By David Anderson
It was simply called ‘The Game.’ The Game that featured “The Play.” The year was 1982. Stanford’s band had rushed onto the field thinking the game was over. Tubas, drummers, all wildly celebrating I suppose. I wasn’t there so I can only imagine the scene.
“The University of California, Berkeley executes ‘The Play.’ Completing a wacky 57-yard kickoff return that includes five laterals, Kevin Moen runs through Stanford band members who had prematurely come onto the field. His touchdown stands and California wins 25-20.”
Lest we, like Stanford’s band, toot our horn too soon over House Bill 1982 which, ironically enough, harkens to ‘The Game’ of 1982 both in number and symbolism, HB 1982 is analogous to rushing the percussion section and slide-trombones onto the field.
Who would HB 1982 prevent from scoring? Who would HB 1982 tackle?
Click on “Bill Digest,” for HB 1982 and you get all of five words: “Repeals the veteran lottery raffle.”
The veteran lottery raffle “generate(s) insufficient net revenue.”
You mean we’re not going to support our veterans with our gambling dollars anymore? Our soldiers are returning from the sand wars, sans their extra deployment income, only to be left to scratch out a financial sub-existence because appreciative Americans – most particularly the poorest and least educated upon whom the lottery typically depends – are not thankful enough to scratch lottery tickets to support them? HB 1982 would repeal the veteran lottery raffle when it was in that very year of 1982 that the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C.?
Somebody toss their red flag. We want a further review on the field.
Isn’t this simply a matter of marketing? Couldn’t a “combination of heavy advertising and the trumpeting of huge jackpots by the complaisant media” keep the Veterans in the game? The state after all, as it typically does, “pay(s) millions to probe the thoughts and habits of potential lottery players” so as to discover new people out there who’ve never played the lottery.
Like the youth, for example, “the next generation of gamblers.” By returning to the Lottery Commission’s 2008 practice of providing “candy-wrapper scratch-off tickets” as reported by Peter Callaghan in the Tacoma News Tribune, we’d have a ready-made not-really-all-that-long-
The Lottery Commission could abandon silly scruples (they have some?), ignore moral objections, pretend there’s no money siphoned off in the process and turn this game around.
To give up on our Veterans so easily is . . . is . . . well it’s just whacky. Not supporting our heroes via the lottery is un-American. As un-American as apple pie, and waving the flag.
There are, after all, human weaknesses to be exploited; gambling addicts to be created; kids as habitual users to be groomed; schools to fund; Social Security, unemployment and others receiving government support to be tapped; agricultural fairs to be sponsored, and hay for horses to be purchased. Yes, in this latter instance there are several bills likely passed by now that would share a slice of the lottery it’s-for-the-kids-after-all pie with 4-H-type programs. Oh, and by the way, horse racing too is included in those bills.
Couldn’t we take a page from the Veteran’s charity playbook in Florida that is being investigated as “a front for a $300,000,000 gambling operation, hundreds of thousands of dollars of which was spent on lobbying and campaigns donations”?
Why should our own state Veterans be prevented from scoring, celebrating in the end zone, high-fiving, or slam-dunking the ball over the uprights?
Do you know how many sponsors there are for HB 1982? Say in contrast to the hay-for-the-horses lottery-sharing bills, referencing just one in particular – HB 1398? For the horses, nine legislators pony up. And that’s just one lottery-revenue-sharing bill addressing the same farm-slash-race-track recipients of your lottery scratch-ticket dollars.
But sponsors for HB 1982, the one that would kick veterans off the field?
One lonely legislator.
That’s either because the bill is a no-brainer or because it’s a non-winner. In which latter case nobody – except one – not even the most ardent, pompom waving, field storming, tuba playing, lottery supporting politician is going to lend his name to opposing Veterans from reaching the end zone.
They’ll score. You can bet on it.