Want to get Chris Christie riled up? Just ask him about fantasy football.
If you’ve turned on a television at any point over the past six months (or even stood near one), you are probably aware of the existence of daily fantasy sites like FanDuel and DraftKings, which promise maximum payouts with minimum commitment. All you have to do is ignore the fact that not only are you swimming with the sharks, but those sharks are running advanced algorithms and probably have access to insider information. Oh, and the waters are completely unregulated, too.
Anyway, given the recent controversies surrounding daily fantasy sites – and reports they are projected to generate almost $2.5 billion in revenue by 2020 – it didn’t take long for the Department of Justice and the FBI to begin preliminary investigations into the legality of all this. So, of course, that made government regulation of the industry a topic of conversation at Wednesday night’s Republican debate. Because, America.
While Marco Rubio had released a video earlier in the day that featured him dicking around with his fantasy lineup, and Jeb Bush was happy to brag about his team’s 7-0 record before tackling the question, Christie didn’t have time for any of that bullshit – this country is falling apart, after all – and responded in a manner that would make former NBA superstar Allen Iverson proud.
“Are we really talking about getting the government involved in fantasy football?” Christie asked. “We have $19 trillion in debt, we have people out of work, we have ISIS and Al-Qaeda attacking us and we’re talking about fantasy football?
“How about we get the government to do what they are supposed to be doing?” Christie continued after being showered with applause. “Secure our borders, protect our people and support American values and American families.”
That moral indignation is fine and all, unless your presidential campaign sends fundraising emails out to the masses about fantasy football – just like Christie’s did last month. You almost had us, Chris.