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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

Ultra High Stakes

Wednesday
August 3, 2016

Today was a big day for the Daily Fantasy Sports industry, with New York Governor Mario Cuomo signing a bill confirming the legality of DFS in the state. And, with that move, I've ended my nearly six-month hiatus from writing on this website.

The reason for that hiatus: I didn't want to write anything that could potentially disrupt the process or prove detrimental. I noted in December how a tweet I had embedded was echoed in remarkably similar fashion during one of the Republican presidential debates. And that was good in a sense, as it was my message (slightly modified by Chris Christie to closer fit his agenda) being broadcast, even if it was entirely coincidental.

I have no way of knowing whether that tweet actually played any role in what Christie said on stage this past October. And I would suggest the odds are most likely that it was unrelated. But you'll have to believe me that I've seen my writing on here (and elsewhere) have all sorts of ramifications, both positive and negative. And I'm sure there are many other times it has happened, pro or con, that I never knew about and likely never will.

But the bill that was signed today came to life through the extensive lobbying efforts of the DFS industry and what from the outside looked like a brutal fight in the New York state legislature. It was incredibly frustrating to have to sit back and watch the process from afar, with so much riding on the outcome, and having to mostly stay quiet about it. But that was the smart move, so that's what I did.

While this involved only one state, it had potential ramifications for the entire country. And while DFS was not illegal in New York, the politics of that state can be daunting. To point, look at how long it took UFC to finally successfully have mixed martial arts legalized there.

Speaking of politics, the U.S. presidential race remains incredibly compelling. It has been some great timing for the Libertarian Party in having a town hall taking place tonight on CNN, which the network has promoted big-time over the past few days, with so much negativity out there around both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

To be sure, it's quite refreshing to see some deviation from the false narrative of a two-person race. And it's not just Gary Johnson I'm talking about -- the Green Party's Jill Stein is showing up as well in national polling.

Unfortunately, the steep 15% polling threshold in place for a berth into the national debates is there for a reason: to keep other voices out from Big Government Left and Big Government Right, as it often is. Of course, this has been an election season like no other, and certainly the status quo is being challenged in a wide variety of ways. So we'll see how that all plays out.

It has been brutally hot and humid here in Nashville over the past couple of weeks. Just awful. I feel bad for people who have to work outside in this oppressive heat, and that goes double for football players enduring the drudgery of training camp and two-a-day practices while trying to avoid dehydration and heat exhaustion. The struggle is real.

The 2016 Father Ryan High School football season starts in just 16 days, with the Irish opening the season at Hillwood on Friday, August 19. Unless plans change, I should be part of the broadcast team for the webcasts of all of the FRHS football games in 2016. No trips to Memphis are on the slate this year, at least not during the regular season, though Father Ryan has a pair of games in Chattanooga and one down south in Spring Hill.


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