Curtis Meyer, Reporter
With this season of the NFL wrapped up, and the Chiefs crowned as the Super Bowl kings, you would think that the controversy would be over. Recently, however, the NFL world has been embroiled in claims that all of the games have been scripted, with the outcomes decided beforehand.
Most recently, former Houston Texans running back Arian Foster claimed on his podcast ‘Macrodosing’ that the NFL is rigged.
“We know whats going to happen, but you still got to put on a show.”
He drew comparisons to professional wrestling, with the players knowing there script before the beginning of the season. Joke or not, many people have taken this very seriously.
Many current and former NFL players have come out in the last few weeks and given their thoughts on this topic. Jason Kelce, an offensive lineman for the eagles, had a good laugh with it.
“Tearing my ACL in 2012 was probably the worst thing that Roger ever scripted.”
Others, such as former Buccaneers wideout Antonio Brown claiming on social media that the 2021 Super Bowl was rigged in favor of the Buccaneers. Surprisingly, former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant agreed with Brown, commenting on his Instagram post.
Many people point the fingers at the referees, citing questionable penalty calls during crucial downs in certain games. Most recently, players and fans are looking at Kansas City and it’s Super Bowl run. Looking back at the AFC Championship game, there were several calls that have been questioned.
Looking at the Super Bowl, lets start with the obvious. Late in the game, on the Chiefs final drive, the Eagles forced an incomplete pass on third down after Patrick Mahomes threw the ball over his receiver Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster. This would have forced a field goal, and given the Eagles time to drive down the field and attempt a game winning touchdown.
Instead, the referees called a holding penalty on Eagles cornerback James Bradberry, who was covering Smith-Schuster. Replays showed a slight tug on Smith-Schuster’s jersey, but for many, this was not a penalty worthy play. Coming at such a critical juncture in the game, many people, including the commentators, voiced their displeasure.
It’s not just weak calls, it’s missed calls. In the AFC Championship game, the Chiefs faced last year’s AFC champs in Kansas City. During the Chiefs game winning drive, a roughing the passer penalty was called on Bengal’s linebacker Joseph Ossai after he pushed Patrick Mahomes out of bounds.
However, upon further review, it was revealed that the referees completely missed a holding call on Chiefs offensive linemen Orlando Brown. This would have set up the Chiefs just five yards closer to the end zone, instead of the fifteen they got.
This would have made Harrison Butker, the Chiefs kicker, kick a longer field goal, potentially affecting the outcome of the game. This is not just a recent issue either. During Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, the Ravens and Fourty-Niners were playing, and it wasn’t close.
The Ravens were up 21 to 6 after the first half, enjoying a 15 point lead in what looked like a blowout. This seemed guaranteed after the second half kick off was returned for a touchdown. Suddenly, the lights went out. For 34 minutes, there was a blackout, with prevented either team from playing.
The Niner’s used the opportunity to regroup, coming back into the game before ultimately losing, 31-34. Afterwards, Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs claimed that commissioner Roger Goodell had a hand in the blackout, supposedly causing it in order to give the Niners time.
These are just some of the examples of the NFL’s biggest games coming up short. Whether you believe that games are scripted or not, it’s hard to deny the influence of these conspiracies.