Sunday, November 18, 2007

There Go My Bananas.

First...the high point of my weekend.

A buddy of mine was the ultimate Johnny On The Spot on Saturday morning, which was the first day tickets went on sale for the Matchbox 20 concert coming to Milwaukee in February. By shortly after 10am I had a text on my phone, telling me exactly where I'd be sitting to see Rob Thomas et al.

In my concert post from a week or so ago, I expressed my wish to add a number in parentheses after my Matchbox 20 entry...and whaddaya know? In a few months I'll be able to put a (2) there. Nice. Very nice.

— • — • —

And now, the low point.

Sometimes football Sundays just don't go as planned. I guess that's part of the drama that makes football season so great, but it can be quite a downer at times, too.

For those of you who haven't read far enough back in my blog yet...I'm a Lions fan. Suffice it to say, I'm used to the downers. This year there's been a lot more to cheer about, but they're on a two-game skid and have to tangle with the Packers before they get to dive into a mountain of mashed potatoes and gravy on Thanksgiving Day. So there's a distinct possibility that an impressive 6-2 start could turn into 6-5 in a real. big. hurry.

While that's not easy to stomach, I expected them to lose to the Giants today, so that doesn't qualify as my low point.

I'm involved in a winner's pool, where participants pick one team to win each week, and if that team wins, they move on to the next week. If not, thus endeth their chance in that season's winner's pool. Each team can be selected only once throughout the season, so there's a bit of strategy that comes into play.

In the interest of avoiding legal ramifications, I'll say that each person contributes ten bananas as an entry fee into the pool. And it's a winner-take-all format. Over the past few years, it's grown to a decent size, and this year there were 97 people in the pool. Therefore...the winner will collect 970 bananas. Not bad.

Over the first few weeks of the pool, I usually don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about the bushels of bananas at the end of the rainbow. If I survive several weeks, and people start to drop out, that's great. One step closer to the bananas for me.

Heading into this week, we were down to the final eight. And I was one of them. Eighty-nine people had lost their chance at the bananas, and there were only a handful of us left who were vying for them. The bananas were at least in view, which is all I could ask for.

In past weeks, I'd gambled a bit when making my selection, choosing the Jets to win one week, the Bengals another, the Bears...and so on. And I'd survived. This week, with so many bananas at stake between so few...I thought I'd pull out one of my big guns. Play it safe, I thought.

So I put my trust, and my chance at bunches and bunches of bananas, in the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers, with their solid, efficient offense, and the league's top-ranked defense. And as the Jets kicked the field goal in overtime to pull off the upset, I slumped back into my chair and said, "There go my fuckin' bananas."

I could have baked a lot of banana bread with those bananas. Or quite a few banana creme pies. I could have taken some of those bananas to Vegas with me next spring and distributed them among the friendly casinos on The Strip. Or I could have used those bananas to take a road trip to see my buddy who runs the pool, after he gave me an open invitation to visit when he moved several states away this summer.

Instead...I'm left banana-less. Oh, it's not the end of the world by any means. The bananas were never mine to begin with, so I won't miss them so terribly. But to paraphrase a quote that I love to remind people of: "Bananas won are twice as sweet as bananas earned."

It would have been a swell end-of-year bonus to win all those bananas.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to get to the grocery store.
I need to buy some apples.

"The adjective is the banana peel
of the parts of speech."
—Cliff Fadiman

1 comment:

  1. LOL - I don't mean to laugh at your plight. But man, it is sort of funny. If there was any "lock of the week," it would have been the Steelers over the Jets. But alas, "any given Sunday" wields its ugly head yet again.

    I was in one of those "loser pools" myself about five years ago. I ended up finishing in third place. And that got me... no bananas.

    Go Packers!