The Litter Box; The “Fix” is in !
By Larry the SportsCat
(Katlama, WA) Hey Gang! Wow what a game the Seahawks pulled out, I felt bad for the Vikings fans….well not real bad, as a Seattle sports fan for all these years we’ll take every single win anyway we can get it. It wasn’t even 30-minutes later as the ESN crew and myself were enjoying a margarita and nachos at a local Mexican Cantina when a man wearing an Adrian Peterson jersey and Vikings hat walked in and sat at the bar talking with some friends.
One friend was giving him the business over the loss when he said he is first and foremost a Seahawks fan but his brother was a diehard Minnesota fan and his brother said he “knows” the game was fixed because of how badly Blair Walsh missed the chip shot field goal and that he agreed with his brother because there could be no other explanation.
As I nearly interjected myself into the ridiculous claim one of my co-workers said to put my claws away and mind our own business and indeed he was correct. But that does not mean I have to let it go and so hence this column. First and foremost let me say if you are a fan of a team but yet wear the jersey and hat of their opponent that is the very definition of NOT being a fan!
Now first of all any talk of “fixing” gives me the willies but let’s take on this silly notion of pre-determined games or play-off teams and Champions. There are several ways a game could be fixed, first the league could decide they want the best “TV” match-ups, they want all play-offs with multiple games like the NBA and baseball to go the full number of games and they want the most populous teams to win or compete for their Title Games on a regular basis. This conspiracy would have to include the owners of all the teams and they would all have to agree to allowing other teams to “win” than their own.
This type of fix is simply stupid and a non-starter. Steve Ballmer just bought the LA Clippers for 2-BILLION Dollars. It is hard to imagine with the receipt of the sale a note from the league that tells Ballmer by the way the Lakers and Celtics are the only ones who can go to the finals or you will have to wait your turn to win and it is a secret league vote at the beginning of the year that determines who our Champion will be.
Also if this was a league fix how do you explain the San Antonio Spurs? Why would the powers at be allow a small market like SA to dominate for the past 20 years? In the NFL explain how they would have allowed a team like the Buffalo Bills to go to 4 straight Super Bowls, even though they lost all 4 or how a team like Tampa Bay could ever win or how Oakland ever won considering the NFL Commissioner at the time, Pete Rozelle hated the Raiders owner Al Davis during a run that Oakland was the most winningest sports franchise in history. So let’s drop this notion that a league office has any influence on setting up perfect match-ups for the best possible TV ratings return, this just isn’t reasonable. The Billionaire Owners egos would never allow anyone to tell them they had to lose for someone else’s team.
So have games been fixed in the past? Yes, mostly on the college level. Games that are fixed always come from gambling and 99.9% of the time by people getting a large financial gain. This is why it is difficult to ever fix games played by professionals. Why would any player in the NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB throw a game in this day and age? When it happened in the past it was because the player or referee got more money from someone to miss shots, play poorly or whatever they needed to do to ensure the other team won than they could get by winning the game.
This is why college athletes have always been an easy target, hey kid I’ll give you 10k to make sure you guys lose or win by less than 10-points. Or maybe here’s 10-grand to suddenly have a pulled hamstring or some other way to make sure you don’t perform at 100%. This allows the gambler to put more money on an outcome that will give him as best return on his money as possible.
So you say why couldn’t this happen with the pros? Well because of the money involved. Do you really think someone is going to pay Blair Walsh enough money to intentionally miss a game winning field goal? Besides I don’t know what bet would have been helped by him missing other than a straight up bet of Hawks over Vikings. The betting line gave Minnesota 5 points so either way the Viks were covering, the total points were well below the over/under and in fact the only way to make big money would have had to been Minnesota winning straight up, that’s called the money line so from a gambling perspective there is no reason for Walsh to miss this kick.
The only way this game pays off is if someone bet a massive amount of money to win on the Seahawks without points but since the Hawks were the favorites that means for every dollar wagered you would win likely maybe 50-cents. No gambler would waste their time or effort on this. First, how much would you have to pay Walsh to miss it considering he has a 3.2-million dollar contract. How much would you have to pay him to risk his salary? Second, let’s say you could get him to do it for $250,000, for the gambler to make money he would have to wager 1-million dollars to win 500k with half of your winnings going to Walsh. I guarantee anyone making a 1-million dollar wager in Vegas, especially a stupid bet like this is going to catch the casino’s attention and they would likely alert the NFL security and keep a close eye if they even accepted such a bet.
So how did Blair Walsh miss such an easy kick? Well maybe, just maybe the 3rd field goal he made to give Minnesota the 9-0 lead he noticed that Richard Sherman nearly blocked it missing it by literally millimeters from Walsh’s right side. Maybe Sherman was reminding him of that and chirping at him just prior to the kick and when he kicked it, he tried on purpose to keep it away from Sherman. Maybe Walsh who has never kicked in a situation like this simply folded or maybe it was the laces.
The one thing I am sure of no matter how the Hawks did it they won the game and it was not fixed. Who knew the winning formula to this particular game was 0-degrees and below, a bad snap by the center over Russell Wilson’s head, a made field goal and then a missed field goal. That all equaled a win that is why if there is any legitimate chance you could win or lose you should never ever give up.
It was not Vito, Pretty Boy Floyd or someone named the Nose pulling the strings from afar like a puppet master, it was an awesome effort by the number 1 defense in the league for the 4th straight year to even have a chance at having a kick like this go astray. One of the best defenses in the world is forcing the other team to convert what are normally routine plays but in this case under extreme pressure. It so happens this benefited the team I root for and although I can understand what the Vikings fans are feeling, I have no problem in celebrating our victory!
Well that’s it for now gang, thanks for checking in, have a great week and go Hawks! Sportscat out and remember hugs not drugs!