Washington Football

NBA's Stern scolds Christie on sports bet effort

NBA's Stern scolds Christie on sports bet effort

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) NBA Commissioner David Stern scolded Gov. Christie and said New Jersey ``has no idea what it's doing'' by seeking to allow sports betting in the state in a deposition published Friday in the ongoing legal battle between the governor, the four major professional sports leagues and the NCAA.

Stern and the heads of Major League Baseball, the NFL, the NHL and the NCAA were questioned recently by lawyers representing the state as part of the leagues' lawsuit seeking to stop New Jersey from instituting sports gambling.

``The one thing I'm certain of is New Jersey has no idea what it's doing and doesn't care because all it's interested in is making a buck or two, and they don't care that it's at our potential loss,'' Stern said when asked how the advent of sports betting in New Jersey would harm the NBA.

``And wholly apart from the fact that a governor, who's a former U.S. Attorney, has chosen to attack a federal law which causes me pause for completely different reasons since I've at times sworn to similar oaths about upholding the law of the United States,'' Stern continued.

MLB commissioner Bud Selig said in his deposition he was ``appalled'' that New Jersey would look to sports gambling as a fiscal solution.

``I know states need money. I really mean that,'' he said. ``I understand all the problems. Federal government needs money, going over a cliff, cities need money. Chris Christie needs money. But gambling is so ... the threat of gambling and to create more threat is to me - I'm stunned. I know that people need sources of revenue, but you can't - this is corruption in my opinion.

``I have to say to you I'm appalled. I'm really appalled.''

A spokesman for Christie didn't immediately return a message seeking comment Friday.

The leagues and the NCAA sued Christie in August after he vowed to defy a federal ban on sports wagering. The Legislature enacted a sports betting law in January, limiting bets to the Atlantic City casinos and the state's horse racing tracks. The state plans to license sports betting as soon as January, and in October published regulations governing licenses.

A judge is expected to rule this month on the leagues' motion for an injunction to stop the law from taking effect.

In his deposition, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about holding games in England and Canada, countries with legalized sports gambling. The leagues contend allowing New Jersey to sanction sports gambling would damage their integrity.

``Well, we're playing in their country, we're coming to them,'' Goodell responded. ``And we're only there for a short period of time; we're there for two or three days. It's not what we choose, it's not what we believe is in the best interests of sports, but we don't dictate the rules or the laws.''

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the fact that New Jersey's law exempts the state's colleges and any college games played in the state shows that lawmakers recognize gambling ``isn't good for our game.'' He sounded confident when asked if the NHL had contemplated any changes to its policies should New Jersey's law stand.

``Not to sound flip on this point but it's inconceivable to me how we could lose this lawsuit, so we haven't been doing that,'' he said.

New Jersey's move is seen by supporters as a way to bring new revenue to the struggling casino and racing industries and to reclaim a portion of the billions of untaxed dollars flowing to organized crime or offshore illegal gambling operations.

But in its court filing Friday opposing the state's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, the leagues and the NCAA called Christie's efforts a ``blatant violation of federal law'' and his constitutional challenges to the federal law ``specious.''

The 20-year-old federal law at the heart of the dispute, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, prohibited states from authorizing sports gambling, but exempted Nevada and three other states that already had some form of legalized sports betting - Delaware, Oregon and Montana.

New Jersey claims the law usurps the authority of state legislatures and discriminates by ``grandfathering'' in some states. The leagues countered Friday that Congress has the power to prevent states from enacting laws that conflict with federal policy, and that the Constitution's commerce clause doesn't require uniformity in its application to different states.

The NCAA has already announced it will relocate several championship events scheduled to be held in New Jersey next year.

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Redspears or not these uniform designs are a great option for Washington

Redspears or not these uniform designs are a great option for Washington

When looking at the endless amounts of fan concepts and designs out there for the Washington Football Team's next name and logo, it's important to remember that not every idea belongs to the name suggestion of the designer. 

Once Washington makes its final decision, you can bet they'll be looking at a number of different options, and if they want to take a look at the fans' work, they could take a Red Wolves logo and match it up with a Red Tails uniform concept and tweak both to match whatever name they choose. 

In that case, whatever name and logo they choose should have these uniforms, plain and simple. 

 

Mike Joseph created these uniforms as part of his Washington Redspears project and did an exceptional job mocking up a number of different modern uniform designs.

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Redspears isn't a likely name change due to reports saying the franchise plans to stay away from Native American imagery, but that doesn't mean we should ignore these designs.

 

These use the burgundy and gold really well and have a unique number font that has worked for NFL teams like the Ravens, Broncos, Bears, Titans and Steelers in the past. 

The great part about this design is it could be easily rebranded to a different. All the franchise would have to do is lose the spear logo and use whatever logo they settle upon. They could even keep the numbers on the helmet as they have currently. Everything else is versatile. 

Between the sleek design, use of colors and the unique number fonts, this has to be one of, if not the best fan-generated uniform mock-up out there. If the Washington Football team uses these but with a different team name and logo, it'd be hard to complain about that decision. 

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Recent numbers indicate just how hard it could be for Antonio Gandy-Golden to help as a rookie

Recent numbers indicate just how hard it could be for Antonio Gandy-Golden to help as a rookie

There were already some decent expectations placed on Antonio Gandy-Golden for 2020 — and then Kelvin Harmon went down. Now, the Day 3 selection is being labeled as someone who needs to really contribute to the Washington Football Team.

But is that too much to ask for a rookie who went on Saturday in the draft? Recent numbers indicate that answer may be yes.

From 2015 to 2019, 25 wide receivers were chosen in the fourth round, which is where Washington nabbed Gandy-Golden a few months ago. Here are some takeaways from looking back on how all of those guys performed in their first professional seasons:

  • Only one target topped 50 catches and 600 yards, and coincidentally enough, it was Jamison Crowder. Crowder caught 59 passes for 604 yards and two scores as a rookie for the Burgundy and Gold in 2015. The only other guy who came close to either of those marks was Antonio Callaway, who had 43 grabs for 586 yards and five touchdowns for Cleveland in 2018. Those are easily the two best performances by a fourth-round rookie wideout since 2015, so keep that in mind when discussing Gandy-Golden.
  • Out of that group of 25, 15 suited up for double-digit games for their teams during their first taste of the league. The average stat line for those 15 rookies was 17 receptions for 182 yards and one touchdown in about 14 contests. That's meager. 
  • Just nine out of the 25 recorded a touchdown catch as a rookie, and only four (Crowder, Callaway, DaeSean Hamilton and Malcom Mitchell) visited the end zone multiple times.

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So, judging solely off of that data, it would appear that Washington shouldn't be prepared to lean heavily Gandy-Golden. And once you combine that history with other factors, such as the huge transition he's about to make from Libery to the NFL and the very limited offseason he's had thus far, then the outlook for Gandy-Golden becomes even dimmer.

There is a super simple counter argument, however, at least when it comes to comparing him to his past fourth-round peers, and it has to do with his potential playing time.

While the 22-year-old has to fight through a pandemic, something none of the above rookies can relate to and something that could be detrimental to his early career, he also may be in line for a massive share of snaps right away. Most players who go off the board where Gandy-Golden did are usually worried about simply making the team; he, on the other hand, very well could be a starter across from Terry McLaurin in Week 1.

That alone means Gandy-Golden could end up having enough involvement in the offense to come up with a Crowder-like, impactful debut. In 2019, McLaurin far surpassed other third-round rookie receivers due largely to the amount of opportunity he got with Washington (his ridiculous talent was a bonus of course, too). Gandy-Golden is tracking on a similar path. 

A fairly general rule for any franchise is that it's not exactly prudent to need a Day 3 pass catcher to immediately act as one of your primary weapons. Stats from 2015 to 2019 seem to back up that general rule.

Every rule has an exception here or there, though. Maybe Gandy-Golden, with his outstanding physical traits and possibly featured role in 2020, will be that next exception and make all this math and comparing a totally moot issue. 

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