Thursday, October 24, 2013

Altered Universe: NFL announces schedule cancellations for several teams

New York, NY -- As part of its newly-instituted Viewer Safety Campaign, the National Football League has announced the cancellation of all remaining games for a handful of team in the 2013 season. In order to spare football fans further torture after the inept Monday night showing between the previously-winless New York Giants and 1-and-4 Minnesota Vikings, the NFL announced the forfeiture of remaining 2013 season games featuring the Vikings, as well as the winless Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the St. Louis Rams.

"The NFL has decided to take this proactive measure to protect our consumers from the mentally-abusive standard of football these teams would have otherwise produced in the coming weeks, in order to prevent the spike in depression, domestic violence incidents, and attempted suicides that is expected as a direct result of their play", league commissioner Roger Goodell said in a prepared statement.

The Vikings elicited the dubious honour of a season-ending vacation in light of repeated questionable decisions, such as the of calling 53-pass plays for newly-signed QB Josh Freeman in Monday night's game -- allowing last-year's NFL rushing leader Adrian Peterson only 13 touches -- and general lackluster play this season. Minnesota's in-season hiring of several coaches from the local Twins baseball team appears to have negatively affected a number of team strategies -- such as the changing of starting quarterbacks after every game, and having one player on offense attempt to score by himself while the remaining players sit and watch -- which stand in stark contrast to all accepted concepts of American football. Prior to today's announcement, the Vikings had announced that Freeman had developed concussion symptoms as a result of trying to cram the entire playbook into his head in mere days using a repeated-blow friction-osmosis method, forcing him to the bench and continuing their quarterback rotation carousel. Freeman holds the distinction of being the only player to have personally ended the 2013 campaigns of two teams, having recently been exiled from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for his disatrous play.

Arguably the league's most dysfunctional team, the Buccaneers will be free to put an immediate end the tumultuous Greg Schiano era, as is widely expected. Sources indicate that the team has hired additional security, mental health professionals, and hostage negotiators in anticipation of a possible psychotic episode from the coach upon announcement of his firing, but team officials would neither confirm nor deny the reports. Although the Buccaneers numerous big-name free agent signings this past offseason have worked to bolster their defense, it proved far from enough to offset the ironclad sinking anchor that their league-worst offense has become.

The similarly offensively-challenged Jacksonville Jaguars and their 0-7 record will now have extra time to figure out their rebuilding plans. "Given their inability over the past 10 years to steer the franchise in a remotely-positive direction, we felt it prudent to give Jacksonville the additional 3 months of offseason to work on improving their team" Goodell said. This also puts to rest the ongoing attempts by a contingent of fans in Jacksonville to force the team to sign Tim Tebow from off of the NFL scrap heap. "I want to thank the Jaguars for being gracious enough in their terrible inepitude to allow me the lengthy hope and opportunity to be signed," said Tebow from his Christian missionary indoctrination space camp in the Phillipines. "I will continue working towards my lifelong dream of completing 40% of awkward wobbly side-winder floating-duckling passes for an NFL team."

In London, the San Francisco 49ers were dismayed by the announcement that they will not get the opportunity to challenge all sorts of long-standing NFL records by pitting their imposing defense against the hilariously-punchless Jags. "We're enjoying our vacation and all the activities here" said 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis, "but we were really looking forward to becoming the first [team] in NFL history to hold an opponent to a negative point total. We really felt we had a legitimate shot."

As for the St. Louis Rams, although they have 3 wins on the season, including 2 in a row just prior to this weekend's shelacking at the hands of the Carolina Panthers, the league decided to axe the rest of the Rams' season in anticipation of the steaming pile of cow dung into which Sunday's season-ending injury to QB Sam Bradford will undoubtedly sink the team. "We felt it in the best interest of the city of St. Louis to not be distracted and dismayed by the unholy heaping mess that would be taking place less than a mile away as their beloved Cardinals take the field in an important World Series swing game." First pitch for Game 5 of the World Series is scheduled for 8:07PM EST, just 23 minutes prior to the previously-scheduled start of the Rams home game versus the Seattle Seahawks. Ticket-holders for that game will be treated to a big-screen viewing of the Cardinals contest in the Edward Jones Dome, the NFL also announced. "In addition to protecting fans from the rotting corpse of a product they would undoubtedly endure, we also felt it prudent in the interest of the safety of the players, who would undoubtedly spend more time focusing on the Red Sox-Cardinals score than on the one-sided thrashing in which they were involved."

A number of other teams, such as the New York Giants and Houston Texans, were reportedly also being considered for season-ending forfeiture, but apparently made enough of a showing in recent weeks to convince the league that they were at least remotely watchable.

Fans holding tickets to the cancelled contests will not be left out in the lurch. "We are in the process of finalizing a number of events to replace the forfeited games, including one or two dates for open tryouts for identified inept roster spots, a big-top circus, and replays of Madden 25 contests involving the home team," Goodell said. "We feel these events will give home fans the best opportunity to have an enjoyable experience, and allow them to feel what it would be like to see their team perform in a remotely capable fashion."

Disclaimer: "Altered Universe" is a working name for satirical news articles featured in the "Sports From Mars" blog. Facts and events that mirror real life are included merely to support the satire; other facts and events are, again, satire.

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