The NFL announced that Katy Perry will headline the Super Bowl halftime show in February – ignoring my advice and an Internet petition to get “Weird Al” Yankovic to do the show. Not surprisingly, I do not know Katy Perry and could not tell the difference between Katy Perry and Perry Como, Perry Mason, a Mason jar or a Freemason. That really does not matter since I do not watch Super Bowl halftime shows.
Speaking of the NFL, you have to have noticed the ads on games and on pre-game shows for Fan Duel – one of those fantasy football sites where each week is a season unto itself and people reportedly win lots and lots of money. If you look closely early in the ad, there is small print low on the screen that says:
This is not a gambling site
Let me get this straight… Lots of people pay money into a pool in order to make fantasy football selections and some of the people who do so receive more money than they put in while others receive none of their money back. If that is not gambling, then pari-mutuel wagering on horses is not gambling and poker is not gambling. I do not play fantasy football – or baseball – simply because I do not find them interesting but the idea that fantasy sports is not a form of gambling is not much more than an exercise in parsing the English language.
Please remember the willingness of the NFL to have this advertising associated with programs that feature the NFL the next time the league files a legal brief alleging that gambling would attack the integrity of the game. Think about it folks, players in the NFL are playing fantasy football meaning they have an interest in how players on teams other than theirs perform. I do not believe that has destroyed the integrity of the game, but if you try to make “high moral ground arguments” about gambling and integrity and that kind of stuff, how can you allow fantasy football to be in your league and advertising on your programs?
Here is an item from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald about 2 weeks ago:
“Four Redskins fans agreed to go on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and were surprised to be confronted by Native Americans. That’s like going on Fox News and being surprised by conservatism.”
I hope those same four fans are not surprised when they go to FedEx Field and see the team lose…
Switching over to baseball, Tony Bosch – the former director of Biogenesis – is in jail because his bail was revoked after he failed two drug tests and did not attend the voluntary treatment sessions that were part of the deal that let him out on bail. Here is what the judge said as he revoked bail:
“I simply have no confidence in his ability to appear as required. I don’t find that he’s a good candidate to remain out on bond.”
Bosch is “required to appear” to plead guilty to charges of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances as part of a plea deal with prosecutors as he is a cooperating witness in other matters related to the whole Biogenesis mess. Bosch was one of the folks who provided evidence against Alex Rodriguez to MLB leading to the season-long suspension of A-Rod.
Here is another baseball-related idea from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald:
“Parting thought: Baseball continues to mull ways to speed up games. They already rejected my idea: Relievers getting from bullpen to mound via catapult.”
Man, the folks who run baseball are ossified fuddy-duddies. That is a great idea. You could modernize the concept and make it seem like a cannon with an explosion just as the pitcher is launched from the bullpen. Oh, and it would not be long until one of the DJ geniuses at one of the parks took to playing Johnny Cash doing The Wabash Cannonball as relievers’ entry music…
Pro football has its problems with domestic violence issues and concussions; baseball has its problems with PEDs. In college sports, the nefarious activities remain focused on old-fashioned bad behavior. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Sanford Lovingood was the comptroller for an organization known as Seminole Boosters. It does not take a great deal of insight to realize that this organization raised funds to support Florida State athletics. The organization fired him after an audit of the organization’s bank records revealed that Lovingood “took” somewhere between $500 – 700K from Seminole Boosters for himself.
The report in the Tallahassee Democrat says that Lovingood admitted to Booster members that he had taken the money and explained how he did it. Evidently, he had been doing this since 2011.
Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel put some perspective on misdeeds in Tallahassee with this comment:
“Did you see where Sanford Lovingood, the comptroller of FSU’s athletic booster organization, is accused of misappropriating between $500,000 and $700,000 from the booster fund? And we’re worried about Jameis Winston stealing $20 in crab legs?”
Finally, here is a self-contained description of a minor sports event from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald:
“The 60th Columbus Day Regatta wraps up Sunday on Biscayne Bay. That’s the local institution known for drinking, topless women, partying, debauchery and, when time allows, sailing.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………