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BONUS BLOG: another view on Sports Betting

February 12, 2023

“Wait, Joe,” you may be thinking, “what’s with two of these in two days? Is it really that big of a deal?”

I’ll let you decide. Which is pretty much my point, as you may have guessed.

Suffice it to say, I’ve sure seen the downside of gambling. It’s a real concern.

And suffice it to say, of all my own personal stuff (and as Bishop Gregory V. Palmer said in a funeral sermon, “We’ve all got stuff. Maybe most people just can’t see yours as easily as others, but we’ve all got stuff”) I’ve never really latched onto gambling beyond penny-ante blackjack as an elderly adolescent.

That said, with apologies to Bears Fans everywhere, here’s a fascinating except from yesterday’s Wall St. Journal

Should I bet my life savings on the game?

I am no Charlie Munger…but I strongly advise against this. This is the first Super Bowl in a state with legal sports gambling, and you can’t go anywhere in Phoenix without seeing oversized billboards for enthusiastic gambling companies with seemingly limitless marketing budgets. I actually think this week in Arizona, the sun is being presented by DraftKings

As always, this game is a platform for “prop bets”—casual wagers on amusing queries like “Which player will score the first touchdown?” “Will an interception be run back for a score?” and “What quarter will I fall asleep on the couch?”

Per usual you can bet how long it’s going to take the national anthem singer (this year: Chris Stapleton) to sing the pregame anthem (Stapleton’s over-under: 2 minutes, 5 seconds).

You can bet on what artist will guest-star in the Rihanna show (Jay-Z is the favorite) and whether or not the Chiefs will pirate the “Philly Special,” the clever play the Eagles used to defeat New England in Super Bowl LII. (I kind of love that bet, it’s very Andy Reid-y.) 

Lastly, as you may have deduced from 10,000 commercials, you can join a gambling promotion in which retired tight end Rob Gronkowski will try to boot a 25-yard-field goal. If Gronk hits it, you will win some future betting credits. And if Gronkowski misses? Double check this, but I believe he will be fed to a tank full of ravenous sharks, or worse, forced to come out of retirement and play five additional seasons for the Chicago Bears. 

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