Are NFL Games Rigged?

Is your crazy drunk uncle complaining that the NFL is rigged again? Many NFL fans are convinced that owners, referees and Roger Goodell are conspiring to rig the NFL, is this true? Let’s find out!

Are NFL Games Rigged? There is no evidence that NFL games are rigged. Referees’ performances are routinely monitored and they are fired if they don’t follow the rules. Also players who do not perform their best are also cut.

Is The NFL Scripted?

Some NFL fans are 100% that the NFL is just like the WWE and every storyline is carefully scripted. These conspiracy theorists think the NFL execs get together with owners and create themes that are played out throughout the season from upsets to player injuries to movie worthy Cinderella stories. 

The problem with this theory is that it would be nearly impossible to control that many players, employees, coaches and owners and get them to keep quiet. The secret would eventually escape and be leaked to the media. Also how would you get every team and player to agree to follow the script? Do you really think ultra competitive NFL players would agree to lose? Hell no!

With all the current and retired NFL players and coaches we are yet to hear from a whistleblower claiming the NFL is scripted and showing evidence. The chances of such a whistleblower coming forward are virtually zero!

NFL conspiracy theorists will counter this argument by claiming that all former NFL players have been forced to sign NDAs and are being paid millions to stay quiet. The problem with this argument is there isn’t enough money to keep players quiet. Also many NFL players are completely broke so obviously they aren’t receiving these big secret checks!

Did The NFL Admit It Is Rigged?

The NFL legally describes itself as a sports entertainment corporation just like the WWE. NFL nuts think just because the WWE and NFL share the same legal structure that the NFL is also rigged.

The reason the NFL is set up as a single entertainment corporation has nothing to do with being rigged but is to avoid US antitrust laws. If the NFL opted for a different legal structure it would not be able to play a role in player negotiations or hold a draft. This legal structure also gives the NFL the ability to spread the profit around and subsidize weaker teams.

Another argument that completely crushes those that believe the NFL is rigged is the fact that players and coaches lose their position if the team doesn’t win. If a coach can’t produce a winning season he is fired! There is no way that is part of the script especially when many of these fired coaches are forced to take a big pay cut and coach in college or become assistants.

What Are The Chances The NFL Is Fixed?

There is a very low chance that the NFL is rigged. Nobody has brought any solid proof. Some people claim the FBI was investigating the mafia fixing matches in the 60s but those investigations went nowhere!

It just would be way too hard to fix NFL games. Also the league makes so much money that there is no need to fix games. The sport is already exciting enough that owners don’t need to complicate things by trying to rig the outcome of games.

The NFL Is Rigged – Arguments Refuted!

People who believe the NFL is rigged use the following as evidence:

  • Incredible storylines straight out of a movie
  • Refereeing that is so bad it must be rigged
  • statistical improbabilities 

Remember Super Bowl XLVII when both Harbaugh brothers were coaching against each other? That incredible storyline has to be rigged right? Hold your horses!

Have you ever heard of the Manning brothers?

 If the NFL execs wanted to make the league more interesting wouldn’t they rig games so both Manning brothers ended up in the Super Bowl? That dream match up never occurred because the NFL is real!

Tom Brady and The Patriots 

The Patriots’ success also destroys the idea that the NFL is rigged. Why would they let the Patriots win so many Super Bowls when there are other teams that are way more popular. Could you imagine the reaction if the Rams won the Super Bowl their first year in LA?

Also if the NFL wants certain teams to win why does it have a salary cap? The whole purpose of a salary cap was to create a level playing field where all teams could win the Super Bowl?

What about them Cowboys!

The Dallas Cowboys are the most popular team in the NFL. They are always selling out there huge stadium and their games are watched by millions of Americans. Don’t you think the NFL would let the most watched team win a Super Bowl? The Cowboys haven’t won a Super Bowl in decades and that doesn’t look like changing. Maybe the NFL needs a new scriptwriter!

Do NFL Referees Fix Games?

Can NFL referees be that bad at their job? Surely, they must be cheating or rigging NFL games!

In reality, it is incredibly difficult to referee an NFL game. Even though referees are professionals they still make mistakes. However, there is no evidence that they are being bribed or following a script. It is usually best to follow Occam’s Razor which states when you have multiple hypotheses choose the most simple one, aka NFL referees make honest mistakes! 

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass in the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/John Munson)

Weren’t NBA refs cheating?

People who are convinced that NFL referees are in on the fix point to the NBA which did have a legitimate match fixing scandal. Tim Donaghy was an NBA referee for 13 seasons until in 2007 he was fired and sentenced to jail for match fixing. Donaghy had huge gambling debts and in an effort to clear them worked with the mafia to alter the score in matches.

The problem with this argument was that Donaghy was caught and punished. The scandal seriously hurt the NBA. It would be very hard for a NFL referee to get away with this scheme as their performance is always reviewed. It would also cost the NFL hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue.

Do NFL Teams Lose On Purpose?

A common tactic used in the NBA is known as tanking. This is where an NBA team will rest all of its starters in hopes of losing matches and earning a high draft pick. This tactic is not allowed but recently some teams have started incorporating it.

At the end of the 2020 season the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles decided to bench his starting quarterback and put on the field an unprepared back up. The Eagles were destroyed and fans were mad. Pederson eventually was fired for his actions and the NFL was considering fining the Eagles. The former head coach of the Miami Dolphins has accused his former team of offering $100,000 in cash if he tanked and lost games in the 2019 season.

Conclusion? The NFL is not rigged!

The NFL is not rigged. It would be too difficult for the NFL to fix games and it would not increase their profitability. If the NFL was caught rigging games it would cost them billions of dollars. However, there are probably isolated incidents where players have cheated and altered the outcome of a game.


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