124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2


Everyone should root against "Mattress Mack," the Millionaire Super Bowl Gambler

February 05, 2021

If you're a Buccaneers fan, you get a pass on what follows, because obviously you'll be pulling hard for your team and that is your god-given right as an American football fan. However, if you were like me and a little bit on the fence—I recently even dabbled in liking Tom Brady, or at least the inevitability of him—the story that came out yesterday about some dude named "Mattress Mack" putting $3.46 million on the Bucs to cover should help you make a swift decision. From ESPN:

Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale, a Houston furniture store owner who is known for making giant sports bets, has placed the largest wager on Super Bowl LV so far -- $3.46 million on the underdog Tampa Bay Buccaneers at +3.5.

Apparently this dude flew to Colorado, paid extra to get the +3.5 spread, and then dumped one of the largest bets in Super Bowl history.

Now, putting aside character questions—Mattress Mack actually seems relatively fine, at least by bedding industry tycoon standards—it should be known that the point of this whole thing is publicity. Sure, he'd love to win money, but the gimmick is that if he wins, anyone who spent more than $3,000 at his store in Houston will get their money back if his bet pays off. He's done it before, too, and even had $11 million on the 2019 World Series (he narrowly missed a huge payoff from a futures bet on the Astros when they lost in seven, which proves that karma was focused on more than just the inveterate cheating of the losing side).

In other words, this guy is potentially punting more money than most human beings will ever see in ten lifetimes for a promotional deal, and will probably just shrug his shoulders if he blows it all. This tweet says it all:

There are a lot of important things worth getting mad about in 2021, and I grant you that this is one of the minor ones, but I can make room in my heart for this tiny bit of outrage on Super Bowl Sunday, and I know you can too.

Plus, excessively rich or not, a $3.46 million shoulder shrug might still give him a moment's pause—"I just lost millions of dollars," he'll be forced to think, as he sits on his golden couch, sipping his liquid gold beverage—and if you're neutral when it comes to the Chiefs and the Bucs, that's a solid rooting interest all on its own. Come Sunday, all good people will be pulling not just for the Chiefs to win, but to win by four for maximum heartbreak. Down with Mattress Mack! Down with the expensive mattress owners of Houston! Up with Vegas! Up with the Chiefs! This weekend, we are all Andy Reid.