Vegas bookmaking, NFL money-taking, and NBA ankle-breaking


By Mike Ashley

WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS: Ironically, Las Vegas bookies are rooting against the Golden Knights, preseason 500-to-1 shots to win the NHL’s Stanley Cup this year as an expansion team.

THIS JUST IN: At the league meetings this week in Atlanta, NFL owners voted unanimously to keep making a ‘poop-load’ of money.

TKO FOR KOs: The NFL is also changing kickoffs. I think we had safer kickoffs figured out a long time ago in the backyard. You could slow down oncoming tacklers with the savvy use of the time-honored ‘spot pass.’ Actually, the thing I want most now is from backyard kids’ baseball. Somebody get me a ‘ghost runner’ to go to the supermarket today!

MAN DOWN: Should we discount Steph Curry’s and James Harden’s offensive heroics because, well, they’re playing ‘defense’ against each other?

I’D PREFER BUCKET SEATS: Regarding the Indianapolis 500, I just heard Ed Carpenter is sitting on the pole. That always sounded a mite painful to me.

TIMEOUT FOR TRIVIA: Speaking of the Vegas Golden Knights, they have a chance to be the expansion team that won a championship the fastest. Whose record would they break?

JUST SAYIN’: I’m not sure the Cleveland LeBrons or the Boston Celtots can hang with a healthy Warriors team if Golden State gets by Houston, which suddenly isn’t a given.

BALTIMORE OH’S: Not 1988 bad, but these Birds are bad. Take Dylan Bundy. Please. He allowed four home runs without recording an out, something that hasn’t happened in baseball, maybe ever, or at least since I coached Little League.

PENALTY KICK: Did you see Brandi Chastain’s plaque recently unveiled in the (San Francisco) Bay Area Hall of Fame? Yikes. The artist should lose his shirt. And not in celebration.

DONALD DUCKS OUT: Los Angeles defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who leads all DTs in sacks since 2015, is sitting out OTAs, looking for a bigger contract so he can buy a last name.

BOWL GAME: In a related note, I sat out OATS at breakfast this morning.

IS THERE SOMEONE NAMED ‘HOT WINGS’? My favorite World Cup player will likely be Spain’s Nacho Fernandez, for reasons that should be obvious.

GOING FOR CLEAN SWEEP: Three-year-old colt Justify has proven himself the top horse in racing, and certainly tops on tracks where they should be shooting washing detergent commercials.

TRIVIA ANSWER: In their third season, thanks to the timely drafting of Lew Alcinder (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), the Milwaukee Bucks won the 1971 NBA title.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mike Ashley has covered college athletics for over 30 years. He has worked in the athletic departments at Virginia Tech, Radford University and Marshall University, in addition to freelance work from his Northern Virginia home. Ashley has also worked as a stand-up comic, and has been a regular on many radio stations throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. His work appears in Terrapin Times (covering the University of Maryland), NCAA programs, Blue Ribbon YearbooksAthlonLindy’s, and on bathroom stalls in major sporting venues. He has also co-authored a book on the golden age of Virginia Military Institute football, “Best Regrets: VMI’s John McKenna and The Lost Age of College Football.” Previously, the Salem, Va., native has helped author books on the New York Yankees, Emmitt Smith, Maryland’s 2002 NCAA basketball championship, and published a book on the history of Radford University.

William Roth