Monday, January 23, 2017


In what is an aberration this football season, I picked the conference championships accurately yesterday.  I just reread the blog I posted about the games. Not only did I get the winners, and winners against the spread, right, but the rationale I provided for the picks was, one day in retrospect, clearly on the mark.  This is good reason to stay away from any prediction I might make about anything in the near future.  Had I been in Las Vegas last weekend, the casino owners would have been delighted at my victory anticipating that the result of my successful prognoses would be additional bets on which, one could successful wager, I would lose.

Last year my brother and I went to Las Vegas to watch the betters on superbowl weekend. We thought it would be a blast, but it was one of the least enjoyable times I have spent there. For some reason the smoke seemed more pervasive, the crowds too oppressive, and the expense to even find a place to comfortably watch a game almost otherworldly.  During March Madness most casinos are just first come first serve for seating.  On Superbowl weekend, entrance into the books comes at a steep price--as I recall something on the order of 200 dollars a ticket. This for the right to blow more money on the game.

It would have been different had the Patriots been in the game last year.  But alas it was the Broncos who represented the AFC and therefore I had to be reminded of our (note the pronoun) loss to the Broncos whenever I encountered an obnoxious Denver fan screaming for the Orange in what proved to be a boring contest.

Not positive where I will watch the game this year. For a period we would go over to a friend's house to watch the superbowl, but we've veered from that pattern.  So, I am likely to watch in a sports bar near the house.  One reason for selecting that venue is because both last week, and last night I was perched there when the Patriots defeated the Texans and then the Steelers.    Last night I was able to secure the stool where my buddy Kenny had sat the prior weekend. It has turned out that this seat is a lucky spot.

Some things about the experience of watching the championship game, from start to finish, in a place packed with Patriots supporters.

  • On occasion we go out to breakfast on Sunday morning at a diner that is right next to this bar where I watched last week's game.  We got to the diner around noon yesterday and I noticed, not exaggerating, a guy dressed up in Patriots gear, get out of a car and walk into the tavern a full 6 hours and forty minutes before the kick-off to secure a seat in the tavern.  
  • I waited 6 1/2 hours and arrived at 635 for the 640 kick off and got very lucky because the open seat referred to above had recently been vacated.  
  • The fellow to my left was not the guy who came in at noon, but in the three and a half hours he sat next to me he said not more than a dozen words that I could make out.  He'd respond to a question with words, but after a couple of "whats" and repetitions I just gave up and nodded as if I understood the response or any of his subsequent utterances.
  • The guy to my right could not sit down even though a seat was vacated sometime in the second quarter. He was too nervous.
  • We gave high fives all around to complete strangers when the Patriots scored.
  • The bar made a fortune.  Guys all around me were banging them down like three to every one I could consume.  If I drank like my cheering neighbors I would not have gotten up until the superbowl.
  • The bartenders were into it, cheering during special plays.
  • Occasionally yelps went up at peculiar times. A fellow knocking back Yuenglings conjectured, I think correctly, that the sporadic shouts must be due to Keno that was played throughout the contest.
  • Every tv set in the place was set to the Patriots game even though other sporting events were taking place at the same time.
  • A lot of the fellows who like the Patriots like pizza as well.  The place actually makes a good pizza and yesterday there were several samplers.
  • The gender breakdown was about 15-1.  
  • Nobody near me was rooting for the Steelers except when they scored their last touchdown and a two point conversion. Then the Yuengling fellow was happy because he had won a square.  This is a football type game where for a certain amount you buy a square that has numbers on it. If you had 6 for the Patriots and 7 for the Steelers, this meant that if the game ended, as it did, 36-17, you would win as the second digit of each score was a 6 and 7.  I don't know how much was at stake with these last night, but I can recall winning once and coming away with a surprising number of shekels.
  • The game was not real close, but I as a fan was still holding my breath at the half.
  • A party wandered in off the street dressed to kill and apparently oblivious to the fact a game was going on. Each ordered drinks that stumped the bartender.
  • I had no money on the game, but loved watching "us" win.  My dad used to say that it was a shame when people did not like sports, because of the fun involved.  This comment did not resonate a whole lot with my mother, but I agreed and agree absolutely.  The allure of sport is such that last night I felt elated while a year ago when we lost to the Broncos I felt, well--to use a word that is prickly in these parts--deflated.

No comments:

Post a Comment