Sarah J. Phillips: A world without sports betting is a dark world indeed

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.
The Cubs and Bucs weren't enough to keep SJP watching.
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.
Is The Jersey Shore better than baseball without a bet down?
“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.

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Posted by rzagza
3 years ago

Sarah, you cant really be this awesome in real life. I feel like you're practically make believe.
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Posted by mikeny
3 years ago

hey SJP, What you think about the NBA series now that its going to dallas with a devastating lost for miami. My opinion is that the Mavs will shoot better at home and win 2 out of 3 at home. Momentum change if the mavs win the first game at home...If the mavs get confidence they will take the serires. I like thier coach and I think they are the better shooting team. I missed that 260 series price before the second game....thought about that long and hard.
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

The Game 3 winner will be NBA Champs IMO. Miami +135 ML. See my blog for details. :)
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Posted by PhantomFlag
3 years ago

Wow Sarah, and your a healthy and supposedly happy woman? imagine if you were in an accident, disabled or lost one of your senses, I would be curious how hard it would be to enjoy a ballgame. Try taking a week or maybe a month off fm sports all together, I think you need it.
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Posted by JoshLewis
3 years ago

Sarah, do you have a boyfriend?
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Posted by hartj26
3 years ago

Are you on twitter?
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

Yes. Check the "Top Response" in the upper right hand corner for my handle. Also, follow Covers.com @CoversSports, too!
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Posted by mvp3202
3 years ago

SJP How long do you plan on not betting during a game? Are you going to bet tonight?
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

@mvp3202: I stopped for 24 hours. I'm back at it. LOL!
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Posted by mikeny
3 years ago

Hey SJP, Your article sums up my interest in sports, No Wager No Interest in Watching. Gov can stop sportsbetting, It might be legal eventually, another way to tax people, as if our goverment doesnt need more taxes. They migth legalize pot because of the financial benifits. Miami winning the first game is a good start for them. The series price for dallas just went up to +250...I like that!!! I think Miami's bench might be able to play defense well but eventually when dallas shakes of the rust in game one, I believe they will out score the miami bench, and if foul trouble becomaes a factor for wade or james miami will be at a major disadvantage. I think dallas has the better team. Ill take the +250. P.S. Your chair looks comfy.
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

@mikeny: Our economy is going to hell, so why not regulate and tax sports betting? There's a thought. :) As for Dallas, I think their bench struggled because of the matchups they were faced with. I think Dallas is expending more energy on the defensive end than in previous series, which is why they struggled. We'll see if they can adjust during Game 2, because if they don't, this series is over.
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Posted by AlmightyLords
3 years ago

Gotcha. Well, GOOD LUCK!!!!! Keep those lips puckered, You look GREAT. It was nice talking with you, will HOLLA BACK when the M's meet my RED SOX again.
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

@AlmightyLords: Good luck.
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Posted by AlmightyLords
3 years ago

The man pulled him down like they were on WWE. Thats OK. We will see his a** again next year, and I think LBJ would have had a better chance at winning more championships with Chicago, they have a much younger team than Miami. So, you like Seattle Mariners. My team is the RED SOX, do you think the Bruins will win the Stanley Cup?
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

@AlmightLords: I'm in the Pacific Northwest, so I'm pulling for Vancouver. :)
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Posted by OCALSPORTS
3 years ago

The Mariners are tearing it up right now!
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

@OCALSPORTS: Yes sir, 3-run HR for Justin Smoak in the 8th last night to give the M's a win. I think we're a couple medium-sized bats short, so hopefully we can wheel and deal for some run support. Then, we'll really resemble last year's Giants. :)
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Posted by AlmightyLords
3 years ago

I think your toes look great SJP. You're right if Dallas' bench doesn't start shooting the ball they will lose. I'm a BOSTON fan anyways, so it really doesn't matter who wins to me. I did like D-Wade but when he did that foul s*** to Rondo that pissed me off, because that was a dirty play. He tried to do that s*** to Pierce earlier in the same game.
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

@AlmightLords: I don't think D-Wade intentionally tried to harm Rondo.
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Posted by AlmightyLords
3 years ago

Sarah, You look GREAT first of all. I still think that Dallas has a stronger bench and in order to beat Miami Dallas has to get one of the big three in foul trouble. With either of the big 3 on the bench in foul trouble, Dallas has a better chance. I still think they have a great chance. SJP are you single, are am I getting to personal?
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

@AlmightLords: LOL! Miami's bench is underrated. They do everything that's asked of them defensively, and The Big 3 create and carry the offense. As I stated previously, Terry/Barea/Peja didn't show up for Game 1. IF they have a chance (which I don't believe they do anymore), those guys need to start knocking down shots.
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Posted by BOLIonthestreet
3 years ago

you have the grossest toes.
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

@BOLIonthestreet: Aww. You know what's sad? They're probably still prettier than your FACE. HAHAHAHA! :)
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Posted by Yayo637
3 years ago

LEBRON ERA IS THE THE NEW JORDAN ERA STILL THINK KOBE GETS ONE MORE BEFORE HE'S DONE....LEGALIZE IT !!!!
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

@Yayo637: The only way Kobe gets one is if someone else (Dwight Howard?) carries him to #6. Kobe is, unfortunately, beginning his decline. :(
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Top Response

Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

"If you'd like to receive updates on when my latest articles and blogs are posted, add me on Twitter @Covers_SJP. Thanks!"