5-at-10: NFL’s big betting battle, ESPN lay-offs looming, fake catch with possible real fall-out

FILE - Customers at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City N.J. on Sept. 9, 2018, await the kickoff of the first NFL season after a US Supreme Court ruling clearing the way for legal sports betting. Americans have bet over $220 billion on sports with legal gambling outlets in the five years since that ruling. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry, File)

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So day 1 on San Juan island brough views of more than 20 orca whales. (Side note: Redneck me first-tped orka — which I assume my country-cooking mind associated with okra — whales, which is something different entirely.

We saw dolphins, sea lions, and a precocious seal, too.

This place is amazing.

Day 2 from Washington state as we move quick and still try to get accustomed to the three-hour time goes a little something like this. So hit it.

(Side note: Yes, that's a great line from Otis Day and his Knights before they rock the Dexter Lake Club. "Wait till Otis sees us. He loves us." Side note on the side note: Everyone talks about the inability to make a "Blazing Saddles" in current cancel times. I believe you could remake "Blazing Saddles" because, like Archie Bunker, it mocks stereotypes and racism openly way more than glorifying it. "Animal House" however would have zero chance to be made in our current climate. None.)

The NFL's gambling issue

On one hand the NFL makes millions — tens of millions likely — from the influx of legalized sports betting in our country over the last five years.

On the other, with each added player who is involved in eye-brow raising allegations of sports betting on football, the league faces its greatest threat. And Roger Goodell must make sure that threat is quashed.

The problem is not practicality or even hypocrisy. Remember the players through the CBA cash checks from the gambling partnerships too.

It's informational. The offending players — the most recent is Colts corner Isaiah Rodgers, who has a close associate who reportedly placed hundreds of legalized bets on the Colts and other NFL games — are pleading ignorance as a defense.

Whether that's a fact or an excuse should not and can not matter to the NFL in my view.

The league has to protect the Shield and the only serious threat to this monolith could be the view from its countless number of fans that the games are not on the level.

And when various NFL teams in Arizona, Illinois, Texas and even Georgia start opening betting kiosks inside their stadiums the hard feelings from those juxtapositions will only become more wide and more bitter.

I love Titans coach Mike Vrabel's analogy when asked about sports betting recently and he compared it to a player going to GNC and buying a supplement that is legal for everyone else but on the league's banned list.

That makes sense. But this should make more:

This must be — simply must be — issue No. 1 on every league-team meeting through the summer. Mandatory and ever-lasting.

Looming ESPN cuts

So Andrew Marchand, the NY Post sports media columnist, is reporting that ESPN will start layoffing names we know later this month.

That's a sad deal. Always is when people get let go.

It has been well-documented that Disney is hemorrhaging money with reports of as many as 7,000 employees getting let go this year.

Marchand's sources are pointing to more of the specialized on-air talent and specifically mentioned NFL Monday commentators Suzy Kolber and Steve Young, both of whom reportedly fill the bill of Marchand's theory of folks who make a lot but don't work that munich."

Personally, I think Young is excellent at what he does and thrives by being understated in a realm of spaghetti-throwing screamers across the pregame and postgame realm. It also seems strange to cut from an NFL roster when so much of the coverage is dedicated to the NFL.

It also makes you wonder about some of the other folks across other site specific sports, starting with Lee Corso. And then you look at specific sports that you know are not turning profits, you know?


Will this become a thing?

OK, we live in a world where rules are quickly dropped and/or changed because of extreme, one-time scenarios.

More times than not, that's reactionary and over-the-top.

But did you see the story where the Indiana State outfielder pretended to rob a home run off the bat of an Iowa player over the weekend. The story is here and the clip of the play is embedded.

The hitter and everyone fell for the acting job by the Indiana State outfielder, but because the Iowa hitter did not leave the field and because there was no one on base, there was nothing but chuckles and "Ah you got me man" exchanged.

But, if my understanding of the rules are correct, if there had been, say one out and a runner on first, and said outfielder faked the catch and the Iowa batter passed the runner returning to first because he thought the outfielder caught the ball, the batter would be out.

And then it would not be chuckles and "Ah shucks" you know?

Interesting, and I'm not sure what the ISU outfielder was thinking, but that could really work, no?

This and that

— Take a moment and think about where this day in 1944 and the bravery of those men on that beach should rank on the world stage in terms of holidays as we pause for the 79th anniversary of D-Day.

— Here is an eye-popping story on a female student from the University of Cincinnati who got a zero on a proposal for using the term "biological woman" in her written work on a paper about the history of women's professional sports and the presence of transgender women competing in them. The professor delivered the 0 because the phrase was "exclusionary" and it "further reinforce heteronormativity." No, I'm not making that up.

— So Tim Scott appeared on The View. It went about as well as you'd expect.

— The Plays bounced back with a 2-0 Monday. Good times, and thanks for passing along the gratitude Kevin. Glad it worked out.

Today's questions

True or false, it's Tuesday. Morning Ernie.

True or false, NFL players should be allowed to bet, just not on football.

True or false, D-Day should be a national holiday.

True or false, there is no way you'd appear on "The View."

True or false, baseball will outlaw the 'fake home run catch' sooner rather than later.

True or false, you have not watched a single second of the French Open.

As for today, June 6, let's review.

The electric iron was patented on thsi day in 1882. It weight almost 15 pounds.

Rushmore of best household appliances. Go.