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“Hey, do New Year’s resolutions always have to be good for you?”
January 6, 2013 12:38 PM   Subscribe

Norm Macdonald likes to gamble. Gamble money on sports.

(here is where future posts will be... um... posted)
posted by davidjmcgee (36 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Huh... You'd think they'd count un-run runs the same way they count un-caught infield fly-balls.

/ Don't like the latter rule at all, but I dislike the lack of consistency even more.
posted by pla at 12:43 PM on January 6, 2013


He's 0-1 so far. Speaking as a "Gabe Veltri," I'd try to talk him out of it. Nobody makes money betting NFL lines.
posted by Lame_username at 1:02 PM on January 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Lame_username, can you elaborate? I don't gamble except once if every very rare blue moon, but why are NFL lines worse than other bets?
posted by Navelgazer at 1:06 PM on January 6, 2013


Or do you just mean that it's different from professional poker-playing? Because in that case I understand you, but Norm seems to be doing this more for the fun of it than for money.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:07 PM on January 6, 2013


I guess those Safe Auto gigs pay better than I thought.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:08 PM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Huh... You'd think they'd count un-run runs the same way they count un-caught infield fly-balls.

Except that they're totally different situations. The point of the infield fly rule is to prevent teams from being cunning or unsportmanslike, depending on your perspective. Outside of gambling, the margin of victory is irrelevant and not counting the extra/unscored runs in this situation is, I think, the precise reading of the rules.
posted by hoyland at 1:09 PM on January 6, 2013


Man, the Redskins/Seahawks game is about to start. I hope he doesn't jinx that one too. I hate that smarmy Pet Carroll.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:25 PM on January 6, 2013


The Ventura not-home run is rule 4.11(c):
If the home team scores the winning run in its half of the ninth inning (or its half of an extra inning after a tie), the game ends immediately when the winning run is scored.
EXCEPTION: If the last batter in a game hits a home run out of the playing field, the batter-runner and all runners on base are permitted to score, in accordance with the base-running rules, and the game ends when the batter-runner touches home plate.
APPROVED RULING: The batter hits a home run out of the playing field to win the game in the last half of the ninth or an extra inning, but is called out for passing a preceding runner. The game ends immediately when the winning run is scored, unless there are two out and the winning run has not yet reached home plate when the runner passes another, in which case the inning is over and only those runs that scored before the runner passes another shall count.
The exception doesn't happen because Ventura never makes it past second (or to second--I can't quite tell), so it's a small variation on the scenario described in the 'approved ruling'. (4.09 requires that the batter-runner reach first before being the third out for any of the men on base to score.)
posted by hoyland at 1:30 PM on January 6, 2013


I don’t drink, smoke, do drugs, or frequent, or even occasion, prostitutes.

Uh, I've seen you and Kevin Farley sneak off to do a bunch of blow with a friend of mine, Norm....
posted by wcfields at 1:32 PM on January 6, 2013


wcfields, my understanding was that he doesn't do any of those things anymore, as I'm pretty sure he was a pretty heavy drinker/smoker in the SNL days as well.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:34 PM on January 6, 2013


Best comment on the G-land post:

"Harrison Starr · Charlotte, North Carolina
Bill's New Year Resolution must have been to get another Grantland staffer in Vegas so he could expense trips there."

posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:43 PM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Navelgazer: "wcfields, my understanding was that he doesn't do any of those things anymore, as I'm pretty sure he was a pretty heavy drinker/smoker in the SNL days as well."

It was in Nov 2011, well past SNL days.
posted by wcfields at 1:45 PM on January 6, 2013


Well I guess we can't take anything Norm Macdonald says seriously. Thank you, wcfields, for disabusing us of our naïveté.
posted by Catchfire at 1:49 PM on January 6, 2013


I remember seeing Jim Gray (I think it was Gray) interview Ventura somewhere between first and second base, and literally giving him a shove (in an attempt to be or look playful) toward second to try to get him finish his home run trot. Ventura refused. It never occurred to me that maybe Gray was being so insistent because he had money on the game.

And yeah, I don't know how Norm McDonald went from being the lame Weekend Update host who's zingers always bombed to Canada's Comedian Laureate, but he's pretty damn fun.
posted by dry white toast at 1:50 PM on January 6, 2013


dry white toast, are we gonna have to have pistols at dawn?

(McDonald is the greatest Weekend Update host ever and probably forever. This is objective fact.)
posted by Navelgazer at 1:54 PM on January 6, 2013 [9 favorites]


Love this...

He’s like that squid that picks the winner of the World Cup. He’s very good at one thing; the rest of the time, he’s just a squid.

Describes waay too many talented people these days. Always loved Norm's writing.
posted by djrock3k at 1:56 PM on January 6, 2013


Navelgazer, you ignorant slut.
posted by R. Schlock at 2:03 PM on January 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well I guess we can't take anything Norm Macdonald says seriously. Thank you, wcfields, for disabusing us of our naïveté.

Dude put his family in a duffel bag. Don't trust'em.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:42 PM on January 6, 2013


the lame Weekend Update host who's zingers always bombed

Well, there was the time he announced that Salman Rushdie's new book was to be called "Buddha, You Fat Bastard". I larfed.
posted by thelonius at 3:28 PM on January 6, 2013


He's also responsible for my favorite joke ever.
posted by davidjmcgee at 3:43 PM on January 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


There’s a certain arc to my gambling sprees. An arc that begins with me making modest bets after much study, then ends months later with me having no money.

SPOILER ALERT
posted by not_on_display at 3:59 PM on January 6, 2013


Not that much of a spoiler, Skins are getting dickpunched currently.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:01 PM on January 6, 2013


Foreskins?
posted by Splunge at 4:09 PM on January 6, 2013


This is in case you were wondering why things like Vampire Dog happen.
posted by kafziel at 5:31 PM on January 6, 2013


That article is incredibly depressing if you've ever heard Norm McDonald's interview on WTF in which he rather frankly discusses his gambling addiction. I guess that interview is now behind a paywall, but basically he talks about how on more than a few occasions he's found himself "on tilt" at the roulette/poker/sports gambling table, having only $30,000 left over from his original $250,000 and recognizing that he should step away from the table but it didn't feel complete until he had lost everything.
posted by alidarbac at 6:58 PM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, now he's down 11 grand.

LOL.
posted by bardic at 7:07 PM on January 6, 2013


I wonder if he bets on golf as well as football and baseball, because apparently his golf predictions have been incredibly accurate. I don't follow golf, but I do follow Norm McDonald on twitter, where he spends a lot of time live-tweeting, in incredibly dry and minute detail, these various golf things. Maybe it's easier to make good predictions in sports when you don't have money riding on it, much like it's much easier to be a wiz on Jeopardy when you're not actually there on camera under the studio lights.
posted by Flashman at 7:28 PM on January 6, 2013


Came to thread hoping for "E-I-E-I-O" comment.

Sense of inevitability: betrayed.
posted by sourcequench at 7:50 PM on January 6, 2013


Pissed that Washington lost. Now my hope is that Seattle gets their asses rightfully handed to them by the Packers in the NFC Championship so that justice can rightfully be served.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:36 PM on January 6, 2013


Heh. That would bring the whole season full-circle, wouldn't it?
posted by davidjmcgee at 11:11 PM on January 6, 2013


Lame_username, can you elaborate? I don't gamble except once if every very rare blue moon, but why are NFL lines worse than other bets?
I know some people who make money betting sports against the lines. The most famous one is Hralabos Voulgaris who makes his money betting NBA games. Bob simply has better models and better coded data than the people who set the lines and he uses this information edge to his advantage. In order to win money on a consistent basis betting on sports, you have to have better information than the folks who set the lines. I believe that this is possible for baseball, hockey, college football and basketball, but I think it is extremely difficult for NFL football. There are certainly also opportunities in para-mutual betting, like horseracing, but that is a whole different world.

There used to be some guys who made a lot of money by having inside information on injuries, but today I really don't think there are any informational advantages available on pro football. Most of the sharps I know think the best anyone could do on NFL is probably 5% and I know a lot of smart guys who can't manage that on a consistent basis. There are arbitrage opportunities and plenty of terrible proposition bets, but its difficult to get serious money on either one. Of course, Norm doesn't fancy that he is going to make a living as a sports bettor and the whole thing is something of a lark, but sometimes I can't help myself.
posted by Lame_username at 12:44 AM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think betting on college basketball is even worse than the NFL. The regular season is bad enough but no matter how they rig the March tournament in favor of the big schools, someone is going to get blindsided. Which of course is why it's so damn fun to watch.
posted by Ber at 8:27 AM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think betting on college basketball is even worse than the NFL.
I'm really a poker player and have only ever really done arbitrage betting on sports, but I am fairly reliably informed that there are some systematic weaknesses in college basketball over/under lines. The problem is that it can be difficult to place large wagers without significantly moving the lines.
posted by Lame_username at 9:47 AM on January 7, 2013


He's also responsible for my favorite joke ever.

I really, really thought this was going to be a link to the moth joke, which I'm pretty sure no one else alive could have pulled off.
posted by Mayor West at 11:01 AM on January 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


That was also amazing. Thank you.
posted by davidjmcgee at 2:04 PM on January 7, 2013


I don't understand the fun of this article. Isn't it like a recovering alcoholic deciding to bar-hop their way across the country for an online magazine?
posted by Theta States at 11:34 AM on January 8, 2013


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