Sunday, August 21, 2022

FanDuel is a part, and a product, of the times


Yes, every free-throw, extra point try and even COIN TOSS has a new element of excitement (and danger) to it when you've got money on the outcome.  And if you get caught up in the "adventure" of obsessively betting on every possible aspect of the game (like FanDuel is selling here as something that will make the experience of watching the game more "fun") I imagine it makes the hours spent watching whatever sporting event that's on the tube more impactful on your heart rate, blood pressure and economic situation.*

I thought watching sports was supposed to be a fun distraction from our usual routine of juggling challenges and time.  Does any of this make watching sports more "fun?"  I don't even notice the coin toss, and usually miss it because I haven't seated myself yet (actually, I listen to most sporting events while doing something else- like walking- so I can't even remember the last time I saw a coin toss.)  Is that a bad thing, and should I take advantage of an "opportunity" to be on the edge of my seat as a ref throws a coin into the air?  I half-watch games when I am not half-listening.  Would it be more "fun" if I were constantly glued to the screen with my fingers crossed or hands clasped in prayer every few seconds because I bet on the combined score at the end of the first quarter or the number of dropped passes inside of a random ten minutes of the game because the outcome would be the difference between having extra money to go to the movies on or making a minimum payment on my credit card?

Nowadays when the game is over, I turn off the TV or radio and go do something else (usually sleep.)  Would it be more fun if I was celebrating the effects of several hours of tenseness by counting up my winnings or cursing my mistakes in tallying up my losses?  Does drinking whiskey during a game make the game more fun?  I think the answer is the same. 

We are in an economically stressful time in this country.  We are seeing more and more ads for apps which encourage people to take out quick mortgages, make snap decisions to lease or buy new cars, get their paychecks a few days early, live off "cheap" fast food, invest in imaginary currency backed up by Nothing, and now risk their financial security (or HIT THE JACKPOT AND MAKE THE GAME MORE FUN!) by betting on sports.  All are signs of the times.  I don't like these times.  Nobody should like these times.  

*Just look at the scruffy idiot in this ad.  Don't try to convince me he's enjoying the sports-consuming experience.  I bet he used to, but he doesn't anymore.  Not since this addiction got hold of him.  Probably everyone at work knows exactly how he did by the look on his face every Monday morning. 

1 comment:

  1. It's all the lotto to me. They say that a culture that fetishizes gambling is one on the way out and, well, here we are watching it be FUN to pay the Stupidity Tax.