I love being a father. I always knew that I wanted kids, but I never could imagine just how great it would be. My kids are fantastic for more reasons than I have pages to write about, and that you probably care to hear. But I’m going to tell you just one of the reasons, and it fits in perfectly for this time of year. You see, I’ve always been big on March Madness betting. Going back to my own college days, I have always been following college b-ball and so when the time came to pick my brackets and make side bets on games, I did very well. So much so that I soon decided I needed to expand my betting pool beyond my former classmates and my local bar. To bet on March Madness is not as much fun if you know you can be doing better at it. I found a great way to do that, but more on that in a bit. Back to my kids.
My kids love sports just as much as I did when I was their age. I played everything I could. I will admit that it was pretty hard for me to accept that, for as good as I was at my own level, I was never going to be good enough to take it to the next level. In college, for instance, I played club level sports, but the only time you saw me at a national televised basketball game was when my friends and I painted our team logo on our bellies and stood behind the bench. That’s part of what fueled me into March Madness betting: it was a way to keep in touch with the game. Watching my kids play (and play well) has renewed that feeling of “I could have done this.” Don’t get me wrong, though. I’m not one of those dads that live vicariously through their children. In fact, I’ve found a way to tie together March Madness betting and my kid’s natural sports aptitude.
For as much sports as I played, I never watched a lot. Now, to be successful when I bet on March Madness, I need to watch as many games as I can. I know (okay, I think) if I had watched more different teams as a kid, I would have seen the skill set I would have needed to move on. That’s why we watch these games as a family, and have for a few years. It makes me laugh when my kids play one-on-one (my daughter has two years on her brother, but he has three inches on her) to hear them decide which player they’re going to be, and to see them try to emulate that style. March Madness betting has made that happen. And my kids aren’t dumb. They know that Dad isn’t watching these games just to help them become better players. But when that March Madness betting is over, you better believe they don’t complain about the cool things I buy them with my winnings.