Inspired by a few trips to the betting window over the years, I’ve developed a system of rating how good a sports day I’ve had. To hit the daily double, my two favorite teams – the Cleveland Indians and San Francisco Giants – must win. That happens fairly often (although the Tribe didn’t exactly give me great odds during the first half of the season).
To hit a trifecta, the Tribe and Giants must win – and the Los Angeles Dodgers must lose.
For a superfecta: all of the above plus victory by the baseball teams next nearest to my heart, the Milwaukee Brewers and Oakland Athletics.
The parimutuel concept probably struck me in college, about the time I went to my first horse race. That was the 1976 Preakness at Pimlico in Baltimore. (I had bets on four of the horses in the field of six; neither won or placed.)
During college football season, the main components in my calculus were Ohio State winning and Michigan losing. Eventually, I added USC victories and Notre Dame losses to the formula.
In pro football, a Browns’ victory paired with a Steelers loss was extremely satisfying. Nowadays, my daily double is a San Francisco 49ers victory paired with a Dallas Cowboys loss. I’ll include the occasional (and I do mean occasional) Oakland Raiders victory and a Steelers loss for good measure.
In September, when football and baseball seasons overlap, I can have either a mighty fine weekend or a miserable one, depending on the fortunes of the Indians, Giants, Buckeyes and Niners.
As for October, my baseball teams are usually watching the Yankees, Cardinals and Dodgers along with everybody else. But one can dream.