The longest sports bet I’ve ever made is still going strong. It was my freshman year of high school, and my friend David continued to wear his corduroy Minnesota Timberwolves hat.
“You need a new hat, so I’ll make a friendly bet with you. I bet the Timberwolves never win an NBA title, so that when they do I can pay up by sending you the nicest Timberwolves hat money can buy.”
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh picked the Miami Heat over signing for less to play in Minnesota, which I’ll concede is what we gamblers call a “long shot.” I hope for the best every season, but it looks like I’m never going to have to pay up.
This, however, is a story about my second-longest bet, and payment is ongoing.
As both of you faithful readers know, I make a bet with my good friend Brian every time my Texas Rangers face his Arizona Diamondbacks in a series. The bet is a simple yet devastating one, since we enjoy embarrassment far more than taking each other’s money. The loser has to change his Facebook profile picture to the team of the winner, and keep it there a week.
I came in on somewhat of a winning streak. The Rangers took two of three from Arizona the previous season, and a 49ers-Patriots game tilted toward San Francisco — I narrowly avoided changing my profile picture to a shirtless one of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, and he suffered a week answering questions about a shirtless Colin Kaepernick.
This wasn’t meant to be a very long bet for 2013. The Rangers went to Arizona for a doubleheader, and the Diamondbacks were to come to Arlington to play two more games.
The bet was slightly more complicated. The Facebook pic switch still applied, and the winner would be named when either A) One team won three games, thus clinching the series or B) The teams tied, in which case the tie would be settled by which team plated more runs in the series.
Texas lost the first two in the series, 5-3 and 5-4. Things didn’t look good, even when a rainout the following day gave the Rangers’ pitching staff a much-needed break.
The Rangers struck back with a 9-5 win, meaning the to-be-scheduled makeup game would determine the series. Since Arizona held a 2-1 lead in games and Texas a 16-15 lead on runs, the fourth game would determine the series.
Brian was hoping for the ultimate long victory — the game never gets rescheduled because it doesn’t impact a playoff race, Arizona wins the series and I have to go into the playoffs (or the offseason) sporting the Diamondback logo.
That didn’t happen, however. The teams made up the game Aug. 1, with Texas taking a 7-0 lead before Brian just put the Rangers logo up to start the countdown as early as possible.
I’m 3-0 against Brian, but I’ve been defeated by several other friends in several less quirky bets.
I’m 1-0 against David … but LeBron’s a free agent next summer. Fingers crossed …
Kevin Wilson is a columnist for CMI. He can be contacted at 763-3431, ext. 313, or by email:firstname.lastname@example.org