Has gambling ruined sports?
So, I just finished reading "The Fix" and details at how match fixing has happened at various levels of soccer (domestic, house league, international etc.), but the author points that it would be arrogant to think that match fixing is only contained to soccer.
He points to the Russian mob connections in the NHL for instance and some quotes that 80% of the hockey players have some connection to the mob.
Considering Tim Donaghy's allegations and some, generally odd calls during basketball games (Raps in Atlanta for instance and mysterious points not being added on), I believe that some level of influence is present there as well.
The common theme though throughout all of this, is gambling and the amount that can be made (legally or illegally).
Gambling could be fun if it was done in an honest manner, but it's not being done.
Now, is gambling all bad? Depends on perspective. I'd argue it's what's driven the NFL to be the most popular league in N.A. Just look at how many people play proline on Sunday's and compare that to everything else. And let's face it, football, can be terribly, terribly boring.
However, considering all the negatives, has gambling ruined professional sports?