I bet against Lamar Jackson and the Louisville Cardinals, and my tastebuds paid the price

Last week, I made a terrible decision. Looking at the matchups from week 3, I was interested, as were most, in the Florida State vs. Louisville game. After “thoroughly” looking over the matchup, I became convinced that there was no way Florida State, which I had picked to make it to the College Football Championship, would lose to a team that had only blown out sub-par opponents. Lamar Jackson reminded me a lot of the 2012 Heisman candidacy of Geno Smith.

I assumed that Lamar Jackson would hit a brick wall once he started to face better competition. I assumed that Florida State, which had made an incredible comeback to beat No. 10 Ole Miss, would be unfazed by another big time matchup. I truly saw no way that the Cardinals would compete in this game, or frankly in its matchup with Clemson October 1. I thought there was no way that neither the Cardinals, nor Lamar Jackson, were for real.

All of these ideas, which I had planted in my own mind, lead me to a bet. I was so confident that the Seminoles would beat, no, blow out the Cardinals, that I made a wager with fellow Campus Pressbox writer John Horlander on the game. The wager, in honor of the aptly named Papa John’s Cardinals Stadium, home of Louisville and site of the matchup, was for one Papa John’s pizza.

Now, anyone who thinks Papa Johns is as bad as I think it is would think this bet was enough, but no. I was so overconfident in my pick that I went and raised the stakes. I used the Papa John’s website to create an abomination of a pizza. For anyone whose wondering, the Frankenstein of a pizza’s ingredients were as follow: ranch sauce, grilled chicken, spicy Italian sausage, anchovies, black olives, onions, mushrooms, and the kicker, no cheese. So basically, I signed my own death warrant.

Consequently, Louisville proved me wrong, and then some, proceeding to absolutely blow the Seminoles out by the tune of 63-20 (evidently, Syracuse lost to Louisville by less points than FSU). Monday rolled around, at which point, at around 3pm, this lovely lady showed up at my door:


Yes, it looked just as bad as I thought it would. And the smell, no the stench, of this monstrosity was worse than I could have imagined. Unfortunately, the bet wasn’t just to buy, look at, and smell a pizza. After building up the courage, I finally took as big of a bite as I could. The results (don’t watch if you have a weak stomach) were unsurprising:

After this, I actually managed to finish that piece. However, considering at this point that I had taken more bites from this sorry excuse for pizza than touchdowns the Seminoles managed, I decided to call it a day. Don’t worry Louisville, I have learned my lesson.

From this point on, I swear to never underestimate the Cardinals or Lamar Jackson ever again. In fact, Lamar Jackson, I want to issue you a personal apology.

Lamar, I am incredibly remorseful for my decision to doubt you. You proved me wrong, in spades, on my decision to compare you to Geno Smith. In fact, looking back on it, it was wrong of me to compare you to anyone, because you showed us on Saturday that you are better college quarterback of your style than any of us have ever seen. Despite the fact that your team plays at one of the silliest sponsored stadiums in college sports, I will ignore that fact and instead focus on your team’s ability. Please accept my apology, and know that I’ll be pulling for you and your squad in the future. You, man, are for real, and I see that now.

That brings me to my main point: The Louisville Cardinals are legit. It may have taken a horrible pizza for me to realize that, but now I can say that with 100 percent certainty. At this point, they have replaced FSU in my current College Football Playoff prediction, and I really think they’ll ruin some teams’ (specifically Clemson and Houston) CFP dreams in the weeks yet to come.

To add to that, anyone who thinks that Lamar Jackson isn’t the Heisman frontrunner is crazy. In fact, he’s the frontrunner for the award by a wide margin. Truly, his performance, and his forcing me to go through pizza hell showed me that he is a level of talent that we have never seen before in college football. I know the season is long, but I would be shocked if Lamar doesn’t go on to be the 2016 Heisman Trophy Winner.

Anyway, I guess that just about does it. Moral of the story, kids: never make bets. Just don’t do it. It’s just a bad idea, never ends well, and as I can attest to, always leaves a bad taste in your mouth. So, thank you John for agreeing to this bet, and the biggest thanks to the Louisville Cardinals for proving me wrong.


Email Cooper at [email protected]  or follow him on Twitter @uf_goetz
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