November 5, 2013 at 10:08 am

Annoyed, amazed, appalled

Frustration builds over commercial, the Wolverines, Mega Millions

Kevin Naumann of Berkley took fifth place in last year's Big Buck Hunter championships — a ranking that earned him $1,500. (Victor Jeffreys II)

On any given day, I am short and fuzzy and mildly bemused. As I stitch this column together, I am several other things as well.

I am amazed that Geoffrey Fieger keeps repeating the same grammatical error in his commercials.

I am agog at a few factoids I discovered about the University of Michigan’s football history with Michigan State.

I am apprehensive that LinkedIn suggested I connect with someone who has been dead for three years.

I am amused at the name of the spokesman for the International Association of Fire Fighters. (Tim Burn, you were born for the job.)

I am astonished at the newly inflated odds against winning the Mega Millions jackpot.

I am applauding the four siblings from Oakland County who hope to win $15,000 in Chicago this weekend playing a game that involves electronic shotguns and also frequently encompasses beer.

Mostly, I am appreciative that I get to sit here ruminating about stuff while across the street, four guys with picks and shovels are standing atop a building overhang in the wind, ripping up a stubborn tarred-over roof.

But those Fieger Law ads are starting to bug me — specifically, the part at the end where he says, “We didn’t become one of America’s best trial lawyers by accident.”

By “we,” I assume he’s referring to his corps of attorneys. Or it could be he has a very small litigator in his pocket. But “we,” being a nominative plural, does not mesh with “one.”

He either needs to say “I didn’t become,” or he needs to say “some of America’s best trial lawyers,” or he needs to say “one of America’s best trial law firms.”

Or he could just introduce his kids and give out an 800 number, but that role has already been spoken for.

Win-win situation

As for the Michigan vs. Michigan State football game, I married into an MSU family and Son No. 2 is a U-M freshman. So whether I root for my family or my money, I win.

What dazzled me Saturday, aside from MSU’s defense, was this factoid, courtesy of Son No. 1: For nine-straight games against MSU, Michigan has scored fewer points than the year before.

In double-checking that, I also discovered this: playing annually from 1919-32, MSU scored a grand total of three points against Michigan. Oddly, the Spartans didn’t lose all 14 games; there were two straight 0-0 ties.

Mega worse or better?

Also by the numbers:

Your chances of winning the Mega Millions jackpot were already worse than your chances of getting sued by Fieger while attending a scoreless football game in Ann Arbor.

Now they’re absurd.

With minimal trumpeting, the multi-state consortium that oversees the game changed the format last month. Instead of selecting five of 56 possible white balls, players now select five of 75. The number of gold balls, from which players select one, fell from 46 to 15.

If that somehow looks easier — only 15 gold balls! — looks are deceiving. The odds against winning the jackpot used to be 175,711,535 to 1. Now they’re an are-you-kidding-me 258,890,849 to 1.

The object is to make jackpots climb higher quicker, because the public doesn’t get energized until the top prize hits $200 million or so. That makes perfect sense, since a mere $60 million jackpot would hardly change anybody’s life at all.

Under the new format, the second prize increases from $250,000 to $1 million — though the odds against winning it also increased, from 1 in 3.9 million to 1 in 18.5 million.

In short, if you’re hoping to get rich quick, you’re better off going to a bar and playing the arcade game Big Buck Hunter.

Different kinds of shots?

The Naumann quartet of Berkley — Eric, 31; Kevin, 27; Steven, 26; and Laura, 21 — will compete Friday and Saturday in the world championships at a tavern called 1st Ward at The Chop Shop.

Only 96 shooters from across the country qualified to compete for $63,000 in prize money. The top shooter collects $15,000 and gets his or her name inscribed on the Stanley Cup of Big Buck Hunter, which looks like a moonshine container and is known as Pappy’s Jug.

That might not be quite the same level of immortality as starring in a big victory over Michigan, but I’d take it.
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Fieger (Max Ortiz)
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