1/21/2007

so I just saw the Patriots-Colts game. I think it was rigged.

I couldn't really care who won, and I actually wanted the Colts to win because they haven't been to the Super Bowl with Peyton Manning, but the refs were so terrible against the Patriots that after the last Super Bowl, I have to think it was a fix. And the more I thought about this, the more sense it made. Peyton Manning is basically the NFL's poster boy - he's probably their best and most recognizable player,he's been in a ton of commercials (literally, I bet the film actually ways a ton - did you see the ones he was in that were shown during the game?), and he's a likable, upstanding guy.

The NFL has a lot to gain with him finally making the Super Bowl, and the dumb announcers pointed out right after the game - saying something about all the naysayers who doubted he'd ever win the big game. They were thumbing their noses. It was also the biggest comeback in conference title game history. So what do you think the headlines are going to be tomorrow - Peyton finally wins a big game, biggest comeback in history. And then tons of articles about Peyton's quest, adversity losing all those games, and finally his triumphant victory. A real heartwarming tale. And I like Peyton Manning.

So why do I think it was rigged? The calls were terrible and universally pro-Colts, and the announcers were completely mum about them. The first one was the offensive pass interference call against Troy Brown that ended a Patriots drive. Pretty bad call. Then came another pass interference against a Patriots defender in the end zone, which they finally overturned. The came another against Patriot Roy Hobbs in the end zone, which was terrible - he was turned towards the receiver, but he barely (if at all) touched him and knocked down the pass. What was he supposed to do? Get out of the way and let the receiver catch it? The call resulted in the Colts going from around the 20 yard line to getting the ball on the one and then scoring. A similar play with a Colts defender making a ton more contact with a Patriots receiver wasn't called and didn't elicit a peep from the announcers. Then a Patriots defender deigned to touch Peyton Manning's helmet - literally just touched his helmet, while trying to tackle him. Whistle, roughing the passer, 10 yards closer the end zone, and that's the game, Colts in the AFC title.

My buddy sitting with me was going apeshit the entire game about the calls (granted, he is a Pats fan, but he was right) and my other buddy sent me text messages about the bad calls, so that's three people right there, two of whom have little to no stake in the game. It was ludicrous, and even more ludicrous that none of the announcers said anything. I really think the NFL wanted the Colts to win, and the refs made sure they did, erasing a 21-3 Patriots lead to produce a big, heartwarming story. Give me a break.

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