NFL Taps Highhill as Sports Betting Czar

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NFL Commission Roger Goodell (R) hugs Philadelphia Eagles' fan during round four of the 2022 NFL Draft. David Becker/Getty Images/AFP

The National Football League has hired David Highhill as its new Vice President and General Manager of sports betting to bolster its profile within the industry and gain more traction from it.

Highhill to Increase NFL’s Sports Betting Profile

Legal sports betting arrived in the United States back in 2018 with the reversal of PASPA and because of it, the NFL has dropped any pretense of disavowing sports betting as a mortal enemy of the league. There is plenty of money to be made and the NFL is all about it.

To that end, David Highhill has been promoted as the vice-president and general manager of sports betting, whose duties will include making sure the league is free of manipulation or any nefarious actions by those employed within the league in regards to fixing games. He will also oversee the league’s gambling addiction policies.

Highill On the Intellectual Property

But what Highhill will mainly do is see to it that its intellectual property is maximized to the fullest with its gaming partners.

That’s what his job is really all about but the league must always protect its image as the sentinel at the gate for all of those who would dare try to impeach the integrity of America’s holiest game.

Sports Betting A-Okay to the NFL

For decades upon decades, we watched one NFL commissioner after another sanctimoniously wring their hands, clutch their pearls, and decry the evils of sports betting as a plague upon the sport.

The company line had always been that sports betting could impeach the integrity of the game with the possibility of players and/or officials being paid off.

If fans lost faith in the game and believed the outcomes were rigged, well, there would be no reason to watch a scripted game. The NFL would be akin to the WWE and that would be that.

NFL Vested Financial Interest

But that was all a load of self-righteous bunk. The NFL makes money hand over first because people have a vested financial interest in the game.

Millions of viewers would watch a pair of cellar-dwellers battle on a poorly conceived Monday Night Football matchup like it was the Super Bowl only because there was money at stake and the ratings would be electric.

Roger Goodell Knows About the Money

The NFL knows it, Roger Goodell knows it, and so do all his highly-paid executives. It was a beautifully scripted holier-than-thou sermon that saw the league’s right hand on its forehead, eyes closed and pained at the mere mention of illegal gambling, yet the left hand was under the dais grabbing fistfuls of cash because of it.

Before we discuss the league’s hypocrisy, let’s talk about why fixing games is a virtual impossibility. To begin with, the players are making too much money to be bought.

You cannot expect a quarterback making tens of millions of dollars to throw it all away for a thick envelope of C-Notes. Even the kickers are making millions so the entire point of fixing games is moot.

You might say the bad actors could get to the officials but there are several on-field referees, all of whom are now subject to replays from a myriad of cameras located throughout the stadium.

Suspicious Calls Pattern

A pattern of suspicious calls by one official would be scrutinized in front of a worldwide audience of millions of viewers.

Besides, most of these refs are not simply former gym teachers either. Many of them are lawyers, executives, and entrepreneurs who have a pedigree that would not make them susceptible to some bent-nose with a pinky ring offering them a few bucks to look the other way.

Football Against Soccer (Futbol)

We should also point out that betting on professional soccer games in England and beyond has been a staple forever.

Bookmakers and soccer have coexisted harmoniously for a good long time and if there is one sport that eclipses the North American giant in popularity, it’s futbol.

Sportsbooks and betting shops across the pond are as common as the lottery in America. Despite what the conspiracy theorists will say, it’s hard to fix a professional sporting event.

Impossible might be a better word but where there’s money involved, attempts, albeit unsuccessful, can occur. In the end, the NFL is what it is because it is the most exciting sport to bet on and its ratings have soared because of it. Roger Goodell has known this all along but at least now he no longer has to pretend.