Future bets canset up hedging

August 21, 2007 7:34 AM
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Each year I take a shot at a live long shot to win the Super Bowl. I’ve come close the past few years, but never got the gold ring. This year I’ll go with two picks at about 20-1 and hope they meet in the Super Bowl, which without a doubt they will not.

However, you can make money at these odds by just making the playoffs and hedging out your bets; it does work, trust me.

In the NFC I’ll go with Seattle because their division looks fairly weak again this year. Although both Arizona and San Francisco figure to improve, the Seahawks should also be improved and they’ve been there before.

In the AFC I’ll again pick the least respected good football team in pro football — the Baltimore Ravens. They’ve picked up a super star running back in Willis McGahee, and he’ll help take a great deal of pressure off an offense that was inconsistent last year. The defense will again be rated very high this year, and they went 13-3 last year so what’s not to like?

This week in baseball I look for the St. Louis Cardinals to pick up some ground on my free falling Milwaukee Brewers, the Cubs to get sunstroke in the desert, the Dodgers to call up some more 51’s, if there are any more left, and the Red Sox pitching to help solidify their position in the American League East. Forget the Mariners as a wildcard. When your cleanup hitter is hitting a powerless .200, you can have my watch if they get there!

Once again I must be missing the point with Major League Baseball and its present Commissioner, Bud Selig. Please consider the following facts and hopefully you’ll be as confused as me.

The Baseball Commissioner asks Jason Giambi (an admitted steroids user) to talk to their chief government investigator, a highly respected ex-government official, and then after their discussion he gives Giambi a full pardon for taking and admitting to steroid use.

What’s wrong with this picture? Would they give Barry Bonds the same proposition? I doubt it. Is it maybe because Bonds is just a jerk, or does Giambi get rewarded for either telling George Mitchell all he wanted to know, or is it because he is really a good guy?

How about Michael Vick’s dilemma. He gets indicted with three other guys who cop a plea and he’s alone on an island. Does our society now absolve all those that "rat out" others and rejoice at the conviction of one big fish as opposed to many guilty offenders?

I’m the last guy in the world who could stomach Michel Vick’s behavior, but I’m even more offended by the rewarding of those that turned their backs on him. Where pray tell is Don Corleone when we really need him?

Which reminds me, the guy that ratted out Gotti had been responsible for killing about 20 people himself and he goes free. What in heaven’s name is right with this picture?

I would be remiss in my duties to not bring out the biggest joke of all by revealing the case of ex-professional hockey player Rick Tocchet, who at the time of the federal allegations of running a bookmaking operation was and may still be the assistant coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, a professional hockey team coached by the greatest hockey player of all time, Wayne Gretzky. Thankfully Wayne was not implicated at all in the gambling ring.

Wait, wait, here’s the best joke: Tocchet, who copped a plea and admittedly ran a betting venture for five years with two other guys (one of which has already been sentenced to five years in prison, the other is awaiting his fate), was given a two year probation and his lawyer had the audacity to say "Mr. Tocchet never placed a bet on professional hockey. Mr. Tocchet never took a bet on professional hockey and he in no way compromised the integrity of the game of hockey or the National Hockey League."

At this point I must admit that I never met a bookmaker, whether legal or not, that I didn’t like, nor in dealing with one was I ever turned down from wagering on another major sport. The analogy is best summed up by shopping at a supermarket and only being able to buy steaks and fish, but no chicken is available. Please. Please.

Have a great week — next week comes college football totals, so save some chips for August 30.