August 8, 2010

An XL Challenge to my Readers

Since the Leavy admissions the other day, we have TONS of Seahawks fans exhuming the notion that Super Bowl XL was fixed. The most common version of this that I have seen is that at the highest levels of NFL leadership, the decision was made to rig the outcome in favor of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

My challenge to you, particularly to those of you who believe this, is to present a convincing argument as to WHY the NFL would do such a thing.

Don't say it was about money, because there's no plausible connection between the result of XL on the field and the size of the NFL's next set of TV contracts. As I hope you all know, selling broadcast rights accounts for the VAST majority of the NFL's revenue. Merchandise sales create a pittance of dollars compared to what NBC, CBS, FOX, ESPN and DirecTV pay to broadcast the games, so even if your argument is "A Steelers win would create bigger sales of Super Bowl Champions gear," that's laughably out of whack. Why would the NFL risk a criminal conspiracy that could theoretically destroy the popularity of the league (and cost billions), so they could sell a couple million more T-shirts? It simply doesn't track.

Also, if there was an actual conspiracy, who was involved in it? This is a weakness of bat-shit crazy conspiracy theories in general, but in this specific case, how many people would have been involved? Wouldn't the risks of such a conspiracy outweigh the potential benefits?

Finally, a more philosophical point: If you TRULY believe that XL was rigged, why the fuck do you still follow the sport? I'd love to hear the explanations on that one.

Let's use Occam's Razor for a minute: What is more plausible... That there was a criminal conspiracy involving god knows how many people to fix the Super Bowl for nebulous, ill-defined reasons? Or that a group of officials expecting a typical, VIP-heavy Super Bowl crowd were shocked/intimidated by a wildly partisan Pro-Steelers throng in the stands, and simply, cowardly, CHOKED?

I await your cogent arguments, fellow Twelves.


neurocell said...

The only "conspiracy theory" that ever held water with me dealt with someone paying off the refs because they had money riding on the stealers. I don't even think a Rooney would do that because of how hard the NFL came down on Eddie DeBartolo, Jr. If someone in the stealer organization had done that, and the FBI found out about it, Pittsburgh would probably lose the NFL forever.

I just don't believe in conspiracy theories.

I read a British study on the conspiracy theories surrounding Princess Diana's death and the moon landings. The authors research shows that the less control a person has over a situation, the more likely they would believe in a conspiracy theory. Basically they said that the less someone feels in control of a situation, the more likely they believe that the only explanation would be a conspiracy.

On a side note: Do you think that Mel Gibson prepared himself too well for his role in "Conspiracy Theory," or was he just a bigot from way back?

bleedshawkblue said...

I think that Shitsburg complained to the league when they got a couple of playoff games in a row with a bunch of bad calls, and the league, or maybe just Leavy, felt guilty for the zebras' sucking repeatedly, and called the game tighter in the stealers favor.

Much as it pains me, that game was winnable in spite of the conspiracy, we handed it to them by freaking out about the bad calls instead of managing the clock correctly and being in position to make a couple of routine plays.

It's easier to effect change when you win, cause when you call out injustice after losing, your opponents can always play the whiner card in the court of public opinion.