All in the game: NFL fixed or legit? (Part VI)

Are you ready for some football?

While most are enjoying their chips and dips, ice cold six packs, and donning the official jersey of their favorite NFL franchise or star player, here at, one shall continue to pose the one pertinent question most fans never seem to consider:

Is the NFL fixed, or is it legitimate?

Yes, it is that time again in America, when a large percentage of the public becomes fixated on the minute details of every play, every pass, even the dramatic human interest story lines developed to maximize the entertainment quotient of the slate of games offered every Sunday, and Monday, and yes, sometimes even Thursday. Because, professional football has displaced baseball as America’s favorite pastime, and Americans just can’t seem to get enough. But, little does the average NFL fan seem to be aware, the games are scripted spectacles, and not, as the prevailing perception would have it, legitimate sporting contests.

Oh, but one doesn’t think conspiracies exist in the NFL?

Well, think again, folks.

Not only do NFL owners conspire with mainstream television network presidents and Las Vegas gaming interests, but this practice isn’t novel. In fact, conspiracies are just business as usual. Truth is, it would be completely surprising if all of these elements did not conspire with one another to ensure profit margins for their stockholders.

The product inventory marketed by the NFL represents the result of perhaps the tightest quality control of all the professional sports leagues. And, with nearly six billion in annual revenues on the line, the league does anything in its legal control to ensure the highest rated teams and the most popular players make it onto American television screens during prime-time viewing hours.

However, what if one were to discover, the games one watches religiously every Sunday afternoon were scripted like a Hollywood movie, or perhaps even a reality television series? What if some of the head coaches, and most famous, and heralded players, to have ever suited up to play the game of professional football, were merely actors operating under pseudonyms, and were not who one thought they were?

Stay tuned folks, for this installment of, may be just as rough to take as if one were to suit themselves up, and step out on the field, to play what is reputedly the most violent professional sport ever conceived by the mind of man. So, tighten your chin straps, and fasten your shoulder pads, because for the average NFL fan encountering this information for the first time, one offers a word of caution before proceeding; this may be rougher than any good old smash mouth football contest ever played.

One would like to accentuate at the outset, the NFL, of all the popular sporting spectacles broadcast on mainstream network television, is perhaps the most consistently entertaining and engaging. Though some may describe it as nothing more than a coordinated ballet of violence, one finds the visceral impact and sheer primal drama of professional football unequaled in the world of sport. One finds the words of the legendary Vince Lombardi, perhaps best describe what truly lies at the heart of the perpetual mass appeal of NFL football:

“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle-victorious.” 

Now that, as they say folks, is football. Would that were indeed true, and the games truly on the level.

In a very real sense, fans enjoy living vicariously through the athletic exploits of their favorite players, perhaps because on some subconscious level, it is realized that the game of football, played at its highest level, is emblematic of life’s daring struggle to survive in the face of epic danger, or even death. In a way, each first down, the spiraling flutter of the ball in the crisp fall air delivered on its way to a receivers hands as he churns downfield, the determined offensive march to the red zone, and finally the victorious plunge through to the goal line, represents a grand triumph of the human will, and perhaps, even a symbolic cheating of death, to eclipse immortality.

Beyond the symbolic and even mythical significance of the sporting contest, however, the NFL is a business, and a very profitable one. Therefore, both NFL franchise owners and league management are entrusted with an inherent fiduciary responsibility to ensure and maintain the game’s more than six billion profit margin.

Does one expect, from the perspective of pure business, the maintenance of such massive profits would be left to the precarious probabilities of coincidental circumstance?

The prevailing response, as responsible businessmen, they certainly would never dream of leaving the profitability of such a valuable business enterprise up to the whim and caprice of mere chance. Employing actors, operating under pseudonyms, whether it be to pose as coaches, or even star players, is the norm rather than the exception, and ensures the consistently profitable delivery and quality entertainment packaging of a valuable commercial product. This state of affairs as business status quo, exists for what would appear to be deceptively simple legal considerations.

In a global economy presided over by Uniform Commercial Code, corporations find it useful to hire front persons to act as straw entities. This method of operation is particularly useful when problems, imbroglios, or controversies erupt surrounding the corporate structure that could inevitably compromise the public image of the firm. The hiring of actors portraying straw characters under pseudonyms allows the real conspirators to shield themselves from accountability.

Therefore, when the stockholders call for a board of directors meeting to address the problem, the straw person, either as CEO, or in the case of the NFL, head coach or general manager, stands before the stockholders and the public to take the heat. It is his head, that will ultimately be delivered in retribution as a solution in addressing the issues at hand. The genuine conspirators, shielded from accountability, remain in the shadows, and business goes on as usual, while the stockholders and the general public remain satisfied that due diligence has been served. The public, and fans of the NFL are never made aware such cosmetically superficial displays are merely performed for the general sake of appearances. This stage managed theatricality extends from the corporate boardroom, right down to the sidelines and field of NFL play, as shall soon be demonstrated.

‘Deliverance’ in Arizona’

What does a popular 1970’s academy award winning Hollywood action and adventure film, and the NFL franchise Arizona Cardinals, possess in common?

The answer: Accomplished Hollywood character actor Ned Beatty.

Go ahead, imbecile trolls, come on over and employ your ridiculous ad hominem attacks. But, just remember folks, though ear bio-metric and voice analysis computer software doesn’t lie, people in general, and the NFL specifically, seem to possess an unsettling propensity to do so with great regularity.

Among the number of varied roles listed on an extensive Hollywood resume starring in Toy Story, All the President’s men, Silver Streak, Network, Superman, and the Exorcist, Beatty is perhaps best known for his role as a male rape victim at the hands of crazed backwoods hillbillies in the 1970’s adventure thriller ‘Deliverance’, that also starred Hollywood luminaries Burt Reynolds, and Jon Voight.

But, Beatty’s most recent acting performance saw him cast in the starring role of Arizona Cardinal’s paint drinking head coach Bruce Arians. That’s right folks, Beatty’s script in the role of Arians called for him to admit he drank paint as a kid, not once, but twice.

Now, folks, is it such a stretch, from knowing a professional football franchise uses actors on the sidelines to portray head coaches, to coming to the realization the games one watches religiously on Sunday afternoons are nothing more than profit generating sporting spectacles with predetermined outcomes and not, as socially conditioned perception would have one believe, or as the NFL advertises, legitimate athletic contests?

Broadway Willie Joe and Mr. Saturday Night Fever

One of Hollywood’s most well-known actors, John Travolta has starred in award winning films Pulp Fiction and most notably Saturday Night Fever. His nimble footwork on the dance floor in the latter film was mostly responsible for beginning the disco dance craze of the late 1970’s. But, unknown to the general public and NFL football fans, Mr. Saturday Night Fever also danced his way across the gridiron, starring as the charismatic NFL quarterback ‘Broadway Joe Namath’.

In addition to the obvious facial recognition elements, voice analysis, personal mannerisms, and equivalence in height and weight serving key roles in making this character match, Travolta’s biography claims his father Salvatore played semi-pro football during his youth, while Namath’s college football mentor, the late and legendary Alabama University head coach Bear Bryant, claimed that Namath was not only the most versatile, but the most physically gifted natural athlete he had ever encountered over his long tenure in college football.

Added to these admittedly circumstantially speculative, but nonetheless empirical set of elements, is the fact Namath, at the close of his abbreviated NFL career in the early 1970’s, went on to compile a rather substantial acting resume, including roles on Broadway summer stock and finally as a cast replacement in the Broadway revival of the Caine Mutiny Court Martial. With that sort of acting resume and athletic prowess, is it really such a stretch to conceive the identical host actor effortlessly portrayed a New York Jets starting quarterback, couldn’t step into the role of Tony Manero with even greater ease?

John Travolta:

Joe Namath:






5 thoughts on “All in the game: NFL fixed or legit? (Part VI)

  1. I have no doubt that you are spot on once again. My only experience with actors in sports is Ed Chiarini’s claim that Dallas Green is actually Michael Greenberg of the Greenberg acting family. Dallas Green was the supposed grandfather of the little girl killed in the Gabby Gifford’s shooting in 2011. When looking at actors I am reluctant to consider sports stars as being actors. Professional sports obviously take years of training and practice combined with a certain amount of natural talent. These things would be hard to imitate. An owner or coach or team manager however, would be easy to replace with an actor. Great essay as usual.

    1. One’s ultimate hope is to make a good enough case, through the raising of reasonable doubt, to convince others of the actor based reality-whether it be professional sports, politics, and other fields of professional human endeavor-enough to stimulate discussion as to how the laws can be changed to prevent the use of pseudonyms in these important and influential professional arenas.

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