There are days — too many of them — when you don’t know where to begin. Days when the unfathomable, loosely attached to sports, flies at us, challenging us to surrender.
Here’s one: The Special Olympics World Games, held last month in Berlin, is in the throes of betting controversies that have left winning bets made by the public unpaid.
Wait. Back up there, fella. There’s now betting, sanctioned, open wagering on intellectually disabled athletes gathered under the noble ideal that they shall not be ignored as humans or athletes? You could wager real money on the results of competitions among Special Olympians?
According to Post reporter Erich Richter, the men’s powerlifting event created confused results that delayed payments to winning bettors. (I can’t believe I just wrote what I wrote). As a former Special Olympics medals presenter, I was under the full and idyllic impression that competitors competed for the sake of having fun while enhancing self-worth, not as the building block a seedy gambling operation uses to make money.
This one is beyond sick, raising questions, like: Who would book such bets? Who would make the lines? How would a gambler handicap the events and the athletes? And who should answer to this obscenity, a for-profit exploitation of intellectually disabled souls?
According to Forbes, BetOnline, an unregulated offshore sportsbook available in the U.S, “is the brand behind the bold move to offer the first-ever Special Olympics odds. Operating globally in the online gaming sector for more than 25 years, BetOnline is known for setting the industry bar when it comes to creativity and innovation.”
Promo code: Puke. Excuse me while I retch.
Now it’s back down to Morgantown, W.Va., where two weeks ago, following his latest self-imposed scandal — a second DWI — 69-year-old West Virginia head basketball coach Bob Huggins announced his resignation, citing his great regard for the college’s “student-athletes” despite a multiple-school, 35-year career of recruiting non-student athletes.
It seemed impossible, unfathomable that it could end any other way for Huggins, a steady embarrassment — and recent basketball Hall of Famer. Even if he’d been hired as a favored son of WVU, it was time to go.
But then came word from his new lawyer that Huggins did not resign, that WVU betrayed him by announcing his resignation. And Huggins, though players were bolting through the transfer portal, still considers himself WVU’s coach.
OK, then who wrote Huggins’ soulful “student-athletes” resignation statement? Who signed off on it? Who hit “send”?
“I did not draft or review WVU’s statement,” Huggins wrote. “This false statement was sent under my name, but no signature is included.”
There remains nothing so wrong with big-time college sports that it couldn’t be fixed by several well-aimed nuclear warheads.
Monday, the inevitable finally occurred. One of the legions of kids the morons at MLB place in the outfield to shag missiles during the Home Run Derby was smashed in the head by a Vladimir Guerrero Jr. shot estimated to have been hit 116 mph.
The kid, it has been reported, is OK. But even for its consistent paucity of foresight, how could MLB not see this coming? How could it not see the peril it invited among kids and the unfair consequences for MLB All-Stars? And for those who’d accuse me of hindsight, I at least twice wrote in this space that such was bound to occur.
Former NFL defensive back Richard Sherman has proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, that he becomes unhinged, be it on national TV or in private — behavior that would eliminate you and I from many public positions.
He was arrested July 14, 2021, after police said “he drove his SUV into a closed construction zone, sustaining significant damage, and fled the scene of the accident. Sherman then attempted to break down the front door of his in-laws’ home, caught on the surveillance system of the Redmond, Wash., residence,” according to an ABC News report.
Sherman had been drinking heavily and spoke of killing himself, according to police reports.
He pleaded guilty as part of an agreement that spared him further jail time. He was given a 90-day jail sentence with 88 days suspended and credit for two days already served.
Not that you’re any longer surprised by this repeated reality, but Sherman is now being considered as a replacement for Shannon Sharpe on Fox Sports 1’s Skip Bayless-anchored “Undisputed” show.
If you don’t have a police record, you’re unqualified for an on-air position in radio and TV sports.
Just another “one of those days,” even if this one now includes betting on Special Olympians. Words fail me.
Yankees cave to MLB’s patch trend
Should we really be surprised, let alone offended, that Yankees uniforms, in exchange for more than $20 million, will be adorned by another commercial patch in addition to Nike’s? Is nothing scared?
Sure. Money is sacred.
Don’t forget the betrayal of the great tradition in college football — Penn State’s uniforms distinguishable because they appeared as dark blue and white uniforms, not a mark on them. Nothing and no one would ever mess with that tradition, certainly not the saintly autocrat Joe Paterno. But in 1993, Nike pulled up with a truckload of cash. And a new made-in-Communist China religion came to State College.
Look at it this way: The Yankees need the money. Having made the best seats in new Yankee Stadium so obscenely expensive that they’ve gone mostly empty for nearly 14 years, $20 million is like a GoFundMe donation.
There must be a clearing house all networks contract to provide stats that cause viewers to disregard the network as morons. And what persists for public inspection, rejection and head-shaking stupidity, we’d have immediately fixed. MLB Network’s latest have included “Blue Jays first three-game skid since June 17-18,” and, “Tigers haven’t lost consecutive games since June 14.”
YES’s strike zone all out of whack
Unless Giancarlo Stanton’s strike zone ends at his belt line, YES’s “tell-all” strike-zone box has been all out of whack.
But YES’s graphics are quick to note when a “sweeper” has been thrown, thus emphasizing the artificial in artificial intelligence.
Readers Write: Love this stat from Edward Finkelstein — Nellie Fox, the chaw-cheeked White Sox Hall of Fame second baseman in the 1950s and early 1960s, was tough to strike out. In 1951, he struck out 11 times and had 12 triples.
From Eddie O.: “The key metric for starters is pitch count to determine when to take him out. However, for the relievers, it is innings pitched, regardless of whether they throw three or 33 pitches — after one inning they’re removed.
“What genius thought up this logic that all managers follow like lost sheep?”
Scott Russell writes that after a moving July 4 ceremony in Fenway, the Red Sox’s NESN TV network immediately cut to a gambling commercial. “Give me Liberty, plus the 6 ¹/₂!”
Fordham has fully thrown in with Nike, inspiring Fordham grad Ed Grant to ask when “Ram Maroon will be replaced with Nike Black”?
Once again, the final score Tuesday in the MLB All Star Game: The team in the blue pajamas 3, the team in the teal pajamas 2. Perhaps.
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