Texas A&M University is among many football teams that claims that their home fans serve as the all-important twelfth man, thus giving those teams advantages in their games against away opponents. There are a variety of stats that seek to show where it is that people have homefield advantages and how serious it is and under what circumstances a team has a homefield advantage or even a homefield disadvantage. Some teams have even been known to pipe in sound to artificially increase the sound that serves to distract and confuse their opponents, although this widely considered to be a shady and dishonorable and often forbidden practice.
Yesterday afternoon I left The Dalles earlier than I normally would because I had committed to playing pinochle. It turned out when I arrived that I was the 12th person, completing a third table, and while I was on the road I had been called about my progress. To be sure, it was not as pleasant a drive as I was hoping it would be–I left a little bit later than I wanted to and then found that it was raining and that the roads were wet and filled with rather slow drivers, which is not the ideal scenario to be in, but I arrived while the crowd was still eating and had discovered a route to the destination I had never used before and all that is pleasant enough. All’s well that ends well, I suppose.
It so happened throughout the evening that a few of the games were learning experiences for one of the people I was playing with. It can be tricky sometimes to know how to play a hand. Generally speaking it is best to either be able to feed one’s partner points or to take tricks yourself and help save your bid. It is not always easy to know what to do, and in at least one case I guessed wrong and was thus unable to make the last trick, which would have been of some benefit. Likewise, with bidding it can be hard to know how one is doing, because one may not be able to make one’s bid because one needs one card from one’s partner that one does not have, and there were at least a couple of occasions where my partner and I made bids and our partner had none of the cards in the suit that we bid on, which was a less than ideal circumstance, but that is the sort of thing that happens from time to time and it is a good thing to joke about.