Saturday Night Live found a new way to make fun of people who still think Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election: showing them how ridiculous they sound in the context of sports. Unfortunately for the hapless New York Jets, they happened to get caught in the crossfire on Saturday.
The Jets are winless this year, most recently keeping their hopes of drafting Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence alive in hilarious fashion thanks to a last-second defeat last week. It was enough to get their defensive coordinator fired after the Cover Zero fiasco, and it also earned the attention of SNL.
In sketch, called “Sportsmax,” introduces the sports version of Trump-loving right wing Newsmax, which many conservatives are turning to in the wake of even Fox News accepting that Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden in November. The premise of the sketch is that unlike ESPN, Sportsmax has the truth about sports. Starting with the Very Good At Football New York Jets.
“Sportsmax is the network for real Jets fans, giving you the truth about America’s favorite football team,” the ad for the channel said. Two hosts then talked about just how good the winless Jets actually are, despite what the fake news and fake standings will tell you.
“A lot of mainstream sports networks are saying the Jets have not won a single game this year,” a fictional anchor on the network said, while another pointed out that Sportsmax has proof that the Jets have “already won 11 games” this season.
“Now the “experts” will tell you that the Jets lost to the Bills 18-10 back in October,” he said. “Sounds like a done deal, right? No, not so fast. Let’s take a closer look at the numbers.”
Much like many of the wild conspiracy theories about Trump somehow getting the election stolen from him, what follows is complete nonsense. The anchor posits that after the first quarter, which the Jets were leading 3-0, something “very suspicious” started happening and the Bills started getting “all these points out of god knows where.”
“Either the Jets won 3-0 or this whole game is rigged,” the anchor said. Later, two Jets “experts” played by Pete Davidson and show host Timothée Chalamet present sworn written testimony from 500 Jets fans that claim they saw the Jets win, unlike what the NFL says.
It’s a clever way to lampoon people attempting to peddle the fictional election narrative that Joe Biden did not win the election, but that it was somehow taken from Trump in a massive voter fraud scheme that simply makes no sense. Somehow, the election was only stolen and illegitimate because Trump lost, while the other results that held up for Republicans — gaining seats in the House and likely avoiding losing a Senate majority — are valid even though those votes were all cast on the same ballots.
The joke of the sketch is that unlike the hundreds of prominent Republican lawmakers and millions of Trump supporters going along with Trump’s baseless claims of fraud, it’s a lot harder to pull off that kind of thing in sports. Because there’s quite literally a scoreboard, pretending to adhere to a different reality than what’s actually there just looks ridiculous when it gets spelled out for you.
There are a lot of great little moments in the sketch, like Chalamet’s character wearing a “three-peat” shirt implying the Jets won three straight titles in the mid 2010s. There’s even a quick photoshop of Tom Brady in a Jets jersey and some jokes about how Sportsmax will never show an athlete kneeling to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Even the Knicks got some heat from the sketch.
The problem with comparing politics like sports, however, is that there are actual results to lean back on when it comes to things like football. The standings are pretty cut and dry, and the nuance can be argued but ultimately is pretty pointless in the end. These days in politics, even the election results don’t seem to matter anymore if you yell about it enough.