If you are like me, when you think of Delaware the first thing you think of is its film history.
Of course, I am referring to the iconic scene in Wayne’s World when Wayne and Garth take a virtual vacation to Delaware, only to realize there is absolutely no reason to take a virtual vacation to Delaware.
Well, if the Delaware state government has it’s way; it will be another iconic film moment that you think of when hearing the name Delaware. The (forthcoming) scene from Swingers 2020 when Little Mikey and Trent Junior hop in the car and chant the mantra “Dover baby, Dover” as they drive off into the night.
With the state facing budget problems, sports wagering has been once again been made legal. Something they allowed in the 1970’s in the form of parlay only bets. A brilliant way to address budget shortfalls because we all know parlays are sucker bets, so they couldn’t have had to pay out much.
Predictably the NFL came out strongly against this as it does against all forms of gambling because they (wink, wink) would never condone people placing wagers on their games. Nevermind the contradiction of their weekly injury reports – because you know, there are a lot of people not wagering on games greatly concerned whether a player is ‘probable’ or ‘questionable’ .
If it weren’t so hypocritical, the NFL’s stance would be almost quaint. Like some old timer complaining about those darn kids and their rock and roll music or those Hidden Valley Ranch commercials in which they pretend the kids are eating healthy by eating vegetables swimming in a sea of artery-clogging ranch dressing.
Are the NFL offices the only ones that think people really need to travel to the mid-Atlantic region to gamble on their games? Apparently they haven’t yet heard about this newfangled thing called the interwebs. Without moving a single butt-cheek from where I sit right now, I could bet my entire mortgage on the Broncos making the Super Bowl this year – though I wouldn’t for many, many reasons.
Would sports betting becoming legal in Delaware really increase anything but Delaware’s treasury and Wilmington’s rank on March Madness destinations (up to #2 from current rank of #48,672)?
Setting aside for a moment the fact that the only thing limiting my gambling problem to ‘moderate’ is my inherent cheapness, I hope that Delaware wins on this.
The NFL needs to lose on something. Let’s face it, our love of the game lets the NFL bully pretty much anyone and everyone that disagrees with them. They hold monopoly over the most popular sport in a sport-crazed country. Unfortunately, they have the ultimate ‘take our ball and go home’ threat when anyone confronts them. Would it surprise anyone to see the NFL to threaten Delaware with removing all televised games if they went ahead with legalizing gambling? Not me.
We are a country that loves an underdog story, ironically proven every fall by the NFL itself, yet the NFL is the ultimate overwhelming favorite.
The NFL wins nothing by keeping Delaware from legalizing gambling and loses nothing by allowing it. As long as there are Bahamian islands and guys named Vinnie down at the corner bar, there will be people gambling on the NFL.
If the NFL were truly forward thinking they would grasp the inevitable and embrace gambling. They don’t need to go so far as to have betting windows in stadiums (though that would be awesome) but allowing it in states not named Nevada hurts no one (especially states that don’t even have an NFL team). In fact, is there any doubt that limited legalized gambling would do nothing but make the game even more popular? I know if I have $20 on the Falcons / Saints game, I would be much more willing to also pay for a TV package that allows me to watch it.
So, good luck Delaware, it seems only fitting that the first state to ratify the Constitution could break ground again.
Dover baby, Dover.