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By Staff | Dec 18, 2018

After watching West Virginia lose its last two regular season football games, in what appeared to be sure wins, I became somewhat skeptical as to the legitimacy of the games. After all, West Virginia now has legalized gambling in the state, and there is lots of money for someone to make.

Washington, D.C. is about to pass laws, legalizing betting on professional team play, and is going as far as installing betting booths where you can go watch the events and bet without even purchasing a ticket. However, many are crossing state lines and coming into West Virginia to do their betting, so it appears the fix is on.

Not only are the major universities under attack, and as we all know money talks, but it seems the pros are also in on the action. This looks like professional wrestling may be the only honest game in town. Pittsburgh’s mighty Steelers blew three in a row. Watch the game films; it’s not hard to see something fishy is going on.

All the excitement of making the playoffs, getting into conference championship games, and moving on to the super bowl is about to fade away. It’s happening right before our eyes, and we still seem blind. Some people recognize there is something wrong when the game’s on the line and a professional kicker slips on a routine field goal. As convincing as that may be, it’s still not enough for most to see it’s all about the almighty dollar.

Just wait until all the betting starts, and the states are making the money. That is when you’ll see the impossible happen. Just as Hulk Hogan picks up Andre the Giant and throws him out of the ring, who’ll see Miami beat New England on a last second play, that shows on replay should never have matured. Oh wait, that already happened as well. It will get worse though. Let’s just hope it doesn’t trinkle to the high school level. It would be very hard to lose that love for our high school athletes.

Organized gambling on sporting events will destroy the sports in America. Oh, the games will still draw millions, but team loyalty will suffer and the sun may not shine the next morning for there will be no bragging rights; there will be no superstars to count on. It will soon be cut-throat city across the nation. The sell-out has begun; just give it a few years to mature. Pete Rose’s humiliation is gone, and it’s transferred to the politicians who will give us the same old song and dance.

They will tell you we’ll have money for new roads; we’ll be able to work on the infrastructure. We’ll be able to fight the drug problems; get a few more police cars and firetrucks and redo our sewage plants. We’ll help the teachers with their insurance problems. The list goes on! But the result will be the same – no road repairs, no money for our police, no help for the libraries and fire departments. Nothing for the retirees, and social security will still be broke.

Don’t try and tell me it’s not true; I have seen it already, and the evidence is real. When the state took over the machines and instituted the lottery, there was supposed to be money for the elderly and low-income. When insurance tort reform was passed, the promise was lower premiums. Guess what never happened?

Wait until the oil and gas companies start producing; all the roads will get fixed, and there will be plenty of money for the schools. Well, they are producing, and the roads are embarrassing. The problem is more money brings more greed, and as they say, how much is enough?

Legalized gambling brings more crime, higher drug use, makes the poor poorer, and never solves financial problems, except for those involved. Take my word for it; legalized sports betting will be a disaster for college and pro teams.

I better get back to sports! Can anyone tell me what town in America is known as Basketball Heaven? Here’s a clue! One out of every 52 players at the high school makes it to the NBA. Think of that; it’s at least one every four years. It’s in a community where the high school attendance is around 800 students. Out of this school came players like Jerry Stackhouse, Cedric (Cornbread) Maxwell, and many more.

How could this happen? According to what I know, every player that made it to the big leagues re-invested back to the school and community that made them famous. The community has over 20 outdoor courts, a 55,000 square foot indoor training facility – complete with an indoor sloped track and three gymnasiums. They have ex-professionals putting on clinics and instructing year round. For this small town it’s basketball and more basketball. One of their students left there at age eight and later was cut from the varsity basketball team at his new school. He went on to star at UNC and became the best basketball player in NBA history.

One more thing, and then I’ll shut up. After learning about this basketball haven, I thought about maybe sending Huntington St. Joseph Catholic’s high school girls team down there for a lesson. It might be a good experience for them to see what it feels like to lose by 50 or 60 points.

Can you believe it? Really now, think about it: Martinsburg High School losing a girls basketball game by 50 points to Class A St. Joseph. Martinsburg, the number eight ranked team in AAA! Also on the list of triple A schools who have become victims to the Class A powerhouse is Morgantown, who lost by 44. It’s just another case of money talks, everything from legalized gambling to buying your high school a dominant team. eparsons@tylerstarnews.com 304-652-4141/304-771-9373.