The telephone rang early, uh, very early. At, oh, 5:30 or so.
After my groggy greeting, here’s exactly what I heard:
“JoeV Vig vonder vye no bull pull blug?”
I immediately recognized those Boris Badanovian tones as belonging to a new associate of the Vig, whose acquaintance I made just last week. He’s a mirthless fellow with the not so hail fellow well met countenance of Gaear Grimsrud, Peter Stormare’s wood chipping character in “Fargo.” But with far fewer vowels in his name, and less folly in his demeanor.
He is also a man of firm grip. To which I can personally attest, having been hung over the railing of my condo balcony, a clever ploy, which did convince me to enter Joey the Vig’s Annual Bowl Pool.
Not that the endeavor is a totally bad thing.
If one is going to spend 3 1/2 hours of his life watching the hapless pigskinners of Maryland contest their counterparts from Marshall, having a rooting interest, a financial stake, helps quell one’s overriding thought. Which is, isn’t there something significantly more productive I could be doing at this moment in my life?
Why the Vig would want me to regale my public with the details of betting misfortune to his benefit remains somewhat a mystery? He’s a private man, the Vig, not taken to ostentation.1 I guess he gets a kick out of reading about himself. As long as his real identity remains unstated, and his actual whereabouts unrevealed.
* * * * *
Being in a bowl pool does make the season more, well, interesting.
And a roller coaster ride.
Having played Washington State and Fresno State, I was ofer coming out of the gate. I laid off the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Trying to watch my carb intake, you know. But rebounded with Louisiana Lafayette in the most highly attended R & L Carriers New Orleans Bowl ever.
Then came yesterday, when C-USA power East Carolina tallied twenty in the 4th to not only best MAC East entry Ohio U, but to cover.
I was more than somewhat aghast in a delighted sort of way at the outcome, when I read it online, long after turning off the game, sure that I was tumbling quicker by the moment into the cellar of the Vig’s pool.
I don’t ordinarily watch TV in my bedroom, though there is a big screen there. When it’s time for bed, it’s time for bed. But, last night on the U, they were replaying the Beef O’ Brady’s Bowl, a football “battle,” but for the Vig, about which I would have nary a scintilla of interest.
So I must now honor the fellow who keeps my hopes alive in this Bowl Pool thing.
He is 6-6, weighs 298 pounds and plays RT for the Ohio Bobcats. His name is Ryan McGrath, and he’s a fifth year senior starter.
And, bless his heart, during one inexplicably stupid, but glorious for me, moment, he committed a personal foul after the Pirates had intercepted a Bobcat pass late.2 Which allowed East Carolina to begin a drive deep in Ohio territory. They scored the points that allowed them to cover the rather large spread set by the Vig.
So there I was just before midnight, dancing in my jammies, heralding the work of Ryan McGrath. A bit of research reveals he hails from Pennsylvania and played prep ball for Hollidaysburg Area H.S..
His miscue rocketed me up the Bowl Pool Standings back into contention, nestled in but a single point behind the leaders, along with such other “willing participants” as Johnny O, the Big Fisherman and Kangaloosh. With many games to go, this could be the start of something big, and more important, financially rewarding. If so, rest assured I shall take to spelling Holliday Season with double lls.
And think more fondly of the Vig’s associate, the one with no vowels in his name, and a blessedly firm grip.
— Seedy K