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Negative Headlines

Be Careful With Negative Headlines

By Loot, Professional Sports Bettor,

The media has really changed over recent years, as the lines between serious media and tabloid media has become blurred. Nowadays, speculation is a substitute for facts and the media has no qualms about jumping the gun on an issue without either doing due research or letting the chips fall where they may. It can have an affect on our perceptions.

Websites need hits. And the bottom line is that certain things attract more clicks than other things. A website devoted to sports could just stick to the important stuff, but they know that an article about a player fighting at a strip club will get more attention than a team that is starting a new player. At the same time, the latter example likely has a ton more affect on the games we bet than the former example.

Particularly in the offseason, the focus has shifted from sports-related information to what players are going through off the field. It can play a role in misleading us as to what is truly important. Sure, it’s not good when players on a certain team are running around and getting arrested. That can speak toward their motivation and suggest something bad about their outlook on the upcoming serason. But most of the time it doesn’t amount to a whole lot.

What we need to be worried about in the offseason are injuries, player moves, new coaching, changing philosophies and systems--things that will actually impact a game. We can burn up too much of our mental energy when focusing on all this off the field stuff that usually plays no role in covering spreads.


As of press time, we see a clear split between real news and the more tabloid-oriented material that pervades seemingly every media outlet. Key players are having surgeries, new acquisitions are trying to work their way onto a new team, new players are being given a bigger role. But the press seems more worried about Johnny Manziel being in Las Vegas. Or that Aldon Smith is making “bomb threats” at airports. Or that Colin Kaepernick is acting up in hotel rooms with strange women. Or that Marcell Dareus is busted for “felony drug charges.”

And when you really look at these tabloid headlines, there’s always less there than what they make it out to be. As if Johnny Manziel is the first athlete to be in Vegas. Guys we bet on are in Vegas all the time and probably up to a whole lot worse than whatever Johnny Football was doing. The Colin Kaepernick example really shows what can happen when people let their imaginations run wild. No one knows what really happens behind closed doors. But by all accounts, the woman in question was at least a bit irregular and it was the players who ended up calling police. Meanwhile, the media is inferring that he’s some kind of rapist. It’s really awful. Then, we hear of Marcel Dareus’ “felony drug” charges and one might picture him driving around with multiple kilos of cocaine, when in reality, he just had some hippie lettuce in a state that hasn’t embraced the trend toward the liberalization of pot laws. So if we go ahead and think the Buffalo Bills are going to somehow be worse, we need to realize Dareus is hardly the only player smoking weed in the offseason.

We need to stay focused on what matters. There’s nothing you’re going to hear on Sportscenter or read on a news site that will qualify as any kind of “inside information.” That would be if you had a guy in Tampa who told you the Bucs offense was seen sloshed at a bar. These things you hear in the regular media are just juicy tidbits. They talk about the guys who got caught doing something, which can make you forget how that represents 2% of what we don’t know about. It’s not a good idea to form any opinions based on that kind of news.

So make sure that when websites, TV shows, and radio programs are trying to fill up time that they’re not filling your up head with the wrong thoughts. It’s about the players, the match-ups, the coaching, the momentum, the situation of where a team is in a season, etc. That’s what decides games, not who got nailed on a public intoxication charge in April.

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