There is a website, gamblingfactsandfictions.com, which makes available an "Anti-Gambling Handbook" that tells you the facts about and the evils of
gambling. It says that after you read their handbook, you will gain the knowledge needed to "choose never to participate in gambling activities or to
be customers of any gambling business".
to "gamblingfactsandfictions.com": I suspect that the odds against you stopping people from gambling are at least a million to one.
Gambling brings to mind horseracing and that leads me to the latest news about Zippy Chippy - the horse that has never won in any of his 100 races.
Zippy Chippy is retiring at age 13 because it seems that there might be a movie in the making about this "loveable loser". Zippy Chippy was banned
from a track several years ago because the stewards there called him a "blight on bettors" and found him to be completely non-competitive. Evidently,
the people with the movie idea would rather that he not miraculously win a race. Frankly, I can't see any reason that I would want to watch a movie
about this loser of a horse and his goofy owner any more than I would want to key this horse in a trifecta.
One more gambling note. A tourism/gaming committee in New Jersey held hearings about a week ago regarding the possibility of legalizing sports betting
in Atlantic City casinos. Without a lot of fanfare, the NFL sent one of its lawyers to the meeting to testify against the idea and he said, "Athletes,
coaches and referees would be the equivalent of cards, dice and slot machines if sports gambling were allowed." He actually said that with a straight
face. Gambling on football games has been ongoing for at least the 60 years that I have resided on this planet and probably for 40 years prior to
that; gambling on NFL games generates huge interest in the games which fuels TV ratings which attracts advertisers and TV networks that will pay
billions of dollars to televise the games. Without gambling, the NFL would not be the business juggernaut that it is today and without gambling, the
NFL would not continue to grow as a product.
Oh, and by the way, the chances that the NFL could do anything to stop sports gambling and gambling on NFL football games are at least a million to
one. Maybe the NFL mavens and the gamblingfactsandfictions.com folks ought to get together for a weekend retreat. Then could all hold hands and sing
"Cumbaya" and "We Shall Overcome". That would make a big difference…
Notre Dame found someone willing to coach them. The Irish apologists will say this is a great hire and that the school came out of this smelling like
a rose. They found an alum with some Super Bowl rings and an acknowledged offensive genius to coach the team. They will slide over the fact that he is
an alum of Notre Dame but that he never actually played football there. Actually, Notre Dame never asked someone to coach the team who is an alum and
who starred on the football team there and who has a Super Bowl ring and who is a certified football genius who knows everything bout football. Of
course, I'm talking about Joe Theisman. Just listen in on any Sunday night ESPN game and you'll immediately realize that he knows everything that
anyone could possibly know about football...
Pitt will be playing Utah in the Fiesta Bowl. Interestingly enough, both schools will lose their head coaches. Urban Meyer has left Utah to go to
Florida; over the weekend, we learned that Walt Harris will leave Pitt to go to Stanford. This has to be a first for a major bowl game to have both
schools with lame-duck coaches.
Pitt will be "hoping to sell 11,000 tickets" from their allotment of 15,000 for the game according to Shelly Anderson in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
In their last five bowl games, Pitt has sold a total of 21,500 tickets. This is not a school that has a reputation for "traveling well"; and if they
can't sell most if not all of the tickets for a major game, they will not be welcomed by bowl committees if they have a borderline record in the
Another bowl game that ought to have "attendance woes" is the Silicon Valley Classic. Northern Illinois will take on Troy State in this game; and
among the locals, there can't be more than 500 people who will give a rat's ass who wins or loses or ties this game. If you have a VCR, tape this game
and freeze the crowd shots because you might be able to count the house.
Vinny Testaverde and Chris Chandler started games this weekend in the NFL. Jeff George is hovering on the sidelines in Chicago. I wonder if Stan
Humphries and Steve DeBerg are already beginning some workout regimens looking for somewhere to catch on and collect one of those league minimum
salaries for holding a clipboard?
The Vikings are in the middle of another season of self-destruction and much of it derives from the fact that their defense is not that good - to be
truthful it is pretty awful. Chris Hovan was an All-Pro DT for the Vikes a few seasons ago but this year he has been "deactivated" for several games
and the defensive coaches said it was because Hovan would not listen to their instructions. The defensive coordinator says that he has been happy with
Hovan over the past couple of weeks - while he was "inactive". I have no idea what the details are here but it seems to me that either the Vikes'
coaches have become control freaks or Hovan has turned himself into a major head case. You make the call...
According to John McClain in the Houston Chronicle, there may be a palace coup in process in Tennessee and the objective of that coup would be to oust
Jeff Fisher. I think that would be a huge mistake; Fisher is not to blame for the Titans poor record this year and with their cap situation, they may
be even worse next year. Don't feel too sorry for Fisher if he does get fired, however; he has two years left on his deal at $5M per year. And he will
get another head-coaching gig in the NFL somewhere because he is a very good coach.
Dave Wannstedt is not nearly as good a head coach as Jeff Fisher is and he has already been shown the gate this year. He has signed on with FOX and is
auditioning as an analyst. Last week, he got the joy of doing the SF/Arizona game. What a treat that must have been. Those are two sorry-assed teams
playing in a stadium that is never more than 35% full and the damned game went to overtime. This man can't catch a break anywhere. This cannot have
happened before in NFL history. SF has beaten Arizona twice this year by the same score (31-28) and both games went into overtime.
Finally, a note from Jim Armstrong in the Denver Post:
"This just in. Doctors in New York City removed a cancerous lesion from baseball commissioner Bud Selig's forehead Monday. Hospital workers
immediately nicknamed it 'Barry'. Reminds me of Phil Jackson's kidney stone, which Laker observers nicknamed 'Kobe'. Why? It wouldn't pass..."
But don't get me wrong, I love sports...
Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon