The world won’t know who’s headed to the Super Bowl until after Sunday’s conference championship games, but that didn’t stop ESPN’s Facebook account from taking its best guess.
As first noticed by ABC 7 in Philadelphia, the NFL posted a promo last week featuring Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Vikings quarterback Case Keenum behind a Super Bowl LII logo. The caption promised that, “When you donate to United Way, you could score 2 club-level seats to watch the PATRIOTS vs. the VIKINGS battle it out for the coveted Super Bowl title!”
The photo was posted Tuesday and, bizarrely, not taken down until Friday, despite plenty of shares, reactions and confused comments.
An NFL spokesperson told Geoff Mosher of 975 The Fanatic that the league had created similar promos for all four potential Super Bowl matchups and posted the Patriots-Vikings version in a “regrettable mistake.”
Via email, NFL spokesperson said league's Facebook promo advertising a Vikings-Patriots Super Bowl with Case Keenum and Tom Brady is a "regrettable mistake."
NFL created other promos w/different combos, including the Eagles, but were supposed to wait until Monday to release.
— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherNFL) January 19, 2018
For what it’s worth, the Patriots are 8-point favorites against the Jaguars on Sunday, per Bovada, while the Vikings are favored by 3.5 points against the Eagles, so New England-Minnesota is the most likely Super Bowl matchup. Still, it’s probably a bit early for the NFL to say for sure.
Citing the premature promo and some curious Google results, ABC 7 wonders whether the conference championship games could be rigged — and Eagles supporters have predictably run with the conspiracy theory. We’re more inclined to believe this was an innocent mistake on the part of some social-media staffer, but you do you, Philly fans.