Sunday, October 21, 2007
In my next life I want to be a bookie. I want to get into the head of the mysterious dude on the other end of the line. I wrote about one once, a story called Galloway, it's as close as I'll get to peeking into the psyche of one or a group of people who make my life miserable every week creating 'the spreads'. What is it that they know, Vegas knows? Where the hell do they really come up with these numbers, and why do I get more nervous with a 3.5 spread in a game like Indy vs Jacksonville than I do with a 16.5 spread in the New England vs Miami game? What do the bookies know that I don't know, are they assuming that Indy isn't going to crush Jacksonville, like I presume they will? At the end of the day do they toss a coin, is it more random than we think? Do they really sit around debating the complexities and conundrums of what's going on in the league; that great, young quarterbacks are dropping like flies but Favre's stronger than ever, that "New York wideout Plaxico Burress is on a record-setting touchdown pace despite missing practice for the majority of the year with a sprained ankle", or that Buffalo are second in the AFC East despite, well, everything? Do the guys in Vegas really like the game - do they have a favourite team, player, loyalty? Nah, as my old friend Galloway explained, "we don't do it for the love of the sport, we do it for the vigorish"!