There are those among us who would pay a million dollars, if we had it, just to see the Cowboys lose. But, rather than only delighting the vast majority of football fans, Dallas’ late game collapse made one providential prognosticator a very rich man. For correctly picking his 25th game in a row, ESPN - or more accurately, whoever ESPN got to insure the contest - will give the living legend known only as Bigsam1122 a cool million dollars.
(Artist’s conception of Bigsam1122.)
While $1 million is less than a thousandth of the cost of the new Cowboys stadium, that’s still a big chunk of change to you and me, and likely Big Sam, who hails from Brooklyn. A streak that started way back in October with him correctly picking the Rays’ only World Series win finally came to a close with a deliciously schadenfreudian Tony Romo pick six. But what of the identity of Big Sam, who will soon be inundated with long lost friends, cousins, and me, all lining up for a handout?
According to his ESPN.com profile page, he’s a fan of the Yankees, Knicks, Giants, Rangers, and Florida Gators. So we know that like all New York fans, he’s a frontrunner. We know he’s unbelievably lucky: in addition to this week’s miracle at Three Rivers, his streak was saved last week by Tampa Bay’s field goal as time expired. And we know that ESPN did everything in its power to keep him from winning: his pick of Philadelphia in game 5 of the World Series, which was suspended by rain, got marked down as a push.
I won’t believe ESPN will actually pay out until I see the cash in his hands. In their story announcing his win, they continually use the ominous words “pending verification.” What could possibly disqualify him? I’m not going to wade through all the fine print, but he better hope he didn’t watch any of the streak games at the ESPN Zone, or use any of ESPN’s analysts’ advice, or ever step foot in the state of Connecticut.
Four other streaks of at least 23 games crashed and burned last weekend, thanks to losses from Green Bay, Carolina and Wake Forest, and it looked like ESPN wasn’t going to have to pay up since the deadline was Dec. 31. But Big Sam hurled that sledgehammer into the giant televised image of Kenny Mayne, and struck back at the powers that be on behalf of us little people. So way to go Big Sam, you’re an inspiration to us all. Now can I borrow 2000 bucks?