NFL Scripted / Super Bowl Script
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The NFL Scripted or the Super Bowl Script, also known as the NFL Script Conspiracy, is a conspiracy theory and series of memes claiming that the Super Bowl and NFL are scripted and pre-determined. Memes joking that the NFL is scripted became increasingly popularized online in early 2023 leading up to the Super Bowl LVII. In late January 2023, Barstool Sports co-host and former Houston Texans player Arian Foster sarcastically joked on an episode of Macrodosing that the NFL is scripted, inspiring a Twitter user to leak a fake "Super Bowl" script later that week, which some purportedly believed was real. The clip and tweet were shared online out-of-context and spread as a conspiracy theory, also inspiring further memes about following "the script."
It is unclear when jokes, memes and conspiracy theories about the NFL being scripted began. On November 7th, 2011, The Bleacher Report published an article sharing "10 Potentially 'Scripted' NFL Stories from the Past Decade," writing:
"What if in some parallel universe, the NFL had the results before their games were even played? Before you immediately stop reading, hear me out. There are plenty of stories that have made the NFL immensely popular over the years, but more and more, stories have caught the fans' attention in the past decade than ever before. Although it is utterly impossible to script such a high-impact, violent, fast-paced sport, anything could happen."
In April 2021, Distractify reported on a tweet by former Chicago Bears running back Benny Cunningham in which he wrote, "The NFL is scripted but they make us sign something so we can't go into detail… Tired of holding back.. Who want the full story." This tweet plausibly helped fuel the conspiracy in the early 2020s.
Memes about the NFL became increasingly prominent in January 2023, purportedly following a series of calls from NFL refs and plays that some viewers deemed strange. For example, on January 8th, 2023, the @NFL_Memes Twitter page posted, "NFL script writers after the Bills scored an opening kickoff touchdown on the first play since Damar Hamlin’s injury," garnering over 14,000 likes in a month. On January 25th, the @CBSSports Twitter page posted a skit about the NFL script writers, garnering over 1,900 likes and 250,000 views in two weeks (shown below).
NFL script writers went crazy this season pic.twitter.com/D6TDERs8j1
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) January 25, 2023
Arian Foster Video / Super Bowl Script Leaked
On January 31st, 2023, the Barstool Sports-produced podcast Macrodosing uploaded an episode to YouTube. The show is co-hosted by NFL player Arian Foster and garnered over 39,000 views in a week. At the 8:45-mark, co-host, PFT Commenter, jokingly asks Foster if the NFL is rigged, claiming Foster told him that it was before they started filming. Foster plays along with the bit, sarcastically admitting that the NFL is scripted and that it's the players' jobs to memorize the script.
On the same day, the @VivaLaStool Twitter page and Twitter user @PFTCommenter shared the isolated clip from the podcast, @PFTCommenter writing, "Former NFL player arian foster admits NFL is literaly rigged," garnering over 119,000 likes and 14,000 retweets in a week (shown below).
Former NFL player arian foster admits NFL is literaly rigged pic.twitter.com/RSfqF1OwKI
— PFT Commenter (@PFTCommenter) January 31, 2023
On January 4th, now-suspended Twitter user @FearKyrie posted an alleged screenshot of the Super Bowl script, showing The Eagles losing to The Chiefs 37-34 (shown below). The post is unavailable.
People began to make memes referencing the NFL script following @PFTCommenter's Twitter post sharing the clip from Macrodosing. On January 31st, 2023, Twitter user @YungPancakes commented under the post, "Aaron Hernandez getting into character after reading the script in 2013," along with an angry Elmo vs. Rocco meme, garnering over 86,000 likes in a week (shown below).
Aaron Hernandez getting into character after reading the script in 2013: pic.twitter.com/qirzR0ZdQh
— Mr. Gamble (@YungPancakes) February 1, 2023
Following @FearKyrie's post about the alleged Super Bowl script leak, multiple news outlets published stories claiming that it was a conspiracy theory, including Snopes, Newsweek and Fox News. NFL players also began playing along with the bit, parodying the trend. On February 5th, Buffalo Bills player Stefon Diggs posted a clip from a recent game to Twitter, writing, "I was just following the script 😂," garnering over 80,000 likes in two days (shown below).
I was just following the script 😂 https://t.co/0hF2NNTOEi
— DIGGS (@stefondiggs) February 6, 2023
On February 6th, TikToker @sportsseriously posted a video where an interviewer asks Kansas City Chiefs players about the script, garnering over 250,000 views in a day (shown below). On February 7th, Action reported that the leak had an effect on betting, with a score of 37-34 in favor of the Eagles as the most prevalent correct score bet.
@sportsseriously Kansas City Chiefs players REVEAL their NFL scripts 😂 💀 #nfl #superbowl #superbowllvii #kansascity #kansascitychiefs #chiefskingdom #nflrigged #satire ♬ original sound – Sports Seriously
 Twitter – VivaLaStool
 Twitter – PFTCommenter
 Snopes – Was a Super Bowl LVII 'Script' Leaked Online
 Twitter – yungpancakes
 Newsweek – Why Sketchy 'Leaked Super Bowl Script' Showing Eagles Win Is Going Viral
 Fox News – I almost walked out of the facility
 Twitter – stefondiggs
 TikTok – sportsseriously
 Action – Super Bowl ‘Script’ Tweet Causes Substantial Increase in 37-34 Correct Score Bets
 The Bleacher Report – scritped NFL Stories from the Past Decade
 Distractify – Former Chicago Bears Running Back Calls NFL 'Scripted'
Feb 07, 2023 at 05:07PM EST
Feb 07, 2023 at 06:34PM EST
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