Today in sports: what Bernie Madoff meant to the New York Mets, Tim Tebow's former backup managed to avoid catching Tebowmania, and the Washington Redskins prove again they do not run the tightest of shops.
'The Vig' That's apparently what New York Mets owner Saul Katz used to call Bernie Madoff, because he always paid off. 'The vig' is the percentage of every bet that goes to the house, which Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee for Madoff's victims, says is an indication of how much Katz and Fred Wilpon relied on the miraculous (and ultimately phantom) profits generated by Madoff. How much they knew -- or how much they should have known -- about Madoff's operation will be decided by a jury trial that starts next month, but there's no question they relied on Madoff's profits to keep the lights on in the front office. According to Picard, the owners " "structured player contracts to draw out the timing of their payments" and would then invest the money they owed players with Madoff, and make a profit on that, even though at the time people seemed unsure about the source of his remarkable success. One senior Mets official at the time called it the "Madoff effect." [The New York Times]
Brady Quinn Has Some Thoughts About Tim Tebow And really, why shouldn't he? Quinn, who five years ago this spring was selected in the first of the NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns and then weirdly traded to the Denver Broncos three years later, spent the bulk of the 2011 season as Tim Tebow's back-up. There was crazy, speculative chatter -- fueled by just enough solid reporting--that the team was only playing Tebow to show the world he wasn't qualified to play quarterback in the NFL, and that Quinn would replace him as the losses piled up. That didn't happen, obviously: Quinn remained on the sidelines, brooding under what appeared to be a giant cape. He's now an unrestricted free agent and unlikely to return to Denver, which explains why he felt comfortable enough to throw a few haymakers Tebow's way in an oral history of the quarterback's 2011 season in the March issue of GQ. First, Quinn says "luck" was the biggest reason Denver made the playoffs last season. (This is a valid point.) Quinn -- who went to Notre Dame and in the past hasn't hesitated to wear his politics and religious beliefs on his sleeve -- also addresses Tebow's in-your-face style of quiet prayer and contemplation. "If you look at it as a whole, there's a lot of things that just don't seem very humble to me," Quinn tells journalist Mike Silver. "When I get that opportunity, I'll continue to lead not necessarily by trying to get in front of the camera and praying but by praying with my teammates, you know?"[GQ]