random ramblings fred riecke, gamblersdata

underwear on head

 

…An elderly man robbed a Florida bank with underwear over his face because he was broke after gambling on horses and playing poker. The Palm Beach Post reported that 73-year-old John A. Dougherty held up the bank in the Lakewood Park area with a loaded shotgun. Seven bank employees and one customer were there at the time of the robbery. Dougherty allegedly told two employees to put $20 and $50 bills into a plastic Wal-Mart bag. After taking what amounted to less than $2,000, Dougherty fled the scene. A bank robbery tracking device reportedly was in the bag, and police eventually caught up to the suspect. Dougherty faces one charge of armed robbery and eight counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He reportedly admitted to the robbery once apprehended. “The suspect told me he was on a fixed income and gambled away his money on horses and Texas hold-em,” a police officer wrote in the arrest report.

…And the morale of the story was simple: If you want to dispose of counterfeit chips, don’t try to chug them down a toilet drain. That, according to state investigators, is what Christian Lusardi of Fayetteville, North Casino, attempted to do when Borgata Casino officials found that someone had introduced counterfeit chips into a poker tournament. Lusardi was arrested Friday at a motel in Atlantic City on charges including theft and rigging a public contest, according to a report by the AP’s Wayne Parry. The allegations followed a revelation by poker tournament officials that some 160 of the counterfeit poker chips, with a tournament value of $5,000 and totaling $800,000, were found among the genuine casino chips. State officials from the Division of Gaming  Enforcement temporarily froze the tournament’s prize money and canceled the event.

…Add Tourney Fake Chips – The Borgata’s senior vice president Joe Lupo said the first indication that anything was amiss came when his casino received a call from Harrah’s Casino nearby in the city’s Marina District. A chip examination followed, as did an immediate cancellation of the tournament. New Jersey State Police Trooper Jeffrey Flynn told the Associated Press that it appeared that the counterfeit chips were slipped into tournament play on multiple occasions. Also, it was determined that Lusardi had son $6,814 during the tournament. The suspect was jailed awaiting payment of $300,000 bail money.

…Northwestern University football players — led by former quarterback Kain Colter — reportedly have signed union cards in their attempt to form a labor union for college athletes. ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” reports Ramogi Huma, the president of the National College Players Association, filed a petition in Chicago on behalf of an undisclosed number of Northwestern players to the National Labor Relations Board. The NCPA also filed union cards signed by the players, according to the report.

…Add College Players Start Union – More from ESPN: Huma told “Outside The Lines” that the move to unionize players at Northwestern started with quarterback Kain Colter, who reached out to him last spring and asked for help in giving athletes representation in their effort to improve the conditions under which they play NCAA sports. Colter became a leading voice in regular NCPA-organized conference calls among players from around the country. After the ESPN report was released, Colter spoke with the Chicago Tribune‘s Teddy Greenstein: “A lot of people will think this is all about money; it’s not,” Colter said. “We’re asking for a seat at the table to get our voice heard.” Regarding the prospects of unionizing, Colter said: “Everything now is in the hands of the lawyers. We’re not expecting a decision to be made right away. It might take a year or two or go all the way to the Supreme Court.”

…With the retirement of speed skater Apolo Ohno, the withdrawal of skier Lindsey Vonn and no American singles figure skaters as a medal favorite, NBC was short on pre-made star athletes heading into this year’s Sochi Games. So clearly the network was pleased with Lolo Jones (and fellow track star Lauryn Williams, a three-time summer Olympian) being selected for the U.S. bobsled team last week. With her high Q rating, social media presence, and as a two-time Summer Olympian, including famously missing out on gold in Beijing after a late stumble in the 100-meter hurdles, Jones has provided NBC with a huge ratings opportunity for a sport that usually doesn’t get mega primetime coverage. On this note, Sports on Earth writer Selena Roberts (a former Sports Illustrated senior writer and sports columnist for the New York Times) wrote a piece Thursday headlined “NOT A GOOD LOOK FOR NBC,” which implied NBC had a hand in Jones being named to the team.

…Add Lolo and NBC – “NBC’s convenience is another’s conspiracy,” Roberts wrote. “Somewhere in Middle America, the fans of Katie Eberling, the humble bobsledder from Palos Hills, Ill., were reaching for the Rolaids. Eberling, the most decorated brakeman on the team and a three-year veteran with a history of superior times, was left off the Olympic squad. Instead, she will be the alternate and stand by her team with congratulations for all, but Katie’s grace doesn’t make the selection issue go away. As her father, Hal Eberling, said in a phone interview on Tuesday, ‘It’s a mystery to me. I wish someone would explain how Lolo is on the team.’ He remained diplomatic despite the disappointment and financial sacrifice of the family. U.S. bobsled officials were not made available for comment this week…. NBC plays an unspoken role in the team politics of the Games.”

…We all know Super Bowl tickets can be expensive and elusive. Therefore, any creative way to catch the game without needing to buy them should be considered, especially for the ones playing in the big affair, whose family and friends are counting on them to come through with tickets. In order to appease the people they love, Denver Broncos defensive end Robert Ayers and safety Mike Adams decided to pitch in some cash to rent out a nearby Hooter’s, located in Hackensack, N.J., which just so happens to be close to where the players grew up. “I figured they have good food and, you know … ” a smiling Ayers told NJ.com. “It’s just a great sports bar and a nice place for our families to go enjoy the game.”

…The murder trial involving famed South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius will have a 24-hour television channel in his native country devoted to the court proceedings, according to a report by the Associated Press. On Wednesday, South Africa’s top cable provider, MultiChoice, promised to provide “round-the-clock” coverage of the trial, featuring one of the biggest stories from 2013, which will undoubtedly capture the attention of the country and world alike. The “pop-up” channel will launch on March 2, the day before Pistorius goes on trial, for killing his 29-year-old girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, in his home last Valentines Day. MultiChoice said the channel would give “inside information on the most talked-about and controversial subject in recent South African history.” A spokesperson said there would also be “a rich variety of content and social media integration” around the trial, too.

…There is no bigger supporter of the Oregon Ducks than Nike founder Phil Knight. After all, Knight has supplied the school with an exorbitant amount of money over the years, which is probably one of the main reasons why the Ducks are giving away bobbleheads made in Knight’s likeness. Yes, fans who attend Saturday’s game against USC are set to receive a complimentary figurine of Mr. Nike himself. As a bobblehead, Knight is looking pretty sharp, with his dark shades, Ducks cap and shirt, green kicks, and casual blazer.

…TCU defensive end Devonte Fields has declined to press charges after telling Fort Worth police that he was beaten and robbed by armed suspects. Coach Gary Patterson says Fields was the victim but he’s OK and attended classes and workouts Tuesday, hours after the incident. A police report says Fields at one point struggled with a gunman and the weapon fired but nobody was shot and the three suspects fled. Police say the attack happened at the player’s off-campus residence when Fields went outside to start his car. A cellphone, a video game system and some clothing items were stolen from his home. TCU personnel examined Fields, who declined further medical attention.

…According to a report from TMZ Sports, former WWE wrestler Matt Hardy and his wrestling wife Reby Sky, were arrested earlier in the month after allegedly getting involved in a fight with one another, that left each of them bloodied. A hotel staffer called 911 and said, “A guest just came down here and said somebody’s beating the hell out of his wife a girl or something.” When cops arrived to the scene, both Matt and Sky were arrested for assault and battery. They were released on $3,500 bail.

…Add Hardy Sky Battle – Whatever took place that night, it reportedly hasn’t caused the two of them to leave one another’s side, as they have posted pictures of each other since the alleged incident. Hardy was released from the WWE back in 2010, and after a short stint in TNA, he has since fought with independent wrestling organizations and Ring of Honor.  Hardy has had legal problems in the past, twice being arrested for DWI within a month span. He was also charged with possession with intent to sell or deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, maintaining a drug dwelling and possession of drug paraphernalia, after a frantic call from Sky about his behavior from use of drugs. He entered a rehab shortly thereafter, but was kicked out. WWE was paying for the stay. He was arrested for his failure to comply with finishing the rehab, and was given another shot, which he did complete.

…A sports collector filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and other members of the franchise — including CEO John Mara – alleging they participated in selling fake “game-worn” Super Bowl jerseys and other team memorabilia in order to keep the originals for themselves, according to a report Thursday from Kaja Whitehouse of the New York Post. The list of those allegedly duped by the Giants includes the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which the report says has a helmet on display that Manning supposedly wore during the Giants’ 2008 Super Bowl victory over the Patriots. Among the other items the Giants allegedly pawned off as real are several jerseys worn by Manning, two helmets worn during the 2012 Super Bowl and a 2004 rookie season helmet. The Giants issued a statement on Thursday denying the allegations: “This suit is completely without any merit whatsoever and we will defend it vigorously. We will not otherwise comment on pending litigation.”

…Six former players from the 1985 Chicago Bears team and appeared in the music video “Super Bowl Shuffle” filed a lawsuit to control the use of their likenesses and make sure the profits are used for charity, according to Forbes and the Chicago Sun-Times. Hall of Famer and Super Bowl XX MVP Richard Dent as well as Willie Gault, Jim McMahon, Otis Wilson, Steve Fuller and Mike Richardson sued Renaissance Marketing Corporation, the licensing agent and Julia Meyer, who owns the rights to the “Super Bowl Shuffle.” The former players say that the defendants don’t have permission to commercially exploit their identities, images, names, likenesses, voices and performances from the video. “The lawsuit provides that an important, and stated, objective of the ‘Super Bowl Shuffle’ when it was produced in 1985 was to give back to Chicago’s neediest families,” said Walid J. Tamari, the plaintiff’s attorney. “As the complaint states, among other things, the plaintiffs seek that a constructive trust be established for charitable purposes that they select in order to continue the Super Bowl Shuffle’s charitable objective.” The song eventually went gold and earned a Grammy nomination.

…The Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies investigated a suspicious white powder that was mailed to at least five New Jersey hotels near the site of the Super Bowl, reports the Associated Press. The Record reports that the substance delivered by mail to hotels in Rutherford and East Rutherford near MetLife Stadium was cornstarch. No injures were reported with the incidents. The AP report states that one of the envelopes contained baking soda and tests on a powder that was found in a letter sent to former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s company in Manhattan showed no threat.

…NFL commissioner Roger Goodell backed the Washington Redskins’ moniker Friday, stating that nine out of 10 Native Americans support the name. That remark came during Goodell’s annual press conference on the Friday of Super Bowl week. Goodell actually was asked rather contentiously if he “would call a [Native American] a Redskin to his face?” The commissioner mostly sidestepped that question, instead offering up the reasoning behind not forcing Washington owner Daniel Snyder to change his team’s name. “This is the name of a football team … [and it has been] presented in a way that honors Native Americans,” Goodell said. In June, Goodell also argued for Snyder’s right to keep the Redskins name in a letter sent to 10 members of Congress, who had called on the commissioner to step in. “The Washington Redskins name has … from its origin represented a positive meaning distinct from any disparagement that could be viewed in some other context,” Goodell wrote. “For the team’s million of fans and customers, who represent one of America’s most ethnically and geographically diverse fan bases, the name is a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.” Goodell added in that letter that “the Washington Redskins name has been confirmed in a legal context.”

…What ever became of Jahvid Best?  Well, now you know.  More than two years after he last played an NFL game, former Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best has filed a lawsuit against the league on the grounds that it “was aware of the evidence and the risks associated with repetitive traumatic brain injuries … but deliberately ignored and actively concealed the information.” Equipment company Riddell, which manufactures the NFL’s helmets, also was named in the suit. Best suffered at least five concussions in his career — three with the Lions and two at Cal. The Detroit Free Press first reported on the filing. According to the Free Press‘ Dave Birkett, Best also has a pending worker’s compensation claim against the Lions. The team was not named in the recent lawsuit. “We are aware of the suit,” the team said in a statement, per Birkett, “but we have no additional comment as we are not a party.” Best’s attorney, Bret Schnitzer, told ESPN.com that one of the main goals of this recent lawsuit is “to set up a medical fund for Mr. Best in order to deal with future medical conditions out of this concussion syndrome.

…Here’s something you aren’t hearing from the network talking heads about the Super Bowl.  Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas opened up about what it will be like to play in the Super Bowl on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks while his mother and grandmother watch the game from prison, according to a report from Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com Both relatives are currently in a federal prison in Tallahassee, Fla. His mother is serving a 20-year sentence for conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and his grandmother is serving a life sentence for her role in the crime. Thomas said on Monday his mother told him that all of the “ladies have t-shirts” in prison and are waiting to cheer him on during the Super Bowl on Sunday, according to Smith’s report: “My momma, she just told me, ‘I told you you would make it.’ We haven’t really talked about it much, but I talked to my grandma, and she said the same thing. She got emotional and all, but they just said, ‘You were going to make it.’ They get to watch every game that comes on TV there… They drive me more to know that they’re there and they’re watching me. I try to go out there and play my best because they’re going to talk about it to the people in the jailhouse.”

…Thanks to Jimmi Adair and Bush League Chronicle for the Super Bowl menu:  The fine folks over at Gamedayr were nice enough to paint this illustration by listing a rundown of prices for certain concession items. Here is a look at the overpriced menu:

Premium Can Beer – $14 Bottled Beer – $12 Wine – $12 Soft Drink – $6 Hot Chocolate – $11 Peanuts – $6 Bottled Water – $6 Cheesesteak – $16 Meatball Sub – $13 Roast Pork Sandwich – $13 Souvenir Soup Mug – $20 Cup of Soup – $8 Buffalo Mac ‘N Cheese – $8 Footlong Hot Dog – $13 Sausage – $14

Yikes!

The combination of the game being played in the economy-inflated market of New York, as well as the magnitude of the Super Bowl itself, makes for a combustible combo on a fan’s wallet.

 

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