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Monday Musings: YAY, GAMBLING!!!; Targeting Is Stupid

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March Madness Viewing Party At The Westgate Las Vegas

Buenas tardes, amigos. On with the nonsense…..

1. OH MY GOD, SPORTS GAMBLING!!! YES!!! LOUD NOISES!!!! To the seven Supreme Court justices who voted to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 as unconstitutional, I salute you. I mean………I’m flat-out shocked (or more likely just irrationally overjoyed). I don’t even know where to go from here. Chaos is about to ensue, at least in the states that are working on permitting, or will permit, sports books and sports-based gambling. Obviously states passing any such permissive regulation will pass as quickly as a bowel movement in a nursing home, but it’s a start, I’ll take it.

What does this mean for the NCAA? For professional sports leagues? For states? Presumably the latter will find a way to tax the sh*t out of it and make it profitable. For degenerates like me who just love sports handicapping – especially college football, this is a gift that will keep on giving.

I have so many thoughts about this, I can’t even collect them right now, but, we’ve got all summer to look at it……and as a lawyer, I’m going to go over this in nerdy detail, I’m sure.

2. Way, way, way, way too early line that I like (and yes, I know it’ll slide some): Miami +2.5 vs. LSU. Yeah, homer pick, maybe. Yeah, there are a world of unknowns here, but give a team with the more experienced quarterback points in a game full of unknowns? Word. Also, Bama laying 30??? Louisville presumed starting QB Jawon Pass played in 6 games last year, so he’s not a total babe in the woods. Also, last time I saw Louisville play in the Citrus Bowl, they faced an Al Golden led-team who----- you know what, forget it. Louisville and the points.

3. The new kickoff rule is stupid. There is still a more stupid rule in college sports, and we all know what it is. Little late to the party on this, but now a player can fair catch from anywhere inside the 25 and get the ball at the 25??? Awful. That being said (the NFL force out rule notwithstanding), the automatic ejection for targeting has to be the single-most lame-brained, knee-jerk, unfair rule in the history of sports. So….you mean to tell me that borderline hits that, for countless decades have been fair play, are suddenly instant ejections.

And no, folks, I’m not hot-taking on something that’s new, obviously. I’m just soapboxing. Targeting has been around for a few years now like your sister’s smug new husband. Annoying, and you know he’s not going anywhere anytime soon. I get the NCAA wants to make the game safer, and the game can still be improved without having to change the results on the field. There needs to be a warning after the first “targeting” infraction, same as a personal foul. And there’s even more reason than a personal foul to give a warning. These guys are coming at each other like bullet trains, one of them ducks his head, hits the other guy in the wrong spot. No unsportsmanlike intent, no malice. No matter. Boom, gone.

However, dance into the end zone, get into a scuffle/push match, etc etc., and you get a warning. Make it right, NCAA. Allow a player flagged for targeting to have a second chance in the game. Or hell, make it like soccer, like a yellow card. Two yellows in two games equals missing the next match. Two targeting penalties in two games, out the next one.

Do something, because what’s in place now is fundamentally flawed.

4. Game I’m watching this week: Miami 27, Notre Dame 10, Nov. 26, 1989. I mean….if we’re talking about gambling, we’re talking about luck………..and if we’re talking about luck, we’re talking about Notre Dame having ABSOLUTELY NONE in the Orange Bowl in the 80s. To quote then-Notre Dame Ned Bolcar, “This one is going to haunt us the rest of our lives. I hate this damn place.”

Everyone else in that visiting locker room did, too, Ned…..everyone else did, too.