Wherever you find a losing sports team, you will find fans calling shenanigans. And, thanks to people like Bill Belichick, sometimes they're right.
The fact is some of the greatest coaches, players and games in history have been dogged by rumors of cheating and outright corruption, some of the accusations so outlandish and retarded that they couldn't possibly be true.
Or could they?
7The Moment: The Most Iconic Image of Muhammad Ali
The Insane Theory :
Muhammad Ali was the greatest sports icon of the second half of the 20th century. He floated like a butterfly, stung like a bee, and didn't believe there was anything gay at all about that claim. But despite a long and storied career that spanned decades and continents, the most famous photograph of him was taken early in his career in Maine, at the most poorly attended and controversial heavyweight championship bout ever held.
Not pictured: legitimacy
The fight was a rematch and the poor bastard Ali's standing over was Sonny Liston. Their first fight had ended mysteriously when Liston refused to come out of his corner. In the months leading up to the rematch, they had a difficult time securing a venue, partially due to rumors of mob involvement, which is how they ended up in Maine. Making things all the more shady, nobody saw the punch that knocked Liston out. While the resulting photograph makes Ali look like he's celebrating in triumph, those who were ringside claim Ali was actually yelling at Liston to get up, presumably so he could at least wait for a more plausible punch before taking a dive.
Why it Might be True :
In the seedy world of professional boxing, Liston was perhaps the dirtiest and most mysterious guy in the ring. No one knew, including Liston, when or where he was born. Liston had done time and apparently had underworld connections, including having his contract owned by notorious and prominent Mafiosos.
Because of that, there were rumors that Liston bet against himself because he owed money to the mob and really didn't feel like getting fitted with a pair of cliche cement shoes.
Artistic rendering of Liston's Mob Boss.
To make things worse, apparently Liston had another group to fear: the Black Muslims who supported Ali. The word, coming straight from one of Liston's trainers, is that Liston was so petrified of being murdered by the group that he decided it just wasn't worth it to mix it up with Ali. So taking the dive may have killed two birds with one stone.
Or not, since Liston died a mysterious death (the cops declared it a heroin overdose, but he barely had any in his system), causing some to speculate he was murdered. Man, if you can't trust Mob bosses and violent extremists, who can you trust?