Monday, February 02, 2009

Super Bowl Consipracy?

WARNING: only read this if you like football and watched the Super Bowl, or if you are bored and like conspiracies.

Tonight the Steelers beat the Cardinals in Superbowl XLIII, 27-23. There was an obvious bias against the Cardinals by the officials.

First I will recount the bad/questionable actions by the refs:

1. In the final play of the game, Kurt Warner (QB, Cardinals) made a questionable fumble, giving the ball, and the victory, to the Steelers. The play was not reviewed by the officials. Such a play, as questionable as this, in the final seconds of the Super Bowl, not being even reviewed (let alone overtuned) is shocking in and of itself.
This fumble prevented the Cardinals from having one last shot at going for a TD and the win. Keep in mind that the Cardinals have one of the league's best QBs, and two of the league's best WRs.
Btw, everyone that I was watching with thought this was an incomplete pass and not a fumble. The refs didn't even think to review it.

2. "The Cardinals also had to challenge two blown calls by the refs — one on a Ben Roethlisberger run that was initially ruled a touchdown, the other on an earlier incompletion that was initially ruled a fumble." Luckily Cards coach Ken Whisenhunt decided to risk his precious timeouts and challenge those calls. He got both calls overturned, and both were on huge plays. This left him with only 1 challenge, even though he made no mistakes and the burden of mis-calls was on the officials.

3. "On one Steelers drive that ended with a field goal, Arizona was called for three personal fouls." I can recall at least two if these that were questionable (a roughing the passer, and an unneccesary roughness on the first field goal attempt).

So there was obviously a bias, whether it was conscious or not.

Now here's where I'm gonna lose most of you. Here are the reasons someone in the NFL might have wanted the Steelers to win:

1. The Steelers have a stronger fan base than the Cardinals, and the NFL could make make more money from celebratory Steelers fans.

2. The Cardinals were widely described as the worst playoff team in the history of the NFL. They won a shitty division and made the playoffs with an unimpressive record of 9-7. During the course of their season they experienced many crushing losses to teams that didn't even make the playoffs. Perhaps a win by the Cards would dampen the meaning of winning the Superbowl...?

3. The Cards have always sucked, and no one would care if they were the Superbowl champs. But if the Steelers won a record SIXTH Superbowl, that's a $tory!

4. NFL commish Roger Goodell has done some sketchy things during his tenure, like destroying all evidence in Spygate and essentially ending all discussion on the issue. Personally, I don't trust the guy.

5. It was the Government and they're all in on it!!! shhh... they might be listening...

Before you discount this conspiracy theory, please recall that the NBA has had it's share of biased refs, and also realize that many Cardinals players/coaches/fans feel cheated:

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Blogger Scantron said...

I agree with much of your analysis. The Warner pass was clearly incomplete, as he had control of the ball and his arm was in motion. (The fact that this was called a fumble while Roethlisberger made at least two obvious weak-ass throwaways rather than be sacked is also conspicuous.)

The personal fouls seemed incredible to me. In both cases it was basically a 250 lb man with his full momentum behind him failing to stop himself mid dive.

I cannot speak for refs' decision not to review during the final play, but I did hear that challenges are not allowed during the last two minutes? Could be completely wrong about that.

Clearly the answer to this whole scenario is that Kurt Warner thought he could win by praying to Jesus, but what he failed to realize is that Barack Obama IS Jesus and also happens to favor the Steelers.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Josh the Hippie Killer said...

In the final two minutes of any half, a team can not issue a challenge; instead, challenges can only be issued by the refs. Usually they are quite liberal with reviewing questionable plays. The fact that they didn't take the proper time to review such an important play in such an important game is astonishing - especially when many people think they got the call wrong.

I wonder if Warner blamed Jesus for this mistake...

10:51 PM  
Blogger Robot said...

Let me add one to your conspiracy theory. The safety call you might say was a blown call in favor of the Cardinals. Let me drop this on you: the call in fact helped the Steelers. Up by six at the time, a two point Cardinals score does absolutely nothing to help Arizona. (They still need a touchdown to go ahead.) Indeed, it hurts them. Rather than have Pittsburgh punt from the back of their end zone, with the likelihood that the Cardinals get the ball at midfield at worse, the Steelers get to punt the bull, pushing Arizona farther back in their field position. Now, granted, Pittsburgh completed a pass so, in fact, the call ended up helping Arizona. But there was no way for the officials to know that Roethlisberger would have completed that pass, and, statistically, he doesn't. Extending this same analysis to the Ravens v. Steelers game two weeks prior, we can see that the real, deserving, champions, are in fact the team from Baltimore.

9:46 PM  
Blogger Josh the Hippie Killer said...

In addition to the controversy over Warner's 'fumble,' there are growing complaints about the lack of an excessive celebration penalty against Santonio Holmes during his game-winning touchdown.

Excessive celebrations are a 15 yard penalty. Assuming the Cardinals would have had the same/similar sort of drive in the closing 35 seconds, the Cards would have snapped the ball at the Steelers' 29 yard line (not the Steelers' 44 yard line, which is what actually happened) during their final play.

Why were there so many BS judgment penalties against the Cards and not many favorable judgment penalties against the Steelers? Why were certain penalties against the Steelers completely ignored? We will probably never know, but an excessive celebration penalty could have made all the difference in the Super Bowl.

12:54 PM  

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