If NFL is rigged, which 2 teams will make the Super Bowl this season?
Seaside Joe 1380
In the midst of creating this week’s Vision Board against the 49ers, I dropped a plate on my foot. So forgive me if today’s Seaside Joe newsletter is truncated due to me being Michael Scott.
I hurt myself. Help me.
I posed this question to a bunch of my friends on Tuesday and the answers I got had a lot of similarities with a few key differences: If the NFL is rigged, as many detractors have claimed, then which AFC and NFC teams would Roger Goodell and company insist make it to Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona?
I don’t think the NFL is rigged, but I admit there are some interesting arguments to be made and for me right now nothing stands out more than the current location of Baker Mayfield.
The NFL was so positive that the Los Angeles Rams were going to be a good team again that they scheduled four monstrous games involving the Rams at the end of the season:
Week 14’s Thursday Night Football meeting at SoFi Stadium against the Las Vegas Raiders (the NFL’s number one priority in the last three years has been to build hype for the league in Los Angeles and Las Vegas)
Week 15’s Monday Night Football game between the Rams and Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field
Week 16’s Christmas Day game between the Rams and Denver Broncos
Week 17’s Sunday Night Football “Battle for Los Angeles” between the Rams and Chargers
The NFL could flex Chargers-Rams out of Week 17, but for whom? The closest thing to a game with playoff implications is Dolphins-Patriots, or Panthers-Bucs, but is the league going to turn attention away from their $5 billion stadium in Carson (the NFL really wants you to travel to L.A. for games!) for a mid-off between Tampa Bay and Carolina?
Then the Rams close their season with a game against the Seahawks that will have no playoff implications, another disappointing outcome for the NFL’s schedule makers. Not because Seattle fell flat, but because the Rams did.
No Matthew Stafford, no Cooper Kupp, no Aaron Donald, no really good reasons to tune in.
And now here comes Baker Mayfield out of left field, the most prominant quarterback to EVER be picked up on waivers and he STARTS two days after he gets to Los Angeles? Then after 55 minutes of the most boring game I’ve ever seen, he wins?
Sure, there’s something fishy about that.
But it doesn’t mean that the NFL is going to have a hands-on approach to which teams win their respective conferences. Although you could argue that if the NFL was able to pick a Super Bowl winner in 2021, they would have picked the Rams; if the NFL could have done it in 2020, they would have picked Tom Brady; if the NFL could have done it in 2019, they surely might have selected the Chiefs; and if the NFL was in charge of wins and losses in 2018, why not Brady?
I don’t think the NFL is rigged. But let’s PRETEND that it is. Who do YOU think will be playing in the Super Bowl about two months from now?
Sorry, Substack only lets me choose five options. My “other” category would involve the Ravens, Dolphins, Bengals, Jets, and Raiders.
Similarly, I left out the Vikings, Eagles, Commanders, and Seahawks. None of those would seem to be the NFL’s first choice.
Please leave COMMENTS if you agree or disagree or want to add your thoughts. I’ll continue to bestow subscriptions out to anyone who isn’t a premium subscriber who leaves a comment.
I don't believe in conspiracies. They are exaggerations of reality created by THEM so any investigation of something is immediately met with scorn.
In all seriousness, I don't believe in conspiracies, but I think that some referees will intentionally and discreetly force (or hold) their hands here and there. It may be to favor an underdog so a friend or relative wins some bets, or to keep games close, which is better for their employers the NFL. It's not widespread, it's not a conspiracy, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen here and there.
If it’s rigged, it’s not necessarily for Goodell’s favorites. It would be for the benefit of certain betting interests. And we can’t necessarily assume that the dirty money is on the Golden Boy teams.
Oppose online betting legalization. Seriously. It’s a credible and serious threat to honest sports.