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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 9, 2012 2:50 PM. The previous post in this blog was Nolan camp fined again for campaign finance violations. The next post in this blog is "Urban renewal" swamp gets murkier. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bad call in Blazer game gets darker look

The other night there was a bad call against the Blazers that arguably cost them their game against Oklahoma City. The Blazer announcers were whining about it to no end from the moment it happened, and we found that annoying. It was a close call that the referee missed. When referees are bad, often they're bad both ways, and calls that go against one team at the end of a game have sometimes been matched or topped by equally bad calls in the opposite direction earlier in the game.

But this morning, some new facts came to our attention that put the incident in a different perspective. The ref who made the call, Scott Foster, had been mentioned in connection with the pro basketball league's notorious Tim Donaghy gambling scandal of a few years ago. The league portrayed Donaghy as a crazed gunman, acting alone, and we never bought that for a second.

And funny thing, right before the Blazer game, the betting suddenly swung sharply in favor of Oklahoma City. Coincidence? Maybe. But it sure smells funny. [Via the Godfather.]

Comments (16)

C'mon. THe betting line gets set by where the money goes. If OKC started as a 2.5 point favorite, I'd put money on OKC also.

Portland is

The late shift in the betting line coincides with confirmation that Raymond Felton wouldn't play. Losing your starting PG with no real clear backup is going to move the line.

Portland could have had Durant. If they took him instead of "broken sticks" Odem, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

If it weren't for bad luck the Blazers would have been a beast.

The NBA is just another version of the WWF.

One thing that happens on game day is that people find out who the referees are going to be. That's not usually publicized, but they check into hotels and are seen arriving in airports.

Still, that was such a horribly bad call by that ref. Inexcusable. Especially at that point in the game. Another reason why the NBA is passe. It jumped the shark long ago, at least as far back as when Jordan blatantly pushed off Bryon Russell at the end of the Bulls-Jazz finals clincher game 6 in '98. At least the Globetrotters have genuine integrity in their entertainment product.

It wasn't just a bad call, it was a bad call that resulted in points. Those points determined the outcome of the game... it should have been reviewed.

I'm shocked to learn that gambling goes on in big-time sports.

Georgetown almost beat the #2 team in the nation yesterday. They took them to OT. Syracuse escape bruised and battered.

March is next month. Get you Madness package. Basketball gets interesting from here on out. After that it's MLB.

Who watches the Blazers anymore?

NO! Say it ain't so. I hate corruption in my sports more than in my politics. Why? I dunno. I guess I use sports as an escape to a meritocratic fair play alternate universe. One where I do not have to worry about getting screwed covertly.

Boxing was ruined for me in this way.

Jack, the NBA releases the ref assignments each morning around 9:00 AM.

http://www.nba.com/news/referee.html

Yes, as I wrote, it's not known until game day.

Are refs human? Do humans like to cheat if they think they can get away with it?

By accident, I saw the last half of the 4th Qtr of the game. (Any instance when I see 'live' NBA play is by accident, ever since beginning my boycott 20 years ago(pre-Donaghy exposé), in disillusionment that the games were rigged by referees as I had concluded through 3 or 4 years of watching over 400 NBA games per season on satellite dish. Repeat: I watched a goodly portion of over 400 games in the 180-day NBA season, obsessed, for a few years, and 2 of those years I filled a spreadsheet with every ref's every appearance and whether the Home or Visitor won in the outcome of the game.)

It also unusually happened that my roommate was present and at the crux of the game for the first time in many years I offered my opinion aloud, saying: "the refs rigged the game, they must have bets on it." As always, my comment was immediately disputed and demeaned in retort: "How do you know? You don't know that! You make things up in la-la land all the time." My feeble comeback was, "I just witnessed it and I know what I saw." (Belive this: If someone watches a few thousand NBA games intensely, then it is quite likely they know a thing or two about the subject. For readers here who've arrived in recent times, allow me to restate my long-ago admission on this blog that I was in the Blazer broadcasting TV crew for a few years ... been there in TV, done that TV thing.)

So I went to my computer and googled to an item in the saga of the NBA referee betting scandal, and prepared a link to supply in the comments as soon as Jack posted his observations on the perversion of that game. Which I expected he'd do. But which he didn't do. I quit lying-in-wait after the next day. But now this thread appears. It so happens there's a link for that:
http://deadspin.com/5392067/excerpts-from-the-book-the-nba-doesnt-want-you-to-read

There was a time (of vacuous incoherent Reagan's terms: "I don't remember. I'm sorry, I simply don't remember.") during the eighties, when NBA refs plumped their paychecks with sure bets on the Vegas line ... and scalped their perked-freebie 1st Class plane tickets ... and other sellings-out. Later one (example) of them was convicted-and-jailed in a show trial. He wrote a tell-all book exposing the prevalence throughout the NBA of the gamblers-mob vice which he alone (unfairly) was prosecuted for. The book named the names of other refs as guilty as he, and the book describes without naming even more who bet and/or cheated games but the descriptions leave no doubt in devotees accurately inferring to name who every individual is. The book was published in a limited Reviewer's Copy edition, and reviews were published, and then the book was suppressed, the publisher was extortion-influenced to breach and void the contract, and the author (ref, still in his 2-year prison) got an offer he dasn't refuse for him to faggedaboudit.

Which all amounts to longtime business as usual in such matters, (Vegas vice? Mormon mafia? the crap hit town when Howard Hughes rolled in and holed up isolated in some casino penthouse, unseen, antiseptic . . . except, know what?: it turns out and information develops that Hughes wasNOT actually there all that time as the Legend tells and nonskeptical TV-spud 'intelligence' swallows whole hog .... A story for another time; I digress), anyhow the old business-as-usual ain't working for 'them' anymore ever since the internet reached its quickening a quite-recent 15 years ago. So the book on the NBA referee dishonor did not disappear down the socio-political memory hole, and in cached webpage links it lives on, still out there, informing new generations of woulda-been NBA suckers. I mean, 'market audience.'

On this occasion recalling bygone details, I am reminded of the inauguration of the Oregon Lottery which offered betting lines on NBA games with Vegas odds. I was exhilerated, smugly pro-Lottery, expecting to parlay my 'insider' information into mega-dollar personal riches by my advantage to beat the house. Believe this: the NBA is probably the only subject in which I can beat the Vegas line consistently. It'd take awhile to get my wheels up to speed for today's league, yet the wheels are right at-hand on my rolodex, (whatever that is). It took about a month for news of the Oregon Lottery action to get to New York where David Stern was. Four hours and a cross-country corporate jet ride later, Stern was in Salem, the Legislature was submissive when squeezed vise-like with vice pressures, and the Oregon Lottery was rebooted without 'pro sports betting lines' (smidgeons, scintillas, or a single iota). It never seemed reasonable Stern would make such a big deal out of it; but now, in hindsight, connected with many ensuing revelations, (e.g., Kobe love child: who knew?), it seems clear that Stern keeps his position at the sole prerogative of gamblers-mob scorching all competition from any upstart State Lottery, even in wayward (way weird?) remote Oregon. ( ... which reminds me of NY comments the day the 'Trailblazers' entered the league, but that's another story)

After the referee epic-flaw 'news cycle', quietly and discretely some refs were shown the door and went out through it into 'retirement,' as preferable to the option of being 'shown the window', but, fer'chrissakes, I still hear referee names from 20-some years ago calling games today.

Someone suggested raising referee salaries above the level of easy temptation to get greedy; (greedier?). I doubt there is a salary high enough.

I suggest NBA refs be term limited; 'draft' refs for a 3-yr or 5-yr tour-of-duty 'hitch' from a pool of qualified whistle-shizzoos currently working college games or international games.

Now a variation on that: get more NBA career-refs. At least double the 60-man supply they have now. Assign 6 refs (not 3) to work each game, and at the start of each quarter of the game the 6 refs draw straws to determine which 3 work the next 15 minutes. Maybe one guy wouldn't work the game at all. Maybe one guy would work every quarter.

At least until then, my boycott continues. And I enjoin others to just. flat. turn. your. back. on everything NBA. Especially refuse the 'cable payment' game packages.

Through 'Vegas' routinely moves billion-dollar handles on the most asinine miniscule 'sporting events' you never heard of. Quick check: How much is a tenth-of-a-percent vig on a billion-dollar handle riding on a game? (Did you guess correctly: a million moolah? a pocket roll with a rubber band. for the oddsmaker -- in one game in one night -- and the vig is never so small as a tenth-of-a-percent?) Believe this: compared to a billion-dollar handle, your personal burning interest in a game no matter whatever it is is worth zip. nada. zilch.

Look at all the archival blog bandwidth here given to Blazer-bearing prospects, dejects, regrets and rejects: For nothing!

The elephant in the fluence which decides the outcome of every game before it starts is the TV 'market', the TV monster. That's why you are never going to see a Timberwolves vs. Pacers championship, Blazers neither: There's no TV market there. It's why the Miami juggernaut is going to end up empty-handed year after year: Miami is a bad TV market, non-performing. Spite-filled venge-sick Cuban ex-pats do not watch basketball. It needs more porn in the fluence. Maybe back-spice each player's folding-chair throne with an exotic coterie of topless 6-ft-6 Verushkas as high-heeled assistants handling towels and sweat-wiping and performance-enhancing Gatorade bottles.

Bottom line, here's the ticket: You're team is not going to win. Maybe next year, try again. Pay in advance.

Here's the thing about David Stern: He never played the game.
Here's another thing: Player lockouts. Contract intransigence failures. Season cancellations. ... oops, that's three things. "My bad." (Manute Bol)

So, yeah, I saw the 4th qtr of that game. I saw 3 wrong calls including the false 'goal tending' moment in the referee's desperation right at the end of the game while the Blazers were up.
Others saw it, too, told at Jack's link.
So many others so many times that by now it is an 'open secret' that the 'pro basketball' NBA game is rigged the same bread-4-circuses joke as 'pro wrestling'.
Wanna bet?

Two things that stick out in my mind:

2002: Mike Bibby with Kobe Bryant's elbow buried in his skull, knocking him silly... no foul called. Playoff game lost, series turned around, Lakers benefit, TV ratings up. That should have been a suspension for Kobe.

1995: Jake O'Donnell gives Clyde two completely phantom T's during game 1 vs. the Suns. Fortunately the Rockets didn't lose out because of it. It illustrates the personal nature of NBA officiating, though.

I can easily believe that there's still gambling influence today...


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