Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How Squares Can Save a Poor Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is an intriguing spectacle.  It is the one American adventure that really has more to do with the journey than the destination.  Unless your favorite team is actually PLAYING in the big game, the vast, vast majority of spectators are either looking on to (i) party at some one's place or a bar, (ii) watch the half time show, (iii) watch the commercials or (iv) to gamble.  Hardly anyone is there to actually WATCH the game.

Ah, gambling.  One of the bastions of the JMR household, as we have taken the March Madness Pool and Fantasy Football to new gambling levels.  I'm teaching my children the right way.  The right way to run these pools themselves when they get older (I guess).  One of the many ways we could have gambled on the Super Bowl was the old mainstay - the Super Bowl Squares.  We felt like we had to make this game more interesting since the Patriots were knocked out int he AFC Championship.  You know how Super Bowl Squares works.  You pay short money to put your name in a grid of 100 boxes.  Some magical process happens and your square is matched to the last digit of the AFC Champion's score and the last digit of the NFC Champion's score.  We play it the standard way.  We keep our numbers through out the game and each quarter crowns a new winner.  People want 0, 1, 3, 4 and 7 as their numbers.  No one wants 2, 5 or 8.

Rudimentary grid
How to get the kids interested, though?  Promise them an iTunes gift card if they win.  Now mind you, this isn't gambling per se since all the kids can do is win something, but they still can live the excitement. 

The best thing about these squares was evident almost immediately in the recent match up between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos.  Even if one team is getting blown out, the Squares keep everyone interested.  The Squares do not care what the overall score is.  They only care about touchdowns, field goals and two point conversions.  Let the games begin!

First Quarter.  Oh man! A safety on one of the first plays of the game puts all of the crappy numbers into play.  All of a sudden, 2, 5 and 8 are looking like the real good numbers.  Seattle leads at the end of one quarter 8-0.  Cue the baseball score jokes!  More importantly, Dad wins the First Quarter.  No iTunes Gift card for you suckas!

Second Quarter.  Now the kids are getting excited.  They've seen how it works and Clash of Clans add ons are dancing around in their heads.  These gift cards must be theirs!  I'm bummed for all those sorry folks who thought Denver was going to wing the game.  Two more touchdowns for a 22-0 lead at half time.  C wins his first gift card.  Good luck collecting from me, son!

Third Quarter.  That Bruno Mars guy seems kind of over matched, am I right?  Never mind.  Denver get on the board with a touchdown and 2 point conversion.  Now 8 is on the board for the other side too!  But alas, Seattle scores two touchdowns itself to make the score 36-8.  Mom wins this quarter and all of a sudden the money outlay I'm going to have is quite small.

Fourth Quarter.  A lot of advertisers are bummed out that the game has gotten out of hand.  Including the big time spots that ran at the 2 minute warning.  Or maybe they thought to themselves that people are still interested in the garbage time when any score can change the winner.  Unfortunately for the kids, Dad wins the Fourth Quarter after Seattle gets the garbage time touch down.  Denver can't even match with a late game, meaningless touch down itself, so the game ends 43-8. 

In conclusion, Dad wins 2 quarters and Mom wins 1 quarter.  C does win one quarter and will eventually get his gift card.  Pity Denver.  And celebrate Seattle.  But more importantly celebrate that the 5 of us could actually watch a game together.

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