Nash Trumbly reporter
The NFL 2023 season is over and Super Bowl 57 has come and gone, with the Kansas City Chiefs taking down the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35. Every year, the internet freaks out over the latest egregious calls from referee’s, and every year the complaints fall to the wayside as the same people come back for the next NFL season, ready to cheer on their favorite team. But this year, one bold theory is breaking the mold, and setting itself up to be a talking point for years to come; is the NFL Scripted?
After a controversial holding call in the final minutes of Sunday night’s game, which allowed the Chiefs to stall more time in their drive for a game winning field goal, and essentially sealing the Eagles fate in an otherwise tied game, fans took the internet by storm with their objections.
The play garnered valid discussion, such as on the Fox broadcast, with Greg Olsen having his own reservations about the official’s decision, “On this stage, I think you let them play, finish this thing out, I don’t love that call.”
But even after James Bradberry, the Eagles cornerback who was accused of holding, admitted to the penalty in a post-game interview, the heated discourse served to amplify egregious theories about the NFL being scripted, and that the referees are attempting to decide the outcome of games. To truly understand and refute this theory, let’s take a look at the basis of it, and its flaws.
While no one theory exists, with every celebrity and twitter user having a different opinion on how this so called scripting is performed, the general consensus seems to be based in the idea that a handful of players and officials are given “scripts,” detailing the outcome of every game throughout the season, with a storyline being carefully crafted by NFL executives in order to entertain the fans and play favorites.
This concept has even been “confirmed” by former NFL player Arian Foster on a podcast for Barstool Sports, stating “That’s what practice was about-it was about practicing the script… It’s like WWE-we know what’s going to happen, but you’ve still got to put on a show”.
Unfortunately for fans of this theory, the ridiculous scale of the accusations also serve as its greatest downfall. In reality, for the NFL to go years on end of rigging or scripting its games, it would be one of the greatest logistical feats in history, as they would not only have to script every game of the season, and hire employees specifically to do so, but they would also have to pay absorbent amounts of money to force players and officials alike to keep the secret. Even if all of this was done perfectly, it would be inevitable that someone would physically leak this so called script. These challenges, alongside the complete lack of compelling evidence accompanying this theory, make it hard to believe.
But if you can’t blame the institution itself, how do you cope with your team’s loss? The reality is that bad calls happen, officials make mistakes, and they potentially even hold inherent bias. So the next time you find yourself falling into another NFL conspiracy, remember; The NFL isn’t rigged, you’re just a sore loser.