"Why would you pass on the 1-yard line? You have the Beast at your disposal, and he is starving. Why call a high-risk pick play that's experienced Hindenburg levels of success in recent memory?"
Such were the questions flooding in from all angles after Wilson's sole interception of Super Bowl XLIX—a turnover that flipped the game on its ear and doomed a miraculous fourth-quarter comeback by the Seattle Seahawks. Fans and pundits alike wondered aloud exactly what led Pete Carroll to call a risky, no-read passing play with the Lombardi Trophy on the line and Marshawn Lynch waiting in the backfield.
Most have chalked it up to arrogance or a colossal brain fart, but a particularly tin-hatted cross section of viewers saw larger, non-football reasons at play when the Seahawks deviated from Lynch in the final moments of the game.
The prevailing theory being shopped is that Carroll and the Seahawks franchise had more to gain from Wilson scoring the winning touchdown than Lynch and opted to give their quarterback the opportunity to play hero.
It's a dumb, irrational theory. No NFL coach would never make a business decision with the biggest game of his life on the line. However, at least one Seattle Seahawk appears to have momentarily deemed the notion plausible.
NFL.com's Michael Silver reports that one anonymous (and upset) Seahawks player considered the idea after Seattle's 28-24 Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots. Sitting in the locker room, the player briefly acknowledged that the pass play seemed like an attempt by Carroll to elevate Wilson into the role of Seattle's savior.
"That's what it looked like," the unnamed player said.
Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman was among other reporters who noted the Seahawks' postgame frustration with the play call.
mike freeman @mikefreemanNFL
Seahawks players are ripping the hell out of that last call. Openly.2015-2-2 03:46:48
Lorenzo Reyes @LorenzoGReyes
Hanging in #Seahawks locker room and quite a few players questioning the last play call. One said: "We've got Marshawn and we throw it?"2015-2-2 04:10:29
Terence Moore @TMooreSports
I’m in the Seahawks locker room. Wow. Talking about despair! Those who can speak are freely ripping that last play call. Big time.2015-2-2 03:43:13
Silver stresses that the anonymous statement was made in a moment of despair, and that cannot be overemphasized.
At the time of this inquest, with the wound so fresh and the loss' teeth just beginning to sink in, I'm confident most of the Seahawks would've been willing to blame Adnan for the play had you suggested it. No one in that locker room was in any mental shape to speak cogently, much less wax eloquent on shadow games conjured by a third party.
In any case, this conspiracy is going nowhere, and I, for one, am wholly investing myself into its dumb and self-defeating non-rationale.
I have to believe the Seahawks preferred Wilson to score in that moment. I must believe Carroll chose to put the ball in the hands of the guy who is about to be monetarily elevated to demigod status, as opposed to the guy they'll be haggle-battling in the offseason. Whoever scores that touchdown is MVP, and football coaches are wild and insane human beings.
Is it bark-at-the-moon, "I keep my Cash For Gold in a shoe under the mattress" crazy to think Carroll was punch-drunk enough to try to play kingmaker in those final moments? Yes.
But look at the signs.
Again, I don't want to believe this—I have to. Mostly because it's entertaining, which is the point of this entire industry, but also because the alternative is that a professional football coach in possession of one Marshawn Lynch truly believed his team's best goal-line chances lay on the arm of Russell Wilson. I cannot believe this. I will not believe this.
Pick a side, Super Bowl truthers, because the Lynchspiracy is going into the conspiracy Hall of Fame, next to the Phantom Punch and Second Spitter.
Follow Dan on Twitter for more #Lynchspiracy theories.