Pete Rose banned from baseball for life after gambling on games
Speaking of baseball—a sport in which lots and lots of dumb stuff happens and which many (primarily football fans) maintain is itself dumb—there's Pete Rose. The above-mentioned Eight Men Out was about the 1919 Chicago White Sox getting banned from baseball for life for allegedly collaborating with gamblers to fix the World Series. Ever since, baseball has been A-OK with vulgar drunks (Babe Ruth, many others), psychopathic racists (Ty Cobb, many others), or participants in coked-up orgies (the 1986 New York Mets), but not gambling on baseball. One slip up, and you were done. But what was Charlie Hustle's reaction? "Screw it, I'm Pete Rose."
Why it was so dumb: Literally the only thing for which baseball has shown any eagerness to ban people is gambling. The cocaine scandal of the 80s took years to resolve, the steroid debacle took a decade. Gambling has been, for whatever reason, the absolute, immediate "off with his head" offense. And Pete Rose didn't just gamble on one game. He gambled on games for most of his career. Whether or not this should be is irrelevant. It is. Thus, cavalierly gambling on baseball for years and expecting not to be caught is massively dumb.