Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Coincidence or Super Fixed?

The Super Bowl. Is there a bigger event in sports today? The NFL is the most popular and most successful business in the sports world and their championship game is so popular its watched by millions around the world. It cost $3 million for a 30 second ad during the game. With this much focus and attention being drawn to one particular game, its important for the NFL to "put on a good show". In the 80's and 90's, it wasn't always a good game. There were quite a few blowouts. The Bears blowing out the Patriots 46-10, San Francisco blowing out the Broncos 55-10, then blowing out the Chargers 49-26, the Cowboys destroying the Bills 52-17... I think you get the idea. These games were over by halftime. The Super Bowl was getting to be known as the "Super Blowout". Nobody was watching by the second half and advertisers were not interested in buying ad time during the second half since less people would see it. The match ups were somewhat boring as well. What story was there behind San Diego vs San Francisco? They're both California teams... so what? Dallas and Buffalo... nothing in common, no story. There was hardly any story behind the match ups. Well that was until the 2001 season. Everything then magically changed.

St. Louis Rams vs New England Patriots 2001 - In wake of 9/11, the NFL decided to make the theme of the Super Bowl a "patriotic" one. This was the year of the infamous "tuck rule". Oh you know, that play where Brady does a pump fake, resets, gets hit, fumbles, Oakland recovers the fumble, Brady goes the sidelines and puts his head down, Belichick takes off his headset, Oakland gets ready for a kneel down... but suddenly the refs get together, review the play and say that the fumble was actually an incomplete pass. Uhhh yeah sure... The Patriots were allowed to keep the ball, they score a TD, win the game and then go onto the Super Bowl. The Patriots playing in the patriotic super bowl, what a coincidence! Not only that, but they go on to win with a last second 48 yard field goal. The whole nation (except St Louis) was so happy to see the Patriots do our our country proud by winning the Super Bowl!

Oakland Raiders vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2002 - The Raiders old coach Jon Gruden leaves Oakland and takes the head coaching job in Tampa. Less than a year later, wouldn't you know it, Gruden is facing his old team in the Super Bowl. What are the odds of that happening?

Carolina Panthers vs New England Patriots 2003 - The Patriots failed to make the playoffs in 2002, which gave some conspiracy theorists a reason to believe that what they did in 2001 was the work of the NFL especially with the whole "tuck rule" incident. Well that Pats make it back to the Super Bowl and its almost an exact replay of the game from two years ago. Ricky Proehl scores a late TD for the other team to tie it, Vinateri kicks a field goal to win it in the final seconds. Yay for "America's team" again.

New England Patriots vs Philadelphia Eagles 2004 - Not since the 70's Steelers have we seen 3 Super Bowl victories in 5 years. What a story it would be if "America's Team" the Patriots won 3 out of 4. They would be a dynasty and possibly the greatest team of all time!

Seattle Seahawks vs Pittsburgh Steelers 2005 - In this season the Super Bowl location is Detroit. Kind of an odd place for a big game, but not unprecedented, it was there in 1982. Wouldn't you know it though, future Hall of Famer and Steelers RB Jerome Bettis was born in Detroit and he let it be known that this was going to be his last year. What a way to go, winning the Super Bowl in your hometown. Going out on top! What a story!

Indianapolis Colts vs Chicago Bears 2006 - For the last several seasons, the Colts were one of the top teams in the league, but could never quite get over the hump. They had great regular season records and every year you would hear about Tony Dungy possibly being the first black head coach in the Super Bowl. Finally it was he year and wouldn't you know it, he would be coaching against another African American coach Lovie Smith. The two were already very good friends and would make history together by being the first two black head coaches in the Super Bowl with one of them being the first black coach to win the Super Bowl. Great feel good story!

New York Giants vs New England Patriots 2007 - It was discovered earlier in this season that "America's Team" was a fraud. They got caught cheating during their championship seasons and the public was outraged. Outraged that it happened and outraged that the NFL merely gave them a slap on the wrist when they were caught (They also destroyed the evidence of the cheating, which is very odd to say the least). People were starting to say that the cheating was the only reason they won. What could save the face of the NFL and the integrity of the league? Ohhh how about a 16-0 regular season without cheating? Then go into the Super Bowl 18-0 with the chance to be called the greatest team of all time. Unfortunately for the NFL, the Giants won the Super Bowl in the final minute causing the Patriots to go 18-1. But you know what? A team blowing their chance at perfection in the final minute of the last game is a huge story!

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Arizona Cardinals 2008 - When long time head coach Bill Cowher retired, the Steelers had a choice to make. Who do they make the next head coach? Current OC Ken Whisenhunt, offensive line coach Russ Grimm or Rooney Rule candidate Mike Tomlin. The Steelers, of course, went with Tomlin, while Whisenhunt and Grimm went off to the desert in Arizona. Wouldn't you know it, one year later, its Tomlin vs Whisenhunt and Grimm in the Super Bowl? What are the odds, right? Especially since the Cardinals hadn't even been to any type of championship game since 1947. The Steelers win, Tomlin shows the Rooney's they made the right choice and Pittsburgh is known as "Sixburgh".

New Orleans Saints vs Indianapolis Colts 2009 - In the Saints 42 year history, they have never even made it to the Super Bowl. They were the laughing stock of the league for decades. The "Aints", as they were called, only had one good player even worth mentioning and that was QB Archie Manning. He was the lone bright spot on a very dark franchise history. With Hurricane Katrina destroying the city of New Orleans it really is a fantastic story that this city was able to be rebuilt and recover. Wouldn't it be great though if the Saints actually went to the Super Bowl too? Heck, not only would it be great if they went to the Super Bowl, but what if they were to go up against Archie Manning's son, Peyton?! Wouldn't that be an awesome story?!

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Green Bay Packers 2010 - Green Bay's first round pick from 2005, Aaron Rodgers, didn't get to start in his first NFL game till 2008 thanks to the "evil" Brett Favre holding him down. At the beginning of the year, Favre wanted to give it one last go to win a Super Bowl before retiring. However Favre wasn't very good, he lost to his old team twice, got injured numerous times, watched his consecutive games streak come to an end as well as his career. Meanwhile, in the city that the "evil" Favre used to dwell, a new hero comes to the light in the form of Aaron Rodgers, the guy Favre was trying to hold down. Rodgers goes on to win his first championship in the same year that is Favre's last. As Favre's light is extinguished, Rodgers light shines brightly through the NFL world as he offers more promise to Green Bay than the Favre ever did.

New York Giants vs New England Patriots 2011 - One of the closest most emotion filled, intense Super Bowl's in recent history was the Giants vs Patriots back in January of 2008.  It pretty much had it all.  New York vs Boston.  Brady vs (Eli) Manning.  The wildcard, barely made the playoff Giants vs the unbeaten Pats.  It came down to the last thrilling minute.  It was so good, why not have it again?  Surely, the Pats would get their revenge, right?  Not so much.  In fact, this game was eerily similar to the one played in 2008.  Eli needing to drive his team down the field in the final minutes, an unbelievable throw and catch, a last minute TD, Brady lobbing bombs down the field from his end out of desperation.  Nothing makes a non-Patriot NFL fan smile like the Patriots losing in the Super Bowl.

However, I always felt like this was a mistake.  Had it not been for the 49ers Kyle Williams' fumble on a punt in OT and Billy Cundiff's chipshot miss against the Patriots, it could very well have been John vs Jim Harbaugh in this years Super Bowl.  You know what they say... better luck next year.

Baltimore Ravens vs San Francisco 49ers 2012 - So after another long, hard fought, unpredictable season, both Harbaugh brothers are in conference championships again.  What are the odds right?  I mean, especially since the 49ers were starting a 2nd year QB that only started 8 games this year and the Ravens backed into the playoffs losing 4 of their last 5.  Its incredible that they were both able to make it back to the Conference championships again in back to back years.  And wouldn't you know it... they both won this time around!  Its the Harbaugh Bowl!  Brother vs brother!  John vs Jim!  What a great story!

That's a pretty incredible span. 12 games in a row with an intriguing storyline. Half of them were decided by 4 points or less. Only one game was won by more than 14 points. With the exception of the Patriots lost perfect season, all of them are considered to be "happy endings", at least in the minds of the NFL/average American football fan with no interest in either team. A dynasty, history being made, going out on top, former allies matched up against one another, brother vs brother. It was quite the decade huh?

I'm not saying that the NFL is "fixing" their games, but its naive to think this is all happening naturally. It went from being just two really good teams playing each other, most of the time it ended up in a blow out, to every game is really close and has an intriguing back story for the media to hype for two weeks prior to the game being played. The NFL needs this game to have it all and for the last 12 Super Bowls, it has. Coincidence or fixed? You tell me.

UPDATE:  I've updated this blog post with 2011 and 2012 to keep track of this continuing trend of incredibly fascinating games that the NFL is lucky enough to have each and every year.

24 comments:

  1. Hey, Nick,

    Wild that you posted this. I was just talking to Nikki about this a few weeks ago. It wasn't as in depth but I said, "Does it ever seem like when 9/11 happened we need a boost and "The Patriots" started becoming unstoppable. And in years where the working man are under attack and need a little boost, teams like "The Packers" and "The Steelers" do well - teams that really appeal to working class joes. Katrina, all of a sudden "New Orleans Saints" start winning like juggernauts... Not only does it seem beyond coincidental but also weird that we both felt that at probably similar times.

    Peace!

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    1. hey nick throw in the helmet to helmet super lawsuit and you have anther reason why the Nfl Is fixed...I mean come on Multi trillion dollar business with Multi billion dollar owners and multi million dollar players..all possibly losing it all....It is absolutely unequivocally fixed.. And again this year ..The ravens just happen to have Denvers safteys faill ...The helmet to helmet contact that likely cost the patriots the game and then the 2 Non calls tonight...what a joke ..I cant even watch it anymore it makes me sick...I will stick to NCAA

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  2. LOL well after 10 years its starting to become obvious. Maria posted this link on her FB wall and a couple people don't think its so obvious and that its just a coincidence. Ignorance is bliss.

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  3. Methinks 'tis always fixed...WHEN, it suits The Masters' suite schemes and/or whims.

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  4. Yeah and what was the patriots record before 9/11 like 1-4 and suddenly they're super great but wow how many "lucky" plays went in their favor and wasn't it funny that the rules changed that allowed the pats defense to hold the rams receivers or perhaps the unstoppable rams just suddenly got slow couldn't catch and sucked, yeah that's probably it, also has any team ever won 3 super bowls by 3 points each, weird huh, GO POST 9/11 PATRIOTS YOU RULE(good thing your names not the new England tigers cuz then you might actually have to be good)

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  5. This is total bullshit. the Pats are a great team and Tom Brady is a great QB. i'll admit that yes they did cheat but theyre still great.

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  6. Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write ups thanks once again.
    Super Bowl 2012

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  7. Tom Brady was oh so great and that's a fact. And I can't wait for them to win the Super Bowl this Feb. 2012.

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    1. John in GreensboroFebruary 8, 2012 at 2:22 PM

      If the post 9-11 theory is true, wouldn't it make sense for the Giants or Jets to be the ones suddenly invincible and not the Patriots?

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  8. wake up America! of course its fixed. Fools

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  9. John in GreensboroFebruary 8, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Whoopsie about the Pats winning this Feb...

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  10. You guys are retards. The super bowl is not fixed. Stop trying to come up with a reason to why your team sucks and other teams are better. Its called jealousy. And no, im not a patriots fan, im just an average guy with some common sense.

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    1. Sorry you are a idiot if you think the NFL is not fixed ...common sense went bye bye a long time ago

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  11. My team "sucks"? My team has more Super Bowls than anyone else in the NFL, but thanks for your idiotic two cents. I appreciate it.

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    1. Still not the greatest team ever. That would go to the packers can't only count superbowls

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    2. But Nick...if its all rigged then those rings mean nothing and yoour team sucks

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    3. it just basically means (if your correct about your thoery anyway) your team is the shadest of them all...right ? right? high five anyone?
      Oh yea just high fived myself

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  12. to who ever created this page did you think about reacreating it and add the 2012 superbowl as the "harbowl"

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  13. Just updated with 2011 and 2012 Super Bowls. The Harbaugh Bowl... unbelievable.

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  14. Have reason to think last year's Super Bowl was fixed. I dunno all the factors were there. Eli in Peyton's soon to be former house, arch rival New England in the Colts house. And then the lost at the end, Brady doing a lot uncharacteristically un-Brady things like keeping his head down like was depressed. It really just stunk to be honest. Not that I'm taking the Patriots off the hook, its just seems to convenient they didn't throw the game on the purpose. You could also make the case, Jim Irsay lost 14 games in a row to get the No. 1 pick knowing fully well Luck would the Colts savior many more years than Manning, but thats a separate issue.

    Jesus, I'm starting to sound like Jerry Rice.

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  15. I (and probably a lot of you) predicted the 49ers and Ravens would get in the SB before the playoffs. what a shock they got in. With all the money and gambling involved in football, you know they make calls on the field to help determine who gets in

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  16. Ray Lewis story, brother vs. brother NFL thinks we r stupid & people show the NFL they are stupid when they paid $950 for 1 ticket.

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  17. to be honest im not a NFL fan but you can see the obvious manipulation in this.... if you check any other sport you can rank top teams and bottom teams. in american football is always a "convenient surprise" who is playing the superbowl.

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  18. Well this year was not a storybook year with manning winning and the great offense with nerfed defense rules, it wasn't even a good game if you don't live in the north west. They rigged it because you were onto them!

    You make great points on everything and 2005 left a bad taste in my mouth but it is hard to see the rest of it when you are not involved with the team.

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