A Football Gambler Quits Cold Turkey Limerick

by Joel Kravitz

Roger Cohen and I go back over 50 years. He is amongst my oldest and dearest friends. Never lost touch. Had incredible adventures when we were young. Roger is a true mensch in the purest sense of the Yiddish word, a higher compliment I couldn’t give a person.

And he is also a liar. That may be too harsh a word. Let’s go with delusional. He is a junkie. His drug is football and football handicapping. He studies, he is knowledgeable, he understands all the mathematical angles, he’s an expert in every sense of the word when it comes to betting on football, but the most significant factor here is that his heart doesn’t start beating until he’s put his money where his mouth is. At least that’s been as long as I’ve known him, not counting yesterday when the Wall Street Journal had nothing better to do than publish my dear friend’s delusion.


Before I go any further, I need to be able to describe Roger’s capacity for delusion. It goes deep. All the way to China deep. He goes into every new NFL season “knowing” what will have to happen for his beloved Cleveland Browns to win the Super Bowl and with his heart full of “faith” and “hope”. The Browns are more in need of “talent” and “coaching.” But, for the record, as a Clevelander who grew up going to Browns games with my dad on the bus and then the Shaker rapid, froze at the Raider’s game and once used the stage name Pruitt Candoit, nothing would be more fun than for Roger’s dream to come true.

Back to Roger’s contention that he has given up betting on football…..

A good buddy claims he quit betting,
A claim I bet he’ll be regretting.
Without action on a game,
It just ain’t the same…..
And a winning bet, you ain’t soon forgetting!

Especially the thrill of being right one of the few times that you are

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