Monday, November 17th
I thought about this last night and was glad to see that someone tackled the issue of the bad call by the officials at the end of the San Diego @ Pittsburgh game. Deadspin has it covered at this link.
An estimated 100 million dollars was wagered worldwide on the Pittsburgh/San Diego game, according to RJ Bell of Pregame.com. Approximately 66% of that money was on the Steelers; with only 34% on the Chargers.“If the touchdown was properly upheld, Steelers bettors would have won about 32 million dollars instead of losing big. This admittedly incorrect call resulted in a 64 million dollar swing in favor of the bookies.”
Update: Wednesday, November 19th
This story continues to interest and fascinate me…so, I appreciate Deadspin for providing some follow-up of the fallout in this link that includes video from a hot MILTPATTPW.
One thing the National Football League is definitely not talking about is the whole point spread issue. As one astute reader even pointed out to us, an AP story about the game that appeared on NFL.com was exactly like the AP story that appeared every where else in the world, with just one minor omission.
“The call affected betting on the game since the Steelers were 5-point favorites and would have covered if the touchdown counted.”
That was the last sentence of the story as written, but we guess NFL.com had space constraints or something because it was cut from the version that appeared on their website. Problem solved!
So that was quietly swept under the rug, but the league is loudly considering an actual substantive change based on the referee’s blown call. There has been talk about changing the replay rules (before the playoffs start) to allow officials on the field to go back and consult with the replay booth more than once per challenge. That way both zebra crews will have an extra opportunity to properly screw things up.
But at times like these, it’s important to consider the real heroes who have been most affected by these trying times—the bookies. Maybe you’re not sympathetic to their plight, but that’s probably because your bookie is a heartless thug who steals your soul as he picks your pocket and not an adorable stay-at-home mom who smells like fresh chocolate chip cookies and runs a sports book out of her kitchen. Yes, Bookie Mom—the world’s best bet-taking recipe-sharing video-blogger—was quite pleased with how things worked out. And gracious in victory, too.