A couple weeks ago, Nick talked about the NFL’s inconsistency when it comes to frowning upon sports gambling while allowing daily fantasy football ads to dominate NFL programming.
Now along comes Drew Magary, who talks about his experience playing one of the daily fantasy sites. Drew brings up criticisms similar to Nick’s.
The NFL’s massive popularity long been tied to gambling, in the form of straight-up wagers and season-long fantasy football. And the League has done a masterful job of keeping their ties to gambling at arm’s length by avoiding the mention of betting lines and positing regular fantasy football as a fun activity that requires no wagering of any kind—the thrill of trading and drafting and being a virtual GM for the length of a season. But there’s no disguising what daily fantasy really is, and if more fans make the transition from standard leagues to the fantasy casinos, it’s gonna make the coverage a lot more awkward. In fact, it already has. It’s really fucking awkward, because all of the NFL’s media people are now bought and paid for, and they now spend the bulk of their time on the air trying to sell you on a game that is fast, engaging, and set up to rob you blind.
As Nick said, there’s nothing wrong with FanDuel or DraftKings operating the way they wish. Drew even brings up other online gambling sites that have since been banned and indicates he has no problem with it. And I’ve engaged in gambling before, so it’s not something I think should be outlawed — in fact, I think some states are too restrictive with their laws regarding gambling.
But it’s the NFL’s inconsistency with its message about sports gambling that is troubling, especially with some NFL pundits having to tout the daily fantasy sites in certain segments — even if those segments are about fantasy sports.
ADDENDUM (Nick): Scott Van Pelt recently issued a monologue on this subject, and it’s so excellent and succinct that it deserves a mention in the main post.