Personal note before we start.
For the last few years, I've played a "Pick 'Em" contest on www.sportscardforum.com, where I pick the winners of pro & college football games during the season. No entry fee, being a member of the website's community is enough. I actually won 1st place one year, and this season, I'm in the top ten among players on both the pro & college contests. As we say, I'm in the hunt.
Where I draw the line, though, is with fantasy leagues that require money to play. Sorry, but my budget doesn't allow for that. I tried a free fantasy league through one of the New York tabloids a few years back, but didn't go anywhere with that, so I decided I wasn't trying that again.
And, then, there is the emergence of sites like www.Draftkings.com and www.fanduel.com, which promote weekly fantasy leagues, where you can change the lineup on a week-to-week basis, allowing players to go with the "hot hands", if you will, and make oodles of money.
You can't go a day without seeing one of these spots for FanDuel......
However, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman believes that this is a form of gambling, claiming FanDuel & Draft Kings' games are games of chance, not skill, as its defenders will claim. On Friday, FanDuel announced it would no longer service customers in New York. Draft Kings hasn't said anything, but inevitably, the other shoe will drop, and what has been a hot commodity of late will end up being little more than a passing fad.
Even more galling to NFL observers is the fact that two NFL owners are among the investors in one of the sites. Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who also owns Major League Soccer's New England Revolution, and the Cowboys' Jerry Jones, put their considerable stroke into the mix. Given Kraft's involvement, one wonders if this hasn't influenced Tom "Crybaby" Brady to run up the stats for himself during the Pats' season opening 8 game winning streak, as he's thrown more passes than really needed, creating an offensive imbalance (there is a running game, which Brady seems to be ignoring), and making some wonder if Kraft offered Brady a piece of the action.....! Jonesy? His Cowboys have suddenly become so inept with Tony Romo on the sidelines, he's probably regretting his decision to jump in.
With the news of Kraft & Jones being investors made public, I shan't be surprised if someone decides to call out either one (likely Kraft since the Pats are Public Enemy #1 in the NFL right now) for what amounts to a conflict of interest, and alerts Schneiderman to that.
Off Track Betting had it right with their slogan, used in the 70's & 80's. Bet with your head, not over it. It does apply to something besides horse racing, after all.