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Column: We're going streaking

By Mike Corasaniti
On February 12, 2013

I am not a gambling man. And if ESPN's "Streak for the Cash" has taught me anything, it's that I should never try to be.
The popular smart phone app, which runs with the tagline "Predict the Winners. Build a streak. Win the cash," is a delight for both sports fans that love to test their knowledge toward any conceivable event in the sports world and cheap college students that don't really trust their judgment when it comes to putting actual money on the line.
Luckily for me, I fall into both of those categories. Unfortunately, I have also proven myself to be one of the all-time worst streakers (as we like to call ourselves) in the history of the app.
For those who do not know how the app works, "Streak for the Cash" was made specifically for sports fans not trying to think or work too hard.
Throughout the day, the program presents its users with different matchups or outcomes-"Who will WIN this matchup? Syracuse at Connecticut?" for example-to bet on for free. If you guess incorrectly, then you don't lose a cent. But guess right, and you have a streak going for yourself.
If you know enough about sports, and have a little bit of luck and karma on your side, then you may just get your betting streak high enough (27 straight needed at the moment) to win enough cash to pay off your tuition bills. If you're like me though, all you will do is weaken your self-confidence down lower and lower with incorrect pick after incorrect pick.
I am currently on a five-game losing streak, and the outlook for PiazzaBoy31, my ESPN username and streaker alter ego, does not look too much brighter. Like I said, the app is designed for those not really trying to think or work, but the problem of still getting over the initial hump is what dooms me and other unfortunate streakers.
When you're riding a losing streak, you become a mad man, betting on teams that should not even be in the competition in the first place. Because who cares? You can't lose anything when you have nothing.
The real pressure is when you are finally riding a formidable tear, and you're seemingly just picks away from a $50,000 payday.
You begin to find yourself analyzing team rankings, betting odds and injuries-I looked at injury reports Sunday for golfers I had never even heard of to see if they had a shot at winning a tournament I didn't know existed, all in an effort to just extend my losing streak and deal another walloping blow to my self-confidence.
Because when it comes to sports, nothing beats knowing how it's all going to end. Who will score more points? Who will clinch a spot? Who will win this matchup? The power rests with who can consistently and accurately predict outcomes like these and others like them.
I, and my tuition payments, can only hope that someday I will become a member of that elite, constantly correctly telling others who to pick, bet and lay themselves on the line for when it comes to the world of sports.
Maybe, but I wouldn't put any money it.
You can follow Mike on Twitter @mikecorasaniti


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