Today in sports: Nike will not be ruining your favorite NFL uniform when they become the league's official apparel supplier, Roger Goodell gets a new contract, and Las Vegas took some big bets on the Giants.
Nike is taking over the production of NFL apparel in April, and sports sartorialists are already starting to worry that the company will foist matte helmets and bichromatic pant-and-jersey combinations on the professional game. These fears are not unreasonable, since Nike exec Charlie Denson said back in 2010 that the company planned on "changing the NFL jersey dramatically." A day after Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio referenced Denson's quote in a post, he received a friendly email from NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, who assured him that logos are "controlled by teams and the NFL" and they always will be. He explained that the league expects Nike to deliver "new uniform technology (i.e., performance-driven, lighter materials)," rather than the fascistic alternate uniforms they created for schools like Oklahoma State over there. [PFT]
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been given a contract extension that runs through the 2018 regular season. Terms weren't disclosed, but Goodell was believed to be making about $10 million a year under his old pact. Considering Goodell secured a new collective bargaining agreement over the summer without losing a single regular season game, and last month finished negotiating the league's new nine-year TV agreements, which is expected to generate an average of $3.2 billion annually for the NFL, it's safe to say his price was never going to be higher. [AP]
In Las Vegas, the house always wins except when the New York Giants make an unlikely trip to the Super Bowl after being written off by touts earlier in the season. Some sports books were offering 80 to 1 odds to anyone who wanted to bet on the Giants winning the Super Bowl. The "New York money" of lore took them up on the offer, and now sports books all over town enter Super Bowl Sunday with "tremendous exposure" because of all the paper they're holding on the Giants. Making things worse is the fact that St. Louis Cardinals were installed at odds of 250 to 1 to win the World Series when they were 10.5 games out of playoff contention with 32 games left in the regular season. The Cardinals, of course, came back to make the playoffs and win the Series. Such is the risk for the house when they offer future bets. [The New York Times]
Just the other day we were saying, "Why hasn't there been a great deep-dive piece about at that alleged point-shaving scheme involving players and coaches from University of San Diego men's basketball team?" And now it's here! Truth be told, it may be a little heavy on the procedural details, like the criminal record on the confidential FBI source identified as "Chas," slowed it down a bit, but the detail that "Chas" would "pay a player $2,000 to $5,000 just to talk about shaving points" with him is just a phenomenal detail. As for the players implicated in the scheme, convincing a jury that they were crooked remains a tough case to make, for many of the reasons we listed last year when we explained how point shaving works. The nature of basketball makes it tough to pinpoint sports where a player is taking a dive. The accused can always just say he was having an off night. [Sports Illustrated]