Is the NFL actually rigged?


Image via Macrodosing Podcast Arian Foster discussing his with co-host PFT Commenter.

After a debate sparked amidst this current NFL season back in December 2022, many fans discussed whether or not the league is rigged, with some answers potentially pointing towards yes. Is it unfathomable to think that the NFL could’ve hidden this successfully for over 100 years?

To start this controversy, verified Twitter account @UberFacts tweeted, “The NFL is recognized as an ‘entertainment’ business rather than a sport, and they can legally fix the outcome of games”, which confused but also intrigued fans. Throughout the many replies, you can see fans looking back on the plethora of instances where referees have made or missed a game-deciding call, most notably being the infamous 2018 NFC championship game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints, which had one of the most blatant pass interferences missed in the history of the league.

Image from Bleacher Report Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman interfering with Saints wide receiver Tomylee Lewis.

That Rams vs. the Saints game is one of the biggest questions in NFL history. Would Drew Brees have won his first Super Bowl? Would Tom Brady have lost to New Orleans and retired? Due to questionable officiating or a rigged output, these results will never be known. Some believed the theories of league interference due to a potential matchup between the Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs, as the two teams had a historic matchup earlier in the season when they combined for the third most points ever in a 54-51 shootout between the two dominant offenses. A rematch would’ve resulted in more hype around the game which would inevitably lead to higher ratings, a statistic the NFL has tended to prioritize in the past.

As this debate was slowly forgotten, former Houston Texans star running back Arian Foster went to his podcast, Macrodosing, to bring up how the NFL is rigged and had evidence to back his claims up, stating that“this is what goes on, this is what we have to do…WWF (scripted wrestling league), we know what’s going to happen. But you still got to put on a show.” He then elaborated, saying that on day one of training camp, every player was given a script for the teams to practice, detailing instances from training camp to the Super Bowl on when the players would be “injured”, when they’d have a breakout game, what crucial referee calls would be, and many other instances that would usually occur as the season progressed. Current Saints running back Alvin Kamara backed what Foster said and blamed the “NFL scriptwriters” for the Saints’ underwhelming season, which was full of injuries and many other unfortunate events.

Current and past players saw and reacted to Foster’s conspiracy in an unserious manner, including former Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III. Griffin suffered an unfortunate knee injury during his rookie season that would eventually derail his career, but he was still able to joke about the situation in light of the recent conspiracies.

Considering such specific accusations and suspect games of the past, is the NFL actually rigged? No. The league would face a large number of lawsuits from the sports betting industry if such a conspiracy were real. Additionally, there’s a very low chance that they could stay consistent at getting results that they want for this long without being caught, aside from the occasional scandal on the internet. Teams would need to walk through the scripted results multiple times just to get near the result the league was looking for and referees cannot always bail a team out if the execution of the “script” is incomplete. Referees can definitely have a positive or negative influence on how a game plays out, as can the team’s drive to win, but there is almost no chance that the NFL would be able to get away with scripting games.


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