Can You Use the Word in a Sentence?

Katherine Close is the top speller in the land. The winner of Thursday night’s Scripps National Spelling Bee, she’s an eighth-grader at H.W. Mountz School in Spring Lake, a beach town on the south New Jersey Shore.

That Close attends an actual school is relevant, because some of you bet that she wouldn’t. More specifically, the "Bee" went off at +283 that the winner would be home schooled, +178 that they’d wear glasses (she doesn’t), and +141 that "they" would be a she in the first place.

Oh, and the over/under on letters in the final word was 10.5.

Gambling in America is a curious thing. Mention it, and most of us immediately think slot machines, Vegas, and getting rich. We think the World Series of Poker and fourth quarter mutterings by the announcers on Monday Night Football. The lot of them, we all know, go hand-in-hand.

But gambling isn’t always about the money. If there’s a lesson in the news that bookies, crunching numbers on the educational backgrounds of top spellers past, took time to analyze the participants and set lines on the National Bee, it’s that financial victories alone don’t fulfill the human condition. More satisfying, more often, is the feeling of simply being proven right.

We don’t take Loyola Marymount -4 or the Jets +13 1/2 because we’re simply after that pot of gambling gold. We take them because we believe, strongly, that we know better. And we want to be proven so in a real, tangible, humiliating-for-the-guy-who-is-wrong kind of way.

Better than traditional gambling, that markets can provide such closure so effectively was a driving force behind our founding of PROTRADE. We all wanted more opportunities to weigh in not just on games themselves, but also the prevailing great sports debates of the day (though we hadn’t considered spelling).

Floating our two cents into the ether on sports radio or via message boards, like those endless arguments with your dad over whether Barry Bonds could touch Mickey Mantle, or if LeBron James will be as good as Michael Jordan, just isn’t up to the craving. We’re never truly right if someone else isn’t truly wrong.

Buying and selling shares of players on PROTRADE’s 24/7 marketplace, fans can weigh in with real consequences. Here, there is right and

wrong– and you know it that night, or even within the hour.

So our focus is on sports. You cannot fade Ms. Close and her chance of a repeat with us next year. But you can test your ability to predict the future. We’ve created an athlete market based on our Moneyball Valuation System. 

But there are many other markets in sports that could be compelling.  What about a market to predict the day that Bonds passes Aaron?  Or a market on the number of Super Bowls Tom Brady wins in his career? What sports markets would you like to see?

Email me at with your brightest ideas.

1 Comment

Baseball is the greatest sport I know. But to me, on a par, is football (soccer to most of you). The greatest show on Earth (The World Cup) starts on Friday.
It is still bigger than the olympics.

I will be starting a totally new, non-baseball, blog for the duration of the competition.

Please, one and all, come and join in the fun. Even if you know feck all, or even dislike the sport.

It will be a fun 4 weeks folk..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: