Bradley Cooper Interview Pulled By NFL Network
The NFL has been nothing short of hypocritical when it comes to its stance on gambling, and the league exhibited that behavior again this past week. Bradley Cooper was scheduled to be the main guest on Rich Eisen's Thanksgiving Special, until the league snooped into Cooper's new movie.
Cooper stars in Silver Linings, but it was Robert DeNiro's character in the flick that had the NFL up in arms. DeNiro plays a part-time bookie in the movie, taking bets on NFL games throughout. The league felt it would be in their best interest to continue to publicly downplay the significance betting has on its sport, and pulled the Cooper interview after it had already been taped.
The NFL is home to a fantasy football phenomenon, running leagues for millions of NFL fans that bet on the leagues. The NFL also offers actual fantasy scoring leaders on their telecasts on the NFL Network, and has full shows dedicated to fantasy football.
When it comes to actual game betting, however, the league has stopped nothing short of denouncing the activity. The Super Bowl is the biggest single sporting event bet on annually outside of the years when the World Cup rolls around. Even with an estimated billion dollars being bet on last year's Super Bowl, the league has maintained that it in no way endorses gambling on its sport.
Las Vegas and online sports books have become a haven for gamblers. The betting has led to the NFL becoming the most popular sport in the US, another fact that the league itself does not like to acknowledge. The move to pull the Cooper interview may backfire on the league, as many columnist have written already about the decision.
Sports Illustrated's Peter King, a well-respected NFL expert, wrote in his Monday morning column that the NFL actually did a disservice to itself by pulling the feature. King's point is the league brought more attention to gambling by pulling the piece, than they would have had the Cooper interview ran as scheduled.
It is estimated that over $100 million is bet each week on Sunday. The Monday night and Thursday night games have become popular plays at the Vegas sports books, with gamblers in for the weekend either starting off their visit with a quick NFL bet, or closing their vacation with a Monday evening wager.