THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley


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Gambling it all

Given the advertising increase I see in Maryland now that sports gambling is legal I’m worried about a couple of things. They have been happening over time already, but it’s just so prevalent now that it’s changing the face of sports and its meaning.

That passion, that pure joy of just watching/participating in a game is being overshadowed by the money and betting. The fun of watching and living and dying with how your favorite team is doing is replaced by watching who you wagered on with both fear and greed.

Do you keep going till your in over your head? Photo by Mike Hartley

I grew up saving ticket stubs to games. I can see people now saving betting slips as the momentous of games. I saw a news segment this past week of the Washington Nationals ballpark that now has an MGM Sportsbook site. Here is the link from MLB itself. Think about this, it seems all major sports have endorsed gambling. Where is the line?

The temptations are so many and the ease with which such activity can be executed is a deadly combination. So many don’t have the discipline needed to do it responsibly. And yes I include myself in those ranks.

I understand the argument and agree with it that life itself is a gamble. We all make thousands of gambling decisions every day. Do you change jobs or not, do you go for the salad and salmon or the rack of ribs, do you take the interstate or the back roads, do you get the proper rest or burn the candle at both ends? And my most recent gambling decision, When do I retire?

Is gambling fun, sure as hell is. I might get a single Mega Millions or Powerball ticket 2-3 times a year when the jackpot gets high and I’m filling the car with gas and see that flashing neon sign of hundreds of millions of dollars, I might go in for the “few minute thrill” of what if? I always get scratch-off tickets for the family at Christmas as stocking stuffers and they always provide excitement and sometimes like this past year some joy in winning.

I get in on the office pool for the March Madness winner which is just $10 I think. And beyond that, I bet $10 a week during pro football season with my son by just picking the winners of each game. We usually have 2-3 different each week and it’s fun joking with each other about it. And yes he is ahead most years. That is the extent I allow myself.

I’m actually scared of ever starting it again because of that feeling and mindset that seems to trigger a switch in my brain that changes my priorities to something I don’t like. When I did gamble I remember not enjoying watching sports as much at all near the end of my run because of the money.

I marvel at people gambling large sums of their wealth. I guess it’s no different than starting a business in some ways. I don’t have the answer but I fear this could quickly get out of control for a good number of people who just can’t afford it.

I’m not going to pretend to be some all high and mighty here. I could be a gambling addict in a second and did have a problem with it in my youth but thankfully snapped out of it while I was even and before it became an issue. I recognize I can’t do that and set myself limits now.


Random Thoughts of the Day

  • I hate starting the day in pain.
  • If you look at taking a hot shower each day as something to be thankful for then you are right because a lot of people don’t have that good fortune.
  • Did the NFL do a flip flop of all times? Denying it had a problem one day and the next saying it is a problem in regard to the issue of black coaches.
  • Any month without a doctors appointment is a good month.