Wayne Root: Lessons Obama Should Have Learned From Watching the Super Bowl

Lessons Obama Should Have Learned From Watching the Super Bowl

The Difference Between Las Vegas and Washington D.C.

Wayne Root

By Wayne Allyn Root, 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential Nominee

I am probably the only politician in America whose day job is Las Vegas oddsmaker. I’ve learned many valuable lessons from sports and sports betting. On Sunday I made a fortune for thousands of my clients by picking the New Orleans Saints’ Super Bowl upset. Obama, Reid and Pelosi might snicker, but they obviously don’t understand the difference between Vegas and Washington D.C. You know what it is? In Vegas the drunks gamble with their own money. Maybe we need a politician in D.C. who understands the psychology of winning; who understands the motivation of risk versus reward; who has the guts to take gambles; and the courage to back his convictions with his own money, instead of the taxpayers’ money.

Here are the lessons Obama should have learned from yesterday’s Super Bowl:

#1) Stop slandering Las Vegas. Ironically Vegas makes people happy… Obama doesn’t. There is something about taking a risk that makes Americans feel alive. We are a nation of gamblers. We all have gambling in our blood. Afterall, we are descended from the greatest risk-takers in world history- immigrants who risked their lives and futures to travel to a new land called America. Those who chose to play it safe, stayed home in Germany, Ireland, Italy, China, Russia or India. We are the descendants of the gamblers. That is why America leads the world in entrepreneurship and small business creation. Americans love to risk, test their skills versus fate, and win their fortune. That could be why Americans love Las Vegas. Try to remember that Mr. President the next time you start to criticize or denigrate Las Vegas.

#2) Taking risks is central to success. The Saints pulled the huge Super Bowl upset by taking a huge gamble. Their onside kick to start the second half was the key play of the game- and one of the most daring calls in Super Bowl history. Obama doesn’t understand how important risk-taking is to success in life. The New Orleans Saints’ Coach Sean Payton only took that risk because he knew he’d be rewarded if he succeeded. He will make millions of dollars in new and bigger contracts and endorsement deals because of that daring gamble. People don’t take risks without rewards.

Obama doesn’t understand that risk-taking (entrepreneurship) is the only way out of this recession. People that take risks with their own money are the lifeblood of America (and the American Dream). They will not take those risks without the proper incentive- the ability to keep more of their own money. Obama must reward and encourage risk-taking by our small business owners, not punish it.

#3) Sports gambling (and all forms of online gaming) needs to be legalized. Our country is bankrupt. We need to use Nevada as a role model for the nation and legalize, regulate and tax “sin,” like any other business. Legalizing medical marijuana and online gaming has the potential to bring in $300 billion in new tax revenues. That could pay down government debts, or allow us to lower taxes for our hardworking American taxpayers.

#4) Don’t blindly follow the media. Obama loves to listen to the media…and to be loved by the media. Too bad for him. The media is almost always wrong. That’s how I’ve managed to pick so many winners in my 25 year career as a Las Vegas oddsmaker. I listen to the “experts” in the media…and whatever they recommend or predict…I go the opposite way. Virtually every expert in the media predicted a Colts victory in the Super Bowl. These same experts could not see any possibility for the Saints to pull an upset. Knowing how pathetic the gut instincts of the media are…I picked the Saints in the upset. Perhaps Obama should stop listening to the media. To the contrary, Obama should do the exact opposite of anything that the media recommends.

#5) Government wastes our money. During the Super Bowl I witnessed a perfect example of why our government is broke and failing…and why only the private sector can save our economy. I saw a TV ad created by the federal government. It was an advertisement for the U.S. Census Bureau. It was stale, stupid and ineffective. But worse, it wasted $2 million of taxpayer money. Yes, that ad cost $2 MM of your money. For what? This is how government wastes your money every hour of every day. It’s easy to waste a million here…and a million there, when it’s not your money. Remember that joke about the difference between Vegas and D.C. This is a perfect example of government bureaucrats gambling and failing miserably with someone else’s money- YOURS.

During the same Super Bowl, I saw edgy TV ads by Snickers, Doritos and GoDaddy.com (to name a few). I’m betting that those ads will make millions of dollars for those companies. I’m also betting that millions…perhaps tens of millions of men responded by going to the GoDaddy.com web site. That’s the creativity of American business. That’s free markets at work. Government could never create that kind of success (or profit).

If the GoDaddy.com TV ads fail…it costs taxpayers nothing. That’s the beauty and bravery of entrepreneurs in the private sector. They are more creative because they are gambling with their own money. And if they fail, it doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime. Not unless our politicians use our money to bail them out. It’s simply unconstitutional for government to bail out private companies who happen to make contributions to the politicians making the loans.

Isn’t it amazing what you can learn from a Super Bowl?

Oh, and one more revelation came from yesterday’s game: After my picking the Saints in one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history, it’s now official that I’m having a better year than Obama.

Wayne Allyn Root was the 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate. His new book: “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gambling & Tax Cuts” has recently hit #1 in several categories on Amazon.com .

For more of Wayne’s views, commentaries, or to watch his many national media appearances, please visit his web site at: www.ROOTforAmerica.com

46 thoughts on “Wayne Root: Lessons Obama Should Have Learned From Watching the Super Bowl

  1. Darcy G Richardson

    It’s kind of odd that Root would suggest there are lessons to be gleaned from the NFL, a league whose unparalleled success rests on a philosophy that sharing the wealth is good for everyone and whose egalitarian revenue sharing plan has been described as “arguably the most successful form of socialism in U.S. history.”

    The Saints, long considered one of the league’s most financially-beleaguered franchises, probably never would have been a contender this year were it not for the league’s generous revenue sharing plan and the fact that the team’s owner, threatening to move the team out of New Orleans long before Hurricane Katrina ravaged that city, managed to extract $185 million from the taxpayers of Louisiana over a ten-year period.

    I guess economics isn’t one of Root’s strong points…

  2. Tom Blanton

    How does Root know Obama didn’t learn all these “lessons” from the Super Bowl?

    Roots idea to tax medical marijuana seems to be a lot like Obama’s plan to tax medical devices and medical plans. When will he learn that taxes are not a good idea?

  3. Erik Geib

    Darcy,

    How can you call what the NFL is ‘successful socialism,’ when it’s technically quite fascist at its core? The league is a monopoly that restricts competition (unlike European leagues which have promotion/relegation). The only reason it ‘shares revenue’ is to make sure certain markets have teams to keep the NFL’s exposure and revenue at a maximized level geographically. That, and most shared revenue are things that truly should be shared (the tv contract, which applies to all teams). The reason the NFL is so ‘successful’ is because of its tv contract – not it’s ‘socialist’ (actually, fascist) tendencies.

    I believe the NFL would be even more successful *and* ‘egalitarian’ if other markets had the right to compete in the league. It would also save the taxpayers a tremendous amount of money when you consider the monopolistic ‘exclusivity’ the league provides by shunning promotion/relegation enables teams to use the threat of relocation to acquire taxpayer-financed stadiums.

  4. David F. Nolan

    Aw, c’mon, guys. I’m hardly Wayne Root’s biggest fan, but this column is entertaining and light-hearted. It makes some valid points in a context that the average voter can relate to.

  5. Darcy G Richardson

    Erik,

    I don’t disagree with anything you said. I was merely quoting what journalist Chuck Klosterman wrote recently about the NFL’s revenue sharing program.

    Then again, the NFL’s own marketing director, in a recent interview on BBC, stated that what the league actually has is “a sort of socialist capitalism.” And let’s not forget that the Chicago Tribune once described the NFL as “socialism with cheerleaders”!

  6. Steven R Linnabary

    I have to agree with Melty and David above.

    I watch practically no football, and don’t gamble. But this piece is GOOD!

    On a minor note, I would leave it to democrats and republicans to suggest any taxation of gambling or marijuana. But that’s just me.

    I hope Wayne gets some media traction with this essay/release.

    PEACE

  7. Erik Geib

    Darcy,

    Sadly, I don’t think most people understand the key differences between socialism, communism, and fascism. At least their recognition that there are non-capitalist elements is a start.

    Also, I didn’t intend for that to be a potshot at you, nor do I have an overly negative view of the NFL. I just hate the way it’s structure suckers majoritarian taxpayers into building outlandish stadiums that I think are a bit too much (and certainly not a proper use of my taxes). I’m also a huge rugby fan, and love that most U.S. rugby leagues have a system of promotion/relegation, which is really a far superior system.

  8. Bruce Cohen Post author

    Wayne isn’t actually suggesting a pot tax. He’s saying that folks allowed to be in that business will pay taxes like the rest of us. Treat it the same as anything else.

  9. R. Lee Wrights

    Mr. Root says, “#3) Sports gambling (and all forms of online gaming) needs to be legalized. Our country is bankrupt. We need to use Nevada as a role model for the nation and legalize, regulate and tax “sin,” like any other business. Legalizing medical marijuana and online gaming has the potential to bring in $300 billion in new tax revenues. That could pay down government debts, or allow us to lower taxes for our hardworking American taxpayers.”

    No matter how you look at things, this IS Republican rhetoric NOT Libertarian philosophy. He calls for the government to “legalize,” which says the government has the right to tell us what we can do with our hard-earned money. He says “regulate” and “tax” which again says government has a right to our money that we work hard for. Why doesn’t he just come right out and say, “It is okay for the government to steal from us.”

    Oh wait, he did say that! That is exactly what he is saying here!

    And people wonder why some folks question Mr. Root’s “Reagan Libertarianism.” If it talks like a Republican and walks like a Republican, it is probably a Republican. This is what America sees and is being told is Libertrianism. It is a lie.

  10. Susan Hogarth

    Wayne really needs to work on expanding his repertoire of one-liners. The one about drunks-gambling-with-their-own-money is stale even to me, and I don’t get a chance to hear or read much of his stuff. Every time I do hear him, though, he uses the same gag. I guess he is still assuming that the bulk of people who hear him are hearing him for the first and last time – which may in fact be a reasonable assumption.

    He needs a copyeditor. His stuff often reads like Bruce Cohen wrote it. Careful editing (to say nothing of writing) is too often overlooked by our candidates, IMO.

    And lastly, Bruce: Wayne is suggesting that tax revenue is one of the *benefits* of repealing pot prohibition. The idea that a Libertarian would suggest the government follow the same flawed concept of ‘legalization’ of MJ as it did with alcohol – in effect simply stepping in and taking over an already-running mob operation that it created – is abhorrent.

  11. Darcy G Richardson

    Erik (#9), I didn’t take your remarks as some sort of potshot at me. I always enjoy your comments and I agree with you entirely on taxpayer-funded stadiums.

  12. R. Lee Wrights

    Re: #11

    Something else bothered me about Mr. Root’s position, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it before. And then it struck me…

    Mr. Root is actually advocating a new government agency, possibly two, that will regulate and tax gambling and medical cannabis. While Libertarians everywhere are calling for less government, the man that wants to be the next national chair and our next presidential candidate actually advocates more government.

    I’m just saying…

  13. Tom Blanton

    Actually, I don’t think Root is talking about repealing pot prohibition at all. I’m pretty sure he is talking about legalizing medical marijuana. There’s a big difference there. I suppose that is marginally better than saying he would like to study the issue of legalizing medical marijuana.

    I wonder where he gets the figure of $300 billion in potential tax revenue from legalizing online gambling and medical marijuana.

    I also wonder why a LP candidate is worried about creating new revenue streams for the government. It would seem that someone concerned about a bankrupt America might be talking about reducing the size of government. But that’s just me. I’m not up to speed on this new Reagan Libertarianism.

    Apparently, Mr. Wrights doesn’t get it either, so I don’t feel too stupid here.

  14. Melty

    I’m just glad to see it’s not in Root’s usual rhetorical style – the old “liberal” versus “conservative” rant.

  15. Michael H. Wilson

    Two million! Why in the hell would anyone complain about the U.S. spending two million on an ad when we piss away that in just a few hours everyday and have for about four decades keep troops deployed world wide.

    Okay I’m a broken record on that issue. Sorry to have brought it up again 🙁 I’m goin’ to the woodshed.

  16. Solomon Drek

    “Oh, and one more revelation came from yesterday’s game: After my picking the Saints in one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history, it’s now official that I’m having a better year than Obama.”

    Rootforme is at it again. One of the biggest upsets? I don’t think so. Not when for the first time in several years both teams are the number one seed in their respective conferences.

    And what’s this obsession with Obama. He’s only been president for a year but Rootforme seems to think he personifies everything that’s not libertarian. I guess Republicans get a pass in Rootforme’s rightwing fantasyland.

    As to turning the US into one giant kingdom of Las Vegas as a panacea to save the economy keep in mind that there are relatively few discretionary dollars consumers can afford to spend on gambling, and that consumer dollars spent on gambling will simply take away from other sectors of the economy. In fact, all one has to do is take a trip to Atlantic City and see how one-by-one casinos and hotels are going into bankruptcy. And while the current recession is part of the reason for this economic decline, an even bigger reason for it is exactly what Rootforme is proposing, increased competition. Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Delaware all have increased gambling competition in recent years. And the online gambling Rootforme suggests will only hasten the decline and the job losses.

    My point is that as a matter of principle Libertarians can and should support legalizing all forms of gambling everywhere but not because, as Rootforme suggests, as an economic cure-all which can be taxed and regulated by the government, but simply because it is the right thing to do.

    Rootforme, if he wants to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate, better tone down his enthusiasm for gambling while promoting his own gambling business. It comes across to me, and I suspect many others, that he is more interested in promoting himself and his various business interests than he is in presenting traditional libertarian ideas to the general public.

  17. Solomon Drek

    “Two million! Why in the hell would anyone complain about the U.S. spending two million on an ad when we piss away that in just a few hours everyday and have for about four decades keep troops deployed world wide.”

    Good point. I forgot to add that the census is one of the very few obligations under the constitution the federal government is required to undertake.

    I will assume that Rootforme’s protest indicates he wants to amend the constitution to repeal the census.

  18. Michael H. Wilson

    Walk into any casino and see how many of the people are over 65. Probably a bunch. Now take away their Soc Sec. checks and ask yourself how many would still be there?

    A large segment of gambling in this country is because of government transfer payment aka welfare.

  19. paulie

    Aw, c’mon, guys. I’m hardly Wayne Root’s biggest fan, but this column is entertaining and light-hearted. It makes some valid points in a context that the average voter can relate to.

    I agree. For those who bash Wayne predictably every time, your criticisms lose force when they are more apt.

  20. paulie

    I would leave it to democrats and republicans to suggest any taxation of gambling or marijuana.

    I’m no fan of taxes. But taxes > jail.

    If arguing for taxing and regulating something helps take it out of the realm of things for which people are put in jails and prisons, then I give such arguments tactical support for the time being.

    We can fight against taxation and regulation separately. When those arguments take hold, they will also apply to marijuana, gambling, etc. But don’t let them be a reason to send any more people to jail for one day longer than we have the power to put a stop to it – even if the immediate solution still involves some initiation of force.

    Not all initiations of force are equally bad. Jail is worse than taxes.

  21. paulie

    Mr. Root says, “#3) Sports gambling (and all forms of online gaming) needs to be legalized. Our country is bankrupt. We need to use Nevada as a role model for the nation and legalize, regulate and tax “sin,” like any other business. Legalizing medical marijuana and online gaming has the potential to bring in $300 billion in new tax revenues. That could pay down government debts, or allow us to lower taxes for our hardworking American taxpayers.”

    No matter how you look at things, this IS Republican rhetoric NOT Libertarian philosophy.

    I can only wish this was the Republican position.

    Most of them want to jail (if not execute) pot smokers.

    And not a few would stone anyone caught gambling in the town square if they could get away with it.

  22. paulie

    Actually, I don’t think Root is talking about repealing pot prohibition at all. I’m pretty sure he is talking about legalizing medical marijuana. There’s a big difference there.

    It’s a great first step, and when medicalization is made effective (as in parts of California and Colorado already), it becomes de facto legalization as anyone who really wants a medical card can get one without too much trouble.

    And medical legalization helps make recreational legalization more acceptable. The states which are polling closest to recreational legalization are all medical marijuana states.

  23. Susan Hogarth

    If arguing for taxing and regulating something helps take it out of the realm of things for which people are put in jails and prisons, then I give such arguments tactical support for the time being.

    I think the most tactical position is for Libertarians to argue for freedom of use while not addressing the tax issue at the same time. If it comes up, just say we oppose all taxes, as we do.

  24. paulie

    I think the most tactical position is for Libertarians to argue for freedom of use while not addressing the tax issue at the same time. If it comes up, just say we oppose all taxes, as we do.

    We can’t necessarily solve all of the world’s problems all at once. I don’t think the overall burden of taxation would be made much worse if government taxed marijuana. And buying and selling marijuana would be safer and thus less expensive (criminalization is a huge tax in effect, except that the revenues go to non-monopoly criminals).

    If arguments for taxing and regulating marijuana are more effective at ending marijuana prohibition sooner than arguments which do not address taxation or renounce taxation, then they should be made.

    Making those arguments does not keep us from working to reduce and eventually repeal taxes.

    And if and when the day does arrive that enough people no longer consider coercive taxation acceptable, that will also apply to marijuana. I don’t think that will happen any faster if, in the meantime, we reject taxing and regulating marijuana out of general opposition to all taxation and regulation – while allowing people to continue to be unjustly jailed when we could have stopped it.

  25. Solomon Drek

    “I can only wish this was the Republican position. Most of them want to jail (if not execute) pot smokers. And not a few would stone anyone caught gambling in the town square if they could get away with it.”

    All the more reason Rootforme loses credibility when he beats up on Obama while giving Rethuglicans a pass. Ironically it’s been democrats more so than Rethuglicans who have been more permissive about legalized gambling and medical marijuana. Here in New Jersey Democrat Jon Corzine signed medical marijuana legislation which was passed by a democrat legislature over the opposition of most Rethuglicans including Governor-elect Chris Christie. And it was a democratic governor, Brendan Byrne, who facilitated casino gambling in Atlantic City. In Pennsylvania Democrat Ed Rendell has actively facilitated casino gambling in the mountain resort areas, and there are even proposals pending for Philadelphia’s waterfront.
    At the same time most of the opposition to these proposals has come from Rethuglicans, especially those on the social reactionary side.

    If Rootforme was sincere about differentiating himself as a credible Libertarian, not a “Reagan Libertarian”, he would spend less time Obamabashing and put more attention on reactionaries like Pat Robertson and James Dobson.

  26. Neocon Fox News Loves Root

    But how long do you think Root would be welcome on Fox News, or right-wing radio, if he bashed Palin like he bashes Obama?

    If asked about Palin, Root will probably respectfully disagree, careful not to offend Palin’s fans, since many Palinistas are also Root book buyers.

    Root flames Obama, yet is ever respectful in his disagreements with conservatives. This creates a public impression that libertarians are part of the right-wing family. That libertarians and conservatives are allies. They may disagree a little here and there, but are essentially on the same side.

    This will, naturally, attract rightists into the LP, so that this false impression eventually becomes the new reality.

  27. Don Lake .......... to review

    this is why I blast those Libs, Biblical Folks, and Non classical Conservatives sneakily inferring that the entire site is shewed to their minority slice.

    At least this TPW Third Party Watch injustice has pretty much shaken out of IPR respondence, but I have had to dodge the slings and arrows of partisans to provide this public service!

  28. Nate

    “To the contrary, Obama should do the exact opposite of anything that the media recommends.”

    As long as FOX is included, by all means!

    The article is a decent read and, thankfully, shorter than most Root pieces. However, I do have a bit of a problem with the “Sports gambling (and all forms of online gaming) needs to be legalized.”

    It’s not that I disagree, but why does he choose these two forms of gambling? Sports gambling invariably makes sporting events more likely to be fixed, as there is an incentive, while online gambling is far easier to rig than any other form. Now, legal or not, these forms of gambling will happen, and perhaps if he pointed out that it’s easier to keep an eye on things that happen out in the open, I’d give him a pass. But this just sounds like he enjoys fleecing dumb gamblers and ruining America’s pasttime by bringing back the Black Sox of 1919.

    As a sports fan – albeit not of football – I also didn’t really appreciate the comment about the coach taking a risk because the reward was millions of dollars. Dammit, even if it’s true, can’t you just say the reward was winning the super bowl??

  29. paulie

    But how long do you think Root would be welcome on Fox News, or right-wing radio, if he bashed Palin like he bashes Obama?

    If asked about Palin, Root will probably respectfully disagree, careful not to offend Palin’s fans, since many Palinistas are also Root book buyers.

    Root flames Obama, yet is ever respectful in his disagreements with conservatives. This creates a public impression that libertarians are part of the right-wing family. That libertarians and conservatives are allies. They may disagree a little here and there, but are essentially on the same side.

    This will, naturally, attract rightists into the LP, so that this false impression eventually becomes the new reality.

    So let’s get some other faces of libertarianism some publicity.

    Ernie Hancock, Tom Knapp, Steve Kubby, Mary Ruwart……we need to get them all over the media, the way Wayne is getting all over the media. I’ve been trying to get the ball rolling on this for a long time and over at the LP Radicals list some people seem to finally be showing interest.

    Marc Montoni has a fund set up to help hire a media booking agent to get libertarians on the air. I’m working to get an experienced and talented volunteer involved.

    How about a presidential candidate who is willing to make 500 speeches at colleges, as I read Ed Clark did back in ’80?

    We have plenty of opportunities, folks….let’s take advantage of them rather than spending our time hating on Wayne for being successful in getting his conservative/libertarian message out to its intended audience.

    In other words “don’t get mad, get even”…except in a positive way.

  30. Aaron Starr

    @32 Amen! Paulie! This is a positive focus.

    Let’s make the media pie bigger, rather than debate how it is sliced.

    Additional hard-working Libertarian voices means we reach the public more often, and in different ways.

  31. Enough

    Mary Ruwart is not one I think should be out there. I am sorry, but her views on certain things is not beneficial to the party.

  32. Michael H. Wilson

    Paulie your comment at 32 is on the mark!

    The LP needs more media not less. Anyone get on NPR’s Fresh Air program?

  33. Robert Capozzi

    sh: If it comes up, just say we oppose all taxes, as we do.

    me: what you mean “we,” Susan? Do all Ls advocate NO taxes? Do you mean to disrespect non-abolitionist Ls whom I’m sure you know do NOT advocate that highly theoretical view?

  34. Robert Capozzi

    pc: If arguments for taxing and regulating marijuana are more effective at ending marijuana prohibition sooner than arguments which do not address taxation or renounce taxation, then they should be made.

    Making those arguments does not keep us from working to reduce and eventually repeal taxes.

    me: Excellent exposition of the TAAAList view!

  35. paulie

    Mary Ruwart is not one I think should be out there.

    I disagree.

    I think Mary would be awesome if she stepped up and ran for Chair. I also wish she would run for president again – but start running a lot sooner this time.

    Her book “Healing Our World” is exactly the message millions of Americans need to hear. I think it would resonate very well on college campuses, where my own personal extensive polling has shown THE biggest cluster of responses is in the left-libertarian-centrist range (and bear in mind that 90% of Americans do not change their political party after age 30).

    I wish Dr. Ruwart, as a health care expert, was out getting tons of LP interviews about the health care insurance issue now that it is at the forefront of the national debate.

  36. Bruce Cohen Post author

    Mary’s book has been out for a while and we most probably have wrung all the good out of it we can.

    How about she writes a new one? ..and we hope it will sell better than the last one…

  37. paulie

    A new one would be great, but to my knowledge there has never been a very good effort to promote the old one in the media and/or college speech tour, for example. As far as I know it’s mainly been marketed within the libertarian movement.

  38. Gary Chartier

    Totally with you on Mary, Paulie: her book is written in the right tone and pitched at the right level to make it accessible to lots of people who might initially flinch at “libertarian” or “anarchist.” I’d love to see the fourth edition picked up by a publisher with a great distribution network and a big marketing budget.

  39. Erik Geib

    Mary’s book still remains one of my favorites, and the best marketing tool towards recruiting from the left.

    I do think, however, that there are a couple of minor touches that should be applied to it (ditch the ‘new age’-looking cover, possibly drop the cartoons, clean up the in-book graphics, and update some data).

  40. Charles Jay

    The passage at the top of Root’s commentary can simply not go unchecked.

    Wayne Root is not a “Las Vegas oddsmaker.” Never has been. Never will be. So perhaps a quick tutorial for Root, and his “followers,” may be entirely appropriate.

    In sports betting, an oddsmaker, who may also be referred to as a “linemaker,” sets a betting line that a handicapper (who may also be known as a “prognosticator”) makes bets or selections against. They are not only NOT one in the same, they are, in effect, on opposite sides of any one particular proposition.

    I gather from Root’s comments that, although he says he is an oddsmaker, what he really considers himself to be is a handicapper. I suppose that would be a subject that is open for debate among other people at some other time; I will only say that no legitimate person in the sports betting industry would ever make the mistake of confusing those two very distinct functions.

    That Root seems to be oblivious to this VERY fundamental difference between the “oddsmaking” role and the “handicapping” role is a pretty strong statement as to the veracity of his “credentials” in this area.. Perhaps he hasn’t “learned many valuable lessons from sports and sports betting” after all, as he professes. Since this is something he claims as his forte, I don’t think it would be out of line at all to question his legitimacy elsewhere as well.

  41. Robert Capozzi

    cj, are you the BTP candidate?

    As one who doesn’t bet, I can report I’ve heard the term “Las Vegas oddsmaker,” but not “Las Vegas handicapper.” You may be technically correct, but maybe the term “oddsmaker” is the term used generically. Regardless, your comment feels awfully petty and nitpicking. Could be that Root doesn’t know what he does for a living, but I kinda doubt it.

    Seems a really odd observation, regardless. One can critique many things Root says and does, but your point is bizarre.

  42. Charles Jay

    @ 2

    Darcy, you are correct – there is “socialist capitalism” of a sort in the NFL, and it is this concept of “shared revenue” among the 32 teams that has, above everything else (well, along with holding taxpayers hostage for new stadiums), created the wildly successful NFL business model.

    The idea of “competitive balance” was recognized by Pete Rozelle at the outset of his reign as commissioner. There is little chance that a New Orleans franchise in baseball, for example, could hope to maintain a level of competitiveness over an extended period of time against the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, etc. who have much, much more in the way of revenues to sign the top players. Yes, Mr. Geib, the shared revenues help to create a geographical “footprint” that is attractive to television networks (which is why it is so important to them that a new stadium be built in the L.A. area). Actually, however, the “socialist tendencies” and the TV contract go hand in hand; one would not really be as feasible without the other. And indeed, the number of market are always limited so that a disgruntled owner can pick up and have somewhere to go if he can’t extort the best deal out of a municipality. Also, they know enough to leave certain cities wanting – unlike the NHL, which has insinuated itself into cities (for purposes of creating their own TV “footprint,” I might add) that did not have a level of demand, then tried (sometimes in vain) to create it.

    The NFL’s strategic position now is that it is a single-entity; in other words, that it is one corporation distributing revenue among 32 licensees, rather than 32 separate corporations who band together to share the money. Single-entity status would allow the NFL to safeguard itself to an extent from the kind of restraint-of-trade actions that have served as the only real ammunition the players’ union has ever had against it in court cases. The effect would almost certainly be to neuter the union. You’ll see that salary cap figure dip in a hurry, and with no collective bargaining agreement in place beyond 2010 (and a lockout looming) this could improve the dynamic for the league greatly.

    A case that could have landmark ramifications – American Needle v. NFL – which was just argued before the Supreme Court, should be rather informative in this area. The league essentially backed into their position on this one, as they were going to fight having the case heard at first, but then realized there would be certain benefits to them to be declared a single entity by the court.

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