The NFL isn’t smart enough to rig the Super Bowl for Taylor Swift

Through no fault of his own, Taylor Swift helped amplify perhaps the stupidest conspiracy theory involving the NFL: that it’s fake.

To those heartbroken Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills fans, I regret to inform you that the league is not rigged – your team simply does not employ Patrick Mahomes. Unfortunately for most fans, 31 other NFL franchises share this fate. That’s life.

Swift’s presence at the games and her highly publicized relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has reignited the popular conspiracy theory that the NFL is rigged. Some fans claimed the league wanted Swift to stay the entire season to boost their business. Others came up with a more evil angle. It all stems from the idea that the NFL is trying to cash in on Swift’s immense popularity to some extent. But I don’t buy it.

Let’s take out Occam’s razor. What’s more likely: The NFL is coordinated and intelligent enough to carry out a massive plan to rig its results and, more importantly, stupid enough to think it’s a good idea to risk its entire operation to bring Swift at the Super Bowl, or, just hearing Me, fans of losing teams are looking for something to be crazy about. A difficult decision, I know.

I understand. I wanted to think — and probably asserted at one point in a fit of disappointment — that the league had been rigged after my favorite team, the Philadelphia Eagles, lost the Super Bowl last year. They even lost, in part, due to controversial call! But the truth is that the Kansas City Chiefs scored more points than the Birds. And maybe KC got some breaks, but Philly didn’t get any. That’s life. That’s football. It’s that simple.

But Swift brought the whole “NFL is rigged” talk to a head. To better understand this, we must first understand that the idea is not new. Year after year, fans Really I want to believe it. So much so that popular sports podcasts have do obvious jokes about the NFL storyline, and people thought it was serious. The NFL itself even launched this season with an advertisement on this subject.

Yet the speculative nonsense took a more intense and political turn with Swift (unfairly) at the center. At first, people thought the NFL was rigging games in favor of the Chiefs to get Swift to the Super Bowl. And there’s some data that shows she’s attracting fans. Research for “football outfit”, I doped since Swift’s appearance at the games, and sales of Kelce’s jerseys have jumped 400 percent.

She might be the most famous person in the world, so it would be nice for the NFL to have her at the Big Game to support Kelce. But to think the league would fix games for this purpose ignores the fact that the NFL, and the Super Bowl in particular, is perhaps the only thing in the country bigger than Swift. Twenty nine of the 30 best shows in 2023, there were NFL games. The Oscars were watched by 19.4 million people; the Super Bowl was watched by 115 million people. It’s safe to say that the NFL doesn’t need Taylor Swift for attention.

But now this simple play on a classic conspiracy – the NFL is rigged for ratings – has turned into a political conspiracy. People on the right claim the NFL is rigged so Kelce can win the Super Bowl and then he and Swift will support President Joe Biden on the biggest stage in an election year. And it’s not just from anonymous Reddit posters spouting nonsense online. These are prominent Republican figures and politicians.

For example, failed presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, right-wing meme Benny Johnson and other conservative figures were in on the action.

The problem is that these people are not interested in football. They don’t look at him. They are like any other politician trying to score points through sports. He’s Ted Cruz’s conspiratorial cousin call a basketball hoop a ring.”

People cling to them because we are pattern-seeking creatures who love conspiracies. Chiefs head coach and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell I even had to answer questions about this nonsense.

“I’m not a very good screenwriter,” Goodell joked via AFP.

If these people actually watched the NFL, then they would understand that the league can’t even agree on what catch East, not to mention how to carry out a political conspiracy. Goodell also works for NFL owners. Do you think 32 billionaires, mostly white, mostly men, and mostly older, will support a Democratic president? Publicly available data in a 2020 Open Secrets report showed that NFL owners gave to Republican candidates, including Trump, by a 9-1 margin. But never let common sense and real empirical evidence get in the way of good outrage bait, right?

The NFL isn’t rigged, folks. This article aside, don’t people understand that the league has now publicly embraced sports gambling? There would be legal implications if the NFL fixed games while letting average fans bet their hard-earned money. This could potentially bankrupt the league.

So please at least understand that the outcome of Sunday’s Big Game will have nothing to do with which team Taylor Swift supports. I suspect it will have to do with all the talent on the roster – like the San Francisco 49ers or that pesky Mahomes guy on the other sideline.

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