There is almost no business in the world more profitable than owning a franchise in the National Football League. Not only does the owner have a monopoly on an extremely popular entertainment company, he or she also gets a huge financial subsidy from government, sometimes in the form of stadium construction, sometimes in the form of other support, but always in the millions or tens of millions or hundreds of millions of dollars.
One of the difficult things for ‘normal’ people to accept is just how greedy many (but not all) very rich people are. They demand tax cut after tax cut not because they need the money, and not because they want to invest the money but because they just want more and more money. It’s like a disease. But the just settled dispute between the NFL and their referees illustrates like nothing else just how greedy these people are.
The dispute with the referees was over money; the refs want more the league wants to pay less. But the dispute is over a very small amount of money, chump change to the billionaire and near billionaire owners. If owners had only an above average amount of greed they would pay the refs what they want and move on. But these people are many standard deviations about the average amount of greed, and if getting more money meant endangering the integrity of the game, well so be it.
In the end, left unanswered is the question of whether or not any of the fabulously wealthy people will ever have enough money so that they stop trying to further raid the treasury for more tax breaks, and stop trying to nickel and dime people like football refs to make a few hundredths of one percent more return on their investment in a football team. The betting here, if betting is allowed, is that no, they will never have enough in their own minds.
As for the game itself, well the officiating was so bad that at least one betting firm was returning money bet on the Monday night game between
One sports betting Web site was refunding wagers on the Packers, who appeared to be robbed of a victory after the league’s crew of replacement officials botched the final play of the game, ruling an apparent Green Bay interception in the end zone to be a Seattle touchdown instead.
The site, Sportsbook.ag, sent e-mails to some bettors — believed to be customers outside the United States — who had put money on Green Bay, alerting them to the unusual decision that their bets would be refunded in the form of a free play on the site. At least one bettor, writing on a Twitter account said to be that of the Canadian journalist Glen McGregor, posted a picture of his computer screen showing the message and quoted the Web site’s head oddsmaker, Russ Candler, as saying, “I can’t stand winning unfairly.”
Wow, even bookies are less greedy than NFL owners. Who would have thought that even possible?