I love sports & I love betting on stuff, and I really really love betting on sports. More on that in a moment.
When I was in high school my friend Barry and I had a running bet where if either of us could guess in one try how much money the other one had on them at that moment, within a dollar, you got to keep the other person’s money. There were by-laws and fine print and all sorts of sub-rules, such as you couldn’t place the bet in the same day that you SAW the other person’s wallet contents, like at a fast food place or whatever, and you couldn’t try to place the bet more than one time per week. I seem to remember winning a bunch of times, since high school kids invariably didn’t have large/complex sums of money on them in the 1980s, but I think I only actually lost the money once. After that one time I took to carrying a crumpled five hidden in my back pocket so that if Barry guessed correctly I could spontaneously “find” my missing fiver that would skew the bet and I could hold on to my cash.
So, you can see that I’m not above cheating to win or at the very least, cheating to avoid losing. Unfortunately, when it comes to sports betting I’m not sure I can overcome the clear evidence that the universe does not want me to win. I can bet on absolute mortal locks and still wind up losing; in fact, while I don’t believe in a lot of superstitions that other people share, like leprechauns or Jesus*, I’m firmly convinced that I can alter the very laws of nature itself by my sports wagering. If water being wet was a sport I could bet on it and somehow it would end up dry.
Still, I really love betting on sports. Last year I had a whole plan about how I was going to find one NFL game a week and put $100 on it, until I finally lost. I won the first week, in a closer match than I wanted, then I won the 2nd week. By week three I was planning what I would do with 17 weeks worth of $90 winnings (betting $100 gets you only $90 in winnings – it’s how casinos make money). I think I was torn between putting it all on the over/under in the superbowl or just setting the money on fire in a pile in the back yard, but it turns out I didn’t have to make that decision since the fucking Carolina Panthers ended up winning by two points instead of three. Fuck you Carolina Panthers, this isn’t over between us.
So this year I have a new system, which boils down to: bet against the Atlanta Falcons every week no matter what the point spread is. While their former back up (and now starting) quarterback may be the one white person in America who was in favor of Michael Vick’s dog torturing empire, he’s not much of a quarterback. In fact, I’m pretty sure the Falcons only signed Joey Harrington because they lost a bet or someone dared them or something. During the week that the Falcons have off I’m thinking I’ll bet against the Raiders no matter what the point spread is. I’m not sure what I will do with 17 weeks worth of winnings, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to invest the money into the Little Baby Cupcake’s college fund. Or possibly put it all on the over/under in the NFC Wild Card Game. I hear it’s a lock.
*Through years of research I’ve found that nothing bothers devout Christians more than the leprechaun comparison. I like to tease the Christians, but only becuse they believe in an invisible zombie who doesn’t want them to think dirty thoughts.