Throughout history, man has gambled his hard-earned money and wagered his often-fleeting dignity in order to prove something. Whether that something is unrelenting support for their favorite athletic club or unshakable confidence in their own abilities does not really matter, for an overwhelming majority of these bets have one thing in common when they are made; alcohol.
Alcohol, the catalyst which makes all interesting, also allows us to find other ways to make a mundane situation more enjoyable and betting on ridiculous shit is no exception. I once bet a round of drinks against a brother of mine that a kid in a peewee basketball scrimmage which took place between halves of a Gator game wouldn’t rack up more than 6 points from the field. The little bastard made 5 buckets and I was pissed, but the fact remained that I was easily (and audibly) the only person rooting against a 7 year old in a crowd of 17,000. Half-time passed much faster because of this, but this kind of betting isn’t limited to sports related events. I’ve seen people bet on when their dates would be ready for formal, how long it will take another brother to black-out while day drinking, and my personal favorite, whether or not a friend will end up taking home the questionable last-call straggler. Any time you are sitting with a brother waiting for something better to happen, a wager is a good way of passing the time.
Putting money on games is also a good way of allowing you to be involved in a sport you necessarily wouldn’t care about otherwise. Everyone has been in a situation where you are perched on the barstool trying to enjoy a pint but the entirety of the crowd is involved in a game that you couldn’t give less of a fuck about. Instead of sitting around waiting for the bandwagon Heat fans to stop circle jerking each other over how clutch Lebron James has been, try betting against them. It will make you actually care about what is going on in the game, and I can assure you there is nothing better than taking money from somebody whose team just lost, especially if they are from fucking Miami. I don’t know if their tears are from the actual loss or just the gel-laden sweat, but either way they are gratifying.
Now, drunk betting is always fun when you are riding a manageable buzz. But as we all know, imbibing too much can lead to a head swelling like no other, and this is not the time to make bets. As some of you may know, I currently have found myself in a bet with none other than TFM’s very own StuffFratPeopleLike. The conditions of the bet have to do with my written content and the wager involves me pounding some cinnamon and whatever other food challenges he decides to throw in off the top of his head if I don’t follow through. How did I find myself in this situation? Easy, I got shit-faced and bet him I could do something. HOWEVER, I was also intoxicated enough to forget about the flipside of the agreement. So now, I’m left with a one-sided bet. If I lose, I am at the mercy of that shit-head’s beady black eyes when he decides to scan the pantry. If I win, I don’t regurgitate a heinous amount of random food products. It’s not really what you would call a win-win. The lesson to be learned from the situation is that although alcohol can make you confident enough to say you can do something with dire consequences wagered on your failure, it can also make you stupid enough to forget to place the same pressure on the other guy. Always review your bets and establish the conditions before you shake the other guy’s hand. Allowing any room for misinterpretation or bamboozlement through petty technicalities is something you want to avoid. You should also avoid making bets with an asshole. Keep your eye out for StuffFratPeopleLike’s newest column: “Top 40 Things I Could Make TheDapperDipper Eat.”
Even though there are plenty of ways to fuck around and drop a few dollars, or in my case LB’s from cinnamon induced puking, there is one sort of bet you should always avoid; the pessimist’s bet. A pessimist’s bet is a wager one places when they lose faith in the team they are pulling for in a game. Instead of putting money on their team, they bet against them in order to avoid the full remorse of a loss. Anyone who is a fan of a team with a history of blowing games for no reason can fall victim to this style of betting, but the problem with betting pessimistically is that it kind of makes you look like a pussy. A real fan celebrates when his team wins and takes it like a kick in the nads when they lose. If you are getting any sort of financial improvement from your team losing, you might want to turn in your fan card and set your sails for fairer weather. Just saying, sack up and take the loss.
The variety, ingenuity, and stupidity of the risks we take when making drunken wagers is easily one of the most entertaining things about getting hammered with your friends. If you’re sitting at a barstool, or simply drinking in your front yard, anything and everything can be turned into a wager. There are things to avoid, and you should always be weary of betting when a little too drunk, but that’s also fun in its own right. Betting is something that makes drinking more fun than it already is, and anything that improves on America’s favorite pastime is well worth doing.