Other than the Cowboys victory – which I didn’t see because Fox showed the 49ers vs. the Vikings instead – it was a pretty horrible week for my football picks. Now, I don’t gamble, but if I did, I would have gone an amazing 0-5 against the spread, which by the way, mathematicians will tell you is just as impressive as going 5-0. So I’ve got that going for me. You know, hypothetically.
I get up earlier than my girls on the weekend because my body only allows me to sleep until 6:30, which is two hours later than I wake Monday-Friday. So I’ll get up, scan the TV for the best game possible, then start the laundry and other chores than can be done relatively noise-free. I don’t want to be “that guy” that starts vacuuming at 7 AM on a Saturday morning.
Maybe I bought into the whole UCLA revival a little too strongly. I can’t explain why, but there’s some kind of romantic ideal that wants UCLA to be good. Again, I don’t know why. I never followed them growing up, and generally spent more team at USC while I was in college. Maybe it’s the idea of Los Angeles featuring two college football powers. Well, in any event, UCLA was poised to go 4-0 if they beat an Oregon State team which had played just a single game all season due to a cancellation.
What went wrong: I guess neither UCLA or Oregon State are who I thought they were (Green, 2006). Doing laundry is pretty depressing in and of itself, and it was made even more so as the UCLA’s running back (the nation’s leading rusher at the time) continued to rattle off runs in the -1 yard to 2 yard range. But those blue unis were pretty solid, Bruins. Way to go.
As it became apparent the at the Bruins were going to lose to Oregon State, the LSU vs. Auburn game started. Theoretically, I was counging on LSU to do what they always do: score a shit-ton of points. Well, no dice. I think I checked my phone for the score and it was something like 9-7 LSU in the second quarter. By then, it didn’t matter, but still. I guess there’s something about pride. Not wanting to get blanked on your hypothetical parlay, those picks you would have made if you gambled. I wish I knew for sure, but I think the game ended up with LSU surviving the other Tigers of the SEC by a final score of 12-10, or what baseball fans might call a “Wednesday Night at Coors Field.” Honestly, I wish LSU just lost outright. Hypothetically, I can be pretty spiteful.
What went wrong: I saw some stat about Auburn’s performance ever since Cam Newton left for the NFL and it was abysmal. That, combined with LSU’s penchant for scoring in the 40s regardless of the talent on their roster was all I needed. And that as they say (and by the way, screw whoever they are) is why they play the game.
I’ve never really had a college football team, and it’s the only thing I regret about my college choice: going to a school that didn’t have a football team. I mean, because even if the team was terrible, I’d still be able to follow it. That’s just one more team to get psychotic about, and Lynnette would absolutely love that.
Michigan is one of those teams that I have more than a passing interest in, in part because two of my good friends -Brett and Chris – actively love them, and also in part because they’re MicHIGAn. I’m a simple man. Well, things were going a little too well for Notre Dame. I was going with the trend. Every time the Irish had a little bit of prosperity in the last 15 years or so, they’d screw up. Michigan had broken their hearts in the final second for the last three meetings. This felt like destiny.
What went wrong: Denard Robinson threw somewhere between 3 and 45 interceptions, then fumbled inside the red zone at least once. Maybe he should tie his shoes. Manti Te’o transformed into a force of nature on national television and had one of those games where he played so well that it was impossible to take your eyes off of him. My friend Mariel – a scarred Irish alum and fan – was silent on Facebook all game until about .0000000000000000001 seconds after the game went final. She then unleashed 33 status updates about Notre Dame including confessing her love of Manti and something about Notre Dame being 4-0. Maybe the Mayans were right after all.
By Sunday, it was academic. All that I theoretically had going was to see if I could hypothetically go 0-5. I was already pissed off because the Cowboys weren’t on TV. It doesn’t matter if by all accounts the game was ugly and disappointing, I still want to watch the Cowboys even if they’re ugly and disappointing. I think this is something I’ve proven time and again by supporting the Mets. Dallas is America’s team, Fox. FIGURE IT OUT.
But so yeah, I caught the first quarter of the San Francisco/Minnesota game and I don’t know what happened. The vaunted 49er defense couldn’t stop Christian Ponder and the well-oiled machine that was the Vikings offense. Read that sentence again. Remember that the Vikings lost to the Colts last weekend, then say it with me: WHAT THE HELL?
What went wrong: Christian Ponder was a serviceable NFL quarterback for four solid quarters.
I was already at Sea Life Park when the Lions played the Titans, so I had to settle for intermittent updates on my phone. It was a low-scoring game, and then some after the sea lion show, but before the action at Dolphin Cove, I checked my phone and saw scores in the 40s on both sides. I saw a few highlights in the afternoon – a variation of the Music City Miracle, people in blue and white or white and blue running all over the place, Titus Young making an unreal catch at the end of regulation (I think that’s what I saw), and finally the final score which did not align with my hypothetical selection. Shocker.
What went wrong: I really don’t know. Like I said, I didn’t see any of it, and by the time I saw highlights, it was later in the evening and Chris Berman was shouting all kinds of nonsense over football clips. I kind of space out when that happens. It’s okay, though, I’d prefer these kinds of things to remain mysterious and unpredictable. It might mean that I never hypothetically bet on the Lions or Titans again. Whatever.
There’s only one way to go from here. You know, in theory. Hypothetically.