Sarah J. Phillips: Sports betting will test your fan hood

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.
The Mavs made life tough on SJP's fan hood.
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.

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Posted by Mikado
3 years ago

There is more references to pop culture than the actual sport of basketball in this piece. Figure out a way to write about basketball without all the analogies centered around current events.
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Posted by goldsheet
3 years ago

"Way to go Covers on a great rating rising topics and writers. The social magnet character of SJP - Covers are smart, hats off" That's hilarious. I have thought the same thing but have not bothered to post until now. This site is the best.
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

Any thoughts on the column?
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Posted by yankees1913
3 years ago

@SarahJPhilli - I hope you took my Thunder pick last night, I told you that +6.5 was to high.
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Posted by yankees1913
3 years ago

sorry. -6.5
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

I ended up playing them on the spread and straight up. They choked, again.
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Posted by yankees1913
3 years ago

Which is why I said take the +6.5, sorry about your straight up lose.
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Posted by mylife23
3 years ago

gamblers usually leave their allegiance assuming they have any in the first place to any uniform...it's only about wins or losses and the money wagered on the outcome....you can either be a gamlber or a fan...it's hard to be both at the same time
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

Well said.
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Posted by Chicapper
3 years ago

Brutal
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

I know, SJP sucks! Goodness gracious. I hate her witty banter. It goes way over my head.
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Posted by Chicapper
3 years ago

Witty banter? Annoying incoherent bullshit?
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

I know, right! It's so bad. They should axe her.
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Posted by parlayking3
3 years ago

Good article but dont believe Sarah J is a woman , it cant be a woman. Woman do not bet on sports and dont really understand sports well enough to gamble on it . Unless her dad was a big time bookmaker or gambler just dont see it . "sarah j " does know what hes talking about and every true gambler has bet against his team when it calls for it.
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

huhmumhmumhmumhSEXISThmumhmumhmumhmumh. :)
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Posted by Ryanp26
3 years ago

LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT- 10 online books just got shut down, the american govt currently holds hundreds of thousands of dollars of players,... and I bet a couple hundred thou from covers.com members... And THIS BULLSHIT is the top story- SJP- i really don't read your article- its like realitry TV to me- maybe this site should wake the f up and get on the page it should be on- get off Sarahs dick, covers.com editors. Seriously- she must be fcking, or promising to fck someone who edits at covers.
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

The tabs are actually pretty easy to navigate. "Sports Betting Headlines" is in a list format, so it's really easy to find what you're looking for. :)
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Posted by komot
3 years ago

why wouldn't you cheer for the mavs to win, besides the money factor, because if the mavs make the finals it will show your blazers were not beaten by a weak team but a superior one.
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Posted by yankees1913
3 years ago

I like the way you think.
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

I think the satisfaction of watching the team lose immediately after their broke your heart is more worthwhile than wanting them to win it all. That's how it seems.
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Posted by echelon1
3 years ago

BTW...Portland blows hahaha kidding! ;-)
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

Easy! We at least won 2 with Dallas. Los Angeles: 0. Oklahoma City: 1. :)
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Posted by echelon1
3 years ago

The day I decided to have a split personality in sports was the day everything turned. Betting was miserable and often hard on the wallet. The highs never touched the lows regardless of winning. And then came the personality split. During the week, analyzing games, I have no allegiance to anyone except the winner. There is not an ounce of emotion involved. And if a team screws me, the emotional side is forgotten before the next bet they are involved in. Once I changed all this and separated my loyalty for my wallet, the betting experience and its profitability completely changed. As a matter of fact, some of the best bets of all time are against your favorite team. Because often you know their most detailed weaknesses far better than any other team. And when you see a team who can really exploit that, it's a nice insight and can pay big. You know you have mastered this split personality when it's 100% consistent and you can still root for your team when there is a big bet on the other side. As when the game kicks off, I'm no longer a better, I'm a fan...unless I have no tie to either team except the cash. Honestly this took me a decade to learn and actually put in place, and the last few years since have been the most enjoyable and productive of my betting life.
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

. . . split personality, huh? :) LOL!
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Posted by yankees1913
3 years ago

@Megamaniak - +100 or even money to a +115 - is not that big of a deal to me, not to the point where I would say I got fucked hard. We are talking about 0.15cents, not that much of a difference.
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

"Hate it? Love it? Leave a response in the comment field at the bottom of the article."