Three NFL seasons ago one of the worse calls in the history of sports was made by the Seattle Seahawks coaching staff. It was the 2014-15 Superbowl and the Seahawks were facing the New England Patriots. With what seemed to be an automatic play call at least in the minds of every football fan on the planet, the Seahawk coaching staff decided to go against the playcalling grain and throw the ball on the two yard line. This was with a running back in the backfield nicknamed “beastmode.” The nickname itself tells you the story of Marshawn Lynch who at that point in the game was averaging 5.3 yards per rush. The two yard line in your opponent’s territory. A running back who is known for running through multiple tacklers just for kicks and giggles. An average per rush of 5.3 yards. Barely anytime left on the clock so this means that if they score, the Seahawks would keep the New England Patriots and their star quarterback Tom Brady from having any real shot at going down the field again and getting into the endzone again. All these factors add up to an obvious and very simple question. Why did the coaches call a pass play? Let’s not take anything from the Patriots. They played a great game and it culminated with a fantastic interception from Malcolm Butler who at the time was an unknown player in the league. But any former player and even current players had to have been scratching their heads wondering why the ball was left out of one the most brutal backs to ever play in the NFL since hall of famer Jim Brown. There are also many NFL fans including some in Seattle who are still giving the NFL a skeptic eye stare after an obvious questionable decision was made. The aftermath of that super bowl was the eventual retirement of Marshawn Lynch who has since returned to the NFL as an Oakland Raider. There were also some unwelcomed comments from another Seahawk superstar and one of the league’s best cover corners, Richard Sherman. Locker room chatter is usually contained but when things become as volatile as players questioning some obvious suspect playcalling, comments begin to make their way to the media. It was alleged that the decision to throw the ball was made in order to keep a “rebel” player in Marshawn Lynch from getting the MVP award which at that point would have surely went to him after another potential rushing touchdown. Whether this assumption holds any weight is up to the reader to decide but let’s not fool ourselves. There was a collective thought across the football world the moment the Patriots took the field after the interception and that thought was, “There’s something rotten in Denmark.”
Moving forward to the 2015-16 NBA finals where the Cleveland Cavaliers are taking on the Golden State Warriors. Whether you love or hate Lebron or the Warriors is really not the issue. We witnessed seven games that were intense regardless of how the referees managed the game. Nevertheless there must be light brought to the fact that there were some very suspect fouls called including a one game suspension of one of Golden State’s main defensive stars, Draymond Green. Maybe it was the short comment of Ayesha Curry, the wife of Warriors’ sharp shooter Steph Curry, that put heads on a swivel. She put a message out on social media that the NBA was fixed. That message was quickly taken down though. Whether she was silenced or not is not the issue. The issue is that some of the calls throughout the series were a little more than bad calls by the referees. They were absolutely made with extreme prejudice. And for the less likely to read a dictionary or encyclopedia, i’m not speaking of the prejudice that puts one race or culture against the next. I’m saying that those calls were one sided and had a bigger intention which seemed at the time to lengthen out the series. And there are obvious reasons for wanting a longer series but all these reasons come down to one thing. The mighty dollar. We won’t ever get a clear answer on whether that finals series was fixed but at best there was some questionable stuff taking place. At worst someone besides the referees and media had their hands in a cookie jar that happens to contain green cookies with dollar sign icing.
There is a action known as point shaving. There are referees who make terrible calls to turn the tide of a game. And there are coaches who put the livelihood of their team in jeopardy by choosing to manipulate the outcome of a game with their play calls. Side note. Beware of those who will read this article and immediately choose to debunk it. Those are the same individuals who think most of us have just fell off a turnip truck or yam wagon. They would also still argue that smart tv’s don’t record you, GMO foods are healthy, and mumble rappers aren’t sucka mc’s. But let me not digress from the topic at hand. If too many people begin shouting the same thing, in this case “fixed”, maybe there is a little something to it. Yes it would take a ton of people to be involved with such a conspiracy but when money is involved there is nothing to big or too small that won’t force people to go against their morals. Love it or hate it but in the end…it is what it is.