The recent uproar about Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Brown’s quarterback, who was seen gambling this week at the Planet Hollywood casino clearly represents the common NHL fan’s opinion surrounding gambling and their national treasures. It may have been the pressure of rehab surrounding his reported drink problem that led Manziel to gambling. Although these rumours haven’t been confirmed, the 23 year-old quarterback was not present for his weekly concussion tests that are required by the Browns medical department which is the day after his reported gambling binge.
Mike Pettine, head coach for the Browns, could not account for his whereabouts last weekend. When asked whether Manziel was in Vegas he replied – ‘I don’t know, I wasn’t.’
Not only did this situation shock all NFL fans and especially Browns fans, but it shocked the Lucky Nugget team as well. Honestly, we weren’t surprised about Manziel’s gambling, it was the abject overreaction from the public that shocked us most.
The concern of whether or not a young American Footballer played at a casino one weekend is – in our opinion – a complete overreaction. His induction into rehab was spurred by a video emerging of a ‘drinking session’ which, let’s be honest, are extremely common amongst young rich men such as Manziel. There’s no surprise then he’s been caught drinking and playing at the casino.
But, there are some professional footballers who have taken their gambling to the extremes. Canada’s number one online casino has decided to take a look at a few in more detail.
Paul Hornung – Green Bay Packers
Paul Hornung was pretty good at American Football. In fact he was damn good! He was the first professional footballer in history to win the Heisman Trophy, win the NFL MVP award and be selected as the first overall selection in the NFL Draft in one single year. Hornung was a versatile player throughout his career playing as a halfback, quarterback and a placekicker.
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Unfortunately, in 1963, Hornung had to miss an entire season due to gambling on football games. Hornung, and his accomplice Alex Karras – fellow NFL star – were both betting between $100 and $500 on numerous NFL and NCAA games. In today’s terms the amounts they were gambling were between $775 and $3878 a go. Through this, the pair were banned from ever playing in the NFL again unless they swore to refrain from gambling. Fortunately for the world of NFL Hornung did stop and went on to have a very good career.
Kenny McKinley – Denver Broncos
Kenny McKinley played for Denver Broncos in 2009 and was set to have a glistening career in the NFL as a wide receiver. His collegiate career was successful in that he was awarded first team honours from the SEC coaches and the Associated Press and CollegeFootballNews.com. Unfortunately, during his years at college and touching into his professional career McKinley developed a gambling problem that would eventually result in his tragic suicide.
After an injury ended his football career McKinley tragically took his own life. it emerged that he had borrowed $65,000 from a former team mate to pay off his large gambling debts. He owed $40,000 to an LA casino and the mounting problems reportedly contributed to his depression. McKinley’s death was a lesson to all young NFL players.
Michael Vick – Pittsburgh Steelers
Michael Vick currently plays for Pittsburgh Steelers but at one point in his career he played for another team entirely. From 2001 – 2006 Vick lead a double life. On the surface he was a quintessential American Football player specialising the in the coveted quarterback position. Underneath this façade however Vick was implicated in an illegal interstate dog fighting ring that had been operating for over five years. This led to him being sacked and ultimately jailed for two years.
Vick was able to get his career moving after he was released but his image has been ruined forever. Reports also suggest that Vick was involved in hanging and drowning dogs who were no longer able to fight. For a man who has caused such heinous crimes he is now doing rather well, bagging a $100 million dollar contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers.