Note: No infringement on the NFL, any of its teams, ESPN, or any other humongous conglomerate, is intended. As Foghorn Leghorn is fond of saying, "It's a joke, son. Pay attention!"
Fans, having withdrawal pains because
football season is over? Weeelll, ESPN is proud to present:
THE STUPOR BOWL!
Live from the Colosseum in Rome:
Chris Berman: Hello there, football fans, this is Chris Berman. We at ESPN are thrilled to be bringing you today's NFL championship game. That's the No Foul League to you casual fans out there. After a grueling playoff series we are down to two teams. The Rome Raiders are the designated home team and their opponents will be those upstarts from Greece, the Action Packers. And it looks like the Packers have won the toss and have elected to receive the pigskin. And folks, it's a real pigskin.
(Teams line up for kickoff.)
Berman: Here are the starters for the Packer offensive team. At quarterback is
Xena, who is also the Packers' coach. The scouting report says she is a real two way
player. At fullback is Hercules. The wide outs are Iolaus and Autolycus. The tight end is
Callisto and, boy, talk about somebody perfect for their position. Nobody has a tighter
end than she does. On the offensive line we have, at the guards and tackles, four nameless
goons. The scouting report says they were spared from a gruesome death at the hands of
Xena by agreeing to play for the Packers. At center is Gabrielle. Although very small for
an offensive lineman, the scouting report says she is very good at remembering the snap
And, oh yeah, I almost forgot. At halfback is the sorriest excuse for an athlete I have ever seen. What was his name again? Joker? Jugular? (Checks roster.) Oh, here it is. Joxer. The scouting report on this guy says to time him in the 40 you need a calendar.
The starting lineup for the Raiders, you say? Well, I have a feeling most of 'em won't be around long enough for it to matter.
Here's the kickoff, and it's a long one, into the end zone. Iolaus downs it for a touchback. The Packers will take over on their twenty yard line.
(Packers break huddle.)
Berman: Split T formation, Iolaus wide left, Autolycus wide right. And here's Xena, hands up under center....
Gabrielle (giggles): Oooohhhh, Xena.
Xena (smiling): Now, Gabrielle, keep your mind on the game. Seeet. Hut,hut!
Berman: And it's a handoff to the fullback, straight up the middle. Hercules is to the twenty-five, the thirty, he's dragging the whole defensive team! He's at the forty, he....could....go....all....the....way! Eighty yards! Touchdown! Holy mackerel!
Hercules: Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.
Berman: They're lining up for the extra point. Xena is the kicker. The scouting report says she keeps in practice in the off season by kicking butts. Here's the kick. Oh, Margaret! She kicked it clean out of the park! But the referee says it's good so the Packers take the lead 7-0.
Referee: Hey! Xena! You can't kick anymore. We only have one pigskin left.
Berman: I forgot to mention, the referee's name is Red Cashen (real ref).
Joxer: Let me kick! Lemmee. Ohh, pleeease, Xena, let me kick off.
Xena (sighs): Okay, you moron. We'll give you a try.
Berman: It looks like Jughead, I mean, Joxer is going to kick off.
(Joxer makes his approach to the pigskin and completely misses it, falling flat on his back.)
Referee Offsides. Kicking team. Five yard penalty. Still first dooown.
Callisto (pulling dagger): That's it. I'm tired of this bumbling knucklehead.
Xena: Knock it off. You can't kill him, Callisto, his brother is half owner of the team.
Callisto (leering maniacally): How 'bout if I just- maim him a little?
Callisto (stamps foot): Shoot.
Xena: Iolaus, you kick off.
Berman: Iolaus kicks off and it's not very deep. Uranium takes it on the twenty-seven, he's up to the thirty, and ohhhh, is he blasted by Xena at the thirty-two yard line. What a hit! That guy will be lucky if he can remember what century he's in.
Medical note: This is not as serious as it sounds. After all, the writers on XWP can't either.
Berman: Here come the Raiders up to the line. The Packers are in a 4-3 defense. The four nameless goons are the defensive line. Xena is the middle linebacker (Big surprise, huh?), Hercules is the right linebacker, Callisto is the left linebacker. At strong safety is Iolaus and the weak (And we do mean weak) safety is Jell-o, I mean Joxer. Autolycus and Gabrielle are the cornerbacks.
Berman: Here's the handoff...Fermium's got it...
(Raiders hand off to their halfback. He gets eight yards before Xena pulls out her sword and cuts his arm off.)
Callisto (screaming): Fumble!
(Joxer falls on the pigskin and the entire offensive team falls on Joxer.)
Berman: And it's recovered by the defense. Looks like Joystick, errr I mean, Joxer got it for the Packers. They take over on the Raider forty-one yard line.
Fermium: That was awfully unsporting of you.
Xena: Aww shut up, crybaby. Go bleed somewhere else.
(Xena jerks Joxer up by the collar and dusts him off.)
Fermium: How about a penalty, ref?
Referee: I didn't see it, son.
Fermium (holds up stump of arm): You didn't see this?
Xena: Good work, Joxer.
Joxer (rolling his eyes) Thanks... I think.
Berman: The Packers are in the huddle...
Xena: Okay, here's the play. Autolycus, run a post pattern and I'll hit you about twenty yards downfield.
Autolycus: Whaddaya want to hit me for? I didn't do nuthin'.
Xena: With the pigskin, stupid.
Gabrielle (tugging on Xena's skirt): Xena?
Gabrielle (pouting): I wanna catch a pass.
Xena: Why sure, sweet thing. Okay, listen up. The Gabster wants to run a pass route. That means one of you will have to play center. Any volunteers?
Entire team except Callisto: ME! ME! ME!
Callisto: Lecherous cretins.
Xena: Umm. Hmmm. Okay. Eeny, meeny, miney, moe, catch a producer by the toe...okay, Autolycus, you're it.
Autolycus (rubbing hands): Yessss!
Berman: The Packers line up in a slot formation. Gabrielle has moved from center to split end. Xena, hands up under center...
Xena: 3-29, 3-29, seeeet. Hut.
(Autolycus is so aroused by the close proximity of Xena's hands to his, well you know, that he forgets the snap count.)
Referee: False start. Entire offensive line. Five yard penalty. Still first doooown.
Xena: You idiot.
Berman: First and fifteen now for the Packers at the Raider forty-six.
Hercules: About time you got back around to me. Xena, are you sure Gabrielle can catch a pass?
Xena (smiling wickedly): She's never missed a pass from me yet.
Berman: Xena drops back to pass, she fires over the middle. CAUGHT, at the thirty yard line by Gabrielle and ohhh was she creamed on the play. Let's take another look at that on the replay. Oh yeah, she was clotheslined by the strong safety.
Xena: Gabby! Gabby! Are you all right?
Gabrielle (stupid grin on face): No ice cream for me, mother. I'm on a diet.
Iolaus: She's had her bell rung.
Xena (holding up three fingers): Gabs, how many fingers do you see?
Gabrielle (grins stupidly at Xena's fingers and then up at Xena): What's a finger?
Callisto: Tsk. Tsk. Now isn't that just tooo bad?
Xena (to strong safety): You son of a bitch! I'll get you for this.
Referee: First doooown.
Hercules: What are we going to do? We don't have any subs.
Xena: We will just have to keep her in the lineup. I'll move her to halfback where I can sort of keep an eye out for her. Joxer! Go to split end.
Berman: The Packers have a first and ten on the Raider thirty yard line. Xena back to pass, no, it's a quarterback draw!
(Xena does a backward somersault over the defensive line.)
Berman: Xena somersaults backward over the defensive line...
(Xena straight arms the middle linebacker.)
Berman: She straight arms the middle linebacker...
(Xena breaks another tackle.)
Berman: She breaks another tackle....is there an echo in here?
(Xena runs straight for the strong safety.)
Berman: She's headed for the strong safety...ooohhhh. That had to smart. Ladies and gentlemen, could we have a moment of silence for the strong safety, please? And, oh by the way, Xena was brought down at the two yard line.
Xena: Where's Gabrielle?
(Gabrielle has wandered over to the sideline. She is sitting down, flipping herself in the ear.)
Xena: C'mon Gabs, back to the huddle with ya.
Gabrielle: The square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides.
Gabrielle: Dumm da dum dum. Dumm da dum dum dummmm.
Xena: Oh m'gosh. This is worse than I thought. She's humming themes from old cop shows. This calls for shock treatment. Gabrielle! You hair- it's changed color again!
Gabrielle: NOOOOOO! ARRRRRGGGGHHHH!
(Gabrielle snaps out of it.)
Xena (hugs Gabrielle): Oh, Gabs, I missed you.
Gabrielle: Let's kick some Roman ass.
Callisto: How touching.
Xena: Gabby, you go back to center. Autolycus, back to split end. Joxer, back to half brain, I mean half back.
Referee (throws flag.): Delay of parody. Five yard penalty. Still first doooown.
Berman: The Packers are in the huddle...
Callisto (sweetly): Xena, dear. Isn't is time I got involved in the offense? After all, I am a major character.
Xena (disgustedly): I guess so. Fade pattern on three.
Berman: First and goal at the seven. The Packers are up to the line...Xena drops back to pass...
(Xena fires a screaming bullet of a pass into the corner of the end zone. Callisto yawns, leaps up on her defender's shoulders, and catches the sizzler with one hand.)
Berman: TOUCHDOWN! Whoaaa Nellie! (Sorry Keith.)
Berman: Iolaus kicks the extra point. The visitors from Greece lead 14-0.
Berman: There's the horn and that's the end of the first quarter.
Berman: Iolaus is set to kick off for the Action Packers. Here's the boot, it's down to the twenty-four yard line, the Raiders are setting up a wedge...
(Hercules crashes in the wedge's lead blocker and all the other blockers fall like dominoes. Xena gives the ball carrier a forearm shiver but he manages to hang on to the ball.)
Berman: First and ten for the Raiders on their own twenty-nine yard line. Here's Plutonium back to pass...he's looking for Radium out in the flat it's...INTERCEPTED! By Autolycus, he's.....gone!
Autolycus: Ha ha ha ha ha. The King of Thieves strikes again.
Berman: Iolaus nails the conversion. That makes it 21-zip, Packers.
Berman: Due to time constraints (Actually constraints on the author's imagination) we move ahead to further action.
Berman: So it's first and ten for the Packers with ten seconds left in the game. The score is Action Packers 164, Rome Raiders 0. Just to recap: Hercules has rushed for 650 yards and Xena has passed for 922 yards. Sometime in the third quarter Callisto sneaked over to the Rome bench and wiped out all their subs and half the coaching staff before the referee caught her. She was penalized ten yards for illegal touching. Xena has certainly spread the offense around. Every Packer, even the nameless goons, have scored. Everyone that is except Jerkoff, I mean Joxer.
Xena: Okay, I'm just gonna kneel down and run out the clock.
Joxer (whining): Aww c'monnn. All you guys have scored but me. I wanna scorrre.
Xena: Joxer, we are on our own one yard line. You would have to go ninety-nine yards in one play.
Joxer: I don't care. I wanna score.
Xena: Now, Joxer-
,b>Joxer: Now, Joxer nuthin'. If I don't score I'm gonna tell SAM on you guys.
Gabrielle: Oh, brother what a geek.
Xena: Okay, okay. Joxer run a fly pattern straight down the field. I'll hit you with the pigskin. Don't drop it! Everybody else but Mr. Football here stay in and block.
Joxer: Just you wait. I'll show you guys.
Berman: Final play of the game. Xena will probably just kneel down and kill out the clock. Here's the snap...Xena steps back, no wait, it's going to be pass. All the blockers are forming a ring around Xena. Only one receiver is going out... it's Jockstrap, I mean, Joxer. He's at the fifteen...the sixteen...the seventeen...the eighteen...God, is this guy slow.
(Meanwhile back in the pass pocket: Xena is doing her nails, Hercules is eating a hot dog, and Callisto is kissing her dagger.)
Berman: He's at the thirty-one...the thirty-two...the thirty-three...
(Gabrielle takes a nap, Iolaus runs to the john, and still the pass rush can't get to Xena.)
Berman: He's at the forty...the thirty-nine...(yawn)...the thirty-eight.
(Xena takes a peek down field and sees Joxer is at the twenty yard line.)
(From five yards deep in her own end zone Xena launches pigskin to the heavens.)
Gabrielle: Here it comes, wussie.
(Joxer turns and sees the pigskin reach the apex of its trajectory and begin its descent. He is concentrating so hard he runs into the goal post and falls down. He looks up and sees the pigskin coming straight for his head.)
(Insert whistle of falling bomb sound effect here.)
(Pigskin hits Joxer in the forehead and bursts. Pig guts spill all over him. Official signals touchdown.)
Berman: TOUCHDOWN! It's all over. The final score, the Action Packers 170, the Rome Raiders 0. Fans, I've just been informed that the MVP for today's game, by a unanimous vote, is...(As if you didn't know.)...XENA!
Gabrielle: Congratulations, kiddo.
Xena: Thanks, Gabs. (Leers.) Now for the real fun.
Gabrielle: The shower?
Xena: You got it, babycakes.
Gabrielle: Well, what are we waiting for?
(Xena and Gabrielle run to the locker room, giggling.)
Callisto: What a revolting development.
Berman: That wraps it up from here, sports fans. We remind you to stay with us on ESPN for Peruvian llama racing, next. Good night.
The Bard's Corner