So, former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores filed a lawsuit against the entire NFL and their owners for unfair hiring practices and other assorted grievances. We all get that. What happens in the end-all will probably change a lot of things that occur presently in the league.
And part of the particular’s that have been divulged is that Flores has stated that he was offered $100,000 for each loss in the 2019 season by Miami owner Stephen Ross in order for the franchise to position itself better to draft Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa. Which losing games to benefit the team is no surprise because Dolphins fans had a campaign going they called “Tank for Tua.”
But if Flores’ claims are indeed factual, it may change how we look at live sports.
Part of the reason why the first XFL folded after one season is the fact that fans were leery about the league and their results. WWE executive Vince McMahon made a living off of having the results in his sport go the way that benefited his scheme and storylines. McMahon owned every team in the XFL. He owned every player, every coach, every contract, every team, and every piece of equipment. And if it benefited the league to slant the results each week in order to keep fans interested and engaged, the overall opinion was that he certainly could.
What keeps fans coming back is the uncertainty of live sports. Which is a different animal.
Now, off Flores - and onto Hue Jackson
Once Flores came out and stated his rendition of the cash for crash situation, former Cleveland head coach Hue Jackson suddenly made a timely appearance.
First off on Twitter, user Patrik Walker who uses the handle @TheVoiceOfTheStar had made statements about the Flores allegation on February 1 about tanking games. Alex Weprin then made mention that $100,000 per loss was the number and that, “Was mad when they kept winning.”
Jackson, whose twitter handle is @huejack10, responded to that tweet with, “Well Jimmy Haslam, was happy while we kept losing.”
Well Jimmy Haslam, was happy while we kept losing.— Hue Jackson (@huejack10) February 2, 2022
User @ericj_d then responded to Jackson’s tweet with, “Jimmy Haslam wasn’t offering 100k per loss or Hue would be on the Forbes list.”
Jackson then responded to @eric_d with, “Trust me it was a good number!”
What?!? Is Hue Jackson stating he was also paid to lose games while head coach of the Browns?
After Mike Pettine went 3-13-0 in 2015, he was replaced with Jackson who was the offensive coordinator with the Cincinnati Bengals for the prior two seasons. Jackson had been the head coach of the Oakland Raiders for the 2011 season. Under Jackson, Cleveland went 1-15-0 in 2016 and then 0-16-0 in 2017. After a 2-5-1 start in 2018, he was fired.
With Jackson going 3-36-1 during his tenure with the Browns, exactly what part of being paid to lose games would Haslam deem an advantage to his franchise? That doesn’t make much sense.
After being fired, Jackson appeared on 850 ESPN Cleveland and stated that Haslam had lied to him about the state of the franchise, plus the team’s impending rebuild process. He also divulged that he had been given an extra one-year deal that the club had never made public. Sort of, a “single secret extension?“
But now via his own tweets, Jackson is stating he too was paid - or offered to be paid - to lose games.
When Jackson tweeted that what Haslam offered for losses “...was a good number,” user Dustin Ludke who uses the handle @theDunit13 responded to that Jackson tweet with, “If that’s the case come out and say it. Don’t let shade stuff like that stay hidden.”
if thats the case come out and say it. Dont let shady stuff like that stay hidden— dustin ludke (@theDunit13) February 2, 2022
Jackson did not hesitate with a response to Ludke. He stated, “It won’t stay hidden much longer. It can’t. What’s crazy is I tried to tell you all yet you didn’t want to listen because of all the losing involved.”
It won’t stay hidden much longer. It can’t. Whats crazy is i tried to tell you all yet you didn’t want to listen because of all the losing involved.— Hue Jackson (@huejack10) February 2, 2022
User responses after that were pretty cruel. One user asked why he would endanger people’s livelihood and health (meaning players) while another asked how they could get a refund on their season tickets for the games he supposedly lost on purpose for the bonus money.
Jackson quit his responses on this thread after the last tweet about him trying to tell folks back then what was happening.
It should be noted that Jackson did not say, or confirm, that he took bonus money to lose games. He did not say that the Browns actually lost games on purpose during his tenure.
But it stands to reason if he is going to expose this as a truth, then why didn’t he open the entire can of worms and let them all crawl out? If he was the one who was going to expose it, then stop with the cryptic language and just spit it out?
And besides, isn’t he actually incriminating himself with this new information?
Then again, he is saying he was bribed to lose games and yet nobody listened? Sorry we missed that back then. We were still reeling about how much tickets were plus parking and slurping down $12 beers.
So, if this is true, how many games were purposely lost? Were there any at all? And if Haslam paid him, or offered to pay him for losing on purpose, why? What benefit would any owner of an NFL franchise get by losing a ton of games?
Maybe he was a bad coach and the club lost all of those games because the talent level wasn’t good and Hue Jackson wasn’t a good coach. Is Jackson coming forward with this info at this point as an excuse? Is he using this new story as a mulligan?
And how about this question? If this is indeed the truth, why didn’t Jackson report Haslam? The last thing the NFL wants is for it to get out that they design who wins and who loses. He might have been the hero for this league and end up with a cushy front office gig instead of his current job as a college coach.
Jackson claims he has proof. Okay, let’s see it. He is alleging that Browns’ owner Jimmy Haslam offered financial incentives for “tanking” for better draft position through the use of a bonus structure during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, when Cleveland went 1-31.
What do the Browns say about their former head coaches allegations?
“The recent comments by Hue Jackson and his representatives relating to his tenure as our head coach are completely fabricated,” a Browns spokesperson said. “Any accusation that any member of our organization was incentivized to deliberately lose games is categorically false.”
Well obviously that doesn’t clear up anything.
On February 2 Jackson made an appearance on ESPN and said:
“I was put in a situation where I could not win. That is what everybody has to understand. The team did not talk about winning and losing until Year 3 and 4.”
When asked directly if he was offered bonuses to lose games when ESPN host Elle Duncan asked him that specifically, he stated this:
“I will challenge anybody. If I am not being forthcoming and truthful about everything I have dealt with, let’s put it all out there. If the Browns say no, and refute it, then let’s put all this paper that I have and then we can see if I am being dishonest. I know for a fact that I can prove any and everything I am saying. The National Football League knows I can prove anything and everything that I am saying. I don’t run from that.”
Jackson also spoke to FOX News about this, and stated this:
“And I remember very candidly saying to [Browns team owner Jimmy Haslam], ‘I’m not interested in bonus money,’ because I’ve never known that to be a bonus. I was interested in taking whatever that money was and putting it toward getting more players on our football team because I didn’t think we were very talented at all. I know what good football teams look like, play like, what they act like, and we didn’t have a lot of talented players on the team at that time.”
It is unclear why Jackson would come out now and state these allegations with being away from the spotlight all these years. He has a new career as head football coach of Grambling State.
If he is still stung from being fired from the Browns that is one thing. Nobody would argue that Cleveland did not have a good roster during those 2016 and 2017 seasons and perhaps he is still trying to lay blame and is sore about his coaching reputation being tarnished forever.
However, it is a totally different allegation for Jackson to say that he was offered - or issued - bonuses to purposely lose games.
No fan can accept that.