MaximumWins's Blog Reasons Why The NFL Is Fixed For Profit By
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Posted Saturday, March 03, 2012 11:41 PM
First off, I'm going to begin this blog by stating that I don't have any intentions on changing anyone's mind about the NFL. Nor am I trying to start an argument about who is right and who is wrong.
I already know everyone's argument of "It takes too many people to rig a game", and the all time classic with no viable facts, "They make too much money, why would they jeopardize it?" Arguing about the nature of such things is like arguing about religion and politics. There is no point.
I'm just going to point out several observations I have made over the last few years about the NFL and state my case for why I think the NFL fixes their own games for profit. So if you are already on the defensive ready to discredit all of the evidence I am about display without actually bringing up facts that go against my arguments (like a normal discussion should be) then move on.
So if you have any documented facts, I would like to hear them. If you agree with me afterwards great, if you don't that's cool too, follow me on Twitter @shark702 and we can continue the discussion there. But again, let's talk, not insult each other. If you are the type of person who hates being lied to, was upset to find out as a kid that Santa wasn't real and that WWE is fake than please read on and I would love to hear your opinions.
OK, so if you are ready to take the Red Pill, let's see how deep the rabbit hole goes...
I've been handicapping the NFL for about 10 years now using mathematical analysis of teams, point spreads, specific outcomes and algebra, specifically relating to the calculation of probability where P(X=K)=(n/k)P^k(q)(n-k) and (n/k) = n!/k!(n-k)!, accounting for injuries, and incorporating Power Ratings which I developed from a simple Grade Scale A-F with the best NFL team receiving an A and the worst receiving an F. I was able to amass several consistent 60% ATS betting seasons. This process I found to be long and arduous and caused me great mental stress after a certain period of time.
But one day, during the 2009 season, something happened that changed it all. Now I've had my share of bad beats up until then. Some of these bad beats were too good to be true i.e The Tuck Rule Game. Several coincidences happened that just seemed to good to be true. The New England Patriots post 9/11 run, the Saints erasing 40 years of negative football history post Katrina, the Manning Families dynasty, just to name a few.
Now if you believe in random coincidence that's fine, but when they happen on multiple occasions over and over and over than it's time to do a little research. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said "Shallow men believe in Luck, strong men believe in cause and effect".
So during a game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Diego Chargers the Steelers were favored by 3. Nearly 70 percent of the betting public was on Pittsburgh, with a reported $100 million in potential earnings. The score with less than a minute to go, 11-10 Pittsburgh and SD with the ball. After an errant lateral gets knocked away by Troy Polamalu, he scoops it and scores. The score is now 17-10, there is no time left, all teams head to the locker room, fans go to cash their tickets.
After several minutes of debate, the refs overturn the call, restoring a meaningless TD off the board making the final score 11-10, the Steelers win, the public loses. What I found to be most odd about it is the league's explanation of a "forward pass". The pass was ruled forward although it is obvious it was a backwards lateral. When I got home, I starting thinking that things were just to good to be true.
Sportscenter reported the money lost in Vegas and almost joked about it. They were literally laughing. So after this bad beat, I held around some serious thoughts about the legitimacy of pro football.
An opportunity came up in my graduate school where I was to write my project on any topic I was to choose. So I chose researching the "Showbiz manipulations of the NFL". I picked up several books including Dan Moldea's "Interference: How Organized Crimes Influence Professional Football", Brian Touhy's "The Fix Is In" , Roger L. Martins "Fixing the Game". I checked out several TV Marketing books from the college library and also several TV Business books.
I utilized my rights under the Freedom of Information Act passed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1966 to access over 40 years of FBI files on the NFL although some information was redacted. Here's what I found:
1. Contrary to popular belief and to what he NFL wants you to think, there have been fixed games in league history.
On page 308 of Dan Moldea's book "Interference" he lists over 70 NFL games that have been fixed and includes the names of the 2 referees involved in fixing those games. He also lists interviews with NFL HOF players most notably KC Chiefs QB Len Dawson. He, in detail with documented facts supported by FBI documents, has interviews with NFL players and known gambling associates to uncover massive game fixing in the league. He also notes, with evidence, throughout the book that no fewer than 26 NFL team owners have or have had continuous and developing relationships with the gambling world, most notably the Rooney, Bidwill, and Mara families all getting their starts as Bookmakers for established mid-west crime families and buying their NFL franchises with moneys earned from gambling. So that in and of itself is a hypocrisy number 1 on the NFL's "lilly white" reputation.
NFL Referees are part-time employees of the NFL. They are not employees of any team nor do they get paid anywhere close to the sums of NBA refs. NFL refs make between $25K to $70K per season. They work for the league and do what the league tells them to do. They are not there for "the integrity of the game". Referees, unlike other sports, are bound by NFL mandated gag orders which prevent them from talking to the media.
2. The NFL possesses an Anti-Trust Exemption to the law granted to it by President John F. Kennedy, which ultimately allows the NFL to classify itself as "entertainment" rather than sport, as well as incorporate itself as a single entity instead of the 32 separate "franchises" they would want you to believe.
Contrary to the perception of the NFL being 32 separate franchises battling it out for gridiron supremacy. In a franchised environment, such as McDonalds (Business 101), each franchise is individually owned and operated and can participate in national promotions, have its own local promotions, or abstain from participating (hence the fine print in commercials saying "at participating locations".
This keeps the regionality of competition in tact without having to compete on a national level. MLB has this status, the NFL does not. Instead, since the NFL has this Anti-Trust exemption, it is able to package its teams in order to sell to national television companies, which today totals $6 Billion in revenue for the league. That is 75% of the leagues total annual revenue. In a 2004 lawsuit vs the NFL, the NFL attorney Gregg H. Levy argued that "the NFL is not a collection of 32 individual teams, but rather a single entity. And as long as the NFL teams are a unit, and they compete as a unit in the entertainment marketplace, then they should be deemed a single unit and not subject to any Anti-Trust laws."
There is only another "sports" organization that I can think of that follows this, the WWE. Levy also argued that the league markets its products and merchandise as a whole to promote the NFL as a whole. These arguments led all the way to lockout during the 2011 offseason. The league would still earn $5 Billion in revenue, even without a single game being played.
Professional sports is the only industry without ANY federal oversight. Therefore the league can do and go as they see fit, this is something the players were concerned about going into the lockout, the NFL players themselves sought help from US Congress asking for oversight of the NFL. And NFL players wanted an explanation as to why the NFL owners were granted an Anti-Trust exemption in the first place. They didn't get it.
The NFL proved in this lawsuit that they see themselves as a single unit in the "entertainment" industry and the unique league revenue sharing strategy is not common amongst professional sports leagues.
3. Players are paid to play, not win.
There is this notion that NFL players play for "the gory of the game" and all this other propaganda that the NFL wants you to absorb. But nothing could be further from the truth. Although there is a percentage of players who play for the love of the game, most play for the money and fame. So keeping this in mind, players earn their salary by playing, not winning. It makes no difference to a player, paycheck wise, if he wins or loses as he will still be richer than the average person. Not to mention the ridiculous amount of morons that encompass the NFL as murderers, rapists, drug addicts, gamblers, womanizers, tramps, dog fighters, thugs and gangsters, ex cons, I could go on.
It only take a coach, and the referees to provide an outcome to the NFL's liking. Therefore, players play and get paid, and as long as they keep their mouth shut they will be rewarded if such privileged info were to cross their path. Most American men have played football on some level which brings about the notion "I played football and I've never been asked to fix a game, therefore there is no way an NFL game would be fixed".
But an FBI investigation revealed that several KC Chiefs games were taken off of Las Vegas sports book boards for "suspicion of game fixing" and several Las Vegas sports book directors revealed "games were indeed fixed".
NFL HOFer Paul Hornung and Alex Karas were suspended from the league for an entire season for gambling and participating in potential game fixing, only after the information was made public and scrutiny ensued, not because NFL commissioner Pete Rozell was actively "protecting the integrity of the game".
It took Packers HC Vince Lombardi to call in a favor to get them reinstated into the NFL. Thus NFL security was born. Just ask yourself...what billion dollar business would allow their profits to be at the hands of uneducated, black, youth? Not one single American business. Businesses ensure that a dollar is made and they don't entrust their livelihood in them. It's just not rational nor good business and no business in the history of business does this.
A McDonald's burger flipper either does what he is told or he is gone, plain and simple. Burgers still get sold. America still gets fat.
4. NFL Security is a reactionary force design to cover up the NFL's problems.
After the Hornung issue, the league instituted NFL security and hired former FBI agents and local law enforcement. Their job is to keep any and all stories under wraps and to clean up as many messes as they can. They DO NOT and I repeat, DO NOT do any actual proactive investigating. The NFL commissioner works for the NFL owners, therefore he is exempt from any investigating as well as the owners. Which is why you hear little of the NFL owners illegal gambling ties.
In Dan Moldea's book, it is clearly indicated by interviews with former members of NFL Security that they don't do any actual work until there is a tip. No tip, no work. In the FBI's files of investigations on the likes of Vick, Ray Caruth, etc. a common theme takes place in that, the FBI is investigating these players for other things and information pops up during the course of the investigation that could be detrimental to the NFL and then it is forwarded to NFL security. Then they being work, hence reactionary. Then ultimately they get bombarded with work that is useless and only provides good copy for which the league can say "we are protecting the integrity of the game", case in point, the recent "Bounties" on the Saints from 09-11. This is a nonsense story that is an attempt to steer you away from what is really going on and provide perception that the game is clean.
But yesterday I received a tweet from Damien Woody that said specifically "Bounties are common place in NFL, no big deal". NFL Security also fails to catch real criminals, see Sam Hurd, Jerome Simpson, etc. The NFL Security simply put, is a reactionary force engaged in monitoring player activity and providing damage control in the event of leaked information.
5. Video taping other teams' plays is common practice in the NFL.
In 2007 as we all know, SpyGate rocked the NFL world. The Patriots were caught red-handed video taping the Jets plays and signals. The NFL and NFL Security went into damage control by destroying the supposed "only tape" and quickly fired and destroyed the reputation of videographer Matt Walsh. Destroying the tape is a felony as it contributes to obstruction of justice laws as well as tampering with evidence. Another, lowly touted "SpyGate" occurrence popped up in 2010 when Josh McDaniels was caught filming 49ers practices and hand signals. A tip to NFL security led to an investigation of the Broncos and all members involved were eventually fired.
Why were there 2 instances? Once is an accident, two is a trend? I'm inclined to believe that this is common practice in the NFL. But where are the handcuffs on Goodell? They don't exist. Because it would only be illegal if game fixing was occurring in actual sports. Since the NFL argues that they are "entertainment" , than they are in charge of the outcome of their own games and can "produce" their television product how they see fit.
In 2007 a Jets season ticket holder sued the NFL for $185 million and the case reached the US Supreme Court. The court documents are available online at http://thefixisin.net/resources/precendential+opinion.pdf. The Jets fan argued that, all Jets fans are entitled to refunds because they paid for a ticket to a legitimate sporting event. Had he been aware that the games were not real then we would not have gone.
The NFL's attorneys argued that the fan simply "purchased a ticket which gives him a contractual right to a seat in a stadium to watch an NFL game between the Patriots and Jets, and this right was honored." More, Senior Judge Robert E. Cowen agreed stating that a ticket to a game only provides you access to the stadium and nothing more. The fan entered the stadium, witnessed an NFL game, therefore he did not suffer any damages to legally protected right or interest. The fan's lawyer, Bruce Afran disagreed and argued that the NFL committed consumer fraud saying "This seems to suggest that no matter how much ticker holders pay, they can be frauded by NFL teams which puts the NFL on the same level as professional wrestling".
Afran is correct in his judgement based on the interpretation of game fixing laws. A team can't fix their own games for gambling purposes, nor can they fix an intellectual contest (a ruling based n the Quiz Show scandal of the 1950s) But judges ruled that fixing a game for entertainment purposes was completely LEGAL NFL Attorney Shephard Goldfein actually argued in court supporting this argument saying "fans would likely still buy tickets even if they knew teams were stealing signals" In other word, the NFL knows you will still pay to see football even if you knew it was fake because you love football.
Much like pro wrestling. The Supreme Court threw the case out in favor of the NFL which ultimately makes it legal to fix your own games for entertainment purposes.
6. TV Ratings are more important than fans in the stadium.
NFL officials, according to FBI files are quoted as saying " the NFL will continue to profit, even with empty stadiums. NFL games can even be filmed in studios to make a profit". TV is the lifeblood of any sport. Get on TV and you will survive somehow. If you are not on TV you are dead. TV Networks pay huge sums of money to the NFL for the rights to broadcast these games. Estimates of TV revenue exceed $6 Billion. Television stations make this money back plus a profit by advertising dollars.
This is why ratings are so important. Ratings = $$ because advertisers pay big money to advertise on the program. Marketing 101 tells us that television networks pay for the rights to broadcast NFL games, the NFL sells these games to Big TV as we will call them. The NFL gets paid up front. Now Big TV is in a deep whole. Big TV goes out to advertisers and sells ad spots during the game and any other NFL themed programming. Big TV promises the advertiser that X number of people will tune into the game each week and that those people will in turn by their product. Some Big TV executives even boldly predict as to the conversion rate of the people watching the games. If, for whatever reason, the resulting TV rating isn't what Big TV promised to the advertiser, Big TV has to pay the advertiser a refund.
Knowing this, do you really think Big TV wants to pay refunds? And this is a win-win situation for the league. The league wants more exciting games, Big TV wants their viewers, everyone gets paid. In a 2010 article, ProFootballTalk.com tells of a situation in which ESPN executives were giving play directions to then Titans coach Jeff Fisher and directed on how to conduct the game. Now who is really in control? You can read that article here: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/10/19/chris-johnsons-fantasy-owners-should-thank-espn-jack-del-rio/
7. Owners business dealings result in wins and losses, Super Bowls are rewarded not earned through play.
There are several cases for every single Super Bowl as mentioned in the book The Fix Is In by Brian Tuohy. But we will focus on just a few here. In 1969 Super Bowl III was the greatest upset in NFL history, but was it really? The league was merging with the AFL and there was growing sentiment among the NFL faithful that this business deal was going to fail because of the supposed "inferior" play by the AFL.
The Green Bay Packers had demolished the KC Chiefs and Oakland Raiders in SB I and II. The Baltimore Colts were steamrolling opponents in the NFL with an all-time high 18 points per game win margin. The Jets beat Oakland in the AFL title game but by no means were a power house and were double-digit underdogs. Another AFL loss in the big game would spell doom for the league and it's billion dollar merger. Magically, the Colts played their worst game of their lives with 5 turnovers and getting shut down 16-7.
Bubba Smith was reported saying in a 1969 Playboy interview, "It felt like it was fixed for the Jets to win. Something just seemed weird with the way our offense was doing." This victory for the Jets was vital for the NFL as it sold the public on the AFL being a viable league thus completing the merger and building the NFL we know today. It was also reported that Baltimore Colts owner, Carroll Rosenbloom, bet $1 million on the game. Without the Jets winning, we may have a different NFL today. You can watch Super Bowl 3 and judge for yourself at http://youtu.be/iMjlCuJKQ2c .
In 2000 Art Model, a storied and respected owner of the Baltimore Ravens announced he was selling the team. Miraculously, even with one of the worst offenses in NFL history, and one of the best defenses, won the Super Bowl. And the Ravens were subsequently sold to Steve Busciotti for a record price. What better way to sell a team but to hype it up so much that you can get the highest price for it?
Don't believe this story? Well how about during the 2011 season the Jacksonville Jaguars announce they are for sale. They are featured (for some strange reason) on several prime time games. Which culminated in one of the biggest fixes in NFL history in the "upset" of the Ravens on MNF 12-7. The Ravens magically looked inept, stupid and pitiful as the Jags won by scoring 4 field goals. The following week the team was sold. And finally, the other item I will mention.
Robert Kraft and John Mara are two of the most business savvy and highly respected NFL owners. Kraft is in charge of the NFL TV broadcast committee and also leads all television negotiations for the NFL. Kraft also is on the board of directors for Viacom, the parent company of CBS, one of NFL's broadcasters. This past Spring, Robert Kraft negotiated a record TV deal for the NFL which will result in $24 Billion in revenue with CBS, FOX, ESPN and NBC. Kraft and Mara also brought both parties to the table and led all negotiations in ending the lockout.
Lastly, Robert Kraft and Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn plan on opening a casino resort across the street from Gillette Stadium. Is it magic that these two owners who have done so much for the league over the last 20 years magically found themselves playing each other in the Super Bowl? Not to mention all of the nostalgic history between Belichik and Coughlin being former Giants coaches. Sometimes the NFL even mocks you by telling you this as they ran a 4 minute piece on the NFL pre-game show before the Super Bowl telling you all these things.
Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank was interviewed saying "It is predetermined that these two teams would be here, I wish my team was selected to be in the Super Bowl one day, but these two gentlemen deserve it". And the Giants posted themselves as victors before the game, the NFL claimed it was "an overzealous employee".
The 49ers need a new stadium, with the same players as Mike Singletary, and a Alex Smith in a contract year, the 49ers post a 13-3 record and make it to the NFC Championship. But what they don't tell you is how the stadium deal is structured. 80% of the funding comes from Bank of America and US Bank. 20% financed by the State of California using tax dollars.
The 49ers have pledged to pay back the State in 5 seasons with help from revenue sharing from NFL owners. What better way to pay someone back quickly than with packed stadiums and extra playoff game revenue.
On MNF they found themselves in a blackout. Steelers safety Ryan Clark said "it was to show the league they need a new stadium and the 49ers caused the blackout". Why would he say this if shadiness wasn't common practice? You can view his opinions here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/990842-ryan-clark-accuses-san-francisco-of-staging-power-outages-is-he-off-his-rocker.
Ravens players complained that the 2007 Patriots were " being handed games by refs" in their quest for perfection. And I have over 40 years of information on NFL business dealings and how these owners "miraculously" found themselves holding the Lombardi Trophy.
Let's look at the 2011 season and see how television ratings connected with some of the league's most important games, and quickly view how the referees controlled games.
NFL Announces ESPN will pay $1billion per game of MNF through the 2021 season. In a tribute to 9/11 20 million + viewers tuned in as the Jets mounted a magic 14 point comeback over the Cowboys. Number of penalties called the Jets = 0
The NFL's rule changes make for a more exciting game as scoring is way up. Much like the AFL days of the 60's, 72% of the games went over the total and TV ratings are now through the roof. The league emphasises "the year of the QB".
Packers vs Bears: The Bears return a punt return for a TD which would've ultimately allowed them to cover the spread. Instead a fantom holding call overturned the TD. It was the 10th penalty of the game for the Bears vs. 1 penalty for the Packers. You can see the play here: http://youtu.be/_w-pXfjbYHk
The Beginning of the Tim Tebow Era. Tim Tebow has a HUGE, and I mean HUGE Christian following. The guy can't hit a barn, but a decent athlete. Yet as the third string QB he is thrust into the starting role and the team magically "changes the entire offense" in a matter of weeks to suit him? Tebow was the number 1 jersey seller for the league without even stepping foot on the field. It was time to make him a star and they did ripping off several "magical" victories with poultry statistics. These teams were handing them games. If you didn't notice this, all I need to say it two words : Marion Barber. All the while the NFL is forcing religion down our throats with God's quarterback.
The Jags are close to a sale, the possible new owners just need one more hint of encouragement to prevent buyers remorse. In come the Ravens. After the Saints destruction of the Colts on SNF. Vegas was in trouble. ESPN was in trouble because no one was going to watch this snore fest. The Ravens didn't get a first down until late in the fourth quarter and the Jags win with 4 FG's. Sale complete, Vegas wins. You lose.
The suck for Luck campaign begins in Indianapolis. No team has ever hosted a Super Bowl as a competitor. This would continue to be the case as Manning is out and the Colts are terrible. And the Super Bowl is where this season? You guessed it, Indianapolis. Who won the Super Bowl in Payton's place? Magically, his brother Eli. Don't you just love fairy tales?
The NFL admits in this article: http://thefixisin.net/nytimes.html that QB's drive ratings and that is the number one goal.
With the Broncos tied with the Vikings 32-32, NFL.com posted a headline "The Broncos are down 3 points to the Vikings, expect fireworks from Tim Tebow". But the game was already tied. The Broncos magically won the game and Tebow had one of his better passing performances. What did the NFL know that you didn't?
Referees miss a blatant facemask call in the Vikings/Lions game that should have resulted in an additional play for the Vikings, instead the game was over and the Lions won the game. It was a must win game for the Lions. And magically, the Replay operating system went down in two stadiums on the same day at the same time, during the Raiders/Packers game and the 49ers/Cardinals game. This ultimately cost the Cardinals a chance to win the game as a touchdown was not confirmed. In an HBO Real Sports interview, Roger Goodell is awkwardly showing cameras in NFL headquarters showing the Referee screening room with hundreds of monitors viewing all of the games at once. Do they control the games from this HQ?
In Gregg Easterbrook's TMQ December 27th article he says "What did the NFL know and when did they know it? Just after Tom Brady ran for a TD to make the score 27-17 NE, with 3 minutes remaining in the game, NFL.com posted a highlight tag and a headline that said "Brady puts Patriots up for Good". That was the NFL official word with 3 minutes left in the game! Also on MFN, the Saints were playing the Falcons in what was going to be the game in which Drew Brees would break Dan Marino's passing record. The league stopped the game to celebrate the moment. The Saints had 0 penalties called on them all game, and the Falcons went for it on 4th down in their own territory twice, losing both times! And magically Brees broke the record on a TD pass and all of the players and camera crews knew exactly when they were going to break the record and magically celebrated at the same time. Even more interesting during this game, the Saints were initially called for holding in the end zone which should have resulted in a Safety, but the head referee overturned the call saying "The offensive player was shedding the defender, therefore no holding occurred".
Magically, the 8-8 Broncos made the playoffs.
Week 17: In this Denver post article, you can see how profitable Tim Tebow is to the league: http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_19654087
Wild Card Weekend: The Broncos magically beat the #1 defense in the league, the Pittsburgh Steelers to secure another round of ratings and profit. And for another "coincidence" according the NFL's communications website, NFLcommunications.com, the Divisional round matchups will be rematches of some of the highest rated regular season games of the year. Patriots vs Broncos was the #4 highest rated TV program of the year and NY Giants vs. Green Bay Packers was the #3 highest rated TV program of the year. Each game drawing 30 million viewers. There was video of Steelers LB James Farrior winking at Tim Tebow during the overtime coin toss.This YouTube channel video was eventual pulled by the NFL and Youtube. Why? Why did the NFL force Youtube to pull this video? Why is he winking? Is he saying "don't worry kid, just throw the ball, we will lay down for ya."
The NFL has removed a video from YouTube of the Bengals/Texans game where CBS announcer Jim Nance discusses the Bengals going for it on 4th down as they were lining up in punt formation. He says "And the Bengals will go for it here on 4th down". Then MAGICALLY Houston calls a Time Out and the Bengals come back out onto the field and go for it on 4th down. Dalton gets rushed and throws an incomplete pass. Turnover on downs. Magic.
Divisional Round: 49ers vs. Saints= 0 holding penalties called on the Saints after 60 pass attempts. Ravens = 0 overall penalties vs. the Texans, The Greg Jennings obvious fumble overturned to a "non-fumble". And is it a coincidence that the NFL has teams in Americas top 6 media markets, New York, Chicago, Boston, Baltimore/DC, and San Francisco. Which 4 teams are alive? New York, San Franscisco, Baltimore and New England (Boston).
Championship Sunday: Out of the 45 previous Super Bowls played, the NFL listed a poll of "which is your favorite Super Bowl ever" before the NFC/AFC championship games, one of the selections was Super Bowl XLII with New England and New York getting the most votes. Magically, this was Super Bowl XLVI's matchup. Magically Lee Evans drops a wide open TD that would send the Ravens to the Super Bowl and create a legacy for Flacco. But Flacco has been running his mouth, it's not his time. THEN Cundiff "Magically" shanks a 32 yard FG saying "the scoreboard wasn't correct, I didn't know what down it was" C'mon.
Super Bowl XLVI: Big TV charged advertisers a historical record $4 million per commercial for the Super Bowl and they got every penny worth. Never mind the fact that the NFL told you the day before who the champion would be, check out this link : http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/02/04/giants-website-says-they-are-super-bowl-champions/related/
Robert Kraft gets his billion $ TV deal and his casino, the Mara's get their SB and the league splits 80% of the record profits and Roger Goodel gets $20 million a year in salary! They hoped you enjoyed their "presentation of the National Football League".
The Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints did not have a holding penalty called on their teams until week 13. Week 13! These are verifiable stats that anyone can look up.
Still don't believe me after all of that proof? Let's quickly revisit some items from 2010.
2010 Week 7: Dolphins vs Steelers: Big Ben fumbles on his way to the endzone late in the 4th quarter. It's recovered by the Dolphins in the endzone but the referees went to replay and concluded that they could not determine "who" recovered the ball for the Dolphins, therefore the STEELERS get the ball on the 1 yard line. Ultimately they scored the game winning TD and the Dolphins were done.
2010: The Bucs and the Jags were the only two teams to suffer blackouts due to non attendance but the Bucs were the only team to have not sold out a single home game during the season. But since the NFL has to succeed as a single unit, these two teams were in playoff contention to maximize LEAGUE profits.
Lastly, the next argument I get from naysayers is "If it was fixed, someone would have investigated it and it would've come out". Well for the most part in a perfect world you are right. And this has happened. In Europe the BBC reports that over 300 games per year are fixed in UEFA. This article explains in detail: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/europe/8379251.stm And UEFA is still the world's number 1 league. But unlike Europe the press isn't owned by the television network and the league. In America, the NFL because of the financial obligation pretty much owns ESPN, CBS, NBC and Fox. They hold all the cards. So if any reporter were to investigate these things, and actually find something and report it, they would be committing career suicide and risk possible ostricizing from the journalism community and reputational detriment on behalf of these networks. People have mouths to feed, they are going to risk that to report on game fixing. No one is going to kill the Golden Goose. No one.
There are many other examples. Too many to list here. As well as the thousands of pages of FBI files on the NFL and it's behavior over the last 40 years. I recommend if you have an open mind, are sick of being lied to, and know that everything always isn't what TV says it is then purchase and read the books I mentioned earlier. You know what you are seeing on the television. Don't let other people steer you away from what you know you saw on TV. As T.O. once said "If it looks like a duck, acts like a duck, quacks like a duck...."
Let me know what you think.