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).