If you ever want to go down a great sports conspiracy rabbit hole, check out the theory that Super Bowl 3 was fixed.
It involves a ridiculous cast of characters: Joe Namath, Don Shula, Johnny Unitas, even fucking Henry Hill (of Goodfellas fame).
The general idea was that Carrol Rosenbloom, the owner of the Colts who is considered the OG “sportsman owner” (i.e. Robert Kraft, Jerry Jones), threw the game on purpose in order to legitimize the AFL (who the Jets represented). In the AFL-NFL merger agreement signed in 1966, there was a exit clause if the AFL didn’t establish credibility within 3 years.
The circumstances surrounding Rosenbloom are very suspicious when put together. He was a notorious gambler, 4 former associates testified in court about his gambling activities; in the public versions of their affidavits, all 4 claimed Rosenbloom had wagered on and against his own team, specifically a $55K wager placed on the 49er’s against his Colts when they had already clinched a playoff spot and he sat all his starters. Another rumor was that he bet $1 million on his own team with a -3 point spread in the famous 1958 Championship game vs. the Giants (“The Greatest Game Ever Played”), which would explain why the Colts went for a TD in sudden death OT when they could have won with a FG. He basically facilitated Pete Rozelle being hired as the NFL Commissioner at the young age of 33 and the two maintained a close relationship. After the merger, he was paid $3 million to move the Colts to the AFC (the other two franchises that moved conferences were not compensated). In 1972, he inexplicably swapped ownership with Robert Irsay in a tax-exempt exchange (did I mention he was golf buddies with JFK’s dad??), upgrading from Baltimore to the franchise in 2nd biggest market in America, the LA Rams. The story ends fittingly when in 1979 he died a mysterious drowning death at his Florida home that was rumored to be a murder from the mafia over gambling debts.
(If you’re wondering why I know so much about this, I wrote an unnecessarily long final paper in my conspiracy theories class on the topic).