Who done it? Best conspiracy theories in sports history

If you enjoyed the movie JFK, you’re probably a fan of conspiracy theories.

Oliver Stone’s perfectly painted picture almost certainly proves that Lee Harvey Oswald was not a lone gunman in the assassination of President Kennedy.

Sports fans can be as much in the lunatic fringe as conspiracy theorists. And those who find themselves on the wrong side of a questionable outcome are quick to conjure a premeditated scheme.

Below is our list of the five greatest sports conspiracies.

Muhammad Ali-Sonny Liston II

Muhammad Ali yells at Sonny Liston: Get up and fight, sucker!

The rematch of the Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston world heavyweight championship was highly anticipated after the first fight ended abruptly when Liston tapped out because of a shoulder injury.

But the viewing audience barely got a chance to settle into their seats for Ali-Liston II that May evening of 1965. Midway through the first round, Ali threw a jab and Liston dropped to the floor.

That glancing blow has become known as the “phantom punch” because Liston went down nearly unscathed. Conspiracy theorists contend Liston was on the take, like so many boxers have been accused of in the ring.

Some say Liston took a dive because he owed the Mafia money so he bet against himself while others believe he was being threatened by Nation of Islam extremists who had recently converted Cassius Clay.

And much like the Zapruder film (back and to the left), video evidence of this conspiracy nearly proves it to be true.

Even Ali himself was skeptical about the effortless knockdown. While towering over Liston in one of sports’ most recognized moments, The Louisville Lip was apparently screaming at his opponent, “Get up and fight, sucker!” And a more detailed footage of the fight shows Ali asking his corner, “Did I hit him?”.

1985 NBA Draft Lottery

David Stern is the longest tenured commissioner in professional sports. Twenty-six years is plenty of time to transform and tailor a league exactly to your liking. Stern has schemed and swindled his way into making the NBA one of the most profitable businesses in the world.

Conspiracy theorists claim one of Stern’s earliest magic tricks came during the 1985 NBA Draft. The Knicks had been a mediocre team for years in the Eastern Conference so Stern and his goons devised a plan to rig the lottery so that New York would receive the No. 1 overall pick and select the best player in the country – Patrick Ewing.

The theory goes that the envelope containing the Knicks logo was either creased or chilled so that Stern could easily identify it as he reached into the hopper. Go to about the 5:00 mark of this clip and see for yourselves.

When examining the video, Stern even looks nervous as he takes a deep sigh before dipping into the lottery bin. Then, when he grabs a stack of envelopes why does he turn it over and take the one off the bottom? And it’s clear as day the envelope Stern picks has a bent corner.

Between this and the allegations of former referee Tim Donaghy, the NBA is a hot bed for conspiracy theories.

Spygate

Bill Belichick

Just as Richard Nixon found himself on the wrong side of the Watergate scandal, Bill Belichick and the Patriots got caught with their pants down in 2007.

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Posted by Sosamatic71
4 years ago

Sacramento Kings- Los angeles Lakers series I believe 2002 . Many phantom calls go against the Kings !
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Posted by ace7
4 years ago

Tuck rule was invented on the spot. No way the league lets the Raiders go to the super bowl instead of the official backed Patriots. Scumbags. Stern is a crooked motherfu**er too.
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Posted by ugotdonked
4 years ago

these are way too funny, especially the one with david stern you can see when he's pulling out the first one he's definitely nervous, he takes his time eyeing which one he's going to pull out and than goes for it, after he pulls it out he quickly puts it up trying to hide the bent corner, you can also see how nervous ny's gm is but he does a terrible job trying to act surprise, no wonder i can't watch nba games no more the commissioner's taking calls from bookies david stern is a crook
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Posted by jakevk11
4 years ago

how about every single game Lebron plays in? If it is not so evident that its almost hitting you in the face that David Stern and the NBA want Lebron to get his 1st championship then there is something seriously wrong. Just last week Brad Miller and Joakim Noah tryna body up Big Diesel. 2 straight just terrible foul calls on Miller outta the game see ya next year. Next up Noah who did everything he could not to foul Shaq and what do u know a soft foul call youre outta the game see you next year. Honestly, the NBA is getting harder and harder to watch and I know its not just the NBA but it is definitely the most prevalent.
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Posted by BillyBarrou
4 years ago

Ohio State / Miami National Title Game??? I think the flag for Pass Interference at the end got thrown about 5 minutes ago
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Posted by Mxsixaplix
4 years ago

2004 college football game Michigan St at Hawaii
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Posted by Mxsixaplix
4 years ago

2004 College Football game Michigan St at Hawaii
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Posted by Luckyu3
4 years ago

All sports are rigged, and We all know the "outside" force who been controlling sports for a long time!! And NBA playoffs, keep note on their most important records, the *Game 1. Phil Jackson 40-0 in series and Cavs like 8-0 winning game 1. So right now Lakers and Cavs in conf finals! Note, Cavs had the best record in NBA (homecourt) to the Finals. Lakers/Cavs Finals--When LeBron is celebrating and dancing after Game 1, turn off your tv b/c the series over and done then no matter if do go 7 games and down to the wire, for ratings and money$!
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Posted by cd2010
4 years ago

no doubt liston-ali 2 was fixed, sonny was the favorite remember, no way that punch knocked him out, plus when has ali ever knocked anyone out in the first round let alone someone as tough as liston was, also he got killed for not fixing his last fight
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Posted by redhook206
4 years ago

whatever happened with the wisconsin/unlv football game back in the 90's? where the power got pulled in vegas late in the fourth quarter.
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Posted by luckylion
4 years ago

and how about game 2 between det and san jose last night terrible officiating announcers even saying so.
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Posted by luckylion
4 years ago

so why does the media shut up and print what they want instead of the story or call them out isn't the medias job to do so. or maybe they're just as crooked.
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Posted by hvacdawg
4 years ago

all sports are fixed. a lot of these overtime games which have double, tripled over the years. how about the pitt / chargers game where pitt intercepted the all and scored . then took the points off the board.
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Posted by hvacdawg
4 years ago

all sports are fixed. a lot of these overtime games which have double, tripled over the years. how about the pitt / chargers game where pitt intercepted the all and scored . then took the points off the board.
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Posted by Sandoz1057
4 years ago

1951 San Francisco Giants??? A little research would show that the rivalry then was between the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers.
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Posted by Syddigs
4 years ago

In regards to the Stern draft you are really clutching at straws with that one. He picked up three envelopes and flipped them over in order to shuffle them even further. There are a couple of envelopes with bent corners and it is obvious that these are caused by being dropped from a height of 2 feet or so. You will that when he takes envelope #3 the envelope below it also has a bent corner. These envelopes were spun around in a large ball quite aggressively and the corners were bound to be damaged when falling from the top of the ball. Secondly, when he chooses the envelope for draft position #5, he also picks up a group of envelopes and flips them over which is exactly what he did when he made the first pick.
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Posted by maurice88
4 years ago

I love teams that try and steal signs in baseball every edge counts.... If you dont like it Bean the next batter if you suspect sign stealing FYI I hope the bases are loaded LOL
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Posted by DFlyersFan_82
4 years ago

I do buy that conspriacy about Sonny Liston no doubt he was murdered.
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Posted by DFlyersFan_82
4 years ago

England v Argentina 1998- Beckham penatly against Argentina. Argentina winning WC in 1978
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Posted by bracks
4 years ago

Are you saying the conspiracy was the Hand of God? So, England couldn't win? Then, in '98, it was Becks def chopped @ him, deserved a card for sure on Veron. What was wrong with it?
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Posted by scho525
4 years ago

No contests effected by it, but I have always been a believer of this theory that Jordan did not retire from the NBA the first time. It was actually a front for a suspension David Stern had handed down for gambling.
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Posted by thagodfathr
4 years ago

And the refs play a part, fixed or not. Don't fool yourself.
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Posted by komot
4 years ago

unless there is clear evidence we can only guess as to which events are fixed. the fact is not everything in life can be pre-determined, so to all the skeptics out there some games are actually won and lost by the players and no one other than the players.
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Posted by JHBuff25
4 years ago

Just keep walking through life like a dumbass and keep donating to the rest of us. Ignorance is BLISS you must be walking on air.
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Posted by smithcj16
4 years ago

Funny how the Patriots were the worse team in the NFL in 2000 and then all of a sudden the only red, white and blue team in the football wins the championship right after 9/11. Think about it. Tuck rule and all.
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Top Response

Posted by chrisd156
4 years ago

"Ummmm..... Game 6 Lakers-Kings 4th quarter???"

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