It's not that this annoys me; it doesn't. It baffles me. No matter how skilled a league is at fixing a sports event, the hardcore fans of that sport are even more skilled at denying any funny business. Shrug. If that's what Italian soccer fans want, it's okay by me. I just can't RELATE to it. When I suspect a game could be fixed, I lose interest in it.
You'd think some day some renegade referee would come out and write a book and tell all. Oh, wait a minute - that happened, in the NBA. The league makes a few noises about how the ref is a dubious character, and the fans practically thank them for it.
Shrug. It's mystifying.
GREEN BAY - SEATTLE
Maybe you didn't see the game. If you did, you saw Nazair Jones intercept an Aaron Rodgers pass at midfield and run it back for a TD. During the return, one of the Packers face-mask-tackled a Seahawk; the ref threw a flag on the Seahawk and called the TD back. Oh, right, here's the play; Jeremy Lane was even ejected for it.
On THIS play, don't give me that trite "Second responder gets flagged;" on THIS play, there is no way for a ref to see the very end of it, where Lane was on top with an elbow triangle, and think much about what happened.
Later in the game on 3rd and goal, Russell Wilson threw an Alley Oop to Jimmy Graham in the end zone and two Packers mugged Graham. The NFL head came on and said "I wouldn't wanna take Pete Carroll's call on THAT one tomorrow. That's pass interference." Here's that play, a referee standing two yards away staring at the whole thing, very obviously deciding the play based on jersey color. The NFL head and the announcers ruled out "uncatchability."
Two TD's called back in a 9-17 loss. Shrug.
One thing has interested me the last couple of years: the announcers themselves will remark on one-sided refereeing. They had started remarking about pro-Packer ref'fing even before that call on which a Seahawk was flagged for being face masked. It goes to the broader issue we started with, which is that the league has realized the fans aren't going to do anything about it anyway.
I have a minor question if somebody like Silentpadna wants to take a crack at it. Back in the day, a Steve Rudman or Art Thiel, or a Dr. Zimmerman nationally, woulda taken this on. NOBODY would consider doing so any more, crusading against it. Or maybe I've just spaced out about it. ... why would that be?
He has firmly insisted that --- > since his days at USC, his supervising leagues have rigged game after game after game against him. (In terms of heavy thumbs on the refereeing scales, not in terms of pre-arranging set scores.)
He provides the data, privately and publicly. The reaction? See the first section, "Puzzlement." Fans smile and continue to believe their sport is fair, because they like to believe that.
Here is my major question to the Think Tank. What in the WORLD would the NCAA, the PAC-12, and the NFL have against Pete Carroll? Give me any answer except, "Parity." It goes way beyond that. And Carroll's a whale of a nice guy, especially by NFL standards. He's good for his sport, right? What, does he break code against rival owners or something? What's going on?
It's pretty rare for Dr. D to have absolutely no inkling about this or that sports situation. Like Gene Hackman, he enjoys the sensation. Clear him up, would ya.
SEAHAWKS - NINERS
It says here the Seahawks face a -13.5 point spread, and here's a readable Times article that crowdsources the "spread" question. I imagine they'll cover it, even though it is a Miami vs Grunt State two-TD spread. From my cheap seat, this is the kind of game the NFL won't put any ref'fing thumb on the scale whatsoever. They'll be glad for the Seahawks to stomp the Niners 42-3 and set up the TV games later.
Ah well. Just thought I'd get your takes. :- )