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Rigged Games: 9 Times the World of Sports Fooled Us… Allegedly!

Can rigged games REALLY be possible in professional sports?

Today, Mind Bending Facts is diving deep into the world of sports, where the line between fair and foul play apparently blurs. We’ve uncovered some gripping tales of alleged manipulation that have rocked sports.

From shocking scandals to eyebrow-raising controversies, these reports shed light on the darker side of competition. Sometimes, the lure of victory can lead to deception, leaving fans questioning the integrity of their beloved games.

So we’ve decided to uncover 9 instances where outcomes could have been orchestrated behind the scenes, challenging our perceptions of fairness and honesty in our favorite sports.

Keep reading about the alleged rigged games as we find the hidden truths beneath the surface of competition.

Rigged Game
Photo by Praiwan Wasanruk at Shutterstock

Rigged Game: Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston II in 1965

The first fight that took place between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston was one of the most anticipated boxing matches of all time. It culminated in a controversial technical knockout when Liston didn’t answer the bell for the seventh round.

Fans instantly claimed that the fix was in, but the rematch encountered even more controversy. Ali knocked out Liston in the first round before people could even get to their seats, with what many call a “phantom punch.”

To this day, many boxing historians claim that Ali never landed that right-hand punch on Liston and that it was fixed from the get-go.

Rigged Game: The 2001 Pepsi 400

At the 2001 Daytona 500, the racing world was shaken when Dale Earnhardt, Sr. crashed his number 3 car into the wall and lost his life. NASCAR has 2 races each season at Daytona International Speedway, and the first one after Earnhardt’s passing was the 2001 Pepsi 400.

When the race occurred, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. hadn’t won in over a year, but it appeared to be his day as he led 116 total laps out of 160. Junior falls back in the pack but recovers the lead with 5 laps left.

He would win the inspirational race at the track where his father died just months before, leading to claims that it was fixed from a viewership and an emotional standpoint.

Rigged Game: Super Bowl III in 1969

In the first two Super Bowl games, the NFL Champion Green Bay Packers effortlessly defeated the AFL Champion Kansas City Chiefs and then the Oakland Raiders.

A 3rd straight blowout was anticipated when the Baltimore Colts took on Joe Namath and the New York Jets, a game Namath ensured the Jets would win. The Colts were serious favorites with a 13-1 record and scored under 20 points just once all season.

In Super Bowl III, they scored a mere seven points, leading people to believe that the Colts were paid off and not to put forth any real effort to help make the AFL look legitimate and generate more league unity.

The impact has resulted in a massively profitable league with 32 teams on equal playing fields. So what do YOU think about this? Was it a rigged game?

Rigged Game: The 2002 Olympics Figure Skating Competition

Even though there isn’t that much money rolling in Sin City when it comes to Olympic figure skating, that doesn’t mean the sport can’t be as shady as any other on our list.

In 2002, the Canadians David Pelletier and Jamie Sale did so well that the announcers deemed them the winners as soon as their turn was over.

However, the presentation was the more influential part of the scoring, and they needed to receive a higher score to top Anton Sikharulidze and Elena Berezhnaya of Russia.

French judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne revealed in private that she permitted the Russians to have a better score in return for a higher French score from the Russians in a later tournament during the games.

When confronted about the situation in public, Le Gougne rejected these claims.

Rigged Game
Photo by Alyt Mambo at Shutterstock

Rigged Game: The 1972 Olympic Basketball Finals

Going into the 1972 Olympic Men’s Basketball Tournament finals, the US team had a record at the games of 63-0 and were taking on the Soviet Union for the gold medal in Munich. The Soviets won most of the game, but our country made a comeback to make it 48-49.

Doug Collins then went to the line after a foul to attempt and take the lead, making the first to tie it. A horn went off during his second attempt, but Collins still made it in.

Later, the Soviets were supposed to inbound the live ball and weren’t penalized by their coach charging to the scorers. The Soviets were given three chances to inbound the ball, and on the final shot, they made a layup to win.

Rigged Game: Super Bowl XL in 2006

Super Bowl XL had the honor of being played in Detroit, which happened to be the hometown of Jerome Bettis, Pittsburgh’s running back. That was pretty much the only exhilarating storyline about this whole endeavor.

Many football fans think the league used the officiating crew to make the homecoming championship end The Bus’s career come true.

The Seahawks were flagged numerous times on questionable game-breaking calls, and their offense was never able to push through, losing the game 21-10.

Many years later, official Bill Leavy stated that he and his crew messed up, but he claimed it was because they didn’t fully comprehend the rules.

Rigged Game: Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley I in 2012

Before that monumental fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, fans had to settle for a match between Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley. In 2012, the two went head to head in Las Vegas, and it seemed like Pacquiao had gotten the best of Bradley.

Those who were unofficially scoring the fight even gave Pacquiao a convincing win. However, the judges scored it as a split decision, with Bradley winning.

The theory about why it was rigged is that both boxers were represented by TopRank, who allegedly paid off the officials to make it a split decision so that they could get their rematch.

They got two more matches out of it, and Pacquiao won in 2014 and once again in 2016… all by unanimous decision, no less!

Rigged Game: 2006 NBA Finals Game 5

Very seldom does a single player on one team shoot as many free throws as the opposing team, especially in the postseason.

But that’s precisely what happened in the 2006 NBA Finals during game five when Dwyane Wade went 21-for-25 from the free throw line, the same line the Dallas Mavericks team had.

Dallas won 8 more games throughout the regular season, beat the Heat both times in the regular season, and then won the first 2 games of the 2006 Finals. The tide turned, though, when Miami won a tight third game and then game 4 by a broad margin.

The arguable fouls on Wade led the Heat to a 3rd straight win in the series, which they would eventually win. Experts, including Mark Cuban, believe this was a rigged game, mainly because the league didn’t like Cuban’s remarks.

Rigged Game
Photo by Perry Correll at Shutterstock

Rigged Game: 1919 World Series

The 1919 World Series is among the most famously rigged games in sports history since it was essentially confirmed to have been fixed. The White Sox were the fan favorites for this one. But all gamblers were putting their money on underdog Cincinnati.

The Reds would win 5 to 3 in an eight-game series and a few White Sox players said they took money to throw the series in Cincinnati’s favor.

As a result, 8 players were banned from playing baseball for life, including “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, who admitted to taking $5,000 but later declared that he made that admission under duress. How much was ultimately paid to the players is still a mystery.

It’s YOUR turn to be the judge!… What did you think of this article on rigged games? Please feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

And if you liked this post, Mind Bending Facts highly recommends you also check out: The OJ Simpson Case: 9 Important Things Everybody Got WRONG About It

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