Well, one of my Golden Rules in life is whenever you get the chance to quote Spaulding Smails from Caddyshack, you take it.
And thus, allow me to state the following when it comes to the news that five players were suspended by the NFL for gambling violations: Double turds!
Yes, this is a double turds situation for the NFL. There’s no way else to say it. Literally no other way.
According to an NFL press release, C.J. Moore and Quintez Cephus of the Detroit Lions, along with Shaka Toney of the Washington Commanders, were hit with indefinite suspensions. Their crime? Betting on NFL games during the 2022 season.
Here is the official release: https://t.co/lpCk9P5bDu pic.twitter.com/K6AX1EkUWH
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 21, 2023
To add insult to injury, Moore and Cephus were immediately and unceremoniously released by the Lions.
Since PASPA was overturned, these three dopes mark the third, fourth, and fifth players suspended for betting on the NFL. Josh Shaw was the first and – most famously – Calvin Ridley was the second.
What’s that old saying? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me? Let’s add a third leg to that parlay: Fool me a third, fourth, or fifth time, you get suspended for life.
You want to keep the capital-I Integrity of the NFL intact? Let’s get serious about betting on the NFL. An “indefinite suspension” is kind of toothless if you can apply for reinstatement after a year. And since both Shaw and Ridley were reinstated (though Shaw hasn’t played since), it would only seem fair and reasonable that the triumvirate of Moore, Cephus, and Toney get reinstated themselves.
But again: Shaw was the first, Ridley the second. You would think the current trio would know better at this point. Alas, they didn’t — at least according to the NFL — and now they’re suspended.
How many more players need to get caught betting on NFL games before the league goes for the death penalty here? If I were a betting man, I’m guessing this is being discussed in league offices as I type this from-the-hip response that could probably, for no good reason, use another dose of Caddyshack, because why not?
After that palate cleanser, let’s get on to …
The two other players suspended — Jameson Williams and Stanley Berryhill, for six games each — did not bet on NFL games. According to Williams’ agent, it was “due to a technical rule regarding the actual location in which the online bet was placed — and which would otherwise be allowed by the NFL outside of the club’s facility. Jameson would never intentionally jeopardize the integrity of the game he loves so much and looks forward to getting back to his team as soon as possible.”
According to other reports, Williams and Berryhill placed at least one bet on college football — perfectly legal in the NFL’s eyes — but they placed that bet from somewhere on team premises.
“From their facility, or from another place associated with their NFL team,” said the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. “Perhaps their locker room, perhaps their bus.”
From @NFLNetwork: On the major gambling suspensions this morning — those suspended at least a year were found to have gambling on NFL games. Those suspended six games placed bets on college games but from their facility. pic.twitter.com/dzHWZst5Yz
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 21, 2023
So, to be clear, if Williams or Berryhill placed their bets from a brothel on Seven Mile Road in the presence of opium dealers while simultaneously calling small children and telling them their parents don’t love them, that would be OK. But taking Alabama and the points while walking from the practice field to the sauna? That’s worthy of a suspension.
I mean, that’s a rat fart rule right there.
Seriously, this is the dumbest suspension in the NFL since Miles Austin, the former Jets receivers coach, was suspended for playing iCasino and betting on the NBA.
Where’s the sense here? Bet on the NFL and get caught, legitimately put the league at risk, and catch a year-long suspension (basically). Bet on college football games (perfectly allowable), but do it from the team bus, and catch a six-game suspension. One should be a banned-for-life situation, the other should not be a penalty at all.
But that’s where we are with the NFL right now. The rules are probably well-meaning, but they are clearly not well thought out. I think it’s back-to-the-drawing board time. Blow up the gophers, in other words, and start anew.