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Last week I watched football in New York City.

After checking out the People’s Climate March and a bit of yelling at corporations, I met up with my friend and diehard cheesehead Peter at a Packers bar uptown. We drank and watched the Packers lose, then drank and watched the Eagles win, then drank another shot because we remembered that the Packers had lost. After that we went back to his apartment and ate tacos and watched RedZone. It was a great day.

A little before 7:30pm I had to roll out, with plans to meet my cousin for more drinks later in the evening. At the time of my departure, there was about ten minutes left in the Broncos-Seahawks game, the Broncos defense had just forced a safety to cut the Seahawks lead to 17-5. I felt pretty good about my chances of Seattle (-5) covering as my feet hit 83rd street, but as I walked south towards my subway station I chanced upon a bar with open bay windows and a big screen showing the game. Peyton Manning was driving the field and eventually hit Julius Thomas with a three yard touchdown pass to make it 17-12. My bet now felt like a sure push.

I decided to wait and see what happened on the next few drives, and what followed was one of the most exciting conclusions to a game so far this season. This is because I watch games as both a football fanatic and gambling addict. Sometimes, both of those synapses in my brain start firing on all cylinders and a perfect union of football appreciation is born. Allow me to explain.

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Keep Calm / No Regrets

This is lame but works really well for the narrative so just roll with me here.

Last week I spoke of the importance of finishing strong. This was of course, after putting off publishing my picks until mere minutes before kickoff on Sunday, and relying on an admittedly less-than-great gimmick of embedding my tweets within the article.

You can knock the execution, but not the results. I went 4-1 in my Week 14 picks, and could’ve gone 5-0 for the second time this season if I had only remembered how evil Evil Peyton Manning could truly be. There was an entire week of national coverage dedicated to how Manning was unable to play in the snow, so of course Evil Peyton Manning would be looking to slaughter the Titans last Sunday. And he did. And I should have known that he would.

But in this anecdote lies one more real-life lesson I want to express through this Hypothetical column: Don’t let your mistakes get you down.

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Ashamed

This is getting ugly.

I mean, things have been worse, but to give you an idea of how I feel about my picks recently, I google image searched “ashamed” to find this picture to lead off the column.

Last week as I attempted to bring my hypothetical picks back to hypothetical glory, I instead dug myself deeper into the pits of poor pickdom. Has my time in London finally caught up with me? Is my removal from American culture seeping through? Would I be better serving the world if I started hypothetically picking the Premiere League?

No.

This is just a bad stretch. All gamblers go through them, and I must pass this God-given test to prove my hypothetical worthiness.

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Ashton Meem

I wanted to lead with this picture to remind myself what this process is all about.

You, the hypothetical reader of this hypothetical column, may have noticed that I haven’t been doing a whole lot of picking lately. The past two weeks I have outsourced the duties of selecting teams to triumph over the spread to different people I trust: boys I watch football with and a girl who would prefer I properly appreciate Parisian sunsets as opposed to trying to type about football on a French keyboard. Read More

So I like to gamble.

A lot.

I like gambling enough to split that thought into three separate lines in order to properly illustrate it to you, the reader.

With that established, my recent move to study for a semester in London has brought about a few inhibiting factors to my gambling abilities this year:

  1. In London, I am a broke person. Granted, this has not stopped me from gambling before, but it is important to know.
  2. In London,  friends to gamble with are more difficult to find, and bookies are real and scary, not fun-loving and encouraging like the ones in Vegas.
  3. In London, no one wants to watch football (they much prefer football).
  4. In London, the 1 pm NFL games start at 6 pm. In order to watch football the way I watch football, I will be up until 5 am for the next seventeen Sundays.
  5. In London, it is impossible to find NFL RedZone. I really miss Scott Hanson.

Because of this, I have devised a plan to appease my gambling tendencies for the year: I am going to (hypothetically) join the Las Vegas Hilton SuperContest.

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