Fans of Pat McAfee were upset by the upset Steelers-Brown finish for one main reason: many Super Boost bets hung in the balance.
Pat McAfee has evolved the game of sports podcasting, most notably by the big-ticket partnerships he’s made through The Pat McAfee Show.
There’s Aaron Rodgers Tuesday, which features exclusive weekly interviews with Rodgers that no other outlet has managed to land. Then there’s the sponsorship deal McAfee landed with FanDuel last December, which resulted in a four-year contract worth $120 million. For context, McAfee made about $15 million through eight seasons as a punter for the Indianapolis Colts.
That’s a lot of money for FanDuel to pony up, but for his part, McAfee has brought in millions of viewers, many of which like to join McAfee in betting on the parlays he sets up.
For Thursday Night Football, McAfee set up the following for a “PMI Super Boost”: the Steelers needed to cover a 7.5 spread, in addition to needing to hit Najee Harris and Nick Chubb touchdowns.
The respective running backs delivered, but on the last play of the game, the Super Boost bet with 8-1 odds suddenly combusted. Here’s how TribLive recapped the events that led to a costly last play of the game:
"“Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky hit Diontae Johnson with a 8-yard pass at the 12-yard line as time expired. Desperately trying to travel 88 yards for a winning touchdown, the Steelers began a series of laterals. Johnson passed back to Chase Claypool, who passed back to Harris, whose attempt at a lateral hit the ground and ricocheted into the end zone.Cleveland’s Denzel Ward recovered the ball in the end zone for a last-play touchdown that gave the Browns a 29-17 lead.”"
The play can also be viewed below, beginning at the 1:23 mark.
The final play of the game caused Pat McAfee to lose at least $1,000, and it caused countless fans who joined in on the bet to lose big, too.
In a good faith move, FanDuel publicly announced that they would be refunding bets placed on McAfee’s Super Boost because of how the last play of the game went unexpectedly awry.
FanDuel reimburses Pat McAfee faithful for losing on a major Steelers-Browns bet at the last minute
While some on social media argued that this is merely the assumed risk of gambling, it was a positive PR move for FanDuel to ensure that their partnership with McAfee remained lucrative.
In this case, the company lost out monetarily by losing bets they rightfully won, but the way in which it all went down immediately left a bad taste in the mouth for many bettors.
Although the bets could be overturned, unfortunately for yinzers, the result of the final play could not. At least there were some who were able to come away from this game evenly, and as far as McAfee and FanDuel, the ambassador will likely draw in more betting fans as a result of this move.