Monday, January 07, 2008


In the office last week, a colleague decided to start a playoff pill pool for the NFL playoffs. It works like this: 12 teams in the playoffs, 12 people in the pool. Everyone contributes $10 and draws a team from the hat. If your team wins the Super Bowl, you get $100. If your team gets to the Super Bowl, you get $20.

This is not a pool, like the weekly pick 'em, that demands any kind of football accumen; rather, it's a game of chance. Essentially, it was a 1 in 12 chance of picking New England and winning $100. I figured why not? With the Browns left out of the playoffs, I had a quickly waning interest in the playoffs. When the Browns were terrible, fantasy football was the only reason I cared at all. So, I opted in.

And drew Dallas.

Next to New England, this is probably the best option in the bunch. After all, the Cowboys went 13-3 and earned the first seed in the NFC. They might have gone 14-2, but they sat most of their regulars in Week 17's loss to the Washington Redskins, who after this weekend, are no longer in the playoffs. They have Tony Romo and Terrell Owens, who should be healthy for their game next week with the N.Y. Giants. They might be one of two or three teams who could give New England a game, and they're in the NFC, which is pretty much wide open and leaves the $20 second prize as a consolation.

But it's Dallas. I have to root for Dallas.

To emphasize how conflicted I am ... I HAVE TO ROOT FOR DALLAS! I have hated the Cowboys since the days of Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin. I think that the worst policy decision the United States ever made was to fight Mexico to acquire Teaxs, and I fully support the Lonestar State's secession from the union. Dallas is the home of big oil and twang. George W. Bush owned the Texas Rangers in nearby Fort Worth.

But with $20 up for grabs, I...will...root for Dallas.

It could be worse. I could have drawn Pittsburgh.

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