Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Sports Betting Smackdown: Delaware vs. The NFL

March 30, 2009

The state of Delaware is examining creative means to make up for its $606 million budget deficit next year.  Governor Jack Markell has developed a wholly unoriginal idea:  sports betting.  Now they’re speaking my language.



Markell proposed early this month that the state investigate whether legalizing sports betting could make up for the budget shortfall.  The NCAA immediately pounced, saying that Delaware would face repercussions if it did so, threatening punitive damages for state schools and withdrawal from consideration to host NCAA events.

But the debate continued and the sports world has sent out the big guns.  Lobbyists from the NFL conflated in Delaware in the past few days to urge lawmakers not to consider voting for the bill.   The NFL is also considering bringing football players to the state to fight it.

Markell fired back at the NFL, saying that they promote gambling by providing their audiences with analysts that predict the final score of every game before it is played.  “The notion that the NFL has aggressively and actively fought against betting on its games is belied by the very programming the NFL indirectly endorses and from which it handsomely profits.”

Only two states currently allow sports betting to take place, Nevada and Montana.

What could the NFL’s angle be in this position?  Is it that they are afraid their fans will think it undermines the legitimacy of the game?  There are a thousand bookies in Vegas that are willing to accept any wager a citizen from Delaware has on the outcome of a game.   By legalizing betting inside the state, Delaware would retain that money instead of sending it to the desert.

RWP Rating: Normal


The Madness of March: Can you feel it?

March 16, 2009

EUGENE, OR — It’s a rainy Selection Sunday and the clusterfuck of the NCAA tournament is just slightly less unnerving than the Jon Stewart / Jim Cramer fiasco.  Louisville was the only #1 ranked team in the competitive regions to win its Conference Championship, which is ironic considering the caliber of teams in the Big East this year.

Safe money will be on North Carolina, healthy or not.  But the reality is that any of the top twenty teams in the tournament have a real shot at dancing their way to a National Title.   That isn’t just the reality.  Every one of those teams believes it as well.   Depending on how the selections go, I could be hard pressed to call a second round 8 seed over a 1 seed a proper upset.  Shooting darts at the Sweet 16 will be just as reliable Andy Katz, Dick Vitale, and all the expert bracketologists that slither into the sunlight each March.

Old women and Hallmark cards say the same thing.  March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.  And maybe it has in some years.  Some years, four number 1 seeds make the final four.  Some years, 9-5ers in the heartland of America watch ball games during their coffee breaks before getting back to clients, customers, and expense reports.  But this year, more people will be watching March Madness from the comfort of their homes, scouring while watching their brackets go to shit.  And I will be with them.   The Madness this March doesn’t just mean lunacy, it means red-hot anger.

And with this anger, Jon Stewart invited financial “guru” and former hedge fund executive Jim Cramer onto the set of The Daily Show.  I’m not going to go into the tired and redundant finger-wagging that makes the mainstream media salivate.  It’s unfair to say that CNBC should be the only investigative journalists in the business circuit.  They have become Stewart’s scapegoat.  Did they drop the ball?  Absolutely.  But when was the last time the mainstream media bucked the interest of their contributors for the interest of Truth and Justice?  Why does Stewart expect it to be any different this time?

Pass the buck.  No one could have seen it coming.  I’ll bet 300 grand on Pitt to make the final four when I’ve only got 10 grand in the bank.  No problem.

CNBC isn’t the only scapegoat in this orgy of billies.  Cramer squealed “Bernie Madoff” no less than three times during the interview when the conversation heated up.  I wish I would have caught him as well Cramer.  Wish I could have citizen-arrested Dahmer, Berkowitz, and Gacy.  But what the fuck does a Ponzi scheme have to do with investment banks leveraging 30 to 1 in legal accordance with every SEC regulation?  Madoff stole money from the register.   Wall Street built a mansion made of sand, sold the mortgage to the American people, and then sailed into the sunset when the winds came a coming.  But in the fine print of that mortgage, on the 277th page, was that damning clause:  SOLD AS IS.

The selections are made.  Wait for the news that Lawson is healthy before speaking to your bookie.   That should bring a surge of UNC fans to the table.  Bet big against baby blue.