The Super Bowl was “believed to have been rigged,” a fake news website said following the blowout in Super Bowl XLVIII.
The story by Huzlers.com, a satire website, set off conspiracy theories that the game’s result was determined before it even started.
The story claims that ” NFL officials have just discovered that the game was most likely rigged,” and “believe the Broncos intentionally lost the championship in exchange for a large amount of money.”
The story alleges that “Super Bowl referee Terry McAulay told reporters he sensed something strange when he overhead Broncos Quarterback Peyton Manning allegedly asking Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll ‘When are you going to pay up?'”
The story further purports that “NFL officials do not think every player on both teams were in on the deal, but only certain players in both team, If evidence is found that the game was rigged, those players will be heavily fined and suspended for a very long period of time if not banned from playing professional Football for the rest of their lives.”
Although obviously fake, some alternative news websites picked up on the theme and ran stories about the game being rigged or the winner of the Super Bowl being leaked ahead of time.
According to its disclaimer at the bottom of the page, Huzlers “is a combination of real shocking news and satire news to keep its visitors in a state of disbelief.” However, the vast majority–if not all–of the articles on the website are fake.
This Huzlers story offers no sources for its information in the report, and there’s no mainstream media coverage of any rigging during the Super Bowl.
Other stories on the fake news website include “Teen Arrested For Killing Brother Over ‘Flappy Bird’ Game,” and “President Barack Obama Outlaws Twerking.”