The dust has settled on the Super Bowl drama. We have chastised Pete Carroll and celebrated Tom Brady. The talking heads have screamed that Brady is two circus catches from six Super Bowl wins (while conveniently forgetting that he’s a stupid rule from never making his first Super Bowl. It was a fumble). But it’s fine. He’s great. Very great. It pains this Peyton Manning fan to say it, but he’s the greatest.
But I’m not here to talk about Brady. I’m here to talk about why the NFL is definitely fixed. And all we need for evidence is that final sequence of plays in Super Bowl XLIX. The whole sequence has been talked to death, but let’s talk it more to death. Because we’ve all missed the point.
Clearly, the reason Pete Carroll called a pass is because he knew that Marshawn Lynch is about to enter contract negotiations with Seattle and having a Super Bowl MVP trophy would give him too much bargaining power. So Pete chose to put the ball in the hands of Russell Wilson because Wilson is getting his payday this offseason whether he’s the Super Bowl MVP or not. This is not up for debate. It’s definitely what went through his mind when he dialed up a pass play. It would be ridiculous to pay the running back.
The corruption goes deeper than that. The omniscient, omnipresent commissioner had something to do with the play call. Don’t believe me? Go check the play-by-play and notice the dreadful use of timeouts by Seattle in its last drive.
Actually, don’t. I’ll give it to you here.
Following a 31-yard pass to Lynch and the two minute warning, Wilson throws incomplete to Jermaine Kearse, which stops the clock with 1:50 to go in the game. Mysteriously, Seattle then calls a timeout. I don’t want to hear about attempted audibles. Do you really think a Super Bowl winning coach/QB combo would botch a timeout that poorly?
I know what really happened.
It was no accident Wilson couldn’t get the play changed. Goodell had ordered radio interference only on the Seattle sideline so that Wilson couldn’t communicate with his offensive coordinator, thereby forcing the timeout. During this mystery timeout, Pete Carroll gets a phone call from the almighty God-ell himself.
The warning is clear. Let the Pats win or videos will surface revealing things. Having no idea what these things could be, but being no saint, Carroll fearfully heeds the warning. Pass incomplete. Third down. But God-ell’s, “Make it interesting,” echoes in Carroll’s head. Failing on fourth down at the New England 49 with 1:30 remaining isn’t interesting.
Pass complete. First down. Carroll wipes his brow. He knows that a fourth down conversion would have been more interesting, but the alternative was too big to risk. Luckily, he has a trick up his sleeve. Cue the Wilson to Kearse circus catch. What? You thought that was an accident? No, no. That was Carroll performing like a puppet for his master, Geppett-dell. I don’t even have time to explain why I don’t have time to explain how he orchestrated it, but he did. Anyway, first down Seattle at the five, 1:06 remaining, and the clock is stopped. That can’t be two hands forming a “T” from the Seattle sideline. Another mystery timeout.
Carroll answers the phone without even bothering to check who it is. “How’s that for interesting, master?” It’s not Goodell. It’s someone, or something, bigger.
Several things are happening in concurrence here. The entire world is watching and it has to go right. So stick with me as I walk you through the play-by-play within the play-by-play. Remember, if this sounds wrong, it’s not. I wasn’t there, so I know it’s true.
Firstly, while Carroll is preoccupied with the currently unknown caller, head referee Bill Vinovich is taking the Seattle ball to the locker room to let some air out of it. “Wouldn’t that help Seattle?” the naïve reader asks. Theoretically, yes, but remember that the NFL is fixed and already knows a New England interception is looming, so they’re making it easier for the rookie’s hands to catch.
Meanwhile, Goodell is apologizing to Robert Kraft for making him sweat this game out. Kraft, complaining about wanting to already be in bed, warns Goodell that he’d better not be trying anymore funny business. “Fool me once (Tyree), shame on you. Fool me twice (Manningham), bigger shame on you. Fool me thrice, no more Christmas parties at my house for six months (Kraft conveniently forgets that Christmas isn’t for another 10 months).” Goodell does his best to assure Kraft that Eli Manning is nowhere near the Super Bowl (or the playoffs for that matter – Zing!).
Anyway, who could have been on the other end of Carroll’s phone call since we already know Goodell is trying to make nice with Kraft? It can’t be an assistant. This moment is too big for assistants. So it had to be someone with more power than Goodell. That leaves only one man. Only one man in all the world has more power than the NFL’s commissioner, and that is the principal of corruption himself. The leader of the free (for now) world:
The President of the United States.
I can’t give quotes here. National security and all that. But you can imagine that there were some quick pleasantries, then very firm [and] direct threats. An added little something about having already met Carroll and wanting to meet Belichick this year. Maybe a mumbling about being scared of Goodell. I can’t really say for sure. (Feigning unsurety to throw the feds off the scent. He’s definitely afraid of Goodell.)
On the field action resumes!
Marshawn Lynch carries for four yards to the NE 5. The national narrative here is that Belichick baited Carroll into this run play by making him think he would call a timeout to save clock. The true narrative is much simpler. Belichick knew Goodell was trying to apologize to Kraft for #DeflateGate allegations and granting them the win. No timeout was called because the game was already decided!
That brings us to the fateful play call. It had to be a pass. It had to be a terrible pick route run by Ricardo Lockette. It had to be a terrible pick set by Kearse. Wilson had to throw it just slightly off target. The back judge had to keep the flag in his pocket just in case there was a penalty. Malcolm Butler had to catch the slightly deflated ball. And Lynch had to walk off the field smiling. All of it required. All of it orchestrated.
There’s a slight problem, however. The vicious Seattle defense is out there trying to get a safety and the ball back to the offense. Taking a sack for a safety with 0:20 left in the Super Bowl isn’t becoming of Tom Brady’s image. Carroll still has work to do.
Fortunately, the ever-prepared coach had one more trick up his sleeve. An unnoticeable shock-collar-turned-shoe-insert placed in the cleats of Seattle defensive lineman Michael Bennett. Brady goes under center with a hard count, and Carroll times his button press perfectly. Encroachment on Seattle. Five yard penalty. Here comes the best play in football. Brady takes the snap and kneels.
To be sure Goodell’s “Interesting Meter” is satisfactorily pegged, Carroll orders a bit of a scuffle and calls timeout so that he can sneak off to the bench and make a phone call.
Brady kneels again and it’s all over. The fix is in. Belichick gets the Gatorade bath. Brady achieves GOAT status. President Obama returns to covering up Benghazi, and moms still don’t vaccinate their kids based on data that definitely was for sure not falsified.
All of the above factually true details are why the NFL is definitely fixed. Do you know the real tragedy of it all?
We’ll never know what things Goodell was going to reveal about Carroll. Could it have been alien probing? Collusion? Maybe lizard people? Just kidding, we already have proof that Goodell and Carroll are both lizard people.
Remember the miracle catches of Tyree, Manningham, and Kearse? Goodell orchestrated the first two to repay the Patriots for all their Spygate cheating. The Kearse catch was all Carroll heeding the commish’s “make it interesting” demands. But that’s another story for another day.