The 15 Craziest Sports Conspiracy Theories of All Time
The 15 Craziest Sports Conspiracy Theories Of All-Time
The conspiracy theory is something that just fascinates most Americans. From the JFK assassination, to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and even the Gulf Oil Crisis, skeptics propose that a certain group of people or organization(s) caused or even covered up a suspicious event.
When it comes to sports, this phenomenon also plays itself out. When there is a mix of passionate sports fans who (figuratively) live and die on each play or each game and the results don't satisfy them, these fans cry foul and whip up a possible conspiracy theory trying to explain that their team didn't lose, but rather their team was forced too lose by an outside source. Many of the greatest sporting events in American sports (the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, and countless others) have been popular tabloid for these glorified rumors.
Just recently, an anonymous 15-minute YouTube video tried to claim that the NFL fixed the 2013 NFC Championship game in favor of the Seattle Seahawks against the San Francisco 49ers. From the conspiracy that suggests that Super Bowl III was fixed in favor of the AFL's New York Jets, to yet another claiming the referees fixed the 2002 NBA Western Conference Finals in favor of the Los Angeles Lakers, and even there is a theory that suggests Olympian Michael Phelps was awarded a Gold Medal in the 2008 Beijing Summer Games despite not winning the 100-meter butterfly, these conspiracies have unfortunately tarnished what have been some of the greatest sporting events in recent memory.
However, some conspiracies just go way over the top, and appear to be out of this world. Here now are the 15 strangest, oddest, and most bizarre theories that are out there. The purpose here is to find the 15 craziest without giving any claims or notions that any part of these theories is true.
Note: The rankings are based on craziness and weirdness, not historical significance.
15. 1972 Olympic Men's Basketball Final
In the highly controversial 1972 U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Final, the United States lost to the Soviet Union 51-50. At the end of the game, the referees gave the Soviet Union three chances to defeat the United States, adding time after the United States stopped the Russians the first two times.
14. Roger Goodell Destroys Spygate Tapes
After finding out that the New England Patriots filmed their opponents' signals in 2007, the "Spygate" controversy emerged. Commissioner Roger Goodell ordered that the tapes be destroyed, thus suggesting to some that the crime was worse than expected, and that Goodell wouldn't want to further tarnish one of the marquee dynasties under his watch.
13. Curt Schilling's Bloody Sock
In game six of the 2004 ALCS, Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling pitched a gem against the New York Yankees despite blood coming from his sock due to an injury. Some skeptics have suggested that the red spot outside his sock was not blood, but rather it was either ketchup or paint.
12. Bobby Riggs Threw The Battle Of The Sexes
In the famous Battle of the Sexes match in the 1970's, tennis player Bobby Riggs lost to tennis legend Billie Jean King rather decisively in straight sets. What some truly believe is that Riggs threw the match in order to satisfy some prior deals he made with the mob.
11. The NFL Made New England Champions In 2001
The New England Patriots began their dynasty with an improbable victory over the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl 36. Some conspiracy theorists claim that the NFL, hoping to capitalize on the patriotism and morale of the country following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, allowed the red, white and blue "Patriots" to win the Super Bowl.
10. 1985 NBA Draft Lottery
The New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers were the final two teams that had a chance at landing the No. 1 pick in the 1985 NBA Draft Lottery. After the Knicks won and drafted Patrick Ewing, many say that the NBA made it so that the Knicks would win, thus giving one of America's biggest media markets a superstar player.
9. The Soviet Union Took A Dive In The Miracle On Ice
In the biggest upset in sports history, the 1980 United States Men's Hockey Team defeated the powerful Soviet Union in the Olympic semifinals 4-3. Here, some believe that the Russians took a dive in that game so that the Americans would be less inclined to boycott the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow.
8. Jimmy Hoffa Was Buried In Giants Stadium
With former teamster Jimmy Hoffa's body still not found, one of the rumored burial places where was laid to rest was the old Giants Stadium, with the thought that Hoffa was buried in one of the end zones.
7. The 1958 NFL Championship Game Was Fixed
This theory suggests that the Baltimore Colts, on their winning drive in overtime of the 1958 NFL Championship, went for a touchdown instead of a field goal against the New York Giants because Colts owner Carroll Rosenbloom made a huge wager on the game and that he wanted a touchdown to ensure that he would beat the point spread.
6. O.J. Simpson Didn't Murder Anyone
In 1995, after a highly publicized trial, former NFL running back O.J. Simpson was found not guilty in the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Some theories have suggested that either O.J. didn't kill anyone, or that O.J. took the blame for someone else who committed the crimes.
5. Michel Jordan Switches Sports To Avoid NBA Suspension
After Michael Jordan retired for the first time from the Chicago Bulls to pursue a brief career in minor league baseball, the greatest player in NBA history came back in 1995 to lead the Bulls to their second three-peat. Some theorists claim that Jordan worked out a deal with the NBA to switch sports so that he could avoid an NBA suspension over his gambling problems.
4. The NFL And Beyonce Caused The Super Bowl 47 Power Outage
During Super Bowl 47, the Baltimore Ravens were dominating the San Francisco 49ers 28-6 before the power outage stopped play for at least 20 minutes. Theorists claim that Beyonce's half-time performance as well as the NFL trying to maintain their high ratings, made the distraction, thus allowing the 49ers back into the game.
3. Manti Te'o Made Up Lennay Kekua Story To Boost His Heisman Chances
One of the weirdest stories in recent history, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o lost both his grandmother and his girlfriend on the same day. Some believe that Te'o concocted the scheme, along with Reniah Tuiasosopo, to create Lennay Kekua in hopes of gaining sympathy from the Heisman Trophy voters.
2. Cal Ripken's Streak
A theory that comes out of "left field", no pun intended, is that actor Kevin Costner slept with Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame shortstop Cal Ripken Jr.'s wife one evening, and after Ripken found out, he beat up Costner. With Ripken so distraught to the point that he was not able to continue his consecutive game streak, the Baltimore Orioles "cut the power" to their own stadium, postponing a game, thus allowing Ripken time to recover without compromising the streak.
1. LeBron Left Cleveland After Delonte West Had Affair With James' Mom
After the Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Boston Celtics in 2010, LeBron James that offseason took his talents to Miami, leaving his hometown of Cleveland. Some theorists suggest that former Cavaliers' teammate Delonte West had an affair with James' mother, thus the reason for James' departure.