Did you hear the staggering statistic yesterday, that a whopping $95 billion dollars is spent annually on legal and illegal gambling on NFL and college football? By the way, that is not a misprint, $95 billion.
Since Phoenix is so close to Vegas, I have to assume a fair number of you reading this right now are heading there this weekend. I'm jealous. Have fun. And if you want to throw down a few bucks on the Arizona Cardinals winning the NFC West this season, here are my top 3 reasons why I think it could happen, and they will overtake Seattle.
The first reason, and this is a big one, is the fact that Seahawks QB Russell Wilson you would think is now rich and spoiled, and no longer underpaid and hungry.
I really think that is a big deal. Last year at this time, Wilson was the third-highest paid quarterback. On his team! His salary was a measly by NFL standards $662,000. He was grossly underpaid, and he played with a chip on his shoulder again.
Now he has a bag of money on his shoulder. He got the big off-season contract; $62 million guaranteed along with a $31 million dollar signing bonus. How can he be the same player now that he's rewarded so richly?
Oh, and let's not forget he also has a new girlfriend, pop star Ciara, who just happens to be the epitome of a distraction! Check out photos of her if you don't know what she looks like.
And this week it was revealed that Wilson bought a new house, which happens to be roughly in the same neighborhood as Bill Gates. The house is enormous, and spectacular, complete with a 1,200 bottle wine cellar. Last year Wilson probably had a 12 pack of Gatorade in the refrigerator in his condo, and now he has 1,200 bottles of wine in his mansion.
Reason number two I think the Cards will overtake Seattle is this could be the year Seattle players start tuning out Pete Carroll. I'm a huge fan of Carroll, and he's an incredible football coach. But there is a shelf life as to how long a team can listen and respond to one voice, and this is the year some of his motivational tactics could become less effective.
And finally, the third reason the reign in Seattle could be over, is the fact their best defensive player is not playing. He's holding out. Kam Chancellor is irreplaceable, and there is no sign of him returning.
Wait, there's one more reason there will be a new NFC West champ. Seahawks' owner Paul Allen is worth $17 billion dollars. His co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, is worth $79 billion. Together their collective net worth is $96 billion dollars.
That means they could cover all of America's gambling spending on football. By themselves!
Can the Seahawks be knocked off their pedestal by the Cardinals if things fall into place? You bet.