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Join Greg Carlwood of The Higherside Chats as he talks gambling, game-fixing and sports conspiracy with guest, Brian Tuohy aka “The King of Sports Conspiracies”
Brian joins us to help shatter some of the illusions of the sanctimonious sports industry with the information he’s presented in several books he’s written about corruption, set ups, game-fixing, illegal gambling, wealth extraction and conspiracy theories in sports.
2:42 To kick things off, Greg and Brian discuss how he got started in such an interesting niche. As Tuohy explains, outside of America, the topic of sports corruption through game-fixing and gambling has been a long reported on the topic. On the other hand, in the US, the notion of game-fixing is considered an off-limits topic for sports media. This void in media coverage, Brian explains, can be accounted for when one researches the codependent relationship between sports media and professional sport’s leagues. Adding fuel to the fire, Greg and Brian discuss the nefarious filled roster of heavy hitters in the sport’s broadcasting realm including ABC, NBC, and FOX.
Continuing to discuss this theme that sports should be considered nothing more than entertainment, Greg and Brian discuss one of the most damning examples: the Spygate lawsuit
. After the New England Patriots were caught cheating by videotaping their opponents, a class action lawsuit was filed by a New York Jet’s fan that was also a lawyer. After going to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, the ultimate ruling claimed that when someone purchases a ticket, they are essentially purchasing a license to enter an area and watch and event. This ruling made clear that teams and leagues are not required to abide by any rules when providing the game and fans can’t sue because they’re dissatisfied with what they saw, really solidifying the point that this is for entertainment purposes only.
Greg and Brian continue to discuss the structure of the NFL and the red flags of the current financial landscape. With the NFL operating as one giant conglomerate, distributing it’s profits among all teams, the motive to win is eliminated. Already operating under the premise of entertainment, leagues are free to create a narrative that engages the largest number of people by using emotionally charged and perfectly crafted sports stories
. Evidence of this can be seen in the spectacular season of the Patriots following 9/11, the Superbowl win of the Saints post-Katrina, or even the perfectly primed retirement of Peyton Manning after last year’s Superbowl win.
After covering a few examples of recent cases including high profile athletes gambling in their respective games, Greg and Brian discuss the size and scope of the sports gambling market
. With Nevada, the only state where people can legally place wagers on single sporting events, claiming only 2-3% of the market share and raking in $3-4 billion in bets, the size of the overall sports gambling market is astronomical.
Protecting these billion dollar businesses is a cutthroat and vigilant intelligence network consisting of former CIA, FBI and DEA agents and retired local law enforcement officers
. Brian contends, these groups of highly qualified agents employ their military-like precision to protect and disguise the nefarious actions of professional sports leagues from both the public eye and probing police.
Revisiting earlier claims of Muhammad Ali being involved in game-fixing,
Greg, and Brian detail the specifics. Sonny Liston took a dive
in his matches against Ali and ultimately forfeited his title to him, in exchange for a huge gambling payday
. Another example involving Ali in a fixed game was his fights against Spinks. Rumor has it, he threw their first fight, in order to have the opportunity to rematchSpinks
for the title. Another title fight win would make Ali the only person to have won the Heavyweight Championship Title three times.
41:30 Lefty Rosenthal
was a notorious game fixer a favorite friend of the mafias. Listen as Greg ad Brian elaborate of a few of the better-known legends of Lefty. They also discuss the logistics of game rigging and exactly how few people are needed to affect the outcome of a game. With sports gambling stats showing a success rate of 55% being an across the board average with each percentage giving an exponentially higher return of success, even the slightest edge in game fixing can have critical consequences.
Venturing outside of Brian’s wheelhouse, he and Greg discuss the symbolism hidden in plain sight during the Olympic opening ceremonies
. Brian notes that the pomp and circumstance of today’s opening ceremonies can be traced back to its origins in Nazi Germany.
Moving from boxing to UFC, Greg and Brian discuss parallels between the two sports. During the 1940’s with the help of mobsters like Frankie Carbo
, boxing became a nationally televised sport. Unfortunately, because controlling interests had a monopoly on the sport, corruption was rampant. As Brian explains, this is eerily similar to the UFC’s stranglehold on the professional fighting industry.
1:11:00 Sports gambling is a long-standing institution that has been recently turned on its head due to the internet. Greg and Brian examine the effects of the internet on such a massive industry. As Brian explains, there are commonly used offshore sites based in Central and South America run by mafia and cartels. He contends if we instead legalized sports gambling, regulations and taxes would dry up the current black market and seriously impact the mafia and cartels.
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