Today the Missouri Tigers will play the Auburn Tigers in football for the SEC Championship. Any casual college football fan watching this game should be pulling for Auburn; two miraculous wins over Georgia and Alabama make them sentimental favorites for the national title.
But as a gambler, I cannot allow my feelings to cloud my judgement of the game. Despite two heaven-sent endings, Auburn is still not even a field goal favorite. And Missouri is about as close to undefeated as a team can be, with its only loss coming in double overtime against South Carolina after a missed 24-yard field goal.
I don’t know who I would put my money on in this game. But I think you might. Ask yourself the following question:
Am I a ‘Man of Science’ or ‘Man of Faith’?
This dichotomy, borrowed from the title of a particularly good episode of LOST, perfectly sums up today’s matchup. If you can figure out which one you are, you may have a reason to put some money on the game.
Man of Science
Do you believe in chance?
Do you believe that each roll of the dice is an isolated incident? That even though the roulette wheel came in black the past four times, it’s still 50/50 on this spin?
Do you believe that football is just football, a sport where 11 individuals from opposing teams meet on the field, play their best and try to win?
You are a Man of Science, and you should bet on the Missouri Tigers.
You know that momentum doesn’t exist, and fumbles are almost completely random. You embrace advanced statistics, and even use Total QBR as a talking point when comparing quarterbacks, even though you know the system is flawed.
You know that the past two weeks have only proven that Auburn is due to regress. Teams never continue to get all the breaks.
Bet on the Missouri Tigers.
Man of Faith
Do you believe in destiny?
Do you believe that there is a larger force within the universe that can propel ordinary people to do extraordinary things?
Do you believe that sports are kind of magical, and that sometimes a team can win a game simply because they have already decided they won, as if it was predetermined?
Do you believe in miracles?
You are a Man of Faith, and you should bet on the Auburn Tigers.
You know that they are a chosen team, like the 2004 Red Sox. You fell to your knees when Ray Allen hit his corner-3 in Game Six last year, and when Gordon Hayward almost scored from half court to beat Duke for the 2010 NCCA title. You have listened to the radio call from the ending of the Iron Bowl ten times now. You love this video.
You know that the past two weeks are only the first hour of the 90-minute 30 for 30 feature about the 2013 Auburn Tigers. You know that the story already has an ending, and that it doesn’t end here.
Bet on the Auburn Tigers.
Are you a Man of Science or Man of Faith? I still don’t know for myself; both exist within me and I think the opposing views can make me crazy sometimes. Maybe I am thinking about this too much.
Maybe I should just watch some football.