We have several examples throughout history that serve as proof, and it is true that there are conspiracies in sports. However, it is not accurate to say that every game has a conspiracy theory. Instead, most fans tend to cry foul after the game.
You have had several cases of gambling scandals involving point shaving in both Major League Baseball and college basketball. Tim Donaghy, an NBA referee, was sentenced to federal prison for his role in the “Flagrant Foul” Operation scandal, which involved betting on NBA games. In 2015, an investigation into money laundering, racketeering, fraud, and bribery resulted in the resignation of Sepp Blatter, the President of FIFA, and the arrest of seven FIFA officials by the FBI.
Here, we take a look at the Super Bowl that coaches and players of the Hall of Fame claimed was rigged three times, but it’s a thing that fans ask questions about.
SUPER BOWL III (New York Jets 16 – Baltimore Colts 7)
In 1969, it was a pivotal moment for the New York Jets as Joe Namath came in as a heavy favorite (-18) and guaranteed victory, threatening the future of the Colts and the AFL with another lopsided loss in the Super Bowl. The previous two Super Bowls saw the NFL team run roughshod over the AFL representing team.
In the Jets organization, Rosenblum wagered a significant sum of 3 Million in the City of Baltimore, and as per popular belief, he passed away under enigmatic circumstances in 1979. The Colts’ proprietor (Caroll Rosenblum) was renowned for his penchant for gambling. Vince Lombardi publicly stated that the Jets were unlikely to emerge victorious.
The Jets went on to win the Super Bowl, securing the future and leading to the merger of AFL and NFL, with a score of 16-7. He threw three interceptions on 6-of-17 passing and seemed to miss wide-open receivers, blaming quarterback Earl Morrall for the game’s loss. Bubba Smith, the Pro Bowl defensive end for the Colts, was also criticized.
SUPER BOWL XXXVII (Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48 – Oakland Raiders 21)
Multiple players of the Raiders accused head coach Bill Callahan of throwing the game against the offensive coordinator Gruden, who was promoted to head coach in Tampa and was under the head coach Gruden in Oakland.
A mere 48 hours prior to the match, Jerry Rice, Rod Woodson, Tim Brown, and Barret Robbins all expressed doubts about their coach’s choice to alter the game strategy. Callahan completely reversed his previous stance on the Friday leading up to the Super Bowl, informing the team that he now plans to pass the ball 60 times, despite having focused on a predominantly rushing offense throughout the entire week of practice.
If John Gruden was in Oakland when the team used the same audible calls that the team used when Callahan was the coach, why would a coach sabotage his own team in the Super Bowl with a theory that his relationship with Davis Al played a rocky role?
SUPER BOWL XL (Pittsburgh Steelers 21 – Seattle Seahawks 10)
He was given the key to the city of Detroit by Kwame Kilpatrick, the mayor, as Bettisburgh started referring to the fans and the final season for the Hall of Famer. Everyone was cheering for Pittsburgh, but the Seahawks had the best offense in the NFL and Shaun Alexander, the MVP, was the running back.
“That’s not what you believe,” uttered John Madden. An offensive pass interference was penalized for the play that seemed to be the initial touchdown of the match with two minutes remaining in the opening quarter, but Seattle didn’t hesitate to make an impact on this game. Pittsburgh was a slight frontrunner in Las Vegas, notwithstanding Seattle arriving as the top-ranked team and the Steelers being a wildcard team. The press, the supporters, and conceivably the association were all supporting the Steelers.
Madden stated that the referee believed he witnessed something that he did not witness. The most flagrant of all the disputed decisions in the match was a block beneath the waist that was in reality a tackle on the player carrying the ball. Levy would eventually offer a formal apology to the Seattle organization several years later. Referee Bill Levy penalized a player for holding, despite being the sole person in the venue who observed a hold. The Seahawks seemed to have a first down and an opportunity to score a touchdown at the 1 yard line, positioning them to seize the lead early in the fourth quarter.
Pereira, rather than issuing a statement to acknowledge the controversy, also became a subject of controversy following the game because of the vanishing of NFL head of officiating Mike. “The game exuded a sense of manipulation by the officials, and left you feeling unclean when you finally switched it off,” stated Boston reporter Tom Curran after the game.