bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Tony Romo’s event gets screwed by the NFL

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We stand for justice here at BSGS. I show my biases regularly, but I usually root for fairness. At least, I like to think I do. So when an athlete that I really dislike is getting the short end of the stick, I am happy to stand up for that individual. OK, maybe “happy” isn’t the right word, but at least “okay with it.” This week, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, one of my least favorite people in all of sports, got the shaft from the National Football League. There is little doubt that the league is being very hypocritical here.

Romo had organized a fantasy football convention that was going to be held in a convention center in Las Vegas. The site was not actually in a casino, although it was on the same grounds as a casino. The convention was supposed to happen this week, and would have included the involvement of a number of NFL players with whom the fans could interact. Just last week, the league notified the NFLPA that any players attending would be in violation of a league rule against events on properties owned by casinos. The event had to be canceled, of course, as holding it with the players would have dramatically changed the nature of the convention.

I don’t understand any of this. First of all, football’s enormous popularity can be directly linked to gambling. Sure, the game would be popular anyway, but gambling has always added a huge dimension to this particular sport. I understand the league’s reasons for not wanting to be linked directly to casinos, as the integrity of the game needs to be protected, but this thing was not being held in a casino. There was no direct correlation to that kind of gambling (which is legal in Vegas, by the way). The other part of this is the whole aspect of fantasy football, which, while it often involves gambling, is not the exact same thing.

Millions and millions of people play fantasy football. I am in three leagues myself and have been for years. Many people watch as much football as they do because they are following their fantasy players. The NFL would be crazy to distance themselves from it. In fact, they have embraced it, as the NFL’s own website has a fantasy game. To take this stance and to disappoint the fans who were planning to go (and to do so less than a week before the event) is ridiculous and short-sighted. The league’s reputation has taken a number of hits over the past couple of years, and this continues them down that unfortunate road. I know they likely feel like they have a license to print money, as they are so far and away the most popular and profitable sport in the country, but goodwill doesn’t last forever. If something like this can make a Cowboys-hater like me stick up for Tony Romo, the NFL has made a serious mistake.

Bad sports, continued:

2) Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, who has battled injuries for a while now, fractured his kneecap late in game 1 of the NBA finals against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday and will miss the remainder of the series.

3) I feel like I should retire from the San Francisco 49ers. Everyone is doing it, after all. Offensive lineman Anthony Davis is the latest member of that team to hang it up during this offseason, following Chris Borland, Justin Smith, and Patrick Willis. Davis is 25.

4) The Brittney Griner/Glory Johnson story did not get any better this week. The WNBA-playing couple got married last month, not long after they were both arrested for some kind of domestic incident. This week, Griner filed for an annulment of their marriage one day after Johnson announced that she was pregnant.

5) A woman was seriously injured when she was hit by a broken bat while sitting by the field along the third base line at Fenway Park on Friday.

6) Tiger Woods suffered the worst round of his professional career when he shot an 85 at The Memorial on Saturday. He finished the round with a quadruple-bogey. Yuck.

7) Benches emptied during the Chicago Cubs-Miami Marlins game when Chicago outfielder Junior Lake showboated after hitting a homerun on Wednesday. It didn’t turn violent, but the whole thing was pretty stupid and unnecessary.

8) John Bowlen Jr., an administrator with the Denver Broncos and a son of owner Pat Bowlen, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with domestic violence harassment. He has been put on leave by the team.

9) Linebacker Brandon Spikes, who re-signed with the New England Patriots recently, was released by the team on Monday after his car was found damaged and abandoned along a highway on Sunday morning. The investigation is ongoing, but it sounds like he may have hit another car and then fled the scene.

Good sports:

1) The amazing Serena Williams collected her 20th career major championship when she won the French Open on Sunday, defeating Lucie Safarova in three sets. With two more major titles, she’ll tie Steffi Graf for the record.

2) Horse racing’s 37 year drought without a Triple Crown winner has come to an end. American Pharaoh won the Belmont Stakes on Saturday to complete the feat, having won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness last month. He is the first horse to win all three since Affirmed did it in 1978.

Bad sports, good sports appears each week

Alan Spoll is a software quality assurance director from the suburbs of Philadelphia where he lives with his wonderful wife and children. He has spent his entire life as a passionate fan of the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Flyers, and Penn State. Recent Phillies success aside, you will understand his natural negativity. Follow me on Twitter - @DocAlan02
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