January 24, 2012

The Magellan of the Gauntlet




After twelve weeks of the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool, which is generally regarded as the greatest gambling pool in man’s long history of sport, the author’s record stood at 22-35-3. His winning percentage of 38.6 after sixty picks was the mark of a staggering futility not seen in the long and storied history of the Invitational.

Instead of falling into his usual trap of making picks based on uncontrolled rage and misdirected hatred toward the game of Football itself — a tactic that more often than not leads directly to a stint in either the William J. Lepetomaine Hospital for the Gamblingly Insane, or the Dr. Clayton Forrester Shock Therapy Institute — the author tried a new and different strategy: horsebeef therapy.

The experimental treatment was developed by outcast nutritionist Dr. Edward D. Shulman at his Equisine Foundation compound located in the heart of Horsebeef Country, USA. Following four days of intense treatment by Dr. Shulman and his associates, the author returned to the PushMaster Command Center mentally and physically rejuvenated, and ready to accept Football back into his life.

Since his self-described “horsebeef bender,” the author has gone 22-13-0 and put himself in a position to finish the season with a winning record, a once-unthinkable achievement.

The Gauntlet is always a precarious journey, but so far this year I’ve managed to navigate it like I’m Magellan. Or at least better than that cruise ship captain in Italy that bailed on his ship before everyone else was off. What a jerk.

I was fully prepared to go down with this sinking ship of a PushMaster season, whistling Dixie and pulling tubes the whole time. What else can you do? There’s certainly no glory in the cold, choppy water below that’s currently feasting on the likes of Terra, John B., Sean, et al.

However, with a little bit of luck and some newly honed skills I’ve managed to put myself in a position where I can finish the year with a winning record. “Can” being the operative word here because it would take a 5-0 finish, and at least one of those five picks is going to be a stupid-ass Super Bowl prop bet.

Compared to where I was sitting in Week Twelve, this feels like a solid-gold throne, which is probably not the best thing to be sitting in whilst in the middle of the ocean. Damn you, Gauntlet!

RAVENS (+9) v. Patriots
Picking the Ravens here makes me sick, but these points are too good to pass up. I just don’t see the Pats offense smacking the Ravens around so easy. Maybe they will; it wouldn’t be the worst thing ever.

GIANTS (+3) v. 49ers
The Giants are playing better than anyone right now, and they’re getting points. Plus, I have a hard time believing that the Niners have more than one playoff win in them.

Giants v. 49ers UNDER (42)
This pick was a struggle. Both teams went over last week, so naturally I finally decided on the Under.

BOVADA.lv, 12:11 PM MST, Wednesday

Robb Witmer Full is SPORTS-THRUST’s resident horsebeef expert. For recipes, as well as general cooking tips and techniques, follow him on Twitter.