Are Professional Sports Rigged?

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My answer is a resounding Yes and we don't need "ancient" history to prove my case. We can go back to last night. I've posted why I no longer watch the NFL, but news and social media are blowing up about the Bengals-Chargers game. That game and the Hamlin incident further solidify walking away from a sport I love run by an organization I hate.

I know the allegations have appeared before in the NFL, NBA, I think MLB, and even NASCAR. If you need money and/ or PR, rig the game. Blame it on bad officiating, do nothing to the people involved, and the fans are gullible enough to return.

It is so bad, so obvious, that even Chinese apologist John Cena clowned the NFL at the ESPN awards (ESPY's) as far back as 2016. He compared the NFL and NBA to the WWE and he made a good case...in his monologue.

I'm curious to get everyone's take in general and incidents to support your case or a case that can be refuted. I know the NASCAR incidents are up in the air for some, but I tend to think those two were rigged.
 
Yes. I'm a Bengals fan and it looked like the fix was in last night. However, I'm not basing my opinion on the emotions from last nights game. A huge baseball fan, I've always been skeptical about why most playoffs go all 5, & World Series go all 7 games and I believe its about making money. We've all seen shit that makes you go Hmm? NASCAR is so blatant in my opinion. Quit watching it when Earnhardt Sr died and they played the fans.
 
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I wrestle with this. At the end of the day sports, all sports at all levels, is just entertainment, a version of reality TV. It's also a business. On the one hand I have seen enough teams win by so much bad officials (calls or non-calls) it's hard to think there isn't at the very least some subjectivity and bias. On the other hand, with so many officials, especially in football, it would be hard to prove collusion.

As for the Bengals, I have been pretty neutral about them, but for all the smack they talked about Buffalo and KC, I wasn't sad to see them lose.

To me, the most egregious is NCAA basketball. There used to be a couple refs that when Duke played, Duke lost 80% of the time they reffed the game, and even media would call them out (yet nothing was ever done). But Duke isn't alone; watch the NCAA tourney and see who the darlings are.

Edited to add, I just read about the Cincy-KC game (I saw the first half, and then the last 10 seconds), so I just read about "whistlegate." I want to also say, games are played in 60 minutes (or whatever the sport has for time). Rarely are games actually won or lost on a single event. If the Bengals' O line kept Burrows from being sacked, if their guy didn't push Mahomes out of bounds, out of bounds, if KC didn't get the holding penalty that cost them a TD...if, if, if.
 
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This is the play I thought was most scripted of the night tbh and it was in the Bengals favor.

Personally, I think Hanlon's razor applies to this game. The refs were bad, like REALLY bad, but most of the issues I saw were missed calls like, illegal block in the back, holding, roughing the passer, etc., as opposed to gifted calls. Both suck, but I'd rather the refs miss something than call something that isn't there, like this play.

Does that mean nothing sketchy went down? No. But the sad reality is, these teams were very similarly skilled and a few missed calls can swing the needle just enough. Such is the life of sports. Sucks for Bengals fans, but they will get more chances in the years to come...they ain't going anywhere.

Either way, the NFL needs to run a tighter ship for sure.
 
Edited to add, I just read about the Cincy-KC game (I saw the first half, and then the last 10 seconds), so I just read about "whistlegate." I want to also say, games are played in 60 minutes (or whatever the sport has for time). Rarely are games actually won or lost on a single event. If the Bengals' O line kept Burrows from being sacked, if their guy didn't push Mahomes out of bounds, out of bounds, if KC didn't get the holding penalty that cost them a TD...if, if, if.
Agree, and I think the O line probably lost it for the Bengals. But one bad call can change the outcome of a 3 pt game.
 
This is the play I thought was most scripted of the night tbh and it was in the Bengals favor.

Personally, I think Hanlon's razor applies to this game. The refs were bad, like REALLY bad, but most of the issues I saw were missed calls like, illegal block in the back, holding, roughing the passer, etc., as opposed to gifted calls. Both suck, but I'd rather the refs miss something than call something that isn't there, like this play.

Does that mean nothing sketchy went down? No. But the sad reality is, these teams were very similarly skilled and a few missed calls can swing the needle just enough. Such is the life of sports. Sucks for Bengals fans, but they will get more chances in the years to come...they ain't going anywhere.

Either way, the NFL needs to run a tighter ship for sure.

Yesssss......

Part of my frustration with officiating, and no way around it, is the subjectivity. I mean, they still can't define what "a catch" is, so every ref will call it a bit differently. Every single snap--EVERY single snap--the O line and D line are guilty of holding, and how they choose whom to flag and not is beyond me. Don't even get me started on roughing the passer (and targeting in college).

My perception is that baseball is the 'tightest', meaning the fewest blown calls or crappy officiating. But still nowhere close to where it should be.
 
College basketball example: Duke at Virginia Tech, final seconds of the game. VaTech player throat-punches Duke player. Reviewed, no foul assessed. I get that it was likely inadvertent and not intentional and not a flagrant 2, but here is the rule for flagrant 1:

"A flagrant 1 foul (men's) or unsportsmanlike foul (women's) involves excessive or severe contact during a live ball, including especially when a player "swings an elbow and makes illegal, non-excessive contact with an opponent above the shoulders".


So yeah....
 
Rigged, no. Structured so that one could have a probabilistic outcome they prefer, yes.

To say that it is rigged would be to claim that enough are in on it and it has been kept this great secret, I don't see that. No I don't think so, too many people would have to be in on that for it to be outright rigged.

Is the NFL structured with enough human influence that can steer the direction of a game towards an outcome? In my mind yes, without question. That isn't rigged though as I believe the quality of the athletes on the field could sway what happens so much that officiating would not be able to correct or hold an outcome.
 
Modern day bread and circuses- and it doesn't take a lot. We saw it with the NBA and the refs rigging games- one call here and there. That's it. 100% rigged, if not scripted.
 
If sports were rigged, don't you think the Vikings would have at least one Super Bowl win? Are kickers always told "wide left"? ;-)

I don’t know if sports are rigged, as a general statement. There's still a stong human element in all sports and that's what makes them imperfect -- from coaches calls, to player execution, to officiating. It's also what makes them enjoyable.

I didn't see the game in question last night. That said...

Can officials change the outcome of an event? Of course. They always have and always will (ie. was a fight stopped too early? was it scored correctly, etc.) There's a fair level of subjectivity in most sports. The question is do they do so intentionally? So long as officials are consistent in how the game is called, I don't have an issue. Ex. the home plate umpire in MLB can change the game by the strike zone used, but, so long as everyone has the same strike zone during the game (equally good or bad), I have no issues. As someone noted in an earlier post, most games should not have to come down to one play or one series, but some games are close. That's what makes it entertaining.

Officials can't see and call everything. Nor should they -- games would probably be pretty boring if they did. Similarly, as long as sports have been around, there will always be someone trying to bend, if not outright break the rules (ie. NASCAR or any auto racing, Lance Armstrong anyone?).

Sports are crazy. If you play/watch them long enough, you see everything. Crazy plays from people who never should make them. Clutch guys crumble from the pressure. And everything in between. And since the dawn of officiated sports, there's been one constant: officials have been on the receiving end of player, coach, and fan criticism.

Officiating is a thankless, yet critical, position. This is also why youth sports really struggle to find officials. As more and more technology (camera angles, etc.) become available, criticism of officials will only continue to increase.

That's my view.

BTW, I generally quit following the NFL and MLB closely a couple years ago because fuck their political/SJW nonsense. I just want to enjoy my sports and they've ruined it. That, too me, is a much bigger issue.
 
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Been a Bengals fan since the mid 70’s. Bengals did not deserve to be in the SB last year or in this spot this year. It was totally luck. Everyone believes that Barrow will be are savior. He is on track to be another Carson Palmer. Great QB who got the shit beat out of him his whole career. Our Def won and lost games for us and they suck. You go against a QB who is 70% at best and you don’t blitz the shit out of him to put him on his back every other play? Our secondary sucks has not been good since 92. Why is it this way? Ownership, we are one of the most profitable football teams in the NFL, not valued. (I think we are last in value) The Brown family does not care if we win or lose It is all about money. I had season tickets for years but the Marvin Lewis era broke me. sorry for the rambling but the refs did not lose it for us, we gave it to them. I do believe the NFL hates the Brown Family too.
 
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