- Internet & the Web
SportsGunner: Because there aren't enough things to do online
Bet on your favorite teams, sort of.
There's nothing more exciting than watching someone else do something, unless it's betting on someone else doing something. Writing about betting on someone else doing something also brings great satisfaction, but you'll have to take my word for that.
SportsGunner.com combines the thrill of betting on your favorite sports teams with the nuance and carnage of playing the stock market. It's all in fun, but so were the Iowa Straw Polls. SportsGunner could grow huge and explode into the next Twitter or possibly flame out and slump onto the digital trash heap of unfulfilled web site dreams.
Instead of actually playing sports, this innovative site lets you buy and sell virtual shares in major league teams from football, baseball, basketball, and (no lie) soccer. Pseudo-amateur sports such as NCAA basketball and NCAA football can also be played like the stock market. It's all fun and games until The Duke Blue Devils are subpoenaed for insider trading.
Getting Started is easy and free
We signed up. We created an account in only a few minutes. The site requires a current email address, but no other information is validated. We were asked to provide a name, city, and zip code, but SportsGunner operates on the honor system.
After validating our email address, we were offered an opportunity to select three favorite teams from pro baseball, pro football, and college football. We selected one of each. The team lists appear to be comprehensive. Pro baseball and football are relatively limited, but the NCAA football census encompasses more teams than any normal person would ever care to care about. We selected the Tulane Green Wave because they are the answer to a classic sports trivia question: name a college team name that doesn't end in 's.'
What teams do you love to hate?
This site also endorses betting against specific teams. On Wall Street, we call that 'going short' or 'shorting.' SportsGunner.com let us choose from the galaxy of NCAA football teams. We picked 2 teams with oddly endearing names and also Duke because, well, everybody hates Duke. I think that's a state law.
Next, we selected one team from our list of six. The list did not differentiate between preferred teams and disdained teams: SportsGunner embraces diversity. We chose our NFL team, Pittsburgh. We were then asked to 'pick' the next game on the Pittsburgh schedule. We clicked on "Up", ostensibly to indicate that we favored Pittsburgh in that game. The next window required a level of confidence to be assigned to the pick. Each level has assigned to it a number of shares. Where the shares came from, we're not sure. In order to transact shares on Wall Street, a buyer and a seller must exist simultaneously. We don't know if we were a buyer or a seller.
SportsGunner initially staked us to only 6 teams, but a few simple clicks rewarded us with an upgrade. We leaped into the upper stratosphere of free online sports fantasy betting: the site now permits us to bet on every team every day.
We requested friends, except we didn't
We all need to get out a little more. Sitting in front of the flat screen monitor for days at a time may tend to reduce social skills and possibly trigger some level of agoraphobia. Participants in free online fantasy sports games could lean to the reclusive side, but SportsGunner aims to rectify that problem.
In our email inbox appeared a plethora of friend request confirmations. That's wonderful, but we made no friend requests. None at all. We asked no other SportsGunner aficionados to befriend us. We discussed with no one our foray into the murky world of free online sports fantasy games.
SportsGunner is free, except when it's not.
SportsGunner.com is not a betting site. No players actually own shares in any professional or amateur teams. Transactions take place using 'credits', not real money or physical gold. On the other hand, those of us who absolutely insist on spending money will find themselves accommodated by the site. Credits can be purchased with PayPal or credit card.
New accounts are staked to 10,000 free credits in order to get the betting juices flowing. Our initial play cost us 660 credits. We look forward to squandering the remaining 9340 credits on betting against Duke. That should be almost as satisfying as going outside to play.