Monday, March 23, 2009

Gambling Soothes the Competitive Beast

Most of you who know me realize that I enjoy gambling. I don't consider myself addicted (I haven't been to Vegas in 4 years and I don't bet over my head) but I do believe in a simple premise. Gambling makes life more interesting and exciting. My gambling vice of choice is fantasy sports. While I do enjoy going to casinos, playing poker online, betting with Doe on the golf course and making random side-bets with my brother and friends, my primary source of action occurs from drafting and managing a team of sports figures over the length of a season.

I'm slightly addicted to drafts in general. Just the action of scouting players/teams and participating in a multi-round draft is particularly engrossing. It doesn't matter who or what is being drafted either. When Nate and I used to tailgate at Redskins games (before he became a traitor Jaguars fan) we would draft makes of cars and keep counts as to which ones passed in front of us pulling into Fed Ex Field. We would call this the "car game" (a brilliant name we put a lot of thought into) and would normally bet $10 or $20 on the game. This is a prime example of how random gambling can make life more exciting. During the dull parts of tailgating, we would gain enjoyment from tallying the cars we drafted as they passed out tailgate spot.

I probably average about 10 individual drafts a year across a variety of sports and events. Right now, for example, I am currently involved in the following fantasy/reality gambling activities:

  • Fantasy Basketball (in the championship round with a chance to win serious cash)
  • Fantasy Baseball (we just drafted)
  • Fantasy NASCAR
  • Three NCAA Tournament Bracket Pools
  • An NCAA Tournament Player Pool
  • Survivor Pool
  • Amazing Race Pool
  • American Idol Pool (for fun, not money)

Not on this list if Fantasy Football which starts up in the fall. I also enjoy betting on the Oscars, the MLB Home Run Derby, NBA All-Star Weekend, and numerous other events during the year. Now I don't put a lot of money on any of these activities (the reality TV pools are only $30 each) and the money isn't really that important to me. I do it mostly for the competition. I am an uber-competitive person and the thrill of competing against someone else is a rush I enjoy immensely. It just so happens that my lovely wife does not have a competitive bone in her body. Therefore, I need a constant avenue to fuel my competitive nature and gambling/fantasy sports is the "hobby" that fills the void.

I'm sure some of you out there (*cough* *Kristin* *cough-cough*) are pretty competitive in your own right but I do consider myself the most competitive person I know. That may be a bad thing at times, but in my mind competition and gambling make for a more interesting journey through life.  I know some of this competitive drive will eventually rub-off on my son(s) and I hope I can teach him to limit his thirst for action.  I can already see the competitive fire in Josh when he plays me in Wii.  Personally though, I think a little friendly family competition can be healthy and bring people closer together.  I feel that growing up competitively was a big part of keeping a close relationship with my brother.

1 comment:

Mommy, Esq. said...

It's funny but it was easier to be competitive when I was in school - grades and such. Now it is harder so I try not to stress about it. Otherwise I'll end up just competing my kids against other kids and no one wants that!