Regardless of which one is your favorite, sports are a great way to develop a healthy sense of competition. They are also a great way to build unnecessary rivalries with your friends and slowly begin to resent everyone around you as your team continues to lose. Still, many otherwise unrelated sports fans can band together when they look at these top five sports conspiracy theories.
Though the validity of the evidence might be in question, this is one of those theories that actually has some visual proof. In this video, you can see some strange behavior involving one particular envelope. For starters, it is tossed into the mix rather forcefully, causing one of the corners to become bent. Then when the envelope is being drawn by David Stern, he takes a deep breath and looks directly at it, as if checking for the fold. Now some argue this is just reading too much into it, but many believe this was not the first or last time the NBA draft has been rigged, which is why Jim Rome even questioned Stern about this theory.
Many individuals have gotten a sour taste in their mouth over basketball. Just like there are questions about draft picks, there are also those who question how much of the sport is really competitive anymore—specifically the NBA playoffs. Some believe those “bad calls” made by the referees are actually quite intentional. They suggest certain coaches actually meet with the officials prior to the games and discuss which instances will be called and which will pass. Though a single penalty might not do much, a continuous bias could make or break the game.
If you’re a human being, you probably remember this famous blackout just a couple of years ago. Leading 21–6 going into halftime, Baltimore took an even more commanding lead as they started out the second half with another touchdown—a record long for the Super Bowl—bringing the score up to 28-6. In light of this, pretty much anyone watching was ready to call it a game. Then by some strange coincidence, the power went out. But, was it really a coincidence? Of the sports conspiracy theories out there, this one is perhaps the most conflicted, as various people have equally various theories. Some suspect it was a way to stop momentum, and as San Francisco made a remarkable comeback, losing only narrowly 31–34, that might have some potential.
Alternatively, others believe it was a CBS move, working as an attempt to attract more viewers and help improve advertising revenue. Still others suggest it might have been caused by some angry New Orleans fans, who were upset their team wasn’t in the game. More probable though, many think it was just the result of the power being overloaded after the halftime show.
At the time of writing, there is still an active investigation into this one, but it is becoming pretty clear that tampering with footballs is a somewhat regular occurrence in the NFL. With the investigation opening up after the New England Patriots handily beat the Indianapolis Colts 45–7 during the AFC Championship game on January, 18, 2015, Deflategate has thus far resulted in the suspension of Tom Brady for the first four games of this upcoming season. How deep this goes is still to be determined, but some believe this sort of practice has been going on for quite some time and that it has undermined the integrity of the game.
Somewhat in line with the Deflategate conspiracy in football, pitchers in the MLB have long been known for their tendency to doctor baseballs. Though it is completely illegal to do so, many fans suggest that players are still getting away with it. Whether it involves scuffing the ball with sandpaper, rubbing it with Vaseline, or just spitting on the surface, this type of tampering can affect the pitch and change the outcome of the game. This is not a matter of occurrence, but rather whether an illegal technique has been used to affect the results of important games.