This certainly qualifies as one of the more randomly interesting stories of the offseason. More than 30 current and former NFL players took part in a Las Vegas arm wrestling contest, and now the NFL is raising a stink about the league’s gambling policy.
The Pro Football Arm Wrestling Championship took place April 5-9, and apparently will be broadcast on CBS May 27-28, with the championship airing June 3. San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman was among the players attending an event heavily promoted by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison.
An NFL spokesman said the league only recently became aware of the event, and another spokesman said that had the league been asked in advanced, they would have said this was a direct violation of the league’s gambling policy. The violation comes in the fact that the league prohibits players from appearing at casinos as part of promotional events. The most notable recent example was when Tony Romo was prohibited from promoting a fantasy football event because it took place at a convention center connected to a casino.
Of course, the Raiders are moving to Las Vegas now makes concerns about casino appearances all the more amusing. This from a league that has allowed the New Orleans Saints to have training camp at a facility connected to a casino in West Virginia.
This might be my favorite random story of the offseason for three reasons:
1. It involves a member of the 49ers
2. It involves an event in Las Vegas that exposes NFL hypocrisy
3. It allows me to post clips from Sylvester Stallone’s dramatic masterpiece Over The Top