Random Thoughts…

For those of you who believe that bad things happen in threes, here is corroborating “evidence”. A week ago, Titus Young found himself under arrest in California twice on the same day on two different charges. On Friday, Titus Young was in the hoosegow for the third time in a week. Here is the summary of the charges:

    First arrest: DUI

    Second arrest: Burglary for trying to steal the car he was driving at the time of the DUI from the impound lot where it had been taken.

    Third arrest: Burglary for breaking into a house in San Clemente CA and then adding resisting arrest and assault of a police officer to his tab when he fought with deputies in the process of his arrest.

That does not sound like an NFL WR who is a free agent and looking for a new job. That sounds more like a guy who wanted to catch the attention of Jerry Tarkanian for a slot on one of Tark’s squads not overly burdened with scholar-athletes.

According to a report in the Las Vegas Review Journal by Matt Youmanns, there are now lines for every NFL game for the 2013 regular season courtesy of Cantor Gaming in Las Vegas. If you just cannot wait to get down on an NFL game, you now have 256 options available to you. If you just cannot wait to get down on an NFL game, you also have the option of getting yourself to a rehab clinic near you… Here are three interesting observations in Youmanns’ report:

    1. The Pats are never an underdog; they are favored 12 times and are “pick ‘em” the other four games.

    2. The Broncos, Niners and Seahawks are favored in 13 of their games but each of them is an underdog one time.

    3. The Jaguars have 2 “pick ‘em” games and are underdogs in the other 14.

Sticking with the topic of sports wagering in Nevada, a bill passed in the Nevada State Senate recently that would allow sports books to take bets from “private equity groups”. At the moment, a sportsbook in Nevada may only accept wagers from individuals. Proponents say that this bill will attract some of the money wagered illegally in states other than Nevada to the sportsbooks in Nevada.

I presume that means that under the proposed new law, I and my friends who journey to Las Vegas every Fall could form a “private equity group” and engage a resident of Las Vegas to join our group as the person who would go to the sportsbooks and make wagers on behalf of our “Putative Private Equity Sports Wagering Cooperative Ltd”. If my interpretation is correct – and I am more than willing to be corrected here – it seems that there are a couple of logical conclusions:

    1. A new cottage industry could spring up in Nevada in terms of “private equity group representation”. Pretty soon, you might expect these Nevada legislators to claim that the bill is a “jobs creator”.

    2. The handle in the Nevada sportsbooks should grow. One report I read said the sportsbook handle could triple in five years if the bill became law. I do not know if the growth potential is that great, but surely, the sportsbooks’ handle will grow – and Nevada will collect more state tax revenue on that growth.

    3. If this bill became law, the potential for using this mechanism to launder money is not insignificant. Regulators and law enforcement folks will need to pay attention.

Receiving much less attention than this bill, the Nevada Senate also passed a measure that would permit sportsbooks to take wagers on Presidential and Congressional elections. While that might be a significant sociological change for the country, I just do not see that measure attracting a large handle for the books…

Here is an item tangentially related to gambling… Jerry Jones recently signed QB, Tony Romo, to a 6-year contract extension worth $108M and with more than $50M of that money guaranteed to Romo. When I first read about the deal, my reaction went along the lines that Jerry Jones like to do things in a big way and he has always been a believer in Romo’s talents, so in his mind, this deal probably makes sense. Later, I read this quote from Jerry Jones in the Dallas Morning News:

“If Tony, for instance, would be here Monday through Saturday … from seven in the morning to six o’clock at night all over this place then that’s better than the way it’s been. We’ll have more success, and Jason [Garrett] believes that [also].

Excuse me… Tony Romo has been with the Dallas Cowboys since 2003; he has been the starting QB for the Cowboys – interrupted only by injuries – since the middle of the 2006 season. Tony Romo should not be a “mystery” to anyone who had been associated with the Cowboys for any length of time – such as Jerry Jones. If you have noticed that Tony Romo has not done enough time-on-the-job to achieve as much success as you believe he has in him, then why would you agree to give him such a lucrative contract?

If you find yourself in Minneapolis/St. Paul and have the time to go and see the Twins play, you might find this culinary option at Target Field interesting:

    One of the wraps offered at some concession stands consists of a stuffing of spaghetti and meatballs.

Everyone who is on the Atkins Diet just shuddered after reading that sentence…

Finally, here is a comment from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald that harkens back to some of the gambling related items above:

“Parting thought: The Redskins’ nickname is under fire again. Am trying to think of a suitable replacement that would reflect the great heritage and legacy of the American Indian, but Washington Casino Operators seems a bit unwieldy.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………

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  • Doug  On May 13, 2013 at 11:46 am

    The reservation based casinos have done more to harm the image of native Americans than any sports nickname. That said, I have some sympathy for the argument against the Redskins. How would the sports world react a team nickname that reflected negatively on Jews or African-Americans or Irish or Italians? I don’t have to use the names. We all know them.

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On May 13, 2013 at 1:28 pm


      You are absolutely right about the net negative effect “Indian Casinos” have had on Native Americans and about the level of tolerance that would exist for a team named after a derogatory term for Jews or Blacks or Italians or Irish or …

      The “Redskin Issue” is complicated to some degree by the length of time that the name has survived while it has been under attack as derogatory. As more time passes, the shock value of the derogatory term is diluted on the part of those who are not part of the “Redskin label”. The issue is also complicated by the over-reach of the “hyper-politically-correct”. When there was pressure on syracuse – for one example – to change from “Orangemen” to “Orange” because Orangemen was not sufficiently inclusive, some focus on the very derogatory NFL team name was dissipated. Similarly, when Marquette changed its name from “Warriors” to “Golden Eagles”…

  • Ed  On May 13, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Right the Washington Casino Operators has tinges of criminals and sleazy behavior. Change that name. Maybe the Maryland Casino Operators?

    >How would the sports world react a team nickname that reflected negatively on Jews or African-Americans or Irish or Italians?

    You mean like the Fighting Irish and use a leprechaun mascot?

    For that matter, “Orangemen” is considered derogatory in some circles too…

    Beware the curse of being politically correct – when St John’s was the Redmen, they had the Chris Mullins and Walter Berrys, and were a top team, even briefly #1 in the 80s. Curm, you likely recall their rivalry then with Georgetown. Then they became the Red Storm, and became irrelevant.

    • Doug  On May 13, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      Ed- Thanks for reminding me about the Fighting Irish. Duh!

      Also, I think we tend to equate that nickname more to Notre Dame than to Irish people specifically. The same might be said for the Redskins nickname. I grew up in Atlanta when our baseball team was the Atlanta Crackers. I never realized that was derogatory until after the team name was changed to Braves. Speaking of which,that name refers to the terrorists dressed as Indian braves who boarded a British ship in Boston harbor to dump the cargo overboard. It would be easier to take if not for the tomahawk logo and incessant chant.

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On May 13, 2013 at 10:00 pm


      Indeed I remember St. John’s relevance in college basketball in the 60s, 70s and 80s. I do not know if they became irrelevant because of their name change to the Red Storm or because they had Mike Jarvis in charge of the program for five years. That one is too close to call…

      There are far more derogatory terms that have been used to designate the Irish than calling them the “Fighting Irish”.

  • Rich  On May 13, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    I am interested in one of those cottage industry representative jobs, now that I am retired here in Las Vegas. There are some here already involved in such practices on an extralegal basis…

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On May 13, 2013 at 10:04 pm


      The bill that passed the Nevada State Senate – and is presumably on the agenda for the State Assembly at some future date – would make such a position perfectly legal. And your geographic proximity to the sportsbooks combined with sufficient intellect to be able to carry out the wagering instructions of the “Private Equity Group” would make you a “reliable service provider” within that new industry. Let me know when you have a dozen clients under your wing…

      • Rich  On May 13, 2013 at 10:43 pm

        I did work in the financial services industry for a long time. And, I have a motorcycle, which can facilitate trips from book-to-book….

        • The Sports Curmudgeon  On May 14, 2013 at 12:14 am


          I sense a business plan in the making here…

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