Big-name sports stars keep choosing money over integrity

How much does integrity cost these days? You can buy integrity by the pound. Are you able to buy it by the pound, the yard or the bottle?

All I know is that unlike Roger Goodell’s PSLs, integrity is not a good investment. It was devalued and defunded.

Part I Doesn’t matter where you line up on COVID vaxxing, Aaron Rodgers told a selfish, self-entitled lie. He said he was “immunized” from COVID, when he wasn’t.

Next, the public was supposed to be satisfied with his “apology,” the kind that would have had a 10-year-old sent to his room, no TV for a week, for continued failure to admit the lie.

Rodgers: “I made some comments that people might have felt were misleading. And to anybody who felt misled by those comments, I take full responsibility.”

Yeah, misleading. Like claiming it’s noon when it’s midnight. This is a minor misunderstanding.

Still, Rodgers’ revision seems to have been good enough for many, among them CBS’ $18 million-a-year man, Tony Romo. Sunday against the Seahawks, as Rodgers returned after his one-game absence in the NFL’s COVID Caution Cave, Romo, normally pleasantly skeptical, declared a happy ending.

Rodgers, he said, made good on his transgression, fessed up and now let it go: “He’s ready to play football … and wants to move on.” Hut one! Hut number two

Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers

It’s not happening so quick.

As Romo should have known, Rodgers’ apology to those he may have misled, was preceded by Rodgers having been dumped as the paid spokesperson for Prevea, a Wisconsin-based health care operation, of all things, whom he had been with since 2012.

Prevea dropped Rodgers on November 6. His “apology” was issued three days later. Fascinating.

Rodgers gets millions for nothing through commercial endorsements. Most conspicuously, Rodgers has State Farm insurance. To look at Rodgers’ “apology” as more sincere than as an effort to protect such a continued commercial presence would be self-delusional.

To ignore the timing of Rodgers’ “apology” would be an abrogation of the most significant daily lesson drummed into sports fans:

Follow the money.

Part II Football’s First Family has become the Mannings: Peyton, Eli, Cooper and the patriarch, Archie.

Not that they’re starving or lack endorsement deals, but they now appear in TV commercials pushing a big dough sports gambling operation.

What is Manning’s wager on sports betting? Oder are they endorsing products they don’t use? This could be a violation of Federal Trade Commission Advertising statutes.

But beyond and far below that, the Mannings are being paid to encourage people — many presumably their fans — to invest their money in a business totally predicated on customers losing their money. In exchange for a lot, almost nothing.

Are betting operations in business to make money?

Peyton and Eli Manning
Peyton Manning and Eli Manning
Getty Images

The Mannings can’t see this? Or they don’t care? Maybe the money came too quickly and was easy. Or maybe they are broke — and desperate.

Many of our most beloved and admired athletes have come together to inspire the public, especially the young men seen in television ads, to risk their money to pursue poor odds for pots full of gold.

It seems that well-known QBs make great shills. The aforementioned Mannings, Drew Brees, Phil Simms and Weekend Boomer Esiason — whose claimed beloved WFAN partner, Craig Carton, did hard time in exchange for his gambling addiction — have all been enlisted.

You can endorse pawnshops by going to the end of this scene.

A commercial break could be used by the audience

Are commercials being shown during replay review, while players huddle and during injury stoppages, shouldn’t the NFL and its television partners demonstrate quality control during games?

CBS went to commercials with just 42 seconds remaining in Bills Jets’ quarter-final. It was only one play that went back from commercials before the quarter ended, so it returned to commercials.

It is easy to think that football was an action sport before television money. And that was in everyone’s best interests.

Ex-Jets QB Mark Sanchez, throughout Fox’s Vikings-Chargers on Sunday, was pretty good, speaking cogent thoughts and alert to game circumstances. It’s time to quit pandering and praising the showboaters. As if Sanchez enjoys being smitten, regardless of the circumstances. Why should he?

More pandering: With Seattle down, 10-0, to Green Bay early in the fourth, Seattle DT Carlos Dunlap, a 12-year-man out of Florida, was hit for 15 yards for throwing an opponent’s shoe down the field. Brilliant. Jim Nantz and Tony Romo laughed, rather than criticize Dunlap.

Tony Romo and Jim Nantz in 2017
In 2017, Tony Romo, Jim Nantz

Plus: Fox should not replay good Vikes-Chargers plays when it can show tired and old slo-mo replays that show players grunting, stretching and doing first-down movements.

Inside Misinformation. Those who get constant, up-to the-minute expert gambling tips and advice via cell phone from CBS Sports will ultimately conclude that CBS doesn’t know what they are doing.

Saturday CBS alerted to the “stunning upset” of Baylor over Oklahoma — at home, Baylor was a mere five-point ’dog — and the looming “upset” of Penn State over Michigan, as if PSU winning at home as a one-point ’dog would have been an upset.

Rankings over reality have existed for decades.

Another example of television stupidity

We Never Sleep Stupid Stats Screen Shots Council will be there to help.

From reader Bob LaRosa: With 1:19 left in Sunday’s Seahawks-Packers, Green Bay up, 17-0, Seattle had second-and-10 from their own 30, when the NFL’s Red Zone Channel posted Seattle’s “win probability” as “1 percent.” Seemed kinda high.

Steve Arendash. During SNY’s simulcast of WFAN’s “Carton and Roberts,” a graphic told us that at 3-6 the Giants are “tied for third place in the NFC East.”

Given that there are only four teams in the NFC East, Arendash notes “That also means the Giants are tied for last.”

Television’s shamelessness is unpardonable.

NFL RB Adrian Peterson recently was invited to compete on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.”

The producers apparently didn’t care that Peterson was suspended a year from the NFL for the physical abuse of his 4-year-old son, and lost another son, a 2-year-old he’d never even seen in person, when the child was murdered by his mother’s boyfriend.

Disney owns and operates ABC. Once synonymous with family entertainment, ABC was once owned by Disney.

There is a growing number of commentators who will say anything about any game. Sunday on CBS, Bills-Jets was just four minutes old when on the Jets’ seventh play from scrimmage Ty Johnson caught a short pass.

“That’s the first time we’ve called his [Johnson’s] number,” said play-by-player Spero Dedes. Dedes then added that Johnson was tackled by the “old veteran, A.J. Klein.”

While veterans tend to be older than, say, “young rookies,” Klein is just 30.

Then it was back to a telecast in which the defensive coordinators should’ve been called “The Get Off the Field Coaches.”

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