Friday, March 19, 2010

Giving NCAA Brackets a Free Pass

Prodigal John:

Gambling is horrible. It’s an addiction. It will wreck your life, make you throw all your money away and perhaps worst of all, it encourages you to spend time in fake river barges off of the coast of Mississippi. I like Mississippi but those boats are nonsense. And when you go to a casino and lose your money in the first five minutes you have to try to trick waitresses into giving you free drinks. When you see them coming, you hover closer to a blackjack table in the hope that they will assume you are playing, that you are perhaps an international gambler like say Roger Dalton, the best James Bond ever.

Gambling is horrible and I would elaborate on my thoughts in more detail but I have to go update my NCAA bracket. The first games were yesterday!

What’s that? You’re not familiar with March Madness? It’s a college basketball tournament and every year some guys at work run a pool. We all fill out brackets, pay $10 each and then try to win the pot. Lot of fun, lot of fun.

Did you know Robert Morris is a college? Until yesterday I thought Robert Morris was that kid from high school who had that wispy mustache and kind of smelled like cheese most days. I was wrong. Turns out Robert Morris is a great school with a really scrappy basketball team. Yesterday they almost beat the grossly overrated Villanova team. I follow the odds so I know which team to pick. (I don’t want to talk about UNC being in the NIT by the way.)

What? All of that sounds like gambling? Surely you jest. That’s not gambling. That’s fellowship. I am loving my neighbor by entering into a pool, where I can win money by successfully predicting the outcome of sporting events. It’s practically a ministry. Plus, NCAA brackets go back all the way to the Old Testament. Google it.

When the 12 Israelite spies went into the promised land to scout it, the other Israelites formed a bracket to see who would emerge with positive news. Turns out Joshua and Caleb fought it out in the championship.

If you’d like to apologize and perhaps join me in prayer for people who gamble on things like poker let me know. Just promise me you’ll do it after today’s games. I’ve got a lot riding on some of these picks.

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About Me

I am a husband to Eva, father of 4, pastor, and most of all passionate follower of Jesus Christ. The focus of my life is to make the most of every opportunity God gives me to bring glory to Him. Outside of the time spent in my role as a pastor, I spend most of my time with my family -- a good deal of that coaching various sports teams that my children are involved with. Every fall and winter you will find me rushing to the woods of Indiana and West Virginia in search of a monster whitetail buck.