|Sometimes when I'm nervous I...stick my hands in my arms...|
|...and I smell them.|
OK, first of all, congratulations to the New York Giants for winning the Super Bowl this year. Mazel Tov.
Now, here's the deal: as some of you know, I give my sports love to the Red Sox and the Bruins (that's Boston, not UCLA), and though I watch NFL football every Sunday, and Monday, and Thursday, and the odd Saturday, I don't really have a deep emotional attachment to the Patriots; never have. I think the reason is that the Pats got good during the time that I lived in Cleveland, when the Browns and their every day soap opera played out on the front pages. The Browns, after sucking for two suck-filled years under the tutelage of - irony alert - Bill Belichik - packed up and moved to Baltimore, making the Browns' owner, Art Modell, the most hated human being on the planet. There was plenty of drama there; I didn't need to follow any other team.
Anyway, over the years I've softened that stance just a little bit. And even though my personal opinion was that the Giants would, in fact, win the game, I wanted the Pats to win enough to ...
To bet against them. Is that weird?
Here's my thinking: If there's a team I want to win, I want some sort of consolation prize if they lose. And I have worked this particular hustle since 2004.
In April of that year, I bet my boy Other Dave $200, at 5:1 odds, that the Red Sox would not win the World Series. Think about that: When the season STARTED, I gave Dave 5:1 and took THE ENTIRE FIELD, American and National League teams alike, and he took the Red Sox - who, I should remind those outatownahs, hadn't won el enchilada mas grande since 1918, some 86 years previous. It was a good bet. It was a great bet when the Sawx were down 3-0 in the ALCS.
After that the bet kind of lost its luster. But here's the thing: All during both series, when the boys had their backs up against the wall, I maintained my rooting interest, my wager be damned. I have proof of this: I decided that I should break my tradition and not watch the games in my basement, spinning pool balls into the pockets of my table with my hand exactly three times per pitch, giving the Sox all the Good Jew Juju that they needed, or even wanted. So I spent the evening at none other than Very Josie and her brood, yelling, screaming and jumping about, notwithstanding the fact that Ursa Sucrosum had gone to bed already.
Anyway, the point is, if the Sox lost I had (what I thought was) an easy two hundred squeeds, but if the Red Sox won, why, that was just swell too. And when the Sox finally won it all ("ground ball by Renteria - stabbed by Foulke - he has it - and the Red Sox are World Champions! Can you believe it?") we screamed, and danced, and hugged, and sat and watched all the post-game piffle with perma-smile and I didn't think of that thousand bucks once.
And when I handed the moolah over the next day, OD was gracious as was possible, and bought me lunch. And you know what? That thousand bucks is scattered to the four winds, has been for years - but I still think of that Renteria ground-out and a smile stretches across my face.
In a similar vein I also bet "My Buddy Ken" fifty U.S. dollars against the Boston Bruins when they made the Finals. Lost that one, too, and cared even less about that one than the big one.
And yes, I bet this guy fifty bucks that the Giants would win, straight-up:
|We call him Ass-Chin. He deserves it.|
This is the first time one of these bets has gone my way, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I really wanted the Pats to win, if for no other reason than to stick it in the ear of every Giants fan from here to Glory. Alas, it was not to be, but I'm fifty bucks ahead of things.
I feel like I should buy something with it that offers some source of penance, something that shows that this is kind of dirty money. My initial idea was heroin, but I'm not sure how much a half a yard will buy me. So I might just buy ten cases of Mountain Dew Purple and kill my pancreas. I'd love to hear your suggestions, especially insofar as most of you are delightfully fucking bent. And You-Know-Who: I'm sorry you had to hear this story yet again.
And to Patriot Faithful everywhere: Just Wait Till Next Year!