If you've ever been in an NFL survivor pool you understand how frustrating, or rewarding, it can be. The concept is as simple as it sounds—survive and advance, and each week becomes more exhilarating than the last for the lucky few that make a deep run late into the season. For others, it can end as early as week one (speaking for a friend). It's a fun way to make certain games more interesting on a week-to-week basis, or in the case of "Ron & Mike's Football Pool", it can make the games borderline life and death.
You see, Ron & Mike's pool is one of the largest NFL survivor pools there is, with more than $2.5 million at stake to the winners. This is a "pay off my mortgage" type pool, not some "heckle Jeff over losing his $25 entry fee in Week 3 for the fifth straight year" type pool. Those still alive in Ron & Mike's pool in Week 14 we're getting down to crunch time, and had to be thinking about that boat they were going to buy, or that vacation they were going to take if they could just keep surviving until no one was left. Then something terrible happened, when members of the pool received a note on Ron & Mike's website on Friday that read:
"Please be advised that the Ron and Mike website has been forced to shut down at this time and is unlikely to open again. We understand your frustration and anger at this time but closure of the pool is beyond our control. We apologize to those that are still alive in our various pools and we ask for your patience and understanding while we contemplate the next steps. Unfortunately at this time we cannot make any additional comments."
A few hours later, ESPN's Darren Rovell had the full report on the feds shutting down the pool:
Just an absolute nightmare for everyone involved. According to the report, two of the pools in Ron & Mike's pool were $100 entry fees, a second chance pool was $200, a high-roller pool was $500 and another pool gave members a second chance mid-season, with that entry coming out to $100.
Imagine having a dog in each of those fights, surviving to Week 14, and then being told "Nah." The dagger to end all daggers. The bad beat to end all bad beats. The "kill me now" to end all "kill me nows." Gamblers everywhere weep for these poor men and women, and also Ron & Mike, who seem like they could be in a world of trouble.