take me out to the ball game

Is it still true in 2019 that Major League Baseball is Americas’ pastime?  It could be, hard to tell anymore.  There is so much glitter and glamour in the media these days that it’s difficult to cull the relevant from the flotsam. But MLB is still going strong after almost 150 years.

Baseball has been around for a long, long time, traditions run deep, the ball parks continue to fill up and the networks continue to broadcast the games.  Players’ salaries are going into the stratosphere, so the money must keep coming in.

It’s not uncommon to hear someone say, ‘baseball, it’s too slow, or, it’s boring’. To some folks it’s just that. To others it’s a calling like no other sport offers.  OK, so it’s slow.  That’s part of the charm.  Anticipation is part of the game.

The irony is that only the quickest of the best athletes can play baseball at a professional level.  Being fast and strong isn’t enough.  A good baseball player must be quicker than quick to play in the big leagues.

Baseball is not about brute strength or speed, although both of those factors come into play during a game.  Baseball is more about finesse and head to head competition. It’s more like a chess game between two players who know each other very well.

Consider the principal action; a guy throws a small, hard baseball from a mound located 66.6 feet away from the batter at speeds approaching 100 miles an hour.  The batter has a rounded bat with which he is expected to propel the ball into play in a field measuring around 400 feet deep.  Round ball, round bat, round playing field. Consider the possibilities.

Once the batter hits the ball, he must then make it 90 feet to first base before the defensive fielders can get the ball back to first.  Of course the batter won’t have to hurry if he manages to bang the ball the entire 400 feet, out of the field of play and into the waiting glove of some young fan who brought that glove just to make that catch.

The intricacies of the game of baseball are what make the game so fascinating.  It is said that one will see something new each and every time they go out to the ball park. Few moments in sports are more exhilarating than a base hit with runners in scoring position and the third base coach waving the runner home like a windmill gone mad. Then the slide, the tag and the umpires call.  There ain’t nothing else like it.

But what makes baseball so special are the fans.  The folks in the stands just seem to be having a lot more fun than most other sports fans.  You see more families, more kids and more smiles at baseball games, and that alone is good reason to watch ‘the Great American Pastime’.



old school bookieThere is a whole new bag of tricks available for the professional bookmaker these days.  The era of the smoky sports bar, the pay phone on the back wall and the roll of quarters has given way to the iPad and the SmartPhone.

Even your old trusty beeper and cell phone have been made obsolete by the new technologies available for wagering and modern bookmaking software has enabled the local bookie, working with a good price per head company like HostPPH.com, to offer to his or her clients any and all of the options offered by the big offshore sports books.  Worldwide sports action, casino and horse racing, even live wagering on big games is now available from the ‘local guy’.

In fact, a quality price per head service provides their clients, who are all bookies, with all the tools necessary to run a successful bookmaking business in today’s fast paced climate….and actually make money doing it. A first class pay per head service company will deal exclusively with bookies and does not run a sportsbook on the side, and thereby be a competitor for your players.

Never before has the local bookie had a service available that not only provides world-wide sports action around the clock, but the service that also grades the games for you and keeps track of all of your records, constantly updated and available via a secure internet connection 24/7.  No more little black book!

Additionally, and even better, HostPPH Service employs a team of line management professionals who work around the clock to make sure that the lines your players see are kept just as sharp as possible at all times. That part of the deal alone will make you money when all is said and done. Also your players will be working from a private page which they will see a good minute or two before the major public line services are posted.

The experienced client service reps at HostPPH.com will work with you in every way possible to help minimize your risks while maximizing your profits.  The bookmaker will be able to stay on top of his player’s action to a degree never before possible.  Features such as the Live Bet Ticker show you all your action as it comes in…in real time.

A Delay Option is also available to keep an eye on your sharp players and even a Big Bet Alert which can be set for wagers of any amount. When a bet comes in which exceeds that amount, the bookmaker will be advised by means of an audible signal alerting him or her that the bet has been made.

HostPPH.com even includes, as part of your package, a risk management service that will evaluate and report any situation where the bookie is getting hit as well as suggest ways to correct the situation.

Bookmaking is now easier and better than ever!



nfl 19The NFL had to do something.  In addition to the obviously needed rule change to allow video replay review on pass interference calls, such as the one that kept the New Orleans Saints out of the Super Bowl last year, there were a few other significant changes made in the NFL Rule Book for 2019.

‘Blindside Blocks’ have always been frowned upon. It’s a sneaky practice, hitting someone when they are not looking.  There is obviously no way to count the number of sports related injuries over the years that have occurred because of a blindside blocking.  The spine, the lower back and of course the head and neck area are all at considerable risk for the victim of a blindside block who has no chance to prepare his body for a pending collision.

So now the league is making another set of rules and penalties to try and bring blind side blocks to an end, or at least make them a rarity.   To that end the NFL has announced a 15 yard penalty for any player who “initiates a block in which he is moving toward or parallel to his own end line and makes forcible contact to his opponent with his helmet, forearm or shoulder”.  If ever there was a rule that sounded as if it came out of a committee, this one qualifies.

Previously the NFL considered blindside blocks to be OK unless the head or neck area was contacted during the block.  It surely took them long enough to make this obvious change to the rulebook for the protection of the players.

Everybody likes kickoffs and punts.  Here is a chance for some fast paced exciting action after too many lack luster off tackle plays.  Long distances are covered and what was the defense suddenly becomes the offense taking their turn at moving the ball down the field quickly.

However, when statistics on in game injuries started to be recorded and studied, it was noticed that a rather alarming percentage of injuries during a game came during punt returns and kickoffs.  That same ‘sudden change’ that makes the game so exciting for the fans is was shown to be the major contributing cause of these injuries. In fact, about 10% of all injuries suffered during an NFL game occur during punts and kickoffs.

In 2018 the league installed rules eliminating the two-man wedge and putting restrictions on running starts for the coverage team, thus cutting down on some of the high speed collisions and resulting in some 38% reduction in concussions on kickoffs when compared to the last 3 seasons.  That’s a significant number of players’ heads not being violently, and repeatedly, contacted.

Last year the NFL expanded the powers of the officials overseeing the games to include the power to eject from the game any player who committed a ‘non-football aggressive act’ such as fighting, it only happened once last year, but the rule was in place.

This year Al Riveron, who is Senior Vice President of Officiating of the NFL, and his associates will also have the power to eject a player for football related offences as well, such as targeting, if they feel ejection is warranted.

A much need revision of the existing overtime rules was brought up and then tabled for further discussion at a later date.  Let’s hope they get this done before the next NFL season kicks off so that each team will get at least one possession of the ball during the overtime period.  Wouldn’t that be nice?


$NCAA$The big fat elephant in the room is finally becoming visible for everyone to see.  We’ve all known that the elephant was there, for all these years, but no one ever wanted to talk about it, until the FBI got involved.  Now the milk has been spilt and there is no putting it back in the bottle.

Few sports fans were surprised to hear about top college athletes being paid to attend a certain school.  Perhaps not directly in cash, maybe a mortgage got paid off. One day our star shows up in a new car.  It’s been going on since cars had crank up windows.

The whole thing started to come apart when the FBI mounted an investigation built around alleged fraud and bribery perpetrated by a couple of minor league backstage players looking for their piece of the pie and power.  The Feds used wire taps, and these guys used the phones, a lot.  From the evidence gathered from these wire taps, convictions were handed down against both Christian Dawkins and Merl Code back in October 2018.  There was no real defense.

Now these two wannabe middlemen are back in the spotlight. Along with another member of their nefarious fraternity named Marty Blazer, who apparently was some sort of successful financial advisor until he was busted by the Securities and Exchange Commission for misappropriation of funds belonging to various NFL players whose accounts he managed.  How’s that for credibility?

With the addition of Mr. Blazer the whole case is now spiraling out of control and threatening to do some real and lasting harm to some of the oldest and most legendary college programs in the country.  Blazer testified at the hearings that he had directed payments to various football players from big name campuses like Notre Dame, Penn State, Michigan, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Northwestern and even Alabama.  “I paid them”, confessed Blazer.

It is obvious that we have come to a fork in the road concerning college athletics.  Mark Emmert’s leadership of the NCAA has proved to be nothing more effective than the ostrich burying its head in the sand when danger approaches. They know what’s going on, always have.  Now they will have to face the music and explain why nothing has been done up to this point.

Even the defending NCAA Football Championship program at Clemson has come under fire as an off shoot of these hearings.  They have an assistant basketball coach at Clemson named Steve Smith a couple of years ago talking on tape with the above mentioned Christian Dawkins, ostensibly about recruiting a basketball player, but, Smith let slip, “That’s why football is so successful, is if you do it and use resources at Clemson, like you can really keep everything tight”. 

It’s not ‘tight’ anymore coach.  In fact, the whole thing is blown to hell and back and we are going to be living with the repercussions for years to come.

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