Forced to tout the greatness of Blue Devils basketball
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
This is how I get my regular dose of humility.
I make bets. Sometimes I lose those bets. Then I must admit I’m wrong. And everyone knows – despite what those Little League coaches told us – there’s no fun in being a loser.
Except when playing Twister.
These aren’t the kind of lost bets resulting in broken kneecaps or a yard sale purging my personal belongings. These are seemingly friendly bets made with people who seem to be your friends at the time, but seek one thing and one thing only: humiliation. As opposed to financial retribution.
Even with broken kneecaps, coming up with cash payment is better on the self-esteem.
My latest bet involved the Purdue/Duke NCAA basketball tournament face-off and one of my best girlfriends, Kendra. She is not only the queen of Duke and Dallas Mavs smack talk, but she’s also the current queen of winning bets. Her latest victim, before I joined those ranks, was fellow Post Independent columnist Derek Franz. During a playoff football get-together at my house, he declared he would never watch an episode of “The Bachelor.” Ever.
“Wanna bet?” Kendra taunted.
At the time, I’m sure Derek really believed he would never watch an episode of “The Bachelor.”
And a bribe of pasta and red wine for house sitting while I was scheduled to be out of town for work. Derek didn’t even realize I had him suckered into a staged episode before it was too late. There he was, sitting on my couch, watching Bachelor Jake choose between three women. And hating every second of it.
Derek, not that Jake guy.
Now I’m in my own hating-every-second-of-it stage. I’m supposed to be writing about how Kendra was right and I was wrong. No. 1 seed Duke beat No. 4 Purdue last Friday night. I picked my alma mater, Purdue. She picked her favorite team growing up in North Carolina, Duke. A silly bet on my part, in hindsight, since Duke was such a favorite to win. The tournament is all about upsets, though. And I’ve seen that scenario fall in my favor.
Except when it comes to Crisco Twister.
Betting with my heart, instead of my head, is much like the moment I meet a tall man with charm and wit. I go for the thrill. The raw emotion. The cool drink of water, as my friend Kelley Cox would say. I pick the one that makes my heart go pitter-patter. Then I throw myself into a bet as risky as a Crisco Twister game.
That’s Twister with a smattering of vegetable oil for those who have never played.
When a friendly wager goes down involving my favorite team, I rarely think of the consequences. Mostly because, with all that emotional connection, I assume I’ll win. Then my foot slips off the red circle (Purdue gets in foul trouble) and my hand falls on blue instead of green (Duke doesn’t miss a shot) and it’s done. It’s over. I’m a loser.
And, because I always follow through on my bets, I must tout the greatness of Blue Devil basketball.
First, I should clarify.
I’m not always on the losing end of these friendly wagers. When the Colts beat the Bears in Super Bowl XLI, my friend Kara had to wear a Dwight Freeney jersey to work. When the Colts beat the Patriots back in November, our financial director at Solar Energy International faced the wrath of the Manning jersey at work. I still have a standing bet with my colleague Rachel, who lost her bet that the Broncos would beat the Colts last December. She is supposed to wear a Colts cheerleader outfit to work any day now.
Rachel, I’m waiting …
If I would’ve been on the losing end of that one, I was required to wear my Broncos cheerleader outfit to work – and yes, I have one.
The real challenge is playing Crisco Twister and picking the college team to win it all in Indianapolis in a few weeks. While wearing a Duke cheerleader outfit. And avoiding an episode of “The Bachelor.” Kendra, I doubt if even you could win that one.
I just heard her say, “Wanna bet?”
April E. Clark is rooting for the Butler Bulldogs to go all the way. Did she mention Duke, at 33-5, won its second straight Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title this year? She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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