The word “unbelievable” is one of the most overused and misused words in all of sports. “Did you see that long pass Mahomes made? It was unbelievable.” “What an unbelievable shot by LeBron to beat the buzzer.” Amazing, impressive, incredible….sure. But “unbelievable” should be saved to describe things that even though there’s no denying it happened, you literally cannot believe that it’s real.
The horrific news that spread across the world this past Sunday was unbelievable. Kobe Bryant perishing in a helicopter crash was so surreal that, even hours after it was confirmed, you kept waiting and hoping and praying it was all a nasty hoax or a bad dream. Three days later, it still hasn’t sunk in for so many people.
I’ve said many times that I don’t root for teams or players, and my only allegiance is to my bankroll. Kobe was the rare exception. He was the ultimate competitor. The guy who didn’t want just to beat his opponent, but to demolish them. I always knew that if I had money on Kobe and the Lakers, my bet wouldn’t bust because Kobe decided to take the night off.
He was larger than life, bigger than sport, and defined an entire generation of sports fans. That’s what hit people so hard. He was like a one-named superhero, and our superheroes aren’t supposed to die. I wasn’t alive when JFK was shot, but I’ve heard so many stories of how his death put the whole country into mourning. Kobe’s passing feels closer to that echelon. We lost Elvis and Michael Jackson too soon, but they were already showing signs of slipping and their deaths had self-inflicted aspects. Kobe’s light was shining brighter than ever, as he was beginning part two of his life story. He was determined to make his post-basketball impact on the world outmeasure what he did on the court. He was the ultimate sports dad and hyper-focused on young athletes globally – boys and girls. My heart goes out to all the families that suffered a loss on that hillside. I still can’t believe it and I don’t know if I ever will.
Last week’s numbers:
NCAAB – 9-12-2 (-8.45 units)
NBA 4-4 (-.6 units)
PGA 1-1 (-.17)
NHL 2-0 (+2.5)
Overall, the week was 16-17-2 (-6.72 units).
We have already have released a number of Super Bowl props. The odds on props changes lightning fast – so make sure if you’re going to bet them that you capture a good number. Expect more releases as we get closer to the game. I hope that Sunday gives us a great game from these two heavyweight teams. More importantly, I hope that you spend it with friends and family, appreciate how precious life is, and that you attack life with the same passion that Kobe did. RIP Mamba.