Fanduel offers bullshit excuses for not paying for its own mistakes

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Anthony Prince placed a $110 bet on FanDuel that, according to posted odds, should have paid off $82,000. But FanDuel said the odds were posted in error and wouldn’t pay. Now it’s paying what it should . . . but its statement allows it to weasel out of future similar payments. I call bullshit. How … Continued

Comparing the Gronkowski and NFL statements after he knocks a player into next week

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In Sunday’s football game, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski smashed his 265-pound body onto Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White when White was already down on the sidelines, causing a likely concussion. Gronk talked to reporters after the game, and the NFL made a statement as it suspended him for one game. We’ll compare the … Continued

Papa John’s finds out the problem with blaming the NFL for its poor sales

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On Papa John’s most recent earnings call, its CEO and founder John H. Schnatter blamed poor results in part on controversies surrounding the NFL, which the restaurant chain sponsors. Stepping into the middle of a political controversy was a mistake. So was clumsily trying to walk it back on Twitter. What Papa John’s said on … Continued

Oakland Raiders move to Las Vegas reveals the hazards of loyalty

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Sports is about money. But since the money comes from the fans — and the effort comes from the players — the people who run the sports business must talk as if it’s about passion and loyalty. The fundamental hypocrisy at the heart of sports is on display in the statements about the Oakland Raiders’ upcoming move … Continued

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell: many words, hardly any meaning

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Roger Goodell gave his “State of the NFL” press conference yesterday in the run-up to Super Bowl LI. Reporters asked difficult questions, and he gave mealy answers. If you’re looking for a tutorial on how to not answer questions, this is your chance to learn a lot. I’ll translate for you. (Based on the NFL’s transcript, … Continued

Strategic jiggery-pokery as the Cleveland Browns hire Paul DePodesta

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The NFL’s Cleveland Browns just hired stats guru Paul DePodesta, a baseball guy, as “Chief Strategy Officer.” I’ve read the press release, and I still have no clue what that means. You’ve probably heard of DePodesta. He was the analytics whiz in Moneyball, the one that Billy Beane embraced to turn around the Oakland A’s. (Jonah Hill … Continued

Has Roger Goodell made himself clear? It’s “more probable than not.”

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Say what you will about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, but he finally figured out how to publish something clear on deflategate. Or putting it in the terms that the Wells Report used, it is “more probable than not” that you can actually figure out what Roger Goodell is saying. Look, Goodell is a mess. It took … Continued

Who sounds like a deflategate liar: Robert Kraft or the NFL’s lawyers?

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Two people are arguing in print. Who do you believe? The one who writes more clearly, not necessarily the one that’s right. Which brings us to deflategate. When the Patriots played the Colts in this year’s AFC championship game, officials found some of the balls to be underinflated. The NFL just finished investigating whether the Patriots intentionally let air … Continued