Fact Check

Super Bowl XLVIII Believed to Have Been Rigged

Rumor: The FBI is investigating the possible rigging of the 2014 Super Bowl.

Published Feb 1, 2015

Claim:   The FBI is investigating the possible rigging of the 2014 Super Bowl.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, February 2014]

Was Super Bowl XLVIII rigged? This can't be true but I need to check.


Origins:   The 2014 Super Bowl was somewhat of a disappointment to many football fans, as the contest between two teams whom oddsmakers considered to be almost evenly matched, the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos, turned out be a 43-8 rout in favor of Seattle. In earlier times some observers might have wondered if such a one-sided score in what was supposed to be a close contest was an indicator that gamblers had influenced the outcome by "fixing" or "rigging" the game, an idea posited in an article published on the Huzlers.com web site just after the Super Bowl:

After The Seattle Seahawks victory over the Denver Broncos at the NFL's 48th Super Bowl with a final score of 43-8, NFL officials have just discovered that the game was most likely rigged. NFL officials have just found clues that might prove the game was rigged. Officials believe the Broncos intentionally lost the championship in exchange for a large amount of money.

By the following day links and excerpts referencing this article were being circulated via social media, with many of those who encountered it mistaking it for a genuine news item. However, that article was just a fictitious bit of sporting spoof from Huzlers, whose disclaimer notes that the site "is a combination of real shocking news and satire news to keep its visitors in a state of disbelief."

Last updated:   3 February 2014

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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