DISCLAIMER: I’M ABSOLUTELY NOT MAKING ANY CLAIMS ABOUT COOG ATHLETES, AAC REFS, OR ANYONE ELSE; I’M POSTING ABOUT AN INTERESTING, EYE-OPENING BOOK
A while back, someone on this board mentioned “The Fix is In” by Brian Tuohy as a good book on how pro sports aren’t always what they seem. I found a used copy for a few bucks and it’s a good read.
The subtitle of the book is Tuohy’s thesis about pro sports: “The Showbiz Manipulations of the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and NASCAR”. He gives pages & pages of examples of unexpected or unusual outcomes in pro sports that seem to help the leagues keep fans excited, enthusiastic, and coming back for more. Tuohy writes that Joe Namath recalls “I was upset because something had been written… about me… and (Jets owner) Mrs. Werblin just chuckled and said ‘Joseph, it’s show business’… and that’s stayed with me ever since.”
For example, in NASCAR, Tuohy cites the surprising number of times that the Lowe’s sponsored car wins at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Another NASCAR example is how in 2004, Pepsi had a promo for their new Pepsi Edge cola – if the Pepsi car won the Pepsi 400, everyone in the US got a free 2-liter bottle of Pepsi Edge. Well wouldn’t you know, Jeff Gordon’s Pepsi car won.
He also shows how gambling, point shaving, & game fixing have been a problem in pro sports from the 1800s through the publication of the book in 2010. Tuohy’s list of athletes’ & officials’ gambling, rumored point shaving, and outright fixes starts on p.78 and goes through p.131 where he discusses 13-year NBA ref Tim Donaghy being busted by the FBI for giving gamblers tips on NBA games that led to an 80% winning bet rate. That’s an incentive!