As the ol’ phrase goes, some people just never learn. You’d think Isaac Hinds would know better by now, though. I mean, how many times does it take to get spanked by the Swami on the pro men’s predictions?
Despite my total domination over the Lifter in recent years, he dared to challenge my word that Silvio Samuel would be crowned champion when the fella’s took the stage at the Houston Pro this weekend. To show you how sure I was of this easy selection, I turned in my Mr. Olympia preview piece to the magazine 10 days ago–and said in the article that Silvio would have won this event by the time the story hit the streets.
Remember when Hinds said Toney Freeman would finish third in the 2007 Olympia in “The Experts” video?–and the X-Man fell all the way to 14th? Yes, probably the worst prognostication of all time. Isaac swears the 110 degree temperature on the hotel roof, plus the fact he was not given any food or water before the shoot, contributed to his lack of cerebral control. Was that Yogi’s excuse, too? How come none of these things affected my typically accurate selections, and I have 10 years on you?
Okay, what’s the excuse for this one?; Hinds bet me lunch that it would be Darrem Charles, not Samuel, who would wear the crown in Texas. And, he was sitting in his Greenwood Village, Colorado condo, in perfect weather, when he had the nerve to challenge me once again.
As it turns out, Darrem ended up way down the line in a relatively weak line-up–sixth, to be exact. I am implementing a new rule for all wagers, retroactive with this bet…if the dude you select doesn’t make the top five, the price tag doubles. So, my man, you have your choice–two lunches, at an eatery of my choice, or one grand dinner. Pick your poison. And learn your lesson, will ya? I’m not called the Swami by accident. And, I’m trying to keep my weight under 180, which it has been the past two weeks (from the 203 I balloned up to last Labor Day), so you get a break. Oh, I’ll collect at the USA in Vegas at the end of the month? Well, I’ll just up the cardio when I get back home.
Craig Richardson finished second behind Silvio, with Leo (the Lion) Ingram in third; the latter two join Silvio in qualifying for the Mr. O battle at the Orleans Arena at the end of September. Armin Scholz placed fourth, with Bill Wilmore rounding out the top five.
Only seven competitors showed up in the 202 and under (most folks didn’t even know there would be that division at this show based on prior publicity), and it ended with a Junior Cal flavor as “Sting” Ray Arde, who earned that moniker when he crushed the field in my first production in 1999, bested Tricky Jackson (second) and Jeff Long (third).
Back to Silvio. Guess eating at Burger King after the prejudging at the Junior Cal, and swallowing those ribs at the Cheesecake Factory after the show, didn’t do one bit of harm, as he assured me. Okay, Samuel swears it was Yogi Avidan, not him, inhaling the Burgers in Pasadena, but I did witness, as did Jay Cutler, Silvio putting down the ribs, slathered with barbeque sauce, at the post contest dinner.
Genetics are a bitch. Tastes good to me, eh Lifter?