In the grand scheme of things, Saturday night’s 51-26 Eagles loss to the Cowboys was largely forgettable for a lot of reasons.
But don’t tell that to Cameron Mays.
Mays, a 23-year-old from Spring Grove, VA, placed a 3-leg parlay bet on the game. A parlay bet is multiple bets all together as one bet, increasing your payout odds if you win all the bets. However, if you lose even one of the bets, you win nothing.
In his parlay, Mays predicted that Cowboys WR Cedric Wilson would score, and he did. He predicted that TE Dalton Schultz would score twice. He did.
His third bet… Was that JJ Arcega-Whiteside would score a touchdown.
Mays knows how close he came, watching the game at home in his bedroom. Arcega-Whiteside was open in the end zone on a third quarter play, but the ball went through his hands.
“I saw the pocket collapse and saw Gardner [Minshew] scrambling,” Mays said. “I saw the ball go up, and saw JJAW in the end zone… I was like, ‘Is this really going to happen?’”
It didn’t happen. Had Arcega-Whiteside caught that pass for a TD, Mays’ $20 parlay bet would have paid him more than $10,000.
“I was broken,” he said about the moment. “I haven’t felt that hopeless in my life. Play should’ve been made by an NFL-caliber receiver. I don’t dislike JJAW in person, but… it stings thinking about it.”
Stings is an understatement.
Mays said he has thought about what he would have done with the money since Saturday night. Student loans, and a down payment for an engagement ring.
Despite the near-miss, Mays told us he wouldn’t take it out on Arcega-Whiteside if he saw him in public.
“I would give him a hug, and tell him it’s alright,” he said. “Football is a tough sport, and to play it at the highest level is an achievement in itself. Keep progressing forward, and you’ll get your moment in the league.”
That’s a refreshing outlook on a ultra-bad beat. I’m not sure very many of us would have the same tact in a similar situation.