To the birther, truther, 9/11 Elvis Capricorn One Lee Harvey Oswald Conspiracy file, we can now add a new sinister theory: Peyton Manning intentionally threw the Super Bowl so the Saints would beat the Colts.
That's the prospect raised by Terence Moore, columnist for the Web site NFL Fanhouse, in an entry titled "Peyton a Double Agent? Some Think So":
I sought the views of the Colt Nation, and this was interesting: Spanning from Monument Circle to Conseco Fieldhouse to Circle Center Mall to the area near the little race track that features 500 miles each May, a slew of folks alluded to the "c" word, but not for choke. They viewed The Interception as their version of a second gunman on the grassy knoll -- as in conspiracy.
Among the conspiracists, some said Manning threw The Interception on purpose to defensive back Tracy Porter who sprinted 74 yards for a touchdown to seal the Saints' 31-17 victory. Most said he threw it subconsciously.
Whatever the case, both sides said Manning had the Saints' welfare more than that of the Colts dancing around his mind at the moment.
Consider the evidence for the conspiracists: Manning was born and raised in New Orleans. And his father, Archie, is legendary around the Gulf Coast region. And the Mannings (which includes New York Giants quarterback Eli) knew as well as anybody before the game how much a world championship in New Orleans would brighten the souls of those still recovering from Hurricane Katrina. And [Reggie] Wayne, who possibly ran a shoddy route against Porter, also is from New Orleans.
So Reggie Wayne was in on it, too! This goes deeper than any of us could have imagined. But what does Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard think of this possible act of civic sabotage?
He couldn't stop laughing from the conference room next to his office when told of the Manning conspiracists who won't back down.
"So Peyton works his entire life to get this point, and he's going to throw it all away," said Ballard, laughing again. His press secretary, Robert Vane, added nearby, between chuckles, "And we also never landed on the moon."
But, seriously. Was that intentional?
Said Ballard, easing into the non-nonsense voice that he used when he was a lieutenant colonel for the Marines, "That's ludicrous. It's just plain ludicrous for people to think that way (about the Super Bowl). There is no question that Peyton Manning wanted to win that game."
Zounds! Everyone knows that if you deny a conspiracy, you must be one of the conspirators! Apparently Mayor Ballard is in on it too!
At least (dun dun dun dun DUNNNN) ... some think so.