Thursday, February 09, 2006

Gamble On

For starters, here are some thoughts about the NHL betting scandal that is getting ready to pop. First of all, I like how all of the articles that mention Janet Jones (Wayne Gretzky's wife) have felt the need to mention her profession (actress); some have even given her the hyphenated title of actress-wife. This information seems superfluous to me. If she was famous for her acting, it wouldn't be necessary to remind everyone of her profession. Since she is famous for being married to Wayne Gretzky (and for gambling, apparently), let's just call her Wayne's wife and leave it at that.

When Gretzky was traded from the Oilers to the Kings on 8/8/88, at least part of the reason was so Janet could focus on her acting career. Alan Alda can say all he wants about being a sensitive guy, but the greatest hockey player in NHL history leaving the greatest hockey dynasty of the 1980's so his wife could get a couple of bit parts in some crappy movies has to be one of the biggest sensitive guy moves of all-time. Of course, there were other factors that brought Gretzky to L.A., such as money, cash, and Bruce McNall's baseball card collection. Speaking of Bruce, I wouldn't be surprised if he's part of Operation: Slapshot, assuming he's not dead or in jail right now.

One final thought regarding yesterday's post, why do media outlets keep going out of their way to describe the Danish political cartoons as caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad? Would there be riots in the Muslim world right now if the paper had drawn caricatures of Muhammad Ali? Muhsin Mohammed? If the cartoons had featured drawings of Vishnu that some Hindus found offensive, perhaps some explanation would be warranted since I don't think most Americans are all that knowledgeable about Hinduism, but I think almost anyone who is aware of Islam is also aware of Mohammed.



MDS said...

I always thought it was absurd that people blamed Janet Jones for the Gretzky trade. He got traded because he wanted to get traded. Gretzky wanted to be richer and more famous throughout North America. His marriage to an actress was a symptom, not the cause. But you're right, there's really no reason to mention that she's an actress.

Gretzky has some real answering to do here, though. How many guys do you know whose wives are betting their money on sports without their knowledge? The evidence seems to suggest that Gretzky was at least aware of a major illegal gambling operation that had its tentacles wrapped up in the NHL.

dhodge said...

Gretzky's in a really bad position, it seems. Either he was using his wife to place sports bets on his behalf, his wife was betting on sports using one of his assistant coaches as her bookie unbeknownst to him, or he and his wife were betting large sums of money on sports with some shady characters.

MDS said...

I wonder if in any way this is good for the NHL. People throughout the U.S. are talking about it for the first time in a long time, and it's been said that there's no such thing as bad publicity. Although I don't know that anyone is suddenly going to start watching hockey just because this reminded them of it.