When this news broke on Monday I was so happy. Finally, important news broke at a reasonable timeframe for me to make a comic about it. Anyway, this is why now we have to talk about this instead of the news everyone actually cares about until at least Friday. Please sign my petition to make news breaking on Tuesdays and Thursdays illegal.

So Calvin Ridley got suspended indefinitely for gambling on football games. I want to say upfront I understand why they had to do that. You have to prevent that. Once the game itself is compromised in such a way, outcomes become untrustworthy. No, Calvin wasn’t playing football during the time when he placed bets, but players are privvy to insider information that the rest of people do not have. They know the state of their team better than we do. The integrity of the game is pretty much at stake when the players involved have money involved that isn’t just their own contracts. So I’m actually perfectly okay with Ridley getting punished.

What seems baffling is the level of punishment. A full year? Possibly more? Maybe less after some negotiations? That seems extreme, right? Maybe a few games. 4? 6? Half a season at most seems fair. Ridley wasn’t betting on games while he was active with the Falcons, it was during his break, and it wasn’t a ton of money (for him anyway). It seemed like he acted on his own, just placing some bucks on a few games the same way most people would. As far as bets go from insiders, this feels about as safe as it could possibly get. I feel like there might be more to this we don’t know about or the NFL is freaking out over a problem they have effectively nurtured.

This news comes after several years of the NFL and sports leagues in general beginning to adopt sports betting. I don’t have much of an opinion on sports betting. I don’t do it myself, and I don’t really have an issue with the people who do. I do understand it’s probably a bad thing for addicts to now have easy, legal access to these sorts of betting apps but the money was already flowing illegally before this and some law regulation might help. But we’ve spent the past year being bombarded with those stupid Caesers Sportsbook ads and several years of Fanduel/Draftkings ads and now the very economy the NFL has nutured to make money is causing them this problem. This is only going to get worse, right?

Does anyone think Ridley is the only player who’s gambled on the games? Or will be? He’s probably just the first to get caught. Before this, you probably had to be smart about it. Give your bets to a designated loyal in-between guy who made the bets on your behalf, that sorta thing. Now that betting is easy any doofus with a smartphone like Calvin Rdley can just plop a few bucks down. We might start seeing a lot of these suspensions pop up. More deserving ones at that.

On top of all of this noise, the Dolphins owner is still accused of bribing Brian Flores to lose football games on purpose, a massive accusastion that is not getting nearly enough investigation and reporting. Ridley almost seems like the NFL trying to distract people. This whole thing is a weird mess and there is probably time for things to get weirder. But it’ll probably have to wait now that everyone is hype on the Russ trade and Rodgers news, which the NFL is probably thrilled about.