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First of all I would like to wish all real Americans a great and wonderful Independence Day. A big thank you to all our great troops that are out there every day protecting the freedoms we have left.

My article last week really created a lot of buzz. Thanks to all those who called, emailed and came up to me in the books expressing how much they liked or did not like it. Most appreciated the little walk back in time.

One of my emails was from Tommy Bona who awakened my memory banks with the name Javid Buttar. Tommy reminded me it was Javid from Pakistan who was the brains behind the first CBS computer system installed in the race and sports books. And, he noted that Jim Feist was also part of the Vic Salerno package. Well done Tommy.

I also received a very nice email from Kay Whitmore, but I really don’t know if that is her real name as her email address: [email protected] was a fake. That’s OK, she must not have wanted to talk about her rage, which is not a bad thing.

I really was not offended by her calling me a moron, my hockey picks were just OK and my soccer picks stunk. Thing is, I don’t remember picking much soccer.

Kay also suggested I should handicap water polo, as the moron that I am, maybe I could do better picking that sport. I looked for some lines on water polo, but could not find any.

As I understand it there may be some coming out for the upcoming Olympic games. If so I will make some picks just for Kay, if that is really your name. If it isn’t I will make some anyway.

Kay, I did notice on ESPN there were some lacrosse games in action so maybe I will take a shot at them if that is OK with you. If not let me know as I do appreciate receiving your emails. Thanks again, Richard “Moron.”

No morons, these Bucs

Say it ain’t so! With the All Star Game just a week away the Pirates have already won 42 and have really started to spank the ball. Pittsburgh sits in second place just a game behind the Reds and they keep getting those sellout crowds at home games.

The crippled Dodgers have really wilted falling into second place winning just two of their last 10. Los Angeles has not been able to score with their “minor league” lineup.

The Giants have moved into first place due to their great 26-16 home record, though just a .500 club on the road.

The Rangers, with the best record in baseball at 50-30, still cannot draw away from the Angels who are just 5½ games behind in the AL West.

The Yanks continue their great play as they look to dominate the AL East but the Red Sox keep creeping into contention. This will be one humdinger of a baseball season in the second half.

Remember football is just around the corner as the dog days of summer rapidly fade away with the NFL Hall Of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio a month away on Aug. 5, with Arizona meeting the Saints. We can’t wait as this will be one exciting summer.

Horses gone froggy?

There have been a lot of drugs in the horse racing game which has really tarnished the sport. Whether it was milkshaking or snake venom, trainers continue to look for an illegal edge to win. Now they have come up with a new one called Frog Juice.

Supposedly this is a powerful performance-enhancing potion drawn from the backs of a type of South American frog, and the testing we have cannot detect it. Or so it was thought.

Apparently, a Denver lab has come up with a way to detect it and found 30 horses from four states that may have used it. No trainers as yet have been found using it, but regulators say they will charge some soon. Again, we will wait and see.

In a sport I love and one that is falling apart we need to stop all these drugs. It’s time we give these horses and honest trainers a fair shot along with us bettors who keep the game in business.

Happy 4th and don’t forget to look for my water polo plays in the near future.

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