In August of this year, an offline sports book offered some pretty nice odds (1,000 to 1) on the Indianapolis Colts going without a win during the 2011 NFL season. That’s because the Peyton-Manning–led Colts have made the playoffs for 9 consecutive seasons dating back to 2001. They were sure to win at least one game, even if Manning missed some time with a neck injury; these were the Colts, after all.
The full extent of the injury wasn’t publicly available until the season was underway — and two neck surgeries and eleven losses later, Indy fans wonder if Manning will ever come back (Things aren’t looking good on that front) while privately rooting against a team that’s the leading contender in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.
One self-employed California resident is rooting against the Colts this season, albeit for a different reason. A man anmed Pete (he’s only made his first name available) made an innocuous $10 bet on the Colts to go the whole season without a win. On August 23rd of this year, Pete was listening to ESPN during a morning drive, and after he heard that Manning had injured his spine and neck, he put two and two together and realized the Colts weren’t going to be very good this year.
“My rationale was simple: Peyton has made a ton of money in his career already, why chance it if this thing is serious?” Pete said in an e-mail to BTB. “We’re not talking about some ligament damage in a knee, we are talking about his spine and neck. There is no way a multi-million dollar enterprise like Peyton, Inc., is going to take any chances or rush a neck injury.”
“I made the bet a few days before the announcement of the second surgery,” Pete said. “At the time, they said he was doubtful for week 1, I think.”
Then came word Manning was gone for the season, and Pete’s bet didn’t seem so crazy. Now the Colts are 0-11, and if they lose 5 more games, he’ll stand to win $10,000 on a $10 risk. Four fingers of Single-Malt scotch costs more than that at your local bar.
It’s stories like these my bookie loves to hear.