Saturday, December 28, 2013

Thank You

Due to time constraints I won't be writing as frequently on this blog so I can focus on other projects but I may be on here from time to time so feel free to continue commenting and sharing. Of course I will continue to watch countless hours of sports and spot those weird drops, missed shots and penalties we all see manipulating our beloved sports games. Thank you all for your continued support and talk to everyone soon.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Are Sports Outcomes Manipulated When Running Short on Television Broadcasting Time?

One of the major topics author Brian Tuohy touches on in his book 'The Fix Is In' is that sports leagues create story lines and manipulate outcomes to bring in higher television ratings to make those multi-billion dollar television rights deals worthwhile.

Similarly I have to wonder if some sporting events are manipulated when time is short on a regular TV channel broadcast. Obviously fans want to see the end of a game or fight but either the broadcast cuts it off short or the outcome dramatically finishes within minutes so they don't go over their expensive schedules. I see this time and time again with fights. Take last Saturday's Fox broadcast of UFC on Fox 9: Johnson vs. Benavidez 2. I was looking at the time before this fight started and noticed the broadcast was about to go way over the scheduled time especially if this fight went the full five rounds which was expected since neither Demetrious Johnson nor Joseph Benavidez had ever been finished and only lost via decisions. Although the TV broadcast still went over it wasn't nearly as bad as it potentially could have been because the unthinkable happened again, Johnson knocked out Benavidez two minutes into the very first round. It looked legit but how do these types of occurrences happen over and over again when broadcasts look like they will go over there allotted times? It would be much easier to pay off a player or fighter to make an error or take a dive to finish things early than to have to pay the almighty television companies hefty fines for going over broadcast times. Just my thoughts for the week.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Final BCS Goes Out with a Bang

With the College Football Playoff set to replace the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) next year they certainly went out with a bang. How many years have we begged to see the two best college football teams play each other for the national championship only to see other teams squeak into the championship game because of the ridiculous BCS computer rankings?

I think the fans, the big television execs and Vegas scored the biggest victories with this final season of the BCS. I believe games are played out for the most part and even more so in college but when things don't go the way of the fixers people step in.

I believe Bowling Green State University and their defense did out play Northern Illinois University but before this game even kicked off I had a strong sense that NIU would most likely lose. NIU was installed as a three point favorite which brought in an astronomical 80-85% on the spread and around 90% on the moneyline for NIU. The line did budge temporarily to 4-4.5 but was bumped back down by the sharps. Sharps or not that is ridiculous that this line was not adjusted accordingly based on percentages. If this game was mixed in with a hundred others on a Saturday and not for a potential BCS spot then it might not have been moved as the action might have been more limited being small schools but being the only game that night on national television with possible BCS considerations I sensed it would not end in a NIU victory let alone a cover. First, a lopsided betting pattern and more important in my mind, the BCS did not want NIU in a BCS game back to back years. NIU had their big shot last year but they are not a nationally known school and won't bring in TV ratings which are the big factors here in sports and the money being generated for the big business of TV, the BCS and conference money sharing.

Although I did not see this game I also had a strong feeling Michigan State would beat Ohio State. This one was for the TV ratings and finally one for the fans. After Auburn pulled off the huge upset of number one Alabama the BCS standings ended up being Florida State (1), Ohio State (2) and Auburn (3) going into the final weekend. People including myself believe and want to see the two best, Florida State and Auburn battle for the national championship. And that is exactly what will happen on January 6, 2014 thanks to Michigan State beating Ohio State for the Big Ten Championship last weekend moving Auburn up to the number two spot in the final BCS rankings. This couldn't have been scripted better.

Sports are manipulated more than people would like to think and it comes right from the top dogs so they can make more money.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Coach Mike Tomlin Becomes Part of the Special Teams Unit

As Charlie Harper once said, "it doesn't matter if you win or lose, it's whether or not you beat the spread." Last week on Turkey day, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin tried helping this cause. With his team down 13-7 in the third quarter Tomlin decided to step in, literally. Baltimore Ravens return man Jacoby Jones was about to run back a touchdown until he had to cut back to avoid Tomlin who was standing on the edge of the field clearly impeding Jones path down the sideline which allowed the Steelers to catch him and bring him down before taking one to the house. Watch the video above and click here for another view. Tomlin has profusely apologized and maintains his innocence for his blunder but others like Ravens Quarterback Joe Flacco believe the incident was intentional. Currently the NFL is investigating the actions of this play before handing down possible punishment towards Tomlin and the Steelers.

Some might say who cares, it didn't have an impact on the game as the Ravens still won 22-20. But in Vegas is had a huge impact on the betting outcome as the Ravens were three point favorites. The Ravens were limited to a field goal on that drive that should have been a touchdown. This would have made the final score 26-20 with the Ravens covering but because of this gaffe the Steelers back doored the three point spread and covered by one point.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

More Monday Night Football Shenanigans

Did anyone catch the ending of the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers game two weeks ago? I had no action other than my confidence pool but I was watching this game with a friend who did take the Patriots on the spread and think he got screwed along with everyone else who took the Patriots.

With just 3 seconds left in the game from the 18 yard line, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady fired one last shot to tight end Rob Gronkowski. The pass was intercepted but the official at the back of the end zone threw a flag for pass interference on Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly who clearly was impeding Gronkowski from turning to make the catch. After officials gathered for a moment they waived off the penalty and called the game over.

The part that makes it even more interesting is that the Panthers were 3 point favorites with more action on the Patriots. Final result, Panthers 24 - Patriots 20. Once again right down to the last play and the side with more action loses. Doesn't anyone notice this happen over and over and over again? Obviously they can't have every game come that close for suspicion but the high number of games that do is completely impossible unless manipulated.

Once again the NFL, ESPN and Vegas clean house.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The NSAC Does it Again at UFC 167

Time and time again the judging of UFC fights by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) appointed judges comes into question. Some fights are scored worse than others but when a major title is on the line like last Saturday at UFC 167 between champion Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks you need to be on your A-game. Watch the video of UFC president Dana White even blasting the NSAC for the recent decision in favor or St-Pierre. Dana is famous for saying, "don't leave it in the hands of judges" to his fighters and for good reason.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Cheating the Spread in College Sports

Many people ask if college sports are fixed as well. If you can gamble on it, you better believe it. There have been multiple point shaving scandals over the years in NCAA sports especially in basketball and football. With the amount of money college programs bring in these days and the corresponding television contracts these schools sign they have every incentive to win, create story lines and bring in high ratings. This is often done through point shaving, ridiculous officiating and more. On the other side of the ball, the athletes themselves are often tempted by bookies and others to point shave to earn a little money on the side or pay off debts since they do not get paid to play. A book called Cheating the Spread: Gamblers, Point Shavers, and Game Fixers in College Football and Basketball by Albert Figone touches on the shady side of college sports and the infamous fix. Pick up a copy and let us know what you think the next time you see a star college player mysteriously start missing easy shots or field goals.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Anyone Else Suspicious of GSP?

I know, innocent until proven guilty but I have to wonder if Georges St-Pierre is on the juice and I am certainly not the first to be suspicious. With just a week to go before his title defense against Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 on November 16th I thought this was a good time to discuss recent red flags. Initially the St-Pierre camp wanted to use an alternate drug testing company, had unusual testing questions and more that even raised the eyebrows of UFC president Dana White. According to sources at both fighters originally agreed to be tested by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), but oddly GSP's attorney asked questions like what they test for and wanted to have predetermined dates for testing. GSP's team then suggested using Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) but the Nevada State Athletic Commission even suggested the use of WADA. On top of that, according to Hendricks manager, Ted Ehrhardt, GSP has a connection with VADA. These are some very suspicious actions and questions from the GSP camp. GSP has passed a few tests already as seen in second picture above that he recently tweeted. People don't normally go out of their way to show they are clean which makes me even more suspicious that GSP is trying to hide something. Although we have to give him the benefit of the doubt, don't forget other sports MVP's have lied to the sporting world before only to be caught later on.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Larceny Games: Sports Gambling, Game Fixing and the FBI

After reading "The Fix Is In" by Brian Tuohy it might be time to pick up his follow up book "Larceny Games: Sports Gambling, Game Fixing and the FBI". His first book had some great points and plenty of examples of "the fix" in sports. If you have ever doubted the outcomes of sporting events then both of these books are must reads. Definitely looking forward to what new information he has to offer. If anyone has already read this please leave me your thoughts in the comment section.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

If At First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again

Anyone else see that crazy new penalty called on the New England Patriots in overtime last Sunday against the New York Jets? Being a contrarian type bettor I went against the public and took the home dog Jets so this outcome was in my favor but still find it odd how the referee's control game after game.

According to one site the Patriots had the most lopsided betting action on them for the whole NFL week with over 70% of the action coming in on them at -3.5 and the percentage even higher for moneyline bettors. Anytime I see these high percentages I usually go opposite or stay away from that game altogether. Seeing this crazy line and percentage I had a feeling I might see a strange outcome. I honestly believe this was a game that was predetermined for the Jets to cover.

Late in the fourth quarter, down three, the Patriots charged down the field and tied up the game with a field goal. Down to the Jets 26 yard line and then Brady throws three straight incomplete passes. I understand his receivers are new but I believe they easily could have scored a touchdown instead of this field goal especially the way they drove down field so efficiently. I think the manipulation was started here. If the Patriots scored a touchdown they would have gone up by 4 which would covered the spread and not given the Jets much time to drive back down field. I was kind of expecting a missed field goal but they didn't and the game went to overtime. The Patriots did nothing with their first drive but the Jets certainly did with the call of a new penalty, an overtime victory and more importantly they won outright and covered the all important spread. After Nick Folk of the Jets missed a 56 yard field goal a strange new penalty was called which gave the Jets a new set of downs and a shorter field goal made on the next attempt by Folk to win the game 30-27. Unsportsmanlike conduct was called on New England defensive tackle Chris Jones but this was actually part of a new rule. Rule 9-1-3 says, "Team B players cannot push teammates on the line of scrimmage into the offensive formation." Coach Belichick of the Patriots went ballistic and sports new sources around the country were looking for explanations as well. Click here for the best explanation but in my opinion this was just another manipulated game that should have ended earlier. Thanks to the referees the team that is supposed to win will eventually get there even if they have to try, try again. Controversial as sports sources call it or was it just plain fixed?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

80-Year-Old Weightlifter Busted for Steroids

According to news outlets like the Associated Press and Fox Sports, 80-year-old weightlifter Don Ramos has recently been suspended for two years by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for testing positive for steroids. Ramos tested positive in June while attempting an age group world record at the Pan American Masters Weightlifting Championships. While most people suspect the young for steroid use this just goes to show the elderly use as well. When it comes to competitions and unfair advantages age does not matter.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

El Salvador Bans 14 Soccer Players for Life for Match Fixing

In a follow up to our feature about El Salvador investigating national Soccer players for match fixing they have now handed down lifetime bans on 14 current and former national team players with several others receiving suspensions from one to eighteen months while even more players are still being investigated according to multiple new sources including

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Ray Lewis & Terrell Suggs Say Blackout was Conspiracy Against Ravens

The power outage of Super Bowl XLVII has been making news again but this time from Baltimore Ravens players Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs.

Last month Ray Lewis told NFL Films' that he believes the lights went out as a conspiracy against the Ravens according to Nate Davis of USA Today. Lewis also said, "I'm not gonna accuse nobody of nothing because I don't know know facts. But you're a zillion dollar company, and your lights go out? No. No way. But you cannot tell me somebody wasn't sitting there and when they say, 'The Ravens are about to blow them out. Man, we better do something.' That's a huge shift in any game, in all seriousness. And as you see how huge it was because it let them right back in the game."

Earlier this week Terrell Suggs went even further to say Commission Roger Goodell was behind this. Suggs told ESPN, "I was like Vegas, parlor tricks, you know what I mean? I was like, ahh, Roger Goodell, he never stops, he always has something up his sleeve. He just couldn't let us have this one in a landslide, huh? I thought he had a hand in it. Most definitely, he had a hand in it."

To revisit what happen, the Baltimore Ravens were leading 28-6 early in the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVII when the power outage occurred. Once the power and game resumed the San Francisco 49ers then rattled off 17 points but Baltimore ultimately ended up winning 34-31 after a late drive by the 49ers failed. Just to note the Ravens were 4.5 dogs the total was 47.5 so the outcome of the sides would not have changed unless San Francisco put up two additional scores. Regardless, any time stoppage can change momentum in a team for the better or worse and you have to wonder how could this happen during the biggest game of the year? Did Roger Goodell have some hand in this to keep the game interesting by having a close finish? Pretty damning stories when two top players are making these accusations.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

NASCAR Chase Adds 13th Spot

Anyone notice a 13th spot in this years NASCAR Chase? All major news outlets including Yahoo Sports picked up on this debacle a couple of weeks ago.

It all began at the last pre-Chase race in Richmond on September 7th. With six laps to go both current leader Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon were in place to clinch spots in the Chase with Newman ready to claim a wild card spot and Gordon ready to claim the 10th guaranteed spot. On this lap Clint Boyer spun out, many of whom called this spin intentional which we will get to in a second. On the restart Newman lost the lead and his wild card spot in the Chase to Martin Truex Jr. and Jeff Gordan lost enough spots to turn over his tenth guaranteed position in the Chase to Joey Logano. This one spin out and resulting restart took out Newman and Gordon from the Chase and ultimately replaced them with Truex and Logano. We often see NASCAR race finishes full of wrecks as drivers go all out to win races but this one car spin out caused quite a controversy that was just beginning.

First, Truex was penalized which ultimately dropped him from the Chase and allowed Newman back in however Boyer was never mentioned or penalized probably because he did not qualify for the Chase anyways. Second and the most damning news I have read from multiple sources was that radio communications between Front Row Motorsports and Penske Motorsports spoke of fixing race positioning to allow Logano to move up and make the Chase. Last but not least NASCAR then announced they would add a 13th spot to the Chase for Gordan after what had just unfolded in the days prior.

Talk about a dirty and fixed sport when you have the governing body making these changes and the drivers and owners making deals to manipulate spots via spin outs and more. Live reporters never inquire about fixes but check out the video above for more insight and how big this mess became.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Taking a Dive in the NFL

Although we already know NFL teams and their players do this, a couple of weeks ago former Chicago Bears player Brian Urlacher admitted that NFL defenses including the Bears would occasionally fake injuries to slow fast-paced offenses. Shortly after this admission the NFL sent a reminder notice to all 32 teams to remind them that faking injuries can warrant disciplinary action. I think the NFL and its fans will now be scrutinizing injured players a little more than before. Momentum in sports can change in the blink of an eye and may ultimately change the course of game.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Did Bobby Riggs Throw the Battle of the Sexes Tennis Match?

Forty years later multiple news sources including Yahoo Sports have found new information that the 'Battle of the Sexes' tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Bill Jean King was fixed. This historic match between 55-year-old tennis star and former champion Bobby Riggs and then 29-year-old phenom Bill Jean King would settle the bragging rights for the gender that won however it might have been a sham all along.

Riggs was known as a hustler in his early days often losing early matches on purpose to then come back and beat his opponents handily. As years went by he became associated with those that had Mafia ties. Because of his past and associations, London betting parlors didn't take action on this match.

Earlier that year Riggs already easily beat the number one female tennis player so how could he possibly lose to King, the current number two female tennis player? Odds makers installed Riggs as the favorite and according to most very few put any money on King. Of course the unthinkable happened and King defeated Riggs in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 and 6-3.

Forty years later a golf pro in Tampa by the name of Hal Shaw has come forward with new information on this questionable match. Fearing retribution Shaw kept his secret until now and decided to finally set the record straight. According to Jay Busbee at Yahoo Sports, "Shaw recently told ESPN's Outside the Lines that he heard several notable Mafia figures, including Santo Trafficante Jr. and Carlos Marcello, discussing how Riggs would throw the match in order to pay off more than $100,000 in gambling debts."

Many questioned this match as it unfolded and maybe the truth has finally been revealed, it was fixed.    

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Ladies of MMA on the Juice Too

MMA fighters often claim high usage rates of steroids, PED's, TRT usage and more among their fellow fighters which I wouldn't be surprised about being such a physical sport. What does surprise me is the number of female fighters doing the same. Carina Damm has recently been linked to this seedy side of the sport for a second time. Damm was the first female MMA fighter to be suspended in the United States for steroid use after testing positive for Nandrolone back in 2008. Just recently she submitted a pre-fight urine sample that was found to be some other substance than urine for her bout this past June against Jessica Eye which she lost via unanimous decision. Damm was fined $550 and suspended six months by the Ohio State Athletic Commission. Just like her last suspension, Damm went back to fight in her native Brazil who seem to have lax testing standards and do not have to honor suspensions from other countries. With Cris Cyborg and Carina Damm found guilty and several female fighters drawing suspicion I wonder how rampant steroid and PED usage is in Women's MMA?

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Pit Crew Helps IndyCar Driver Win Race

Last Sunday at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma the IndyCar team of Will Power found themselves involved in some questionable tactics. Driver Scott Dixon came in for a pit stop followed by driver Will Power whose pit box was directly in front of Dixon's. Upon exiting his pit box Dixon clipped Travis Law, a crew member from Will Power's team. These accidents do happen from time to time but after a closer look it appeared that Law didn't even bother to avoid Dixon's car, was in no rush at all and clearly left the tire he was holding hanging out as if trying to make Dixon swing out farther. Once the replays were shown you can here the announcers make the same conclusion and also state that this should not be blamed on Dixon. Why is this being scrutinized so much? If Dixon had won the race (lead lap numbers 34-45 of 85 total) he quite possibly could have taken the series point lead but instead is now sitting 39 points behind the leader. At the time of this incident Dixon was leading the race but was give a drive-through penalty which dropped him to 21st place and ultimately finished 15th. Instead, Power ended up taking the checkered flag at Sonoma. Check out the video and let us know what you think.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

El Salvador Soccer Match Fixing

A couple of days ago El Salvador became the latest country embroiled in a soccer match fixing controversy. The countries soccer federation has suspended 22 national team players as they investigate the matches listed below. Raids took place at the homes of 11 players that included seizures of cell phones, tablets, computers and more. Rumors are that prosecutors do have substantial evidence including money laundering. Federation president Carlos Mendez Cabezas stated that El Salvador will not play games until complaints of these matches are resolved.

  • 2-1 loss to the United States in February 2010
  • 1-0 loss to D.C. United in July 2010
  • 5-0 loss to Mexico in July 2011
  • 4-1 loss to Paraguay in February 2012

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Nigerian Soccer Players and Officials Banned for Life

Several weeks ago two Nigerian amateur soccer teams were vying for one spot in the professional ranks. In the last game of the season, both The Plateau United Feeders and the Police Machine teams both playing at the same time needed to win and edge the other in goal differential to be promoted. Unfortunately players from both these teams, both their opponents and the officials allowed a free for all of goal scoring. The Police Machine ended up winning 67-0 and the Feeders topped that with a win of 79-0. Obviously suspicious and fixed, the Nigeria Football Federation banned players from all four teams and the match officials for life and the four clubs were suspended for ten years. Hope they enjoyed a lifetime of goals in that one day since they will never score another.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

MLB Suspends those Players Involved with Biogenesis

Earlier this week Major League Baseball handed down suspensions as expected to those players involved with performance enhancing drugs (PED) and the Biogenesis company. Some names bigger than others and some will have additional consequences as their teams with be without them during the playoff race. The biggest name, Alex Rodriguez will continue to play while he appeals his suspension. I personally don't think that he should be allowed to play with the playoff race going on and his affect on that. Can sports really keep ahead of the PED game? This is a major statement from MLB but this has been going on for how many years now? Who know how many players are truly on the juice and other pharmaceutical goodies.

Suspensions due to Biogenesis:

-Alex Rodriguez - 211 games
-Cesar Carrillo - 100 games already served
-Ryan Braun - 65 games
-Antonio Bastardo - 50 games
-Everth Cabrera - 50 games
-Francisco Cervelli - 50 games
-Nelson Cruz - 50 games
-Fautino De Los Santos - 50 games
-Sergio Escalona - 50 games
-Fernando Martinez - 50 games
-Jesus Montero - 50 games
-Jordan Norberto - 50 games
-Jhonny Peralta - 50 games
-Cesar Puello - 50 games
-Jordany Valdespin - 50 games
-Melky Cabrera - 50 games already served
-Bartolo Colon - 50 games already served
-Yasmani Grandal - 50 games already served

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Biogenesis Scandal Expands to Other Major Sports

Biogenesis, the Miami anti-aging clinic tied to performance enhancing drug (PED) use by baseball players has wider list of professional athletes tied to them than first believed. Initially thought to be tied to just MLB players, now reports from SB Nation and others are linking NBA, MMA, boxing and tennis players. Former Biogenesis employee Porter Fischer divulged the information about the companies owner Tony Bosch and who they provided PED's to in an interview with ESPN's "Outside the Lines". Ryan Braun in baseball has already accepted a season ending 65 game suspension from MLB. So who will be next and from which sport?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Track and Field Stars Fail Drug Tests

It was recently reported that several top track and field super stars had recently failed drug tests for banned substances. Two of the fastest men in the world in the 100m, Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell along with 4x100m relay sprinter Sherone Simpson and Women's discus thrower Allison Randall all recently failed drug tests. This is starting to sound like the cycling world all over again. Knowingly or not a professional athlete has to be extremely careful in what they take and eat. Next month's World Championships 100m and 200m events won't be the same without Gay and Powell.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Was the Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman Fight Fixed?

Two weekends ago we saw one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time Anderson Silva get upset via TKO by Chris Weidman in the second round of their UFC 162 middleweight title fight. I have never heard so many people call a fight fixed before but I honestly don't think this one was or at least it wasn't supposed to go down with an early TKO. Some say Silva was bored with fighting, some said he wanted to spend more time with family and yet others even claimed a secret meeting before the fight where the belt was bought from Silva in exchange for $1M. Silva was horsing around like he usually does and eventually he would get caught like this. Quite a few people predicted the upset which had Silva as a 2 to 1 favorite and highly doubt that many people would have insider knowledge of such a fix if it were truly fixed. Click here and listen to the end of this pre-fight interview in which Silva predicts Weidman as champ which does make me at least question this fight. UFC president Dana White quickly rebutted these accusations in several interviews that can be read here and viewed here. So what do you think? Was it fixed?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Former University of Miami Booster Claims Insider Information from Football Coaches

Former University of Miami booster Nevin Shapiro is making some noise from behind bars. Throughout the 2000's Shapiro was providing monetary handouts to football players at the University of Miami which led to several suspensions and an NCAA investigation. These days Shapiro is spending his time behind bars for his part in a $930 million Ponzi scheme. Recently Shapiro made news again with his new claims to Sports Illustrated that he used insider information from Hurricanes football coaches, staff and players which he used to profit off of Miami football games. This should be an interesting story to follow to see if other allegations, suspensions or penalties are enforced by the NCAA.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Brian Bowles Fails Post Fight Drug Test

Brian Bowles is one of the most recent MMA fighters to fail a post fight drug test. Bowles failed his UFC 160 post fight drug test due to elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone levels. The official limit set by the Nevada State Athletic Commission is a ratio of 6-to-1 but Bowles came in more than 20-to-1. Bowles has been temporarily suspended and has the right to appeal. If upheld he could be fined and suspended. Bowles did lose this fight via TKO in the second round.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Mark Cuban to Fund Basketball Flopping Study

We have all seen it countless times in the NBA when a player is barely touched and sometimes not touched at all flop to the floor to entice a foul call from referees. Although I believe the players and referees are both responsible for this act and often times these extra phantom calls have an impact on the final score of a game or even the point spread. Well now Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is funding a $100,000 bio mechanics study on flopping in basketball. Southern Methodist University (SMU) will carry out the 18-month long study to determine if video and other records can differentiate between a true collision or if it was a flop. Former NBA coach and current analyst Stan Van Gundy recently said the NBA could end flopping and stated in the June 10, 2013 issue of Sports Illustrated, "If left to their own, veteran referees would simply quit giving those guys calls even if they did get fouled....The problem is the league wants the foul called." And what purpose would the league want with ridiculous foul calls that slow up the action other than control of the game. Control that could potentially fix outcomes. Although we will have to wait another 18 months, this study should bring to light some interesting findings. I think Soccer should do a similar study if the findings are worthwhile.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Are Major Sponsors in on the Fix too?

I am a little early with my weekly feature this week but this news just dropped today and ties into the NBA finals going on now which could be closed out tonight with a win by the San Antonio Spurs. CBS Sports found some interesting news about Nike, the Miami Heat and the 2012-2013 NBA champions. Apparently Nike has already crowned the Miami Heat 2012-2013 NBA champions even though they are down three games to two going into game six tonight. Pictures released by show the new low-top LeBron X shoes have inscribed '2-Time Champion' inside one shoe and '11-12, 12-13' inside the other shoe. So what happens if the Spurs win? Would Nike really waste all that money on pre-production or a possible recall? It's not like those cheap championship shirts and hats that get printed for both finalists of major sports, these are expensive basketball shoes that can be produced anytime after the finals are over. So back to my title, are major sponsors in on the fix too and know the outcomes of major sporting events? Let's go Spurs!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Should TRT be Allowed for Combat Sports Athletes?

Testosterone Replacement Treatment (TRT) has been a hot topic in combat sports over the last couple of years and recently resurfaced again in MMA news. If doctors find it is necessary for a variety of reasons and closely monitored then it is currently legal via exemption but many believe this is cheating and creates an unfair advantage for the athlete using TRT. Most recently in the news was Vitor Belfort who uses TRT and his impressive physique and amazing spinning heel kick knockout of Luke Rockhold at UFC on FX 8 on May 18th in Brazil. Belfort looked like he had been in his best shape in quite a few years and being 36 in the fight game some had to ponder the effects of his TRT use. Click here to read a recent interview by Fighters Only Magazine with Marcio Tannure, the medical director of the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission and the UFC in Brazil who authorized Vitor Belfort's TRT. What do you think, should combat sports athletes be allowed to use TRT if deemed ok by a doctor and commission representative?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Final Four NHL Teams Coincidence or Fixed?

Did anyone else notice that the final four NHL teams vying for the 2013 Stanley Cup are also the last four teams to win the cup? The past four winners were the Los Angeles Kings in 2012, the Boston Bruins in 2011, the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 and the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009. True, these are some of the top and favored teams from the start but is this a strange coincidence or was this manipulated to keep ratings up after a lockout shortened season? The previous lockout cancelled the full 2004-2005 season and it was disastrous for the NHL. A similar disaster was averted even though the season was shortened but good news for the NHL, Playoff ratings are up.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Former Tennis Star Jimmy Connors Wagered on Himself to Win Wimbledon

Former Tennis star Jimmy Connors released his memoir 'The Outsider' last week which touches on his roller coaster career in Tennis and his personal life. Some interesting topics that are touched on is Connors competitiveness along with his gambling habits. He stated that he placed big wagers on himself to win Wimbledon at a London betting house. This is oddly familiar territory like Pete Rose and baseball. I have not read this book yet or know if this is answered in the book so questions remain if he bet on Tennis often, was he always betting on himself and was he always betting on himself to win? Will we see the International Tennis Federation take any action even though Connors is already in the International Tennis Hall of Fame or will history be left in the past?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Was the 2013 Preakness Horse Race Fixed?

Was the 2013 Preakness horse race last weekend fixed? I am not saying it was or wasn't but it sure seems like one of those events you need to question. Orb, the clear favorite went off at final odds of 3-5 with the next closest horse Itsmyluckyday went off at 8-1. I can't recall hearing so many experts and casual gamblers alike all taking the same horse in one race. I don't have numbers to support this but it sure seems like everyone and their mom's were taking Orb in this race with very little action on other horses to win. The Preakness host Pimlico and OTB's worldwide cleaned house on this one race, so much so that I have to question it. Sure, a horse or jockey can have an off day or race but this favorite should have moved towards the end. Orb was stuck in the middle for a little but had time to make it's move and never did in a race that only featured nine horses compared to the 19 that ran in the Kentucky Derby that Orb had no problem winning. Something seems fishy to me about the race. No, I did not have any action on this race but I almost went to the OTB and glad I ultimately did not.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Boxer Dillian Whyte Suspended for Two Years

This news is a little late but boxer Dillian Whyte was recently suspended for two years after testing positive for the banned substance methylhexaneamine (MHA). MHA is classified as a stimulant but has been questioned if it should truly be considered a performance enhancing drug or not as it's effectiveness would be minimal if any. It very well could be ingested from certain food supplements and possibly energy drinks. Whyte says he ingested this while using the supplement Jack3D. He appealed the suspension but it was upheld to emphasize to other athletes the dangers of taking MHA. Advantage or not athletes should steer clear of things like this and keep clean.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Is Clay Buchholz Doctoring Baseballs?

On May first Clay Buchholz and the Boston Red Sox dominated the Toronto Blue Jays 10-1 behind Buchholz's seven shutout innings striking out eight and only allowing two hits. The scoreboard crew in Toronto noticed something funny from the video footage, it appeared that Buchholz may have had some sort of substance on his left forearm that he would swipe with two of his fingers. Although the Blue Jays did not accuse Buchholz of cheating and no one approached him during the game, Blue Jays broadcaster and former pitcher Jack Morris definitely believes he was cheating and also throwing spitballs. It very well could have been sweat and rosin but who knows. Buchholz is putting up crazy statistics so far this season going 6-0 with a 1.01 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings over his first six starts. Whether he was doctoring baseballs or not he will certainly be scrutinized from here on out.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

NFL Linebacker Larry Grant Suspened Four Games for PED Use

Unrestriced free agent linebacker Larry Grant was recently suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season for violating NFL policies on performance-enhancing drugs. If signed by a new team he can participate in off season practices and preseason games. Teams will still need someone to fill his void for four games so may pass on him with other veterans or newly drafter players. Bad timing for Mr. Grant and shows you why you shouldn't bother with these things in the first place.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

NASCAR Penalizes Team Penske

Just before the start of the NRA 500 on April 13th at the Texas Motor Speedway Team Penske was penalized for rear-end housings that failed pre-race inspection. NASCAR requires all suspension systems and parts to be pre-approved prior to being used in competition. Because these parts were not pre-approved they were confiscated by NASCAR, Penske drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano were stripped of 25 points, both crew chiefs fined $100k and suspended for six races and several other team members were also suspended for six weeks. Penske Racing does plan to appeal these penalties.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Lebanese Soccer Referees Received Sexual Services to fix a Match

Lebanese soccer referees Ali Sabbagh, Ali Eid and Abdallah Taleb were recently charged with receiving free sexual services to fix an Asian Football Confederation Cup match in Singapore. These are high level officials who have worked games for the Asian Football Confederation, Lebanese top league and matches between national teams. Sounds like the referees received the red card this time for their violations.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

UFC Legend Don Frye Alleges Brock Lesnar Fights were Fixed

UFC legend Don Frye alleges that both Randy Couture and Frank Mir threw their fights with former UFC champion Brock Lesnar. He claims the UFC hand fed Lesnar easy fights, pumped him up and then fixed his big fights. Lesnar is a wrestler with the WWE so he has that type of background and the UFC did make a boatload of money off him. Check out the second half of the video to hear Don's claims.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Former Cyclist Grischa Niermann Suspended for Doping

Recently former German cyclist Grischa Niermann came forward to admit his use of EPO from 2000-2003. Niermann came forward to admit his doping past to help fight for a clean sport and educate younger riders of his negative experiences. Although a coach now Niermann still received a reduced six month suspension that started on February 15th. Are any top level cyclists clean these days?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

MMA Fighter Lavar Johnson Fails UFC 157 Post-Fight Drug Test

UFC fighter Lavar Johnson failed his UFC 157 post-fight drug test according to the California State Athletic Commission. Johnson failed due to elevated testosterone levels which was confirmed by a secondary carbon isotope ratio test and was consistent with steroid use. This doesn't bode well for his future in the UFC who recently released him.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Canadian Loophole for Georges St-Pierre?

The norm for MMA fights is to allow a one pound allowance at their official weigh-in except for title fights where both fighters must be the exact weight or below. A recently leaked video shows the UFC's Senior VP of Business and Legal Affairs and Assistant General Counsel, Michael Mersh, state to Nick Diaz and camp ten minutes before weigh-in that they will allow a 0.9 lb weigh-in allowance at UFC 158. He goes on to say that 170.9 will still count as 170 even. They question why they were not told before with no solid answer. Was Georges St-Pierre slightly overweight prior to his UFC 158 weigh-in? With such a highly anticipated fight was the UFC giving special treatment to one of their biggest stars and to keep the fight a title fight? Nick Diaz did weigh in at 169 while Georges St-Pierre weighed in at 170. Was St-Pierre truly at 170 or higher? He always does appear to be bigger and roided out for his fights. Hopefully this video does not get deleted.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Red Sox Suggested PED Use to Curt Schilling

Several weeks ago former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling told ESPN radio that former members of the Red Sox organization suggested the use of performance enhancing drugs to lengthen his career. The conversation was in the clubhouse in earshot of several people so obviously nothing to hide from others and common place in that clubhouse at the time. I don't doubt that PED use was rampant in MLB and probably still is.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Question of Transgender Athletes

If you are a MMA fan you might have heard the news over the past few days of the first transgender fighter Fallon Fox. Fox is a professional fighter with a 5-0 record with all fights coming to a stop in the first round. News broke of Fox's gender change days after her last victory at Championship Fight Alliance. Fox born a man underwent gender reassignment surgery along with supplemental hormone therapy over six years ago. Currently the International Olympic Committee sides with the new gender after two years of hormone replacement therapy. The MMA world is buzzing and both sides are making their opinions heard. Curious what our readers think, should Fallon Fox be allowed to compete in MMA against other women or does she have any advantages?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

MLB Investigating More PED Usage

Major League Baseball is currently investigating more performance enhancing drug (PED) usage among it's current players. This time they are seeking the records of Biogenesis Anti-Aging Clinic founder Tony Bosch who has a notebook of PED plans for baseball players including Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Melky Cabrera, Nelson, Cruz, Gio Gonzalez and other players over the last three years. No surprise here but will monitor this story to see who they officially link to this and the consequences they hand down.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

NASCAR's Answer to Ratings Drop

How do you fix the lowest TV ratings in five years for NASCAR? Have one of it's most popular and only current female driver Danica Patrick win the pole for tomorrow's Daytona 500. Not saying this is outright fixed but has to be suspicious. Fox Sports, NASCAR, all the sponsors and everyone else involved just hit it big. That is a monumental amount of extra income that will be generated from this one event. Suspicious because Patrick has yet to win a race in NASCAR, it's her first full season in Sprint Cup and she is still adjusting to this type of car and now she wins the pole of the most coveted race of the year to kick off the season. Of note to futures bettors, the line on Patrick to win the Daytona 500 has now dropped from 125-1 to 22-1.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Widespread Match Fixing in Soccer

Europol recently announced their findings in a global betting scam run from Singapore that fixed hundreds of soccer matches back to 2008. Approximately 680 suspicious matches including World Cup and European championships qualifying games and the Champions League games were found to have turned up close to the equivalent of $11 million in profits and $2.7 million in bribes. Investigators found 425 participants from 15 countries including players, match officials, club officials and criminals were involved.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Did Bill Callahan Throw Super Bowl XXXVII?

Former Oakland Raiders players Tim Brown and Jerry Rice say coach Bill Callahan threw the Super Bowl game in 2003 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers which they lost 48-21. They claim Callahan disliked his team and players and was content to let his old boss, then-Bucs coach John Gruden, beat him. Callahan surprised players by changing the offensive game plan just three days before the Super Bowl which is just unheard of at this level. In previous seasons players did not support or trust Callahan. Callahan has since denied these allegations and outraged by them. Not very often you hear players accuse coaches of sabotage so hopefully this is further investigated and exposed if true.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

They Call it the Super Bowl for a Reason

My yearly rant about this game is back. They call it the Super Bowl because Vegas and online sports books along with the bookies make a SUPER killing. Vegas sports books have profited off this game 20 out of the last 22 years with losses of $2.57M and $397K in those two losing years. Sure, all those ridiculous prop bets add to the take but how can anyone profit that many years without some sort of fixed result to ensure profitability? Maybe the sports books should be the one's raising the Lombardi trophy each year. Happy betting and enjoy the Super Bowl.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lance Armstong Finally Confesses

Cyclist Lance Armstong finally confessed to blood doping and his use of performance enhancing drugs last week on the Oprah Winfrew show. If you missed the exclusive interview click here to see his confessions of guilt. From hero to zero, what a shame.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hall of Shame

Not one Major League Baseball player received enough votes on the 2013 MLB Hall of Fame ballot to be inducted. Steroid linked players Roger Clemens (37.6%), Barry Bonds (36.2%), Mark McGwire (16.9%), Sammy Sosa (12.5%) and Rafael Palmeiro (8.8%) were all well short of the 75% of votes needed to be enshrined. Did MLB voters make the right decision or risk being called the Hall of Shame? I see both sides of the argument and will leave that up to the public. I am still waiting for Pete Rose to be reinstated for eligibility but that doesn't look like it will ever happen.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Lance Armstrong Might Admit to Doping

Cyclist Lance Armstrong is reportedly going to make a public admission that he used performance enhancing drugs and blood transfusions during his career. The New York Times reported Armstrong had been in contact with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. If Armstrong does come forward with this confession he is doing this to restore his eligibility for his sporting pursuits. To me it sounds like he could care less that he cheated or disappointed fans and just cares about himself.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Leonard Garcia Robbed of Victory at UFC 155

Did the Nevada State Athletic Commission institute its own form of karma for past ridiculous decisions for MMA fighter Leonard Garcia? Garcia has seen some crazy decisions in recent years fall his way but this past Saturday he clearly was the victor against Max Holloway at UFC 155 but ended up losing on the judges score cards via a split decision. Fixed karma?

Also on the card was a horrible score from judge Adelaide Byrd who scored the fight between Jamie Varner and Melvin Guillard as 30-27 in favor of Guillard. Varner clearly won this fight and did get the split decision nod but this score in particular lit a fire under UFC president Dana White when he went off at the post fight presser saying, "It's unbelievable. 30-27 for Guillard? Crazy, right? You could never watch a fight in you f---in' life and not score that 30-27." If you're sick of seeing these clowns from the Nevada State Athletic Commission ruining MMA judging please contact them via the contact information at the bottom of their website.