That’s right, I’m not calling it the “Big Game”, Roger

Sorry, I don’t think I have permission to call it the S**** B***. I mean the “Big Game”! Don’t want to get a cease and desist from Roger Goodell!

Iansbnr’s favorite reckless gambler Mattress Mack, fresh off his disastrous World Series’ bets on the Astros, is now seeking some NFL action.

Yes, he is offering a Super Bowl promotion! If the Niners win, you get half off your purchase! Why the Niners, not the Chiefs? Well, there’s a story for that.

Why Does Mack Hate the Chiefs?

You may recall at the beginning of the playoffs I made a prediction for the Super Bowl. I had Chiefs vs. 49ers with the Chiefs to win. Not bad so far!

When I saw Mack was picking against the Chiefs, I wondered “could it really be he reads the blog and is mad I’ve been picking on him so he went against me for possible revenge“? Surely, it couldn’t be so?

It isn’t so (at least I think not). A little research uncovered an interesting paper trail. If you want to know what Mattress Mack is up to, it’s always good to check in on Darren Rovell.

Before the AFC championship game, Darren posted that Mack bet $1M on the Titans to beat the Chiefs. That seems weird I thought. Maybe he is trying to bet against my Super Bowl pick? But deeper in the story he also says Mack bet $1M on the Texans to beat the Chiefs the week before.

OK, let’s pause there a second. The Texans took a 24-0 lead against the Chiefs. Their win probability was about 99%. They lost 51-31. Mack went from a near certain $3.85M to a $1M loss!

Now, there was no furniture at risk on this game. It looks like Mack was betting on Houston out of civic pride! The following week he bet on the Titans to beat the Chiefs, presumably out of spite. Or perhaps because the Titans played in Houston before they moved to Tennessee? But I’m guessing spite.

The Super Bowl Promotion

So now Mack is down $2M and he decides to launch the mattress promotion. Good money after bad! So because he hates the Chiefs for beating Houston’s current team and their former team (and because he hates my blog), he is giving away mattresses if the Niners win.

But, that would mean Mack would have to root for the Chiefs and he’s not going to do that! So, yes, Mack made another bet. He put $1M on the Niners, superficially as a hedge, but probably more because he hates the Chiefs as noted.

That means it’s me against Mack! I was waffling a little on my Chiefs pick (their weakness is their run D and that is the Niners strength) but Mack has given me renewed confidence to pick Kansas City.

Addendum: Did Mattress Mack Know About Sign Stealing?

Most readers likely heard that Mack’s favorite baseball team has been in hot water lately. The Astros were exposed as dirty rotten cheaters. The kind of cheating that even made Tom Brady blush when he found out!

Yes, the Astros “stole signs”. For the non-baseball fan, this means they used technology to figure out what type of pitch the other team would throw so they could anticipate it.

If you’re wondering “is that such a big deal”? Yes, that’s a really big deal. The reaction time a hitter has to identify a ball being thrown 100 mph is less than 100 milliseconds. That doubles to 200 ms if you know the pitch ahead of time! So, yes it’s most certainly a big deal.

The mechanism the Astros used to warn the hitter was your average oversized garbage can. They would bang on the side of the can to indicate the type of pitch. It’s a pretty simple, but effective transmission system.

The problem is other people could hear it too and there are a lot of people on the internet with too much time on their hands. For example, one Astros’ fan went through every home game and counted each incidence of the banging sound (he wrote some code, he didn’t do it by ear). You can see exactly who cheated and when.

What does this have to do with Mack? I am going to delve into the land of conjecture. Mack bet a LOT of money on the Astros to win the World Series. Recall, from my prior analysis, he actually went beyond hedging his business exposure and flipped to a large net long on the Astros.

An Unfair Advantage?

Could it be his confidence wasn’t just “irrational fandom”? Or not understanding his expected value profile? Could Mack have known the Astros had an unfair advantage?

Maybe that’s why he had so much confidence to make his gigantic bets? And maybe his undoing was not bad luck, but being unaware that MLB was extra vigilant about policing sign stealing in the World Series.

I have no evidence to suggest Mack knew of the Astros’ subtrefuge. I only ask questions. I will ask one more: if he did know the Astros were effective sign stealers, would this be considered “insider trading“?

Maybe Mack was smarter than we all realized and his bets actually did make more sense than they seemed? In which case, I’m sorry I made fun of his apparent ineptitude.

However, it would also mean the Astros’ cheating is now a gambling scandal which puts them on par with the 1919 “Black Sox”, more commonly known these days for inspiring the Ray Liotta character from Field of Dreams (who looked nothing like Shoeless Joe). So hopefully Mack really is just a bad gambler rather than a cheat!