For decades, the NFL viewed Las Vegas as a city of degenerates that would infiltrate its wholesome product and compromise the sanctity of the league. It was all hogwash on many fronts, of course, starting with fears that a franchise in Sin City would lead the league into a betting scandal.
NFL owners, in meetings Monday, were set to incorporate common sense – or was it dollars and cents? – and approve the Oakland Raiders' move to Las Vegas. It was about time owners realized players were no more likely to fix games in Las Vegas than anywhere else. Good luck preventing anyone from gambling.
Professional athletes run afoul every year because they make poor decisions, not because they live in a specific environment. Buffalo wasn't some street-racing hotbed before Marcell Dareus arrived. And the Broncos and Seahawks didn't turn into potheads because marijuana was legalized in their states.
The NFL capitalized greatly on gambling, and it's not going away. Injury reports are released every week because they affect betting lines. Revenue soared over the past 20 years as fantasy leagues became more popular. Let's not kid ourselves. It was never about morals. It was always about money.