When I was in college (early 2010s), our conspiracy theories were wild, but not as wild as these Gen Zers’. While we debated if 9/11 was an inside job, and cleared our schedules to watch the newest episode of ‘Finding Bigfoot’, kids these day legitimately think the Earth is flat. No joke, I asked one college kid last year what’s the hot conspiracy theory kicked around the frat house right now, and he tells me that TVA controls the freaking sunrise.
For a few years, I was convinced 9/11 was the result of a long thought out and well coordinated scheme carried out by the Illuminati and our US government. (I still have questions about Building 7). Even the way our country’s leaders reacted was fishy. A reason to go to war with Saddam Hussain and (shoutout to whistle blower Snowden) a reason to monitor the United States’ citizens Orwell-1984 style. However, I think those reactions were more based on a strategy Winston Churchill put into words, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” When tragedy strikes, its a hell of an opportunity for policy makers to take advantage of an emotional public.
The main reason I came around on 9/11, as well as the legitimacy of the moon landing by the way, is that the sheer complicity of such a cover up would require way too many damn people to keep their mouth’s shut. To pull something off of that magnitude requires a lot of people on the same page, and the government can’t do most simple things well. So to suggest a cover up of that caliber is a gross overestimation of their aptitude. The real conspiracy with 9/11 is that the CIA knew how dangerous Bin Laden was and never communicated that information to the FBI.
I say all that, to get to the point that real conspiracies exist. But the art of a good conspiracy is subtlety. Not grand coordinated efforts. Something that only requires a few people on the inside, and only a couple strings to be pulled here and there. The NFL isn’t straight up fixing games. But when some of these decisions are close to 50-50, and the game of football is a game of inches, it isn’t too difficult to subtly favor one side or the other.
Which brings me to….
A-Rob’s Conspiracy Corner: Is the NFL Rigged AF?
CBS gets their wish
Looking back, it was foolish of me to think that Fidel Goodell was going to leave TB12 out of this one. When the GOAT is in his waning years, you have to squeeze every last ounce of juice out of that orange. I don’t care how many avocado smoothies Brady drinks, age catches up to us all, and it happens to quarterbacks quick. There are no guarantees from here on out for him, and the league has Mahomes for years to come. Speaking of the Chiefs, they better get some players on that defense and take advantage of the window before they have to pay Mahomes the big bucks.
This matchup is straight up Hollywood script. The old genius coach vs the young genius coach. The old quarterback vs a young gun. Boston grit vs LA swag. And TV markets. Don’t forget about that.
There’s no secret, when it comes to building a franchise’s attract-ability, if you win, the fans will come. Perhaps even in LA where football is barely on their radar. That’s what happened here in Nashville. You think people here use to give a shit about hockey? Hell no. But once the Predators made the Stanley Cup Final, fans came out of the woodwork. People want to be associated with a winner. And if the NFL wants to ingrain one of it’s teams in the Los Angeles market, the best way to generate interest is by giving them a Super Bowl birth.
The NFL loves them some Patriots
The NFL has always been sketchy, but the referees officiating Patriots’ Divisional and Conference Championship rounds in recent years are truly something to behold. That roughing the passer call on Jones? Overturning Edelman’s botched punt with ZERO conclusive evidence?? This shit is wrestling.
By the way, the same ref that worked the Deflategate game officiated the AFC Championship. How in the hell does someone that regularly works football games not notice a difference when the ball is considerably flat?
NFL OT rules are an absolute joke. How can you have the league MVP in Mahomes not get a chance to possess the ball in overtime? How is that good for your league? Apparently the reason OT rules in the NFL are the way that they are is because the networks don’t want games lasting too long?? What kind of bullshit excuse is that? Its one extra possession and you reserve it for the postseason. In my opinion, the whole overtime system needs revisiting, but the league doesn’t want to do that… because this gives them the opportunity to set a team up for success with their DOUBLE SIDED COINS.
The coin toss
Perhaps the coins aren’t double sided, but I suspect some form of manipulation is afoot. And if not, then the Patriots (known cheaters), have been the fortunate winners of the two most pivotal coin tosses in the history of football. And I don’t think that’s hyperbole. The Super Bowl against the Falcons was the first to go to OT. And in this particular game, with a Super Bowl birth on the line, you just had a feeling the winner of that toss was going to win the game considering how well both offenses were moving the ball.
Before the Patriots called heads or tails, I asked my brother what he would call. We agreed that tails was the move. When the Patriot player called heads, and then won, it raised my suspicion level.. Every self respecting athlete knows that ‘tails never fails’. This prompted me to review the OT coin toss in Super Bowl LI.
The Patriots also called heads in that one.
Please no more replay
I understand the Saints got jobbed, but if we manage to come out of this year with more replay, I’m going to be pissed off. If we start reviewing pass interference calls then ’60 Minutes’ and ‘Masked Singer’ fans are going to have to tune in around midnight cause games are going to last at least 4 and a half hours.
Despite all the rigging, I have to admit that the Rams still earned it. LA’s front four caused havoc in the backfield all game and they dominated in special teams. The field goal kicker had some daggers and the fake punt was the spark that got them going.
The Pats got a lot of help from the officials, but the Chiefs defense gave Brady the middle of the field all game, and he made them pay for it.
Is time linear or circular?
I had flashes of being a sharp when I was in grade school. The first Super Bowl between the Rams and Patriots, I was in 4th grade and I still remember telling my classmates the Patriots were going to win. Although, to be fair, it was just the contrarian in me. My playground buddies were all pulling for the Rams.
Its ironic that things have come full circle, and the matchup that began a dynasty could be the same matchup that ends it. I’m not declaring the Patriots dead, regardless of what happens, but this run is close to its last leg.
In 2002, they played the game in a southern football mecca in New Orleans. They’re playing this one in the other great southern football city of Atlanta.
Goff > Wentz
I find it interesting that the Rams are following the Eagles as the NFC representative. After their first couple seasons, it would be hard to find someone that wouldn’t say the Rams made a mistake in taking Goff over Wentz. But I feel time has vindicated the Ram organization’s decision. There’s no ability more valuable than availability, and Wentz can’t stay on the freaking field. If you gave me the choice right now between the two, I’m taking Goff as my quarterback. He’s not setting the world on fire but he gets the job done. He showed me a lot in that NFC Championship game. In a hostile environment, down early, he stayed composed and made the throws he needed to make to give his team a chance to win the game.
Lets be honest, this is why you’re here. Here’s some that I like. FYI, I pulled these from the Westgate Sportsbook sheet.
Typically, as I stated earlier, I stick with tails never fails. But in a game featuring the Patriots, I’m going with the weighted heads coin.
Will either team score in the first 6.5 minutes of the game? No (+130)
You gotta pick your spots with these plus odds, but I really like this one. The Patriots have been notoriously slow starters in Super Bowls. Also, in these playoffs, the Patriots have put together some clock chewing opening drives.
Tom Brady Under 1.5 yards rushing (-110)
Unlike Goff, I think we all know Brady’s old ass ain’t scrambling. He may have a qb sneak or two at best. You also have the possibility he kneels a couple times to end the game. I additionally have to think Aaron Donald also gets himself a sack or two, the man is unblockable.
Will Pats convert their first 3rd down attempt? Yes (+135)
We’re getting plus odds on this??
Will Pats convert a 4th down attempt? Yes (+115)
Goff first pass incomplete (+170) and Brady first pass incomplete (+180)
I started doing this last year and it worked out. I take both quarterbacks separately to throw an incomplete pass on their first attempt, and if one of them does you cash.
Will Goff throw an interception? No (+110)
I think the narrative from most bettors is to take Goff to throw a pick this game, considering his first Super Bowl jitters, but I’m going contrarian on this one. Like I said earlier, Goff showed me a lot in that NFC Championship and I think he’s a cooler cat than people are giving him credit for.
Sean McVay has done a great job of putting him in good positions all year. They often play one or two TEs to keep the pocket clean.
Longest field goal made Over 47.5 (-110)
Forget the walking boot, its CANNON LEG ZUERLEIN BABY
Will there be overtime? Yes (+700)
Heads-gate part 3??? Fun to take a small flier on for 7 to 1 odds.
Sony Michel Under 76.5 yards rushing (-110)
The Rams did a nice job of limiting Zeke and Kamara/Ingram.
Todd Gurley receptions Over 3.5 (-110)
The Rams have to get him more involved this game. I think he redeems himself of those dropped passes against the Saints.
Robert Woods catches a touchdown (+150)
Taking a flier on my home boy that helped anchor the wide receiver position on my fantasy team this year.
Total Penalties for the Patriots Under 4.5 (Even)
Will Tom Brady throw a touchdown pass in the 4th quarter? Yes (-110)
I want some late game TB12 action.
Rams +2.5 and game total under 56.5
My biggest concern about this pick is the league is ready to hand Brady ring number six, thus tying him with Michael Jordan and solidifying his GOAT status for the NFL. But if you read the tea leaves, there’s no denying that the Rams have been the better team over the course of the season. There’s a reason the opening line was Rams -1.
The Patriots offensive line has been playing well, but they haven’t run into a defensive front of this caliber in a while. The Rams defense is a different animal right now. Donald and Suh have been feasting. The Patriots were bailed out in the AFC Championship by an inept Chiefs defense both from a personnel and coaching standpoint. Wade Philips will at least give Brady some tougher looks.
The Rams have been getting a lot of shit about how they don’t even deserve to be playing in this game. But if you remember, Brady and the Patriots benefited from the tuck rule or they wouldn’t have made it to that first Super Bowl. Its very possible that we’ll all look back on the pass interference game the same way we look back on the tuck rule game. The Rams have a young coach that’s prime to have them competing at a high level for years to come.
I appreciate everyone that read along this football season. You guys give me the motivation to continue pursuing my passion of writing and handicapping sports. Be sure to stay tuned in to the site, I’ll be putting up some basketball content in the near future.