without a good pair of metal tongs. For added control and gripping power, be sure to buy a pair with some kind of scalloped edge in the tip end. 

via www.grillinggoodeats.com


KCBS Announces Inaugural World Championship Barbeque Contest Little Rock to Host KCBS Invitational Barbeque Competition

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) today announced its plans to host a world championship barbeque competition. The inaugural event will be an invitational contest exclusively for KCBS members and is scheduled for February 8th-9th, 2019 at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds in Little Rock, Arkansas. 
 
To qualify for the KCBS World Invitational Barbeque Championship, a team must have received a Grand Champion or Reserve Grand Champion award at a KCBS sanctioned contest within the previous calendar year or finish within the top 125 in the overall rankings at end of calendar year. Qualified team head cooks must be KCBS members in good standing. All International teams that have won Grand Champion and or Reserve Grand Champion in a KCBS- sanctioned contest are also eligible to compete.
 
This is the first time KCBS is duly organizing and sanctioning a barbeque contest. Since 1985, KCBS has been the leader in setting the standard rules, regulations, and procedures for competition barbeque teams, judges and event organizers in barbeque and food sport contests around the globe. Each year, KCBS sanctions over 450 barbeque contests and provides training and certification for barbeque contest judges. 
 
“We’re thrilled to share details of what we’ve been planning and working towards for many months now,” said Jason Cole, Event Chairman and member of the KCBS Board of Directors. “KCBS members will now have an unmatched annual invitational competition that determines the ultimate Grand Champion of KCBS pitmasters.” 
 
The KCBS Board carefully selected the date and location for the championship contest. Hosting the event in February allows the organization to invite the world’s top competition teams based on the previous year results to the marquee event that determines the ultimate KCBS champion team. Additionally, the Board was mindful of previously scheduled KCBS-sanctioned contests and selected the February dates to avoid distracting from events that have worked diligently to build their barbeque competition and events. The Arkansas State Fairgrounds location was selected based on research and site visits conducted by the Board’s Marketing Committee. The organization targeted locations in the central and southern United States based on ease of accessibility during seasonal travel conditions. The Marketing Committee scouted locations across Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana. 
 
KCBS will award $35,000 in prize money for this first annual World Invitational Barbeque Championship. Participants will compete for the championship title in the four meat categories – chicken, pork ribs, pork, and beef brisket – per the KCBS contest rules. The inaugural event will also include a KCBS-sanctioned National Steak Grilling Contest. 
 
“KCBS has wanted to host its own contest for some time now,” said Carolyn Wells, Founder and Executive Director. “Our members are consistently being awarded top honors at other championship contests that are significant in the barbeque community, so creating this contest will provide the ultimate barbeque contest bragging rights and allow our members to enjoy a best-of-the-best competition among KCBS members.” 
 
The new championship contest will become an annual event. As KCBS continues to grow, this new event aids in furthering its mission of promoting and enjoying barbeque worldwide. For more information, contact Jason Cole at jcole@kcbs.us 
 
About KCBS
 
THE KANSAS CITY BARBEQUE SOCIETY (KCBS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and enjoying barbeque, is the world's largest organization of barbeque and grilling enthusiasts with over 19,000 members worldwide
 
KCBS sanctions over 450 barbeque contests worldwide. From volunteering to actual event production, our members also offer assistance to civic and charitable organizations who organize events.
 
KCBS serves as a clearinghouse of barbeque information which provides:
 
 • Networking with related trade associations and other contest-sanctioning organizations
 
• Tracking trends in barbeque related products, and equipment
 
• Teaming up with other food organizations and the media to promote barbeque
 

Those so-called 're-closable' bags that aren't so 're-closable'

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Reclosable Bags
Not much effort by manufacturers is put into a GOOD 're-closable' bag

OK, is it just me, or are most of those so-called 're-closable' bags pretty much not so easily 're-closable' to where you just pull out a clip of some sort because that's easier......?

It's like the selling point of having a 're-closable' bag is more important than the actual function of it.  And yes, you pay for that in packaging, packaging that, well, doesn't quite deliver.

Good thing I have plenty of chip and binder clips on hand!


Cox Cable Sucks

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Football season is upon us....

So Cox Cable didn't want to work with me on adding TV to my service package - I currently have internet only. I'm paying $100 a month for internet. I want TV added so I can satisfy my football addiction.

"That'll be $140 a month," Cox says.

Meanwhile, Cox is offering new customers a TV, internet package deal for $89 a month. I mention that fact to the Cox sales rep, I acknowledge I'm not a new customer eligible for an introductory promotion deal, but surely, you, Cox, need to come down from $140 a month, I'm a long term and timely paying customer in good standing.....

"Nope," Cox says.

Not even the escalation department at Cox would work with me. I could only get a 'deal' @ $127 a month but ONLY if I added a phone I don't want or need, or if I added a security camera which I don't want or need..... Hey Cox, if you can afford to give me $127 a month by adding equipment I don't want, can't you afford to give me JUST internet and TV for the same price?

"Nope," Cox says.  Per the escalation department, that phone or security camera HAS to be installed and in use (a.k.a., equipment rental fee, additional taxes, rate goes up after one year and I have to sign a two year deal).

Cox Cable needs some cable competition in this town.  They are overpriced and they don't give a rat's rear end about keeping their customers in good standing happy.  They are a monopoly and they know it.  Sure, I could get Dish or DSL, but that's flat out just not the same thing.  I'll get to view a lot of football games with my HDTV antenna and enjoy other programming via my Roku, but I will miss some football games and major league baseball playoffs I was looking forward to viewing with a cable TV subscription.  Cable competition is needed, it will drive down prices and improve service.