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Gambling: A Hate Story

First of all, congratulations to the Indianapolis Colts on winning their first Super Bowl in 36 years, and their first since moving to Indianapolis.  The boys in Blue beat the Chicago Bears 29-17. . .and, quite frankly, it wasn't nearly that close.  Outside of two plays, the Bears did exactly jack squat all night, and Rex Grossman proved that he deserves to be firmly entrenched in the "worst quarterback ever to start a Super Bowl" list for years to come.

And yet, the Bears going out and crapping the bed in front of a worldwide audience doesn't make me 100% happy?  Why?  Because of one of the things that makes the NFL. . .and damn it, America in general. . .great.

Over at the Vikings' board, we have a little something called the "Ultimate Bookie Challenge."  The basic premise is this. . .whoever wants to particpate sends in $30 to one person, who holds all the checks until after the contest has finished.  Each week, each person involved makes two "Best Bets" worth one point each, and one three-team parlay worth 5 points.  The points and stuff change as the playoffs come about and there are less teams. . .after all, it's tough to do a three-team parlay when there's only two teams left.

So, going into Super Bowl week, I was in the lead. . .I had 57 points, second place had 52, and two other people were tied at 51.  For this week, we were simply supposed to pick the winner (based on the point spread, which was Indy -7) and pick which side of the over/under the game would fall on, the O/U being 48.

For my game pick, I took Indy. . .which was the easy choice.  Seriously, if you honestly thought the Bears had any chance of winning this one. . .well, you might be legally retarded.  I also went with "over."  Now, I submitted my picks on Friday afternoon. . .and I spent almost all day today debating whether I should change it to "under," which I could have done any time prior to kickoff.  But, I decided I'd stick with the over, and so the game began.

So, fast forward to the 4th quarter, just under two minutes to go.  The Colts get stopped on 3rd down, leaving them with 4th and 6 from the Chicago 17-yard line.  I'm psyched, because I expect to see Adam Vinateri trot out onto the field, hit the chip shot field goal, and run the total to 49, thereby putting the game firmly into the "over" category.

Instead. . .I was horrified to not see Vinateri take the field at all.  I saw Peyton Manning hand the ball to Dominic Rhodes and get stopped short of a first down.  I then watched Rex Grossman continue to urinate on himself, and when the clock showed 0:00, the total number of points scored was still only 46.

Each of our picks for this week was worth 8 points.  I got 8 for picking the Colts, which was nice. . .but I had to check and see if anyone had both the Colts and the under.

The player with 52 points had the Colts and the under.  So did one of the players with 51.  That gave each of them 16 points for the final week, and allowed them to leapfrog me in the final standings.  This, along with losing the championship game in my only money league in fantasy football, made it a relatively fruitless gambling year for yours truly.

So, at the same time. . .congratulations to Tony Dungy for bringing some class to winning the Super Bowl, and damn you, Tony Dungy, for not kicking the FG at the end of the game.