It seemed like another normal night with my friends watching the game. Then, it turned into an ambush.
In hindsight, I should have seen it coming.
Our night began with a conversation about the pressing issue of whether or not Two and a Half Men
could thrive with Ashton Kutcher replacing Charlie Sheen next season. Is this transition going to be similar to Aaron Rodgers replacing Brett Favre, or Derek Anderson replacing Kurt Warner? Most agreed on the latter.
The world didn’t come to an end at 6:00 p.m. as promised, so this was an obvious lead into “world coming to an end” theories. I’m convinced we should all duck for cover only if the Cubs ever win a World Series - a true sign of the apocalypse.
We rounded the corner on the Obama/Osama/Birth Certificate/Donald Trump/The Apprentice
/Chicago Bulls situation. It still baffles me that all of these topics intertwine with one another.
Finally, through a series of balancing activities, I proved to them that a $25 bracelet can’t increase power. Sadly, some were amazed. Derrick Rose wears one of these bracelets and LeBron James does not. Not saying anything, but just saying, if you know what I mean.
Game 3 of Dallas-Oklahoma City was set to begin.
Then, it happened.
With a mouth full of ice cream, I blurted out “Let’s go Dallas!”
The room went silent.
I quickly realized the critical error in judgment I had made.
Dallas had eliminated Portland, our home team, from the playoffs. It’s customary to cheer against the team which sent your team packing for the summer. It’s blasphemy to do otherwise.
After a rousing round of being called a traitor, a sellout, and every other bandwagon jumping insult in the book, I realized that sports betting was impacting my fan hood.
Am I a traitor? Am I a sellout?
Yes, and I love every minute of it.
I hated Dallas just a month ago when they ousted Portland from the playoffs. Do you know what made me forget my hatred for them? Cashing four tickets on the Mavericks since then. Money has a phenomenal way of becoming a Band-Aid for pain (SJP Invention Idea: Make real Band-Aids out of money).
Dallas jumped out to an early lead and I was especially obnoxious cheering for them. I was on a sports betting high, similar to a runner’s high, watching Dallas embarrass Oklahoma City early on this night. If I had known the lyrics to 2Pac’s “Me Against The World”
I’m sure I would have started rapping them. Thankfully, I don’t.
I needed a Dallas win. I couldn’t be called a traitor and have Dallas blow this game. A double loss like that and my pride wouldn’t let me face my friends for at least a week.
Dallas’ big lead began to slip away. I remained calm and laughed off the Oklahoma City surge, but inside my head I was cursing the Mavericks for each wasted possession. It’s pretty hard to remain poised when F-bombs are going off in your head.
A 20-point lead was cut to six. I wasn’t even thinking about my real money wager as Dallas was imploding. I was more concerned for my pride. I already stabbed my Blazers in the back for these guys, how could Dallas do this to me?
Nowitzki restored order in the final minutes and my celebrations were more emphatic on this night. The weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders with each dagger from The White Mamba.
Sports betting can redefine your fan hood. When I’m asked who my favorite team is, I automatically answer the Portland Trail Blazers.
In reality, my favorite team is whoever cashed my last ticket.Til next time, cover the spread.