We are going to play a fun, little game we like to call “Find the Missing Marine” aka “Where’s Jackal?” If you play along at home, I promise there will be fabulous prizes at the end of this mystery search. You just won’t get your picks in on time, like Jackal.
As regular readers of the website know, we’ve been hosting a weekly pick ‘em contest where we pick five games against the spread to see how accurate we can be. This is an exercise in wagering that intends to demonstrate how difficult picking games against the spread can be, or not be in the case of Mr. Kevin Paul, who is picking games ATS at a 60% clip.
This five-month long contest pits those of us at SportsChump against the mastermind behind The Wife Hates Sports against a celebrity guest that is carefully hand-picked every week to choose games against us.
To date, our guests’ picks have ranged from the accurate and the verbose to the brief and the unmighty. All those who participated, however, were grateful and more importantly punctual.
Nearing the end of the season with the puzzle all but complete, I invited another dear friend, Jackal, to pick against us in Week 15.
At first, Jackal seemed excited about the opportunity. A regular reader and commenter on the site, like the fourteen brave souls before him, he couldn’t wait to see how he’d compete against the crowd. “I’ll get you the picks on time,” he promised.
And then, suddenly and without notice, he ghosted.
No word from him for days despite numerous attempts to contact him via text, cell phone, social media and a far too frequent pestering of his roommate.
Here’s what we know and where you come into the equation.
The last time I saw Jackal in public was at Tuesday’s weekly karaoke festivities, of which he is a regular participant. After a few pops too many, he was given safe ride home by yours truly where he was once again reminded of, and agreed to, submitting picks for the week. With Saturday games, he was given explicit instructions of when, where and how to submit his picks. Fourteen people before him, all with internet access and a conscience, graciously agreed to do the same thing. Whether correct or incorrect, all fourteen kept the ball rolling and sent in their picks on time.
Then came Jackal.
Put on your inspector’s hat and grab your magnifying glass, gumshoes. Here’s where things get interesting.
On Thursday, Jackal was seen with his girlfriend at his favorite local Irish pub. Rumor has it that the two were headed to a strip club later that evening. That was the last anyone saw or heard from Jackal for days until Sunday evening, after the games had started with nary a pick submitted. The house of cards it took three months for us to build had crumbled from the weight of Jackal’s penchant for Bud Light, nipple tassels and cheap perfume.
Those of us here at SportsChump became concerned of his whereabouts and for his rather un-Jackal-like lack of response. Could it be that he ran away with the strip club circus, doing his best party boy impression for pennies on the dollar? He had once been employed by one such establishment as a jizz-sweeper so perhaps he was refreshing his resume for re-hire. Is it possible that, out of singles, he tipped one of the strippers his cellphone as gratuity? No, that’s impossible. Even she would have had the decency to pick up the phone when it rang. Was Jackal abducted by aliens, even more alien than himself, a concept far too frightening to imagine? Was he scared of picking football games against us, also reasonable considering Kevin’s shooting percentage on the season? Perhaps Jackal does not know what “against the spread” means and was too ashamed to ask which, again, is one of the reasons we host these exercises. Or was he on a bender of Jackal-like proportions and forgot it was football season entirely.
All these are viable options. However, I am waiting for your far more inventive answers as to why the person asked to pick said games and who agreed to pick said games, ended up not picking up said games.
In the past, I’ve written about acquaintances who didn’t appreciate the cinematic greatness of Jaws. I’ve written about people who knew Eddie Murphy only as “that guy from Dr. Doolittle.” I’ve even questioned the musical integrity of those who had never heard of Hall & Oates. But I never thought I’d see the say when a gambler buckled under the pressure of picking five football games against the spread.
Ladies and gentlemen, here, once again, is your task if you choose to accept it. The reader who can best come up with the backstory behind Jackal SanDiego’s disappearance will win a free karaoke love serenade, sung by Jackal himself (when he returns to planet Earth), one free pint of the frothy beer of their choosing and a personalized T-shirt with Marine Rescue printed on the front.
Good luck… and happy hunting.