Two weeks went by without hearing from grandpa, and to be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to it that much. We have gone 3-7 the past two weeks and owe Sammy, our neighborhood bookie, almost five Gs. My guess is that grandpa would claim not to remember placing those wagers to begin with and leave me to deal with Sammy. Pops has done that to me before…although he always seems to have a great memory when we’re winning. Go figure.
I was looking through the attic today to find my old baseball card albums. Needed to pay Sammy that $4,700 somehow—at least some of it—and selling my prized possessions was the only (legal) way I could think of to get some quick cash.
Turns out my Willie Mays rookie card is going to remain safe—for now.
I got a knock on the back door just a couple hours ago, and sure enough, there he was.
Me: “Pops, you know this isn’t the smartest place to be. The cops have already been here twice this week looking around for you.”
Grandpa: “Don’t worry about all that, kid. Besides, I’m not going to be here for long. Just wanted to stop by to give you Sammy’s money. And to talk about games for this weekend.”
Me: “How the hell did you come up with 47 hundred dollars?!?”
Grandpa: “Sold a kidney. Turns out you only need one of ‘em. Who knew?”
Me: “Good thing they didn’t take your liver. That thing has got to be useless by now.”
Grandpa: “Fill up my scotch glass and let’s talk about Sunday.”
Me: “First, let’s talk about Saturday. We’re 0-3 betting on Tampa Bay this year, but this is the week they finally cash in. The Bucs are getting a touchdown at home against Dallas. Seems like the Cowboys are always in close games in the fourth quarter no matter who they are playing. Take Tampa and the seven points.”
Grandpa: “Listen, kid. I stopped in Chicago on my way back here to see Tony. He gave me a big tip for Sunday.”
Me: “Pops, Tony hasn’t given us a winning tip since the Bears won the Super Bowl back in ’86.”
Grandpa: “That just means he’s due to hit one, kid. The Bears shut down Seattle at Soldier Field and win by two touchdowns. And be on the lookout for a couple fishy pass-interference calls. Refs are in on it. Take Da Bears and give the four points.”
Me: “I say the Jets defense runs the show in Philly on Sunday. New York needs a win to stay in the playoff hunt and fat-boy Rex Ryan will have his team ready to go. Plus, the Jets are getting a field goal. Take NY plus the three points and watch Andy Reid get booed out of 'The Linc’ at the end of the game.”
Grandpa: “I’m gonna boo you right out of this house if I don’t get some scotch in my glass, kid!”
Me: “Grandpa, let me remind you that I live here, and between the two of us, you’re the fugitive on the run.”
Grandpa: “Yeah, and I just sold a body part to pay off our gambling debts, pal.”
Me: “You got a good point there, pops. Speaking of points, I don’t think there will be too many in the Detroit/Oakland game this weekend. The Raiders are back to looking sloppy on offense lately and the D will have to step up to keep this one close. Take under 47.5, this will be a 20-17 type final score.”
Grandpa: “Let me handle the last one, and then I gotta get outta here. I’ve been looking at the Broncos-Patriots line all week. New England came out as six-point favorites. Do you know what the line is now? Nine. Went up three points in four days! You know what the rule is with a huge line move like that, right kid?”
Me: “Yep. Do the opposite of what everyone else is doing.”
Grandpa: “Got that right. I hate to bet against Brady but that Patriots defense is terrible. Nine points is way too many to give Tebow. We’re going with Denver plus nine.”
Me: “Alright—where you gonna go now?”
Grandpa: “I’ll figure something out, kid. We’ll be in touch.”
Me: “Be safe out there, pops.”