Playing your sport is the way men and women add physical grace and power to intellectual pursuits, business and their family in rounding out a life.  Many people define themselves by their recreation rather than their family or work.  Others sacrifice economic health to pursue their sport.  We urge our youth to play sports as a way of growing physically and mentally in a healthy way.  TV and the other media are dominated by all manner of sports.  We dress in the garb of our sport.  We eat healthy so we can be in shape to play.
We bet on games because we take pride in knowing right or wrong more about the sport that we love and to make money.  But there is sport in the bet too as we take the money, we feel like a legitimate winner when we collect the winning wager.  We assume that the athletes and those in the sport we bet on are trying their best to win or otherwise participate in an unbiased way in fair competition.
That’s why it’s so annoying to know that some in sport miss the point and devalue a game by aiming for profit by cheating.  It happens all the time when people who value money more than the purity of the game that has been good to them dump it all for the buck.  Recently the NBA has the instance of a playoff referee betting on the contest he referees and now a Russian tennis player is accused of tanking a match in which there was an unusually high betting pool.  NBA referees are paid handsomely and treated royally for their judgment in the sport.  They are not integral to the attractions of the game to any of us, but they sometimes exhibit inappropriate star attitudes.  Now it probably will turn out that the idiot harbors some resentment against the players who exhibit magical ability and feels that big money is his entitlement, not theirs.
Since tennis is an individual sport and the financial rewards are limited to the top winning players, only the supremely talented and successful are the focus of attention.  Losing in any way is unthinkable, since that means the player will no longer be able to participate as meaningfully.  And now a top ten player is accused of tanking for a buck.  That’s ridiculous if he did, insanity is the call in that situation.
Basketball is my interest and tennis is my game.  I’m outraged that a peson who has more access to the games that I love as an also ran competitor or nose bleed seat watcher can even consider a cheap cheater’s buck.  My only consolation is that they will be tarred forever by the instance if true, may it be so.                  

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