In light of the New England Patriots going 16-0 this weekend (which I believe to be a conspiracy), I did some research into other sports conspiracies that have gone on throughout the years. I compiled a list of these conspiracies and was amazed at what I found.
The driving force behind these and other conspiracies is money.
On the surface, professional sports leagues serve the purpose of entertaining their viewers with jaw-dropping plays, close competition and fantastic finishes.
But behind every organization is a corporate world focused on accumulating the maximum amount of dollars in order to satisfy fans with dramatic contests, please players with fat contracts and place prized newcomers in major marketing areas for publicity.
The NBA, needing to create a new star after Kobe Bryant’s rape allegations, encourage the refs to do what it takes to make sure the Miami Heat beat the Dallas Mavericks in last year’s NBA Finals, even going so far as giving him more free throws than the Mavs’ entire team one game. In another version of the same conspiracy, David Stern hates Mark Cuban so much that he will never allow his team to win a title.
New England Patriots
After 9/11, the NFL wanted a team called the “Patriots” to win their championship, so they had the refs help them out against the Raiders (in whose case you also have a similar situation to #7 with Art Shell/the NFL) and the heavily favored Rams.
6% of college basketball games are fixed
So says Justin Wolfers, a University of Pennsylvania economist, who studied over 44,000 Division I games and found that the stronger teams win, but do not cover the spread, often enough that it couldn’t be just by chance. Click here for the whole article.
In wrestling, when stuff is REAL, then it’s a conspiracy. Bret Hart was leaving the WWF and did not want to lose the title to Shawn Michaels, so Vince McMahon told him that he could lose in a disqualification. When the actual match came, he called for the bell when Hart was in a submission hold, ending the match with Michaels the winner. Afterwards, in the locker room, Hart punched McMahon in the face. The movie “Wrestling with Shadows” goesinto this in more detail.
UNLV threw the 1991 Final Four
UNLV was seemingly unstoppable in 1991, and their loss to Duke in the national seminfinals was one of the biggest shockers of my lifetime. Three players on that UNLV have been photographed in a hot tub with a convicted points-shaver-arranger guy, whose name was Richie “The Fixer” Perry. Some people believe that the Duke loss was fixed. A heavily favored team who played in Vegas, hung out with a guy NAMED The Fixer,
and lost in a huge game definitely sounds a bit shady.
David Stern could have been on this list a few more times (fixed NBA Draft Lotteries, Magic Johnson didn’t really have HIV), but this one is the ultimate, him secretly suspending the greatest player ever for two years for gambling. The Bulls could have had eight titles in a row.
ESPN's Bill Simmons has long had his theories that David Stern fixed the 1985 draft lottery so the Knicks would end up with Patrick Ewing. The hired accountant from Ernst & Whinney bangs one of the envelopes around on the rim of the drum, presumably creasing one of the corners. Every other envelope goes in cleanly. Stern reaches in and grabs a handful of envelopes, turns them over to look at them, and then drops all but one of them. The one he picks up is the one with the crease in the corner. That envelope is placed at the #1-spot. Stern announces that the Pacers get the 2nd pick, and thus, the Knicks have the first. Everyone in the building seems surprised but David Stern, who just looks guilty
An Abundance Of Free Throws Helped The Lakers Win
How about the 27 4th quarter free throws the Lakers were awarded in Game 6 against Sacramento in the 2002 playoffs. Their total number of free throws in that game was just 40. The Lakers had also only averaged 22 free throws per game in the first 5 games of the series. I can still remember Mike Bibby getting called for a foul after Kobe elbowed him in the nose. The Lakers of course went on to win the series in 7 games and then 3-peat as NBA champs. I wonder if that made big news for the league..
Did The Referees Ruin The Seahawks' Super Bowl Hopes With Questionable Calls?
Remember when Steeler's line backer Joey Porter was complaining that the NFL wanted the Indianapolis Colts to win the Super Bowl? Well, now Seattle Seahawks fans can argue the same conspiracy theory for Pittsburgh.
Sure it was nice to see the "Bus" make his last stop in Detroit, the city where he started his career, and it was cool to see a sixth-seeded team win the Super Bowl. A storybook ending.
Too bad the referees had to rob Seattle blind to get it done.
No offense to the Steelers, they played a great game and they are a great team that deserved to win the championship, but not this way. For Seattle to out-gain the Steelers by 57 yards, win the time of possession battle and have a better turnover ratio, and then have the game ripped away from them by terrible refs is ridiculously unfair.
The two calls that would have helped them out the most were Darrell Jackson's two would-be touchdown catches.
The first catch was questionable at best; sure he pushed off in the end zone-but come on, everybody pushes off.
But the refs really bungled the second call when they said that Jackson stepped out of bounds taking away a touchdown, ignoring the rule that says, according to nfl.com, "[a] player no longer can be ruled out of bounds when he touches a pylon unless he already touched the boundary line," which Jackson didn't.
That, compounded with bad holding calls that prevented the Seahawks from getting within the ten-yard line, professes just how bad the referees were in this game. It is a shame that a great Super Bowl game would ultimately be determined by bad zebras.
Speaking of bad officiating, do you notice how many players this year are lashing out at refs for questionable calls? And do you notice how the NFL responds to these players? By fining them in order to shut them up and protect their referees. This wouldn't concern me so much if it happened to one player once a week. However, every week it seems more and more players are questioning the referees and the NFL is issuing fines left and right. How can that many officials be making bad calls every week and the NFL doesn't do anything except fine the players? Something is up with that.
This commercial I think is hilarious and relevant to what's been going on lately in the world of sports officiating.