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NEW TGS COVER STORY...NBA SEASON WINS TO WATCH!

That was a different Atlanta Hawks (46.5) last season after vet HC Nate McMillan replaced the well-meaning but overmatched Lloyd Pierce at the end of February. The transformation was immediate, as the Hawks began to play with more structure and ceased to take off possessions on the stop end.  The defense could be even stickier this season if lengthy wing DeAndre Hunter can stay healthy; while on the floor with John Collins and Clint Capela, ATL posted some eye-opening defensive numbers while outscoring foes by 15.6 poitns per 100 possessions.  All of it seemed to help Trae Young blossom into a superstar, and if the Hawks maintain anything near the win rate they had after McMillan took over   
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT... NHL SEASON WINS TO WATCH!

Seattle Kraken (89.5)...Let’s say the obvious that the bar has been raised for all expansion teams, especially in the NHL, based upon what the Vegas Golden Knights did in their maiden voyage four years ago, making it all of the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. So, should the brand-new Kraken consider it a failure not to match the feats of the Golden Knights? Hardly, and no one expects as much in the Northwest. But at this same time four years ago, nobody really knew what Vegas had, either; comparably speaking, Seattle’s roster looks as good as the Golden Knights’ did entering the 2017-18 season. Kraken GM Ron
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT... MLB PLAYOFFS PREVIEW!

Atlanta Braves (13/2)... The Braves come in a bit more under-the-radar than last season when they posed an acknowledged threat to the Dodgers and were in position to knock the Blue out of the NLCS until some unforgivable baserunning blunders proved costly. Blowing that series seemed to put the Braves into a funk they didn’t shake until August when they finally moved above .500, blew past the fading Mets and held off the Phillies in the AL East. Across the past two months, Atlanta’s performance suggests it cannot be overlooked, with pitching really on the upswing as the Braves posted the third-best ERA in MLB past the trade deadline. The bullpen also improved as the season progressed. The offense was a bit erratic all season, however, even
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TGS SEC RETROSPECTIVE... AUB-GA AND "HUNKER DOWN!" 

Last week, while guesting with local Auburn alum Tex Morris as part of Jimmy Ott’s Game Time Show on ESPN 104.5 FM in Baton Rouge, we had a reminiscing session about the Auburn-LSU rivalry that might be soon to disappear as an annual fixture whenever Texas and Oklahoma join the SEC. Like many in the region, Ott knows the connection such rivalries have with fan bases and laments their possible disruptions, which prompted our nostalgia tour on radio last Thursday morning.

We suppose we have to start wondering, too, about the future of the “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry” between Auburn and Georgia, which renews again at Jordan-Hare Stadium this Saturday.
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...WSJ AND FOOTBALL'S BIG BET

For those of us who remember a sports gaming marketplace that mostly existed in the shadows outside of Nevada, events of the past 42 months have been enough to make our collective heads spin. We’ve already touched upon some of this in earlier featured pieces in our new 2021 TGS publishing season. As we should; sports gaming has evolved from being a “sophisticated diversion” operating outside of the media mainstream, to newsworthy stuff. The sector’s explosion was reflected in some new information recently highlighted by Carlo Santarelli, a New York-based analyst for Deutsch Bank.

As reported last week in the Las Vegas Review-Journal,
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT ...FIRST-YEAR COACHES TO WATCH!

One of our recurring features in TGS Football is a look at College Football’s “Coaches on the Hot Seat,” which we plan to highlight in an upcoming issue. Throughout the years, we have often found this a useful exercise for a variety of reasons, mainly as it often helps identify trouble spots before the situations can deteriorate.  Though, on other occasions, teams have rallied around their under-fire coaches and unfurled extended positive streaks to help save their boss. In truth, however, almost every coach not named Nick Saban or Dabo Swinney enters the new season on a potential hot seat
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT....HIP HIP HOORAY FOR NEW JERSEY!

Walking around the sports books in Las Vegas, and interacting with those involved in various aspects of sports gaming, since the repeal of PASPA in May of 2018, one gets the feeling that the Nevada folk are taking credit for the boom in the industry that has followed. If one didn’t know any better, and spent all of their time in Vegas, it would be easy to assume that the sports betting explosion, which seems to reverberate more and more across the country each week, is Nevada’s doing.

Except that it’s not, at least beyond the extent that some of the sports gaming operations that are based overseas
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...2021 NFL SEASON WINS TO WATCH!

In a much watered-down NFC East a season ago, the Philadelphia Eagles (6.5) could only get to 4 wins. And adding another game to the schedule in 2017 might just mean an extra loss. Things do not look pretty at the Linc, not after meddling from owner Jeffrey Lurie and GM Howie Roseman losing his magic touch made one-time miracle worker HC Doug Pederson decide that enough was enough, and we wonder if successor Nick Sirianni knows what he's getting into. (The war drums are also already beating on WIP after the Birds' winless preseason.) Will what was one of the NFL's worst offenses last year really upgrade with Jalen Hurts, who played to mixed reviews at best in a brief late-season audition
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...2021 FOOTBALL KICKOFF!

“You’ve come a long, way, baby...”
–Virginia Slims advertising slogan

The cigarette advertising jingle above from the late 60s (when cigarette commercials could still air on TV) could just as easily apply to the recent sports betting boom in the states. It’s still hard to believe for those of us who had all but given up the ghost on the chances of sports wagering ever becoming institutionalized outside of Nevada and those few locales (Oregon, Montana, and Delaware) that were offering parlay-card betting. Not that we hadn’t been talking about it for years. In fact,  those readers with long memories might recall TGS founder Mort Olshan railing almost incessantly against the anti-sports gambling mindset, pointing out the inconsistencies
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TGS 2021 COL FOOTBALL...SEASON WIN WAGERS TO WATCH!

AIR FORCE OVER 6.5 wins Underestimate Falcons HC Troy Calhoun at your own risk! With the exception of 2013, when injuries decimated his roster, Calhoun’s teams with the Force have usually punched above their weight. Including a year ago when splitting six games despite almost the entirety of the projected defense opting out (“turnbacks” in academy parlance as opposed to “redshirts”). Several starters from the 2019 stop unit thus resurface to compete with many who stepped into their roles a year ago, with the result likely a highly-combative D. That’s usually been the ingredient to the most-successful Calhoun teams,  as longtime o.c. Mike Thiessen is usually able to cobble together a functional option-based
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...NFL OFFSEASON/DRAFT PREVIEW!

JACKSONVILLE ...Sweeping changes for sure that were telegraphed more than one of George Foreman’s roundhouse rights aimed at Ali during the Rumble in the Jungle in Zaire. Though even with knowledge that a clean sweep was forthcoming, the ability of mustachioed owner Shad Khan to present Urban Meyer an offer he couldn’t refuse to return to the coaching ranks is a signal that the Jags mean business. Trent Baalke, ex of the 49ers, was also brought in as GM. The rebuild begins with the certain selection of Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence and the hope he can vault J’ville into contending status much as Andrew Luck was immediately able to do with the Colts nine years ago
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COL HOOPS SPECIAL REPORT...TGS ALL-NEWCOMER TEAM!

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Jalen Suggs, Gonzaga...For much of the season it looked as if Ok State’s Cade Cunningham was going to win this honor by acclamation. As the campaign progressed, however, it become more and more difficult to overlook the do-everything Gonzaga phenom Suggs. Especially if listening to many of those who project the upcoming NBA Draft and are forecasting Suggs as the top pick. In the Big Dance, the 6-5 Suggs surely outshined Cunningham, who by the end of the season was generating some doubters about his ability to succeed at the next level, pointing to a shooting percentage barely at 42% inside of the arc, while speculation grew about his level of 
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TGS HOOPS SPECIAL REPORT...A LOOK BACK AT UNBEATEN IU!

Gonzaga’s recent run to the brink of an undefeated season prompted the latest bit of national curiosity regarding spotless campaigns. The last time we heard similar chatter was six years ago when John Calipari’s Kentucky, featuring Karl-Anthony Towns and others, took an unbeaten mark into the 2015 Final Four before Bo Ryan’s Wisconsin took out the Wildcats in the semifinals. As for Mark Few’s Bulldogs, they took their challenge all of the way to the title game before hitting the wall against Baylor. In the end, however, like Kentucky of 2015, or UNLV in 1991, Gonzaga couldn’t complete the undefeated deal at the Final Four.
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TGS MLB UPDATE... MID-APRIL HOT AND COLD REPORT!

San Francisco Giants... Is Gabe Kapler’s team as good as its 8-4 start suggests?  If there is one surprise development to follow closely, it’s improved work from the bullpen, which has posted a serviceable 2.57 ERA in the first two weeks and has confounded recent foes with various different looks and styles, including sidearmer Tyler Rogers, who looks like a reincarnation of Kent Tekulve, or further back Ted Abernathy, almost scarping his knuckles in the dirt with his unorthodox delivery  and slow-speed fastballs that rarely clock above 84 MPH on the radar gun.  Which also sets up devastating breaking balls that had Cincinnati batters flailing helplessly in the recent series at Oracle Park.  Rogers usually sets up Jake McGee, Kapler’s designated closer
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PLAY BALL!  TGS 2021 MLB PREVIEW AND SEASON WINS TO WATCH!

A bit better bullpen (any bullpen, really) and the Philadelphia Phillies (80.5) would have climbed above .500 and into the expanded playoffs in the shortened season. Not surprisingly, the new front office combo of President of Baseball Ops Dave Dombrowski and GM Sam Fuld tried to make some offseason upgrades to the relief corps. And while we’re not totally sure about Archie Bradley as a closer, he's better than what they had last year, and set-up men look to have been upgraded as well. Aaron Nola-Zack Wheeler-Zach Elfin is also not a bad 1-2-3 combo at the top of the rotation, and keeping top-shelf C J.T. Realmuto happy with a nice contract extension was a good bit 
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TGS NCAA TOURNEY UPDATE...LOW-MAJORS HISTORY IN DANCE!

SUMMIT (SUR 5-24, PSR 12-15-2): 1996-Valparaiso (+18) 51-90 L vs. Arizona; 1997-Valparaiso (+10) 66-73 W vs. Boston College; 1998-Valparaiso (+12) 70-69 W vs. Ole Miss, Valparaiso (+7½) 83-77 OT W vs. Florida State, Valparaiso (+8) 68-74 W vs. Rhode Island; 1999-Valparaiso (+20) 60-82 L vs. Maryland; 2000-Valparaiso (+25½) 38-65 L vs. Michigan State; 2001-Southern Utah (+14) 65-68 W vs. Boston College; 2002-Valparaiso (+7½) 68-83 L vs. Kentucky; 2003-IUPUI (+26½) 64-95 L vs. Kentucky; 2004-Valparaiso (+18½) 49-76 L vs. Gonzaga; 2005-Oakland (-6) W 79-69 play-in vs. Alabama A&M; Oakland (+27½) L 68-96 vs. North Carolina; 2006-Oral Roberts (+12) 78-94 L vs. Memphis; 2007-Oral Roberts 
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TGS HOOPS SPECIAL REPORT...BIG DANCE BRACKET UPDATES!

SUNDAY UPDATE (March 14): The bubble remained fluid all of the way to Selection Sunday this March, with bid thieves Georgetown and Oregon State surfacing from nowhere to claim their respective conference tourney titles. Poignant, perhaps, as en route to their Final Four appearance in Patrick Ewing’s frosh year of 1982,  his Hoyas faced Ralph Miller’s Beavers in the West Regional final. Now Ewing is back in the Dance as Georgetown’s coach. Meanwhile, what would have been the odds at the outset of the season that Rick Pitino would make the Dance with his new Iona team, and John Calipari and Kentucky wouldn’t?
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...UPDATED SUPER BOWL RANKINGS!

31-XL, Pittsburgh 21 - Seattle 10 (at Detroit)...Although there was considerable drama for a time well into the 4th quarter, XL was a bit of a disappointment and hardly a shining hour for the referees, whose series of extremely questionable calls (coincidentally almost all favoring the Steelers) at crucial moments distorted the proceedings. Pittsburgh did capitalize when presented opportunities, however, using big scoring plays by Willie Parker & Hines Ward to shift the momentum in the second half.
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NEW TGS COVER STORY..."SUPER" LV & MORE SEASON REVIEWS

That we have arrived at Super Bowl LV having completed a full NFL season ranks as perhaps the biggest accomplishment of the 2020 campaign. Most amazing was that this mostly resembled a normal NFL year on the field, even considering the various hurdles and mostly fan-free venues during the pandemic. In a year in which some sort of normalcy was most welcomed, the NFL delivered. In retrospect, the handful of postponements only provided a minor nuisance to the schedule, which compared to other sports was able to proceed without comparable interruptions.  All that’s left is the “Supe” which is something special for those of us in the TGS generation because we have witnessed the Super Bowl from its birth. In fact, TGS had
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TGS CONF. TITLE NOTEBOOK...BACK TO THE BEGINNING!

As the Super Bowl approaches, we at TGS are always apt to move into reminiscing mode. Especially as we just passed the 54-year anniversary of the first Super Bowl (Jan. 15, 1967) last Friday. After all, we were not only completing our first decade of publishing when that matchup occurred between the Packers and Chiefs, but we were there to watch it live and in person at the L.A. Coliseum. (And, yes, that game was referred to as the “Super Bowl” by all of the media of the day, even though it would not be until Super Bowl III that Pete Rozelle would officially change the name of the game pitting AFL and NFL champs). We also must admit to some nostalgic tugs
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...DIV. ROUND & SEASON-END REVIEWS

Denver (5-11)... We’re tempted to drill a bit deeper into the Broncos’ plight which we have been able to follow closely thanks to our involvement with Denver sports radio. But the date to watch across the Front Range is July 12, when the trial to clarify future ownership of the franchise is slated to begin. At the center are the feuding heirs of Pat Bowlen and a trio of trustees led by Joe Ellis that have been operating the Broncos since Mr. B first became incapacitated in 2014 before finally passing in 2019. A template for dysfunction has ensued, complicated by GM John Elway’s ongoing errors in choosing
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...NFL WILD CARD NOTEBOOK!

Back in Thanksgiving week, we recalled one of our favorite Turkey Day football memories, a pulsating encounter between the Colts and the Lions, from the great year of 1965. We hinted at the time of a book project we have embarked upon called “December 1965" in which we recall in detail what was the best NFL race of our lifetime as the Western Conference thundered down the stretch in what became an epic three-horse battle between the Packers, Colts, and Bears, with compelling supporting acts provided by the remainder of the old West (Lions, Vikings, 49ers, and Rams). It was in those weeks beginning at Thanksgiving and into December of ‘65
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...WHEN CLEMSON WENT BIG-TIME!

We’ve become used to seeing Clemson in the mix for playoff berths and national championships in recent years. While fellow Final Four participants Alabama, Ohio State, and Notre Dame have been living at or near the tops of the college football polls for generations, the Tigers are a relatively new entry to the power mix, having effectively supplanted the likes of USC, Michigan, Texas, and some other old, familiar names in the old college  hierarchy. Clemson’s rather-recent inclusion into the elite class of college football, however, is part of a larger narrative that has fascinated us at TGS for many years.
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...NBA SEASON WINS TO WATCH!

The pieces have looked greater than the sum for a while now with the Phoenix Suns (38 ½). We wonder, however, if this season marks the turnaround. Chis Paul can still be an enormous help, as he was last year with the Thunder, and his presence on the perimeter should remove some of the pressure from Devin Booker. Deandre Ayton also might be ready to emerge as a beast on the blocks, while the useful and versatile Jae Crowder is another serviceable NBA vet who has helped at every stop in his career. It’s the “Paul factor,” however, that makes us think it’s finally time for an “over” in the Valley of the Sun.
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...WHAT'S UP IN THE EMPIRE STATE?

Of all of the states that are entering the sports gaming market since the repeal of PASPA in May of 2018, perhaps none has generated the sort of buzz as has New York. It’s not all normal buzz, either, more inquisitive, as the marketplace wonders what the next move might be from the Empire State.

The storyline intrigues, as New York has entered the fray...sort of, with its legal sports betting limited to a few locales well upstate from New York City. For Big Apple bettors, their best alternative (if they don’t want to play offshore) is a quick hop to New Jersey, where mobile devices are within the Garden State’s “geo-fencing” to place bets. Indeed, in pre-coronavirus times, lunchtime got crowded
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...GOOD OLD COL FB CONTROVERSY!

Anyone who needed convincing that college football still ruled the Los Angeles sports scene in the mid 60s should have taken the next flight to LAX and sampled some of the local coverage. Even in the days long before ESPN or sports talk radio, college football had the capacity to captivate the masses. Especially in Los Angeles.

Even when the games weren’t being played. As in December, 1964.

If only ESPN and other sports networks had been around then to capture the fireworks!

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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...CALIFORNIA STILL SPINNING ITS WHEELS 

One of the more intriguing storylines in the post-PASPA repeal era is how soon California might jump on board and begin to offer sports gaming within its boundaries. With dozens of states already having legalized sports wagering in one form or another (a full list will appear soon on these pages) since the PASPA repeal in the spring of 2018, there has been much anticipation on when the Golden State will join the fray.

Not too soon, apparently. While it looked for a while as if 2021 would be the year in which sports betting would open for business in Cali, best estimates now
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...TIME FOR A DETROIT THANKSGIVING! 

Like almost everything else about 2020, Thanksgiving might not feel quite the same this year. To the rescue in a much-needed nod to good old normalcy, however, comes an odd hero in the form of the Detroit Lions. At least having the Lions to watch on TV this Thursday, against the Texans, will make Thanksgiving seem a little more natural. We’ve written about Thanksgiving football history before, and one of these years ought to opt for a college angle and a retrospective on one of several “Games of the Century” that might actually have lived up to the hype, the 1971
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...A LOOK AT COLLEGE HOOPS

In the expansive “who knows” category of 2020 is college basketball, which when last seen had abruptly halted its season a week before the NCAA Tournament eight months ago, with March Madness limited to the handful of early conference tournaments that had completed a week before others. Perhaps nothing summed up the oddities of mid-March 2020 better than a Big East Tourney quarterfinal game between Creighton and St. John’s, the first game of Thursday, March 12, called off at halftime with St. John’s leading 38-35.  The last completed game of the 2019-20 season came the night before in the late game of the Pac-12 Tourney at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...TANKING FOR TREVOR?

Every decade or so, it seems as if there is a can’t-miss prospect at the top of the NFL draft board whose mere presence seems to distort the preceding pro season. The last time we at TGS recall such gyrations came in 2011, with Stanford QB Andrew Luck the expected prize at the top of the upcoming draft. Now, much of that same Luck-like hysteria is surrounding Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence.  Before we go much further, it’s worth noting that, for the moment, at least, Lawrence
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...CHASING INFAMY WITH THE JETS

We suppose there would be nothing more appropriate in the crazy year of 2020 than for an NFL team to complete the rare lose-‘em- all schedule. We have witnessed such a few times in recent memory. And, counting teams that did not do better than one tie, we’ve actually done the winless thing a bit more during the 64-season history of TGS (dating to 1957) than some might realize. Five times, to be exact. A new entrant to that pantheon of the absurd, however, might be seeking entry, as the New York Jets hit the half-mile pole of 2020 well on their way to a winless, 0-16 slog. (That particular feat of 16 losses in a season has only been achieved by the 2008 Lions and 2017 Browns).
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...JETS-CHIEFS & NFL BIG NUMBERS

They’re talking about this week’s Jets-Chiefs game in the national sporting press, but not for the sort of reasons that once captivated the national football audience when these sides would face one another. Now, here in late October of 2020, about the only thing noteworthy about the upcoming clash at Arrowhead Stadium is the uncommonly high pointspread. More on that in a moment. Jets-Chiefs, however, recalls some different memories for us at TGS and anyone who was around for the later days of the old AFL. Given that some of our modern-day readers might not be able to fathom a Jets game having much intrigue, allow us to digress for a moment and recall when a New York-Kansas City
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...STYLE POINTS IN COLLEGE FB

Rewind to October 23, 1982. Bo Schembechler’s Michigan was not expected to have a tough time with Dennis Green’s Northwestern that afternoon in Evanston. Heck, during those days, no one had much trouble with the Wildcats, who earlier that season had seen a debilitating losing streak grow to 34 games before finally beating Northern Illinois, 31-6, prompting NU fans to dismantle the goal posts at Dyche Stadium. A couple of weeks later, NU then broke a 39-game Big Ten losing streak when it shocked Minnesota, 31-21. Oddsmakers, however, were not getting fooled by this new-found Wildcat prowess. The Wolverines were made 29-point favorites as they rumbled into Dyche in late October.
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...COMING ATTRACTIONS IN STATES-PART I

As it has become part of our “business” nowadays at TGS to pay close attention to the evolving sports gaming marketplace in the states, we think it’s a good time for a reminder to all who partake in these related exercises to have a better idea of how the sports gaming industry is regulated and policed in other parts of the world. 

Policed? Isn’t it anything goes overseas, especially in the UK, with its long-enlightened view on gaming, and where bets are taken on almost everything?
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...THAT'S BILLIONS--WITH A "B"

While the coronavirus pandemic does its best to impact sport in all corners of the world, one grouping within the extended industry continues to bop along. Sports gaming has indeed had to juke and jive to stay afloat and relevant during COVID-19, but the sector continues to move forward and make news.  In one sense, however, it is definitely not business as usual in the sports gaming arena. While conventions are not the lifeblood of the industry, they have emerged as important markers as the business continues to evolve. Sports gaming has long been
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...MLB PLAYOFFS PREVIEW!

Tampa Bay Rays (3/1)... With the thought of a “Title Bay Triple” (Lightning NHL, Rays MLB, and Bucs NFL) dancing in the minds of all fans in Tampa-St. Pete, the Rays have secured the top seed in the AL and will be able to unfurl their deep and versatile pitching staff to great effect, we suspect. Blake Snell is already lined up to start the first playoff game at the Trop and manager Kevin Cash has myriad options including several “openers” which mostly fared well this season. Did we mention pitching depth? Into last weekend, twelve different bullpen Rays recorded saves this season, trying an MLB record, and this was only a 60-game season. Lots of contact hitters in the lineup
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...COLLEGE FB HISTORY RE-SET

Once in a while, we at TGS are motivated to set the record straight. Often, it’s because the modern sports media will peddle a narrative that while not altogether inaccurate, can be somewhat misleading. And as we have just passed an important anniversary of one of the most-memorable days in college football history, we are reminded once again how it helps to have been around to experience events that are being reviewed decades later.

So it goes for the much-discussed USC-Alabama season opener from back on September 12, 1970, a landmark game from 50 years ago 
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NEW TGS...TIME CAPSULE: PREDICTORS, NOT TIPSTERS!

As you might have been able to tell from our first two issues, a lot has changed with TGS since last season, and none of it is pandemic-related. In fact, our switch to an all-online publication in a more easy-to-read format has been in the works for well over a year. With the kinks still needing to be worked out, we continued to produce our publications in a traditional manner last season, always with an eye to 2020. Eyes, important things...something we and our many longtime readers knew would benefit from our new look. Squinting at smallish type is no longer required!
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We think it’s important, however, readers know that, even through management changes, TGS at its core essentially remains the same publication it was when launched by Mort Olshan way back in 1957.
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TGS SPECIAL REPORT...2020 NFL SEASON-WINS TO WATCH!

AFC BEST BET... Are we really going to recommend the...New York Jets (6 ½)? Why not? It might surprise that the J-Men would actually have to regress from last season’s 7-9 mark to not clear the win number in 2020. Indeed, the Jets did win 7 a year ago, as HC Adam Gase saved a job that looked precarious at midseason by winning 6 of the last 8 in 2019. Included were wins in the last two, amid rumors of internal strife, one of those effectively knocking the Steelers out of the playoffs. Will there will be as much adversity to deal with this season? Likely not, especially if they avoid another 0-4 start, which coincided
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TGS PAC-12 RETROSPECTIVE...WHEN THE RIVALRY RAGED IN L.A.

Though given consideration in the early-season rankings, projected 14th nationally by Sports Illustrated in its preview issue, and 16th in AP’s preseason poll, there were numerous skeptics about the prospects of UCLA in ‘68. After all, Heisman winner Gary Beban had graduated after the Bruins had won 23 games under his direction the preceding three years.  Among them the doubters was the shrewd HC, Tommy Prothro, who naturally fretted about the upcoming post-Beban era. Not as much because of a lack of confidence in the anointed successor at QB, junior Bill Bolden
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THE BEST OF TGS..."THE GAME" THAT STILL RESONATES

In this latest "Best of TGS" installment, we recall the following feature which ran in Issue 12 of our 62nd edition in November of 2018, when we honored the 50th anniversary of an epic matchup that continues to resonate...


We’re
about to enter the peak of college football “rivalry season” in the next two weeks as various regional bloodbaths will once again renew.  In our 62 seasons of TGS publishing, however, one of these rivalry games remains singular.  And we’re not sure we’ve ever lived through a game quite like...well, The Game.
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THE BEST OF TGS...THE "ACID BATH" FOR TEXAS

Rest assured they haven’t forgotten about the days of the “Wishbone T” at Texas. Among the glorious eras of Longhorn football, the span from the late ‘60s into the early 70s when the Darrell Royal “Wishbone” ran wild remain among the all-time favorites for the countless “Texas Ex-es” and college football historians. The high-water mark, we have always believed, of that great Wishbone era might continue to be mostly overlooked by college sports historians and the modern-day media. In fact, looking back
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THE BEST OF TGS...IT'S TIME FOR NOTRE DAME-USC WEEK!

Among our favorite weeks each autumn is the run-up to the annual Notre Dame-USC grudge match.  Though this clash has lost some of its luster in recent years, it remains college football's quintessential intersectional rivalry, and one we at TGS have had a front-row seat to observe throughout our six-plus decades of publishing. And one of our favorite Fighting Irish-Trojans "Retrospective" pieces was this one from October, 2017 when we went back to review two of the more memorable Notre Dame-Southern Cal battles from the TGS era...
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NEW COVER STORY...TGS 2020 NFL DRAFT PREVIEW!

6-LOS ANGELES CHARGERS... The Philip Rivers era officially ended for the Bolts when their long-serving pitcher walked to the Colts in free agency. Though after Rivers struggled mightily a year ago with 20 picks, we’re not sure how much he will be missed. For the moment, word is that the Chargers are content to let holdover Tyrod Taylor act as a bridge to a high-profile rookie QB, though rumors continue to circulate that the Bolts could opt for still on-the-market Cam Newton as a short-term fix while whatever rookie (Oregon’s Justin Herbert?) watches and learns for a year or two. After all, the Chargers were decimated by injuries last year and believe they could make a quick
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COL HOOPS SPECIAL REPORT...TGS 2019-20 SUPERLATIVES

TGS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Obi Toppin, Dayton... We’ll never get to find out if Dayton could have made a run all of the way in the Big Dance after taking a 29-2 SU mark into the A-10 Tournament before college hoops shut down in mid-March. But at 29-2, this was the Flyers’ chance, and they would have likely been seeded number one in the East Regional had the Dance commenced in a normal fashion. Along the way, Toppin dominated his conference (the A-10) more than any player in the country, and while he might
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THE BEST OF TGS...SYMBOLISM AND THE SPORTS MEDIA

Back again we go into the "Best of TGS" files for this memorable piece which first ran on these pages in September of 2014, right about the time the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell were facing heavy scrutiny over the Ray Rice situation...

While seeking an editorial beacon of sorts to help us draw our intended analogy to recent events, we came across a passage in the thought-provoking best-selling book, Breach of Trust, authored in 2013 by Andrew J. Bacevich, a professor of history and international
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COL HOOPS SPECIAL REPORT...TGS ALL-NEWCOMER TEAM!

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Vernon Carey, Duke...Not quite by acclimation as was Blue Devil predecessor Zion Williamson last season, Carey nonetheless appears a worthy honoree, even if this year’s newcomer crop seemed to lack the sizzle of a year ago. Carey, however, helped create the dynamics for one of the nation’s most-explosive attacks that would often look to the blocks and Carey for its first offensive option. Carey made an impact almost immediately, cracking the 30-point barrier by his fifth game (scoring 31 in an 87-52 romp past Cal on November 21 at MSG) en route to 15 double-doubles, and was a
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THE BEST OF TGS...THE "BAG MEN" OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Every once in a while, we experience an "Abe Ribicoff moment."  Ribicoff, if you recall, was the U.S. Senator from Connecticut who famously, and forcefully, told the assembled masses at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago what many of them didn't want to hear.Specifically, Ribicoff bravely, or perhaps brazenly, went off script and upbraided Mayor Richard Daley and his Chicago political machine to their faces, right in their backyard of the old International Amphitheater, for the behavior of their police force against protestors nearby at
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THE BEST OF TGS...FIFA FOLLIES AND THE WORLD CUP

While we try to pass the time until sport is resumed, we've decided to cull our vast files of past stories and editiorals for "Best of TGS" features which will appear periodically over over the coming weeks.  One of these in particular was a spin-off from our old European Soccer Weekly publication which existed for seven years into 2007.  On occasion thereafter we would revive the ESW features on these pages, and one such time came in late 2010 after FIFA simultaneously awarded World Cups to Russia (for 2018) and Qatar (for 2022), respectively.
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COMING THIS SEASON...TGS LTS FOOTBALL GAME OF THE MONTH!

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