In the last three or four months, I been "blitzing" 97.5 ESPN The Blitz. Talk radio is filled with so many cliches and fart jokes, when a "brother" finally hears a topic that interest him, he has to jump on it.
Friday, I was listening to the Blitz, Fred Faour and AJ Hoffman were making predictions of various sporting events. Upon hearing the segment, I sent Fred a satirical tweet (at least that was the intent) asking him if it was ethical for the media to place bets on sporting events when they have access to information. I was not expecting Fred to address the question since they had a guest (Craig Way/ Longhorns) coming out of the break but nevertheless, after the interview, Fred addressed the question. Actually it was two segments after Craig Way's interview.
Let me first begin by saying, if I have insider information, I will beg for forgiveness later.
Below are Fred's thoughts in regards to on air personalities and gambling.
My basic point is that people who pick against the spread on air and don't bet are frankly being dishonest. Whether they like it or not, people will use their advice thinking they are experts.
It's like playing free poker online and thinking you are a superstar. It's not the same as real poker. It's a no-risk game; you can throw in all your fake chips on any hand because they are fake. You can toss anything out there because you aren't risking anything. Does that qualify you to give advice on how to play poker?
Isn't that a little insulting?
I believe in being honest with your listeners. I don't ever encourage people to gamble (in fact, I do my best to discourage them), but if they are going to, they need to educate themselves as much as possible.
If they aren't gambling, good for them, because the sad fact is most people lose. That's why we also talk bankroll management and things of that nature. Sometimes just managing the losses and maximizing the wins can make all the difference. How do you learn that if you don't play? The guys who do stuff like say "let's pick 10 college games." Really? Which ones are you risking the most on? Are you playing all 10? If so, is it the same amount? Your listener might just blindly follow you. In fact, he probably will. There is no such thing as "for entertainment purposes only." If you are going to do that, make it clear to your listener that they should pay no attention to what you say about the spread. If that is indeed the case, why are you wasting time doing it? Talk about something else.
That's not to say you have to have done everything you talk about on air, but gambling is no joke. I've see people's lives ruined because of it. I've also seen people make small fortunes. If you don't play -- or at the very least you aren't a recovering gambleholic or someone who has made bets before -- you will never understand that. You are doing your listeners a disservice. Hey, I make no bones about the fact I don't always win. I treat losses like a learning experience. (And lately I have been learning a lot). People need to understand that can happen.
Regardless, to me it's like a 50-year-old virgin giving sex advice. Go smash a few hundred hotties, dress up like a Roman emperor a few times, work in a trapeze and a midget or two and get back to me.
I must say, I have always approached the gambling issue from an influential standpoint. With millions of gambling degenerates, a person with a mustard seed of celebrity has the potential to influence. I wish like hell I was listening to the Blitz for the past four years because I had an issue with President Obama and the NCAA predictions. I know in today's world it's all about being cool but there is a reason, rarely, you heard a President pick a team. The way it was explained to me, the President has so much juice, their words have the ability to influence by sheer power of the position. Trust me, I am down with the coolness of a President acting like an everyday man but the reality is, he's not. The Commander and Chief is such a powerful position that his farts are quoted. Now the logical thinking non gambler will shoot down my stance but you have to remember there are millions of non logical citizens.
WRAP IT UP
After reading Fred's response, I felt like a "booty call" who paid for the room. You know, the feeling of knowing what the situation is but feel sort of odd afterwards? I guess a better question would have been "Fred do you take advantage of media information". I don't want to make it out like Sports Media has access to "Area 51" type of leaks but they definitely have more than the gambling public.
What I do like about Fred's response his his analysis on other media members who are predicting spreads as if they are putting their money where their mouth is. Fred, what's even more shitty are the ones who blast gambling and then participate in faux gambling.
I am no snob and I do understand, we can all get wrapped up in the fun of game predictions but I can truly say Fred made me look at this particular issue in a different way, I think Fred's message is perfectly clear, don't advise a fan to do something you are not willing to do.
I felt it was an interesting topic and I am glad Fred provided a different insight. How do you feel about Fred's stance?
LM aka SNOW BLACK