Fraud scandals in the world of chess, poker, and fishing are a threat | So Good News
Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”
The race for #1 has always run through the veins of our community. Sometimes, even cutting corners is fostering a great American tradition. We’ve seen steroids in baseball; the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal; The Patriots’ Spygate and Deflategate Sagas; Lance Armstrong’s legacy is tainted by doping; Rosie Ruiz is faking the Boston Marathon – and my brother is in Monopoly.
Of course, we are not the only ones who are unfair to the competition. Sure, we’ve all seen villainous Ivan Drago get a needle in his bicep in Rocky IV, but real Olympic doping scandals have broken out in many countries, including East Germany and Russia.
It turns out that cheating, fixing and lying isn’t limited to big-money, high-profile sports.
Recently, we’ve had some outrageous cheating allegations in the sports you’ll find broadcast on ESPN 19 at 2 a.m.
The first was from the sport of fishing, namely the Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament in Ohio, where winners collected nearly $29,000 in prize money. Founders Chase Kominsky and Jacob Runyan became suspicious when their burdens turned out to be much heavier than they appeared. In a video that went viral, they cut open freshwater fish and found weights that looked like balls filled with lead. The duo’s past victories are now being questioned and they have remained mum on these claims.
Speaking of round objects, a certain type of vibrating sex toy has turned the erudite game of chess into a pornographic line.
In last week’s match, Grandmaster Hans Niemann had his touch checked for extraneous substances after claims that his upset of Magnus Carlsen in September may have been the result of backhand work. Experts accused Niemann of tapping a remote computer with a vibrating sex toy during the match. Niemann admitted to cheating as a child but denied the latest charges.
The poker world was also engulfed in a messy brouhaha after top poker player Garrett Adelstein accused his colleague Robbie Jade Lew of being part of a cheating ring with three other participants. Although Lew denied the allegations, he returned his $135,000 in chips to avoid drama, but it seemed to create more headlines.
Apparently, the Irish dance world is not immune to scandal either, with several high-profile instructors accused of rigging competitions last week. The incriminating text messages were handed over to investigators.
To cap off this cheat-palooza, Miss USA contestants pointed out the beauty pageant’s flaws, claiming the pageant was clearly rigged for the eventual winner, Miss Texas. Miss Montana Heather Lee O’Keefe claimed in a TikTok video, “Most contestants at the Miss America pageant feel very strongly that there is favoritism towards Miss Texas, and we have the receipts to prove it.”
Both Miss USA and winner R’Bonnie Gabriel have denied the allegations, but now Miss Universe is investigating.
Perhaps this widespread change has been rising from underground, and like every Scooby Doo villain, they would have gotten away with it had it not been for the intervening forces of technology. Thanks to social media platforms, text messages, and the camera in every hand, we can not only track down a cheater, but spread their abuse far beyond these relatively isolated worlds.
After all, a bloated walleye, being an amazing fish, couldn’t have raised the alarm on its own.
Of course, some of this negativity carries over to the comics. Maybe we should make cheating its own sport to see who holds the championship belt of shame when it’s all done and dusted.
But overall, they’re grim discoveries. Cheating destroys integrity and destroys people’s motivation to compete in the first place. It also diminishes one of the biggest reasons for competition: learning to be gracious in winning – and losing.
Whether these people are motivated by power, a little money, or fame, their ill-gotten gains leave a taint that can never be cleansed.