Hot Takes with Ermaan

Is the NFL rigged?


As of this past February 12, the 2022-2023 NFL season has come to an end with the Kansas City Chiefs defeating the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl in Arizona. But the biggest topic this season has not been the best team, but rather if the NFL is rigged or not.
Over the past several years, there have been numerous occasions where a somewhat questionable series of events leads to a team winning their game or even, in some people’s opinions, the Super Bowl.
But is this really possible? Could the most popular sport in the US really be fully rigged with the winners of any particular game or even season being already predetermined? I decided it was time to find out.
Now imagine you were tasked with finding out if an entertainment company, because when it comes down to it that’s what the NFL is, was rigging their events in the hopes to increase their revenue. Where would you start? The person who runs it. That’s exactly what I thought.
Now a quick Google search will tell you that the commissioner of the NFL is Roger Goodell, but the NFL has no “owner” per se. Instead, many of the teams are owned by people, and the ones that are owned by the NFL are often run by an appointed owner.
In other words, many teams have an owner who bought the team in order to try to earn more money on their investment. Does that make rigging more likely? Maybe. Or maybe it just makes it harder. Who knows.
Back to what I was saying. Roger Goodell. That’s where I started. I quickly found out that his contact information is unfortunately not public. Why doesn’t he make it public? Is he worried he will get too many questions about the league being rigged? Is this his way of avoiding the subject?
But his contact information not being available didn’t stop me. I quickly found an address for the headquarters where Goodell works out of, whipped up a quick hand written letter detailing what i want to ask, and sent it over to the headquarters in New York.
Now I’m not sure if my letter got lost in the mail or something, because that was about a month ago and I am still yet to receive a letter or email back. I even sent a support message from their website asking Roger to write me back, but still I had no luck.
Now if it was in peak NFL season, I would understand. But it’s not. I’m being ignored. And I think it’s because Roger knows that I am onto him. I hope this reaches you Roger. Don’t think you’re slick.
But while I was waiting for a response which NEVER CAME, I decided to do some research as to why this has become such a hot topic in the last few seasons and particularly this past one.
And while I have never been an actual believer in this theory, it would be a lie to say that the research I did didn’t sway me a little .
The main instances of so-called “rigging” have revolved around very questionable officiating calls in some of the biggest games. From the Steelers’ Super Bowl run, which just happened to be in the hometown of their star running back Gerome Bettis who had already said he was retiring after that season, to this year’s AFC championship against the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals being riddled with game altering calls for both sides, the officiating has definitely been better.
These bad calls have become significantly clearer for viewers to see in recent years, with the technology in tracking footballs and players along with the replay systems for those watching
from home becoming much more advanced. All of these lead to everyone watching from their TV yelling hopelessly at the referee almost every time a flag is thrown.
However, while it may seem obvious for everyone watching from home what the call should be, football tends to be a very fast paced game, and the rules surrounding flags in the league make it so that if a call is missed, there is no way to go back and actually penalize the team that should have been called.
There’s also the fact that, while there may be some questionable contact on a play, football is a very physical sport, and I’m sure that if the refs wanted to find a flag on every play, they could. They could also be doing it to put more money in their pockets and make sure each game follows the script written before the season, but we will let them slide for this one.
At the end of the day, the NFL could very well be rigged. The purpose of the league is to provide entertainment for all of their viewers, and that would be significantly easier if some of the more popular teams tend to make it further in the playoffs and contend for a Super Bowl every year.
On the flip side, the idea that the entire league has been rigged for years and it is yet to come out is very unlikely. People talk, and all it would take is one person to tell their parents, their sibling, their spouse, and it would spread like wildfire. And would players really agree to the games being rigged? Sure there’s the money aspect, and don’t get me wrong it’s a lot of money, but I’m not so sure that they would be willing to rig the sport that they have loved playing their whole lives and lie to their fans just for a paycheck, you know?
We will probably never know if the NFL is actually rigged or not, but what’s the harm in asking? Maybe I’ll get a letter back from Roger after this. That little hobgoblin. I’m coming for you. Aight thanks for reading guys. Watch your backs.