Intended or not, you can see how referees can -and do- affect the outcome of ball games and can control point spreads, who wins and loses, even how long it takes for the winning team to score the winning score.
I've always said that it's naive to think that billionaires would leave their fortunes to chance.
So many of us watched the WWF. We knew it was fake, but who didn't love tuning in to watch Rick Flair, Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, Sting, and the rest? The athletic abilities of the wrestlers and their showmanship put a legitimate entertainment product in the arenas. Even though we knew the results were pre-determined, we tuned in and enjoyed the show, and so many were riled up, ready to fight over the results.
Now the NFL has become a multi – trillion dollar business. The advertising dollars are huge. The economies of NFL cities are fueled by the tourism, ticket sales, and all of the other ways that money is generated from having an NFL franchise.
Television advertisers were getting upset over blow-outs that caused fans to turn the channel and miss their commercials during the second halves of games that no longer were a contest. So now it seems that EVERY prime time game is decided by one score, and often in the final seconds. Even if it is a last place team vs a first place team, the game remains close through the third quarter, with the first place team putting it out of reach during the fourth quarter.
At one time there was talk of stopping the Monday Night Football games because so many of those games had become dull, boring affairs between mismatched opponents, as the injuries mounted and lesser skilled teams fell away as the season progresses. Now there's Sunday night and Thursday night games that go down to the wire, often settled on the last play of the game.
The NFL wants you to believe that it's because of "parity" in the league, but is it really about "parody"? Is something rotten in the game Americans have grown to love?
And now, with the NFL encouraging gambling, it becomes another reason for games to finish close to the point spreads.
The recent loss by the Cowboys to Green Bay keeps an audience in a top NFL fan base believing just a little bit longer(Green Bay), and the win makes those fans feel that their team is still one of the best. Multiply that by the number of losing franchises and you can see how much money is lost if fans lose interest.
So be careful betting on football. Those of us who have watched the NFL for 50+ years know that there is no such thing as parity in a league filled with so many different philosophies from team to team, and with leadership that varies so much in talent and what they hope to accomplish.
The NFL won on Thanksgiving, with ad revenue and sales getting a record audience.
Remember; the NFL is a business, It's not always the most talented who get the breaks.
It's what's best for business.