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November 14, 1994 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-11-14

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, November_14, 1994 - 3

Oddsmaker talks about gambling, fixes,
" Foreman, Jordan and Clinton

In January of 1969, Danny
Sheridan picked the New York Jets to
win Super Bowl III over the Balti-
more Colts against overwhelming
odds. The Jets stunned the Colts and
the country, and Sheridan began his
career as a sports analyst and
Sheridan, a Mobile, Ala. native,
provides exclusive betting linesfor USA
Today and hosts a College Football
show on CNN.
Last weekend, Daily Sports Writer
David Rothbart spoke with Sheridan
about gambling and other issues in
Daily: Michael Jordan insists he's
aseball player now. They've retired
s Bulls jersey in Chicago. What are
theodds he'll come back to basketball?
Sheridan: I'd make him a slight
favorite to return. He'd be a7-5 favor-
ite to come back.
D: How about the odds of major
league baseball starting on time in
S: Baseball will start on schedule.
I'd set the odds for them to start in
*pril at least 3-1 in favor. To play
baseball at all, a million to one (in
D: Whatdo you think of the strikes
in pro sports?
S: I hate it. It kills the little guys -
thevendors,thestadium workers. Base-
ball players and owners care as much
about the fans as Saddam Hussein cares
about the Kurds. If I was a season-
ket holder, I wouldn't go to any
Tames the first half of next season.
D: The Wolverines play abig game
with Ohio State this weekend. Who do
you have favored?
S: Michigan should be a slight
favorite. If Moeller goes down there
and beats Cooper, Cooper won't be
coaching Ohio State long. This is the
last straw. You have to beat your rivals
to survive in sports.
* D: What about Gary Moeller?
Michigan's had a tough season and
some people are holding Moeller re-
S: IfIwere Moeller, I'dkillthe guy
who put Notre Dame, Colorado and
Penn State on the schedule. It's great
for college football, but it's not great
for a coach's longevity. They should
teams named after bodies of wa-
like Pacific.
Moeller is definitely safe, though.
He's a good coach. He's just got to
shoot the Athletic Director or who-
ever makes up their schedule.
D: How do you determine your
betting lines?
S:I have power ratings. I do a lot of
research. A betting line is not a pre-
diction. It is the betting public's per-
ption of how two teams match up.
VYou have a perception of North-
western before the season - they're
shitty. You have a perception of
Michigan, that they're good. When
they play, people won't bet it even.
T~betting line is designed to do one
thing only - get equal betting on
blth sides of the sporting event.


D: How prevalent is gambling
among college students?
S: I've been all over the country.
Every campus, every fraternity house,
has a bookmaker. Every dorm. I'm not
talking about some forty or fifty-year-
old wearing gold chains, I'm talking
about students as bookmakers.
D: How would you characterize
healthy gamblers as opposed to un-
healthy gamblers?
S: Gamblers Anonymous has
blown things way out of proportion. I
don't smoke and I don't think people
should smoke, but I'm not going to
tell people what to do. In this country,
we smoke a lot, we drink a lot. We're
a free country.
Sometimes people do take it to an

mated half the adult male population
will bet on it. Do you think that trans-
lates into TV ratings? That's why
they can get million-dollar ads. Guess
what the highest-rated TV show of
the year is? Oh, what a shock. The
Super Bowl.
The NFL has a $3.5 billion TV
contract. It translates into $42 million
a team. The NFL gets the highest TV
ratings. What a coincidence - the
biggest contract, the highest ratings,
the highest bet sport. A marriage made
in heaven.
The NFL doesn't want gambling
to stop. Who in their right mind would
watch Tampa Bay play Cincinnati if
they didn't have a bet on it?
They have a guy in the NFL office
who checks with legal and illegal
bookmakers every day on the betting
line. The (NFL) is smart. The book-
makers know if there is any unusual
activity. It's the bookmakers of
America that keep the sport clean.
D: How often is a game fixed?
S: There's never been a fix in col-
legeorpro football. There will neverbe
one because the bookmakers talk to
each other. If there's anything funny
going on, they can tell.
Look at our institutions. The
church is an embarrassment. There's
scandals in the church, in the Presi-
dency. Pro football has never had a
scandal in 75 years. You can't bet big
money without setting off an alarm.
D: What about other sports, like
college basketball?
S: At Tulane, there were three or
four guys shaving points. They were
betting $5,000 on Tulane games once
a month. The first sign of a fix is an
inordinate amount of money being
bet, and the bet being right. The book-
ies got suspicious and (uncovered it).
The bookmakers keep sports clean,
not because they're choir boys but
because they have a vested interest.
D: Michael Moorer was beating
up on George Foreman for ten rounds.
Then he got hit a couple times and just
fell down. Did he take a dive?
S: There was no fix. Moorer would
have had to cash in on it, but you can't
bet too big without people knowing
what's going on. Sure, he could bet
$10,000, but he made $9 million for

the fight.
D: So there are no fixes in sports?
S: Very few. The Securities Ex-
change Commission has a fix every
30 seconds. It's the most corrupt in-
stitution in the world. Bookmakers,
however, run a tight ship.
People think (the bookmakers) are
going to get a kid on drugs, get kids in
trouble, but you can't fix a game. If
you're going to fix a Michigan game,
how much do you have to pay aplayer?
Is Jalen Rose going to jeopardize his
career for $25,000?
Say you pay a scrub. He gets his ass
thrown out of the game if he turns it
over acoupleof times. He can't change1
the game. Even if Jalen (messes) up for
a whole half, the coach will yank his
ass. Let's say Jalen does take the
money. You can't go and bet big.
You have to be able to cash in on it,
but the network is too tight. You can't
do it.
D: Let's look at the NBA. Who's
your favorite to win the Champion-
S: I have Phoenix and Seattle as
my co-favorites. The odds against
them would be 4:1. Next, I've got the
New York Knicks at 5:1. Houston
6:1. Orlando 7:1. I've got the Detroit
Pistons down at 10,000:1, against.
D: The Pistons are a new team this
season. Grant Hill looks unstoppable.
What are his odds at winning Rookie
of the Year?
S: I'd make him the favorite at 3:1
against. Michigan's gottwo good rook-
ies in the league - I'd give Juwan
Howard and Jalen Rose 10:1 odds.
D: College basketball is starting
up. Michigan has another fabulous
recruiting class. Can they finally win
the national championship?
S: Fisher's a great coach. As long as
he's there, the team will be talented.
Michigan can't be counted out of the
national championship picture.
Arkansas is the favorite, but Michi-
gan is a Final Four team. They're
about ten deep. Coming out of the Big
Ten, you're battle-tested. Michigan
and Indiana are two of the eight teams
I think can win it all.
See SHERIDAN, Page 8

Forrest Fires
Four years of Michigan
Stadium mementoes
s the last few seconds ticked off the clock at Michigan Stadium
late Saturday afternoon, seniors on the Michigan football team
couldn't resist taking it all in one last time. Neither could I.
The Wolverines and their opponents have provided countless thrilling
moments at home the past four years. Here are the top six plays:
No. 1: The catch, 1991.
Fourth and one in the crucial moments against Notre Dame. Not only
did coach Gary Moeller go for it, he decided to air it out. Elvis Grbac
pumped once, then threw the only pass he could to Desmond Howard in the
back corner of the north end zone.
The touchdown not only clinched the first Wolverine win over the Irish
in the previous five meetings, it put Moeller's stamp on the team. The play
sent Howard on his way to the Heisman and served notice that Michigan
was no longer content to run off tackle.
No. 2: The Miracle at Michigan, 1994.
Enough has been written about this one, but Colorado's game-winning,
last second touchdown pass remains one of college football's most stirring
moments. The Wolverines were on the verge of making it through the
nation's toughest nonconference schedule unscathed and ranked among the
top few teams in the country.
But Kordell Stewart and Michael Westbrooke spoiled it all with their
64-yard toss, tip and catch. Once again, Michigan found an incredible way
to lose.
No. 3: The pose, 1991.
Howard sealed his destiny with a 93-yard fourth quarter punt return in
his last home game against Ohio State. At the end of the run, as Howard
stood in the south end zone, he struck a Heisman pose. It was strange to see
such braggadocio from a Michigan player, but it was warranted. Howard
was so far ahead of everyone else in the Heisman race, and as one Buckeye
assistant said at the time, "That just about seals it for him."
After the game Moeller denied that Howard had actually struck the
pose; he could not see it from the sideline.
In the only game marred by rain the past four seasons, Michigan
muddied the Buckeyes 31-3 and went on to the Rose Bowl.
No. 4: Caught by Klein. Caught by Klein, 1993.
Illinois quarterback Johnny Johnson scrambled, eluded a sack and fired
a 15-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jim Klein with 41 seconds
remaining. Klein's fourth down score put Illinois up 24-21 and secured the
first Illini win at Michigan Stadium since 1966.
With many spectators already on their way home, a Ricky Powers
fumble set up the dramatic finish to a game that never should have been
Michigan lost to the Illini and dropped to 4-3 on the year.
No. 5: He could go all the way, 1992.
Tyrone Wheatley caught Houston's opening kickoff at Michigan's one
yard line. Little blocking was needed as he burned down the left sideline
for a 99-yard touchdown return.
The play was just the beginning for Michigan on that day, as it went on
to beat the Cougars, 61-7. It was only a start for Wheatley as well. The
speed he displayed on the runback allowed the sophomore to overtake
Powers for the starting tailback job and move on to greater glory.
No. 6: Collins goes deep, 1993.
Early in the third quarter against Illinois, Michigan was in trouble. Deep
in their own territory and ahead by only four points, the Wolverines needed
a score. On second down and six, quarterback Todd Collins faked a
handoff and rolled out to the right side. He hit wideout Derrick Alexander
near midfield with a perfect strike. Alexander motored the rest of the way
for a 90-yard score - the longest pass play in Michigan history.

and NBA have called gambling a threat
to the livelihood of sports. Are they
rightfully alarmed?
S: Those hypocritical bastards love
people to bet on sports.
Every weekend, 40 million Ameri-
cans illegally bet on college and pro
football. Between 4 and 5 billion dol-
lars is bet each weekend. It's a hun-
dred billion-dollar industry.
Every paper lists the spread. Be-
cause the interest is there, whether the
coaches like it, whether the NCAA
likes it, the NFL. The Super Bowl is
the most heavily bet (on) sporting
event in the history of mankind -
$4.5 billion on one game. It's esti-


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