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I grew up as one of the biggest football fans ever. I loved it so much that I began playing and had dreams of playing in the NFL one day.
But, I remember an NFL back in the 80?s and 90?s that seemed sincere and legit in it?s execution. But as we moved into the year 2000, the NFL became more and more corporate. Even going as far as hiring businessman, Roger Goddell as commissioner.
Now, like anyone else who?s a fan of football, I?ve denied it for the longest time. But then in the last couple of years, dating back to the Patriots vs. Falcons Super Bowl, I began to get suspicious. Then it hit me! The NFL is about making money in any way imaginable.
We have to take a look at a company who over the past few years, have exceeded revenues of $4 billion annually. So the truth is, they will go and favor wherever the money is, point blank! Not to mention, sports betting has become such a huge aspect of professional sports that it plays into the outcome of games also.
Would you know that by just being able to watch that game as an observer, I noticed plays that were purposely blown, penalties purposely missed and players checking out and apparently losing all of their sense of awareness. I mean I get it, CTE is a thing but not on that level. Not to the point where you can see plays taken off to the point of almost standing still.
Before I go any further, I?m not saying that there is anything wrong with this, but if you?re going to make it like WWE, at least be up front that it is a predictable outcome. But, the NFL has denied for years, that the integrity of the game was compromised.
Photo Credit (WBUR)
Flashback to the 2019 NFC Championship game between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams.
The infamous non-pass interference call that ensured that this game would go into overtime. People argue that the Saints could have still won, but that was not in the cards, at any cost.
Eventually the Rams won and went on to the Super Bowl only to lose to the New England Patriots in a lackluster perfromance. And that caught my eye again. A team known for exploding on offense was non existent the entire game.
It was my passion for the New Orleans Saints that had me look into this again. What I noticed is that throughout the league, officials were either blowing or purposely missing calls in meaningful games.
People would often wonder how the Patriots were so successful for so long, it?s because they had some help.
I?ve recently made the comment that Vince McMahon, CEO of WWE is the real commissioner of the NFL. I wasn?t sure how true it was until the end of the 2019 season.
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The almighty Patriots lose to the Miami Dolphins who struggled all year long with lesser teams, and then in the playoffs to a Tennessee Titans team that just made it into the playoffs. Hmmm??
Not only that, I watched my own beloved Saints team play like they had been partying all night long. Once again, one of the top three offenses in the league goes MIA for three quarters and finally shows up at the end of the game, only to squander it on uncharacteristic mistakes.
That is when it hit me. I began to watch the game as an observer, not just a fan. What I saw blew my mind!
Kirk Cousins purposely took a sack, Dalvin Cook began running extremely softly after running with a vengeance in the previous three quarters. Then finally, after a dynamic run by Saints all purpose Quarterback, Taysom Hill, Drew Brees fumbles after barely being touched.
To top it off, the very last play of the game was clearly offensive pass interference. But guess what, NO CALL!
Photo Credit (ESPN)
So all in all, I could sit here and give you a ton of evidence, but I don?t need to do that because it?s not about proving what?s real or not, but more about finding the truth.
Truth is, we all have a choice to find it for ourselves or ignore it completely. The only thing I would ask of you is to watch an NFL game with two teams you have no emotional ties to that has extreme importance in the grand scheme of the league.
At the most pivotal points of the game, pay close attention to see how it unfolds and you will see that there is more than meets the eye. What do you have to lose?
Rev. Shaun Grant
?Let Kindness Lead The Way.?