Re: REF finally exposes how our PATS have been TARGETED + robbed out of RINGS!
posted at 4/6/2013 12:17 PM EDT
There are two separate questions here: do the refs make fraudulent calls, and did it consistently hurt the Patriots?
My answer to the first question is yes, yes, YES! One NBA game-fixing ref, Tim Donaghy, in his book "Personal Foul", reported an endemic culture of phantom foul calling among NBA refs. Refs would conspire to call phantom fouls against any player that they hated or against a specific team. They also followed NBA directives to always let a severe underdog back into a 2-0 or 3-1 playoff series, because the NBA needed a few more more 6 game or 7 game playoff contests to garner more ad revenue. Donaghy himself made his phantom calls for the mob.
The betting volume on major NFL games is an order of magnitude higher than on NBA games. If you were fixing an NFL game you'd have an order of magnitude more bribe money to hand out.
I'm considering adding a "likely fixed game" factor to my NFL point spread prognostications, on the theory that bought refs will throw a game where the home team is an underdog by 7 points or less. In those games the home team crowd will never get after the refs for a home field call. This makes the refs far easier to buy.
I rate teams by their home field advantage. In some cases the team has an obvious distance, elevation, ice bowl or heat exhaustion advantage. In other cases (i.e. Baltimore) I see no other credible explanation besides (a.) the refs are duped and intimidated by the home field crowd all chanting their favorite swear word in mighty unison, (b.) the home team goes out and buys refs to be quiet about gratuitous violence by Baltimore players, then the opponent gets flagged for retaliating, or (c) the visitor's locker room is bugged as Jerry Jones tried in Dallas, and their water fountain contains an emetic.
I saw a trend when the NFL replacement refs came in, and that trend seemed to say that the replacements had a quiet little deal with the union. In a high percentage of the games where playoff contenders were supposed to win, the refs made blatantly bad calls in about the last two minutes so that the game was thrown from victory to defeat. Patriots fans will only remember how their own team got gypped by Baltimore's phantom field goal kick, or by a phantom holding call that called back a winning touchdown against Arizona with a minute remaining in that game. In the end New England managed to grab two home field games in January so the losses didn't count for much. If you want to hear real fury, talk to the Packer fans about their gypped game. Or, just take a tour around the league to see how many critical game results were shafted by the refs. Those first three replacement weeks smell to high heaven like the deal was down in favor of the refs union, which made out quite well thank you.
As for the second question, it's statistically probable that individual owners of mediocre teams have talked to the mobsters that run the refs. I note a trend where truly average teams barely make the playoffs, and then they all go on unusual runs that end with the Lombardi Trophy. The Giants were pretty lousy in 2008 and in 2012, and Baltimore was lucky to make the playoffs with their 1-4 run to end the season.
Can you say "Black Sox"?
Then there's the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints. They paid their money in a different unethical direction. So, it's not as though teams are babes in the woods about all of this. Bringing home the trophy is worth easily $50-$100 million in enhanced ticket sales, and so the temptation to spend money to win exists. For that matter, how many NFL players have been tempted to take steroids in a way that they can still beat the tests? How many coaches wink at their players' performance enhancing drug use?
It's not that the Pats have been targeted to lose -- there's no money in that game. It's more likely that someone else was targeted to win.