At one of the places I used to work a long time ago and not so far away, we had a guy named Herman The German. He worked in the back shop of the newspaper.
Herman was “a guy who knew a guy” and every Friday during the football season Herman would pass around these neat little white slips with all the NFL games and about 25 of the college ones.
The favorites would be on the left, the spread in the middle and the home team in CAPS. I did pretty well and a couple of times hit nine of 10 games against the spread. It was a nice side income that did not have to be reported.
One day, Herman upped and moved to Belize and the white slips stopped being circulated in the office.
Herman was the last bookie I knew and I never felt moved to seek out another one, knowing that the practice was illegal. I knew Herman. I didn’t know the other guys. Sure, I’d get a March Madness bracket here and there but that was the extent of my betting.
Now that the Supreme Court has effectively legalized gambling—a ruling more about state’s rights than sports betting—I think I will make more than a few trips to the local casino should I feel moved about certain games. I always thought it unfair that if you lived in Nevada you could bet on the New Mexico State vs. New Mexico game or BYU vs. Air Force but, if you lived in Pennsylvania, you were out of luck.
Never betting for or against Temple, mind you, because I’m too emotionally invested in the games. If the Owls are underdogs by four and lose by three, I won’t get any particular joy in collecting 50 bucks because I’d still be pissed at the loss. That said, Temple has been the best team against the spread for the past 14 years so gambling in 18 new states could make this team very popular on a national level like never before. Thirty years of mostly losing before Al Golden took over took its toll from a perception point of view and a decade or so probably won’t change that.
Still, one of the things I’ve noticed about Vegas is that they don’t do nearly as much homework on the G5 slate as they do the P5 one. If you follow the G5 more than casually, you can probably clean up. It might lead to extra national interest in the G5 and that can only be a good thing.
We will get to test that theory in Pennsylvania and New Jersey most likely by the fall.
Wednesday: Bonding in Tokyo