Pick'em Football Pool... Part one of two

I'm in John "Price is Right" Price's pick'em league. Going into the last week, I was one game out of first. You have to pick five games against the spread each week so the betting odds are determined by the line.

Lines set on Wednesdays (which gives you some gimmes if you pay attention to line shifts like GB this week set at -5.5 even though by kick off it was ~double digits). So I figured I had to go 5-0 on the week to win. I solicited some betting tips from my friends to try and help me pull off perfection

Here's how Sunday played out.

Short answer, and all anybody probably wants to know: I went 3-2.

Had I gone 5-0 I would have tied for first (though as it turned out I shared a loss with a person that beat me, so I would have had to change my picks to tie... he was a game up on me and would have remained a game up on me). Prior to kick-offs I recognized ATL would crush the spineless Panthers on the heels of their disappointment to New Orleans. Falcons had a lot to play for, double motivated after losing to their rival last week and were at home, and the kitties quit on John Fox in the hangover after the super bowl loss (it's taken a few years to become obvious) so why would they show mettle in his swan song?

This thought process hit me Sunday morning, as I was on the way to Baton Rouge, to help move my sister-in-law’s final items into her new apartment. On the road, while driving, I did not have internet access to substitute them for St. Louis. I thought about calling JP but didn't want some weird shadiness appearing on the message board and any ensuing stink had I won. I also consoled myself with the losing strategy I share with my suicide pool partner in crime, in that you never substitute at the last minute once picks were in (last two years one of us has second guessed the other's year ending pick and were right to but we didn't change--hence a losing strategy).

Which by the way, I think is the ultimate Murphy's Law, you manipulate the outcome of a game as soon as you start to second guess. In effect, for those of you familiar with Schrödinger’s cat and quantum physics (which I will do a disservice to even in referencing it), the cat is both alive AND dead until you look into a box. In gambling second-guessing and changing/not changing you guarantee the exact opposite outcome no matter what you decided. Had I switched... ATL would not have covered and St. Louis would have.

I thought that game would be the difference as I saw ATL jump out 14-0. Oddly, a couple of my rivals took the Panthers... so I was still rooting for ATL, but any time you wonder what might have been, you almost want that team you were going to pick to lose. That's my first instinct at least. So I was conflicted when in the first half the Kitty's showed some fight and stuffed the Falcons twice on fourth down. I would cheer first and then realize no I needed ATL to pummel them and it was a bad thing.

A friend of mine knowing my situation sent a late missive urging me to take TB because New Orleans would see ATL crushing the Kittys, and basically capitulate. The second half of the game would be one team playing for something and the other for nothing. That's exactly what happened. I replied I'd love that for a second half line, if TB was still in the game, but I didn't want to pick a game that was basically dependent on another game. Course, had I gotten my ATL pick in, in my all or nothing situation, that kind of invalidates my logic. Also, truth be told I wanted to root for New Orleans

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