Garraund

Well-known member
As some of you know, I’m now a new “empty nester” with all my kids away at college. I’m taking full advantage of my newfound freedom and traveling. Instead of sitting at home writing, I’m writing in coffee shops in San Francisco, pools in Las Vegas, and this week… dive bars in New Orleans. I decided to plan my travel cadence around the Carolina Panthers schedule. Panthers on the road this week, I’m on the road as well. I called my Harrah’s host in New Orleans and she got me a ticket to the Caesar’s Suite for the Saints game. It’s been a great week of craps, amazing food, and I’ve seen over a dozen jazz bands. The music scene is back!

Anyway, picture me happily sitting in the Superdome eagerly awaiting a Winston and Brady shootout. And what do we get? 3-3 soccer game. Meanwhile, the rest of the league is literally on fire. I was backing Saints plus a half point first half, figuring the energy of the home opener and crowd would carry the day (it did) and then *quietly* backing the Bucs for the full game. Worked out well, and I spent the final moments inside the suite watching NFL Redzone on the tv’s as the Jets and Fins set the tone for the Week of Comebacks. It was mesmerizing to watch how easy Tua carved up Baltimore‘s defense. Onside kick? No problem. Browns guy watches ball spin right past him and Jets guy pounces. You knew it was over at that point.

I walked out of the Superdome with what felt like the entire city of New Orleans all walking the same direction down Poydras back toward the river. It’s a quiet crowd walk when the Saints lose. But I’m pumped, I’m sitting on great wins, looking forward to watching the afternoon games. I peel off from the crowd at Carondelet and head to the French Quarter. I can see the games starting to progress as I walk, as every other establishment is a bar with tv’s. I settle on watching from Chart room, a good little dive joint on Chartres at the edge of the raucous bit of the Quarter. Wooden chairs are strewn out in the street facing the bar, patrons spilled out from the tiny low-ceilinged cave-like interior, everyone smoking and drinking. I order a Diet Coke and set on a chair, in the street with a good view of the Cowboys game.

I’m on Cinci for survivor and a ML parlay with the Raiders, but Cinci is not passing the “eye test” and I know, I *know* that Dallas is winning this game. I get on Dallas live betting at -130. More at -160. More at -200. I settle back and enjoy the conversation with the Saints fans. One thing is cool about this city: everyone is unified in their Universal Love for the Saints. Everyone is wearing game day gear, whether or not they go to the game or not. Everyone lives and dies for the Saints. Everyone is wearing black, with the gold trim. Ladies have faces painted and colorful feathers and hats. Guys are jerseys and tattoos. So any TB fans that stroll past are mercilessly heckled and run out—well, we are already sitting in the street, so they are run further down Chartres. It’s quite brilliant. Golf carts roll up from time to time depositing more revelers. A guy on a bicycle pedals up pulling a giant contraption with four swings. Four girls get up and get on the swings with their drinks and the guy heads further into the Quarter, pulling them as the drink their highballs.

Meanwhile, the NFL is on fire. Which team had the worst collapse?

I’m looking at Raiders as the most ridiculous collapse of all of them. I couldn’t take the pressure of watching the Cowboys crumble against the Bengals, so I started walking aimlessly. Stopped to see the TD. Stopped to see the two point conversion. Nearly distraught, I kept walking. I am a man talking to myself, talking to no one, talking to the ghosts in the gutter. Stop to peek in and suddenly Cowboys are lining up for a 50 yard field goal. A ray of sunshine pierces the darkness of my soul. But wait, the kickers in week one destroyed me. Indy’s kicker knocked out my 6 million dollar Survivor entry in Week Fucking One by missing an easy shot. Hey, do your job! And then Brown’s rookie nails a 84 yard field goal to drop the Panthers. So I have no confidence that a kicker is going to salvage my Dallas reversal play. God, I really hate Dallas too. I can’t believe I put money on Dallas. You can imagine the rant I’ve been having with the ghosts as I walk. But the kid makes it. TV shows Jerry Jones suddenly resurrected from the dead for a moment. You can see even he is surprised to find that not only is he alive again, but his team actually showed up in a big moment.

I keep walking, headed toward the Mississippi. Maybe I need to baptize myself in the muddy depths. Cleanse myself of this NFL craziness. Then the Raiders implode. I stop to see first and goal for the fucking Cardinals down 8. I scream at the TV with some patrons at some new joint. That was not a defensive holding penalty on 4th down. Go fuck yourself refs. I walk. They score. I walk. They get the two point conversion. I walk. The river is getting closer. I can see barges sliding past. I can smell the brine.

Which team do you think had the worst day? And who do we trust moving forward? NFL is feeling like College Saturday, and not in a good way. How do you cap this shit?
 

Elite

Active member
I’ve always said there’s a reason why books let you bet the most on NFL ball, that football is oddly shaped and you never know which way it’s going to bounce, just ask the Cleveland Browns after that Jets successful onside kick yesterday. I totally understand your frustration, I sat in my Rome hotel room following the Raiders game until halftime which was past midnight Italian time, I felt pretty secure that I had a winner with the 20-0 lead and proceeded to hit the sack, I woke up turned on the iPad and saw the bad news the Raiders blew it I was in semi shock but hey that’s NFL ball. They obviously got over confident with the big lead at half and thought they had the game won, but hey it doesn’t work that way you need to play four quarters in this league. It was bad but I probably think the Browns collapse giving up fourteen points in the final minute to Joe Flacco has to be worse. You need to stick to your handicapping principles and understand that sometimes you are going to lose a bet even though you have the right side, we will move on and play the Eagles tonight. Gl with dice and get those hard ways home!
 

Garraund

Well-known member
Thanks Elite. I’m jealous of your location! Hope you have a marvelous trip!! I haven’t been to Rome since the US played Italy in the World Cup in 1990. Now I gotta go back. Maybe next Spring…

Thanks r