BY: CHRISTIAN HOLMES (@HOLMESYWRITES)
|Steelers tight end Jesse James had a touchdown against the Patriots taken away due to a controversial ruling. (AP)|
" Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony."
Was the ending of Sunday afternoon Patriots-Steelers game pure coincidence or was it a conspiracy to build up an AFC Championship game for the ages?
Sunday afternoon, in the game “everyone has been waiting for”, the New England Patriots controversially beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24 after officials ruled a potential game-winning catch by Pittsburgh Steelers’ tight end Jesse James an incomplete pass in the dying seconds of the game. On the next play, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would throw an interception and the Patriots instantly captured the victory.
This call sparked quite the controversy online. A vast majority of the fans, I’d say a good 85%, thought it was a catch and a touchdown. A minority thought the call was correct and it was incomplete as called.
Nonetheless, wherever fans fall in the debate, the publicity of this event is unmatched by anything else going on in the sports world today. Major publications are writing about the ending to the game and so are the smaller ones too. The #Steelers and #Patriots hashtags still remain in Twitter’s trending section. Videos are being posted on YouTube about the game. Subreddits are being created. Everyone is talking about the ending of this game and it seems like the talk is not going to stop anytime soon. After all, Americans and Canadians love controversy. It fuels our “machine”.
Everyone loves a good football game that can garner some talk during the lunchtime break.
“Susan, I swear to the higher power that they talk about in the AA 12 step recovery program meetings, Jesse James caught that ball!”
“No, Charles, you can see that he CLEARLY dropped it!”
“Susan, WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU KNOW ABOUT FOOTBALL? Get back in the kitchen!”
“Oh enough to know that sitting on the couch and raging at people on Twitter that it was a catch won’t pay your ex-wife’s child support at the end of the month!”
“Shut up, Susan! You know I’m right and you can’t stand that. You’ll just go back to your social justice warrior friends and your self-proclaimed ‘feminist’ sister and whine about how I make your life miserable and how you’ll leave me the first chance you get. But then you’ll get victim’s remorse and stick with me because you know nobody else will. Then you’ll remember I have a huge stock in the New York Times and everything will go back to normal!”
“Oh go fuck yourself, Charles. You know deep down that wasn’t a catch and for god’s sake, you know that the Patriots are a better team!”
“Okay Susan, I guess we’ll find out when they play in the AFC Championship!”
“I… guess… we’ll… see!”
FOLKS ITS A CONSPIRACY!
Now calm down, conspiracy is a big word for our little brains to comprehend. I’m not Alex Jones and no I’m not going to say that “the government is putting chemicals in the water to turn the friggin’ frogs gay.” I simply want to suggest if you take time to step out of the “He caught it! The Steelers got screwed” mindset and look at the bigger picture - IT ALL MAKES PERFECT SENSE.
Everyone likes a good story. A relatable and lovable underdog triumphs to victory over a hated favorite that most people would like nothing more than to see fail.
What does the ending to the game offer? THE START OF THAT STORYLINE!
|New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady looks to connect with Rob Gronkowski during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday, December 17, 2017. Staff Photo by Nancy Lane|
Hear me out… after winning Sunday’s game, the Patriots prove they are the powerhouse of the AFC. Even with the Steelers at close to full health. Tom Brady had a great game. Rob Gronkowski proved why he’s the best tight end in the league. If the Steelers can’t beat the Patriots, who can? The Pats aren’t unbeatable, but they find a way to win when it counts.
|Big Ben after throwing game-ending interception against the Patriots|
JUSTIN BERL/GETTY IMAGES
The Steelers, on the other hand, are a charismatic team filled with talent. They got the underlooked, without a doubt first ballot Hall of Fame quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger. A quarterback that has never got the attention he deserved. Ben never had the style of Tom Brady or the football IQ of Peyton Manning, but he had grit, he had toughness, he had durability, and he has the ability to battle adversity. He wasn’t flashy, he wasn’t on the front page of Sports Illustrated, but he won two Super Bowls and he mentored countless players. He’s the type of quarterback every kid playing football in high school or college wants to be. He's the Matthew McConaughey of the league. He's likable. You know who is. He's a good actor. But you're not as fixated on him as you are Leonardo DiCaprio or Brad Pitt. You'll watch True Detective. You'll watch How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days. But The Great Gatsby and Ocean's Eleven still have your heart.
Some time has passed since his glory days of throwing touchdown passes to Hines Ward and Heath Miller. He’s still got talent, but maybe Ben’s better years are behind him. He’s older and his bones aren’t as strong as they use to be. But the thing that Ben has going for him is the team that GM Kevin Colbert and co have built around him. Ben’s got a receiver in Antonio Brown that very well could be in the MVP discussion. He’s got an all-purpose, Pro Bowl, beast of a running back in Le'Veon Bell. He’s got reliable secondary receivers that he can throw the ball to like JuJu Smith-Schuster and Martavis Bryant. Not to mention, Pittsburgh’s defense is the best it’s been in awhile. Even with the unfortunate loss of Ryan Shazier to a serious back injury.
The Steelers and Big Ben have everything it takes to win a Super Bowl. The only they need to do is find a way to beat the Patriots. Find a way to get finally get a number on Tom Brady.
On Sunday, in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter, down by three, the Steelers have the ball in the red zone and Big Ben threw a beautiful, I mean beautiful, pass to Jesse James for the touchdown. The powers that be ruled that pass incomplete because “the receiver did not survive contact when trying to break the plain”. Bummed but not out, the Steelers run a play and get minimal yardage. The clock is still running. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin tells Big Ben to fake the spike and throw the ball into the end zone. The next thing you know, the pass is intercepted, and the game is over. The heel prevailed, well the face failed when they were so close to winning.
And then the media picks up the story and the controversy starts. Ironically, it sounds eerily similar to the start to the plot of a movie or a wrestling feud. The Steelers get screwed and the Patriots ride high. The corporation, the NFL,, reinstates the notion that if you’re not the Patriots, you’re not going to win.
Now I can’t predict the future, but if I had to, this is how I see things playing out:
The media will build the Tom Brady and the Patriots to be this unbeatable team that has the “respect” of the refs and the league. They’ll bill them as unstoppable and unanimous Super Bowl favorites. According to the media, the Patriots have all the tools. To back that up, New England will have a strong and dominating finish to their season and crush whoever they play in the AFC Divisional game.
All the while, the media will say the Steelers have the tools but, “they just aren’t good enough”. They got the talent. The got the leadership. They got the experience. They just don’t have the luck. The Steelers will have a decent finish to their season and they’ll scratch and claw their way to the AFC Championship game. It may not be pretty but they’ll make it there.
Presuming both teams make it to the AFC Championship, which according to my conspiracy - that’s a given, a week before the game, Colin Cowherd will go on The Herd and give you his six reasons why the Patriots will beat the Steelers. Vegas will make the Patriots ten point favorites. All the odds, and I mean, all the odds will be stacked against Pittsburgh.
Then the media and the people will remember the game played on Dec 17. The people will remember the controversy. The NFL PR team will get the media to play in the controversy. Dig it up and get fans debating. And most importantly, insert it back into the storyline to get max attention brought to the game. Much more attention than an AFC Championship game would generate already.
With the attention, this game will garner, Roger Goodell and a couple of his savvy NFL execs will go to major companies and corporations like Coca-Cola, GoDaddy, Pepsi, and Doritos and say, “He listens, this AFC Championship game is going to be the most watched game ever. This game is going to be very, very big. Millions and millions of people are going to be watching and this would be, hands down, 100% the best time to promote your product. Now listen, if you want to advertise during our game. You’re going to have to pay. And you’re going to have to play well.”
The next thing you will know, the NFL is making Super Bowl profits off of an AFC Championship game.
Of course, the improbable will happen. The Steelers will slay the giant and beat the Patriots. They’ll become the “People's Champs” and millions will root for them in the Super Bowl against, don’t call me crazy, don’t think I’m smoking crack, Nick Foles, and the Philadelphia Eagles.
|What the fuck you snorting, you delusional motherfucker?|
Now before you say, “What are you talking about, Willis?” Think about how this all plays into the conspiracy. Think how the NFL could promote this Super Bowl matchup and make max profit off ad revenues and things of that nature. You got a team that lost their MVP quarterback Carson Wentz. In a nutshell, most fans have lost hope for the birds, you feel me? They never in their wildest of dreams would think that they make it to the Super Bowl. Then you got the Steelers and their backstory. That is the perfect way to end the most perfect storyline. The build-up would be something of magic! THE MONEY THAT COULD BE MADE OFF THIS BITCH WOULD BE ATROCIOUS!
Bitch, you’re lying to yourself if you can’t see the correlation here.
DO YOU SEE IT NOW? This is all about money. It’s not about the league favoring the Patriots over everybody else. Although, that’s what they want you to think. It’s all about the almighty dollar. That five letter word that’ll make people do all sorts of things. It’s the thing that keeps the red hot girls dancing through the night. The Steelers got screwed now so the NFL can make max profit off their successes in the future. And if you don’t like that, remember this:
Money isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. And everybody has a price!