Every time the NFL or the NCAA gets involved in the law these days, you can bet there is going to be some pungent BS coming from heads of our national sports. Whether it’s the NCAA slamming Penn State without due process, or the NFL allegedly defaming one of its players (after punishing him without due process), sports leagues treat the law like so many high school jocks treat nerds: keep punching it until it stops talking.
Usually, the sports leagues look most ridiculous when they try to legislate the morality of their employees. As if anybody besides children and the easily deceived really care how their favorite players live on Monday through Saturday, so long as they come to play on Sunday.
Sundays are of course important. Because in addition to civic pride and fantasy points, there are quite a lot of Americans who have real money on the line when it comes to football. That’s a fact NFL executives are very well aware of… why do you think the league requires teams to make detailed injury reports before the betting lines are set?
But the NFL has to keep up appearances that they oppose gambling on their games, which is why they have objected to Governor Chris Christie’s entirely reasonable proposal to bring sports betting to New Jersey.
Yeah, non-gamblers might be surprised to learn that New Jersey doesn’t already allow sports betting, but you wouldn’t have the Sopranos if gambling was legal in the Garden State….
Let’s start where Governor Christie started: the U.S. Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. This is a stupid law that makes it illegal for states to allow betting on sports:
(1) a government entity  to sponsor, operate, advertise, promote, license, or authorize by law or compact, or
(2) a person to sponsor, operate, advertise, promote, pursuant to the law or compact of a government entity, a lottery, sweepstakes, or other betting, gambling, or wagering scheme based, directly or indirectly (through the use of geographical references or otherwise), on one or more competitive games in which amateur or professional athletes participate, or are intended to participate, or on one or more performances of such athletes in such games.
Unless you are one of the four states which is grandfathered in: Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon. Don’t even get me started on how this four-state rule has made the U.S. Government decide THE INTERNET needs to be stopped when it comes to online gambling because I should have to physically park my ass in Nevada and/or “a river” and/or an Indian reservation in order to play poker. Christ plus the points, our gambling rules are maybe the most internally inconsistent laws in the entire code: either it’s okay or it’s not.
New Jersey had an opportunity to be grandfathered in during the early 90s, but declined. And I’m sure it’s a total coincidence that the mafia remains a much stronger organization in New Jersey than it is in Las Vegas.
Anyway, that was then, this is now, the state is broke, sports books make money, and Chris Christie wants to be president someday. Christie wants to bring sports betting back to New Jersey without seeking federal approval — and that makes a lot of sense, because I don’t see why the federal government can tell freaking Delaware it can have sports books but deny them to New Jersey.
That’s a discussion between New Jersey and the Feds (while common sense is locked in a trunk and forced to wear the gimp costume). I don’t recall anybody asking the NFL a goddamn thing. From Bloomberg:
Four U.S. professional sports organizations, including the National Football League and Major League Baseball, sued to block sports wagering in New Jersey, saying it would raise doubts about the integrity of games…
“Sports gambling in New Jersey would irreparably harm amateur and professional sports by fostering suspicion that individual plays and final scores of games may have been influenced by factors other than honest competition,” the leagues said in the complaint.
How, HOW does sports gambling in New Jersey foster this suspicion in a way that sports gambling in Nevada does not? What harm will Jersey bring upon the integrity of our national games that every NBA referee hasn’t already squandered? WHO THE F**K does the NFL think they’re fooling with this bollocks? The only reason people watch the fourth quarter of at least 50% of NFL games is for the fantasy/gambling implications.
And every time the NCAA uses the word “amateur” sports, I hear Eric Cartman talking about crack baby basketball.
“Once their reputations and goodwill have been compromised, and the bonds of loyalty and devotion between fans and teams have been broken, plaintiffs will have been irreparably injured in a manner that cannot be measured in dollars,” the complaint said.
Why don’t you try calculating in dollars how much money you indirectly bring in from gambling, you freaking hypocrites? The only bonds you care about are the ones municipalities have to issue in order to pay for your stadiums.