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NFL and golf keep pushing gambling for increased revenue

8th March, 07:15

At a salary of roughly $42 million per year, Roger "PSLs Are Good Investments" Goodell should be held accountable for every claim he issues. Instead, his colossal contradictions are issued look-away passes.

As Steve Malanga in the City Journal wrote last week, in March 2009 Goodell wrote a strong, solemn, soulful, high-road letter to then-Delaware Gov. Jack Markell in protest of his state's effort to renew its NFL betting lottery. Goodell:

"By legalizing sports betting it will be in Delaware's interest to create ever larger numbers of new gamblers as the state attempts to maximize any revenue found in this promotion.

"The negative social impact of additional gambling cannot be minimized in a community."

You know the rest. Goodell, with the moral conviction of a weather vane, was full of it.

Six years later, recognizing the potential for increased revenue that could be exacted from teaming up with "fantasy" gambling operations, Goodell was making the absurd claim that such money-wagering businesses are not gambling but games of skill.

And with the Supreme Court's 2018 ruling that sports gambling is a go, the NFL is fully immersed in the bet-on-our-games business.

Goodell, and the team owners who empower him, have traded their concern for gambling's socially destructive consequences for their cut of stacked-odds gambling on NFL players and games.

Last week, the NFL took it even deeper, approving on-site, sportsbook-sponsored game-day betting "lounges" at NFL stadiums in the 14 states that have legalized sports gambling, including New Jersey.

Going to an NFL game? Stop by at one of the NFL's online betting parlors! Hanging around an NFL betting lounge, stop by at the game!

And now the PGA, inevitably, wants its cut of the dough golf fans gamble and lose. It, too, has partnered with several companies that both provides gambling info and instructions on how to bet.

As PGA VP Norb Gambuzza proudly declared, "Golf is open for the business of betting."

And don't forget to lose early and often, to best pad the PGA's cut.

Gambling on golf -- more specifically on golfers -- creates disturbing sooner-or-later scenarios. Even more gamblers, who already could bet via "fantasy sites," can now stand just a few feet from those they bet on -- or more significantly, bet against. On-course, incivility, already on the rise with the PGA's reliance on alcohol sales, only can grow worse.

Just think of the patron, drunk or sober, who can win 10 grand if this guy misses a 6-footer on 18.

At last year's Masters, Jason Day, among the betting favorites, withdrew during the first round after reinjuring his back. The direct vitriol he then received from "fans" on social media left him staggered. Think any of those hateful missives were from gamblers?

But now the PGA, in exchange for its cut, will beg for more.

What's that? You don't have a bet? You don't bet. Well, you can come in, I guess, but stand in the back. And don't block the door to the counting house!

The mass mailing new Knicks president Leon Rose sent to Knicks patrons last week was loaded with sunny platitudes but was a nice gesture, nonetheless.

It also reminded me of the story the late Harold Rosenthal told me. He covered the Brooklyn Dodgers for the Herald Tribune.

It was 1947 or '48, and Rosenthal boarded the elegant New York Central train that would return him from Chicago after a Dodgers-Cubs series. In his sleeper, Rosenthal was aghast to be awakened by itching caused by bed bugs.

When he returned to his office, he fired off an angry letter to the head of the railroad. The next day, he received a special delivery reply graciously apologizing for his discomfort with an explanation that it was a rare occurrence and the promise that he'd never suffer such again.

As Rosenthal read the letter, he tapped the envelope lightly on his knee. A small piece of paper fell out. He picked it up. It read, "Marge, send this guy the bug letter."

I'm lucky. Before wild-eyed, slobbering greed was invited to invade and to ignore kids, MLB allowed me to become a baseball fan. And so many of those prompts remain.

Last week Johnny Antonelli, a New York and San Francisco Giants pitcher who threw 102 complete games despite losing two seasons to the Korean War, died at 89 in his native Rochester.

Funny, how often Antonelli showed up in my packs of Topps cards in 1960. Seems every pack included the card showing Antonelli, hands overhead, at the top of his delivery.

And when I saw his photo in an obituary, so help me, I smelled that sweet, powdery bubble gum.

I realize that by ESPN's points-scored totals, the Rockets' James Harden is an NBA superstar. But I don't see it. I see a player who does his best to keep both sides in it.

This week the Rockets lost three consecutive games with Harden shooting 5-for-32 from 3-point-range. The Rockets totaled 143 3-point attempts -- just under half of their field-goal attempts.

Thursday in a home loss to the Clippers, Houston was 7-for-42, 16.7 percent, on 3s. The low post is now the foul line.

So how do we fix this? Add more replay reviews!

Jets defensive end Quinnen Williams, first-round pick last year out of Alabama, was arrested this week at LaGuardia for allegedly carrying a gun, a Glock 19.

It was reported he does have a concealed weapons permit but only for Alabama. Williams is 22. Shucks, most of us didn't even apply for our concealed weapons permits until we were at least 25.

Call me crazy, but wherever Williams goes to necessitate carrying a gun, maybe he should stop going there. Then again, who hasn't lost track of their Glock, now and then?

MLB and MLBPA are looking into a proposal to ban spring training. Too dangerous.

Most important addition for the Mets this season is a subtraction: Anthony Rendon left the Nationals for the Angels.

ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption" on Tuesday included debate between Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser as to what's more likely: LeBron James winning the MVP or Zion Williamson winning Rookie of the Year. That was followed by who's more valuable: Kawhi Leonard or Chris Paul. Really, fellas? Leave such stuffed emptiness to Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman.

Isn't it time NBC's Gary Koch asks PGA players why they'd use a ball that "finds the water"?

With the coronavirus escalating, Tito's vodka has urged consumers not to use its product as a hand sanitizer. No problem.

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