Jermaine Every: From bizarre to believable, sports fans love their conspiracy theories

Michael Jordan might be the gold standard for conspiracy theories. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Sports fans can be a strange bunch. We are some of the most eclectic and eccentric people out there. Outside the art folks and hipsters, we are the weirdest group. Along with that weirdness comes a certain level of tinfoil hat wearing in the form of conspiracy theories.

These conspiracy theories in sports range from rumors widely accepted as truth to the utterly ridiculous. I spoke with a few guys that have strong opinions and gathered some of the more interesting conspiracy theories. Here’s a rundown of who I spoke to and a couple of their more interesting sports conspiracy theories:

Quincy Floyd (my barber at Phayes Two Barbershop)

-There are magnets in basketballs that are used to make players miss or make shots.

-Refs are paid to officiate towards a certain outcome more beneficial to the league.

-Boxing is rigged to build up to bigger fights.

-The love of money is at the root of evil and main reason why things are rigged.

Lamont Mann (Houston Media Watch contributor, sports radio and Twitter enthusiast)

-Did Andre Johnson beat up Matt Schaub?

-Did Brock Osweiler and Bill O’Brien get physical?

-Daryl Morey fired Kevin McHale, no matter how much the media says it was out of his hands. Why would McHale’s wife go after Morey?

-Colin Kaepernick’s movement is more about starting than the treatment of minorities.

-NFL ratings aren’t the only ratings that are down. Most ratings across the board but some want it to appear like certain parties are affecting it.

Raheel Ramzanali (Gow Media personality)

-Michael Jordan’s “retirement” was due to gambling debts and may have played a role in his father’s murder.

-Craig Koshkin (my partner on The Sideline Podcast)

-The first NBA Draft Lottery in 1985 was rigged for the New York Knicks to pick first overall so they could select Patrick Ewing.

-The NBA and its refs conspired to have the Lakers beat the Kings in 2002 Western Conference Finals because of the disparity in fouls called and free throws shot.

Jerren Duronslet (lifelong friend)

-The mob was behind the death of Michael Jordan’s father. Not because of a gambling debt, but because he refused to throw the series against the Phoenix Suns.

-Kobe Bryant quit on the Lakers in Game 6 of 2006 first round series against the Suns. Lakers were up 3-1 in the series and dropped the next two games. Kobe scored 22 points in the first half, only one in the second half.

-Magic Johnson doesn’t really have HIV. He was paid off to be the face of the heterosexual male with the deadly disease.

Let those sink in for a moment. I’m more than sure that you have heard of these before. As long as sports have been around, there have been games getting thrown and or set for one reason or another. We’ve always enjoyed that what if’s, maybe’s, and possibly’s of sports. Things like this have driven discussions at the water cooler for years. One main reason I asked my barber, is because you can go to any barbershop, especially in a predominantly black neighborhood, and here some of the most insane sports takes and conspiracy theories! There were some I’ve heard over the years that are almost too crazy to mention. The one about the ball and goal having a magnet made the cut because it is so off the wall.

If I have missed any good ones you may have, or if you have heard any good ones, please contact me on Twitter. I would love to know your thoughts on the matter. Pass this on to your family and friends. Bring it up at that awkward dinner meeting your significant other’s family for the first time. Use this article as the ice breaker on your new job. Just don’t forget to let me know how it goes.

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Looking to place some bets this weekend? Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

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Here’s a better, safer way to find companionship. And I guarantee this new friend will stick with you longer than throwing a long distance Hail Mary for love. Unfortunately, this method may end up wiping out your 401k just the same.

If you listen to one of those weekend radio shows where sports betting hustlers tell you, “Call my toll-free number for a recorded message with our free picks this weekend” – and you think you’re getting something for free – you’re wrong. Once you make that call, they’ve got your number, and there’s nothing, certainly not call blocking or FCC regulations outlawing spam calls (yeah, those work) that will stop them from calling you till death do you part. You’ll have an easier time getting rid of a time share in Galveston.

I have a better way. You want to make money betting football? Listen to my friend Oreste San Juan’s weekly picks.

And bet the other way.

Let me tell you about Oreste. I’ve known this guy a long time, I used to work with him. He’s one of our gang. He likes to bet football.

Trouble is, he’s the worst bettor in the world. He’s horrible. Last week, he played a 5-team parlay. All five of his teams lost. You realized that’s as mathematically unlikely as picking five winners, right?

If he bets $100 on a parlay and loses all five games, what happens if you bet the other way? Here’s what - $759 for a tidy profit of $659.

It’s like Oreste is giving away free money. Think of Sundays as “Opposite Day,” – the opposite of Oreste. You know how pro sports “investment advisors” brag they have a “documented 90 percent win rate?” That’s a bunch of crap, of course. Oreste is honest - “I can’t remember the last time I had a winning year!”

If he loses and you go the other way, you don’t have to be Ed “The Professor” Horowitz to know this is a solid system. It’s like buying short in the stock market without worrying about your guy running back a certain Pick 6 for the win but he drops the ball on the 1-yard-line like an idiot.

Here’s how successful Oreste is in the sports speculation maelstrom. Monday through Friday, working 9 to 5, he is very successful, probably makes more money than the rest of us. He stinks on weekends, that’s all. When the boys go to McDonald’s, he’ll ask if I have any coupons for half-off Big Macs. A few summers ago, a bunch of went to Europe and rode all-night trains from country to country. One night he was in the top bunk over me. At 5 a.m., I heard him yell “&*$%$!” He stayed up till dawn listening to Monday Night Football on Armed Forces Radio and he lost on a last-second field goal.

We were on a bus in Warsaw and Oreste had his phone up to his ear. He was listening to a college football game. He was oblivious to the world. A passenger tapped him on his shoulder. “That guy just stole your wallet and ran off the bus.” Oreste spent the rest of that day at the U.S. Embassy trying to get a copy of his passport.

Enough selling the Oreste San Juan Plan for Prosperity. Here are his four NFL picks for Week 3. Remember, go the opposite way.

He likes the Bears (-3) over the Texans.

He likes the Chief (-6) at the Colts.

He likes the Bengals (-5) at the J-E-T-S.

He loves, loves, loves Buccaneers (-1) over the Packers.

See you at the pay window.

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