There’s always something for the NFL conspiracy theorists to discuss, and they came close to having another option after Super Bowl 2024.
Earlier in the week, ESPN’s Adam Schefter posted a joke from outgoing CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus that “the NFL has alerted us that, for the first time ever, we will have a double overtime game [in the Super Bowl].”
McManus also added, jokingly, that, “You pay $2.1 billion, you get double overtime,” according to The New York Times.
And if Patrick Mahomes didn’t find Mecole Hardman in the end zone to clinch the Chiefs’ 25-22 victory, a second overtime would’ve been needed to determine a winner.
“NFL is basically the WWE now,” Will Compton, a former NFL linebacker and current “Bussin’ With The Boys” podcast host, wrote in a post on X.
“All scripted. Fixed. They pick who they want to win. It’s all for entertainment & honestly I don’t even know why I watch & care so much. It’s all fake.”
While Compton was all but certainly joking, there were plenty of true believers on social media who were sent into a frenzy over a storybook ending that included Taylor Swift cheering on boyfriend Travis Kelce as he led the Chiefs to victory.
Even President Joe Biden jokingly responded to the masses by commenting, “Just like we drew it up,” on X and Instagram, along with an image of the “Dark Brandon” meme.
Sunday marked the first game that needed the NFL’s altered overtime rules, which were changed — allowing both teams to possess the ball at least once, pending a safety or defensive touchdown — following the Chiefs’ divisional-round thriller against the Bills in January 2021.
If the Chiefs and 49ers were still tied after both getting the ball once, it turned into a sudden-death scenario.
But if the 15-minute frame ended without a winner, the time would reset for a second overtime.
Kansas City almost needed a second overtime, as three seconds were remaining when Hardman caught the game-winning touchdown.
The 49ers started overtime with a 13-play, 66-yard drive that took 7:38, and the Chiefs followed with a 13-play, 75-yard drive of their own that basically used every remaining second.
That was close enough for McManus’ comments to resurface and bizarre theories about the result being scripted to emerge.
Earlier this postseason, another strange conspiracy theory was posed by some that involved the Chiefs winning the Super Bowl and Swift endorsing Biden for the 2024 election.
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But if the Chiefs had only managed a field goal or didn’t score until third-and-goal, it would’ve created a strange scenario for McManus to navigate in his final months in charge of CBS.
He’ll retire in April following a CBS tenure that started in 1996 as president, with current president David Berson taking over.
“The reaction has been very positive, so I feel good about everything,” McManus said in September, according to the Associated Press. “We really don’t have any major rights negotiations coming up in in the next number of years. So, I think the timing is really good. And to be able to go out with a Super Bowl, March Madness, and The Masters is good timing for me and the division.”