Chris Christie: ‘We’re Talking about Fantasy Football? Can We Stop?’

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Chris Christie thinks the feds live in a fantasy.

“Are we really talking about getting government involved in fantasy football?” New Jersey’s governor asked last night at the Republican presidential debate. Christie’s answer came after former Florida Governor Jeb Bush informed the audience of his 7-0 record in fantasy football, starting such players as New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

“We have—wait a second—we have $19 trillion in debt,” Christie pointed out. “We have people out of work. We have ISIS and al Qaeda attacking us. And we’re talking about fantasy football? Can we stop?”

Christie knows firsthand the zeal of government to stamp out gambling endeavors in which the state doesn’t play the house. He attempted to legalize a sports book in New Jersey after Atlantic City suffered as a result of competition from new casinos in nearby states. But federal courts overturned the law signed by Christie. For reasons clear to Washington but not New Jersey, the feds’ crack down on sports gambling in 46 states but permit it in Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon. State and interstate lotteries, too, operate with the imprimatur of the feds.

Since a New York Times story revealed that a DraftKings employee won hundreds of thousands of dollars at rival site FanDuel, politicians at the state and federal level demand to know whether insider trading occurs within the businesses. Both DraftKings and FanDuel suddenly became a ubiquitous presence during commercial breaks of major sporting events, further raising their profile and the interest of politicians. With profits going directly to businessmen rather than government coffers, politicians naturally cried foul. Frank Pallone, a Democrat congressman from Christie’s state, wrote a September 14 letter to “request that the Energy and Commerce Committee hold a hearing examining the relationship between professional sports and fantasy sports to review the legal status of fantasy sports and sports betting.”

But the Garden State governor balks at the interest in investigating fantasy sports.

“How about this?” Christie asked. “How about we get the government to do what they’re supposed to be doing? Secure our borders, protect our people, and support American values and American families. Enough on fantasy football. Let people play. Who cares?”

File under: consenting adults.