Sometimes gambling feels like math.
You spend ages working with numbers, following what you think are the rules, figuring out the variables, adding key factors, subtracting extraneous ones, dividing your time between a healthy life and a questionable compulsion, and hopefully multiplying your money. Then you get to the end of the problem - the end of the game - you check the answer and Bam, Sweet, Awesome, you got it right, you chose the correct team, you covered the spread, the hard work paid off, you're a math/gambling genius, and there's no better feeling in the world.
Other times, however, when flip to the back of the book you discover you were off by an x or a 2y, a half point here or a field goal there. You slump in your suddenly uncomfortable seat as hindsight shines a giant, glaring spotlight on the error of your ways. "Of course," you curse yourself out loud, as you realize you forgot to carry a one or remember that the Bills still suck. "I knew that," you mumble, realizing you just needed to convert units or have a crystal ball that would tell you that every running back in an historically reliable backfield would fumble.
The wonderful difference with gambling, however, is that unlike math you don't have to turn back to the same problem and start over, you don't have to think too long and hard about why a tenth ranked San Diego defense can't stop a 4th down and 29 or why reliable Matt Bryant missed a point-covering field goal at the end of the game, because there's a whole new set of fresh, exciting, potentially uplifting problems staring you in the face every day. Ahhhh, the joyous life of a gambler.
Good morning, TSZ readers. That was my all-inclusive way of saying, "Shit, shit, shit." A disastrous Sunday morning left Marco and I feeling like Thanksgiving was the only thing we were grateful for at all. From 3-0 ATS on Turkey Day to 7-8 ATS on the week, and clinging for dear life to our six week +.500 streak. What a dubious time for us to privatize our Friday Five and almost double our Followers, which brings me to this:
New TSZ Followers: Let's all give a warm welcome to Christina P. This hasn't been our best weekend, Christina, but the atmosphere of tepid optimism at TSZ never changes thanks to the everyone who participates during the good weeks and the tough one.
Coffee Thank You's: Generous donations were made to TSZ yesterday by Tony B. and Brian M., and this morning by David L. We thank you all sincerely for your contributions to building this project of ours. We feel a bit sheepish about this section today, because our incentive program for donations - our Friday Five - only went 2-3 ATS this week. It was our first sub five hundred Friday Five, but the timing couldn't have been worse.
Here's what Marco and I decided we'd like to do: We don't like being wrong, and we like it less at your expense. Any coffee donations sent in are intended to be used towards building a better future for The Spread Zone. That being said, however, we want happy, satisfied readers who are willing continue to participate in dialogue with us and in commentary with each other. So, if you were a coffee donor who feels disgruntled by the lack of value received in our Friday Five, just send us an e-mail saying, "Marco, Vinny, you suck," or "Not very good, guys. I need you to buy me a cup of coffee," and we'll press the old "Issue Refund" button and buy you a cup of Joe in return.
Seriously, please don't hesitate to do this. We will not post "Coffee Un-Thank You's," or feel slighted at all. You will still be forever on our e-mail list and receive free Friday Fives as long as we do them. We just want to get off on the right foot together. Friday Five for Frappacinos will continue and we will be back, but in the meantime we want TSZ to be a resentment-free zone. We want you to be happy and feel supported.
Some mornings, we feel like The Spread Zone has become a cozy and comforting support group for compulsive gamblers - like ourselves - who never, ever want to quit. To wake up after such a disheartening Sunday to a such a large cup of coffee donated by David L. - our first Twitter follower (@vinnyandmarco) - made us feel like winners again, and gave us the courage to come back to TSZ with our heads held high. We want you to have the same feelings. Thank you, David.
We'll have our Week 13 Picks ATS posted by Wednesday this week and we'll be sending a reminder e-mail about our Thursday Three fan picks. I think the small sample size and the New York Giants defense hurt our perfect season this past weekend, so let's get some more input this time around. We really believe that if we put our minds together we'll all be more successful.
Also, if you have a success story you'd like to share with the rest of The Spread Zone about your weekend or a particular game or a fun gambling story, shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We need something to keep readers interested on Tuesdays.
Thanks again for all of your support and encouragement and coffee.
See you on flip side,
Vinny and Marco
PS We noticed Hameen posted a question re: some picks this weekend. We would love to get more dialogue in the comments section about questions like his and yours.