On Feb. 4, 2023, just eight days from Super Bowl LVII, a Twitter user posted a picture of a final outcome for the game, which showed the Philadelphia Eagles edging out the Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 37-34. The caption for the tweet read, "Nahh someone leaked the SuperBowl script."
According to the stats under the tweet, it had been seen more than 12 million times.
However, as some users realized, this was simply a continuation of a sarcastic and comedic discussion that had occurred on a podcast in the days before the tweet went up.
In an episode of the "Macrodosing: Arian Foster and PFT Commenter" podcast from Barstool Sports, former NFL player Arian Foster had played along with a comedy bit about how the NFL was "rigged" and that he would receive "scripts" for how his seasons with the league would play out.
SI.com reported, "NFL Players React to Conspiracy Theory of a Scripted League," adding, "If it's not apparent to the average listener, it's clear that Foster gave his account with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek."
For readers unable to listen to the clip, here's the transcript:
PFT Commenter: It's funny. Before we started taping, Arian was telling me about how the NFL is rigged and how every year he used to get a script. Day one of training camp, it would get dropped off at his locker, and you would have to, you know, it was like, week one you'll do this, week two you're going to have a hamstring injury, week three this is gonna happen, week four you're going to get three touchdowns, and so, then you just have to, did you memorize those before the season started or would you go and rehearse the script before every game?
Foster: Oh, we're really dedicated to it, so it was moreso like, that's what practice was about, it was about practicing the script. This is what goes on and this is what we have to do, in order to...
PFT Commenter: And this referee's gonna miss this call because they hate you and they love the Colts, that sort of thing?
Foster: Yeah, WWF, so it's like, you know what's gonna happen, but you still got to put on a show.
Big Tennessee: What did you think when you got the script in 2016 that said your career was going to fall off a cliff when you stopped belieiving in God?
Foster: That was 2015.
From what we could gather, the person who created the score seen in the tweet had simply used as a template a page of previous game that had been published by pro-football-reference.com. For example, there was one game that ended 37-34 earlier in 2023. A few simple changes in the code of the page were all that were needed in order to produce the image.
In the responses under the tweet, many of which asked the user who posted the image to scroll down and show the box score and coin toss outcome for betting purposes, we noticed that another user came up with their own final score of 112-3.
Of course, there's a possibility that the Eagles will defeat the Chiefs by the 37-34 score shown in the tweet. But again, the picture was simply meant as a joke.