Football

I’ll take the Longhorns and the points

Poona Ford. (Will Gallagher/IT)
Poona Ford. (Will Gallagher/IT)

An otherwise sleepy part of the sports calendar – otherwise known as “May” – was awakened in startling fashion earlier this week by the folks wearing the robes in the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

RBG – not to be confused with RG3 – and her posse have declared states can go ahead and figure out if/when/how sports betting can take place, and it will be legal. Goodbye Costa Rica, hello Corpus Christi. Can’t wait to go grocery shopping one day and take the Longhorns and the points at the betting kiosk near the produce section.

In actuality, what this means for folks in Texas, at least in the very near future, is probably not much. If you are holding your breath waiting for the decision-makers in Texas to allow this type of gambling to be legalized in the Lone Star State, then you will die from lack of oxygen to your brain. It’s not going to happen in the near future.

However, hopefully the State of Texas will ultimately recognize the benefits of sports gambling – i.e., dollars – and will figure out a way for this to happen in this state so that gambling dollars will be deposited in banks located within the boundaries of Texas, not Louisiana and Oklahoma. Again, holding my breath.

Some bulleted items of note as temperatures are now in the mid-90s in Austin…

* Over the years, I’ve heard only positive feedback from potential NBA and NFL athletes about college advisory committees that give recommendations to the players about whether or not they should leave college and become professionals. All have said the system is good in that it gives players – and their families – a true gauge before making this huge decision, without costing eligibility. Former Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson, who was advised to come back to school, is not so sure.

“It’s not really good feedback,” Jefferson told The Athletic. “If a guy wants to come out early, they have to make a decision on their own. Really, if you’re not like a top-10 guy coming out early it’s just up in the air from there. You just don’t know. Anything can happen.”

Jefferson was drafted in the third round by the Cincinnati Bengals.

* Of the former Texas football players who signed as free agents with various NFL teams, Poona Ford and Holton Hill are probably the two players who landed in the best situations for each of them. Ford was signed by Seattle, who of course is coached by the defensive-minded, high-motor Pete Carroll. Carroll will find a like-minded soul mate in Ford, a physical grinder who will be perfect for the middle of a very physical but constantly-changing Seahawks defense.

Holton Hill (Will Gallagher/IT)
Holton Hill (Will Gallagher/IT)

Hill could also greatly benefit from the coaches where he landed, in Minnesota. Head coach Mike Zimmer is known as a big-time hard-ass who loves defense, and Hill can certainly reap the rewards from a coach who is tough personified. Former Texas great Jerry Gray – card-carrying member of DBU – will be Hill’s position coach.

* Speaking of leaving school early to turn pro, early speculation after the NBA draft order was announced this week has Mo Bamba potentially landing in Dallas. Would be nice to watch Bamba block shots for Mark Cuban over the next decade or so. Also, when you consider a number five overall pick usually gets a salary of three and a half to four million dollars, clearly Mo made the right choice to begin his pro career.