Sunday, September 20, 2015


In the vernacular of Poker, a "bad beat" is when you have a good hand, say a pair of 8's and the board (we are talking Texas Hold 'Em here) has five cards, a Jack, a five, an 8 and a pair of fours. You, then have a Full House, "8's full of fours." You bet confidently, another player evidently has a good hand, maybe holding a 6 and 7 to fill a straight, and matches you at every turn. When all is "called," you lay down your full house, only to find that the other player has a pair of Jacks in his hand.

That's a "bad beat."

Nebraska had the "game won" with seconds to go. The opponent was down to the last play over 40 yards from the end zone. The "Hail Mary" (or "Hail Joseph" since they were BYU?) was successful and Nebraska lost. That NEVER WORKS!! That is a bad beat. There is another story here that daughter-in-law Amy pointed out--the replacement quarterback for BYU, Tyler Mangum, had been on Mission for his church and hadn't either really worked out or been involved in football for two years until he returned home in June. Before he entered college, he competed with Jameis Winston at a football camp, was co-MVP, and Winston went on to be the Heisman winner and first draft pick.

Then, and this is amazing, he completed another Hail Mary the next week against Boise State. That just doesn't happen.

The Chiefs had the ball, 20 yard line, score tied after the Broncos came back. Seconds left. Everybody in the stands thought "overtime," and that would have been just one kneel-down. Instead, hand off to Charles, fumble, picked up by Denver and the guy runs it in for the score and the win. BAD BEAT.

When it happens to teams I am rooting for, the Huskers and the Chiefs, it is amazing, out of the ordinary, unbelievable, etc. But this happens all the time...although not, perhaps, in quite so dramatic a fashion.

As you all know, I have a particular fascination with baseball, and its lessons about life in general include bad beats, getting what you deserve, etc. When you have lived as long as I have, you begin to accept the old adage about life not being fair, some people are just no good and that there are going to be Bad Beats. Recovering from those is always the real test.

Hang in there, all of you.

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