Thursday, January 13, 2011
Jake O'Donnell - My BET For The Worst Referee In NBA History
That's one Jake O'Donnell one of the most experienced NBA refs in league history.
Us Boston Celtic fans certainly know him well. He was outrageously biased against the *green and white*, for decades! If you don't believe me just ask Tommy Heinsohn.
Every time he'd show up in Boston the point spread would freakin' narrow. And fans all over Boston Garden would continually ask/beg him, "Jake, when are you going to retire?"
So I'm out at a restaurant tonight passing the 45 minutes we have to wait for a table.
And I start talking to an 'old coot' in Philly attire. No, it wasn't an outfit of denim shorts, Fila sneakers, and a black tee shirt with a 14k chain on top of it....the guy was decked out in old Philadelphia Eagles threads (from the Randall era!) - yeah, a week after their season ended so ignominiously.
Anyways the guy told me he knows Jake O'Donnell well...
AND that Jake, an NBA referee, used to consort with a huge, well-known bookie, ALL THE TIME.
The guy's name was Mike Darmeni (spelling?).
According to my source, Jake didn't just say hello to this guy on the corner stoop. No, he was so tight with this bookie that he even publicly played golf tournaments with him. (Some 2-man event at Llanerch CC was booked as evidence.)
Recall that the NBA endured more than a little bit of a *scandal* a few years ago over the gambling exploits of referee Tim Donaghy.
And in searching for *jake odonnell* I came across a recent article where he comes out of retirement and sanctimoniously criticizes other ref's for appearances of impropriety!
Do I think Jake was betting on NBA games?
But I do know from experience that these Philly guys bet on everything, all the time. Heck, when I was in Philly I saw guys betting on how many blocks Mutombo would have in a game, what week of the NFL season Steve Young would suffer his first concussion, and even on the total annual snow accumulation at the Philadelphia International Airport (betting started in September!). And there's probably 11 year olds in South Philly government schools taking bets!
If Jake O'Donnell wasn't betting on the games he was refereeing I'll wager he was at least betting on other stuff.
And he was no doubt taking out the agony of his losses on the Boston Celtics!