Wednesday, December 09, 2009

From the world of sport

I had the radio on 560, and Sid was on.  I'll be honest and say I'm not a fan of Sid Rosenberg.  Sure, he and I were at UM at the same time, and I recall our paths crossing, but I didn't know the guy really, and I recall that I thought he was arrogant and self-absorbed.  And that's kind of what I don't like about him.
But I digress.  I don't usually listen to his show, but today he had Tim Donaghy on.  He's the ref who bet on NBA games.  And I would have to say that it was very interesting, and a pretty good interview.  He and Sid connected because Sid, too, had/s s gambling problem; and that's pretty much what happened with Donaghy - he had a gambling problem that became much more complicated.
The story goes that Tim was betting on NBA games (even one's he was ref'ing) based on what he knew about certain refs and their interactions with players and coaches.  And he was hitting about 80% in those bets.  Because he was working through a bookie, this kind of success does not go unnoticed.  A mobster approached him and basically convinced him to give up information on all the games for their personal use....and he did, and the mobsters reportedly made millions.
Eventually, the FBI found out about the NBA ref connection, and it all came crashing down - and essentially freed him from this situation.  He lost his job and did time...
He claims he was working alone, and he doesn't know of any other people who were gambling or helping gamblers.  But he could see the allure in all professional sports, for the referees, and even the players to try and manipulate the outcomes to some degree.
Very interesting stuff. 
And of course, Donaghy is working the circuit to promote his book, which is reviewed here:
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