Skullduggery is always hovering at the edge of athletic events. When sums of money exceeding the GDP of small countries are wagered on sporting events it is not far fetched to expect some nefarious activity.
Boxing suffers from the fact that most observers conclude the fix is in on all fights. The upcoming women’s fight between Laila Ali and the person paid to lose to her in South Africa is a good example. Ali dodges any opponent put in front of her so she can collect paychecks and keep up the image of her fighting family led of course by her father, the inventor of rap.
Men’s boxing is dead on arrival. The controversy surrounding the sport is present including the aforementioned founder of rap, Cassius Clay. Remember the phantom punch? It still hasn’t landed.
The NFL tells us football is safe from gamblers and others looking to influence the outcome of the game. Yet, when you watch someone quit on a play, throw three picks, or suddenly forget he is playing safety, it begs the question: mistakes or rigged? Since the NFL says its safe we can rest easy. They wouldn’t lie, would they?
Basketball saw its share of scandal, though lately things have simmered down. Still, with only five players from each team on the court at one time, how difficult would it be to go in the tank and cost your team a victory or drop the point spread? Not difficult at all, especially if you play for the Grizzlies.
Baseball is not immune from the possibility of undue influence. In fact, baseball has banned players over gambling and fixing a World Series. Would a current player allow greed to get the best of him? You know the answer to that, although it is less likely than in years past.
The bottom line is the integrity of sports. It is not as sound as apologists declare but not as dirty as others believe. I will admit, I look for the dropped passes, lack of effort, and the sudden inability to complete a pass or throw a strike with suspicion. Realists are required to view sports with an eye towards the fix.