Get'cher bets down!

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Bicycle Bill
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Location: Surrounded by Trumptards in Rockland, WI – a small rural village in La Crosse County

Get'cher bets down!

Post by Bicycle Bill »

I watched something on the NFL Network earlier tonight, ostensibly highlighting the Greatest Super Bowl Commercials of All Time (apparently, "of all time" means since 1990, but that's a subject for another rant at another time).   I couldn't help but notice, however, that during this hour-long bit of fluff-programming, there were at least three different ads from sports-book sites — online gambling sites, in other words... DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesar's Sports Book.

Now, I'm old enough to remember when players were expelled or served suspensions from the league for gambling on games, or were given pointed warnings when even property holdings in which they had an interest attracted "the wrong sort of people" (I'm talking about Joe Namath and his interest in a NYC nightclub called 'Bachelors III' here).  Now, not only is the NFL actively accepting money from these companies to run their commercials, but each one of these companies displayed copy on the screen during their ads that they were a "proud sponsor of the NFL" (Caesar's), an "official partner of the NFL" (FanDuel), or an "Official Sport Betting Partner of the NFL Playoffs" (DraftKings).

I'm not that naive to know that there hasn't been betting on football games, and especially the Super Bowl, since before it was even dubbed the Super Bowl ... but the 180-degree reversal between the NFL's attempt to preserve the integrity of the game to the point where it suspended rising stars in the peak of their careers (Paul Hornung and Alex Karras come instantly to mind), or applied Mafia-like pressure to others (see the Joe Namath incident I mentioned earlier) versus now, where the announcers and analysts openly discuss betting lines, point spreads, and over/under odds right along with injury reports, possible starters, and depth charts positively boggles my mind.

Of course, their logic is it's OK for the FANS to bet their shirts on the games, just not the players, the coaches, or (more than likely) the referees — ignoring the reality that a well-heeled fan could quite possibly then bribe a player, a coach, or even the guy that runs the clock in the stadium to do something to alter the results in his or her favor.  Hell, how hard would it be to slip something into those cups of Gatorade on the sidelines?

Somewhere, someplace, the shades of Hornung and Karras are probably having a beer with each other, telling themselves that they were right all along, and lamenting the fact that they had the misfortune to have been born fifty years or so ahead of their time.
Yes, I suppose I could agree with you ... but then we'd both be wrong, wouldn't we?

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