Super Bowl madness? I’ll pass

February 1, 2009

I know you’re making a crazy bet right now.  Or at least sometime throughout the evening.  You have to be.  It’s Super Bowl Sunday, after all.

Yeah, yeah, you’re just doing it to be social.  I know the deal.  I’ve put my money on a few Super Bowl party board squares before.  It’s not my first dance. 

But what always surprises me is why the hell I do it.  It goes against everything I try to stand for as a gambler.  Intelligence and control.  Maybe that’s another reason why I never bet on sports anyway.  There’s something about putting my financial future in the hands of somebody I’ve never met before in my life that rubs me the wrong way.  I need at least some control over the outcome of the bet.  Some ability to put myself in the driver’s seat. 

Every March, my friend for years invites me to Vegas for March Madness.  I always ask him (even though I know the answer because it’s the same every week) what we’re going to do.  His answer – what else?  Drink, gamble and watch the basketball.

The whole vacation?  Yes.

Now, I’m actually not a huge fan of Vegas these days.  I’ve been almost a half dozen times throughout my life.  The first couple I wasn’t even old enough to gamble, and I have to say I almost had as much fun as a 10-year-old wasting time in the basement of the Excalibur than I did the last time I went for someone’s bachelor’s party.  Vegas is full of crappy shows, lame comedians, upscale shopping malls, decent buffets (yeah, just decent), and a little bit of gambling on the side.

All right, I’m losing my point, which is — even though Vegas doesn’t have the mystique and excitement for me that it once did, the last thing I want to do during a trip up there is watch basketball the WHOLE day and night.  Drink yes, gamble a little at the tables, sure.  Watch a few hours?  Eh…I suppose.  Just not my scene…I even retired from NCAA Tournament pools (2-3 career record, that’s for the big money) and fantasy football (2-2 as far as taking home money, won it all once). 

So that brings me back to Super Bowl Sunday, and making CRAZY bets.  What is it about this day that gets everyone so swept away in the moment that they throw logic to the wind?  I’m sorry, but when people start banking on Lebron James scoring more points than both NFL teams combined, or how many commercials will play before the first field goal….you lose me.

I’ve seen amazing poker players, that guy whose goldfish could’ve just died and his face wouldn’t crack a bit, make the dumbest bets…sometimes not even affected by alcohol.

When I was back in college in Missouri, the town was going insane because the Rams were in it, taking on the Titans.  Kurt Warner back then, Kurt Warner now.  Anyway, almost as crazy as one of the pledges getting his head dunked in the snow repeatedly during halftime was the amount of “side betting” people were doing on the game.  And let me also say this was before poker became “popular.”  This was just guys with extra money from selling back their beat up textbooks the semester before.  $60 a square on this.  $100 this commercial would come on before this commercial…give me a break.

I can’t do it.  And if that means being the “buzz kill” of the party and sitting alone in the corner with the overly spicy jalapeno poppers and flat diet Coke… so be it.

Unless, of course, the Bears make it back…then….well, then all bets are off!