Endgame; Betting Line edition

Hey. Wuzzup? Joey Bag-a-Donut Holes here. I’m a gaming guy. Play the odds stuff, okay? I picked K.C. all the way for the Super Bowl. Made a minor profit by using common sense: Garoppolo was going to out-QB Mahomes? What a joke! It was a safe bet all the way. The S.F. suckers actually thought they had it in the bag as late as several minutes into the 4th quarter. Very satisfying outcome. It was as though Mahomes lured the Niners into a sense of false security. Cat and mouse stuff. What a talent the guy has. The Chiefs winning was great for those betting on them, but as a Chicagoan, almost as satisfying is knowing the Bears idiot GM got another symbolic dagger jabbed into his ribs for passing on Mahomes in the 2017 draft, giving up a first round draft pick to move up for a QB that had little college experience. I guess the Bears staff can’t assess talent very well. What? They couldn’t find any film on Mahomes? What a joke. How the hell does this idiot GM still have a job? If you or I displayed our incompetence like this mope did, we’d be kicked to the curb, then Linked-In with a giant wart on our resume, trying to figure a way to spin it into something positive. Best outcome is the Peter Principle saves you. You know, one gets a gig or promotion to their highest level of incompetence. Hmmm. In that case keep the GM right where he is. He can’t sink any lower to have any room for further incompetence to rise to. Never mind.

What the hell. Who cares anyway? It’s just a stupid, violent game, football, but it sure is a big bucks operation. Crunch time. A seasonal distraction from the other part of life; that is to say, the reality part of life. Pro athletes in any major sport all get paid lots of dough. Sure, they risk injury, but any pro contract is typically a guarantee of a couple million bucks or more, maybe lots more, even for the bench warmers. They don’t exist in a reality where money really matters anymore. As long as they use the money wisely. Like, don’t waste it gambling, or living too large. Hey, as those ancient Greeks advised: everything in moderation. Nothing in excess.

Then again, as a gaming fan (but self-employed, okay, and so no fat cat contract for me. Just trying to make smart choices) I’d like to lay some odds on the non-sporting, harsh reality side of life. That is, I’m wondering,  which very credible threat to my, your or anyone’s existence will befall our sorry-ass human lot?

What am I jabbering about?

Let’s see. The Nuclear Clock is now set at 1 minute and 40 seconds to midnight. If that clock ever strikes midnight, it means nukes are flying in all directions and humankind is basically kaput, if not instantly by the initial blast, then by radioactive fallout. That nuclear clock keeps moving closer to midnight owing to  certain countries that have The Bomb also having governments that like to posture and flex their atomic muscles by pushing and shoving one another, testing missles and their lips flapping about dire consequences, as if daring one another to try and make something of it. Like playground bullies reaching the tipping point, this behavior could trigger some high ranking doofus who can order the launch of a nuke. And then, M.A.D.! Mutual Assured Destruction kicks-in. Game over. Lot’s of reasons to worry that the unthinkable could happen, and the keepers of that Clock don’t push the hands forward just for the hell of it. So, that’s out there. Check for yourself.

Another looming threat is all the climate science reports warning that we’re losing our ozone layer, losing the polar icecaps,  warming oceans, loss of marine life, severe droughts, wildfires, floods, ever-more-severe weather “events” and well, a possible complete climate collapse for the now young generation to bear witness to. And there’s not much being done to address this very real issue. Some high profile people with lots of power call climate change a hoax. Me, I may be foolish enough to gamble, but I believe in science. Ironically, that Super Bowl was played in Miami, a city that is visibly showing signs of being overtaken by rising sea levels. But maybe nukes will come first? Just wear those flood pants in the meantime.

Right now, though, I’m getting more concerned about this Coronavirus. It’s spreading fast in China, and the medical response there was delayed by a government that ignored the doctor who tried to sound the alarm many, many weeks ago. He was reprimanded by his government, who foolishly gambled that it was not that big a deal, that this doctor’s concerns, if allowed to be made clear to the Chinese people, and the rest of the world, would hurt their economic engine. That doctor just died–from the Coronavirus! Now the virus is a major issue, and has already messed with global financial markets, but I think the worst is far from over. The medical agencies are frantically trying to gather data and find a vaccine to protect the public from infection, but that initial delay has likely allowed unknown thousands, or tens of thousands, and a rapidly escalating daily number of people to be infected. And not just in China. Cases are popping up in many other countries. If you sneeze near me, I may duck and cover…

I’d say the virus is currently at the top of the leader board as far as a global endgame scenarios go. Followed by some moron hitting the launch button that starts nuclear WWIII. Then comes environmental collapse. Actually, climate disaster is most likely a sure thing , but it’s at least a decade or three down the road. And little public policy is working to address this threat (unlike medical science now frantically trying to contain that virus). Hell, the official policy of this and other countries has been to reverse environmental protections in favor of a business as usual approach. It’s insanely irresponsible. But hey, like I said, we likely still have enough breathable air and drinkable water to enjoy some more Super Bowls before Ma Nature throws in the towel and let’s it RIP. As in R.I.P.

I would NOT bet against any of these three major threats to life on this planet coming to pass. It’s seems inevitable. And perhaps it’s for the better. The history of the world is mostly wars and devastation in one place or another. Lots of aggression. Ghastly genocides. A thirst for power. Hey, WWII gave us the atomic bomb. WWI introduced germ warfare. The climate crisis? Hmmm. With some assitance from natural climate ups and downs, I’d say a revolution is the biggest factor that makes our current environmental crisis what it is: the Industrial (pollution) Revolution. Trains, planes and automobiles. Manufacturing waste products. A toxic lack of foresight…profit (ahem)  trumps our planet.

My money is on that virus for the time being. I’d say it’s about a 25-1 shot. Then nuclear war, say 35-1. Climate? That’s a actually the only apparent sure endgame thing, based on what I can figure, but the bet would be on how soon it happens. Next 20 years? 7-2. Next 30 years? 3-1. Next 40 years? Even money. One should live so long, eh. Ha!

Well, I just figured there’s always a betting line on just about anything, so why not bet on not just the Super Bowl endgame. Let’s bet on the Big One. I may just be Joey-Bag-a-Donut Holes, and a guy willing to risk a buck or two on one game or another. But I smell an Endgame to end all endgames looming larger and larger. May as well lay some odds on it too. I mean, betting just makes any game more interesting, whether you win or lose. So why not a line on the end of the world?

Gotta go. Always a bet to place. I think I like Middle Tennessee giving 3 points to Alabama A & I. Then parley that with Iona over George Mason. There should be enough time left to for me see how that gambit shakes out. Sure. No sweat. Not trying to be a Donnie Downer here. Just saying. You know?

And by the way, have a nice day. Relax. Today is Oscar awards. My money is on Parasite. It’s a truly interesting and clever film. And the title seems fitting in the moment. 




About jharrin4

mass communication/speech instructor at College of DuPage and Triton College in suburban Chicago. Army veteran of the Viet Nam era.
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1 Response to Endgame; Betting Line edition

  1. The endgame is around the corner it seems, and still no Godot in sight! I’ll bet he never arrives.


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