Do You Really Think NFL is Fixed?

Featured Photo Credit: © Tina MacIntyre-Yee / USA TODAY NETWORK via, LLC.

As I see it.

A lot of conspiracies are kinda fun to think about: is the US government covering up UFO evidence? (NO) Did the US actually land people on the Moon successfully? (YES) Is the Earth flat? (Are you serious?) Who really killed JFK? (Hmmm).

No names here, but when I worked at Ch2, there was an employee who worked the late shift like mine (approx. 3-midnight), and our occasional conversations after the 11pm news became so intense I had to call my wife a couple times to let her know I wasn’t passed out in a bar somewhere. It’s 1:20 a.m. and I’m still sitting at my desk arguing.

Let’s call him Joe. Joe thought EVERYTHING was fixed, and he was well read enough to offer a full plate of facts or amazing coincidences to back up his theories. He had a comeback answer to everything. Even when I explained to him the US landed humans on the Moon successfully SIX times, he wasn’t swayed.

That includes the NFL. “No question”, he’d say, “the NFL is fixed!”

We’ll get into this, but first a quick thank you to my sponsors: Atwal Eye Care is the official eye care specialist for the Buffalo Bills, and they did cataract surgery on both my eyes several months ago with an outstanding result.

BluTusk Tech in Orchard Park specializes in restoring Mac computers, but they can fix virtually any problem you may have as well. They’re really good people too.

As the years go by, and especially now that the NFL has embraced gambling legally on the sport, the howl of games being fixed is getting louder. It’s obviously all about the $$. The NFL was losing billions in potential revenue as people gambled on line, or in a variety of ways, with some legal and most not. Gambling revenue for the NFL increased by 40% from 2019-2022, and NFL financial people think it will hit billions soon.

Boy was this great news for the Oakland Raiders, who couldn’t get the backing for a new stadium while their neighboring 49ers’ nine year old Levi’s Stadium in nearby Santa Clara is flourishing. For the record, the 68.5k seat stadium was built for $1.3B in 2014. Also, it’s not a dome. The new (four years old) Allegiant Stadium in Vegas has a dome, seats 65K and came in at $2B. So I guess I understand some skepticism. Point spreads are now a part of all NFL related TV shows and podcasts, and Vegas now has its own TEAM.

Oh by the way, the Bills are well into constructing their new 60K stadium, with no dome, with the price tag now at $1.7B and climbing. A dome being built now in Buffalo would run well over another $1B. Not an option – even with the gambling revenue pouring in.

The Bills certainly embrace this new world, forging a multi-year contract with FanDuel and other gambling related partnerships. Bengals fans still think their cancelled game against the Bills due to Damar Hamlin’s emotionally draining CPR event was a fix. Essentially that game not being played gave the KC Chiefs the #1 seed and the Bills the #2 seed.

Bengals get the last laugh on that one.

Back to the question: IS the NFL fixed?

Photo by © Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports via, LLC.

Millions of sports fans all over the world believe that. You heard lots of that after Baker Mayfield played against the Raiders 2 days after joining the Rams last December, and he led the Rams to an amazing 17-16 win. Better yet in the AFC Playoffs, what about the Jacksonville Jaguars overcoming a 17-0 deficit to the Chargers, to win 31-30?

Jags QB Trevor Lawrence then, innocently I believe, said after the game “the NFL couldn’t have written a better script.”

Uh oh.

The focus on officiating, and use of the instant replay, has grown intensely with the proliferation of gambling $. Not only are fans upset if their team gets a “bad” call, but they’re also fuming when a game they’re not even watching doesn’t cover the spread for them.

Do you believe everything you read or hear on social media or YouTube? Apparently a lot of people do. Former Texans running back Arian Foster said on a Barstool Sports Podcast last January that he received a script by the NFL every year at training camp. The hosts went along with this, and the reaction was huge.

“SEE? This PROVES it!”

Except, he soon admitted he was just joking around.

Call me crazy, but if you’re really honest, the officials do an amazing job. They’re well aware that if they miss a call, they’re going to be embarrassed when their original call is overturned. They don’t have the luxury of super slo-mo when something happens in a split second. Errors will be made, just like fumbles and interceptions.

Photo by © Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports via, LLC.

Many NFL players, like Jets qb Aaron Rodgers, think the NFL should have full time officials, like MLB, the NHL and NBA. But NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell counters with the argument that mistakes are impossible to prevent given the speed of the game. He cites mistakes made by full time officials in other sports as one defense. Goodell thinks improved replay technology can help, but I’m not so sure.

Quick aside about replay here: the time spent reviewing replays is ridiculous. The officials shouldn’t need more than one minute to decide if there was a significant error, or if the call is too close to change. If it’s blatant, then it should be obvious. Spending 10 minutes looking at a quarter of an inch is just silly. If the replay doesn’t make it obvious the original call was wrong, then stay with the on field call and move on.

I’m not even going to try to make a convincing closing argument here, because having played sports at the D-I collegiate level, I believe fixing ANY pro sport in a significant way is literally impossible.

Too many people have to be in on it, and nobody can keep a secret. I’m not saying it’s quite possible a player or official has “looked the other way” for financial gain. But the idea the entire league could coordinate something like this is nonsense.

At lease that’s how I see it upon further review.

Thanks again to sponsors Atwal Eye Care and BluTusk Tech.

Editor’s babble: Ed Kilgore’s rational posts are a breath of fresh air. Too much bad information out there. We’re grateful for Ed’s contributions to our blog. You can also find Ed on Twitter @Kilgore2Ed. is sponsored by 26 Shirts

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