I’ll never forget where I was on May 23, 2011.
It was one of those moments that stands still in time. It was shocking news, like discovering Santa Clause isn’t real or finding out Kim Kardashian is getting engaged to Kris Humphries.
On this day, the American government began their attack on the sports betting industry after ruining the online poker world. I’ll never forget the headline popping up in the Covers.com
forums. I was shocked.
Although I believe the American government will have a tougher time shutting down online sportsbooks (poker requires gaming software whereas sportsbooks could potentially run entirely over the phone), I decided to conduct an experiment on myself by eliminating sports betting for one day in order to experience what my life would be like without wagering action.
I haven’t watched a full sporting event without having at least a small bet on it in years.
If you want to know how strong my betting habit is, I can’t even play a board game without having something at stake. Monopoly with fake money is boring. Monopoly with real money, now that's exciting. Try it some time.
The day began with a matinee game between the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates. I typically make very small wagers on these early games, action wagers, just to kill time before my real wagers in the evening. Not today.
I sunk in my couch and watched the first few innings of the Cubs game. It was brutal. I noticed that baseball players pick their crotches a lot. I knew this was a common practice, but without action on the game, the small nuisances really stood out. The frequency of some players’ tendency to fix their protective gear drew a fine line between normal and inappropriate.
I changed the channel for a few minutes as the game wasn’t keeping my interest. Ironically, I wound up on a repeat episode of The Jersey Shore
where Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino thought he was going to have a threesome with Deena Cortese and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, only to have Snooki leave the room.
“It's like having chicken put on the table with salt and pepper, then somebody takes away the chicken and you're left with salt and pepper,” Mike explained. What a perfect description of my day, too.
I didn’t finish watching the Cubs and Pirates because I didn’t care about the outcome and I’m not a “baseball is so beautiful to watch” person. I might be a little jaded because I’m a Mariners fan. If you think baseball is beautiful to watch, watch a few Mariners games. Then get back to me.
I just kind of sat and did nothing for awhile. I was going to go stand outside in the rain to give myself a little more dramatic effect, but I didn’t want to catch a cold.
I never realized how much of my day was consumed with sports betting until I took it away from myself, whether I’m researching statistics, following the games on GameTracker or watching the games on TV.
Ray Lewis believes crime rates will rise with an NFL lockout. Maybe the same will happen if online sports betting is taken away. As a matter of fact, I’m feeling a little criminal right now.
I could take up knitting to pass the time, but with my luck, the American government will seize the yarn factories too.Til next time, cover the spread.
SJP's 2011 NBA Finals Prediction:
Do you remember the long list of legends who didn't win a championship because they played at the same time as Michael Jordan? LeBron James is going to start compiling a similar list starting with Dirk Nowitzki this year.
Welcome to the World of SJP. If you enjoyed your stay, give her a shout in the comment box below. If you didn't...well, we're sure you'll let us know. Sarah will likely respond to your comments or questions.