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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

OPINION: Are NFL games scripted?

Preston Caylor

In early 2023, on the “Macrodosing w/ PFT & Arian Foster” podcast, former National Football League player Arian Foster explained that everything — every game, every stat, every injury — in the NFL was scripted.

“That’s what practice was about,” Foster said. “It was about practicing the script.”

Once other players viewed the clip from the podcast, they began to mock Foster, adding fuel to the fire. Dan Orlovsky, former NFL quarterback and now sports talk show host, tweeted “totally scripted” in response to the clip.

Fast forward to 2024, when many controversies, memes and theories have risen regarding the subject. Joining in on the joke, the NFL released a commercial with various players and actors discussing the script.

The worst part is that people believe it.

All of this is phony. The NFL is not scripted, or at least to the extent that these comments have made it seem to be.

Sure, referees make bad calls. They’re human, just like you and me. And having personal experience refereeing, I know you can’t see every single penalty or foul that occurs.

In the instance of when a game-changing flag gets thrown toward the end of the game, let me ask you this: Would we be talking about the call, or no-call, in the first, second or third quarter of the game?

No, it would be swept under the rug with all the other plays that happen in the early stages of an NFL contest.

If games were scripted, why would it choose to make teams horrible, like this season’s Carolina Panthers that went 2-15?

The Panthers drafted rookie quarterback Bryce Young from the University of Alabama, so why would the NFL make a player who is used to success and winning go 2-15 in his first season?

Why would the NFL make the 2008 Detroit Lions finish with a whopping 0-16 record, just to have them make a conference championship game appearance 15 seasons later and blow a huge lead? 

The Lions turned themselves around through sheer grit and determination since going 0-16 by hiring current head coach Daniel Campbell before the 2021-22 season. Campbell would not have any part of their end-of-season disaster as they had against the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs if the NFL put them up to it.

If the NFL were scripting its games, you can imagine that every team would have a chance at making the playoffs, so it could have more drama and headlines to post.

It would be hard for players to just accept that they will lose game after game. It would completely strip them of who they are, and most of them wouldn’t stick around the league as long, no matter how much money they are guaranteed.

If NFL games were scripted, then why hasn’t the “Super Bowl logo theory” — which claimed that the Super Bowl logo’s colors predicted which teams would play in the big game — held up?

NFL games are too hard to predict, making scripting nearly impossible. Having every game follow a specified script would be too hard of a task for everyone involved. Players, coaches and referees are not consistent enough to make the “predetermined results” come true.

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About the Contributors
Owen Prothro
Owen Prothro, Assistant Sports Editor
Owen Prothro is the assistant sports editor for The Sunflower. Prothro uses he/him pronouns. This is Prothro's second semester on staff. Prothro is pursuing a degree in journalism and media production. Prothro's dream job is to be an in-the-field reporter for the Disc Golf Pro Tour.
Preston Caylor
Preston Caylor, Illustrator/Designer
Preston Caylor is a sophomore at WSU perusing a major in animation with a minor in graphic design. Caylor is one of the illustrators and page designers at The Sunflower. Caylor hopes to pursue a career in character animation, hopefully at Disney, after graduation.

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  • J

    Joshua ChairesMar 14, 2024 at 4:27 am

    The NFL argued with the Supreme Court that they are a sports entertainment business making it perfectly legal for them to fix games. I got the proof of that and look up the Spy Gate lawsuit from 2007.

  • D

    Dave PortnoyFeb 8, 2024 at 2:27 pm

    This is just what Goodell wants you to think. Open your eyes SHEEPLE!