Sports betting infiltrates broadcast journalism
Excuse the b-word, but I bet you never imagined it would happen so quickly and so completely. Avalanches and sisters-in-law come more slowly. And there now seem to be more trades soliciting your bets than there are bets to be made.
Worse, it has infected almost everything that is attached to a chance.
Consider that with the trend of broadcast journalism dying, colleges that charge for courses or majors in broadcast journalism should be charged with fraud. What these schools teach and preach, if applied on the job, could only lead to ruin: expulsion for corporate non-compliance and journalists’ disloyalty to the bottom line. Better today, conventionally trained broadcast journalists enroll in obedience schools.
On Sunday morning, WCBS Ch. 2 News included a long segment in which sports presenter Steve Overmyer, a journalism graduate, interviewed a “sports investment analyst.” Eh? Someone who gives advice on, for example, selling ball clubs, tennis courts and golf clubs?
No, this particular SIA is better known as the game reel. And I thought it couldn’t be the worst because it didn’t carry a barrel supported by suspenders. He was not the former sports investment analyst, Bouncy Checks.
The subject of this morning’s TV news? The point spilled over into the Raiders-Jets game, which, as we were reminded, would later be seen on Ch. 2. Of course, without a bet, there isn’t much to watch.
In other news …
Again, when the green light on legal sports betting flashed, you never imagined it would turn into something like this, right? Did you work to become a journalist? Aren’t you a gambling jerk? Pity. You are in or you are out.
It’s the gold rush, only for fool’s gold. What was once the WFAN for all sports has suddenly become gambling infomercials, get rich and fast. Pre-game shows, once produced to encourage you to watch the game, now take it upon themselves to encourage you to make a bet or three and then watch your action.
When the pandemic lifts, arenas and stadiums will prove to have betting kiosks on-site so that one can bet round by round, quarter by quarter, period by period, score by score – and many other opportunities for those who have the “shake the action”.
Will taking a child to a game become a moral decision?
Now consider the larger and taller image:
Is there now a bigger invitation to fix games or shave points? Certainly not. But I think the fixers are going to change, from “crowd” guys chewing cigars under fedoras to more modern gangsters: shooters – some literally – in powerful urban street gangs who hold life or death on the young. members, associates and families.
I see the near future in which one or two top scorers in a college basketball game, under threat of death or the promise of riches, will drop a game or two, as the “inside” action can now spread. all over the country and the world sports books that detection will be more than difficult.
And the children recruited to play basketball have never been so vulnerable to the dark forces around them or have already invaded their bloodstream. The next college gambling scandal will be the work of a street gang, one of many that have grown more sophisticated and threatening week by week.
What does a kid come out of thin air and recruited with a pair of sneakers and a shiny tracksuit – if not a little money, on top of that – has to lose? Library privileges?
I hope I am wrong – completely wrong – on this point, but I am much better at predicting the weather than the score. And I know what the game can do, it will.
All that is needed to cause calamity is an episode. Looks like we’re in bad weather. As the ads for DraftKings recommend, “Let it rain! “
Pitino supports alien invasion in court
When Iona’s new coach, Rick Pitino, says, “I believe in the Gonzaga recruiting model, the St. Mary’s recruiting model, that 40-50% of your team should be foreign players,” does this really mean?
That Division I colleges are operating under false pretenses, claiming to be academic institutions, but have pledged to travel the world to recruit a winning basketball team? In short, yes.
The full scholarship recruit may be in their mid-twenties or little or no English. Who cares so much that they know when to show for practice? The end justifies the means, even if the end has no intrinsic educational value or reflects the declared values of the school.
Iona de Pitino’s first roster includes recruits from Germany, Senegal, the Netherlands, Sweden and Rwanda. One of his American players, originally from Florida, is now in his third college.
But here, there, everywhere it is the state of the art. This is where the most money is spent – even though there is no mention of sport in Iona’s lofty and moving mission statement, education first. But Iona didn’t hire Pitino to teach civics, did she?
Colder the better for Commish
Follow the TV money! As for those Roger Goodell PSL “good investment”, the Week 15 Giants-Browns were “flexed” (baited and switched to spectator time) from 1 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. for preferences purchased Sunday night from NBC. The average weather in East Rutherford on the nights of December 20 is just above zero.
Phil Linz, who died last week at the age of 81, has always been disappointed that he was not invited to Yankees Alumni Day.
The most shocking story of the week is that former Bengals maelstrom and chaos maker Vontaze Burfict was arrested for assault in Las Vegas. The arrest was not shocking, but the fact that it was only for a misdemeanor was.
From his LA home by phone, Al Michaels won the Ford Frick Award: “I’m just happy it wasn’t posthumously.”
So what do you think? When Nike executives see young men on television or in photos arrested, stabbed or shot in clothing bearing the Nike logo, are the executives upset or elated, as in mission accomplished?
Reader Don Reed: “College football is the only business in the world where, for one reason or another, half of the employees disappear after Christmas. Same thing with college basketball after the NCAA tournament.
Notre Dame lets the kick bounce off the back of the end zone. Reader Ray Starman: “Is this Notre Dame’s touchback?” As we say in Gaelic, “Oy!”