Some people actually were thrilled with the replacement refs blown touchdown call in Monday night's Green Bay Packers-Seattle Seahawks football game.
They included not only Seattle's fans, but folks worldwide who won their bets on the game. And, yes, there is some overlap in those two groups.
Green Bay was a 3.5 point favorite. Seattle's last-second play gave them a two-point margin of victory. If the replacement officials had correctly ruled the Hail Mary pass was a Packers' interception, Green Bay would have won by five and covered the spread.
Now I'm not a regular gambler, at least not on sporting events. I suffer enough frustration from my teams' on-field actions without adding money to the mix.
But others tell me that the shift of a few points meant big money Monday night.
Darren Rovell of ESPN.com reports that between $150 million and $250 million in bets shifted thanks to that final Monday Night Football ruling.
Jeff Sherman, assistant director of the race and sportsbook at the Las Vegas Hotel, estimates that the game shifted $15 million in Nevada alone. And he told Rovell that he agrees with John Avello, director of the race and sportsbook at the Wynn in Las Vegas, that the worldwide number, including offshore sportsbooks and in Europe, is worth about 10 times more.
All told, around $1 billion in total money changed hands with the questionable touchdown call, according to Danny Sheridan, who sets the lines for USA Today.
The bottom line is that a lot of people well beyond the Pacific Northwest were very unhappy late Monday night.
Winners, losers and the tax man: But where there are losers, there are winners.And the Internal Revenue Service is among the group that's not that upset with the game's outcome.
Why? Because gambling winnings are taxable. That includes proceeds collected through legal betting channels as well as illegally. Quit laughing! I'm just discussing the law.
If even just a fraction of U.S. taxpayers follow the law and report their winning bets (legal and illegal), Uncle Sam will get added revenue.
Actually, IRS employees would make good replacement refs. The tax agency doesn't care who won Monday night or who wins bets on the rest of the NFL games and other sporting events year round. All the tax agency cares about is that those who pocket some extra gambling dollars report that income.
And it thanks the greedy National Football League owners and their toady employee Commissioner Roger Goodell for their part in inadvertently shifting so much gambling money and contributing to the U.S. Treasury.
As for those who lost, remember there's always another game.
There's apparently been some progress in the negotiations between the NFL and the NFL Referees Association, but replacement refs likely will take the field in Thursday night's contest between the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns. Factor that into your wagers.
UPDATE, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 11 p.m. CT -- The NFL and officials union have agreed to a deal. The formal union vote will come Friday and Saturday, but shortly after the two sides came to terms, Goodell temporarily lifted the lockout. That means regular officials can work the Browns-Ravens game Thursday night. Adjust your bets accordingly.
And also remember that if your year's gambling take does end up on the positive side, you can use your Green Bay-Seattle losses to reduce, and depending on how big your bet was, possibly zero out your taxable gambling total.
Presidential concern: President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney are concerned about all unemployed Americans. That includes the regular NFL officials now sitting at home.
Obama, who's a fan of football and social media, Tweeted, "NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs' lockout is settled soon. -bo"
Romney agreed, saying "I'd sure like to see some experienced referees with NFL experience come back."You also might find these items of interest: