“The game ain’t decided on the field. I played in the game. I set a Super Bowl record (two interceptions returned for touchdowns), and we knew every play they were running before the game even started.”
“I predicted who was gonna be in the Super Bowl. It ain’t about who has the best players. Football is entertainment, so what’s the most entertaining Super Bowl?”
That was former Tampa Bay Buccaneers S Dwight Smith in 2020, talking about the upcoming Chiefs vs. Bucs Super Bowl. In the 2003 Super Bowl, Smith was a big part of the unexpected 48-21 rout of the Oakland Raiders, led by Bill Callahan.
Smith, calling into a local sports talk radio show in 2020, was asked his prediction for the Mahomes-Brady bowl:
“So how do you see this one playing out?”
“It depends on how Vegas makes that call. You know, whatever makes them the most money.”
The show host pressed further.
“So you think that the Super Bowl, the one you were a part of, was illegitimate?”
Smith: “I think EVERY ONE is.”
Now, these are bombs being dropped by a former Super Bowl-winning safety. He is claiming the winning team knew every play Oakland was running before the game even started. He is claiming every Super Bowl is tampered with. He is claiming that sportsbooks control the outcomes of these “games” to make the most money.
On Sunday, a whopping 79% of the money wagered on the AFC Championship went to the Cincinnati Bengals to win. It’s easy to see why the Chiefs came away with a victory. But we’ll get to that later.
We’ve already covered the documented fact that the NFL sidesteps anti-trust laws by acting as a singular entertainment enterprise making money through yearly TV contracts and advertising revenue. Therefore, they cannot be sued for fixing games because the only obligation to attendees is a ticket to a sporting event.
Mayer v. Belichick. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals case from 2010. The NFL destroyed evidence of the Patriots videotaping Jets sideline signals and argued in federal court that it has a legal right to tamper games because it is “sports entertainment,” not “sport” by its business designation.
As an entertainment business, the NFL makes its money from the major networks that pay to broadcast their games, drawing hundreds of advertising partners to pay for ad space during every NFL game. We must ask ourselves: why does a 60-minute game with a 15-minute halftime, take up nearly four hours of programming?
Because the NFL is a TV show. And just like every TV show, it’s been scripted beforehand. The only difference is that it’s being filmed and broadcast live in front of our eyes. It’s like a live play shown across the country. The story has already been scripted, with its actors playing their parts.
This brings us to the hidden reveal in Dwight Smith’s courageous appearance on talk radio in 2020. What is he saying exactly? Well, he’s saying that the players are somewhat involved in this rigging of NFL games.
Recent players like Benny Cunningham, Larry Johnson, Junior Galette, and Chris Borland have all blown the whistle on signing non-disclosure agreements contractually obligating them to go along with the script. Raiders’ wide receivers Tim Brown and Jerry Rice called this out after the same 2003 Super Bowl:
Brown, a Hall of Famer, the Heisman Trophy winner, 6th overall pick in the draft, and number seven all-time in receiving yards, accused his higher-ups of sabotaging their chances: “Friday morning we get in and we have a brand new game plan. I have NEVER had a coach two days before a game change the game plan.”
The Raiders, facing their former coach Jon Gruden (not suspicious at all, just like this year’s Andy Reid Bowl), ran a smash-mouth run attack under Bill Callahan all season long. In Super Bowl XXXVII, Oakland came out throwing the ball all over the yard with Rich Gannon, a respectable but far from elite quarterback.
Jerry Rice agreed: “In a way, maybe because he didn’t like the Raiders, he decided, ‘Maybe we should sabotage this a little bit and let Jon Gruden go out and win this one.”
Fools who are complaining about the referees rigging the Bengals-Chiefs AFC Championship matchup are completely missing the point. It’s not the refs vs. the players. It’s the NFL versus its viewers. The refs and players are fed by the same hand. It’s one big theater production designed to consume viewers’ emotions and money in one fell swoop.
Once you understand that both the referees and players are paid by the same people, with the same means of making money through ratings, it makes sense. Everybody’s interests are mutual. Everybody is on the same side. Nobody loses. Just like WWE.
What likely happens is the coaches and then the players receive directions from guys in the booth, far out of sight. Pat Troothner on YouTube has documented instances of NFL players purposely missing tackles weekly, likely on direction from those who seek to manipulate the games for financial gain.
The best athletes in the world, pathetically falling down, missing tackles and leaving guys wide open in the red zone. In real competitive football, these things don’t happen with the regularity they do in the NFL. In games in which high school players are actually trying to compete against each other to win, these things don’t happen. Watch any high school football game – it’s not nearly as entertaining as these scripted NFL games.
While we’ll probably never know what’s being said over these headsets, it’s not difficult to assume. Let’s say that the NFL entertainment apparatus wanted the Chiefs to score early. A simple communication would be sent down to the coaches and coordinators on the Bengals’ sideline to let Patrick Mahomes score a touchdown. Perhaps something like, “let’s be killers on D!”
This is code to let Kansas City find the end zone. Later, maybe they let the two teams play freely for a bit without intrusion. However, they need the game to be close at the end to keep people watching. So they tell Kansas City that Burrow has to come back in the second half. The coaches tell the players, “do your job out there!”
Maybe Cincinnati ties the game, but they need Kansas City to win so they can collect on the 79% of money legally wagered on the Bengals. So they send down the code to the Bengals to stop scoring so Mahomes can get the ball back for the final game-winning drive. The coach says, “full throttle out there!!” This lets them know to play poorly and punt it back to Mahomes.
The Bengals’ No. 58 simply took initiative, in a direction to get the Chiefs down the field into scoring position. There is no logical reason an NFL player would shove a quarterback already out of bounds on the opposing sideline, at such a crucial moment of the game.
The polarizing debate about missed calls by referees is all part of the script. Any great TV show has moments that stir up controversy and debate amongst its viewers, which can sometimes last weeks or months.
The whole thing stinks. It stinks of theater. It stinks of scripted entertainment. It stinks of fraud, on all fronts.