Last week The Gentle Ones were talking gambling. I don't recall what the hook was, but Junior issued a statement that brought me up short. He said that if he were in Las Vegas gambling, he was certain that he could not possibly do better than 50-50, and he was quite adamant about it.
In the past, I have written that if I knew how to place legal bets, I would take some money and bet with Junior on all of the college and pro games that they pick in a little game they call "Picking Games Against Some Unlucky P1." Both Junior and George are always well over .500 on the year every year that I've listened, and my recollection is that overall, Junior usually wins. I may be wrong about that and could be corrected, but in any event both George and Craig always, in my recall, pick more winners than losers.
But there's a wild card in those statistics -- the high school games. I suppose if I kept track of their picks and the game results every week, I could figure out how the picks on the high school games influence the winning percentage.
Then I thought: Perhaps -- just perhaps -- I could go to the source.
With trembling digits, I typed an email to firstname.lastname@example.org -- that's right, mindspring, Craig being possibly the only human still residing at that benighted domain, asking him this very question.
Gent that he is, I had a response shortly -- in fact, at 9:29, in mid-Musing. And, I believe for the first time in the history of this site, I am able to bring you what I believe to be the first ever communication of a Host directly to the Confessors, the inquiry being -- how do the high school games affect the contest results? His reply:
"To be honest, I have no definite idea. I would guess that it's close to a push. I recall one year where I got every single one of the stupid random high school picks (Fart High vs Diarrhea Central) wrong. Our overall record might be helped just a tad by the high school games--it seems the games get progressively harder to pick from HS to college to NFL, but again I don't have the stats to back that up.
"I don't mind if you use this explosive quote."
Thank you, Junior, and traveling mercies to you and the Missus.
My initial thought was that they would do a little better on the college and pro games because of their superior knowledge of the teams. Then I realized that since the high school games were just win-lose picks, no points, it might be easier to pick winners based on a school's historical dominance or suckitude, or won-loss records as the season progressed.
So we haven't ridded ourselves of that wild card. But at a minimum, I'm going to conclude that even if the high school picks are factored out, the college/pro picks would still be over .500, and comfortably so.
Because I am the Pope of Confessors, I will confess that I do not know how to gamble. I mean, I really have no idea whether it is possible sitting in DFW to place a legal sports bet. Can one do it at the casinos around here? I couldn't drive to a casino every Friday anyway. I'm assuming it cannot be done legally long-distance. If I knew how, I would take a large or two and perform this precise experiment.
If anyone can instruct me -- again, only interested in legal solutions -- do tell. And don't tell me to give you the grand and you'll legally bet it for me.
In the meantime, seems to me that Junior is far too modest regarding his sports-prediction prowess.
After all, they are the professional sports predictors.
PS: Sorry for this incredibly crappy-looking post. Google Blogger has primitive word-processing tools, and this mess is unfixable.