According to Pro Football Talk, the locked out officials will soon be making a big deal out of Shannon Eastin, the first female official selected to work in a NFL game, previously playing in a World Series of Poker event.
We’re not saying that Shannon Eastin will be the next Tim Donaghy. We’re saying that, if the standards for screening replacement officials are sufficiently lax to let a former contestant in the World Series of Poker get through the filter, perhaps one of the other 119 replacement officials will be the next Tim Donaghy.
My goodness. Yes, if the screening procedures are so lax that someone who played in a legal tournament five years ago, paying an entry fee, in something completely unrelated to football, that numerous business people and professionals throughout the country participate in, somehow got through, what chance do we have?
There is of course, zero issue with her playing in a World Series of Poker event. It is not a stain on her moral character. In fact, it probably signifies that she has good analytical and problem solving skills. If the league wants to have a policy she can’t play in an event now, great. Organizations can set rules about all sorts of things in contracts, from players playing basketball in the offseason to outside business ventures and conflicts. Florio linked to rules against gambling for officials and they would have no applicability to this situation either. It wasn’t a conflict then, and doesn’t have an impact, so the referees are just looking for an angle that will not likely engender them the PR boost they apparently think it should (and then of course, some bring up Donaghy, ridiculous.)
The league, of course, is very anti-gambling. Except when they are not, you know, with things like having business partners publish point spreads, putting out an official injury report so that interested parties have information, and the promotion of fantasy football games on their site.
[photo via US Presswire]