Oh, good grief!
There's no evidence the NFL is fixed / rigged / scripted.
Now and then, while reading comments in public forums, I see someone making the claim the National Football League is fixed. Instead of the word "fixed" they often also use "rigged" or "scripted." To clarify, the person is claiming the outcome of NFL games are pre-determined and known in advance.
Good grief. Seriously?
How can anyone believe this? I just don't understand it. There's absolutely no evidence at all this is true. None. Zero. (Of course, if you have actual evidence to the contrary, please submit it to the proper channels, so it can be peer-reviewed. Thanks.)
The time to believe in something, anything at all, is after there is evidence and a valid justification to warrant that belief. Not before. There is absolutely no valid justification to believe the outcome of NFL games are planned in advance.
Who's aware of this rigging? The head coaches? The assistant coaches? The coaches on all of the teams or just a few of them?
Are the NFL owners aware the games are scripted? Are all of the owners aware of it or just a few of them? Are the players themselves in on it? Are all players aware of it? If not all of them, which ones are excluded? Are the sportscasters aware of it? (Note that many sportscasters are former NFL players.)
Are the referees in on this rigging? All of them or just a select few of them? Which referees?
What about the several thousands of people employed by the NFL? Are they aware of the rigging? Are all of these employees aware of this or just a few of them? If just a few, which ones... and who makes that determination?
Are all of the NFL games rigged/scripted or just some of the games? Who decides which games are to be scripted?
When is this decision made? The night before each game? The week before? Before each season even begins?
There must now be hundreds if not thousands of legal sportsbooks around the world, most of which operate independently from one another? Are they all aware of the script? If not all of them, which ones?
How long has this rigging of games been going on? Three years? Five years? Ten? Twenty?
And maybe most importantly, how is the "script" passed on to all of those people who need to know about it? Via e-mails? Phone calls? Word of mouth? Text messages? How come none of this correspondence has ever surfaced?
How come not one person has ever come forward with any actual evidence for this rigging? Wouldn't actual evidence for a scripted league be worthy of a Pulitzer Prize? How come not one person who is in on the fix hasn't come clean?
How come so many people seem to be in on it and aware of it... but no one is ever able to take advantage of these known outcomes?
If I asked these questions to a dozen different people, I bet you I would get a dozen different answers. The reason for so many different answers is that everyone has a different idea as to what is true. No one has any actual evidence to support any of their answers or their belief. If they did, all of the answers would be exactly the same.
"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." (Christopher Hitchens)
If you believe the claim the NFL is rigged, it's based upon ignorance. It's based upon personal incredulity. "Look! He dropped that pass! How could he do that? I can't imagine any other reason... therefore the game must be rigged!" It's all about the money! It's all about entertainment! Why would they not want to rig the games?
Personal incredulity is not the proper way to come to a conclusion about something. And that's certainly not how to demonstrate something is true.
How can people believe in
things without a valid justification? I really don't understand it.
It makes absolutely no sense to me.
One should strive to believe in things that are demonstrably true.
If you believe the players themselves are in on it, and if you happen to find youself sitting in an airplane next to, for example, Troy Aikman, and if he denies your claim, are you going to call him a liar, right to his face? How would you like it if someone accused you of misconduct at your job... with no evidence at all to support their claim?
I get it. Referees make mistakes. And yes, some of these
mistakes are going to come late in the game, when the outcome might
still be in doubt.
You don't think players are capable of dropping passes? You don't think players are capable of fumbling the ball... especially when eleven opposing players are doing their best to take that ball away from him? Could you as a player or an official do any better? If so, why aren't you an NFL player or an NFL referee? Have you ever made a mistake at YOUR job?
How is a bad call or a dropped pass or an untimely fumble or a game that lands just on or off of the pointspread in any way evidence the game is rigged? (It's not. I've seen dropped passes and untimely fumbles and missed calls by referees in high school games. If a dropped pass or an untimely funble is evidence the game is rigged, then according to that logic, high school games must be rigged too.
And yes, I get it. The NFL is about making a profit. Most businesses are. But since when does making a profit need to include a scripted game?
I'll say it again. The time to believe in something, anything at all, is after there is sufficient evidence and justification to warrant that belief. Not before.
If there is no evidence for leprechauns or fairies or pink unicorns, there is no valid reason to believe these things exist.
There might be gold nuggets the size of my fist buried in my backyard. But if there is no evidence supporting this belief, there's no valid reason to believe it is true.
There might be a teapot named Russell (Russell's teapot) orbiting the Sun in between the orbits of Earth and Mars, that is just too small to be seen with our telescopes. But until there is actual evidence for such an object, there is no valid reason to believe it exists.
As often the case, conspiracy theorists have it completely backwards. Yes, they have it backwards! The reason why the NFL (and betting on the NFL) is such a big business, is because the game is not fixed or scripted!
There are not millions of
dollars being wagered on, for example,
Pro Wrestling, because those matches are scripted and planned in
advance. We have actual evidence for this. The reason why
sportsbooks are able to accept wagers on NFL games, often large wagers, is
because they know the game is not scripted.
Conspiracy theorists also seem to love enjoy bringing up the fact that the
NFL classifies themselves as "entertainment." They seem
to believe this gives them the "legal right" to "fix" games.
Conspiracy theorists also love to claim it's all about the money.
It's all about making a profit.
You might not have any morals, but many NFL players (most?) would absolutely not put up with any kind of a script. They would simply refuse to comply.
How would you like to be really, really good at something, and to be able to perform this task for eight or more years, from high school through college, and then be fortunate enough to be drafted into the pros... only to find out you no longer will be able to perform this task you are so good at... because... surprise! The league is fixed! You are now an actor.
I, as a player, would not stand for it... and I supect many NFL players would agree.
If you believe the NFL is fixed / rigged /scripted, why do you
believe this? What is the reason for your belief? Whatever
that reason is, I
can guarantee you it's not a good reason. Your
reason is not based upon a valid foundation. It's certainly not
based upon evidence. It's based upon nothing but ignorance and
What happened to critical thinking
in our society?
That's exactly what we have here. The burden of proof is on the one making the claim. If you claim the NFL is fixed / rigged / scripted / predetermined, then it is up to you to demonstrate that. Prove it.
If you are unable to do so, one can and should reject that claim.
Question: Is the NFL rigged?