Skip to content

Is NFL actually scripted, and if it is, is NFL worth watching? 2024

Is NFL actually scripted, and if it is, is NFL worth watching? 2023

Is NFL actually scripted, and if it is, is NFL worth watching? 2024

Makes sense, right? You think Brady would have signed off on losing a perfect season to Eli Manning and the New York Giants, complete with a late comeback that included a helmet catch and a missed interception? And then lose another Lombardi Trophy to Manning a few years later?

in all seriousness, one of the best things about sports is that it isn’t scripted. The drama of pro football is incredible and the outcome isn’t truly decided until the clock hits zero. Brady and his Patriots teams proved that better than anyone.

No. The NFL is not scripted; if it were, we’d know about it by now unless it is some secret operation of the CIA, in which case, chances are we would still know about it by now.
HOWEVER… Corrupt? Yeah, you can make that argument. Some NFL games may have been tampered with, whether it’s a coach throwing a game or a referee blowing calls on purpose in favour of one team.

Scripted/rigged is different from corruption/fixed games. I have no definite proof, but it’s possible. There have been a few very sketchy football games, such as The Tuck Rule, the Raiders vs Bucs SB, Seahawks vs Steelers SB and the no-interference call in the Rams vs Saints NFC Championship game.

Table of Contents

Is NFL actually scripted, and if it is, is NFL worth watching? 2024

However, NFL players make so much money nowadays that it would take more work to comprehend them throwing games due to debts. In the past, this was more frequent, and it is still believed to be frequent in college and High School games since the players make no money. Certain games have been fixed, but we lack a smoking gun.

That being said, I’m confident that the league does not script the entire season, it would take far too many resources to pull such a thing off, and if this were being done, we’d have more evidence.

No, the NFL (National Football League) is not scripted. The outcomes of NFL games are determined by the players’ skills, strategies, and performance on the field. The league operates under strict rules and regulations to ensure fair competition.

While there may be occasional controversies or debates about officiating decisions, the overall integrity of the game is not compromised by scripting. The NFL is a highly competitive and popular sports league, with millions of fans worldwide who enjoy the unpredictability and excitement of each game.

Whether the NFL is worth watching is subjective and depends on individual preferences. Many people find the sport thrilling, with its combination of athleticism, strategy, and teamwork. If you enjoy football, the NFL can provide entertaining and competitive matchups. However, everyone has different tastes, so whether it’s worth watching ultimately depends on your personal interests.

Is the NFL staged or scripted?

Well, let’s just think about that idea for a second and see how credible it is:

A popular Broadway play like The Phantom Of The Opera (one of the most famous, longest-running, and highest-grossing acts in the theatre) has essentially 9 main roles. Professionally trained actors practice for months to perform the same play on a weekly basis until they can deliver a performance that, even though we know it is scripted, comes across as authentic in its delivery.

If we imagine the NFL game to be a theatre script, we have more than twice the number of essential actors (22 starters on both sides of the ball, to say nothing of regular reserves). These actors perform a different play every week (no two NFL games are the same) and use performers who come from a variety of educational backgrounds (many did not even finish college). 

To deliver an “authentic” performance, some of the less fortunate actors – even some of the best and most popular ones, which is a strange casting decision – are going to have to sacrifice their bodies, suffering life-altering injuries such as broken bones, torn ligaments, and even paralyzed nerves. 

Unlike in a movie or a play, we can easily confirm that those injuries are NOT scripted.

And the play doesn’t end once they leave the stage (field); their performances to the media need to be carefully choreographed to display all the candour and emotion one would expect from an athlete who has spent the last few hours in a testosterone/adrenaline-induced high. 

Players and coaches are mic’ed up during the game for the fans’ benefit; they’re forced to speak to the cameras on the field immediately after the game, and they’re contractually obligated to speak to the media at certain times after the game and throughout the week.

I mean, hell, even if it is scripted, it’s no wonder an NFL athlete earns more than a typical actor. That’s an unbelievably difficult role to play and an incredibly long time to remain in character without making a slip. The full-contact nature of the sport makes the NFL the least likely sport to be rigged, no matter how you may feel.

Is NFL actually scripted, and if it is, is NFL worth watching?

This question is so ridiculous I’m not sure where to begin.
If the NFL was scripted, the same team would not go to the Super Bowl 9 times in 20 years because that was not good for business.

If the NFL was scripted, the Dallas Cowboys, “America’s team”, would have a lot more than 3 playoff wins in the last 20 years and well more than ZERO Super Bowl appearances in the last 25 years.

If the NFL was scripted, there would never be playoff/Super Bowl blowouts, yet they occur every year.
If the NFL was scripted, then the franchises in New York and Chicago, 2 of the 3 largest NFL media markets, would not all be mediocre for so many years in a row.
If the NFL was scripted, star players would be injured much less frequently.

I could go on, but hopefully, you get it by now. Others in these answers have already addressed the absurdity of fixing games with 100 players and dozens of coaches. Perhaps it’s my feed, but I wonder why I see many more questions like these about the NFL than other sports that would be much easier to fix and have a more checkered past regarding integrity, such as the NBA.

Is it probable that the NFL is”fixed” like the WWE?

Ha! One of my favourite topics!
As a fan, a gambler, and someone who has probably watched 5,000–10,000 hours of NFL football, I have some suspicions.
First, let’s get out of the way the idea of the NFL being “hard” fixed. What I mean by “hard” fixed is the notion that Goodell and some “Illuminati”-type group of owners sit in a cigar-smoke-filled room and script out a season and determine who will play in the Super Bowl.

For all practical purposes, this would be completely impossible for reasons too numerous to list. Additionally, I do not believe NFL results are “tailored” to point spreads or anything like that. The closeness of point spreads is simply because, after decades of handicapping games, Vegas oddsmakers are fairly good at predicting outcomes and balancing their books. I know you were hoping for some “crazy” conspiracy theory, and I’m sorry to disappoint initially, but it’s coming.

What I do strongly believe is that the NFL is what I would call “softly fixed.”” “Soft” fixed means that the institution of the NFL is set up and managed in a way that “strongly favours” probably about a third of the NFL teams, with about eight “core” franchises and another three or four that change from time to time as the storyline goals of the league change.

What the F#$%! What are you talking about?

Well, first, more than half of the league’s (and teams’) revenues come from the rights to broadcast games (TV, radio, internet, and satellite). The amount broadcasters can pay the NFL for the rights is determined directly by how many advertising dollars the broadcasters can generate by selling ads against the content. 

How are advertising dollars generated? RATINGS. How are ratings generated? Broadcasting interesting and compelling content to audiences. The more interesting and compelling the NFL content (namely live games), the larger the audiences are and the more ad dollars the broadcasters can generate and, consequently, the more the broadcasters can pay the NFL.

In the context of the NFL, interesting and compelling content basically falls into a couple of categories:

  • Keep fans in the big media markets involved and interested (read Boston, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, etc.)
  • Keep historic teams with “nationwide” fan bases involved and interested (read teams like Green Bay, Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Indy )
  • Create “compelling” storyline teams – e.g. Saints the year after Hurricane Katrina, Denver and the Peyton Manning comeback, Elway’s quest for another Super Bowl. Just like any TV series, the NFL likes storylines. These work to get the “marginal” viewer interested (read people or cities without teams or fans who love football, but their team sucks).

This approach basically shakes out to a number of core teams (Cowboys, Patriots, Packers, Giants, Steelers, Eagles, Jets, 49ers, Indianapolis and Redskins) and a handful of “now” teams like the recent Denver, Seattle and Baltimore teams. These teams are favoured by the league and have an advantage because these teams drive ratings and revenue. One can discuss which teams are core and which are now teams, but it really doesn’t matter much. They all benefit.

Is NFL actually scripted, and if it is, is NFL worth watching? 2023

Now, before you call errr “bullshit” and protest by saying, “But some of those teams have sucked for a while, just follow me a bit longer. Sure, the NFL can favour and prefer those franchises, but in the end, there is very little the NFL can do about owners that are incompetent and build bad teams (e.g. the Redskins – they’ve sucked for a long time, but the NFL still views them and the mid-Atlantic market as crucial).

 Also, remember, we are talking about the game being “soft” fixed. Not hard to fix. The NFL’s chief goal is to create content that drives the greatest viewership; they don’t have a vested interest in who specifically wins the Super Bowl, just that the content generated (game match-ups) ends up with match-ups that drive up revenues.

I still need to understand what you are saying!

As I said above, it’s insane to believe that the games are “hard” fixed; however, I believe the NFL can drive specific outcomes through officiating. Are the refs on the take? No, not! That is also insane. 

What is going on is more institutionalized and somewhat like the concept of “institutionalized racism.” For those of you not familiar with the concept of institutionalized racism, a simple example is when a security guard at a retail store follows around African Americans because he believes (wrongly) they are more likely to steal something, he can more easily catch them and impress his boss or bosses that he is doing his job. 

In the security guard’s everyday life, he is probably not a full-blown racist, could even have many African American friends and might even be African American himself, but in that institutional context (the store), he is committing a racist act.

In the NFL, I suspect Roger Goodell pays VERY close attention to his TV ratings (they drive half his revenue, so he’d better).

Is NFL actually scripted, and if it is, is NFL worth watching? 2024

 It is not lost on Goodell that certain teams (named above) and matchups (like Steelers and Ravens) are particularly good for ratings. As a result, the league favours officials (best game assignments, playoff games, probably other perks we don’t know about) who call games in a way that favours any of the team categories above.

 Ever notice how Peyton Manning “always” gets the call? Conversely, ever notice how players like Ray Lewis back in the day do not get called for unnecessary roughness in key situations as much as some lesser, non-marquee linebackers? It’s not just the number of times players like this do or don’t get the call; it’s the context of the situation.

Anyway, as certain refs call games and help to generate quality games that Goodell likes (whether it be big media centre teams winning or the continuation of a favourite storyline), I believe this is not lost on other more “junior” referees as they see their peers get to officiate the best games and assignments. 

Who wants to officiate the Bengals at Vikings in December or Atlanta at Jacksonville?? If fans don’t like watching these games, why would referees enjoy officiating them? So, what do these more “junior” refs do? They emulate the officiating style of their seniors, favouring certain players and teams in hopes of moving up the totem pole in officiating and getting better, more prestigious game assignments. 

Is NFL actually scripted, and if it is, is NFL worth watching? 2024

It is what I mean by drawing the parallel between NFL officiating standards and institutionalized racism. Both are part of the subconscious of an organization, whereas one demeans and denigrates human beings while the other similarly institutionalizes the preeminence of certain NFL franchises at the expense of less media-important franchises. Admittedly, it’s probably not analogous, but it gets my point across.

If you are a fan of Atlanta, Jacksonville, Carolina, Tampa Bay, San Diego, Houston, etc., no one at the NFL gives a shite about you because your teams are mostly regional and fodder for the big media centre teams. Those teams will never, ever get the call in any game. Sure, once in a while, these teams will win a game, but the NFL prefers that these franchises sit around and ring up 6-10, 8-8, and 9-7 seasons with the occasional playoff berth and leave the carrying of the media “water” and revenue generation to the big boys (Patriots, Cowboys, Steelers, etc.).

In summation, we are talking about a “soft” fix. The league doesn’t care if the Pats, Seattle, or Cowboys win the Super Bowl. They care that they get there and that the storylines they want to tell (like the Saints after Katrina) get told and generate compelling content. 

The worst nightmare for the league is a Super Bowl with Minnesota vs. Cincinnati or Carolina vs. Buffalo. From time to time, less significant franchises make it through the playoffs or even win the Super Bowl, but when that happens, it is usually accompanied by a storyline.

Is NFL actually scripted, and if it is, is NFL worth watching? 2024

Finally, this institutionalized bias is not restricted to “on-field” officiating. I’m sure I will flame the hatred of Patriot fans, but look at how the various Patriot scandals (Spygate, Deflategate—it just disappeared) have been handled and the punishment meted out compared to what was done to the Saints over Bounty Gate. 

There is no way in hell the league will ever take real, substantive action against ratings and revenue-generating machines like the Patriots. On the other hand, the Saints were completely disposable once the Katrina storyline left viewers’ minds. 

The league got what it needed from the Saints. Remember, this is all about generating as many advertising dollars as possible.

Are NFL games rigged?

I’m going to give the short answer, YES. And it’s obvious now; the NFL itself, not the players or coaches, is rigging it. By defining itself as not a professional football league but as “sports entertainment”, they have a vested interest in doing 3 things:

A) Keep the home team or crowd in the game as long as possible.

B) Keep the games as close as possible.

C) Elevate national teams / create storylines in the big city teams.

The NFL itself has created ambiguities and systems that give its executives more remote control of the game than ever. Examples are:

  1. The catch rule
  2. The definition of pass interference, the calls/non-calls
  3. Dean Blandino, coming on like a puppet to reinforce why the NFL ruled a certain way, is telling

How it is done: They don’t employ refs – they are kept separate to give the NFL a shiny cushion of plausible deniability. However, the refs are told which players/teams need “support”. Examples:

  1. Watch the 2019 Lions-Green Bay game in Lambeau. Stafford and Detroit were tearing GB up. GB linemen used hands to the neck the whole game, and the last 2 drives that led to 10 GB points had failed 3rd down conversions, with late flags to Detroit allowing the drives to continue. A Detroit player late in the game caught a ball, got the first down, took 3 steps and fumbled out of bounds. The refs rule as such, but the NFL reviewed a GB challenge, and it became incomplete, causing Detroit to punt. And on Detroit’s final drive, a receiver was hammered, not mugged, on a 40-yard pass, not PI. That would have put them in go-ahead field goal range. Heck, Detroit hit for 12 players earlier in the game, and refs called the 5-yard penalty because Detroit was in their position. GB had 13 players on the field in position, and with 2 seconds before the hike, GB was allowed to call time out, no 5-yard penalty….. So I’ve just given 5 ways the refs either call phantom penalties, bias their calls, do not call penalties, and the NFL themselves are involved.
  2. Now if a team is clobbering another team, it can’t be helped, but your national teams, NE, Cowboys, and GB, are gifted regularly.

Like FIFA, NBA and NFL, if the NFL were serious, they would employ the Refs themselves; they would take the point spreads off their

Is the NFL dying a slow death?

Yes, it is in decline, if not dying slowly.
The main reason isn’t the political controversy, though. Three other factors are more significant in the long term.
First is the issue of players suffering repeated head injuries leading to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

There have been several notable cases of former NFL players diagnosed with CTE after their careers, including some who have committed violent crimes or suicide, or both. The revelation that Aaron Hernandez’ post-suicide autopsy revealed him to have the brain of a typical former football player with CTE in his late 60s, not 27, should have been the final straw.

Ironically, the national anthem protests quickly pushed this out of the news.
The NFL keeps sweeping this issue under the rug while letting modern-day gladiators loaded up on steroids (anyone who thinks otherwise is living in a fantasyland) play human demolition derby, then cast them aside with brain damage. There are going to be more Aaron Hernandezes to come, and at some point, it will come to a head (figuratively and literally), and the NFL will be screwed.

Is NFL actually scripted, and if it is, is NFL worth watching? 2023

The second issue is that when you come down to it, every NFL game looks the same as another. Every team is trying to do the same things with the same type of personnel, and the only real difference is the talent level of the teams. The fact they’re doing it with such great athletes can make it entertaining, but it still gets monotonous after a while.

The NFL needs some team to break the mould and make it stick like the run-and-shoot teams tried to do in the 1990s or the teams that dabbled with the read option a few years before RGIII got hurt and regressed and Colin Kaepernick just flat-out regressed.

A third issue that will come to a head at some point is the league’s labour situation. The NFL brings in massive amounts of money year after year, but the players’ share of the loot hasn’t kept up with the increased revenue. Other leagues have seen the players keep their share of the pie in line by successful strikes or the threat of one (most notably Major League Baseball), but the NFL Players Association has always been very weak and ineffective, and its strikes in 1982 and 1987 accomplished little.

There will come a time when the NFLPA will find its own Martin Miller, grow a backbone, and then the league’s leadership will have a serious issue.

The controversy over players making political protests isn’t helping, but stuff like that blows over in time. The NFL has real issues it must address that have nothing to do with politics.

Which is better, WWE or NFL?

It has to be a joke. The NFL is an actual sport. You cannot compare WWE with the NFL, NBA, MLS, or MLB. WWE can be compared to a music concert. WWE is not a sport. It’s a choreographed play with high-flying moves. They sugarcoat it and call it “sports entertainment.”.

To answer your question, if the NFL is better than WWE as a sport, the answer is an emphatic yes. Since WWE is not a sport, any sports league worldwide is better than WWE by default.
If you mean to ask if WWE is more entertaining than NFL, that would be a prerogative completely dependent on the person’s taste. WWE is a great script and has storylines.

The problem is that some muscular dudes with really bad acting skills are executing it, and what comes through is a subpar product with comical results. These bad actors often try to get into Hollywood, and WWE is their primary step.

I have never understood the over-the-top cheesy representation of international countries and the obsession with midgets that WWE has always had. They need to be more creative with their storylines these days.

A better way to compare NFL with wrestling would be to put it up against MMA or UFC.

Can you show me proof the NFL is rigged?

About 50% of the games are rigged.
Every time my team loses, I see countless instances of cheating by the refs – bad calls, missed calls, all leading to my team’s inexplicable defeat. The NFL wants to make sure they can’t win.
But the refs always perform flawlessly in the other 50% of games where my team wins.
Go figure.

What are 5 reasons that American Football is better than Rugby?

5 reasons football is better than rugby:

  1. Spectacular plays. Football, especially at the top level, is set up to provide a spectacle, guaranteed just about every game. Even a casual sports fan can appreciate a diving catch while under pressure.
  2. Most of the action is visible. Ever seen what happens inside a rugby scrum? A ruck? A rolling maul? The only time you lose sight of the ball in football is during a pile-on after a fumble.
  3. The tactical breadth and complexity.
  4. The simplicity of the goals of the game. Make yards to get up the field. Make less than 10 yards? The other guys get a go.
  5. Consistent refereeing. There’s not the AFL/NFL split in football like there is between northern and southern hemisphere rugby referees.

5 reasons rugby is better than football:

  1. More continuity. You don’t get four seconds of play and a 30-second commercial break. Rugby has multiple connected phases. It’s an 80-minute game that takes about 2 hours to complete. Football is 60 minutes and takes over 3 hours.
  2. Rugby is inclusive. Women can play professionally. They aren’t reduced to being either sideline accessories (cheerleaders) or bikini models playing a choreographed fake game version. There’s a bigger range of body types able to play rugby. Too small for 15s? You can play 7s. Didn’t you make a rep team? Who cares? You can keep playing for a club until you are 40, 50, 60,
  3. Rugby is international. There is a Rugby World Cup. All of the top players and teams from around the world play in it. There are regional competitions, both internationally and at the first-class level. There is a World 7s circuit.
  4. The players have to master a wider range of skills. Imagine a quarterback who also had to tackle, punt, and kick goals. Imagine a lineman who had to keep up with the play and could catch and pass the ball.
  5. The players mostly control what happens on the field. Yes, you can call an audible in football, but imagine doing it every few minutes as the game situation changes. The coach only gets a say at halftime or when substituting.

I like football, but I still prefer rugby.

Are professional sports (NFL/NBA) rigged and staged for media, publicity, and money?

They are unabashedly staged for money and, by extension, publicity and media. They are businesses, after all, that exist solely to make money for their ownership. Whether or not it is rigged, there are certain outcomes on a year-to-year basis that would be more financially beneficial for sports leagues than others.

That being said, the long-term financial damage to their institutions if it were to become publicly known that they are rigged would be far more severe than any short-term temporary gains in finances by rigging the outcome.

It would be very short-sighted financially to rig the outcome if you could do so. That’s not a guaranteed statement that it doesn’t happen, just that it would not be financially wise to do so.

If an NFL or MLB game was discovered to be rigged, would it be illegal? If so, why?

Yes. It’s almost unheard of for a game in a team sport to be rigged in the sense of a WWE competition, i.e., with people knowing in advance who will win and how. It is because, in team sports, there are too many variables and people involved to keep rigging a secret (individual sports, such as boxing or tennis, are another matter). 

Rather, the more common approach is “point shaving,” in which players on a special team conspire to have an “off night” so that they fail to cover the spread against a weaker opponent. For example, let’s suppose the New England Patriots are playing at home against the Cleveland Browns and are favored to win by 12.5 points. 

To shave points, Tom Brady might have an uncharacteristically bad day—let’s say he completes 40% of his passes, throws 3 interceptions, and fumbles the ball once near the goal line. The Patriots still score a late touchdown and win by 6, but they fail to cover the 12.5-point spread, allowing people who bet against the Pats to win. 

If Brady just had a bad day, there’s nothing improper, but if he played poorly to affect the game’s outcome and benefit himself or his co-conspirators, he’s broken the law.

Is NFL actually scripted, and if it is, is NFL worth watching? 2024

Another tactic—disgraced N.B.A. referee Tim Donaghy is an example—is for an official to work to manipulate the outcome of games. Donaghy as a referee, was privy to confidential information (X player who’s been out the last 5 games and who Sportscenter said would be back tonight still looks like he can’t play, Y starter got into an argument with a coach during shootarounds and is likely to be benched to start the game), and he shared that information with a friend who would then place large bets. 

During games, Donaghy generally called them “loose” games that would allow teams to score more than they might otherwise have—the fact that there was a lot of offence was designed to obscure his illegality—which also allowed for bets to be placed on over/under, i.e., taking the over. But finally, Donaghy also admitted to making calls to affect the point spread, e.g., tightening calls against one team when it was too far ahead or swallowing his whistle when the preferred team was too far behind.

Is NFL actually scripted, and if it is, is NFL worth watching? 2024

What laws are violated? First, various state laws are designed to protect the integrity of athletic contests, but those are too numerous to list. At the federal level, 18 U.S.C. 224 makes it a crime to “carry into effect, attempt[] to carry into effect, or conspire[] with any other person to carry into effect any scheme in commerce to influence, in any way, by bribery any sporting contest, with knowledge that the purpose of such scheme is to influence by bribery that contest.” In other words, you will be imprisoned if you work to rig a sporting event.

 Next, 18 U.S.C. 1084 prohibits using communications to transfer information to assist in sports betting in locations where such betting is illegal. It is the sports equivalent of “insider trading,” and was one of the crimes Donaghy—who had shared confidential information with co-conspirators by phone—pleaded guilty to.

 Next, honest services fraud under 18 U.S.C. 1346 is interpreted as proscribing “fraudulent schemes to deprive another of honest services through bribes or kickbacks supplied by a third party who ha[s] not been deceived.” This law is typically used against corrupt government officials/employees but can also criminalize actions in the private context where a fiduciary relationship exists, such as the employer-employee relationship. 

A professional athlete or official is an employee of a team/league, and the employer has a right to honest services from that employee, i.e., a good (or at least non-fraudulent) effort to play well or call a fair game. Wherever the line is between criminal and non-criminal conduct, someone rigging a game in exchange for a kickback is on the criminal side.

Is NFL actually scripted, and if it is, is NFL worth watching? 2024

 And finally, there’s good old 18 U.S.C. 1343 (wire fraud) and 1349 (conspiracy to commit same), which criminalize the use of communication networks to commit fraud, and are common charges where co-conspirators communicate by phone, etc. There would also be potential civil liability for those involved, as billions of dollars are spent on TV rights, etc., under the premise that people are getting to watch contests where the outcome is uncertain and their favourite team can win, and the damages caused by widespread cheating would be massive.

Why do such laws exist? Because rigging a game is a fraud, fraud committed for monetary benefit can be criminal. Even if you say, “People at home watching the game aren’t victims,” the league/teams affected are, as they are denied the ability to put out an honest product and thereby suffer damages, and people who bet on games (legally) are also victimized, as they are not given a fair shot at winning.

How to Make an Album Cover That Gets Noticed

Is the NFL scripted in the NFL?

We are debunking the myth that the NFL is scripted.J

Can the NFL legally script games?

The anti-trust exemption given by President John F. Kennedy does not extend to cover § 1. Knowing this, the NFL, legally, cannot centrally plan to fix outcomes of games.

Why is it so hard to watch an NFL game?

If you’re wondering why it’s so difficult to find the game you want to watch, it’s in part because so many people are interested in football. The NFL is the single most valuable product on TV, which is why so many different companies want their own slice of it.

Is NFL football fixed?

But many people believe the NFL is fixed, with hidden writers scripting last-minute Hail Mary passes and game-changing referee calls. It’s not true, of course, but when has that ever stopped conspiracy theorists?

Is NFL actually scripted, and if it is, is NFL worth watching? 2024