It's fun being a trailblazer, knowing that when various prominent parts of society begin to pick up on an idea you fostered a few years ago, you were there first. That's how I feel about offseason crime in the NFL, and I'll tell you why in a minute. But first, a little background on my NFL Fantasy Crime League, for the uninitiated...
A few years ago, when offseason arrests seemed to be springing up on a daily basis for everything from misdemeanor assault to murder (what up, Hernandez?!), I decided that the best way to fill our jones for fantasy football during the months of February through August was to somehow make the NFL's next most prolific activity after football — getting arrested — an empirical contest. And thus, the Fantasy Crime League was created!
It works pretty simply — get you and seven of your friends together, for eight "owners" total, and each of you picks four NFL teams. You accumulate points for each of the offseason arrests by players on your four teams based on a simple scoring system — one point for each count of a misdemeanor, three points for each count of a felony, and ten points for each count of murder. (And yes, 2013 Aaron Hernandez was the FCL equivalent of Barry Bonds's 73-home-run season.)
It's been a fun, if not sometimes sad, way to keep our minds occupied during the offseason, but I know it's of interest to people. How do I know? Because now a website called OnlineGambling.lv puts out odds on offseason crime! See?!?! I AM A TRAILBLAZER!!!
Here's what the site has as its forecast:
Odds on which NFL team will have a player arrested first in the off-season:
Dallas Cowboys: 8/1
Oakland Raiders: 9/1
Cincinnati Bengals: 21/2
Denver Broncos: 12/1
Carolina Panthers: 12/1
Odds on what that player will be arrested for:
Domestic Violence/Assault: 3/1
Driving offense (including DUI): 15/4
Drug-possession offense: 4/1
Weapons-related offense: 7/1
Odds on which team will have the most players arrested in the off-season:
Dallas Cowboys: 9/1
Minnesota Vikings: 12/1
Cleveland Browns: 14/1
Odds on which player is most likely to be arrested first:
Johnny Manziel: 12/1
Greg Hardy: 15/1
Kenny Britt: 15/1
Aldon Smith: 15/1
Adam Jones: 20/1
Jared Allen: 25/1
Okay, I look at these odds and my first thought is that OnlineGambling.lv needs to hire me as a consultant, like immediately. It has Johnny Manziel as the player most likely to be first arrested, and then on the odds on which team will have the first player arrested, there's no sign of the Cleveland Browns anywhere. By the way, the Browns should be on there not just because of Manziel, but because they've been a perennial generator of criminal activity the past few offseasons. Ask Armonty Bryant!
Two of the three teams OnlineGambling.lv has as options for most arrests aren't even options as the team with the first arrest. That, too, makes no sense. Also, the site has a ton of empty bets on here with zero value. Minnesota as the second option for most players arrested? Based on what? Adrian Peterson beating his kid a year ago? A party boat that took place a decade ago? The Cowboys getting all of this crime chalk on these odds feels very cliché, too. And yes, I know Greg Hardy is on their team. Finally, Jared Allen being arrested first? Why? Because he had some DUIs in 2006??
The team odds for most arrests, based on personnel and history, SHOULD look like this...
Cleveland Browns 4/1
Cincinnati Bengals 7/1
San Francisco 49ers 10/1
Oakland Raiders 12/1
Baltimore Ravens 15/1
Houston Texans 1 gajillion/1
The bottom line here — I love the idea of placing odds on NFL crime, but please have someone who's followed it in the past, say, ten years actually generating the odds. Someone like me! And oh, by the way, LeSean McCoy is about to be our first offseason arrest, so none of those players are gonna pay off anyway. You suck, OnlineGambling.lv!
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.