Football is back. Can you believe it? Last night, sitting in my favorite bar with two of my favorite people, I got to yell “WIDE LEFT” drunkenly at a muted television screen just before Graham Gano made contact with the football and turned my words into reality and an 0-1 start to the season for the Carolina Panthers.
I felt alive.
And now that football is back, so is the Hypothetical SuperContest. It’s our fourth year here! We’ve had our ups, our downs and probably a few to many references to Jon Gruden. For those that have been here from the jump (Hi Rory! Hi Dad!): thanks so much for supporting my degenerate dreams. For those new to this space, welcome to my gambling nightmare.
Well, it’s not necessarily a nightmare. Not every week at least.
It is unseasonably hot right now. Yesterday, it was 70 degrees outside. In New York City. I took my dog for a walk in a t-shirt and shorts and had a bit of a sweat going by the end of it.
It is December 13th.
We made it.
Another season of professional football has arrived and with it, another year of the The Hypothetical SuperContest. Oh man, it feels good to be back. Last night, the Patriots and Steelers rang in the gambling new year, with Pittsburgh completing an unbelievable backdoor push that did not go unnoticed by the great Al Michaels.
If you’re new here, there’s a good chance that you didn’t understand any parts of that previous sentence other than “Patriots,” “Steelers” and “the great Al Michaels.” No worries mate, you will soon. In the mean time… Read More
Update 1 – 12:28pm
I just arrived at the Downingtown chapter of Buffalo Wild Wings, one of my favorite establishments in these United States. It was here that I enjoyed almost every NFL Sunday this season. It was here that I bought a round of Jameson shots for strangers when the Seahawks miraculously tied the Packers in the NFC Championship to force overtime, and then picked up those strangers in pure elation after RUSSELL HUSTLE BUSTLE WILSON won the game, prompting another round of Jameson shots.
I have often said that this is my happiest place on Earth. Give me $50 and a full slate of sports at BWW, and I might as well be on vacation in Hawaii for a week. This is the shit that I live for.
All good things must come to an end.
Sadly, the NFL regular season is no different. There are very few things I enjoy more than a full slate of games on an NFL Sunday. If I were asked to pick my 30 favorite calendar days of any given year, I guarantee that all 17 of those Sundays would be included on the list, with Christmas, Thanksgiving, Selection Sunday, and a few random nights where I got lucky with cards or women thrown in to fill out the rest. Read More
Sometimes it’s hard to keep going. In the throes of what I can say with confidence is my worst gambling season since I was initiated into this fraternity of degenerates, it’s difficult to figure out why exactly I am doing this. I write a gambling column out of a love of the game and a love of the gamble, but in a season this brutal, it is challenge enough to continue loving the process, and even more challenging to write about it. My failures have not only been greater than ever before, but also more public. I am shitting my pants on stage while the spotlight is on me. Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I am at the very least, publicly failing at picking football games. And that sucks.
So I look myself in the mirror and ask, with sincerity, “Why are you doing this?”
Not simply gambling, not simply writing, but living, existing, breathing. What’s the reason? Why are you here if you are just going to keep making awful picks, Tyler?
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.