The following was submitted by Daniel Smith, a fellow football fan and writer.
Imagine if you will a NFL engulfed in controversy over game fixing. From week to week the fans, coaches, and even the players do not know who is in on the fix and who is legit. Several players have been accused of wrongdoing and several more have been caught and subsequently banned.
Look at the ratings and the revenues of the game during this time. Ratings plummet as the fans rate the games on par with the WWE or professional boxing. Sponsors begin to pull the plug on ads during games and stadiums that were once filled and had people willing their season tickets to family members cannot even give away seats to homeless people.
This is the scenario that the NFL’s policy against gambling is hoping to avoid. The NFL currently prohibits its players and representative from engaging in any type of gambling activity. The purpose for this is simply to save the integrity of the game. While it does not seem that players would be tempted to fix games, if a player was far enough in gambling debt, someone could try and take advantage of that fact.
As such, the NFL feels that it is better to ban all gambling activity. The only exception to this rule seems to be certain poker events for charity. Since these type of events do not involve actual cash being awarded to the players, there is little chance for the participants to be influenced.
This policy event extends to NFL officials. One replacement official played poker at the WSOP and her association with big tournaments like that one forced them to investigate her further.
The scenario that we opened with would be a true nightmare scenario for the NFL. They are already now reeling from the controversy surrounding the referees this season and they may not survive a situation like the one mentioned earlier. Policies like the one in place for gambling will help prevent the above scenario from happening and maintain the integrity of the league.