Speaking of the proliferation of gambling on NFL games, the league has its own website - nfl.com/fantasy. As in fantasy football.
If fantasy sports isn't gambling, then Penthouse isn't pornographic.
Fantasy football is as addicting, if not more so, then betting the point spread. It puts a more insidious hook into its practitioners: Sports bettors operate under the delusion they're smart enough to beat the game; fantasy savants operate under the delusion they could be NFL general managers.
(For real. I've seen these guys wandering into sports bars on Sundays, with their printouts, clipboards, baseball caps and iPhones. They're all Bill Polian with a Bud Light.)
The NFL's McCarthy denounces "gambling on the outcome of our games." Well, fantasy followers are gambling on the outcome of every play.
With apologies to Faith Hill, Americans aren't waiting all day for Sunday night, they're waiting all day for fantasy results.
This Fantasy Island is a gambler's paradise; Roger Goodell looks almost as sharp as Ricardo Montalban. But it's like a speakeasy: You've got to know the doorman - the NFL - to get in.
Ask The Slouch
Q. With the NHL canceling two weeks of regular-season games, what will The Slouch do to fill those cold, empty autumn nights? (Patrick Long; Franklin, Ind.)
A. Actually, I think this is a brilliant marketing ploy by the NHL - it creates a buzz, like when "Mad Men" extends production time between seasons.
Q. When a catcher visits the mound, the pitcher always seems to put his glove up in front of his face. What does your wife put up in front of her face when you visit? (Brian Coffman; Gaithersburg, Md.)
A. Usually, a bounced check and a notarized "Dear John" letter.
Q. Whatever happened to common courtesy and Southern hospitality? (Matthew Pines; Monroeville, Pa.)
A. I'd have to lay the blame at the feet of the SEC.
Q. If Bud Selig were poker commissioner, would he add two wild cards to the World Series of Poker? (Mark Pattison; Washington, D.C.)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just e-mail asktheslo...@aol.com and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!