I'm probably scooping Iggy
here as he assembles his latest uber-post, but Pittsburgh native Mark Cuban (he also owns an NBA team in Arkansas or thereabouts) has a good post
about the hysteria and hypocrisy that surrounds gambling in this country. It's almost time for March Madness, when millions pony up a few bucks and fill out brackets for their office pool. College basketball is a great game, but the reason fans become infected with the Madness is because they have a few bucks riding on the game. They cheer like crazy for schools they never heard of a week earlier (go Coppin State!) because they love bracket-busting upsets and want their particular underdogs to push them to the top of the standings. Without that little bit of action to spice things up, the tournament's just another bunch of games. Good games, to be sure, entertaining games. But not worth taking off work to sit in a sports bar for 12 blissful hours.
A few years ago Billy Packer said that the teams making the Final Four should be re-seeded, so that two Cinderellas wouldn't meet in one semi while two #1 seeds battled in the other. This was about the stupidest idea I'd ever heard. If you re-seed, you can't put together a bracket for people to fill out and wager on. At least not without the poor guy running the thing crunching numbers like ENIAC. Packer made the foolish mistake of thinking that the basketball is the most important part of March Madness, instead of betting on the brackets. Dumb.
Anyway, it's a nice little screed. Nice to see that Cuban doesn't have some flunky proofreading his posts, its presented in its raw, original state. Admirable.