“There’s too much money involved for it to be fixed,” seemed to be the mantra of the mob that follows the National Football League (NFL) but isn’t that precisely the reason why the games would be fixed.
Doesn’t it make sense that the teams that draw the highest viewing audiences compete for the gold. Just like in professional wrestling, those wrestlers most attractive to the audience will always win. So it is in the NFL as the viewing audience increases, the television networks get richer and they feed their riches back to the owners. Name me one billionaire who isn’t interested in gathering in more billions. Name me one team owner who doesn’t want to see the value of his franchise increase.
The largest audience ever to watch a Super Bowl was last year at a reported 112.2 million viewers. The game was allegedly watched in over 53 million of the 115 million homes in America. I’m not sure how they do the counting, probably in the same manner as the rating agencies that gave the big banks Triple A ratings just before their collapse, they pull the figures out of thin air. The only ones checking on them are those rating agencies.
But it doesn’t matter whether they are accurate as long as people believe them. Last year’s numbers had to have raised a lot of eyebrows. Anyone who spent much time watching the Seattle Seahawks dismantling of the Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos 43 to 8 had to be pretty brain-dead. It would have been more interesting watching your fingernails grow .
What is strange about the whole episode was Forbes Magazine predicted it would be the most viewed of all time almost as if it had to be to make the advertisers who paid 4 million dollars for a 30 second advertisement pleased with their expenditure. Except for 2013 when the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers coached by brothers played, when only 108.41 million watched, the audience has increased steadily since 2005 when it was 86.07 million. This gives it a 30% increase over 10 years which is strange and seems to support the idea the numbers are fabricated given that over the previous 10 years the audience went from 83.42 million in 1995 to 89.79 in 2004 or 7%.
It’s not only the Super Bowl that has to have ever-increasing audiences to make the rich richer the playoff games likewise have to attract more and more watchers so that the advertisers will fork out more and more money to be heard and seen. What attracts the viewers are the teams and their personalities . The 2014 Super Bowl played outdoors and close by New York City featured the larger than life come-back kid Peyton Manning and the irrepressible Pete Carroll and the two teams that were the top seeded in the league.
To top last year and to avoid the idea that no matter who plays the attendance must increase until pretty soon over 100% of the households in the U.S. will be said to have watched the Super Bowl, the NFL has to do its best to ensure that the teams in the Super Bowl are those that during the year have the best story line. That’s why if you are a betting man then look for a re-Pete of last year’s champion Pete Carroll’s Seahawks and the gutsy America footballer Tom Brady, his darling Giselle, and his Patriots. It pits the two best active NFL coaches against each other. Bill Belichick constantly ranks number one; Pete Carroll as number two.
None of the other teams with a shot at the Super Bowl would attract the audience of that game. That’s why I can say before the game the Patriots have won. The Patriot’s have their destiny set. The NFL does not want the Ravens (2013 rating flop) or the Broncos (after being slaughtered last year) in the Super Bowl.
Just keep in mind what happened last week between America’s team the Dallas Cowboys who attract a large TV audience because of their outstanding cheerleaders and the bankrupt City of Detroit’s Lions. Get serious. You don’t think the NFL wants the Lions who haven’t won a playoff game since 1991 plodding along through the playoffs. They make sure they lose even if it has to be as obvious as it was with the picking up of the penalty flag. It was a blatant fix because the mantra of the mob says it would never happen. Even President Obama held his nose. As profootball talk of NBCsports wrote: “The Cowboys [with Romo] and the Packers [with Rodgers] at Lambeau Field is what the NFL is all about. Even if Lions fans think it should be their team moving on.”
Truer words were never spoken. Let’s keep in mind what the NFL is all about which is money. Place your bets and hopes accordingly.