By Caleb Chunn
Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone, and in its wake it has left some interesting plot lines that have turned thousands of regular fans of the National Football League (NFL) into cynical skeptics.
While the game itself was a great matchup between two of the top seeded teams in the playoffs — the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles — fans of the NFL have begun to worry that the league as a whole is more “scripted” and “fake” than they’ve let on before.
With a 38 to 35 final score, the Philadelphia Eagles were defeated, and the Kansas City Chiefs were named the Super Bowl LVII champions.
Did you know this was the first ever Super Bowl to include a set of brothers on opposing teams with Travis and Jason Kelce? This year’s matchup also saw the league’s first Super Bowl featuring two Black starting quarterbacks: Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts.
While both of those statistics are good for viewership, public relations and growing the game, many athletes and fans have spoken up about the events leading up to these stats, calling them fishy or scripted. Whether in a Twitter thread or on a podcast, people are calling out the NFL as an institution for some shady business that seems to have led to potential season-altering penalty calls.
Even in this year’s Super Bowl, in the final minutes of the game between Kansas City and Philadelphia, there was a controversial holding call on the Eagles that could have influenced the final score of the game.
Since the end of the game, all kinds of social media accounts, small and large, across all platforms have spoken out about this call due to its decisive and questionable timing in the final two minutes of the game. Eagles cornerback James Bradberry spoke out about this penalty that was called on him in the post game interview, saying, “It was holding. I tugged on the jersey.”
Regardless of Bradberry’s response, the public’s answer has been aggressive in both directions. People were very outspoken in their criticism of almost every play throughout the game.
When all things are taken into consideration, it is difficult to truly believe the NFL is only a written script that is handed to each player before their team camp begins — even though it is a very interesting thread to follow. This season was one of the most entertaining and heartbreaking in recent history. With teams coming out of the ashes to revive what was once a disrespected program all the way to the terrifying events that occurred to Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin while playing the Cincinnati Bengals, the 2022–2023 season was full of entertaining and nerve-wracking moments that make the NFL as special as it is.