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Losing Bets to Your Girlfriend

February 22, 2011

Readers, I am a man. As such, I have an uncanny ability to stumble into disagreements with my lady lover. Ten times out of ten, I don’t realize what’s happening, but chances are if I take the opportunity to express an opinion, it’s the wrong one. Frankly, I see that as a relationship strength. This great nation was built upon a tradition of debate, discourse and, ultimately, compromise. However, I have learned that, generally speaking , while it’s best to be on the right side of inconsequential debates with the girlfriend, I typically find myself on the wrong side.

Take, for instance, my standard sports debate with Mads. For whatever reason, Maddie and I come from a different place when it comes to selecting which player’s jersey to purchase. With almost 99% certainty, when Mads announces she wants a player’s uni, I will believe that it’s a bad idea. From my perspective, I feel justified. Of the two teams we both support (Liverpool and the Caps) the jerseys she has expressed interest in have almost exclusively resulted in players that shortly thereafter were sent packing to another team.

Which brings me to my story. As a means of making conversation between episodes of Friday Night Lights on Netflix, occasionally I ask Maddie which Caps jersey she would hypothetically purchase. Historically, she has given me several answers, but last November she gave me one that did not agree with my tastes.

Her desire at the time was for an  Alex Semin jersey. Even briefly overlooking my primary attractions to athletes (heart, desire, effort, performance in the clutch/playoffs, not refusing to address reporters in English as if you only know Russian even though everybody knows you speak English, etc.; all things Semin generally lacks), with Semin readying to enter free agency, purchasing his jersey did not seem like a good idea. While he was in the midst of a crazy three hat tricks in 17 games stretch, I had to explain to Maddie that he was experiencing what we in the biz call a “contract year,” which leads players to overachieve in the hopes of securing a crazy new contract deal. The Caps have needs, Semin’s value was going through the roof, and we would cash in on that before he entered free agency. Ironclad logic. I’m the man who is completely immersed in sports. I know best.

So she called my bluff. “Let’s bet on it,” she said.

I’m not sure if she actually did. In all likelihood, I initiated the bet, but for posterity’s sake it’s better if she pulls the trigger so it’s her fault if anything terrible happens to me as a result of losing said bet.

The wager as decided was that if Semin is on the team after the upcoming trade deadline, I owe her a  jersey of her choice (a wager adjustment to allow for a jersey purchase prior to this year’s playoffs). However, if he is not in the lineup on opening night in October, I get a strong Ray’s the Steaks dinner. I couldn’t have felt much more confident.

Then, out of nowhere, the hurting started. Capitals General Manager George McPhee announced a 1-year extension to Semin’s contract, making getting value for Semin less urgent. And here we are, a mere six days from the trade deadline, and the slippery Russian sniper remains a Cap. I’m nervous. There are some grumblings that perhaps he will be dangled as trade bait, but in all likelihood, I’ll be purchasing a jersey for Mads in a week’s time.

The lesson here is that the old pearl of wisdom passed down from father to son over the generations that women are always right is somehow backed up by the universe. Even when it seems like there is no possible way they could be right, somehow something crazy can happen, and you’ll be stuck on the wrong end of an amazing sports turn of events.

I’m certain there’s a way to harness this realization for good, but I haven’t quite figured it out yet.

In the meantime, let’s hear your thoughts. What jersey should Mads select while supporting the Caps in April, May and June?

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Fish permalink
    February 22, 2011 3:36 pm

    Mads would look great with a little 74

    • February 22, 2011 3:38 pm

      I wholeheartedly agree. He’s got a bright future, and he’s an American hero. Can’t ask for much more than that.

  2. Bro permalink
    February 22, 2011 3:42 pm

    After last’s nights 39-save shutout, why not a Neuvirth jersey?

    • February 22, 2011 3:46 pm

      Neuvy has his pros and cons. One win away from being the record holder for most wins as a Caps rookie goaltender = pro. Unclear about whether Varly or Neuvy is the starting goalie of the future means either could be seen as redundant and tradeable = con. Still, two consecutive shutouts against the Pens is a reason to remember him regardless of where he ends up.

  3. Maddie permalink
    February 22, 2011 3:47 pm

    My hesitation with a jersey selection comes the fact that I think I am cursed–anyone I buy ultimately gets booted from the team or injured. For example: Ricky Watters (traded to Seattle), McNabb (enough said), Nando (now on Chelsea). The only successful purchase I’ve ever made was Mia Hamm.

    Eric–Carlson would be an excellent choice.

  4. Kevin permalink
    February 22, 2011 6:38 pm

    John Carlson.

  5. Beth Nelson permalink
    February 22, 2011 6:41 pm

    hey John-boy, Though I dont follow any sport other than events relating to bernese mountain dogs, I love your blog posts! and am envious of the passion you and Mads have for… umm… sports.

    But as to the universe having the backs of clear, insightful and intuitive women? I can only wonder at the thought of how many translations exist for the phrase “yes, dear”.

    • February 22, 2011 11:30 pm

      Thanks Beth. Everybody needs a passion. I’m glad my thoughts on sports can also be interesting to non-sports fans.

  6. February 23, 2011 4:23 pm


    • February 23, 2011 4:29 pm

      Sorry Tim. You can take your conversations about road rage and sexual harassment somewhere else.

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