A part of me struggles to accept that people this deluded actually exist, but they do. I’ve heard stories, and I’ve seen the occasional online post about it. These people are few, but not fictional. There are actually people who think the NFL is scripted.

Like most conspiracy theories it sounds absolutely stupid at first, then part of you might go “well, I guess that was kinda perfect that it happened just that way”, then you think about it a little more and you realize that yup, it’s still stupid and the logic falls apart. But some people don’t get past that second stage. I can’t figure out why. The best guess I can muster is that most of the fans are somehow bitter about the way their team loses or something.

Every super bowl, especially after an upset, you see fans of the loser get all conspiracy theorist. This past one was a great moment. Right after it happened I saw some sketchy articles suggesting that Peyton threw the game, clearly trying to bait the sad Bronco fans. None of the articles (They come out every year on unreputable sites) ever have any sources, or quote any people. It’s just click bait to try and sway dumb people, or emotional fans of the losing team. Lots of dumb Bronco fans unwilling to accept that their team lost fair and square calling the game rigged, ignoring the fact that the Broncos had no defense, had a cupcake schedule, never changed up their offense strategy even when it wasn’t working, and Seattle just outplayed them to begin with. Seattle was the better team.

But I can forgive a fan of a good team who has to handle a Super Bowl loss when you expected to win. Watching your team make it all the way then get stomped isn’t fun. I’d imagine most of these people calling the game rigged probably got over it soon enough. I saw a lot of Pats fans do the same thing after 2007.

But some people legit think it’s scripted like pro wrestling. These people are…I can’t defend them. They are deluded. For everything that sounds like it might make some sense, lots of other things just make it feel so forced. The NFL has been around for a long time, and started as a small time game. It has grown into the giant it is not overnight, but over decades. There has never, ever, been any evidence that has come out to suggest it’s scripted. No retired referees, no disgruntled employees, nothing. Over decades. Come on. There are so many people covering the league now, so many media members, so many pundits, so many sources. The NFL being scripted would be a huge story, but none of them have ever investigated it? Nothing? No player, current or former, EVER, in all this time, has come out and said things weren’t right. None have even suggested it. You think in a league with players treated as poorly as they are in medical coverage that one wouldn’t want to blow the lid off the biggest sports story ever? There is no evidence of scripted play, and if you think it is, you are dumb. ¬†We are not sheeple, you are gullible & trying to find deeper issues where they don’t exist.

Wrestling is very different. Much more controlled an environment. They also are fully aware of the falseness of the presentation, and use it to revel in the spectacle instead of hide it. My uncle went to a pro-wrestling event once, half the arena has no fans, only the side that is on TV has fans. Wrestling is a performance and makes no attempts to hide it. Some people like that. It’s never been my thing but I can respect what it does. The NFL feels different. Yes, sometimes stories play out in such storybook fashion that it feels like fate, but then you realize that it’s really just the media. Sports media is amazing at finding stories within the sports. For every Strahan or Ray Lewis that gets to go out on a storybook ending that seems scripted, lots of veterans don’t. Tony G had an unremarkable end. Tomlinson never saw a Super Bowl. Marino. Jim Kelly. Why would the NFL have the Bills lose 4 times, twice to the same team in boring blowouts? If this was scripted, one of those would be the redemption story. Do you not know how entertainment is written?

My answer to these people is Super Bowl 46, Giants vs Pats round 2. If the NFL was scripted, this was an absolutely terrible script. Giants vs Pats had already happened 4 years prior. Why would you script these two teams back into the super bowl again? Over the 49ers and Alex Smith redemption arc? Over Peyton leading the Broncos all the way? Giants vs Pats was a game only Giants and Pats fans wanted to see. No other fan wanted to see these two teams in the finals again. The teams weren’t as interesting. The Giants weren’t quite as scrappy an underdog and were already recent champions. The Patriots were a flawed offensive team. Plus, why take both of these teams no one else wanted to see into a game and have the same team win again? If this was scripted, the Pats would have won. It was the perfect revenge story. Instead, the game played out like a direct to DVD sequel of 42. I was happy with the outcome, but 42 was the magic game. I couldn’t shake the feeling that 46 was like 42 part 2. That’s a terrible script. You wouldn’t go to hollywood with that script. You want to please as many people as possible, don’t make a lazy ending like that.

You also wouldn’t script a bad game like SB48. This past super bowl was extremely boring for everyone outside Seattle. That’s a terrible end script. Terrible. You want the climax of your game to end with a great game, not a snoozefest blowout that everyone stopped caring about in the 3rd quarter. But these folks behind the game, they control the franchises. They tell all the ref teams who will win and who will lose. They control how these players play, when to make one team lay off the gas and another on. They manage to keep a huge secret in the most exposed and popular sport in the country. This sport that many of the people involved have been playing or coaching for years upon years…they are all in on it. Football and TV work very well together, but it’s a product of years of good management, marketing and work, not because there are shady puppetmasters.

Sometimes things just are as they are.