Monday, November 17, 2008

Say A Prayer For My Friend

1. I have a friend named Kevin.

2. I have a friend named Kevin who nearly blew the brains out of the back of his skull this weekend.

3. I have a friend named Kevin who nearly blew the brains out of the back of his skull this weekend as a result of unimaginable luck.

He sent me the following text message at 9 a.m. Saturday: USC-Stanford...worst loss ever.

I called back thirty minutes later to receive the gory details. (Note: After Lord Brian's two-week letdown I didn't have interest in late-night Pac-10 football.)

Here's all you need to know: Kevin had all his cash on USC, who was 23-point favorite. With three seconds remaining, the Trojans held a 28-point lead, at 45-17. Stanford, after moving down to the USC 18 yard line, decided to kick a meaningless (to the outcome and the pointspread) field goal. Pete Carroll, in a very dickheadish move (legitimate journalists call it gamesmanship), decided to freeze Stanford's kicker. Jim Harbaugh, the Cardinal's head coach/red ass, called Carroll's bluff and sent his offense on the field.

Touchdown. USC 45, Stanford 23. Game over. Stanford cover. Suicide pondered immediately.

I can't say I've heard of many - if any - losses worse than that.

As a bettor, sometimes you just know. I didn't watch the game, and I failed to ask Kevin about the feeling in his stomach during that sequence, but I have to believe he assumed the absolute worst.

Of course, that only contributed to half of his disastrous weekend...

Guess who called me three times a little after 7 p.m. Sunday? Guess why? I'll give you 84 guesses, but you'll likely need just one...

I finally talked to Kevin after the third call (I asked him who died), and he asked me if I saw the bullshit at the end of the Steelers-Chargers game. Needless to say, he bet on the Steelers (-4.5), and thought he had a miracle cover.

I just went back and listened to his voicemail after the first missed call, and - no joke - this is what he said:

"Karma rules, because how bad the USC loss was last night, Troy Polamalu just saved my ass with that touchdown with no time on the clock."

Gambling sucks. Gambling is awesome.

-Brad Spieser (