Sports books would be great bet for New Hampshire

Alan Greenwood

Endorse sports gambling as a legitimate recreation and alarmists will will declare DEFCON 1. Gray images of faceless guys with fedoras and gun holsters skulk in their heads.

Fearing sports books is silly on all levels. As a matter of public policy, the obvious contradiction is that states have long endorsed gambling as a means of creating a trough for governmental spending. Or have the state lotteries and scratch tickets recently disappeared from every convenience store in New Hampshire?

Mainly there is the ancient fear that zombies from the 1919 White Sox will foul today’s big leagues. That argument comes to mind via an Associated Press story detailing an investigation into pro tennis in Europe. As the AP reported, investigators are looking into allegations that some obscure players on the bottom rung ofthe sport’s ladder “are being questioned this week by police in France on suspicion of fixing matches for Grigor Sargsyan, 28-year-old known as the Maestro, investigators said. Sargsyan is being held in a Belgian jail.”

In other words, the game’s lineup of stars make far too much money, and have far too much to lose if exposed, for match fixers to lure them into the tank.

That difficulty is multiplied several times in our big leagues. And every league now has its own investigatory bodies to keep tabs on even the slightest suspicion that a player, team or game official has his paws on dirty money.

It would cost so much to fix a big-league game that there is far more risk than potential reward.

Now that sports gambling has been unshackled by federal laws, many states have acknowledged the obvious and moved forward. Kudos to Rhode Island for taking the lead in New England.

Of course it isn’t as if New Hampshire needs a new revenue stream to fund state agencies and, perhaps, lead municipalities to ease up on property tax increases.

TIME TRAVEL: Jan. 17, 1988: “The long trip was worthwhile for Laura Bellot and her Presentation of Mary Academy teammates Saturday when the Golden Griffons came up with a 46-34 defeat of White Mountains Regional High School.

“Bellot led the way with 17 points and 23 rebounds as the Griffons raised their record to 7-4. … Ginger Ball added 15 points for Presentation of Mary while Sarah Dunham had 10. Sandra Zirnheld contributed five steals.”

GREEN DREAM: If the following isn’t enough to bring a sickening feeling to the tummies of Celtics fans than their loved ones desperately need to intervene:

The Celts went into Wednesday night’s home game against Toronto having gone 0-3 on a road trip including stops in Miami, Orlando and Brooklyn.

None of those dregs will be mistaken for the Golden State Warriors any time soon. And neither will the Celtics.

It is futile to attempt explaining their woes. And now it seems that there may be some internal squabbling to supplement their shoddy on-court buffoonery.

Simply put, those of us who harbored high hopes on the Celtics vastly over-rated their potential.

Alan Greenwood can be reached at 594-1248, agreenwood or @Telegraph_ AlanG.