I am not a big believer.
In anything- whether it is religion or a particular political affiliation or myself. But one thing that I truly believe in is the power of focused thought and positive energy when gambling. Anyone who has ever played hold’em and silently prayed for an 8 to hit an inside straight on the river knows what I am talking about.
I have been there. And there have been moments that my 8 hits, and many many more moments where it doesn’t. The trick is in the believing. If you can master your own mind and stay positive throughout your gambling experience, it is possible to make money. You must exist in a world where you have already won. If your mind is already there, reality will have no choice but to catch up.
Unfortunately, this power has another side to it. The second your confidence wavers everything falls apart. You can go a little crazy even. In poker it’s called “tilting”, I just call it “going broke” or “losing rent money”. But the point is, the power to influence games is within you if you believe in it.
Last weekend I did not believe in the power of my mind. Cincinnati kept it close for a bit, but as soon as Houston took a lead that also covered the thought of “0-4” crept into my head. And it lingered. And lingered. And lingered. “0-4” took me over entirely. I began to think about what a joke I was. That this column was just a pathetic step on my path to realizing that I am not a writer and I would soon be pursuing some “real” career. “0-4” would prove that I was nothing, that everything I had to say was worthless, that I was dumb enough to pick 4 road teams in the Wild Card round, that I might as well pack my bags and get ready to take my LSATs. The great power of my mind had fallen into a dark, dark place.
Bengals fail to cover….(darkness)
Vikings (lol Joe Webb) fail to cover….(darker darkness)
#ChuckStrong fails to cover….(the darkest of darknesses)
And then, when I thought all was lost, who ran out of the pregame tunnel in Washington to show me the light?
RUSSELL. HUSTLE. BUSTLE. WILSON.
Never have I owed so much of my own soul’s redemption to one handsome man. All of a sudden, I had faith. After betting on Joe Webb, Andrew Luck, and Andy Dalton, I finally had something I could believe in I was sure of. On his back, I knew that anything was possible. I knew that I could keep writing and not feel totally pathetic; well, no more than usual anyways. And in the end, he carried me to a strong 1-3 in my picks.
Russell Wilson was my 8 on the river. This week, I’m feeling like flopping a flush.
Home teams in Bold.
Packers (+3) over 49ers
Say you are planning the craziest road trip of your life, and you need to decide on a new car, a driver, and a navigator to take on the trip.
Option A: This car has made the exact trip you plan on making and got through all of the off-roading and Tokyo Drifting that was necessary, and despite its miles still consistently performs at award winning levels. The driver is viewed as a legend to some, but at the very least people acknowledge him as a real power. Your navigator is drunk on a semi-regular basis, but the driver has been dealing with him for years and is fine with it.
Option B: This car is brand new. It’s never seen anything like the trip you want to go on, but man would you look good in the backseat freestyling. People are impressed with the car’s fast, sleek design, but some are concerned because the driver just got his license. The biggest thing that this new car has going for it is its navigator, who is proven to be one of the best at what he does.
What is more important to your trip- A proven driver of a proven car with a drunken navigator? Or a proven navigator that can never touch the wheel, even if the newly licensed driver crashes?
I’ll take Option A (at $3000 cheaper no less). Also, if anyone is offering classes in “Analogies 101” please let me know.
Patriots (-9.5) over Texans
If JJ Watt and Rob Gronkowski were ever to collide, what would happen? Would it be like when Thor’s Hammer struck Captain America’s Shield? Would their bodies fuse together into some superfreak Rob Rob GronkWattski that would change the face of the universe? Would I need a change of pants?
(Answers: Most likely, God I hope so, and definitely.)
Ravens (+9.5) over Broncos
I JUST WANT TO SEE RAY LEWIS DANCE ONE MORE TIME. If Peyton Manning was a better dancer, maybe I would be on his side.
Seahawks (+3) over Falcons
Because my flush will still have and 8 in it.
And because I believe.