Jay C. Brandriet
I’m grateful I’ve never gotten too heavy into sports betting. It’s not my gift. Being attached to an NFL franchise is painful enough.
I make bets with buddies, which is usually the end result of an argument.
I do participate in a picks league. I started doing this in 1992 with my friends from Sportsman’s Warehouse.
There is usually 50 to 60 of us that play. It’s for fun money, more than big money.
We choose the team we think will win, and assign it a number based on our confidence in the outcome.
For example…. Say there are 16 games that NFL weekend. We use each of the numbers, 1 through 16. You assign each matchup one of those digits.
I don’t excel at it. I just love spending the ten minutes each week making my picks.
There is a glaring flaw in my strategy.
I don’t bet against the Dallas Cowboys.
I’m not very superstitious, but it feels wrong to do it. It feels disloyal and dirty.
This activity is supposed to be for the head, not the heart.
I go through different stages in how to minimize the damage. Some years I’ll keep my numbers low. It’s a disadvantage to always bet on the same team regardless of the circumstances.
There was one time, I made an exception.
It was the second to last weekend of the 2002 season. I was in a position to take first place for the year. Every point mattered, and I had to consider playing things straight. The Cowboys were pretty bad. They would be hosting an outstanding Eagles team.
I was confronted with feelings and routine, versus cash.
I did something I had never done before or since. I bet against the Dallas Cowboys.
Even then, I could only put a “5” on the Eagles.
That Sunday I watched every snap like I always do. Philadelphia smashed Dallas 27 to 3.
The experience sucked.
There was SOME pride in knowing, leaning on logic had literally paid off.
In the 464 opportunities I’ve had to bet a Cowboys game, I picked against them once.
The following Monday I went to see Dale Smith at work. As he was counting to 225, with five dollar bills, I’ll never forget what I was thinking.
“I’d give it all back to not have had that miserable three hours yesterday. I’d much rather “we” had finished 6-10 instead of 5-11.”
Nobody will question how big of fan I am, but it does get in the way of my brain.
Jay C. Brandriet