Yes. Hold on a second. Before you leave, let me explain. In light of the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl XLVIII victory, a 15 minute YouTube video has been circulating and gaining traction around the web. The video investigates the calls by the officials in the NFC Championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks and has been a hit among conspiracy theorists. Were there bad calls in the game? Absolutely. That's often the case in any NFL game and the video does correctly point out some of these instances. Was it a huge conspiracy? You have got to be joking.


Regardless of the absurdity of the video, CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco examined the video and wrote up this excellent break-down of it. Maiocco is not only one of the most well respected beat writers in the Bay Area, but he is probably one of the best in the nation. He is not a 49ers fan, which he feels is essential to his duty to deliver unbiased opinions about the team. So reading his break-down of the video is about as level-headed a view as you are going to get.

While he agreed that some of the calls were bad, in the end, he had this to say:

"Ultimately, the video in question had too many baseless claims, inaccuracies and hyperbole to be taken too seriously. But if the intent was to get people talking again about the game that Sherman said featured the two best teams in the NFL, it was successful."

Before I go on, let me state that I am a 49ers fan. A proud member of the Niner Faithful. So I am somewhat biased and that probably will not change anytime soon. I grew up learning to hate teams like the Cowboys, Rams, and Packers. Today, I must admit that those teams might as well be on the same level as my allies when you compare them to how much I despise the Seahawks. I'll look for any new reason to dislike the Seahawks and latch onto that reason for dear life. What I will not do is convince myself that some greater power, like the league or the officiating crew, is looking to rig NFL games. There are already enough valid reason to dislike the Seahawks.

One thing that I will never understand is why USC fans continue to support their former head coach and current Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll. I get that he brought multiple championships to the Trojans. However, what he also did was set the program back for years with his involvement in what was deemed a "lack of institutional control" that resulted in NCAA sanctions. Those sanctions included a two-year bowl ban, four years of probation, loss of scholarships and a forfeit of an entire year's games. How would Carroll be impacted by the sanctions? He wouldn't be. In previous years, Carroll had turned down multiple attempts by NFL teams to recruit him, but once the writing was on the wall that punishments may be looming for his program, he happily left the college ranks for the NFL. He essentially robbed a bank, left the country, and left his partners holding the evidence.

Then there is the "What's your deal" game between Carroll's USC Trojans and Jim Harbaugh's Stanford Cardinal. Carroll approached Harbaugh following Stanford's 55-21 victory — a victory where Harbaugh had blatantly ran up the score — and infamously asked the coach at midfield, "What's your deal?" The irony was that Carroll had been doing this to lesser teams during his whole career at USC. In fact, even late in Super Bowl XLVIII, with the game well in hand and the Denver Broncos very much defeated, the Seahawks were passing the ball like it was the first quarter.

Then you have Richard Sherman, the talented 3rd year cornerback for the Seahawks. His mouth tends to destroy his image, and since he is one of the more arrogant and vocal players on the team, it reflects badly on the Seahawks as a whole. His recent antics following the NFC Championship have already been discussed to death, so let's not beat the dead horse. How about Sherman mouthing off to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who is one of the best of all time, following a Seahawks win in 2012? Was that really necessary? Say something had provoked that. There are many equally as talented role models in the NFL that would have just let it be or addressed the situation in a classier manner.

And then there was his March 2013 interview where he unexpectedly attacks ESPN personality Skip Bayless, saying that he is "better at life" than him. Even if you dislike Bayless, which many do, the conversation is very uncomfortable and is yet another example of using the spotlight to showcase yourself in the worst possible way. There were classier ways to express to your dislike for the member of the media, like actually answering one of the questions being asked of you. While Sherman's opinion may have been valid, his tact is lacking and his actions are an embarrassment. And I don't even like Skip Bayless.


I won't even touch the Seahawks fans, who threw food at injured 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman as he was carted off the field late in the NFC Championship game, because there are always bad seeds in any fanbase. Even Richard Sherman took offense at that. And I definitely will not touch the excessive PED use among Seahawks players that 49ers fans continuously love to poke fun at.

Instead, I will go back to Maiocco's article. I thought that it would eliminate some of the conspiracy theorists, but it just seems to have further riled some of the more vocal, with one fan calling Maiocco an undercover Seahawks fan — in not so many nice words. I cannot even begin to describe the ridiculousness of such a statement. It does show how some fans refuse to listen to reason and instead choose to latch on to anything that looks bad on a hated divisional rival, no matter how absurd it may seem. And perhaps, to some extent, that is what I do in my hatred for the Seahawks. However, I refuse to take anything away from their accomplishments because of a conspiracy theory, because in the end, that would just be an excuse.

If the NFL were fixed, as the video in question tries to portray, then it would have been NFL golden boy Peyton Manning hoisting his second Lombardi trophy, and not the Seattle Seahawks. Or, at the very least, the game would have been much more competitive for ratings reasons.

With all of that being said, if you are ready to subscribe to a conspiracy theory because it is being passed around the social media world, please read Matt Maiocco's break-down first. Once again, the 49ers missed their chance and it is time to look toward the 2014 season for some redemption and not to dwell on what could have been.

If you are going to dislike the Seahawks, do it for the more rational reasons. There may be some easily dislikable aspects to the squad, but they are a fantastic NFL team and a hurdle that the 49ers must overcome in order to return to the biggest stage in sports.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you believe the conspiracy or just feel that this, like any NFL game, had flaws in the officiating? What are your reasons for disliking the Seahawks? Leave a comment below.