COLUMN: What would it take?

Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     I have developed a habit of betting on the Green Bay Packers. But I still can’t root for them.

     To me, any season when the Packers are in the Super Bowl conversation (which is to say, every season, although that never seems to stop their fans from grumbling) is a lousy NFL season.

     But I have learned that if I put a little money on them, even while I’m hoping they lose, it makes it a little easier to take when they inevitably win.

     Many times, in past years on Vegas trips or more recently with legalized sports betting, I have purchased what I call Packer Insurance, placing a wager on them to win the Super Bowl.

     These are win-win situations for me. If I have to suffer through another Green Bay NFL championship, at least I will make some bank on the deal. If they lose somewhere along the line, I get to enjoy that for a small price.

     For the record, I have never won one of these bets. Maybe my bet jinxes them. A man can dream.

     This year, I have extended this to regular season games, with favorable results. For the Thursday night game Oct. 28, I put $4 on the Packers to beat Arizona, on the money line (straight up, with no point spreads involved), with the chance to get back just over $13. It’s strange to place a wager hoping I will lose it, but there we are. And, of course, I cashed.

     At one point, the Packers took a 10-point lead over the previously undefeated Cardinals. It suddenly became painfully clear what is going to happen. Sunday’s loss at Kansas City notwithstanding, Green Bay is going to secure the No. 1 seed in the NFC, and have a good chance to win another Lombardi Trophy.

     So, right then and there, I doubled down on my Packer Insurance. Whereas I put $5 on them to win the Super Bowl a few weeks ago, I now have $10 on them. I will profit $115 when the inevitable happens. Again, I won’t like it, but that will be a nice chunk of change.

     It does make me wonder, though. They say everyone has a price. How much money would I need to have on the Packers in order to get me to actually root for them? $20? $50?

     Suppose I put $100 on them to win the Super Bowl, instead of $10 (don’t worry, D-Temple, I won’t). If my potential profit was $1,150, could I find it in my heart to cheer for a Green Bay title? Maybe. Possibly. Doubtful. I don’t know.

     By the way, regarding the grumbling Packer fans I referenced earlier, I made that same comment to my son Ian the other day. Ian, inexplicably, in my home and under my watch, is a Packer fan.

     He said, “You’d be mad if your team lost the NFC Championship Game five years in a row.”

     It’s a theory I’d love to test out someday.



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