Monday, December 26, 2011

One of those Guys

In the summer of 1969 my brother and I worked in the post office trowing (we were trained to trow not throw) parcels into bins. We were summertime vacation replacements. One of the fellows who started with us decided to continue working at the post office after the summer was up. A year later my brother went to visit him and his report was amusing. Don, the full time worker, reminisced with my brother about the employees we had met when we first started out. Then he said, "Guess what. Now I am one of those Guys."

The Raccoon Lodge will not win the football pool this year. We were the champions last year, but after my performance this past weekend, we have no shot to finish close to the top. My brother left it to me to pick the teams this past week. Very unwise choice on his part. While I sleuthed out the contests diligently, had a plan that seemed like it made sense, and won a number of the early games--including Indianapolis upset win over Houston and Buffalo startling Tebow and the Broncos--six of my other picks were incredible losers.

I have mentioned regularly in this blog how when one bets against the spread it is like flipping a coin. In football it is like flipping a coin while walking a tightrope. So many strange things can happen. I remember years ago meeting a self-impressed basketball better in Las Vegas who told me he does not do football. He said, "Football will drive you crazy with last minute stuff."

So, it can. Let's consider the fate of the Raccoon Lodge.

We won Indianapolis, we won the Giants, we won the Panthers, we won the Steelers and, hah, we won the Bills--up five and we had not even finished the one o'clock games. The rest of the story is this...

Baltimore was beating up on Cleveland and had plenty to beat the 13 point spread. Then they decide to relax. Final score 20-14. Tennessee is up by 20 points to Jacksonville. Another easy winner giving up only 7.5. Tennessee decides to take an afternoon siesta and the final is 23-17 which sinks the Raccoon Lodge,

Those are nothing though. How about San Francisco giving up 2.5 and winning 19-17. And there are the Bears getting 13 points to the Packers. The final 35-21. KC is giving up 1 and loses in overtime by 3. The Patriots are giving up 9.5 and go up 27-17 in the fourth quarter which would make me a winner, but they give up a meaningless touchdown at the end to the Dolphins who can barely swim. Final 27-24.

But my favorite of the day is Arizona and Cincinnati. This made it clear that the Raccoon Lodge is out of business. I have Arizona plus 4. Arizona is getting shellacked so I figure it is a loser. But, lo, there is hope. There is hope. Arizona down 23-0 scores 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. And they are driving to tie the score. If they tie, the game will likely go into overtime. In overtime games are typically decided by a field goal, so with four points in my pocket it does not matter if Arizona loses by 3 or wins by 3. The Raccoon Lodge would still win. On fourth down Arizona lofts a pass to a player that is so uncovered that my maternal grandmother could catch it, and she is no longer with us. However this absolutely all alone player falls down like a toddler stumbling after learning how to walk, and the ball bounces behind him. The Arizona quarterback puts his hands to his helmet in a gesture of incredulity. He should have seen my gesture in the sports bar.

The Raccoon Lodge is dead.

I am one of those guys.

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