2023 Super Bowl Scripted? Many Bettors Seriously Believe It Is

2023 Super Bowl Scripted? Many Bettors Seriously Believe It Is
Image ©Michael Chow/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK
✍️ Written by
Ty Bronicel
🗓 Updated
Aug 23rd 2023

Conspiracy theorists are out in full force leading up to Sunday’s Super Bowl LVII.

Many are banking on their belief that the NFL is “rigged.” Some of the calls this season, and particularly during the AFC Championship Game between the Chiefs and Bengals, have irked fans and hurt the league’s image.

Commissioner Roger Goodell defended and praised the NFL’s officials Wednesday at his annual Super Bowl week news conference.

"I don't think it's ever been better in the league," Goodell said of the quality of the refereeing. "There are over 42,000 plays in a season. Multiple infractions could occur on any play. Take that out or extrapolate that. That's hundreds if not millions of potential fouls. And our officials do an extraordinary job of getting those. Are there mistakes in the context of that? Yes, they are not perfect and officiating never will be."

Goodell added, “We may not agree with every TV announcer or officiating expert, but we think our officials are doing a great job. We're always going to look to our competition committee and everything else we have, how we improve our officiating, but it will never be perfect."

Fair enough, but when there’s now the amount of money there is on NFL games, the stakes are at an unprecedented high and every single call will be analyzed, so it’s best not to leave so much doubt in the minds of fans, viewers and gamblers.

The latest controversy was sparked by former NFL running back Arian Foster, who jokingly said on a podcast that the league sends out scripts at the start of every season and that football practices are more like acting classes with pads as teams prepare for their parts before kickoff.

Amusing, right? Well, some took it way too seriously – but not my colleague Frank Weber here – and began to wonder if maybe the fix was in.

And then this happened, only adding fuel to the fiery raging, wagering minds of a big skeptical bunch:

Per Yahoo Sports: “On Feb. 4, a Twitter user by the name of "@FearKyrie" tweeted an image of a box score from Pro-Football Reference.com that showed the Philadelphia Eagles beating the Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 37-34 in the Super Bowl on Feb. 12, 2023. The Twitter account has since been suspended, but that didn't stop the image from becoming a viral sensation.

As the image made its way through Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and Facebook, there were plenty of people out there who believed that the league now operates via a "script" or that the league is rigged in some other way. This picture certainly piqued their interest.

Of course, the image was edited. Someone probably used a previous box score off Pro-Football-Reference.com and used it as a template to make some changes. Their skills were good enough to make it believable. Even fact-checking website Snopes had to release a fact-check on the image. They concluded that the claim of a leaked score was false, obviously.

Heh. But do you think that stopped gamblers from believing that it was all a hoax?

It did not.

BetMGM Sportsbook, one of the best sports betting sites in the business, along with many others across this great land, received tons of bets that the exact final score would be – you guessed it – Eagles 37, Chiefs 34.

How much money? The odds went from +25000 to +8000. That’s major movement and I’ll believe it when I see it.

Plus, it’s going to be Chiefs 37, Eagles 34, fools.

Just kidding.

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