After watching the NFL playoff games last weekend, one can’t help wonder whether it is possible to fix professional football games.
In the closing moments of the Seattle and Dallas game Saturday, the Cowboys prepared to kick what could have been the winning field goal. But the place kick holder n Tony Romo, who is also the starting quarterback n fumbled the snap and then haphazardly tried to run the ball. The result was a Dallas loss and an apology from Romo.
How could such a thing happen in professional football?
You would not be alone in considering whether some players purposely throw games, and with so much at stake, it is likely that some of them have at least been approached with the idea. I talked to several people who believe the first moon landing in 1969 was staged, so why not believe a football game in 2007 might be staged?
It happened in professional baseball. Eight members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox team were exposed for intentionally losing games in the World Series that year. With more riding on professional sports today than a century ago, the stakes are even higher and the pressure even stronger to control the outcome of the games.
Those who believe in conspiracy theories might even say the success of the New Orleans Saints is predetermined. The “feel good” story of the Saints n what the team has had to overcome and its affect on the psyche of a devastated city n personifies the importance of professional sports in a community. There are people all over the world pulling for the Saints because they know what New Orleans has been through, and there is no doubt this helps the NFL and all professional sports.
Although I discount these theories, I understand how the Cowboys’ blunder last weekend and the emergence of the Saints as the new “America’s Team” could leave you wondering. The subject would make a good Oliver Stone film, but as far as I’m concerned, the New Orleans Saints are winning this year because they are a good ball club.
Theorize all you want, but I “say it ain’t so.”