Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Dipping My Feet Into The Pool
So last month My Guy invited me to join his NFL football pool. I was a little nervous about joining a football pool with 20 guys, so I recruited my BFF to join also. I played Fantasy Football once before and made it all the way to the playoffs, but this is different. This time I need to follow the entire GAME and not just my beloved New England Patriots, but all of the games in the league. I need to watch the spread and ponder and learn about lots of other teams. Shouldn't be too hard for someone who has worked in sports journalism not that long ago, right? I still follow and understand and read about and root for all sports-mostly my hometown teams-but sounds like a piece of cake right? Wrong.
Week 1 started and I was a nervous Nelly-searching the web for anything that would help me with the prospects for the first game of the season. After reading ESPN and finding several football pick sites, I took all that information and I sat down to make my picks. The Pats were opening the season on Thurs Night Football against the Steelers. The spread was Pats -7. Of course I took it as my top point pick, with all the "deflatgate" bullshit, I figured My Tommy was gunning for blood. I then went on to pick 4 other teams, mindful of the line and submitted my picks.
I was right about My Tommy, but Vegas has a way of snaring away all your glory. The Pats won, but only by 7, which means I scored a "push" and took only half of my intended points. Better than a loss, I figure, and not bad for a pool rookie. I ended up going 2 wins, 2 losses, 1 tie. Respectable enough and good enough to keep me in 13th place.
This Sunday that same anxiety overcame me as I knew my picks had to be in before the first kickoff. My cherished Sunday morning ritual of leisurely reading the paper and then watching CBS Sunday Morning was fast replaced by nervous energy spent pouring over the sports pages and the web. 2 hours later, I came up for air and was ready to make my picks. I made one fatal error though....
I was going to take Cleveland and take points for my biggest points pick-heck-two Heisman winners dueling it out on the field and even though it is the Browns, I figured this Manziel's last chance to prove himself. Just before I made the pick, I asked My Guy what he thought about the Cleveland game...
He warned me about following the NFL Pick sites-he showed me ESPN and USA Today and explained about home teams and point spreads. He gave me this valuable piece of advice-that even the experts get it wrong some time. "There are no locks," he said, which now left me even more confused. I asked him who his 5 star pick was and he replied with this, "New Orleans is playing the worst team in the league at home. They are giving 9 points, but I'm thinking it's a safe bet." Now, My Guy went 5-0 in his first week, so he added, "You should bet against me. I'm probably not going to go 5-0 again"
Don't ask me why, but I started thinking; Brees at home-Tampa on the road-Tampa sucks, and 9 points is a LOT-2 score spread-at home-I'm doing it!!! Guess what? It was the only game I lost on Sunday and had I taken Cleveland I would have gone 5-0.....
Lesson learned, but I have to tell you that playing in this pool has made football on Sunday's so much more fun! I know that you can't be a hero every week, but I'm having a ball trying.
Sooo...anyone have any picks for THIS Sunday? I'm all ears.