Monday, July 23, 2007

The scandal to end all scandals

Last Friday maybe the biggest sports story of all time broke: veteran NBA referee Tim Donaghy was being investigated by the FBI for point shaving. When we were listening to David Stern's statement my girlfriend scoffed when he said Donaghy "betrayed the most sacred trust in professional sports." I responded with "That it's not wrestling. That the games aren't fixed."

It's the basic premise of sports. If you want to watch something where you know how it's going to end, there's a romantic comedy on TBS at 8:00. With the NBA, that is often the case as well (see Lakers v Trailblazers, 2001), which is why this is absolutely the worst news possible for the less and less significant NBA. Once CNN, Court TV, and ESPN start showing clips of big games that are decided by a Donaghy call, that stench will cling to the NBA forever. People still refer to the 1919 Black Sox scandal as the measuring stick, which was never proven and no other games besides the World Series were alleged. This could cover dozens of games over 13 seasons.

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