It's a Conspiracy!

Conspiracy theories are usually impervious to evidence. Two I see all the time on sports talk boards are:

1) The NBA tries to guarantee that all series go to seven games, because that yields more revenue; and
2) The NBA tries to guarantee that large-market teams get to the finals, for the same reason.

All one has to do to debunk these theories is to glance at a list of NBA final series. Since 1989, only three finals have gone to seven games. There have been more sweeps (four) than seven game series. And San Antonio, Orlando, Detroit, Cleveland, Indiana, New Jersey, Portland, Seattle and Utah make up 20 out of the 46 finals teams. This year, the western team is guaranteed to be San Antonio or Oklahoma City.

These theories are usually psychological crutches, explaining why the conspiracy theorist's own team just lost a game, or has never won the finals. So the one about "The NBA only lets the large-market teams win" will be forwarded by someone from, say, Charlotte, to explain why his team never is any good, and he will just ignore the fact that since 2000, the San Antonio Spurs have won three championships and been in the playoffs every year, while the New York Knicks have hardly won a playoff game during that same time.

Or perhaps he just thinks San Antonio is larger than New York City?


  1. Anonymous6:26 AM

    What do you think of groups like the Bilderburgers and others? Doesn't it always seem suspicious when the worlds powerful leaders in finance, government, business, technology, etc, get together for a week in an hotel under armed guard, and they don't allow people to know what's happening inside? Can you imagine if all the owners of the NFL teams got together in a hotel, didn't let reporters in, had armed guards at the door, and kept secrecy? Would not there be a number of people crying (perhaps rightly so), "Restrain of trade!" Yet, it seems most people think this is no problem. This is the blindspot of a lot of people; many libertarians ignore it b/c of the big business guys there, many leftists ignore it b/c they may like world gov, and ordinary people ignore it b/c, well, maybe they just don't care.

  2. Many Canadian hockey fans have a predisposition to conspiracies as well. They lament the fact that no Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup since the '93 Canadiens, and that this is, of course, the NHL brass deliberately tampering with the playoffs to ensure an American victor. Lord knows what tiny hockey markets Toronto and Vancouver are, better give the cup to hockey behemoths like Carolina and Tampa Bay!

  3. "Can you imagine if all the owners of the NFL teams got together in a hotel, didn't let reporters in, had armed guards at the door, and kept secrecy?"

    The owners of the NFL *do* hold secret meetings!

    1. Anonymous7:56 AM

      "The owners of the NFL *do* hold secret meetings!"

      And I'm quite sure everything is above the board. Move along nothing to see here. It seems a bit more frightening when all the world bigwigs get together every year for secret meetings; the most the NFL owners can do is 'corrupt' football; the most the world bigwigs could is, what? Ensure the status quo or make it worse.


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