Maybe it’s not just statistics that win games

Jun 9, 2009 5:05 PM
On The Mark by Mark Mayer |

To a bettor like myself, words like karma and fate send me into a hissy fit. Yet I can’t help thinking that sometimes there may very well be something to it. Possibly.

Tiger Woods and Roger Federer are good buddies – a friendship made in part by their ties to Nike and the many enjoyable ads made together. Both have had their share of critics questioning whether their very best is in the rearview mirror.

Sunday, each showed that their best is still yet to come.

Granted Rafael Nadal was out of the picture, but Federer won that elusive 14th major and first French Open by defeating Rafa’s conqueror Robin Soderling. Robin humorously said in the postmatch ceremony, "Nobody will beat Robin Soderling 11 straight times."

But then Robin said that about 10.

Woods hit 14 of 14 fairways plus birdied 17 and 18 for a final round 65 and his fourth win in the Memorial tourney Jack Nicklaus created.

Tiger was 3-1 at the Hilton to win the Memorial, high odds for him. Federer was 10-1 to win the French, extraordinarily high odds for him. You won’t see either number for the U.S. Open or Wimbledon.

And, if you want to extend the supernatural to another sport, how about the Belmont? It was the other Bird that won, which conjures up a story full of foreshadowing.

I’m waiting in line at the Orleans book to place a few Belmont bets. One of those happened to be Summer Bird to win and another an exacta with Mine That Bird.

Behind me was a lady who said she was making her very first bet on a horse race, which is common for a Triple Crown event that draws many new fans to the sport. Anyway, she asked me if Summer Bird was a good bet to place (as in second).

I said it was and thought perhaps that was a good omen for me with Summer Bird. Well, a $25 win off a $2 ticket said it was.

I’m still not ready to use karma as a betting tool, but my skepticism has leveled off a bit.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Mark Mayer