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Sunday, January 2, 2005

Iím sure there were some good football games today, on the last day of the NFL season. I know there were several games that were important to the teams involved and their fans. Playoff positions were being decided, and every single one of the 16 games played was available to me by satellite (except, of course, the Raidersí game, which as always was blacked out in the local market because it didnít sell out).

But I couldnít watch a single one of them.

Oh sure, Iíd peek in every so often and watch a few minutes. And youíd better believe that I followed the scores very closely. I cringed when the Rams beat the Jets in overtime, and I cursed my own stupidity when the Vikings couldnít even beat the Redskins with a playoff spot on the line. But I couldnít watch, because money was involved.

In fact, I probably wouldnít care about any of these games if it werenít for the money. Why should it matter to me if the Saints and Panthers knock each other out of the playoffs? I donít even care about the home team, the once-proud 49ers, because they are so horrible. Watch all those games? If it werenít for the money, I wouldnít even check the scores.

But you see, Iíve had a pretty good year picking winners in the family football pool, and I only needed one more successful Sunday to win the whole shebang. By week 17 in past years, Iíve usually been fighting for third place money, but this time around I was in first place by what should have been a comfortable margin. Would have been if I had more confidence in my picks. If, in other words, I really knew what I was doing.

This week I picked ten out of 16 games right. That isnít very good. And I wonít know until tomorrow if it was good enough to keep me in first place. Thatís why I was afraid to watch the games. And now Iím afraid to open my email, in case I learn that Iíve slipped to second place (although second prize is still okay, and I wouldnít turn it down).

29 December 2004

Cloudy afternoon.

I spent most of the afternoon with the games on TV, but sound coming from the CD player (Biograph, by Bob Dylan), while sitting in front of the computer ignoring both as I transferred the new withholding tables into my own payroll spreadsheet. Tedious work, and hard on the wrist, but it kept my mind off the Chiefs falling flat against the Chargers.

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Actually, I am pretty confident. There was one person with a chance of beating me, but she either would have had to pick every game right, or she would have somehow had to figure out that the Bengals were going to beat the Eagles by four touchdowns. Neither is likely, although both are possible. By the way, I want to win more than I want the money.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Restoration
"It seemed kind of a make-work project to me, parking your truck in the road and then flagging people down and telling them to go around your truck."

Two years ago: Government Hammer
"The Government has a very cheerful answering machine message, making empty promises. 'I'll return your call,' says the Government. The Government might as well be saying, 'Let me cut your meat for you.'"

Three years ago: Swamped
"And sandbags don't sound like a half bad idea here in the swamp right now."

Four years ago: Clearing the Air
"I never hung out with people who smoked, not by choice but because the non-smokers were the cool kids."

Five years ago: Isn't It Ironic
"The pills make me feel better, but the weather I'd have to endure to get them makes me feel worse. Alanis would find irony in the situation."

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But you who philosophize disgrace
And criticize all fears,
Bury the rag deep in your face,
For now is the time for your tears.