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Sunday, January 07, 2018

A Super Bowl theory

Whiskey1Zulu has a theory:
Here is my theory about the superbowl: Since at least 2005 the NFL looks for the best storyline to finish the season, and maybe back to 2001, where after 9/11 Patriots = USA = winners. In 2005 the owner of the Steelers was in failing health and the superbowl was thrown to them so they could have the most rings before he passed away.

Patriots will win over the Vikings. Vikings make it because they will be the first home team to ever make it to the superbowl, with the side benefits that they are the best team in the NFC and they are the best franchise to never have won the game.  Patriots will win because if they don't there will not be a dynasty for the 2010s, the Patriots would be the first double dynasty, and pundits can tout Brady & Belichick as the greatest of all time forever, continuing to gloss over the constant favorable calls, known cheating, and allegations.

This combination provides the best possible storyline going into the final game and would get more people to watch because of those factors, attempting to redeem the season in the eyes of people who are already sneaking back to the TV for better quality football and forgetting about the protests and various other reasons football has been declining.
I have to admit, going into the season, I had a feeling that if the Vikings finally made it back to the Super Bowl with such a questionable team, it would tend to confirm the Original Cyberpunk's theory that the entire NFL season is scripted.

And his logic is compelling, especially with the media suddenly - out of nowhere - banging the drum for the end of the Patriots era. That being said, I think LAST YEAR was supposed to be the last hurrah for them, which may be setting the stage for them to suddenly lose all of the mysterious bounces that have consistently gone their way over the last decade and more.

Personally, I don't think there is formal scripting so much as a little gentle manipulation at the edges, particularly in playoff games that start to look like blowouts. For example, I don't think some of the questionable calls that went the Titans' way when they were on the verge of being put away were meant to help them win, but merely to keep them in the game.

For example, as a longtime spectator, I knew that the Titans were going to get the important calls once they were down 14-0 and looking hapless on national TV. Sure enough, Mariota's fumble on the big hit by Johnson was blown dead due to nonexistent "forward progress", which if is to be regarded as a precedent going forward, will preclude virtually all sack-related fumbles in the future. My theory is that Jeff Triplett isn't actually the terrible, clueless referee he appears to be, but serves as the NFL's Tim Donaghy, a hit man in stripes working for the Commissioner.

If nothing else, that would explain why Triplett still not only has a job, but is assigned to work playoff games.

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82 Comments:

Blogger Cecil Henry January 07, 2018 12:20 PM  

Amazing you make this comment, as when I saw the highlights of that game (I won't watch games live anymore), that is the first thought that came to my mind almost spontaneously.

I had never thought it before, and I don't talk about sports at all with others or watch sports commentary.

It was just a sudden premonition.

'I think this game is being massaged to control the score etc. Like the WWF, just less explicit'

I trust that intuition. But I don't trust the NFL.

Blogger BassmanCO January 07, 2018 12:20 PM  

I haven't watched a snap since Kneegate. Curious how many have gone back to watching and what prompted you.

I honestly hope the owners and NFL leadership lose a shit-ton of money. Not very Christian of me, but I am all out of concern for SJWs and am actively rooting for their demise.

Blogger van helsing January 07, 2018 12:26 PM  

yes, keep ten in the game... 9 is a lot of points but it was bet down to 7. sharps probly didnt want to lose their shirts as bad as halftime looked.

Anonymous Anonymous January 07, 2018 12:29 PM  

Triplett apparently has retired

Blogger Mr.MantraMan January 07, 2018 12:30 PM  

Clay Travis proposed to Marcus M to have his baby and blame the refs for the game results all in the same post.

Pro sports as entertainment to think much of it beyond that you are being taken for a sucker. Back in the 60s a friend of mine used to hang around a bowling alley in a mobbed run suburb of Chicago that Ditka held court in, so while I have no proof of fixing it sure looks suspicious.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan January 07, 2018 12:35 PM  

As for a player fixing results, though the game was out of reach and no points either way Favre gave Strahan the sack record on easily the most fixed play ever, let me audible a last second of the game play away from a handoff or a knee to a pass, then when the OL keeps Strahan away run around with a ball in your hands till he breaks free and then fall in front of him, it was that friggin bad.

Then when Jared Allen looks to be breaking that phony record Strahan is having kittens in the studio, but never fear the shitty Vikings coaching staff may they share a cell with Sandusky kept Allen from shifting around to find a weak spot so Strahan gets himself a HoF career and maybe Allen a vet committee look.

Anonymous Anonymous January 07, 2018 12:41 PM  

As a former fanatical Redskins fan, in retrospect I wonder about the 1987 Superbowl in which John Elway's Broncos right away put up two easy scores, after which Washington's ageing black back-up QB Doug Wiliams broke NFL's second quarter touchdown and/or yardage records, ultimately routing Denver.

Blogger RM Chris January 07, 2018 12:44 PM  

I've suspected this since 2002.

Seemed awfully convenient in a knee-jerk "MURICA!" Way, to see you Patriots win the SB after Sep 11/WTC.

I don't think the NFL is "fixed" like pro wrestling, but manipulated to further the dumb "storyline" of the day?

That wouldn't surprise me at all.

Blogger Daniel Paul Grech Pereira January 07, 2018 12:45 PM  

Are declining NFL ratings the big chance the CFL has been waiting for?

Sorry.

Blogger RM Chris January 07, 2018 12:45 PM  

See "the" Patriots win,
(Derp)

Blogger YIH January 07, 2018 12:48 PM  

I'm thinking possible SB IX rematch. The Patriots offense is still great, but their D is questionable. I could see them losing a Steelers-Patriots AFC championship.
If however if somehow the Bills beat the Jags, then beat the Steelers (as unlikely as that is) and the cat toast.gif comes to pass, then yeah, I'll be right alongside Vox saying ''storyline!'' and ''rigged!''.
On a lighter note, The Cleveland Browns celebrated their perfect season with a parade!
And Johnny Foosball got his dig in too. Lucky for him tweeting while intoxicated is not illegal.

Anonymous Jack Amok January 07, 2018 12:54 PM  

My theory is that Jeff Triplett isn't actually the terrible, clueless referee he appears to be, but serves as the NFL's Tim Donaghy, a hit man in stripes working for the Commissioner.

The only other explanation for letting that buffoon work a playoff game is that the NFL front office is incompetent.

Hmmmmm

Blogger YIH January 07, 2018 12:56 PM  

Daniel Paul Grech Pereira wrote:Are declining NFL ratings the big chance the CFL has been waiting for?

Sorry.

Already tried, already failed.

Blogger VD January 07, 2018 1:00 PM  

The pro-Vikings storyline would be revenge against the Steelers. Just saying... that's who we would ideally like to beat in the Super Bowl.

That being said, Vikings-Bills would be my favorite matchup. The SOMEONE HAS TO WIN bowl.

Blogger Josh (the sexiest thing here) January 07, 2018 1:03 PM  

That being said, Vikings-Bills would be my favorite matchup. The SOMEONE HAS TO WIN bowl.

That would also provide definitive proof for the rigging games thesis.

Blogger Dave January 07, 2018 1:04 PM  

Aditi tweeted this so must be true:

Aditi Kinkhabwala‏Verified account
@AKinkhabwala

Referee Jeff Triplette, who worked yesterday's #Titans-#Chiefs Wild Card game, has told folks around him he's retiring from @NFL officiating. And the heartfelt hugs he exchanged w/ his crew after dinner last night? Def looked like good-byes.
2:54 AM - 7 Jan 2018

Blogger Rough Carrigan January 07, 2018 1:04 PM  

That's a nice theory but the Steelers won in 2005 instead of the Patriots because the NFC sucked, Payton Manning was a choke artist and the Pats' left tackle, Matt Light, got hurt that season and their star inside linebacker, Teddy Bruschi had a stroke shortly after the previous Uber Bowl. Oh, and Dindu Cory Dillon got paid and promptly did what guys like him do. He slacked off.

Blogger Josh (the sexiest thing here) January 07, 2018 1:05 PM  

The goal line instant replay shenanigans at the end of the first half of ATL-LA are also suspicious.

Anonymous Anonymous January 07, 2018 1:07 PM  

This would explain why the Browns, with all players of pro quality cann't seem to get anywhere. Is Cleveland’s record even statistically possible without corruption?

The internal politics and Face/Heel dynamics of the seasonal narrative would be interesting to deconstruct.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan January 07, 2018 1:11 PM  

I would say they rig the SB for ratings such as which team can bring the most interest, but the weakspot in that argument is the GB versus Pittsburgh which gave a ratings decline.

Then again that could explain why GB with only two SB victories in the twenty something years with two HoF QBs.

Blogger Dave January 07, 2018 1:13 PM  

The SOMEONE HAS TO WIN bowl.

I'd be worried this matchup would trigger the end of the world. The football gods have decreed neither team shall ever be a SB champion.

Blogger YIH January 07, 2018 1:17 PM  

I mentioned yesterday that the Chefs are quietly shopping Alex Smith around. The reason? The cap.
At 33 years old, Smith has showed no signs of decline, but he's on a contract that expires after next season. He's due $20.6 million, including a $2 million roster bonus that triggers if he's on the team at the start of training camp. If released before then, he'll count just $3.6 million against the salary cap.
Like I said, I don't see any team making a stupid offer for him... But we've all seen teams make stupid offers for what they think will be a key player before.

Blogger KBuff January 07, 2018 1:19 PM  

First thing that comes to mind along this vein is the Jets/Colts Super Bowl. Some people wondered for years how Earl Morrall could not see his receiver on that flea flicker when he was wide open, right where he was supposed to be. That's the story, anyway.

Blogger YIH January 07, 2018 1:21 PM  

VD wrote:The pro-Vikings storyline would be revenge against the Steelers. Just saying... that's who we would ideally like to beat in the Super Bowl.

That being said, Vikings-Bills would be my favorite matchup. The SOMEONE HAS TO WIN bowl.

Nah, I think after five overtimes, Badell ''in a very controversial decision, declared that this will be the first NFL championship in over 70 years to end in a tie''.
After being informed by NASA scientists that if he doesn't end the game the Sweet Meteor Of Death will hit Minneapolis.

Anonymous Jeff January 07, 2018 1:25 PM  

Rigging the games has less to do with cute NFL story lines than with betting.

Follow the money.

Blogger YIH January 07, 2018 1:28 PM  

Just hit the main nfl.com page, yep, it's gotta be blacked out. Even though it's way in the background and out of focus, I can still see lots of empty seats.
It wouldn't surprise me if last night's game was blacked out in LA too.

Blogger YIH January 07, 2018 1:39 PM  

My bad, the Jags game is not blacked out. Although Orlando is over 90 miles away from Jax.
So far the game has been uneventful, just trading punts for now.

Anonymous a deplorable rubberducky January 07, 2018 2:01 PM  

It’s not possible to trust the fundamental integrity of this league anymore, that’s why the sense that the outcomes are rigged seems more credible. Some owners such as John Mars have even said that their political message trumps not only the game but even the bottom line. True last stage convergence there, speaking. Of course they will lie to you and manipulate you at this point. While congratulating themselves too I bet.

Blogger YIH January 07, 2018 2:04 PM  

Jeff wrote:Rigging the games has less to do with cute NFL story lines than with betting.

Follow the money.

So far Vegas has no clue if the games are rigged. When they start taking games ''off line'' other than late-season games where a team may rest players, then you know something's up.
Vegas doesn't do bets on the Oscars or WWE events due to the fact there is a possibility that someone knows the outcome ahead of time.

Blogger YIH January 07, 2018 2:09 PM  

2:53 before the half, and it still looks like a soccer score. But the Bills are 1st and goal at the 11.

Anonymous Roundtine January 07, 2018 2:14 PM  

If you have league parity and you have a good QB, then little things like wanting to "win one for the Gipper" can put a team over the top. Also anything that falls outside of league parity: coaches, officiating, team chemistry. The Pats didn't introduce their line-up at the 2002 Superbowl, they came out together as "The Patriots."

A Vikings-Bills Superbowl might confirm the multiverse hypothesis by by producing a mathematically impossible string of errors, missed field goals and bizarre coaching decisions.

Blogger Quilp January 07, 2018 2:17 PM  

Which sports writers, referees, league officials etc can I send donations to, so as to finally bring an end to the Patriots era. I haven't really watched all year, but is there really any doubt about who will win it all?

Blogger seeingsights January 07, 2018 2:17 PM  

Here's a historical analogy which I hope might be useful.

The 1994 baseball strike forced the cancellation of the rest of the baseball season and the World Series. There was fan displeasure and baseball attendance and viewership got hurt.

The years after the baseball strike happened to co-incide with a increase in home run hitting. There were power hitter rivalries such between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire.
Hitting 60 home runs in a year was not out of the question.

The home run hitting was used to bring back fans to baseball. If one wasn't caught up in the home run hitting excitement, one might have wondered if something fishy was going on. Reggie Jackson said that a player hitting 180 home runs in a three year span is not natural.

During that home run hitting era, the powers-that-be in baseball didn't look into possible illegitimate reasons for the home run surge. It was after a few years of the home run hitting surge that claims of steroid use came out.

The NFL likewise has a decline in ratings and attendance. The NFL now is tempted to do something to bring fans back. Probably have higher scoring games. Not just a change in rules, but referee calls which just so happen to favor the offense. Unnecessary roughness to the passer. A holding call against a cornerback.

I don't have a problem with low scoring games per se. I appreciate brilliant defense. Heck, I watched the '85 Bears. But a large number of people think that high scoring games are more exciting.



Blogger seeingsights January 07, 2018 2:27 PM  

Further thoughts on my previous post:

It might be an interesting study to do, to analyze referee calls as to whether they favor the offense or defense, and compare it historically.

I wouldn't be surprised if the percentage of referee calls that favor the offense in this coming Super Bowl will be higher than the Super Bowl played in 1986 and so on

Anonymous FP January 07, 2018 2:29 PM  

That 2005 superbowl XL with the seahawks is what convinced me that there is "scripting" or outright fixing of games.

Blogger YIH January 07, 2018 2:35 PM  

Quilp wrote:Which sports writers, referees, league officials etc can I send donations to, so as to finally bring an end to the Patriots era. I haven't really watched all year, but is there really any doubt about who will win it all?
Brady is 40. Granted, he doesn't seem to be slowing down any, and he even claims he'll play until he's 45, but I don't think so.
As Vox will be the first to acknowledge, Father Time is not to be denied - no matter what you do.

Anonymous Godfrey January 07, 2018 2:37 PM  

I know very little of what's going on in the NFL due to my personal boycott. But my theory is the LA Rams. Why? Because the NFL brought football back to LA and now they have to build a fan base.

Blogger tublecane January 07, 2018 2:46 PM  

@8"awfully convenient in a knee-jerk "MURICA!" Way to see you Patriots win the SB after Sep 11th/WTC"

It doesn't come off as all that convenient to me, considering the more obvious thing to do would be to have a New York team win it. Or, failing that, the Cowboys. Whom they still refer to as "America's Team." All the Patriots had going for them was their name. Aside from the fact that they had been to the superbowl a couple of times, that team was fairly meaningless to the country at large.

Pretty thin "MURICA!" gruel. I remember watching them win that game, and the announcers weren't all "Do you believe in miracles?" They sounded like they couldn't give a crap.

There is something fishy about the Tuck Rule Game, however. I know it was an actual (idiotic) rule, but I don't remember a team ever winning--or failing to lose--an important game essentially because a quarterback fumbled the ball in the middle of a pump fake.

Anonymous JAG January 07, 2018 2:53 PM  

The Dez caught it game was fixed by the replay officials. I have no doubts about this. Just check out the replays of not Dez's catch, but Cobb's "catch" before halftime. There is no way competent, non-biased officials make those calls. The Cobb one especially. It is impossible to not see that ball hit the ground, but Cobb was awarded the catch after replay.

The bad call for Cobb led to points for the Packers, and the Dez ruling prevented a very late in the game TD that would have given Dallas the lead.

Blogger YIH January 07, 2018 2:58 PM  

@31. seeingsights
I don't have a problem with low scoring games per se. I appreciate brilliant defense. Heck, I watched the '85 Bears. But a large number of people think that high scoring games are more exciting.
So far, your getting such a game: 3-3 at the half.
I don't think it's going to be so blatant, less (or no) 'offensive pass interference', looking the other way on offensive holding (they've done that before). But the number of questionable calls is getting notable, in spite of more replay review.
Obviously they can't revive the NFL the way MLB was revived ('roids) because of the baseball 'roids scandal. Nor can they ''juice the ball'' because of the ''deflategate'' ''scandal'', which was literally a joke. Questionable officiating is all they have left in order to ''juice up'' the games.
Even that has it's problems, I used to like Arena Football, which was designed from the start (and is the only way summer football can even work) to increase scoring, and the extra scoring gets routine.

Blogger tublecane January 07, 2018 3:01 PM  

Considering the fact that refs can call or not call penalties on every play at whim, and how much money is at stake (over and under the table), I wouldn't be surprised if there was manipulation. But probably not in the manner described above. Rather, I think they play up the storylines they prefer among the teams that are making a showing.

For instance, a team called the Patriots winning the superbowl after a major national tragedy sounds suspicious. But as I said above, it would have made a lot more sense for one of the New York teams to win, or failing that a team with strong Americana associations like the Cowboys. The Patriots weren't a team that ever inspired patriotism. I would assume most people barely knew they existed, despite some recent success under Parcells and a SB loss to the Packers.

But if you have a team called the Patriots in the hunt at that time, and their team colors are red, white, and blue, you play it up.

Another case in point. The media babbled on endlessly about Katrina when the '09 Saints went to the superbowl. Their story arch was that they were helping New Orleans come back, or whatever. But that was four years after the disaster. If they won the superbowl because of Katrina, why did it take so long?

Or the Baltimore Ravens, underdogs who won it all for Ray Lewis because he was retiring. But who gave a crap about Ray Lewis winning a superbowl outside of Baltimore prior to the media talking about it endlessly?

As for the Vikings this year, no team to my knowledge has ever had home field advantage in the superbowl, though some have played in nearby stadiums. Why would the NFL pick the Vikings to be the first? Why not pick a more popular team with whom to do that storyline? Isn't it more likely they're talking that story up because the Vikings are "in the hunt?"

Anonymous Darth Dharmakīrti January 07, 2018 3:02 PM  

I know very little of what's going on in the NFL due to my personal boycott. But my theory is the LA Rams.

You're right, you don't know much about what's going on in the NFL.

Anonymous JAG January 07, 2018 3:04 PM  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xt5d9FoSXIA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouSHpHRtNsQ

The Cobb ruling was even more outrageous than the Dez ruling.

The double standard is also quite telling. There is no conclusive evidence that Dez's ball hit the ground, and even if it did he had already established possession, and made a football move in stretching for the pylon.

On the other hand, there was irrefutable visual PROOF that Cobb's ball hit the ground.

No question to me that the NFL did all it could to prevent Dallas from winning that game as this was after the Party Bus incident.

Blogger tublecane January 07, 2018 3:06 PM  

Oh, and if games are fixed, how does Cam Newton lose to Zombie Manning and the Denver Defenders? Even if Manning was a bigger star, audiences don't like to watch somnambulent quarterbacks and great defense.

More importantly, the story going in wasn't Peyton's Last Hurrah. It was clearly supposed to be a Changing of the Guard. Move Over Whitey, this is the "new NFL." Remember?

Anonymous krymneth January 07, 2018 3:08 PM  

Well, if you want to destroy the NFL utterly, spreading this rumor will do it. Even if false, confirmation bias will keep it going until it undermines everything.

Blogger tublecane January 07, 2018 3:12 PM  

@15-Why? How many people outside of Minnesota and Buffalo would care? Do you think audiences are truly fired up by the idea that someone will win their first superbowl no matter what? I don't.

Blogger YIH January 07, 2018 3:17 PM  

Godfrey wrote:I know very little of what's going on in the NFL due to my personal boycott. But my theory is the LA Rams. Why? Because the NFL brought football back to LA and now they have to build a fan base.
LA wanted the NFL back. Why, I don't know, but they did. So they offered what St. Louis didn't, a fancy new stadium - even though that's what St. Louis did to bring the Rams there in the first place.
The same thing happened with the Vikings a few years ago:
Vikes: Replace the Metrodome, or we leave!
Minnesota: Aw c'mon, where you gonna go?
Vikes: LA will build us a new stadium! No more Vikings! No more Super Bowls! Is that what you want?
Minnesota: Uh, OK.

Anonymous Tsalal January 07, 2018 3:28 PM  

Anybody who takes professional sports too seriously needs to read this.

Sports are great, they provide camaraderie, personal growth, discipline, etc. They should not be worshipped from afar.

http://grantland.com/features/the-writer-sht-my-dad-says-why-your-team-give-damn-you/

Blogger YIH January 07, 2018 3:42 PM  

@41 Jag: NO! Down at the 1, not a touchdown. He did not have ''control of the ball'' as he ''broke the plane of the goal line''. Not a fumble, but the ball didn't cross the goal line with him having ''control'' (a grip) on the ball.
Again NO! the ball hit the ground first, in fact the ball bounced off the ground first.

Blogger Lazarus January 07, 2018 3:50 PM  

As for the Vikings this year, no team to my knowledge has ever had home field advantage in the superbowl

The only advantage in a Championship game played at the home field of one of the teams is that you don't have to stay in a hotel or move your gear to another stadium. Superbowl crowds are not 12th Men.

Blogger YIH January 07, 2018 3:59 PM  

Tsalal wrote:Anybody who takes professional sports too seriously needs to read this.

Sports are great, they provide camaraderie, personal growth, discipline, etc. They should not be worshipped from afar.

http://grantland.com/features/the-writer-sht-my-dad-says-why-your-team-give-damn-you/

I don't take any ''old media'' seriously. Despite everything that's happened, I still enjoy the NFL, but I won't watch them on TV. In fact, I did something today that if I thought about it I wouldn't have: I turned on the (old school CRT) TV to find out if the Bills@Jags actually was on. I'm out of the ''blackout'' area.

Anonymous truth January 07, 2018 4:00 PM  

A while back the anti-white bias permeating the sports broadcasting community is part of what drove me away from pro sports in the first place, the other part was me being a loser and seeing rich successful people often younger than me. Fast forwarding to the present now that I have climbed out of my loser hole and have recently been trying to rekindle my love affair with pro sports particularly the NFL, I do see somewhat of an anti-white bias again just like the one that used to turn me off years ago. I would prefer to see them lose that.

Blogger tublecane January 07, 2018 4:11 PM  

@50-You didn't like watching because you were an aging loser? Is this a parody post?

I don't understand that mindset. It's like an SJW landwhale bluehair switching off her tv because Grace Kelly came on.

Though by all means, don't watch if you don't want to.

Anonymous franklinjennings January 07, 2018 4:17 PM  

Haha ala Nelson Muntz. NFL is fake and gay. ROLL TIDE ROLL!

Blogger Cecil Henry January 07, 2018 4:26 PM  

@50: the anti-White bias is everything in MSM.

That's why I don't watch, and I don't watch the big pro sports anymore. There are other great sports: and I really only watch the sports that I actually participate in.

I glance at the NFL, but I don't watch. I don't care anymore.

Blogger Christopher B January 07, 2018 4:29 PM  

While anything is possible, I would at least consider the possibility that 20/20 hindsight is at work in the creation of the 'script'. Yes, Vikings in the SB looks plausible as a preseason decision but consider what happens if Rodgers doesn't have his collar bone broken, Bradford stays playable but subpar, or Keenum flops. Would we still be talking about that script, or something else (maybe at Pats vs GB clash?)

That said, I think the Vikes this season prove (per one of the previous football threads) that the NFL is driven by QBs and head coaches. You can have adequate players/coaches at basically any other position but if you don't have a top tier QB and head coach you are unlikely to make it deep into post season games. You might be able to get by with a top offensive coordinator but you need somebody planning and executing the offense.

Anonymous Deadlocked January 07, 2018 4:44 PM  

I can't find it right now, but I saw a tweet saying Triplett was already planning to retire at the end of this season. He hadn't officiated a playoff game in a few years, and was basically given the TEN-KC assignment as a retirement present.

Blogger tublecane January 07, 2018 5:12 PM  

@53-The Vikings also had the best defense in the league, which is not insignificant.

Anonymous Brick Hardslab January 07, 2018 5:53 PM  

For the amount of money involved they have to be fixed as pro wrestling.

Anonymous BBGKB January 07, 2018 6:14 PM  

I blame the __ws

Blogger Dire Badger January 07, 2018 6:17 PM  

NHL

Blogger Smokey Dust January 07, 2018 7:53 PM  

Wasn’t the 2005 SB also the Bus’ last ride? They rigged that game hard. Matt Hasselback got flagged for missing a tackle after he threw a pick. That also started the “HOF player about to retire must win” narrative. 49ers were looking good and then the lights go out so Ray Lewis could go out on top

Anonymous Looking Glass January 07, 2018 8:24 PM  

@42 tublecane

They smooth the edges. They go into a season with 5-6 teams that are the actual contenders for the Title, and then start building narratives around them. Those teams, that year, will get the extra call.

They don't do this directly. They know the bias of their officials and the right officials will ref the key games. NBA does this as well. And it's not the "big calls" you're looking for. The things that'll disappear are the no-calls or the questionable ones. Favored Offense gets less holding calls and the favored Defense gets more. Things along those lines.

This was the key problem with the replacement officials. They didn't control the flow of the game, so no one knew what was going to be called. Teams adjust their approaches to the nature of the game that's being called, which is also how the "scripting" is done. It's actually a version of "person is policy".

Anonymous VFM #6306 January 07, 2018 8:39 PM  

Triplette announced his retirement today, but you'd have to be as blind as Orlando Brown's left eye not to see that coming.

Blogger Retrenched January 07, 2018 8:57 PM  

49ers were looking good and then the lights go out so Ray Lewis could go out on top

Not to defend the NFL or Ray Lewis, but the Ravens were way ahead at the time of the blackout.

Anonymous Eduardo the Magnificent January 07, 2018 10:16 PM  

There's a guy that's been writing about this for quite some time. His hypothesis: why would you leave a $9B industry to chance, especially since the courts have deemed game fixing legal? He thinks the leagues rig the games to produce story lines and thus, ratings.

http://www.thefixisin.net/

Blogger Koanic January 07, 2018 10:22 PM  

The circuses are corrupt?

Next you'll tell me the bread is adulterated!

If only we had a Caesar, the aqueducts would run on time, and all the races of Rome would live in harmony, blending to beige.

Anonymous Mister M January 08, 2018 6:32 AM  

Eduardo the Magnificent beat me to it. They guy's name is Brian Tuohy - he has been on this stuff for a while. The Saints win after Katrina, there have been some lawsuits against the NFL where it's shown the customer has a right to entertainment, not fair play.... naturally he's been blacklisted from almost everywhere.

Blogger Nate January 08, 2018 8:14 AM  

in terms of storylines... my thought when I first learned about the big Patriots drama this week was "oh... the NFL has decided the Patriots will win the super bowl."

Anonymous rienzi January 08, 2018 10:15 AM  

What did it for me was the Steelers-Seahawks SB. I could have cared less about either team, and didn't care at all who won.

Right from the start it was evident that the refs. were not going to let the Seahawks win regardless. Call after ridiculous call went the Steelers way.

I thought that maybe it was just me, some latent, previously unknown Seattle fandom, but I got a call at halftime from my son. First thing out of his mouth was: "Can you believe how badly the Refs. are hosing Seattle? I didn't thing they would dare be so blatantly one-sided in a Super Bowl."

I have never looked at the NFL in quite the same way again. Have to believe that there haven't been "narratives" in play.

Anonymous fop January 08, 2018 10:43 AM  

Cam Newton is a sexist who degrades female reporters. I do not accept his apology. There is NO PLACE in the NFL for a sexist like Cam Newton.

Anonymous Lawrence January 08, 2018 12:03 PM  

“the superbowl was thrown to them so...”

This is where any intelligent soul stops reading and moves on.

Anonymous The Original Arrogant Steelers Fan January 08, 2018 12:14 PM  

@66 in terms of story lines... my thought when I first learned about the big Patriots drama this week was "oh... the NFL has decided the Patriots will win the super bowl."

I have a little pet theory about the Patriots.

I believe they fill a special role for the NFL, and whatever happens around them is pretty much scripted.

1. The Patriots have blatantly defied the NFL's failed-anyhow parity model, making them outcasts to the higher-ups. They also seemed to embrace a sort of anti-diversity policy (whether intentional or unintentional )that the Colts also embraced in the 2000s, further making them outcasts.

2. Because the Patriots defy the failed-anyhow parity model, they actually play a key role in keeping the needle of the business model pointed up by being next-up in the Steelers-49s-Cowboys-Patriots axis of decennial domination/bad guys.

3. Because of the above, the Patriots make an outstanding whipping-post organization for the NFL higher-ups.

This explains why one hand of the NFL seemingly smacks them while the other hand is propping them up. Let's take this season, for instance. Without four, and counting, calls that inexplicably went their way (including replay reviews from on the field officials and "New York") the Patriots are a 9-7 team, missing the playoffs, and most likely surrendering the AFC East to the Bills.

This defies logic, of course. But the NFL is run Roger Goodell and, ya know, Mr. Goodell is just so SJW...

Anonymous WaterBoy January 08, 2018 12:27 PM  

There are 6 AFC teams and 6 NFC teams in the playoffs, leading to 36 possible Super Bowl "narratives". Each of these narratives has its proponents. One (and only one) of them will come true. The proponents of this narrative will be vindicated, and used as proof of a fixed narrative.

The other 35 will be forgotten and ignored. The fact that these narratives were wrong will not be considered proof of a non-fixed narrative.

It's the same thing every year.

Anonymous The Original Arrogant Steelers Fan January 08, 2018 12:36 PM  

@71 "The other 35 will be forgotten and ignored. The fact that these narratives were wrong will not be considered proof of a non-fixed narrative.

It's the same thing every year."

I believe it's a little more than suspicious how Bob Costas refers to covering the NFL as covering "storylines."

Anonymous WaterBoy January 08, 2018 12:50 PM  

The Original Arrogant Steelers Fan @72: "I believe it's a little more than suspicious how Bob Costas refers to covering the NFL as covering "storylines." "

The NFL has storylines. The NBA has storylines. MLB, NHL, NCAAF, the Olympics, the Kentucky Derby, the Indianapolis 500...all have storylines. Every network works hard to come up with the best storylines to grab the viewers interest.

Bob Costas is hardly unique in this aspect, even if he uses an accurate descriptor in doing so.

Blogger tublecane January 08, 2018 3:15 PM  

@60-That explanation makes more sense, and is in line with my argument that they promote the best narrative they can come up with for the teams that are in the hunt.

The idea that they decided the Vikings should go to the superbowl this year because the game will be he'd in Minneapolis is ludicrous to me. But telling the story of the playoff-bound Vikings as "possibly the first team to host a superbowl" makes sense. It may make people more interested than they otherwise would've been. Plus, you can play up the 0 and 4 superbowl record. Are they cursed? A couple of close championship loses in the past two decades bolsters that story.

All which are reasons to pull strings once they're already there. But not back at the beginning of the season. If it was a matter of finding the best possible storyline, you'd think people would be able to pick superbowl winners accurately before the season even start a. Which would be boring.

Anonymous good mood January 08, 2018 3:21 PM  

A while back the anti-white bias permeating the sports broadcasting community is part of what drove me away from pro sports in the first place,

that's not a great comment, if there is an anti-white bias its very small and insignifigant, not enough to complain about, the African broadcasters to a good job of being kind and gracious to the Caucasian players and the Caucasian broadcasters do a good job of being kind and gracious to African players, all is well for the most part

Blogger tublecane January 08, 2018 3:23 PM  

@72-Bob Costas is a journalist. That's how they talk and think. The president signing a bill is a storyline. Paris Hilton buying a new dog is a storyline. If a hurricane were to carry away your wife, that would be a storyline.

Anonymous this is what I do sometimes January 08, 2018 7:03 PM  

re scripted: perhaps there is a very minimal level of scripting in the NFL, for me the integrity of the game is still decent and I find the games watchable ... I suppose there is some financial incentive for teams in cities with larger populations to win playoff games which kinda sucks but oh well.,, I think very good players like say Joe Montana can overcome any forces at work pushing for pre-determined outcomes....Speaking of the 49ers and the 1980s doing some youtube observation of 1980s playoff games as I sometimes do bc it simply makes me happy, The 49ers I believe did not get many calls in the 1980s in big games or I think any games. In the drive against the Bengals in the 1988-89 Super Bowl where they won 20-16, there were two penalties against the 49ers on that drive... Also (and this very minor but I feel like mentioning it) Howie Long I remember used to go on TV in the 1980s and he had a whole schpeal about how the 49ers were dirty and how they used a chop block but that was a long time ago... I don't really want to be a trouble maker. Anyway it seemed like there was an anti-49er scripting type element at work in the NFL in the 1980s but they overcame it.

Anonymous part II January 09, 2018 10:16 AM  

and it deserves noting that other victims of this alleged (by me) anti-49er campaign in the 1980s would be Roger Craig, Ronnie Lot, Keena Turner, Jerry Rice, John Taylor, and a whole bunch of other black guys,

Anonymous part III January 09, 2018 10:43 AM  

part III, re 10:16

-victims- is the wrong word, -overcomers- is a better word

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