Home Authors Posts by Mike Gelfand
By now, you are either aware of how fortunate Duke is to still be in contention for the NCAA hoops title, or you are...
March Madness is finally upon us, and, like spring, it somehow seems to be late this year. Perhaps this is because of February Madness, otherwise known as the White Plague. Maybe I’m overreaching. The actual Black Plague killed as many as 200 million people — or about the same as the number of Duke fans who routinely camp out night after night outside of Cameron Arena in hopes of scoring tickets. That image should not inspire us. Although the Final Four will be played in our midst, there is no need to leave home. U. S. Bank Stadium for basketball? There’s not a good seat in the house. The last thing we need these days is another Big Event that will cost taxpayers millions. Of course, we will get it all back in the form of Magic Money, otherwise known as the fantasy of economic impact. It’s kind of a […]
THURSDAY, JAN. 31 — It’s 29 below outside, and the icy stab of what appears to be the apocalypse finds its way through every pore in my obsolete house. I am supposed to be pondering trivial issues such as the impending Super Bowl, but promoting the corrupt enterprise known as the National Football League seems like nothing so much as a betrayal of all that is logical and ethical. Perhaps it’s just the melancholy of isolation, but it’s impossible to justify the act of feeding the voracious beast. It’s going to be a total of about 130 hours between human contact — not quite enough to go insane, but enough to reveal the eccentricity that sits just below the fragile veneer of civility. I’m now engaging in lengthy soliloquy with my cat. When she is sleeping, which is most of the time, I cut right to the chase and talk […]
Offense, as we all know, wins games in the NFL. Whereas defense…well, perhaps not this year. Given that for the first time ever, the top four offenses are playing in the league championship games, it might be time to reconsider a venerable but, perhaps, obsolete axiom. It stands to reason. The rules protecting quarterbacks have given palpable advantages to brilliant young players such as Pat Mahomes and, uh…well, let’s leave it at Mahomes. The point obtains, however. If offense was what got the four remaining teams this far, why shouldn’t offense determine the winners on Sunday? It’s a shaky premise at best, but it’s all I got. That and a conviction that it’s time that two elderly quarterbacks rest on their laurels and, quite possibly, their arthritic bodies. That said, some further rationales. — L.A. Rams at New Orleans I handicap this game with a heavy heart and a very […]
The final seven games of the NFL season often produce memorable results, but that doesn’t make them wagering opportunities. Indeed, as the games get bigger, the lines get sharper. If, like me, you are stuck, it’s probably best to move on. No, no, not with your life; that would be an inappropriate and extreme response. I’m saying you might want to move on to other sports. I prefer college basketball. Not the games as a whole, but the second-half total. Then there’s the NBA if you swing that way, and I would never belittle a gambler for putting serious money on a hockey game. Which always brings to mind the joke about the guy who was losing big money on pro basketball. You know the one: the bookie says maybe you should try betting hockey. The gambler scoffs. “What do I know about hockey?” So I’m betting the hoops totals, […]
My mother viewed herself as something of a social renegade. Although she stopped short of embracing the lifestyle of her somewhat felonious cousins, she spent her maternal years inhaling unfiltered cigarettes — Lucky Strikes come to mind — and, when the occasion demanded, chugging down bottles of a particularly odious malt liquor named Champale. The elixir, which, between bankruptcies, is sporadically available in select urban markets (but, sadly, not ours), was aimed primarily at African-Americans and marketed as “The poor man’s Champagne.” When my parents hosted a gathering, my mother would dispatch the old man to the liquor store, where he would acquire adult beverages for the guests. Then, as my dad was about to leave the house, my mother would pretend to have just remembered something. “Oh,” she would say, “and pick up a six-pack of Champale.” The old man’s face would form a grimace, because he knew that […]
With my bankroll imploding and my mind on more important things (namely the loss of a close friend), I’ve decided to let my picks speak for themselves this week. Which, in itself, is scary enough. We’ll be back with another podcast to kick off the playoffs next week. Lately, I’ve been getting calls from friends and relatives I lost contact with years ago. They chat me up with small talk about the weather, what I’m doing these days, whether I’m still depressed…you know, small talk. Then, casually, they ask who I like this week. And I know why. I have become a Negative Indicator, that fungal disgrace I have always dreaded. And, playing the role for its greatest effect, I respond by not just passing, as I should, but by actually betting more games. Yes, I know better, but I lack the incentive to edit. My picks are wilting before […]
That ain’t my truck in her drive Man this ain’t my day tonight Looks like she’s in love and I’m out of luck That ain’t my shadow on her wall Lord this don’t look good at all That’s my girl, my whole world But that ain’t my truck And so we consider the phenomenon known as the Bad Beat. I probably can’t articulate the experience any better than Rhett Akins did in his 1995 hit, but you get the idea. Whether it’s as important as love or as transitory as a lost wager, it’s a universal phenomenon known to any creature with a limbic brain. Because I’m an expert only on the wagering aspect, I’ll ignore the love stuff for now. But before I do, I’ll offer this one little insight: the bad wagering beat exists only in the mind of gamblers who have not yet crossed over into the […]
Mike Gelfand and Sam Ekstrom discuss their Week 15 results without Colton, who Mike is disappointed in. They look ahead to Week 16 and...