5-at-10: NFL’s monster PR machine, betting scandal kicks into soccer, a coach worthy of the Hall

Roger Goodell during the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft on Saturday, April 29, 2023 in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

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The NFL monster

This may be the biggest testament of how big of an entertainment powerhouse the NFL has become: The schedule for 2023 will be "unveiled" tonight on live TV and will likely get ratings that every TV show not created by Taylor Sheridan would die for.

Think about that. The NFL is so popular we are waiting with heavy breath to see which games will be when for the next round of waiting with heavy breath.

The NFL has become a cyclical self-fulfilling prophecy.

You can almost picture Roger Goodell with a black cape, swinging a gold pocket watch in hypnotizing rhythm. "Hey, we're over here doing something important. You must watch. You must care. You must tune in."

Heck, the major sports sites have running "NFL schedule leaks" rumor sites up and running.

Here's what I know: Buckle up for a whole bunch of prime time appearances of the Chiefs, the Cowboys and the Eagles.

That makes sense. Big teams with Super Bowl dreams and star-studded offenses.

And now know this: We are going to get more New York Jets and Aaron Rodgers coverage than any of us could possibly imagine.

It will be like the Knicks' overblown place in the NBA lexicon, but only if the Knicks added LeBron in free agency.

Somewhere Mike Greenberg is smiling.

Uh oh

Another day, another betting scandal.

This is becoming borderline predictable at this point, no?

So this one — like the college betting scandals of recent weeks — is in a sport where the money for those involved is not generational.

The MLS has suspended a player for reportedly accepting money for getting a yellow card, which is a prop bet that can be wagered on, like goals scored, shots taken or saves made.

Max Alves has been suspended while the team and the league investigate the allegation.

So, is there an answer, because like so many of the money-driven changes to sports recently — NIL and portalling come to mind — the cash involved with sports betting means that the root of these scandals (gambling) is here to stay.

But is there a way to avoid these or eliminate them?

Harsh penalties are almost assuredly going to be levied for those involved, and I would guess strict guidelines will be added and borderline Draconian measures will be added to the rules.

Could they even consider a zero-tolerance, one-strike and you're out forever policy?

Personal thoughts

There are two men I have known in my life that I never wanted to disappoint.

My Father. And my Coach.

And if you can recognize the connection and the correlation then you are nodding your head in agreement and in understanding of the blessing life has afforded you and me.

Fathers are obligated. At least the good ones are.

Coaches are crafted. At least the good ones are.

I was blessed with a great father. I know so many are not.

I was equally blessed with a great coach, and again, there is no telling how many will never know that privilege.

The first thing Coach David Boyd told me was, "Son, you have work to do."

It is a statement that is universal for all us, I suppose, but is universally verified now that Coach Boyd is a Hall of Famer. He will be inducted next month into the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association, and he asked me to introduce him.

This has been on my mind a fair amount recently.

Those first words were biting. And true. Direct in the moment. Forever in purpose.

But when Coach Boyd told me the call finally came — he's been retired for close to a decade after coaching 30 years with more than 600 wins and six state titles at four schools — the magnitude of being a Hall of Famer hit me.

Think about that for a second. We all do the things we do, be them the things we love or the things we do professionally, or whatever else that may entail.

But to be a Hall of Famer? Ponder that for a moment.

Ponder the sacrifice from the man. Ponder the sacrifice from Coach Boyd's family. Ponder the sacrifice from the countless number of players who looked at him praying the next free throw went in so there were no more full-court sprints at the end of practice.

And then ponder the way he motivated all of those to be willing to do it. Time and time again.

The numbers — averaging 20 wins a year, a state championship every five years and a state title game appearance every three — are certainly worthy of honor.

But his impact on everything else — players, parents, programs, you name it — was just as great.

I know there have been dozens of people who have motivated me. You probably can say that, too.

Leaders. Bosses. Family members. You name it.

And I have played on countless teams in multiple sports across numerous states.

But I will forever only have one coach.

Thanks, Coach Boyd.

This and that

— Braves played. Braves lost. It happens, I suppose. Braves are off today.

— See if this sounds familiar: For the third straight Plays, our picks were perfect in the NBA and empty in MLB offerings. Still 2-1 is stacking checks.

— Right when you think things couldn't get worse for Bud Light, news comes out of Chicago that now gay bars are refusing to sell Bud Light because of the way the company has run for cover and tried to distance itself from the transgender ad campaign. Danged if you do, danged if you don't, right Bud (Light)?

— Morgan Wallen has been put on the concert IL for six weeks with vocal cord tightness. Man, that stinks.

— While we are here, been a hot minute since I offered a new music offering that has caught my ear. Here's "Oklahoma Smokeshow" by Zack Bryan. And no, nothing by Luke Bryan comes remotely close.

— This story was totally strange. Bo Jackson has a medical procedure set for later this month because the greatest athlete I have seen can't get rid of the hiccups.

Today's question

So, it's an anything-goes Thursday — AGT as the kids like to say — and we'll start with Bo knowing hiccups.

What's the best home remedy to beat hiccups? What's the craziest you have ever heard of?

As for today, May 11, let's take a look.

Monty Python was formed on this day in 1969. Thanks for that.

Also on this day in 1939, Milt Pappas was born.

He of course is most famously known as the guy the Reds traded Frank Robinson for.

Rushmore of sports stars most well known for being on the wrong end of a famous transaction.

Go and remember the mailbag.

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com.