Many of my friends don’t buy my belief that much of pro sports is “rigged for ratings”.
They only hear the ‘rigged’ part and assume that I mean that it’s as phony as pro wrestling. But, that’s not what I’m saying.
I’m saying that an out-in-the-open, stated goal of many professional sports leagues to achieve ‘competitive parity’ among their teams, because they believe that makes for good ratings. They reason that close games are more interesting to watch and leagues where ‘any team can win it in any given year’ are also good for ratings.
The NFL Draft is one out-in-the-open way the NFL helps achieve parity, as the worst teams get the best draft picks to give them a better chance of improving to garner better ratings.
Is the word ‘rigged’ a bit hyperbole? Sure. Technically, ‘rigged’ means manipulated by dishonest means and the NFL Draft is manipulation right out in the open that is even celebrated by fans and accepted as normal.
I once thought it was perfectly normal, too. But, when I learned about how promotion/relegation systems work and are commonplace in the rest of the world, I saw the draft in a different light.
Basically this light: Why should billionaires’ teams get rewarded with high draft picks to prop up their ratings when they’ve done a poor job?
The real answer: they don’t want to compete with each other. The nice trick is that they’ve convinced the fans that it’s for their own good.