Two sports predictions:
First, that in the next 10-20 years, the NFL will be dramatically different from the game/institution that we know today, due to (long-overdue) attention to brain trauma. Concussions will be viewed the way we now view asbestos, where the blithe and dangerous attitude of times gone by will be unfathomable.
Secondly, that Tim Donaghy will eventually be viewed in the same light as Jose Canseco, and that's meant very complimentarily. Canseco was once a 'roided-up crackpot who spouted off random and crazy accusations but in the intervening decade or two has been proving correct on pretty much all counts. As for Donaghy, I present you this:
I worked a Knicks game in Madison Square Garden with him on February 26, 2007. New York shot an astounding 39 free throws that night to Miami's paltry eight. It seemed like Stafford was working for the Knicks, calling fouls on Miami like crazy. Isiah Thomas was coaching the Knicks, and after New York's four-point victory, a guy from the Knicks came to our locker room looking for Stafford, who was in the shower. He told us that Thomas sent him to retrieve Stafford's home address; apparently, Stafford had asked the coach before the game for some autographed sneakers and jerseys for his kids. Suddenly, it all made sense.
Okay, no big deal, a ref gave away one game in exchange for some stuff from a Hall-of-Famer, right? Check this out:
In the pregame meeting prior to Game 6, the league office sent down word that certain calls-calls that would have benefitted the Lakers — were being missed by the referees. This was the type of not-so-subtle information that I and other referees were left to interpret. After receiving the dispatch, Bavetta openly talked about the fact that the league wanted a Game 7.
"If we give the benefit of the calls to the team that's down in the series, nobody's going to complain. The series will be even at three apiece, and then the better team can win Game 7," Bavetta stated.
I mean, wow. Not even the Godfather himself (NBA Commish David Stern) will be able to cover this up, even if he sues both Amazon.com and Random House.
P.S. I have spent the last couple hours trying to figure out whether this is an april fools prank or not, given deadspin's spotty history. But I think this is legit, it just makes too much sense.