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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 21, 2007 7:21 PM. The previous post in this blog was Tip of the iceberg. The next post in this blog is New Portland parks sponsor policy launched. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Mighty fishy

Is the NFL fixed? I asked the question recently after the famous mystery fumble on the field goal attempt in the Seahawks game. Today a receiver on the New England Patriots suddenly can't handle easy passes. That, and an obvious fourth-quarter pass interference call in the end zone is ignored.

I'm glad the Patriots are not going to the Super Bowl, but you've got to wonder whether the whole thing is on the level.

Comments (25)

It happens. holders bobble the ball all the time--you just only see the results when it's a miss, especially in a big-time game.

no, the game's not rigged. i generally find that every conversation i have, people fall into two camps--the ones who've never played the game at an advanced level are the only ones who'd even think it possible.

pro football history is full of stories of last-minute fumbles, bizarre interceptions, etc. it's a sport full of *elite* athletes, with *amazing* reaction times and abilities. things happen sometimes that don't seem possible for the average armchair quarterback.

Deion Sanders could, from a down stance, get up and run *twenty yards* in the time it take a dropped tennis ball to bounce. once. to give you an idea of how fast that is, go out in the yard and try it.

Tom Brady can throw a football 100 yards and hit a target one foot wide 99% of the time.

and so on. anybody who's even been *near* the field of an NFL game can tell you the competition is so fierce that to even hint of cheating by either team would get you beat up. badly.

There are far to many variables in an NFL game for it to be fixed. Besides, it's in the interest of the NFL to have fair competition. However, I will say that it seems certain players in all major sport leagues get special treatment. Did anyone catch that Blazer/Heat game last week and see some of the fouls Dwayne Wade got? Makes me red in the face.

All it takes is one or two players on the take to affect the outcome of a game. And you guys are telling me that it can't happen? Human nature, folks.

I can throw a pigskin a quarter mile.

The pass interference no-call was extremely blatant, but refs do usually give the hometown crowd a few breaks. I thought there were a couple in the Chicago game as well. The Indy no-call was so obvious - and Nance and Simms folded by not pointing out how wrong it was.
I still felt the players decided the Indy game and it was incredible.
The announcers should have pointed out the difference in length on the kick-offs. Adam Vienteri(sp?) couldn't quite go deep enough while the Pats guy could. The kickoff returns damn near cost Indy the game.

Jack, saying "all is it takes is one or two guys" shows you don't really understand the game. it's simply not that simple at all.

one reason (among many) is that too many factors are in play--one player doesn't control the outcome. people who watch and say "so and so cost us the game" ignore what it took to get to that point. another simple, practical reason--players are put on and off the field at a rapid pace, often only in for one or two plays--and they don't know when that will be.

never mind the mundane fact that if word ever got out that cheating occurred (and believe me, it would get out), there's be hell to pay.

so, keep believing in the theory.

Does that one New England receiver's eyes always look like that? He looked wired out of his mind. I mean he looked Runaway Bride crazy.

keep believing in the theory.

You're right. It would be impossible to fix the outcome of a football game.

If football were fixed, the Saints would be in the Super Bowl.

If football were fixed, the outcome would be whatever was paid for.

Looking forward to seeing Manning lose the ultimate big game.

I watched the Saints/Bears yesterday at Claudia's Bar & Grill on SE Hawthorne. In the bathroom, some guy was going on about how the game was rigged for the Saints.

"But the Saints are losing," pointed out Some Other Guy.

"It's just a setup," said Conspiracy Man. "It makes for a better game. You watch the Saints make a great comeback in the fourth quarter."

It was a weird theory, but perhaps not as weird as an actual extended conversation among strangers in a men's room. Still, Conspiracy Man was nowhere to be found after the game.

Fixing a boxing match? Sure; the number of people needed to do that is exactly one and perhaps a couple more. Fixing a football game would take the complicity of quite a few more people, and the variables on a field are far more complex than just taking a dive.

"If football were fixed, the outcome would be whatever was paid for."
I'm all with you on this statement of the obvious, but there're at least two reasons I can't go there:
1) The Saints have become America's team, and nothing pulls heartstrings more (and sells more Reggie Bush uniforms) than the Saints in the Super Bowl.
2) You're talking about fixing a football game that requires at least 22 people on the field at once. Either you've got to pay off the most highly-paid people on the field to overcome the 20 or so others milling around, or you've got to pay a sufficient number of them to guarantee the outcome. In the first case, you lack control, and the amount of money it would take to pay off (say) Peyton Manning is going to be vastly outstripped by the potential loss because of his lack of control over the entire process. In the second case, the more people you pay, the more likely it is that someone will talk, either because it didn't go how they wanted, or because someone offered them more money for the dirt.
And these are just two of the many reasons it doesn't make sense. There are so many others that Occam's Razor would get dull cutting through them all.
It's okay to be tenacious in the face of overwhelming odds, but this illusion seems a little too fanciful to maintain.

If the guy who dropped the two easy passes had held onto them, the Pats would have won. If you could have bought off just that one guy, you could have changed the outcome. Ditto for the refs -- only one or two are needed to change the outcome of a close game.

The fastest man in the entire NFL's secret is out -- mad weed -- and lots of it. See the Falcons' Michael Vick trying and failing to sneak smoke through Hartsfield last week.

If the NFL got tough on cannabis, the only people left to play would be the new cheerleader and the water boy (who just got out of rehab).

Weed -- the official smoke of America's professional sports leagues.

Then I guess Tom Brady was in on the fix, because he threw the interception that sealed the game. And I guess the ENTIRE NE DEFENSE was in on the fix for letting Manning march down the field like a hot knife through butter for the winning score. And I guess several gamblers were in on it since you conveniently left out the blatant interference of Dallas Clark in the end zone as he was forced to catch a TD pass with one hand.

Just because something is possible doesn't mean it has any basis whatsoever in reality.

That's what they used to say about professional wrestling.

It would be pretty hard for someone interested in fixing a game to figure out which player would have to drop the ball at the key moment ... not impossible, but hard enough that he should get everything he gets from being able to fix it.

Oh, and nevermind that a test of Vick's water bottle returned no signs of any illegal substance. Good thing we don't jump to judgment.

Michael Vick's "Secure Water Bottle Safe" smelled of reefer, had residue of reefer in it and Vick refused (at first) to give it to an airport screener.


Poor Kevin must have never been invited to an NFL or NBA party... Scores... VIP room... in the back... hanging with Charles Barkley... who loves Portland... where the cannabis smoke is so thick... you can't even see Z-Bo getting a double lap dance!

From male dancers, that is.

Weed. It's The Breakfast (lunch and dinner) of Champions!

Jack, have another Merlot!!

Jack, you can say after the fact that paying off that one guy who dropped those two passes would have made the difference. But if you're a gambler, you can't possibly know that's the guy to pay off. I'm not saying that fixing games is impossible, but I think it's a lot harder than you're making it out to be. As was just pointed out, that game was incredibly close and came down to a collapsing defense and, in the end, an interception.

There's no way to know that you can control the outcome of the game by paying off this guy or that guy. You don't know who's going to get the pass. You don't know when those passes are going to come. The game is constantly adjusted by the coach, constantly adjusted by the quarterback, and constantly affected by conditions and injuries and the play of defenders and everything else. Sure, if you can look at the game in retrospect, you can see what the important plays are. But I think it would be an enormously difficult prospect to fix a game in advance.

Bad calls happen all the time. They happen in situations where they don't wind up affecting the outcome at all. The fact that they happen late in the game doesn't prove to me that they are evidence of tampering. As for the Romo kerfuffle? I don't believe there's any amount of money you could pay that guy to be the goat he now is. He makes plenty of money. He makes boatloads of money. Why is he going to go shopping for change from gamblers in order to make himself look like a choker -- to transform himself from a great player to a punch line? I don't believe it.

Regarding Joe Smithson's comment:

No way! The best a quarterback can throw is about 80 yards, and I wouldn't expect them to hit a one foot wide target 99% of the time at 80 yards.

NFL? How about the NBA?

Poor Kevin ... he prefers evidence of crimes to speculation based on someone's nasal report or Daphne's ability to take examples of the behavior of some athletes and apply it to all athletes (particularly when it's between black athletes). If the bottle had been used for marijuana, there would be residue.


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