String Theories: Is The Nfl Fixed, Do People Really Think The Nfl Fixes Games

…Brian Tuohy AnswersQ: There’s been a bunch of layoffs at ESPN, the on-air talent taking a hit. You call it a propaganda machine. What’s going on there?BT: That’s a good question. ESPN is owned by Disney and the Disney Entertainment entity and yet these are the people that are funding the NBA, that are funding the NFL, and it works in thecyclical ring of sports of potential investigations and potentially fixing games forentertainment purposes. With ESPN though, they do have financial problems because they over-paid the NFL. Theypay, just in rights’ fees, the NFL $110 million in rights’ fees per a single Monday Night football game. That’s insane. They don’t make movies that expensive. They try to keep movie budgets under $50 million and yet they’re paying $110 million a week to broadcast the NFL. They don’t need all of thesereporters, they don’t need all of these writers, especially when most of what’s beingwritten and reported on is either rehashed box scores or it’s opinion pieces. How many pieces can you take in? How many mock drafts can you read to me? Especially when they’re all wrong. How much opinion do you need? The costcutting measures for them make sense but, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t mean ESPN is going out of business or they;regoing to stop funding the NFL, the NBA, Major League Baseball and everybody else. They’re just rearranging how they’re doing things.

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The Kentucky DerbyQ: The Kentucky Derby was run a week ago. You tweeted out,‘No matter what stories NBC hypes, horseracingis notoriously the most corrupt sport. If you love horses you won’t support the Kentucky Derby?’BT: Yes I did and I believe that. When I wrote this bookLarceny Games, I uncovered over 400 undercover FBI investigative files through the Freedom of Information Actthat were directly related to the Sports Bribery law passed in 1964. Basically, it was all of the FBI investigations into fixed games, fixed boxing matches, or fixed horse races. Amazingly, there was a ton of investigations into fixed horse races. What was shocking to me is that they wouldn’t just fix races to get a winner, they would fix races to get a trifecta or super fecta. So, they’re fixing the top three or top four horses in theorder of finish in these horse races. In fact, one FBI agent I spoke, who had done investigations into fixed horse races, saidsometimes races were so corrupt nobody wanted to win the race. One group of jockeys were holding their horses back and theother group of jockeys were holding their horses back. Nobody wanted to reach the finish line,these races were so corrupt.What they do to the horses, unfortunately in the FBI files they talk about it, how they electrocute the horses, they stuff sponges up the horses noses so theycan’t breathe as well, they drug them. They do all sorts of horrible things to these animals because they can’t talk and yet this is what they do to fix these races, to get the results they want and to make a few extra bucks.Q: I recently had ablackjack card counter on and he said that these card counters are so intelligent, so successful, that they inevitably move on to greater projects, one of them being horseracing. He told me horse racing is one of the most wagered on sports going and there is a lot of corruption?BT: Thenumber one wagered upon sporting event in the world is horse racing. If you want to talk people sports it’s soccer but overall it’s actually horse racing. After soccer, amazinglyenough, is tennis, which I found kind ofbizarre but that’s how widespread tennis betting is. That’s why you’ve seen a lot of investigations and corruptions within tennis. The more money involved it seems the more corruption is involved. You deal withpoker and there have beenaccusations in poker. Obviously people cheat in poker in various ways. You’d like to think it’s a mano a mano sport, poker, but there’s table talk, collusion, and online poker is incredibly corrupt with all the different ways that they can fix and alter matches.Q: Somepeople can even see the others players hole cards?BT: That makes it pretty easy doesn’t it? You have a program to show you what everybody’s got?I meanheck, even I could be good at it.Brian Tuohy Thank-you!

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Brian TuohyAuthor, The Fix Is In, Larceny Games & A Season in the AbyssFull audio of our interviews with Brian TuohyHERE & HERE

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BT: I look at game fixing a lot and I do so by examiningtwo different angles. One being games being fixed by the leagues themselves, basically for entertainment purposes, to develop story linesand to make things more interesting.It’s kind of like professional wrestling. I’m not saying that every game is fixed. I think it’s something the NFL nudges when it needs to through its officiating. I also look at game fixing from agambling aspect where players and referees have been bribed and blackmailed into shaving pointsoroutright fixing games. Believe it or not, there is a history of it, it”sjust thatuncovering that history is a very difficult job. It is out there and it’s in the FBI files I’ve uncovered. It’s available if you really dig into it.Q: So the question,“Are all sports fixed?” Your answer there is‘No,’ but perhaps they could be if the league wanted them to be?BT: It’s perfectly legal for the NFL to fix its own games, believe it or not. There’s no law that prevents it. That’s the scary part. The only law that comes close is the law thatdates back to the Quiz Show scandal ofthe 1950’s, where the networkswere fixing their game showsinexactly the same the NFL would be fixing its own gamesto make them more entertaining. There’s a movie called Quiz Show, directed by Robert Redford, that details exactly how thishappens.They did it for years until theywere finally busted by Congressional investigations. The law passed out of those investigations and it specifically only mentionedintellectual contests such as game shows. It did not go to sports. So that law doesn’t cover the NFL. The other law that exists is calledthe Sports Bribery Act of 1964 but that only covers bribing a player, referee or coach to alter the outcome of agame. If aleague, like the NBA, told its referees how to do their jobs, in a way implying how to do their job to give one team an advantage over another team, that’s notfixing. That’s just an employer telling an employee how to dotheirjob. Itdoesn’t fall under that law either. So really there is no law that prevents this fromoccurring. When you’re talking about a multi-billion dollar business, where obviously a lot of money is at stake, what prevents them from enacting suchsubterfuge against fans.Q: It’s such big business. The TV contracts, the NFL ratings and, on the organized crime side, mobsters can get to players fix games in their direction?BT: First of all, the NFL says it’s never happened. They say they’ve never had a game fixed in their history, which most people laugh atbut that’s their stance, because no one has ever been convicted of that crime. Yet, if you look around theworld, at soccer, tennis, rugby andcricket, there is game fixing going on right now in every single sportin countries right around the world. In theUnited States, we seem to think it’s impossible and it never happens because nobody ever gets convicted of it. The fact is, it doesn’t matter if some of these athletes are making millions of dollars, or even hundreds of millions of dollars, because so many of those guys who have made that kind of money, guys like Allan Iverson or Antoine Walker in the NBA or Warren Sapp in the NFL, they”ve gone bankrupt as soon as they leavethe game. So even thoughthey make a lot ofmoney, as Patrick Ewing famously said,theyalsospend a lot of money, or end up getting bilked out of a lot of money. Sometimes, even veterans players, despite the fact they look like their like they”remillionaires, may actually be struggling to get by and may be open to doingsomething like throwing a game or shaving points. If everything shakes out right, you can get to theseathletes, even college athletes especially, you can getto professional athletes and corrupt them. It’s more of a crime of opportunity than one where someone sits back and says,‘Well, I’m going to fix this weekend’s BearsPackers game because I feel like I can do it.’ It’s more like they need that “in” in order to get into a player and get him, or a referee, to affect theoutcome of the game.

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