Emerald Specter 113: I’m Not Watching the Super Bowl

This was going to be called “the State of the NFL,” but I wanted to cut to the chase and just say, in the headline, what I’m really looking at this year. I’m not watching Super Bowl LIII.

I am not a Patriots fan. The sole time I rooted FOR the Patriots was the season that they could have gone 100% undefeated. They failed, so I haven’t rooted for them since.

This past weekend, the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots have advanced into Super Bowl LIII and all my interest in watching the game evaporated in one fell swoop. Let me give you a little background on why I’m giving up this year’s Super Bowl.

The refereeing this playoff season has been atrocious. I have never witnessed so many blown calls and blatant favoritism towards teams than I have during this year’s playoffs. One shouldn’t leave the calls up to the officials but when the officials are ACTIVELY working against some teams, what are you supposed to do?

I personally have split loyalties (if I have any at all). I live in the Pacific Northwest, so I am on the Seattle Seahawks bandwagon, as well as being a long time Atlanta Falcons fan. Honestly, though, I’m just looking for a good game. In many cases, I’ve gotten to see those good games.

If you were to step back and take a look at the NFL, and really were unbiased, you’d see that the difference between the #1 team and the #32 team in the NFL is almost nothing (relatively speaking). Almost every game in the NFL these days is a nail biter that comes down to the very last play or the very last minute.

Really? That smacks of engineering excitement.

When was the last time you saw a legit blowout? I’m not talking a 14 point lead, I mean 63-3 or 42-7… big blowout. My guess is that you’ll be tracing your way into the 90s because since the late 90s, the NFL’s team gap has closed incredibly. The number of “close games” has risen from 10-15% to almost 90%.

Don’t tell me that’s BS, because it isn’t. The percentages aren’t invented for the sake of this article but they aren’t far off. Every single NFL game I watched this 2018-2019 season came down to a last second field goal or an OT win. Every. Single. Game. How is that even possible? The odds of that have to be astronomical!

Every game that I saw of the Patriots specifically seemed to lean in the Patriots favor, like there is a vast conspiracy to keep them relevant for longer than they should.

A comparison would be the WWE from the 80s to the present.

Vince McMahon took the WWE from long, slow build ups in their matches to putting on live shows with top star vs top star on a nightly basis. This allowed them to market themselves as excitement personified but it also peaked and now they don’t have anywhere to go but down. You can’t maintain this sort of thing indefinitely, and though they’re treading water, a fall is imminent.

The NFL is in this predicament.

The New England Patriots have been a dominant force in the NFL since 2001, when they won their first Super Bowl. Since then, their worst record has been 10-6, with their average being 12-4 over these past 18 years.

Major sports franchises that can pull off four championships and eight championship appearances over the course of 20 years are either legendary planners or are manipulating the system (or having that system manipulated for them). Since the Patriots have been caught, not just suspected, of cheating at least twice, I’d say that manipulation is the more likely scenario.

Now let’s move into the 2018-2019 season specifically.

The number of close NFL games this season, out of 256 possible regular season games, was 104 (that’s 40%). Those are games decided by 7 points or less, and that is based SOLELY off the score (so if the game was basically over and the losing team managed to score, I didn’t take that into account). Don’t you think this is a tad on the high side for a percentage?

The average percentage of draws in major soccer leagues around the world is less than 25%, and 25% is considered high. Draws should be much closer to the norm, considering the difference in the teams should technically be similar to the NFL.

Yet, soccer has vast gaps between their club abilities and draws are low. The NFL has turned into a manufactured “excitement factory” like the WWE and when it peaks, it’ll be hard to keep up with that level for an extended period of time.

Now let’s move to the two specific NFL Conference Championship games. First, the Saints and the Rams.

There were multiple, and I do mean more than 5, times when the referees completely screwed up the calls on the field. While some calls were in favor of the Saints, there were more that were in favor of the Rams, including a game busting helmet to helmet hit that was clearly pass interference that wasn’t called… and if that blatant call wasn’t flagged, then someone needs to lose their job.

The Saints were clearly the strong of the two teams and they were flat robbed of their Super Bowl chance. I don’t care about the Rams OR the Saints, technically I should be rooting against the Saints because they’re in the Falcons’ division. I should also be rooting against the Rams because they’re in the Seahawks’ division. I watched the game for what it was, a shit show that favored one team into the Super Bowl.

In the Chiefs and Patriots game, there were so many calls that went against the Chiefs you’d have thought the Chiefs were the best team in NFL history and they needed the other team to be aided so there would be a decent game (otherwise it would have been a blowout). The Patriots weren’t some no name team that happened into the AFC Championship, so the slanted calls (which are a NORM for Patriot games) were too blatant.

The Chiefs were also victims of terrible officiating. If it was a big play that would have benefitted the Chiefs, it went in favor of the Patriots more than 75% of the time. Why did they need to take the clearly better team away to allow the Patriots to slide into the Super Bowl for the eighth time in 18 years?

The reason I’m not watching the Super Bowl is because the two teams that deserve to be there were flat robbed by the NFL and referees. Both games had the inferior team win due to terrible officiating. This should be a Saints-Chiefs Super Bowl and not a Rams-Patriots one.

I have already been asked “what about the commercials?” What about the commercials? The Super Bowl commercials haven’t been interesting for almost a decade and they release the commercials separately AND online already negates needing to watch the game to see them at all.

Seeing the Patriots in the Super Bowl goes to show that someone’s manipulating something and they are Patriots fans. I’m tired of seeing the Patriots be so good for so long. If I’m looking at them objectively without including anything but win-loss stats, the Patriots is not only the greatest dynasty in the history of the NFL, but also the greatest dynasty in all of American sports. For the last 18 years, the Patriots have dominated and won consistently over their run and until Tom Brady retires and Belichek retires, they are probably going to be going for much longer.

I’m tired of them. I’m also disgusted at how they, and the Rams, got to this Super Bowl.

There’s no point in watching the Super Bowl this year. I’m going to predict the game will be decided by less than 10 points, will be won (most likely by the Patriots) by a last second field goal, and there will be no less than two highly questionable calls that result in the ending.

I can’t wait to read about the game the day after to see how accurate I was… and I’ll post a followup to this prediction to see how close I was… if I’m right, I’m Nostradamus reborn.

Or maybe I see the writing on the wall when no one else wants to see it.