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How I Finally Overcame My Gambling Problem by Hearing a 60 Second Begrudging Disclaimer After a Draftkings Ad

It all began one Sunday when I was watching a few games on mute and listening to my favorite podcast. You know, the one with Bill Simmon’s former boss’s degenerate cousin. Anyways, this DraftKings ad started playing. I didn’t pay much attention until a disclaimer kicked in at warp speed. “If you think you might have a gambling problem and live in Florida…” Here I was, just a simple Florida man, gambling on several games at once while listening to a gambling disclaimer on a gambling ad on an NFL gambling podcast in the offseason. It actually took a little while for all that to click, but it did hit me eventually.

I should have known it was a problem when the XFL prop bets started. I can remember betting the over on the number of games that Orlando Guardians backup quarterback Quinten Dormady would get suspended for his playbook-sharing scandal. That was days ago, and I can now see that losing my mortgage payment on it was not an example of sound decision-making.

The disclaimer rang through my head as I thought of all my XFL-related parlays that went horribly awry. I couldn’t let go of the feeling that this ad was calling to me. I went back to my phone and rewound the episode. I had to listen back at least ten times on 0.5x playback speed to actually make out the help number. But I did it and called. I remember they seemed shocked as they answered the phone. As if this was the first time anyone had ever called.

I poured my heart and soul out. I told the seemingly befuddled woman on the other end the countless number of bets I’d placed and how they’d ruined my family. Like how I bet that Vince McMahon would find a way to raise capital and save the rebooted XFL season. Or how CFL legend and ex-Bears head coach Marc Trestman would lead Tampa Bay to their first XFL title. Or even that time I bet a friend that the XFL would never come back for a third time. As I paused and waited for a response, I’ll never forget her shining words of wisdom: “You should stop doing that.”

These days, the only betting I’m doing is betting on myself. It’s been nearly a week now, but I’m staying clean. I haven’t placed a Gatorade-color-related wager in days. That’s right, I’m done with the prop bets. I’m done with daily fantasy. I’m swearing it all off! Oh, but I’m definitely still going to play regular fantasy, which is a game of skill.