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stlrz d
11-19-2008, 08:38 AM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 99075.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_599075.html)


Betting, brutality bolster NFL
By Joe Starkey
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Let's admit the obvious: Gambling and violence are big reasons -- maybe the biggest reasons -- why the NFL has become this country's most popular sport, one that rakes in more than $3.5 billion annually in television money.

Though it would never admit as much, the league must maintain an environment in which gambling can thrive and violence is glorified if it is to sustain its alpha-dog status.

To borrow a phrase from Bill Cowher, there's a fine line in this business. The NFL walks it daily on these two fronts -- sometimes deftly, sometimes sloppily, always in danger of stepping into a steaming pile of hypocrisy.

You don't think it's the casual fan who relies on the league's detailed weekly injury reports, do you? Bettors benefit from that information as much as anyone.

Bettors also need to believe that games are free from outside influence.

You saw the NFL's swift and dramatic reaction to the final play -- a meaningless play, really -- of the Steelers-Chargers game Sunday. Troy Polamalu's touchdown had no bearing on the outcome, but it had bettors and fantasy football players across the country pulling their hair out.

As Steelers linebacker Larry Foote said Tuesday, "Nobody in this locker room is talking about it, but I'm quite sure a whole lot of people throughout this country are talking about it."

One estimate, as reported Tuesday in The Trib, pegged the amount of money wagered on that game as $100 million, 66 percent of it on the Steelers to cover a 4- or 5-point spread. Officials erroneously took away the touchdown, resulting in an 11-10 final score.

Now, suddenly, the league is talking about revamping its play-review policy, to where officials will have more flexibility to ensure correct calls.

Polamalu was dumbfounded yesterday when told about the furor following his game-ending touchdown-that-wasn't.

"I didn't know about any of that," he said.

Informed that millions of dollars were lost, he said, "Well, people shouldn't gamble then."

The league-owned NFL Network reversed another Polamalu-related issue yesterday. It stemmed from a promotion for Thursday's Steelers-Bengals game.

Titled "Polamalu Island," the promo featured some of Polamalu's greatest hits. The voice-over went like this:

"There is a place where few can survive. It is the territory of one man who defends it with unyielding force. Trespass, and you'll be cast off of 'Polamalu Island.' "

Fairly tame stuff -- and it didn't mention anything about Polamalu labeling pro football a "pansy game" - but one of the featured hits was a collision Oct. 19 between Polamalu and Cincinnati's Cedric Benson. Polamalu's helmet flew off, and he sustained a concussion.

That is not the kind of clip a league supposedly bent on "player safety" and deeply concerned with the prevalence of concussions needs to be associated with.

Polamalu wanted no part of it when asked if he was disappointed the network would use such a play to promote a game.

"You're not going to get me caught up being billboard material anymore," he said, laughing. "This is a billboard conversation. I don't really want to walk that fine line."

To its credit, the NFL Network admitted an error in judgment when I asked about the hit.

"That play should not have been used in a commercial," said network spokesman Dan Masonson. "The editor didn't realize the play resulted in an injury. They're working to replace that clip right now. As soon as they can get it changed, they'll have a new spot out."

That solves one thorny issue. But when you're walking the line every day, another one could pop up any second.

In fact, you can bet on it.

Joe Starkey is a sports writer for the Tribune-Review. He can be reached at jstarkey@tribweb.com.

Troy just became one of MSM's most hated Steelers. :lol:

rpmpit
11-19-2008, 08:53 AM
First off, Troy is THE MAN :Bow

And this article brings up a point I made a few weeks back. With the Polamalu Island commercial, the NFL is once again glorifying these hard hits for their benefit. And then they turn around and impose fines. Hypocrisy isn't a strong enough word here.

stlrz d
11-19-2008, 08:57 AM
First off, Troy is THE MAN :Bow

And this article brings up a point I made a few weeks back. With the Polamalu Island commercial, the NFL is once again glorifying these hard hits for their benefit. And then they turn around and impose fines. Hypocrisy isn't a strong enough word here.

I agree. The other thing I don't like about it is the NFL is becoming more like the NBA when it comes to promoting individuals instead of teams.

"Barkley vs Jordan; Shaq vs Duncan; Kobe vs Iverson" etc. I don't like that because individualism, imo, is what ruined the NBA.

I don't want to see that happen to the NFL. :nono

ghettoscott
11-19-2008, 10:26 AM
I agree. The other thing I don't like about it is the NFL is becoming more like the NBA when it comes to promoting individuals instead of teams.

"Barkley vs Jordan; Shaq vs Duncan; Kobe vs Iverson" etc. I don't like that because individualism, imo, is what ruined the NBA.

I don't want to see that happen to the NFL.

damn good point :Agree

Mel Blount's G
11-19-2008, 10:33 AM
First off, Troy is THE MAN :Bow

And this article brings up a point I made a few weeks back. With the Polamalu Island commercial, the NFL is once again glorifying these hard hits for their benefit. And then they turn around and impose fines. Hypocrisy isn't a strong enough word here.

I agree. The other thing I don't like about it is the NFL is becoming more like the NBA when it comes to promoting individuals instead of teams.

"Barkley vs Jordan; Shaq vs Duncan; Kobe vs Iverson" etc. I don't like that because individualism, imo, is what ruined the NBA.

I don't want to see that happen to the NFL. :nono
James Harrison vs. God, Satan, 25 mini-Ditkas and Chuck Norris

RussBII
11-19-2008, 10:35 AM
First off, Troy is THE MAN :Bow

And this article brings up a point I made a few weeks back. With the Polamalu Island commercial, the NFL is once again glorifying these hard hits for their benefit. And then they turn around and impose fines. Hypocrisy isn't a strong enough word here.

I agree. The other thing I don't like about it is the NFL is becoming more like the NBA when it comes to promoting individuals instead of teams.

"Barkley vs Jordan; Shaq vs Duncan; Kobe vs Iverson" etc. I don't like that because individualism, imo, is what ruined the NBA.

I don't want to see that happen to the NFL. :nono

I think you can blame Fantasy Football for that trend. Granted, the NFL is in bed with Fantasy Football pretty heavily, but still.

However, I still don't think the NFL will ever become solely about individuals. There's not one position on a team that can totally dominate the way an elite NBA player can. Take away Tom Brady's Oline, or Peyton Manning's receivers....

RuthlessBurgher
11-19-2008, 10:40 AM
Troy may be fined for his anti-gambling stance. He'll have to play $5000 to Caesar's and $5000 to the MGM Grand for those comments. :lol:

Discipline of Steel
11-19-2008, 11:01 AM
Troy may be fined for his anti-gambling stance. He'll have to play $5000 to Caesar's and $5000 to the MGM Grand for those comments. :lol:

Worse yet, he could get sued for making comments that damaged their market.

phillyesq
11-19-2008, 11:09 AM
Troy may be fined for his anti-gambling stance. He'll have to play $5000 to Caesar's and $5000 to the MGM Grand for those comments. :lol:

Worse yet, he could get sued for making comments that damaged their market.

I'd represent him! :lol: :lol:

Iron Shiek
11-19-2008, 12:05 PM
[quote=rpmpit]First off, Troy is THE MAN :Bow

And this article brings up a point I made a few weeks back. With the Polamalu Island commercial, the NFL is once again glorifying these hard hits for their benefit. And then they turn around and impose fines. Hypocrisy isn't a strong enough word here.

I agree. The other thing I don't like about it is the NFL is becoming more like the NBA when it comes to promoting individuals instead of teams.

"Barkley vs Jordan; Shaq vs Duncan; Kobe vs Iverson" etc. I don't like that because individualism, imo, is what ruined the NBA.

I don't want to see that happen to the NFL. :nono
James Harrison vs. God, Satan, 25 mini-Ditkas and Chuck Norris[/quote:2t273q1s]

:lol: :lol: :lol: @ 25 mini-Ditkas...that is some funny $hit...

stlrz d
11-19-2008, 03:40 PM
[quote="stlrz d":2u0z9bkd][quote=rpmpit]First off, Troy is THE MAN :Bow

And this article brings up a point I made a few weeks back. With the Polamalu Island commercial, the NFL is once again glorifying these hard hits for their benefit. And then they turn around and impose fines. Hypocrisy isn't a strong enough word here.

I agree. The other thing I don't like about it is the NFL is becoming more like the NBA when it comes to promoting individuals instead of teams.

"Barkley vs Jordan; Shaq vs Duncan; Kobe vs Iverson" etc. I don't like that because individualism, imo, is what ruined the NBA.

I don't want to see that happen to the NFL. :nono
James Harrison vs. God, Satan, 25 mini-Ditkas and Chuck Norris[/quote:2u0z9bkd]

:lol: :lol: :lol: @ 25 mini-Ditkas...that is some funny $hit...[/quote:2u0z9bkd]

Mini Ditkas' favorite restaurant?

White Castle! :lol: