What if sports imitated life? Or even worse, politics? The following is a satirical piece and not meant to reflect actual views of any universities involved or individuals associated with either university. In other words, Fake News.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Louisville has refused to concede Saturday’s 31-17 loss at Virginia, and is seeking a court order to prevent the Atlantic Coast Conference from certifying the result.
The school and its fervent supporters are alleging that the StatBroadcast software used to keep game statistics was altered to misappropriate hundreds of yards and dozens of points that should have been credited to Louisville to the host team instead. It is accusing the Arizona-based small-tech firm that developed the software of rigging the game, along with OptiTech, the Taiwan-based manufacturer of Virginia’s stadium video scoreboard.
Moreover, Louisville attorneys say that supporters of the program were denied full access to the game, and did not have the best vantage point from which to oversee the contest, nor the actual scoring process in the press box.
One spokesman, who spoke to angry supporters via bullhorn outside the stadium and claimed to have been denied access, later tested positive for COVID-19.
In a hastily called news conference at the Four Seasons Tree & Landscaping Services in nearby Lynchburg, Va., Louisville attorneys said that the game was, “Perhaps the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on a fan base in the history of the ACC,” and added that, “We were ahead 10-7, and about to celebrate a beautiful victory, then Virginia started scoring all these points – which looked like normal football points, but actually were illegal. We just know this, we were on our way to winning this game – we did win this game – and we will not let them take it from us.”
Throngs of Louisville fans, chanting “Stop the Steal” and bearing signs and clothing with the slogan, welcomed the team at the Louisville airport.
In court, judges threw out several challenges raised by Louisville team attorneys. Still, Cardinals’ officials demanded a hand recount of the points and statistics from the game, followed by an audit. They brought sworn affidavits from more than 1,000 Louisville fans who claimed no actual fraud, but a series of odd grievances that had no bearing on the game’s outcome, some of them featuring crude pencil sketches and schematics of Scott Stadium.
In one of the more stunning allegations, one Louisville fan claimed that Virginia had a dead man playing quarterback, which would invalidate his 203 yards passing and 60 yards rushing, plus three touchdowns, which would be more than enough to overturn the game’s result.
He alleged that Virginia QB Brennan Armstrong had showed up in obituary records as having died in 2006. Research by WDRB showed that, in fact, Armstrong was alive at the time of the game, and that the person to whom the fan was referring was actually one Virginia Armstrong, a Provo, Utah, woman who died in 2006.
One fan who did have access to the game accused Virginia of pumping in crowd noise and of making frequent announcements over a loudspeaker. “It was very distracting to those of us trying to concentrate and find irregularities,” the fan said.
When asked how he had gained access to the event if he was complaining of a lack of access, he quickly upended everything on the table and ran away.
The allegations pose a tricky problem for the ACC. While ESPN and other media outlets, including WDRB, continue to report Virginia as the winner of the game, other outlets, such as OAN, have reported Louisville as leading 17-7, until Virginia’s final 24 points are exhaustively recounted and audited.
“I just know this,” one Louisville attorney said. “We’re not going to let them steal this game.”