So, here I am, just finished Monday Night Football. It was especially important tonight, because I have been getting screwed by the replacement refs, and this week is the first week this season we have had the real ones. In my office pool, whoever picks the most wins each week gets the pot, and at 5 bucks per person, it is worth winning. In the event of a tie, you go to the tie-breaker, which consists of picking the points total of Monday Night Football, and whoever is closer wins. I sit at 12, Jose is at 11, and tonight I have picked Dallas because they are at home and Chicago has a horrible running game and a mediocre line, and he has picked Chicago.
Pink. It must be October. This is the month that the NFL teams wear a lot of pink accessories for breast cancer awareness. This is a good thing. There are many types of cancer, but attention to any of them is a good thing, so nobody has a problem with pink in October; that’s just how it happens. This October also brings back the real refs, which is a big deal, because not only have I been losing money, but actual NFL teams have been getting the shaft because of the replacements. Nobody hates them – we understand, they were thrust into a predicament where they were on a national stage that means a lot to a lot of people, so they’re more heavily scrutinized than most people who are working in fill-in positions.
Some teams really got it hard. Green Bay could miss the playoffs because of them, and whole divisions are jumbled. The problem is, they were bullied easily, and it’s hard to hold your ground when NFL linebackers are screaming at you. For that matter, the coach for the 49ers bullied them into letting him basically have 5 timeouts Sunday. The real refs may make mistakes, maybe even just as many, but although not always accurate, they are definitely always sure of themselves. They don’t care if you scream at them, they may even scream back. They may start it. You won’t get the better of them.
In the 3rd quarter, it becomes evident that Chicago is going to win this game, and as far as my office pool is concerned, it’s going to come down to the tie-breaker: the points total. Jose has picked 35 and I have picked 52, so I shift my strategy from cheering for Dallas (yuck) to cheering for the points total. It’s looking bleak for me, when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, with about 7 minutes left, Chicago scores! The extra point puts the total up to 44, giving me the win by one point. I am 8 away and Jose is 9 away. I do my victory dance, complete with Discount Doublecheck, and continue to watch the game, content with my first victory of the year in my office pool. All thanks to the real refs.
Closer to the end of the game, I’m explaining to my wife how it doesn’t matter what the final score is now – I still win, because they won’t take points off the board for any reason. And as I’m planning on how to spend my winnings tomorrow evening, the icing on the cake happens. Dallas scores. They end up going for 2, because this is professional, and you can’t look like you have given up, even if it’s out of hand. Let’s face it: to come back from their deficit tonight, you’re going to need either Joe Montana or a Manning, and they’re fresh out of both in Dallas. Romo lines up; he throws, complete, the two-point conversion is good! Back to Chicago, they end up in the victory formation, and the clock runs out, with the points total perfect at 52. This will definitely help ease the sting of Tuesday at work and no football to look forward to when I get home.
Welcome to fall, folks. This one is going to be wild with all of the wonkiness in college football and the NFL this year. Tomorrow, I will collect my winnings, fill out my pick sheet for next week and get ready for Miami at Notre Dame on Saturday evening. I’m only hoping on that one, not really betting, but it matters just as much to me as the pool.
Ahh, the craziness of football season is back in full swing. It’s very nice to see October.