Epic Carnival | Where Sports and Pop Culture Collide: THE RUNDOWN: OFFICE POOLS SUCK

THE RUNDOWN: OFFICE POOLS SUCK

by Davey, Blown Coverage

The Rundown is a weekly "gambling" column based on and inspired by the time I spent working at sports books.

Take a person that has above average football knowledge and take someone who doesn't know the difference between Carson Palmer and Carson Daly. Now, have these people make head-to-head NFL picks and I assure you that Joe Football Fan will crap his pants.

Simmons is losing to his wife and I'm pretty sure that he also lost to her last season. Jay Mohr is losing against Nikki Cox over at Fox Sports and I'm pretty sure that Dr. Z is getting his ass handed to him by that model chick over at SI.


If you don't believe me, try it yourself. Find a random 7 year old girl, have her make some NFL picks and proceed to crumble before her might.

You might know how the West Coast offense works and you know who's the # 4 defensive tackle on the Detroit Lions roster, but she'll still dropkick you in the throat. She'll dropkick you in the throat and give a thumbs up when she's done.

And that's why I hate office pools. I hate office pools about as much as I hate getting violated by Mark Mangino. It doesn't matter if you know what Jay Cutler's jock strap smells like, you will lose to Janice from the Human Resource Department.

See, we had an office pool that went something like this. Every week you would make your picks on the spreads and the game totals and the weekly winner would get 100 bucks. The weekly totals would be added up and the overall winner at the end of the season would get a nice chuck of cash.

Now, there was this guy that was obsessed with the pool. He had been working for years at the company but he had never tasted the sweet smell of victory. He would study the teams, study the trends and he used fancy statistics, yet every week he got a swift kick in his balls.

I felt genuinely sorry for him and I tried helping him sometimes, but every week brought yet another letdown. Here was this poor guy that didn't get respect from anyone, that probably got denied sex on a nightly basis and he couldn't even win a damn pool one week in his life.

Who were winning you ask? Well, the fine women that knew as much about football as I do about bio-chemistry.

This phenomenon intrigued me and I started doing some research on how these ladies were making their picks. I walked around, asked questions, observed their tendencies and it was pretty depressing to say the least....

Me : "So, how did you assume that Green Bay would not cover the spread?
Lady : "I dunno, 9 points just seemed like a lot."

Me : "The Panthers huh..."
Lady : "Yeah, Panthers beautiful."

Me : "Why are you taking the under here?"
Lady : "The guy on the tv said that the Dolphins are bad. That means they won't score a lot."

Simple, like pre-school math. Others were making their picks based on uniform colors, team names, and random patterns in their coffee.

If you have read "Blink" by Malcom Gladwell, you will know his explanation for this. Sometimes, the more you know about something and the more you think about it, the more you will screw up.

The mind seems to make better decisions when it "thin slices" and makes snap judgments. And even though it's not applicable everywhere, it is very applicable in sports and especially when trying to predict winners.

If I knew this then, it might have better prepared me for what was yet to come. I had won two weeks out of the 17 and I was the overall leader for most of the season. With 3 weeks to go, I had a pretty decent lead and my erection was visible from pretty far away.

I just needed to be "average" over those last 3 weeks and I would be bathing in poon as the overall winner. Well, as you know, life likes to occasionally kick me in the ribs to remind me who's in charge and I ended up losing by 2 points.

I folded like Philip Rivers and the fine lady in accounting kept randomly filling her sheets based on simple crap and she won in the end by 2 points. I challenged her to a fight but she was too busy counting the ridiculous amount of money that she just won.

As for the obsessed loser guy, I saw him a few months ago. He quit the job and became a rent-a-cop. A rent-a-cop that didn't even have a flash light. The poor man obviously never recovered...

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