Your favorite NFL team is going to play this weekend, byes and Thursday/Monday night games aside. And you’re probably going to watch because it’s September. What else would you be doing?
But sometimes the matchup doesn’t quite measure up to expectations; many NFL teams are pretty much already playing for next season. So a football fan naturally needs make things a little more interesting… with a friendly wager. Straight up or against the spread, we bet our team will win.
Bets generally involve money. But what if you’re broke, or just cheap? Here are some ways to bet without losing next month’s rent.
1. Small Bills
Remember when $20 was a lot of money? I do, it was about one sentence ago. (Who am I, Rockefeller?) So let’s dial down the green to something more manageable, say, $1. You scoff. Well, commodities tycoons Randolph and Mortimer Duke, who surely know the value of money, ruined Louis Winthorpe III and elevated Billy Ray Valentine to the upper echelon of the corporate world over a $1 bet. Lest you think this a one-time occurrence, Winthorpe and Valentine brought down commodities giant Duke & Duke, also over a $1 bet. So surely a dollar is a reasonable sum to wager on one measly game.
Whether your team wins or loses, you’re going to eat lunch the next day. Well now you’ll have company, and you won’t have to pay. Or if you’re me (which would be kind of surprising because I’m already me), you’ll have to pay double. I owe my coworker a burrito for his Giants’ win last night. Heck, I probably should buy him two, given the lopsided final score. And while burritos are hardly free, I will happily forgo a future burrito one day soon for free food in the conference room. So I’ll eventually break even.
If you went to junior high school, high school or college, you’ve probably already laid your dignity on the line, and for much lower stakes. Doing it again shouldn’t be a problem. Bet that the loser has to sing the other team’s theme song while dressed in that team’s colors. Turn up (or down) the embarrassment accordingly. Might I suggest a branded adult onesie? I’ve already said too much.
Buddies are always good for a favor or two. But abusing that generosity is a pretty good way to ruin a friendship… except in this case. Win this bet, and the other person has to be your servant for a day. I’ll leave to the particulars to you, but don’t skimp on the imagination. This is a great opportunity.
5. Bragging Rights
Winning this bet gives you the right to talk smack, at least until the rematch. One might argue that a win automatically gives you this right. But sports fans can get a little sensitive when their team loses. So a bet for bragging rights locks in the winnings, as it were.
Norm Elrod likes sports and other sanctioned forms of craziness.