…came at the conclusion of the 2008-2009 NCAA football season. I had enjoyed a very mediocre track record what with losing most of my homer Notre Dame bets, but gaining ground on the other games.
At the corporate workplace I was being babied at, there was a rule against pools, or any form of gambling whatsoever. This was explained to me in precise detail by a kid about twenty years younger, my boss. He told this to me while peeling off five C-notes and his picks for the bowl season.
Every single game.
We all had two days to research teams we had never heard of before, and I believe if memory serves me (author’s note: memory did not serve me so I waited about two seconds and googled it. It was 34 total games that were played). The winner would be determined by total winners, so all of a sudden teams like New Hampshire and Cal Poly made it worth watching every single game.
The first game started on December 19th and culminated in the Championship game, won that year by Alabama over the Texas Longhorns.
That was on January 7th.
There were twenty of us in on the winner-take-all ten grand pot.
After the games that were played through 12/30, exactly fifteen games had been played and I was near the bottom of the standings and starting to see little wings carrying off my 500 bucks as we headed into the bigger games.
This is where I would normally maybe put together a small run and get my false hopes up only to be crushed, humiliated, and decimated. I should be humbled at my inaccurate picks so far, but nooooo.
I text the players and told them all (while I was five games back, mind you) that I was personally guaranteeing the prize would be doubled to twenty because I was guaranteeing the win.
Calling my shot.
Here we go again.
I won the first game, but lost the second.
Business as usual.
I went on a run of historic proportions, easily passing the remaining nineteen players and leaving them in the proverbial dust as I won out down the stretch in a has-to-be-historic-somewhere sixteen-game win streak.
I have previously chronicled my success at the craps table, but there is nothing like calling your shot and then actually doing it, that is fire, no matter how you look at it.
Do not get me wrong; I know I am a “there but for the Grace of God guy,” and although it was a “how the mighty hath fallen” scenario, suffice it to say that badly needed lessons in humility and reality were learned.
Did all the lessons learned matter in my life as I left Las Vegas and lived on?
Karen says no.
Who’s to say?
For me, it has always been about the people, not the places.
And the emotions.
Don’t forget the emotions.