Son Dave is in Laughlin bugging Guido. I asked him to (just before the start of the conference finals) to wager a small amount on Pittsburgh to win the Stanley Cup. That would mean that the Penguins would have to beat Boston and play the winner of the Kings-Blackhawks game and beat them for the Stanley Cup for me to win.
Poor Dave got confused and bet the Chicago Blackhawks to win it all. So the day after the Boston Bruins won, 3-0, I got better odds but the Penguins looked mighty small losing at home and still must beat the Bruins and then win the Stanley Cup for me to win.
Maybe that’s why they call it betting. If it were a sure thing I would bet a lot more often. As most of you know there are too many variables to bet on college and pro games. Are players sick? Is one team especially motivated? Who will get the breaks? And a few other items as well.
Do you remember the Clay-Liston fight in 1964? How about the rematch in 1965 featuring Ali-Liston? I just saw the footage of the fights and it is clear to me that both fights were thrown by Liston.
In the first fight, Liston declined to come out for the seventh round saying his left shoulder was injured. Clay bounced around the ring like he just won the lottery. He must have just won the heavyweight title because there was no lotteries back then.
Then in the second fight, in the first round, Ali (who just changed his name to Muhammad Ali from Cassius Clay) missed Liston’s jaw by a foot but Liston went down, didn’t come up, and Ali won by a knockout!
What does all of this have to do with betting on sports? Liston was heavily favored in the first fight and favored in the second fight. Liston was favored in the first fight 8-1. If he bets against himself, say only three million dollars, he would win $24 million if he threw the fight. Let’s say the second fight was only 5-1. You do the math.
In my heart I believe that much more was bet on the fight, and not just by Liston. Some say Liston had mob connections, especially to a character named Ashe Resnick. Resnick owned a Las Vegas casino named the Thunderbird. Liston happened to train there. Most historians say Liston and Resnick had a very close relationship.
Did Resnick orchestrate the fight by prearranging for Liston to lose? And what would the odds have been for Liston to lose in the first round of the second fight? (Guido once estimated 25-1 by today’s standards)
At the time of the first fight Liston had a 35-1 pro record and no one else really wanted to fight “The Intimidator!” Clay had just 19 pro fights, won two close recent 10-rounders to some guy named Doug Jones, and even was knocked down in fight two.
In the first Liston/Clay fight, it was reported that Liston had some kind of “burning ointment” put on his gloves in the fourth round.
Then in the second fight, the referee, Jersey Joe Walcott (famous fighter himself) seemed like he gave a lot of extra time to Liston, after he fell, as Ali was dancing around the ring.
Then there was a story that came out that said Liston had to take a fall or be killed by the Black Muslims, who bet on Clay/Ali. On and on and on.
I’m not saying any of these theories are 100 percent proven and accurate. But I was about 20 years old at the time and I just couldn’t buy everything I heard from Liston. Then a couple of years later I first heard about point-shaving in basketball and Pete Rose betting from the dugout on his own team that he influenced in the games as manager!
Sorry, but all of that is too much. I’m sure 99.9 percent of all sports betting in legitimate. But I just can’t take a chance with the millions that is in play every day.
Meanwhile, I want the Kings to go all the way. Betting has nothing to do with my favorites does it?
Contact Don Alexander at Journaldon@aol.com.