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Malott’s Believe It or Not

A fantasy football, daily fantasy and sports betting blog.

NFL: MAY 25 Indianapolis Colts OTA Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800-GAMBLER.

During the regular NFL season, this blog discusses ideal fantasy football lineups, daily fantasy entries, and even a little gambling advice. In case you didn’t grow up a baseball fan in the Midwest in the 1990s, professional athletes are prohibited from gambling on their own team while they’re active players or staff members a la Pete Rose. If you just crawled out from under a rock, Pete Rose was barred from the Hall of Fame (he was an HoF-level player) because he gambled on baseball as an active player. If your aspiration is to play professional sports, also gambling on them should never even enter your mind because it’s a threat to the millions of dollars you stand to make and ultimately could very easily destroy your legacy.

I never thought in a million years that I’d sit down and write an article about ANOTHER professional athlete gambling with their career with millions on the line after Calvin Ridley cost himself a year (keep in mind, historically that one-year separation is considered a death sentence). It’s not always going to be the case. Depending on the player, that one year off could be a massive positive for the longevity of their career. Calvin Ridley is poised to have a breakout season, for example. It’s with that thought in mind that I have no doubt our very own Isaiah Rodgers Sr. will get a lifetime ban from the NFL (if not, I feel no things because it’s not what I want to happen). I believe we can all change so Isaiah certainly has better days ahead of him, but no crime goes unpunished when you are a public figure and a professional athlete.


This is the question on anyone’s mind. The good news is that Isaiah came out and admitted he did it, appeared remorseful and there’s no question about any of that, but I can foresee people asking why would you do that? I write about gambling for you all. Every week during the NFL season, I watch the lines, check the apps, fill out rosters, and put my own money up for the chance to be right and maybe win a little coin. I can imagine the swings at higher amounts of money are wider and more thrilling. Gambling is common among men 18-35 and it just became legal in Indiana in 2021.

I don’t know about any of you, but we live in a society of dumb laws everywhere you go and instead of droning on ad nauseum about them, we can agree that just because it’s legal doesn’t mean you should do it. Would it be wise for a professional athlete to smoke a lot of marijuana? If it has any impact on their lung capacity at all, then no, right? It’s legal, right? It’s not legal in every state, though. Half your games are out of state in places that don’t like POC and weed isn’t legal, right? Why risk it? Why gamble on your sport when you know it’s against the rules, both written and unwritten? Why bet on or against your own team? Is that sabotage? Is he a traitor to his organization?

I don’t think any of that matters. There has been precedent here. I have pointed to Pete Rose and even a more recent Calvin Ridley as clear examples of cause and effect. There’s far too much at stake, methinks, for a professional athlete to literally gamble with their well-being. People are fallible and human, after all. We are all going to make mistakes. Some of us are going to cross the line, though, between what is good and legal. I’d say betting against your own team while an active NFL player is pretty egregious. I can’t imagine another team giving him an opportunity.

Many of you know that I am in pursuit of a Bachelor’s degree in Analytics through Purdue, have been training to be a football coach with a 501c3 called Soldiers to Sidelines and even just went to Scout School with Phil Savage from the New York Jets and some of the most tenured college and pro scouts in the game right now. Additionally, I just got my third football coaching certification. Guess what I will stop writing about and caring about the millisecond I get an option to coach football. Gambling on football. Period. In fact, I’d argue giving anyone the appearance that I’m gambling after I start working in the game is a bad look, but that’s just me.

That’s just how I roll.

Here’s our latest couple of podcast episodes. Enjoy your summer! Go Colts!