The Pool

I succumbed to the temptation. I signed up for an NHL hockey pool.

It was free, and you can win big prizes. As a Canadian I know a thing or two about hockey, it is in our national DNA after all. I figured the top prize was mine.

You know how these things work. You build a team, according to the rules set up on the website. That means hard choices at times. A couple of times I was frustrated when I had to choose between two players I really wanted. I real-life coach can shift a player from centre to wing. That can’t be done in a pool.

The hockey season is three days old, and my skill level at picking talent is already showing. After the first night’s games I was tied for 153rd. I wasn’t concerned. Most of the players I had selected weren’t playing on opening night.

But now, with the seas in full swing I am showing my true skill at picking hockey talent. I am still tied, but have dropped to 4,583rd place. Now my memory is clearer.

I have taken part in this poll in a previous season, which is why I got the email inviting me to join. I think I finished somewhere around 50,000th.

It isn’t that I am that bad a judge of hockey talent. It is more that I am not willing to work to win. Last night none of the players I picked had games scheduled, so I earned no points.

If I was serious about winning I would have done some player swapping before Friday’s games. At least, I think I could have. I have no idea if that is allowed, but I figure it must be. I can’t really be that bad at predicting hockey success, can I?

Then again, maybe I can. After all, I am a proud (?) supporter of the Ottawa Senators, who last won the Stanley Cup in 1927. (Admitedly the team did have a 64-year hiatus, but they haven’t won in the amost 30 years since the franchise was revived.)

As far as the pool goes, I suspect I am about to mentally give up on the prizes. Which is not a good thing for the organizers, who want the game to drive me to their website so I will see the advertisments there.

Maybe three days into the season is a little early to give up. Or maybe I am just being realistic.

If you were as far behind the lead as I am now, would you continue to check your results every day?


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