Free Wayne Gretzky

Perhaps it's just me, but I find this whole Gretzky family gambling saga a tad bit suspicious. I mean, consider the timing. Right before the most famous hockey player in the world leads Canada into the Olympic hockey tournament, he gets dragged in front of the relentless media hordes to defend the gambling activities of his lead assistant coach and his wife.

That's right, Wayne's wife Janet apparently bet some $100,000 on football. Now betting on football is as common in the US (and Canada too for that matter) as the US hockey team having a meltdown in major competitions, but I guess it's the fact that she placed the bets with Rick Tocchet and his connections to some New Jersey crime family that are the problem. So of course, everyone automatically assumes that the Great One is also in on the betting action. Never mind that Wayne Gretzky has never been linked with gambling before, and has always been considered one of the class acts in sports, the media hoped all over this story the instant the Gretzky name was brought into it.

So of course now we're finding out that Wayne isn't really involved. Now the same un-named "sources" that originally said Wayne knew about the gambling ring now say he didn't know about it until the cops wanted to talk to his wife. But don't take my word for it, ask awesomely named Gretzky attorney Ron Fujikawa: "Published reports that Wayne had spoken to Rick Tocchet about his concern for Janet prior to officers appearing at Wayne's house on Monday are completely ludicrous, it's absolute balderdash." Perhaps not more ludicrous than the Great One's attorney dropping balderdash, but ludicrous none the less.

You know what else is ludicrous? Janet Gretzky gambling $100,000 on football. And betting the Great One's hundred grand at that. Oh yeah, you know it's Wayne's cash. I don't think appearing in Police Academy 5 in 1988 and then making a cameo in the Timbersnake's upcoming surefire smash "Alpha Dog" gives her the kind of disposable income required to drop 100 large on super bowl bets. Seriously, Mrs. Gretzky needs a hopefully that would attract slightly less attention from federal authorities. Especially when it affects the chances of the hockey squad winning the gold. C'maaan, Janet, we can't live on a moguls gold alone!

So am I saying this whole gambling escapade is an smokescreen by American authorities to try and distract the Canadian team and hurt their chances at winning the gold? No, I'm certainly not saying that out loud. I don't want Dick Cheney to hunt me down and shoot me in the face with bird shot. I'm just saying I find the timing awfully curious. And also go Canada.


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