Last night, my alma mater, the Bowling Green Falcons, played a Tuesday night MAC football game (MACtion) against their arch rivals, the Toledo Rockets. Barstool Sports was there doing the Barstool Sports College Football show.
Naturally, I placed some bets on my squad. Nothing crazy, just a small amount of money so I could have some skin in the game. The bets I made were as follows (don't mind the absurdly specific totals).
Bowling Green Money Line ($11 to win $50.60)
Bowling Green +14.5 ($34.50 to win $31.74)
Over 46.5 ($34.50 to win $30.71)
All day long yesterday, I wasn't sure if it would be a dick move for me to root hard against Dave and Big Cat who had money on Toledo. I know it normally wouldn't matter, but the University of Toledo had been super nice to us. They welcomed us with open arms, etc. etc. I mean.. they give Big Cat a key to the city for Christ sakes. Also, after the whole Jeff Nadu/White Sox Dave situation over the weekend, I wanted to be careful (i.e. I was being a huge pussy).
I could have shit on University of Toledo students cheering for Ohio State over their own team, but to be honest, as a Bowling Green fan, don't have a leg to stand on there.
This is truly how everyone at Bowling Green feels too. If you go to a MAC school in Ohio, you most likely cheer for Ohio State (or another bigger, more relevant school) over your own team. It's very sad, but very true. But I'm also a firm believer in not policing how people enjoy sports. Sports are supposed to be fun. Cheer for whoever you want, whenever you want.
Anyways, the game could not have started out any better for the Falcons. Pure dominance for the 1st quarter and a half. In the blink of an eye, we had a 21-0 lead. Again, I didn't want to get in trouble, so I tweeted something responsible to make sure my bosses knew I was coming in peace
From there on out, things got hairy. Toledo quickly closed the gap to 21-14 going into the half. I'm not going to go play-by-play for the rest of the game, but fast forward to the 4th quarter - Bowling Green scored a touchdown with 10 minutes left in the game to extend their lead to 34-21.
To the untrained eye it was over. But I've watched Bowling Green suck at football long enough to know that they weren't going to just win this game without making it interesting. I checked the Barstool Sportsbook, and Toledo Money Line was +900.
That was absurd to me. Toledo had been moving the ball without much trouble. And I knew Bowling Green was about to turtle into some dumb prevent defense that would essentially just hand Toledo free touchdowns. All Toledo needed was a touchdown and a stop, then it was anyone's game. +900 seemed insane. So I hedged, and bet against my own team. I didn't want to hide from it, so I tweeted it out.
(I was kind of proud, +900 is a great number)
Is that bad? It wasn't a lot of money. It was $15 to win $135. But it was enough that I would have won an extra $85 if my team lost. I knew I had committed some sort of cardinal sin, but I didn't feel bad about it at all. Not bad for a second. I had already won my 2 larger bets, and I stood to win another $50 if Bowling Green held on to win. But for the small price of $15, I could cover my ass and then some in case Toledo pulled off the comeback? That's honestly a no brainer. That is elite money management. Exactly what Barstool is talking about when they say, "responsible gambling". Aside from it being a very small amount of money, that was the best gambling I have ever done. Truly a genius money-move by me if Toledo wins.
As soon as a placed that bet, Toledo started driving. They immediately scored a touchdown. We got the ball back and immediately punted. Then Toledo drove down the field, and with 1 minute left, they scored to take a 35-34 lead.
Was that my fault? No. No it wasn't. My $15 bet did not contribute to that Toledo comeback. No matter what I bet or didn't bet, Bowling Green was still going to play a stupid fucking prevent defense that they know doesn't work.
In the end, it didn't even matter. Because in an unprecedented move. The Bowling Green Falcon offense marched down the field and scored a touchdown within 50 seconds. As we say at Bowling Green State University - Talons Up
Even though that bet didn't hit, that was a smart fucking bet. You can't convince me otherwise. But then I have people (Rick) on Twitter telling me I can't enjoy the win?
Respectfully, Rick, fuck you. I enjoyed that win very much. If you want to say that makes me less of a fan, then ok sure, I don't really care where people think I stand on the Bowling Green Falcon Football fan meter. I'll enjoy the win as much as I feel like enjoying it.
As I said, it drives me crazy when people try to police how other people watch sports, or how they gamble. Like I have to behave a certain way when my team is playing. Like I have to bet a certain way. Sports are entertainment. There's no rules. And if I want to bet against my own team to hedge my happiness, then I'm going to do that. This probably won't be the last time I do it this year. That's just smart gambling. I know there's people who say they could never do that, and that's fine. Good for them. I'm still going to be happy when my team wins. Even if it costs me a little money sometimes.