For a compulsive gambler not betting on the BCS Championship Game between LSU and Ohio State is like asking a binge drinking alcoholic to sit at the bar during a New Year’s Eve party and not have a sip of alcohol. I don’t know what to do right now, backed up in a corner with no where to turn and an instant debt of $10,000 thanks to the Buckeyes not figuring out a way to beat any damn SEC team. I don’t think my heart can beat any faster and the emptiness in my stomach is more than I can bare. Maybe if I tell you how it all happened I can get these suicidal thoughts out of my head.
It was about 7:00pm and I was sittin’ at the apartment with a few friends getting ready for the big game between LSU and Ohio State when we started talking about if Ohio State could cover the point spread. One of them called their bookie to find out the line and at the time LSU was favored by 3 1/2. Light bulbs lit up as we all agreed that LSU was going to roll all over the Buckeyes and this could be some really serious money here.
The atmosphere was one of tension and excitement, quite typical of any big match where two teams battle it out on the field but only one emerges the winner and me and my friends gazing at the television set, both to score football tips and relish the experience of having watched our favorite players.
We got the adult beverages, and ordered three pizzas from Dominos right up the street getting everything ready. It was about 7:45pm and I decided to hop on this site to see if anyone had left any comments on my previous articles when I came across my Your Guide To The College Bowl games article. Picking a month in advance I realized I had done horrible and a winning percentage of about 55% overall. I got to my LSU/Ohio State prediction and realized I picked LSU to win 31-17. At first it felt like a reassurance that I was going with my gut, but then when I discussed it with everyone else things changed.
They started explaining how most of my picks sucked and the ridiculous amounts of upsets this year there could be a chance that Ohio State would pull off the win even though it was a home game for the Tigers. At the same time we were almost yelling at each other about the amount of money we were laying on this game. They were talking thousands of dollars and I’m here wanting to lay the big $20 bet. Then it happened. I started thinking about everything I could pay off if we could pull out this win. Get a new car, get caught up on bills, get my book published, do more things with my son and on an on it kept going until finally I said, “alright the hell with it, lets do it I’m in for $10,000 on OSU”. So we made the call and placed the bet.
Thats all it took as I sat on the couch as I started shaking my right leg repeatedly, heart pounding wonder what I was going to do if I lost this money. I was told it was like watching a Jekyl and Hyde movie. I couldn’t help it and when Chris Wells ran in for that 65 yard touchdown I almost felt a sigh of relief as they were quickly up 7-0, then 10-0 and I was already spending it not 8 minutes into the game. I wanted to call everybody and tell them how much I had one and how good I was feeling. I went to the kitchen and grabbed some Jack Daniels just calm my excitement a little. Then it was 10-3, 10-10, 10-17, 10-24 and I was in a whirlwind of thought at halftime.
I knew Ohio State was going to have to come out strong and while there was a couple of times I had hope they could just come within 3 points something happened. A 15 yard roughing the kicker penalty was the nail in the coffin, and before the weeks over maybe it’ll be mine. I hated Ohio State before this game started and now, well I don’t have the words that can be placed within this confession. Its funny when your about to lose $10,000 you hold on to any hope you could possibly hold on to like when the Buckeyes scored with 1:13 left in the game. All of us sat there in silence as the onside kick was recovered by LSU. Not another word was said and as the game ended I shook those thoughts out of my head and came straight to the computer to write about it.
As a compulsive gambler these are the thoughts that plague our minds and we fight and argue with on a daily basis and a million times worse on nights like this one. 5-8 years ago I would have titled this “How I Won $10,000 On The BCS Championship Game” but I learned that training the mind to eventually think of what you could lose or pretending what I had already lost was the most productive in keeping me from gambling even if for only $20. It works for me, but its just one of those things that if you don’t have a compulsive trigger in your brain, you’ll never understand. We’ll talk more about it next time.