This is a tough subject to broach for me because I was raised on sports, specifically Football. I was brought up playing football in the backyard, learning the fundamentals of the game, studying the game & religiously watching the NFL. For a better part of my youth, football was #1. As I’d gotten older, I didn’t join the football team in school because it was a big commitment and I was too concerned with drinking beer, playing guitar and hanging out with my friends but…that did not diminish my love of the game. I was elated whenever my team won and brought to tears whenever my team lost, much like other fans. I bought the jerseys. I bought the starter jackets. I was your typical American guy who loved Football. Then something happened….I started using my critical thinking abilities as blatant evidence of corruption in the NFL came to the surface. Now, don’t discount me as a conspiracy theorist just because the title of this blog is ‘Is the NFL rigged?’. After all, it’s posh now to label any critical thinker a conspiracy theorist in order to delegitimize intelligent discourse on a subject and make individuals look ‘crazy’. Do I think the NFL is rigged? No. But I do think it’s unfairly steered towards possible outcomes, giving one team unfair opportunities over another, which in effect is a form of deception for the viewer. So, the NFL is rigged…and it isn’t at the same time.
I’m a Miami Dolphins fan. They’re a bad team. Really bad. I have no delusions that the referees have robbed them of glory. No….they just haven’t put together a cohesive unit of front office staff and players in a long, long, long time. I accept it. Yeah, here and there they get bad calls and maybe a few games could’ve gone their way with better refereeing. But, a team needs to have a certain amount of talent and confidence to maximize on opportunities that are presented to them. Therefore, my review of this is somewhat impartial because my favorite team does not come into the fold here. For the past 2 decades they’ve been a bi-polar team that can’t get their shit together which is why they always lose. So, I’m able to sit back and watch other people’s favorite teams as they play because well…my favorite team sucks. I’m an athlete too. Sometimes people are just better than you. If you realize that on the field, you can realize that when you watch games. You can tell when it’s genuine talent…and you can tell when something is….’off’. I also work in the entertainment industry. I know that 90% of reality shows are fake because I’ve worked on some of them. Some people still think they’re real, which is mind boggling. I also see how big money and the people who control that big money dictate EVERYTHING that happens on a film or television show. You mess with the money people, you get fired. It’s happened to me. I’ve stood up to Executive Producers who were mistreating their employees and I’ve been fired for it. It’s simple. It’s about money. Whoever has the money….has the power to do whatever they damn please. I’ve witnessed Producers breaking and entering, stealing company documents and being arrested for it….and then promptly being released from custody because they made a nice donation to the local police force. Yes….if you have money. You can do anything. You know how much football brings in, officially, not counting the gambling that takes place in Vegas?…..about 13+ Billion a year. Yup. BILLION. So….yeah. Put two and two together. It’s simple math. Money corrupts. Money rules. Keep that in mind.
For non-football fans and football fans here are some simple facts that are available for everyone to see if they’re willing to research it….and also they’re brilliantly covered by author Brian Tuohy in his book, ‘The Fix Is In: The Showbiz Manipulations of the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL & NASCAR’. 1. In 2010 a U.S. Judge essentially said to a season ticket holder who’d filed a lawsuit regarding fairness in the NFL that….the customer was entitled to entertainment and provided with entertainment by the NFL. Period. End of law suit. So, viewers are entitled to entertainment…..not fairness and integrity. RED FLAG. 2. The NFL is a 13+ Billion a year industry that typically sees teams with the highest ratings enter into the Playoffs & Superbowl. Why might you think? Well, all of the owners share in the overall profits so it’s beneficial for them that the most popular teams, in any given year, have the best opportunities to make it to the playoffs. Ya know, because…..that means more money for the billionaires….cause they need it of course. RED FLAG. 3. Whether they did it or not, several teams (most notably The Patriots in recent times) have been accused of cheating. Merely the fact of a case like that being so public and getting investigated gives some validity to it, regardless of how minimal or severe the cheating was. And oh yeah….the commissioner of the NFL destroyed the evidence during the Spygate investigations. Why would you destroy evidence after already admitting guilt? Usually, you’d provide that evidence to other parties to review….especially when a US Senator asks to see that evidence. Was it because…I dunno…maybe that evidence, if brought to light, would eventually leak to the general public, effectively destroying fans confidence in the sport they so adore….leading to a mass exodus of viewership and a huge loss of revenue? HUGE RED FLAG. 4. NFL off the field shenanigans are typically covered up. So, why is it that famous players like Tom Brady, accused of cheating, and Ben Roehtlisberger, accused of rape, are still playing after having minimal suspensions and fines while someone like Josh Gordon gets a 1 year suspension for drinking a few beers? Is it because he’s a mostly unknown black player and not a famous white quarterback? Seems like complete BS to me. And there are plenty of these examples. RED FLAG. 5. The only thing that needs to happen to turn a game around is a call by a referee. How many bad calls have you witnessed? How many times have games turned around because of bad calls? Last night in the Superbowl, the Patriots were kept alive for 3 consecutive drives because of bad calls. It was pretty obvious that the NFL wanted them to come back from the huge deficit, which they did…..and they won. Of course, you’d have to be brain dead to not realize that referees decide who wins….pretty much every time….unless the team sucks like the Dolphins. No amount of bad officiating can help bad teams. But good teams? Yeah, the refs can help them by presenting them with opportunities. They do it incessantly. RED FLAG. 6. Here’s probably the biggest one of them all. Some players are starting to question the system of the NFL and how things actually work. Ray Lewis was a superstar during his playing days….and even HE thinks something is rotten in Denmark. I’m sure he’s not the only one questioning the validity of the ‘sport’ that they play. Most people won’t speak up because…..they don’t want to lose their jobs. It’s all about money. ENORMOUS RED FLAG. 7. Lastly, if one has a modicum of strategic football knowledge, they’d realize that lots of integral play calls & strategies are total BS and coaches must be on the take. For example, last night when the coach of the Falcons was up by 25 points and didn’t ‘run the clock out’ by running the football. The game was effectively over. He could’ve run the clock out. If the Falcons had utilized the full 40 seconds of each play, there was no possible way for the Patriots to come back. I’m no sports genius but….you’re telling me that a professional coach, with a talented team, who made it to the SuperBowl, who’d utilized fundamental football knowledge all year….transformed into the mentality of a 10 year old amateur playing a Madden Football video game? No. Not possible. HUGE RED FLAG. It’d be like if your best friend and your mom told you that your husband is cheating, you found a strange woman’s name pop up on his phone, he hasn’t come home on Saturday’s in 3 months, he starts working out and buying new clothes, you find condom wrappers in his car, you find sexting pictures in his e-mail account, you find an un-mailed letter to a chick named Rachel AND you find a video of him having sex with Rachel on his phone. Now….if he says to you, ‘No babe. I’m not having an affair’ are you going to believe him? Or are you going to believe the MOUNTAIN of evidence before you?……..
Say what you will. Think what you’ll think. I’m a pretty practical person. The evidence is there. It’s really, really, really simple. Just like when there are enough red flags in a relationship, in a business arrangement or in a work environment….you realize it, say this isn’t right for me and move on. Look, it’s sad man. It’s really sad to accept that the NFL is bogus. It’s an American pastime and a childhood pastime for many people, including myself. But the fact that you have an attachment to something and vehemently believe that it should be fair….doesn’t make it fair. Most of the people arguing that it’s fair….are people WHO WORK FOR THE NFL or many of their subsidiaries. And then your buddies that you argue about this with are people who are blinded by their love for the game, listen to opinions of professionals (who work for the NFL) and are unwilling to admit that something is wrong. I still love the game. I really do….but it’s not a fair contest in any way shape or form. That’s reality. When the only thing that needs to happen in order to change the momentum in a game from one team to the other, is a bad call by a referee or a series of bad calls, that means that the opportunity for manipulation exists. If you watch enough games, like I have, you’ll notice that that ability to manipulate momentum and the outcomes of games is utilized by referees. Those are employees of the NFL. They want to keep their job, so they do what they’re told by the people in charge, ie the owners and the commissioner. The wealthy people. That’s corruption in a nutshell. Of course, Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Joe Flacco etc. are all exceptional athletes but the reason that they won Superbowl’s wasn’t just because they’re high caliber players and their teams are good. It’s a combination of their teams being talented, their teams being popular with fans at the time (in a good or bad way), their teams bringing in large revenues & having an interesting storyline that the NFL can latch on to.
Do you know that the NFL makes more money than many countries around the world? A game! A fucking game makes more money than a country….does that not bother anyone? Ya know how there’s always corruption in government? Well, the NFL is bigger than many governments. You think it’s not rife with corruption? The only way that things will change in the NFL is if fans boycott the sport and protest, just as they do against governments…because the NFL is as big as a government. I really wanted Tom Brady to win the first time and I’m happy he did. But the Tuck Rule was a joke and it wasn’t fair to the Raiders. If the NFL were fair Belichick and Brady should’ve been suspended for a year or longer for Spygate. Instead, someone like Sean Peyton gets the book tossed at him and is banned for a year for doing something that used to be pretty commonplace in the NFL. If the NFL were fair and had a high level of integrity there wouldn’t be constant accusations of cheating from one team to the next, off-field abuse that is covered up, reports of NFL veterans not being supported when they become ill, and a mass of rules and obstructions put down on the players, on and off the field, for playing a GAME that’s supposed to be FUN. It’s not a game anymore….it’s a business. A business that is as large as a government. That’s all. Owners make the money. Players take the risks. The refs are on-field Gods. And the outcome is always about how to maximize profits. There are good teams. There are bad teams. There are great players. But…it’s all maneuvered in a certain direction. What direction is that? Money. Money is the direction. So, be happy for your team. Be happy for your favorite player if they amass wins and records. But please realize….it’s all bogus. Just like wrestling, reality shows or your favorite movie. It’s an entertainment business. That’s it. You want to watch a sport with some integrity and fairness in the outcome? Go watch some high school games. Watch community intramural sports, some street ball or a small market team. That’s where you’ll get fairness….and that’s where you’ll actually have some fun as opposed the robotic ritual of overspending your hard earned money on tickets, apparel, drinks & cable packages that the NFL offers. Small market teams are cheaper too…and you won’t have to wait for commercial breaks.
In conclusion, No….the NFL is not 100% rigged….but it is highly manipulated, which is pretty much the same thing. I love football. I adore the sport. That’s why I don’t support the NFL and only happen to watch games here or there. Because it’s not football anymore. It’s corrupt. And worst of all…..it’s really boring. I like real football, where the game means something. And until the NFL becomes real football….I won’t waste my money. I haven’t spent a dime on the NFL in years and I will continue to just that. True, I did get caught up last night in the SuperBowl but then after witnessing the constant hypocrisy and completion of the year-long promoted storyline..I remembered, oh…nothing has changed, the NFL is still blatantly unfair and not a genuine contest of physical and mental prowess….it’s a contest of clever rich people that are duping and manipulating regular folks into handing over their hard earned cash. So stop letting the NFL tug at your heart strings, take your money and cheat on you with a bimbo named Rachel. Empower yourself and do something better with your time and your paycheck.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this post and that it’s in some way added to your knowledge base and your life in a positive way. As always. Do you best. Be kind to yourself. To your neighbors. And to animals and plants alike. And Follow The Golden Rule as best as you can.