To quote the one and only Frank Sinatra, “regrets, I’ve had a few, then again, too few to mention.”
That line is poetic for me, however, the few regrets I’ve had still eat at me. Maybe not in a can’t-sleep-at-night way, but definitely in an I-wish-I-had-a-do-over way. In a weird, roundabout way, those same mistakes are actually one of the driving forces for why I want to join DraftKings so badly right now. Believe me, I can’t let the same regret besiege me.
Missing The Boat Big Time
Soon, sports betting will be mainstream. It’ll be legalized in a huge chunk of the United States. ESPN will mention game spreads and daily fantasy regularly (using DraftKings branding from that recently-linked deal, of course). It’s a truly emerging industry — and one that I refuse to miss out on, especially after last time.
You see, long before I was of gambling age, two other niche hobbies dominated my day-to-day — video games and creating YouTube content. For instance, below is a completely over-the-top fictional action movie trailer I co-created that rivals cinematic masterpieces the likes of Die Hard or Kill Bill (our main inspiration for the trailer). Moreover, I legit believe I was in the top 1 percentile of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare players (on Playstation 3, at least). Before you roll your eyes at me, no I don’t have evidence, but if you want to fire up the game, I can definitely prove my chops.
While eSports and YouTubers have entered the present-day lexicon, that was far from the case back in this period around 2011. Neither were the money-making machines they are today. Not even close.
Being the brain-yet-to-be-fully-developed high schooler I was at the time, I failed to foresee the explosive growth the two industries were about to undergo. Instead, off I went to college, leaving both hobbies behind — a choice that I’m convinced changed my entire career trajectory.
For real, if I would’ve stuck with it, there’s little doubt in my mind I would’ve “made it” in some capacity. Heck, the two hobbies have even converged as video-game streamers have become the most-popular YouTubers on the planet. Just maybe, I would’ve been like Ninja. Errr, scratch that, maybe Ninja would’ve been the second-coming of Eric Uribe — yes, I did just refer to myself in third-person and yes, I’m joking (well, half-kidding maybe).
Anyways, not pursuing YouTube and eSports has eaten at me over the better part of the last decade. What if I would have been born just three years later? What if I would’ve listened to my inner instincts, gone against the grain, and dedicated myself to the two much to the chagrin of society? Welp, could’ve, should’ve, would’ve.
At the end of the day, I have no one to blame but myself. But I’m not making the same mistake again. No chance.
Enter gambling. A few years removed from entering college, this replaced the other two as my go-to hobby. Gone were the days of trash-talking over a video game chat lobby, new were the days of howling in violent, uncontrollable anger when a last-minute, garbage-time NBA foul flipped your +5.5 spread from a winner into a loser.
But to be completely serious: I’m a big believer in betting. And not just the potential dollar value of the industry either. No, I mean how betting heightens the sports-watching experience. Big time.
Sports are electric as is, but when you have something at stake on ’em, it completely ups the thrill level another notch. Once you have a bet on the game or a player on your daily fantasy roster, every play and clock tick just matters more. Even when the game’s win-loss outcome has long been decided, you’ll remain glued until the final whistle based on whatever betting action you have.
Yet, an enormous amount of sports fanatics have never felt this excitement, well, for now. As sports betting continues to be legalized throughout the United States, many will soon be first-time sports bettors. And not unlike myself, I imagine a slew of these newbie players will be hooked instantly — the good kind of hooked, too, not the National Problem Gambling Helpline kind of hooked (I’d hope).
Therefore, I fully expect the betting industry to mimic the explosive rise of YouTube and the eSport industry, if not, surpass both. It’s less of a question of if and more a question of when this explosive rise will happen. My guess is within the next five years.
And this time, I’m not missing the boat on betting. While I’m not quite early enough to have gotten a chance to load the boat — as some existing DraftKings execs and employees have — I’ll settle for an entrance in the middle of the pack. But once on-board, I plan on making a huge impact on the entire ride.