Fans claiming that the NFL is rigged after their team loses is nothing new. When this loss is coupled with a poor officiating call, the calls claiming collusion become even louder. This week, when one of the worst non-calls in NFL history occurred and a bad call helped the Patriots win, the anger from the fans is nearly unprecedented. So much so that over half a million people have signed a petition for Goodell to enact an archaic rule that allows for the game to be replayed from the moment of the penalty. Of course, Goodell will not allow for this to happen, as he would much rather this be forgotten about and swept under the rug. This will lead to more calls of the NFL being rigged; however, these calls really hold no weight and can easily be dispelled.
Many seem to believe that the NFL benefits from the Patriots being in the Super Bowl every year. Brady’s polarizing nature causes many to watch solely to see New England lose, they say. This really couldn’t be further from the truth.
As many know, the league throughout its history has taken many steps to try to ensure parity. These include the salary cap, free agency rules, the draft, and many other rules that are designed to boost up the bottom feeder teams and bringing the dominant franchises down to normalcy. The NFL is first and foremost a business, so why would the NFL make so many rule changes to try to create parity? BECAUSE PARITY MAKES MONEY!!! The LAST thing the NFL wants is for the same teams to make the Super Bowl every year, as it can turn many fans off to the sport. “There’s always next year” is a phrase that the NFL banks on fans of losing teams saying at the end of the year. If belief that the league was rigged became widespread, the league’s wallet would dramatically shrink as fans stop caring about the sport. If the NFL were to be rigged, it would be rigged in a manner where underdog stories that the country could rally behind were far more common. Nobody outside of New England wants to see Brady get his 6th ring, therefore it is BAD for the league if this happens. Clearly, the NFL didn’t want the Patriots to win the AFC. Was the roughing the passer call on Brady bad? Obviously, but as any Patriots fan would be quick to tell you, the refs were letting the Chiefs cornerbacks hold and interfere all game. In almost every game, the refs blow calls for both sides. Therefore the losing team can always blame the refs. So was the AFC Championship game rigged? NO!!!
Of far more interest is the NFC game. It was obvious to almost everybody that Nickell Robey Coleman interfered with the pass live. On replay, even the man himself admitted post game that it was pass interference. Unlike the Patriots, it would make sense for the league to want the Rams in the Super Bowl. Neither the Rams or the Chargers have been selling well this season, so a Super Bowl appearance could potentially get the otherwise busy LA natives interested in football. With a massive stadium in the process of being built, the NFL desperately needs the Rams to sell tickets.
But let’s be rational instead of being prisoners of the moment. The refs blew calls for both sides throughout the whole game, certainly not something we are unaccustomed to seeing (especially this year). This was admittedly and egregious one, but think about the flack the league is now catching for the missed call. Just think for a moment which would hurt the league more: not having an ideal Super Bowl matchup or having hundreds of thousands of people outraged and claiming that they will not watch the Super Bowl. It is beyond obvious that the NFL would not use the refs to rig these games. Whether the game should be replayed is a different gripe, but to claim that the league is fixed is ignorant. Everyone should just relax and try to enjoy what should be an exciting Super Bowl matchup.