Where Should Your Rooting Interests Lie?
I recently spent a few days in Las Vegas and while I was there on official business, I did take some time to check out the sites, so to speak. One of the more entertaining things to do is spend some time at a sports book. What better place to watch a game, but even better, watch the conflicting swings of emotion minute by minute.
That got me thinking, for a non-sports better, my team affiliation and fantasy baseball affiliation often come in conflict. But how does sports better do it?
Here's an example. Joe Better has Albert Pujols on his fantasy team. Obviously he wants him to succeed at all cost. But does he? After all, Pujols is up against the Mets who is his beloved team. Also, he's got his ace pitcher Pedro Martinez on the mound. Conflicting enough? Well, let's say the over / under in the game is 7½ and Joe's feeling lucky during his time out in Vegas and, sensing a low scoring affair, he puts $50 on the under.
Let's head down to the floor of the MGM Grand's sports book to interview Joe:
Rob Hyman: Hey Joe - how's it going? Looking like we should have a good one on our hands tonight. I see you have your Bobby Bonilla Mets jersey on - what devotion to your team. I hope you hadn't put money on those '92 Mets, however. Anyway - I assume you're rooting for the Mets tonight? Nothing like a good ol' fashioned Mets / Cardinals pitchers duel. Brings me back to the days of Gibson vs. Seaver or Tudor vs. Gooden.
Joe Better: Ummm...Yeah rooting for the Mets, yeah I guess a pitcher's duel would be great, I think.
JB: Well of course I want my Mets to win, but I need more power numbers for my fantasy team so I'd love to see Pujols hit a homer, but not against Pedro because he's on my team. So I'd love to see Pujols do it late in the game. Although a late homer might mean that Pedro won't get the win, and I need wins for my team, and I want the Mets to win. Plus if Pedro isn't in late in the game and Pujols hits a homer, that might mean that the score is on the higher side, so my bet would be in jeopardy.
RH: Ummmm - okay so what is it that you want to happen?
JB: Yeah - well I'm rooting for 9 scoreless innings from Pedro but for the game to go to extra innings and Pujols hits two home runs in extra innings, but the Mets still pull out the game 4-3.
RH: Okay Joe - good luck with all that.
For someone who attempts to root for their beloved team, fantasy team and betting interests, conflicts are inevitable. While it's easy to say that your first should always be to your favorite team, sometimes bragging rights with your friends takes priority and of course it's always nice to line your pockets. So where should your rooting interests lie? I say, like in baseball, just hope you can win two out of three.
Rob Hyman's column, "The Weekend Warrior", appears alternate Fridays