Do you believe that there is a higher power out there that is basically controlling everything that happens in the world of sports, sort of like an Illuminati for the athletic world? Don’t worry, you totally aren’t alone. There have been some questionable outcomes in the sporting world that confused some fans and had others thinking that it was completely set up that way.
If you love conspiracy theories, then this will be just the list for you. To this day, many people are questioning how certain sporting events happened the way they did and want some further investigation into it. If you are to believe some of these rumors are true, you might actually look at sports in a different way.
But what are the craziest sports conspiracies that have been born throughout the years? It’s time to pop on that tinfoil hat and lock your doors as we take a look at the 15 craziest that people have cooked up. Do you believe any of these are true? Are some just too crazy to even be believed by people? Take a look and judge for yourself.
15 Father’s Day
On February 18th, 2001, the racing world was brought to its knees when Dale Earnhardt crashed toward the end of the race, and would pass away shortly thereafter.
Earnhardt's only win at the Daytona 500 was back in 1998, on February 15th. Exactly six years after Earnhardt's only win in the Great American Race (to the day), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the 2004 Daytona 500 in front of nearly 18 million people that were watching on television. The theory for this one says that Earnhardt, Jr. was basically handed the win by the other drivers on the track because it would make for a great sentimental moment.
14 Mother Lover
LeBron James broke the hearts of every Clevelander when he left the Cavaliers to join up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. A popular conspiracy theory says that LeBron left Cleveland after the 2010 NBA Playoffs because his teammate, Delonte West, was sleeping with his mother. The rumors spread like wildfire, but it wasn’t confirmed as to why LeBron decided to leave his home state of Ohio. Still, it’s a pretty funny story and one that seems likely to a certain point.
13 Te’o’s Girlfriend
Who could ever forget the story about Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and his made up girlfriend, Lennay Kekua. During the 2012 season that saw Notre Dame make it all the way to the BCS Championship Game, Te’o reported that both his girlfriend and grandmother passed away within hours of each other before the Irish went to Michigan State and pulled off a surprisingly huge victory. Some Notre Dame haters claimed that Te’o made up the dead girlfriend story so that he would have a better chance to win the Heisman, which he nearly did.
12 Big Game Blackout
During Super Bowl XLVII, the Baltimore Ravens were destroying the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 28-6 before the lights in the stadium suddenly went out. This caused the game to stop for more than 20 minutes and became one of the most tweeted about events in the history of social media. Some think that the blackout was perpetrated by the NFL so that the 49ers would be able to collect themselves and get back into the game, and that a closer score would equal higher ratings. The fact that the 49ers did in fact almost come back only fed the speculation further.
11 Strange Call
Instead of kicking a field goal to end the 1958 NFL Championship in overtime against the New York Giants, the Baltimore Colts went for the end zone and scored the game ending touchdown. Rumor has it that Carroll Rosenbloom, the former owner of the Colts, made an enormous gamble on the Colts to cover the point spread. When they ran the ball in for a touchdown, the spread was covered and people believe that the owner himself sent down the call to go for six instead of three.
10 Hoffa’s Body
There are a lot of weird places that you would hide the body of someone that had a huge reputation as being a mob boss. One of the most believed conspiracy theories was that Jimmy Hoffa himself was buried at one of the biggest NFL venues, Giants Stadium. Legend has it that under one of the two endzones on the field, Hoffa’s body was buried underneath. The body was never found, and the Giants have since moved, so it was never proven to be true or false.
9 Miracle on Ice?
The 1980 Winter Olympics contained one of the most memorable moments in the history of hockey as the United States squad upset the heavily favored Soviet team in the semifinals of the tournament. While it captivated the nation, some thought that the win was tainted. Why is that? Because according to conspiracy theorists, the Soviets took a dive in the game so that the United States would be less likely to boycott the upcoming Summer Olympics that were being held in Russia.
8 Patriots Day
The New England Patriots had been to two Super Bowls before 2001, and they lost both of those games. After the terrorist attacks of September 11th boosted patriotism, some believe that the New England squad was chosen as the champions of Super Bowl XXXVI to match the nation’s patriotism. It was fitting that the team that dons the colors of the flag and calls themselves the Patriots were front and center in the first Super Bowl in the post-9/11 era, but some thought it was too fitting.
7 Kings Royally Screwed
When the Sacramento Kings got within one win of appearing in the 2002 NBA Finals, people were pleasantly surprised. However, the Los Angeles Lakers would win games 6 and 7 to advance instead, but it appeared to be a shady end of the series. Because the Kings are one of the smaller market teams in the NBA, people believed that David Stern ordered that the referees start calling the game in the Lakers’ favor so that ratings would be higher for the Finals instead of the Kings.
6 Liston’s Dive
People were looking forward to the rematch between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston in 1965, but it quickly ended with a knockout in the first round. Some fans claimed that Liston took a dive, and that the punch that knocked him out didn’t even connect. The reason for the alleged dive was because it was believed by some that Liston had a lot of debt to the mafia, and that he was getting his debt leveled out by throwing the fight.
5 The Bloody Sock
Some people will try anything to make themselves the subject of legend, and that’s what people believed during the 2004 American League Championship Series. Curt Schilling dominated the New York Yankees while he had an injury that made his ankle bleed. You could see the red spot on his sock continue to grow throughout the game and some people believed that he just put ketchup on there so he would look more heroic in front of a national audience.
4 Spygate Construction
The New England Patriots have drawn the ire of a lot of fans that don’t like them, and are ready to call the franchise a bunch of cheaters at any time. In 2007, they didn’t help their case when they were busted taping signals of their opponents. According to the story, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell ordered the tapes to be destroyed because he didn’t want too much controversy surrounding the successful franchise. These rumors may have been deflated after Tom Brady’s suspension was upheld by Goodell.
3 Jordan’s Baseball Era
When Michael Jordan announced that he was leaving basketball to pursue a career in baseball, the sports world was in total shock. While Jordan said that he always wanted to play baseball, many people didn’t believe it. This theory tells the tale of Jordan having a huge gambling problem, and that his habits got him suspended by David Stern for an entire season. According to the theory, Jordan said that he was retiring so that he could save face instead of being publicly humiliated.
2 Cal Ripken’s Blackout
This conspiracy theory has everything: infidelity, celebrities, electrical problems and the longest streak of games played in baseball history. According to rumors, Cal Ripken, Jr. came home to find his wife sleeping with Kevin Costner, and that Ripken was so distraught that he called Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos to tell him he wouldn’t come to the game that night. If you are to believe the rumors, Angelos then shut off the power to the stadium so that Ripken’s games played streak would not end.
1 The Frozen Envelope
Legend has it that the 1985 NBA Draft was rigged so that the New York Knicks would get the first overall pick, allowing them to scoop up Patrick Ewing. According to the conspiracy, Commissioner David Stern reached his hand to grab an envelope to reveal who would get the first pick, and that he grabbed the one that had been frozen just before the lottery. Many people believe this was executed so that the New York Knicks, who play in the nation’s largest city, would come back into relevance.