NFL: The Long Wait
by Nick Parsons
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I have fallen into a yearly "NFL pattern" and believe that many of you must also go through this:
For 99% of the people who read this article, and including myself, the long delay between Super Bowl Sunday and the beginning of the preseason is too long.
"Super Sunday" is now played in the first week of February, and immediately following the Super Bowl, the endless speculation will begin on "the Draft" (which by the way will be held in Radio City Music Hall in NY City on April 25th and 26th this year).
Spring turns into summer and training camps start; before you know it, we're able to start wagering on pre-season contests.
This is also the time when most of us start our fantasy drafts and the excitement and anticipation for the beginning of the regular season is palpable.
Then it's upon us, and around my house opening weekend involves a lot of big screen TV's, beer, BBQ and gambling.
At this stage of the year my thirst for anything NFL is unquenchable; I absorb as much as possible every day of the week and can't wait until the following Sunday.
Invariably, by the middle of the campaign, my overall interest starts to wane.
By the end of the year and during the playoffs, perhaps because of the over-saturation of content I've subjected myself to and the plethora of other sports I must also concentrate on, my gluttonous hunger for the NFL is at an all time low.
Don't get me wrong, the NFL is, and always will be "King" for me as far as all major sports are concerned. As a 'pure sports fan', it is my favorite sport to watch, and it goes without saying that it's also my favorite sport to handicap. In no way am I suggesting that I spend any less time analyzing these games, this is simply a "NFL pattern" I've found myself in for the last decade and suspect that many of you are also subjected to.
But, between the end of the Conference Championships and the Super Bowl, I always remind myself that an eight month layoff is imminent and my excitement starts to grow to all new heights once again.
For me, Super Bowl Sunday represents the culmination of six months of weekends spent eating horrible food (and drinking more beer than I probably should), sleepless nights working into the wee hours of the morning, and my continuing quest to "Kill The Books" all rolled into one glorious celebration of excess!
I've been in Vegas for the Super Bowl, and to some other pretty wild parties, but have found that I prefer watching the "big game" from my own house.
I'd like to say that 75% of the people that have come to my Super Bowl Parties are all avid gamblers and are actually genuinely excited for the game to start; but I'd be lying.
Only a few of the people in my immediate personal life are serious gamblers; most are my wife's friends who are there for the party, the half time commercials, the liquor, and the food.
And frankly, I don't completely blame them because I've had some amazing spreads in the past which include:
Turducken: A turducken is a dish consisting of a partially de-boned turkey stuffed with a de-boned duck, which itself is stuffed with a small de-boned chicken. The thoracic cavity of the chicken and the rest of the gaps are stuffed, sometimes with a highly seasoned breadcrumb mixture or sausage meat, although some versions have a different stuffing for each bird.
Roast Pig: Roasted pig is a variety of siu mei, or roasted meat dishes, within Cantonese cuisine. It is made by roasting an entire pig with seasoning in a charcoal furnace at high temperature. Roasted pigs of high quality have crisp skin and juicy and tender meat. Usually the meat is served plain, but it is sometimes served with soy sauce or hoisin sauce.
And this year for the first time I've decided to fry up a couple turkeys: A turkey fryer is an apparatus for deep-frying a turkey. Fried turkey has been a longtime favorite in the Southern United States, and has recently become popular in other parts of the country because of the reduced time needed to cook a turkey in a deep frier, versus other conventional methods such as an oven or a rotisserie grill.
If you are part of the 99% of the people reading this article who are going to be looking for an "NFL fix" in a month, I implore you to "Kick It Up A Notch" this Sunday before the "Long Wait" starts once again!
Oh, and here are a few key ATS trends to consider before wagering this weekend:
Pittsburgh is 7-6 its last 13 when playing the role of favorite and a perfect 2-0 ATS when playing with 2 weeks or more of rest. It's also 6-2 ATS its last eight when playing against a team with a winning record but a sub-par 2-2 off a win against a division rival.
Arizona is 3-1 ATS as an underdog of 3 1/2 to 9 1/2 points, 6-3 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record but just 2-2 ATS in non-conference games.
Good luck and enjoy!
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