NFL hates live-action movie bookies, okay with TV cartoon versions

elizabeth-banks-footballFor the record, this article contains absolutely no reference to actor Elizabeth Banks, we just really enjoy this photo. In fact, the only thing we don’t like about it is Banks’ visible wedding ring…

In our coverage of New Jersey’s in-your-face response to the North American professional and college sports leagues’ motion for summary judgment in their legal bid to roll back the state’s sports betting legislation, we noted that large sections of the legal filing we obtained had been redacted. Accompanying the state’s motion to dismiss the leagues’ motion was a Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion to Seal Documents, which hints at the secrets lurking behind those black bars.’s John Brennan reports that the memorandum states that for “reasons known to Plaintiffs [the leagues], Plaintiffs have designated certain discovery matters as ‘Confidential Material’ or ‘Highly Confidential Material.’” New Jersey’s attorneys go on to state that they haven’t conceded that the materials in question “were appropriately designated as such” and “reserve the right to challenge any all such designations” as the case progresses. The leagues must deliver their response to the state’s filing within two weeks.

The National Football League’s penchant to treat sports betting as ‘the vice that dare not speak its name’ is well known. Most recently, the league’s phobia caused the NFL Network to cut an interview with actor Bradley Cooper from an episode of the Rich Eisen Thanksgiving Special, which was to air on Friday. Cooper’s latest movie, Silver Linings Playbook, features a supporting role by Robert De Niro as a part-time sports bookie, and an NFL spokesdrone told the New York Post the inteview was pulled “because the movie included content related to gambling on NFL games.” Harvey Weinstein, whose production company was behind the film, said it was “deeply disappointed” and “quite frankly surprised” by the NFL’s preemptive strike, which the movie mogul described as “nothing short of censorship.”

And nothing short of ironic, given that the Eisen special also featured an interview with actor Hank Azaria, In addition to his work in front of the camera, Azaria voices a number of characters on the long-running animated Fox TV series The Simpsons. Among Azaria’s Simpsons repertoire is bartender Moe Syzlak, who in addition to regularly serving up Duff Beer for Homer, also served as Homer’s bookie in the Lisa the Greek episode, in which Homer wagers exclusively on NFL games based on Lisa’s prognostications. Hypocritical much, NFL?