I like the occasional trip to Nevada to drop some coin and try my luck, but one thing I never do is enter a sports book. To me that’s a fools bet.
But let’s start with a debatable premise – that the NFL and NBA (at the very least) are severely lacking in credibility right now and you want to bring in gambling? Look, we all know gambling and sports has gone together for years, but now the sports leagues want a piece of that cash and why not – they’ve gone as far as they can squeezing dollars from everywhere else.
But take a look back: the history of sports has examples: The Black Sox, Pete Rose, the 1987 Phoenix Suns drugs/gambling scandal, Phoenix Hockey gambling (Rick Tocchet), Mike Vick and Dogfighting, Paul Hornung and Alex Karras, Denny McClain, Art Schlichter, Michael Jordan (allegedly) are all sports figures who were involved in gambling. And those are the ones that just a cursory check of the internet.
And then there’s former NBA ref Tim Donaghy. Adam Silver wants to convince me that the NBA is on the up and up? That’s a tough enough sell, and now you want to bring gambling in?
Let’s just say for the sake of argument that in 2016 and 2017 gambling was formally brought into the leagues. Let me offer an example: I’m not saying this happened, but could you not imagine where people would think that Super Bowl 51 could have been messed with somehow – particularly when one team is up 28-3 and cruising? How ‘bout the 2016 World Series where Cleveland blew a 3-1 lead and the 2016 NBA Finals, where Golden State inexplicably blew a 3-1 lead? Golden State was on the verge of going 16-0 in the playoffs and inexplicably lost Game 4 to the Cavs when they dominated? There are those who truly believe that either the media or gambling interests were involved.
Or how about Game Six of the 2002 NBA Western Conference Finals between the marquee L. A. Lakers versus the Sacramento Kings where the officials went absolutely crazy with whistles that favored the Lakers who were allowed back in the game, and ultimately won the series – which by the way ended up being LA/New Jersey.
Bottom line is this – if you think the conspiracy theorists were bad before, just imagine what it’s going to be like when you bring gambling in.
Oh, and with all this going on, how long before the NCAA wants to get their grubby little hands on this?
Meanwhile, I will remain far away from betting on sports.