As the end of the 2023 season comes upon us, one has to wonder what the heck is going on in the world of sports and why. Whether it’s cheating, tanking, or load management, major sports associations have major issues they are facing and lots of it has been brought upon by the pro sports leagues themselves.
Read Time:2 Minute, 53 Second
Some incidents of cheating in the past have been sign stealing in MLB, spy gate in the NFL, refs making incorrect calls in the NBA on purpose, and the use of PEDS in most sports. Although the above is immoral, unethical, and outright wrong, at least the teams are doing it to win rather than to purposely lose.
That brings us to the subject of teams purposely trying to lose. Fans across the world pay unbelievable amounts of money to watch or attend NFL games with the expectations and hope of seeing their team prevail. What has happened with the NFL? There are front offices, coaches, and players who try to purposely lose so that they can better their chances at a top draft pick, and the NFL has itself to blame. How foolish can they be by rewarding teams on an annual basis for losing and punishing teams for winning? Currently, the team with the worst record gets the number 1 pick in the draft and the team that wins the Super Bowl gets the 32nd pick. No wonder why teams try to tank. The NFL is encouraging it by not having a better draft system in place.
It has gotten to a point where it is ridiculous to see fans rooting for their teams to lose so that they can get higher draft picks. One may ask, how do we fix this so teams don’t continue to tank? Simply answered, change the draft to a lottery so no one knows during the season who will be picking when. This will also give front offices a better sense of urgency around building their teams now rather than later and put a better product on the field for the fans.
While tanking is completely wrong, so is the load management that is currently going on in the NBA. Sitting NBA millionaires so that they can get rest is absurd. There are so many fans who try to get tickets to watch LeBron James, yet when they get there, how fair is it for them to hear they are resting him? The NBA is entertainment. Fans pay top dollar to see star athletes play and they don’t get their money back if they don’t play. It’s one thing if the athlete is hurt but just to rest. Does the team not pay the athlete for resting a game? Of course not. They pay him to play and bring in fans.
It makes you shake your head when you think about Willis Reed of the NY Knicks limping on the court in 1970, Curt Schilling with the bloody sock in 2006 during game 6, Emmitt Smith leading the Cowboys to victory in 1993 with a dislocated shoulder, or Tiger Woods winning the US Open on a broken leg in 1998. Where has the toughness of the Athlete gone? Load management? Come on
At the end of the day pro sports have no one to blame but themselves for allowing these foolish things to happen and things like this will continue to happen until the actual leagues come up with solutions to prevent it.