Uniform-related bets seem to be all the rage these days. And unlike some people (ahem, Aaron Rodgers), pitcher Joe Nathan of the Texas Rangers had no problem paying up when he lost a wager on the result of the NFL's 2012 regular-season opener between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants. You see, the Cowboys won, 24-17, and Nathan is a longtime Giants fan. He'd made a bet on the game with relief pitcher Mike Adams.
As the loser, Nathan had to show up at Tuesday's game between the Rangers and the Cleveland Indians at the Ballpark at Arlington (all too near Dallas for Nathan's taste) in full Tony Romo regalia, complete with helmet, pads and the Romo jersey. Nathan was so confident that his Giants would win, he added the kicker -- if he lost, he'd have to wear the uni through batting practice, and sign autographs for five minutes in Cowboys gear. Cowboys equipment manager Mike McCord was happy to help.
"I regret that I added that," Nathan said. In the end, he took snaps from his teammates and threw a few passes. Nathan played some football in his early years, but that he would have "gotten crushed" had he played in high school and beyond.
So, how did it feel wearing the uniform?
"It feels just like I thought it would — absolutely terrible," Nathan said.
Adams, who has Cowboys season tickets and keeps a team helmet in his locker, could not have been more pleased. "This is probably the best bet I've ever won in my entire life. This is up there."
Adams also made a successful bet with Rangers general manager Jon Daniels -- as a result, Daniels must wear a Cowboys hat (not a cowboy hat) when he next addresses the media.
Perhaps the worst part for Nathan was that he was the one who started talking smack. "The first thing he told me was, 'I saw that crappy helmet in your locker and I'm a Giants fan, so we should have some good bets going on,'" Adams said.
In the end, Nathan will keep the faith. When one reporter asked him how he was able to tear the Giants' estimable defense up, Nathan-as-Romo answered, "They are always good. The Giants are the best team ever."
However, they were not the best ever when Joe Nathan most needed them to be.
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