1. The Seahawks were 6.5-point favorites against the Eagles on Monday night.
Seattle had a 23-9 lead after kicking a field goal with 1:16 left. The game being that close was absurd considering the Eagles offense is embarrassingly inept, but this is why the NFL rules the country. A completely unwatchable game still had millions of people hanging around at the end because of one thing and one thing only: the point spread.
Of course, with just 12 seconds left, Carson Wentz heaved the ball into the end zone and Richard Rogers came away with a lucky 33-yard jump-ball touchdown.
The call by ESPN's Steve Levy went like this: "Final 20 seconds. Here's Wentz. Why not? Deep ball in the end zone and it is CAUGHT for the touchdown. Had it all the way. Thirty-three-yard touchdown catch. Padding the statistics."
"Padding the statistics?" No, this was all about a possible cover. But there was no mention of that. There wasn't even a sly, roundabout reference, such as, "Things are getting interesting for many," or "A lot of people are very interested in that touchdown."
We got nothing.
And then the situation really became a disaster for Seahawks bettors because, for some reason, the Eagles went for a two-point conversion. Philadelphia converted and your final score was 23–17.
Again, the ESPN booth of Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick completely ignored what was the worst beat of the 2020 NFL season.
As the Eagles lined up for the two-point conversion, not one word was said about what was at stake.
"And a lane opens up nicely for Miles Sanders, who strolls in for two," said Levy.
That was it. Where was Al Michaels when you needed him? Hell, even Joe Buck referenced a cover during one game this year.
Gambling has been legalized in many states. Sports networks, including ESPN, air shows dedicating to sports betting. And sports networks—on TV, radio and the internet—are filled with gambling commercials 24 hours a day.
Why are some broadcasters still pretending gambling isn't a big thing?
I've said this before and I'll say it again: I'm not expecting NFL announcers to talk about point spreads and over/unders for three hours each game. But when you have a significant and surreal turnaround like the one in Philadelphia on Monday night, it has to be mentioned because the only people still watching at that point are the ones with cash on the line. The broadcasters should be serving their audience, not insulting us by ignoring the news.
2. In case you missed it Monday night, the Ravens and Steelers are going to play on NBC at 3:40 p.m. ET Wednesday instead of in prime time because NBC is scheduled to air the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting show.
Sports Business Journal's John Ourand reported that NBC was willing to bump the tree lighting to one of its cable channels, but the NFL never asked NBC to do that.
3. More than 30 million people watched Dallas embarrass itself against Washington on Thanksgiving in what is now the most-viewed NFL game of the 2020 season.
4. Bill Walton is great on his own. But when Bill Walton has a play-by-play partner who is willing to go along for the ride, things get even better. ESPN's Dave Pasch and Jason Benetti, who work with Walton the most, have mastered this skill. Benetti did the honors with Walton on Monday, leading to these great moments.
5. A new SI Media Podcast with NBC's Mike Tirico will drop early Wednesday morning. If you missed any recent SI Media Podcasts, make sure you catch up and subscribe. Last week's show featured an interview with New York Post sports media columnist Andrew Marchand about the latest news from the world of sports media.
Other guests over the past few weeks include The Undertaker, Jim Nantz and Kirk Herbstreit.
6. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Happy 75th birthday to Bette Midler, who had one of the greatest cameos in Seinfeld history.
7. SPORTS VIDEO OF THE DAY: As I said in the lead item, all NFL broadcasters should be acknowledging bad beats these days. If any NFL broadcasters are reading this and need a lesson in how you do this, just listen to the master.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.