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Super Bowl Nonsense


Terry McLain

The 1999-2000 professional football season is steamrolling its way into our consciousness. Since I live a couple hours away from several professional football cities, our sports pages get inundated with all of the preseason hype- convincing fans to waste their money- from the preseason training camps. What follows is the typical season long interviews of "Dudly Studly" of the "Flamingos."

Preseason Training Camp Press Day
From Four-eyes Dagger, ace reporter for the Yellow News:

"Dudly, what is your goal for this season?"

"My goal and my team's goal is to win the Super Bowl. That's why we play the game. We will work hard and get together as a team and we will win the Super Bowl. If you are a professional, it does not get any better than that. And, I've been talking with the other players and all of us have that same goal. We are not going to let anything stop us this year. We are going to win the Super Bowl this year. Print it just like that, Four Eyes."

After two pre-season games- the Flamingos have just been beaten 34-6 and 27-3. From local sports anchor Bob Windbag, KASH8 "You are now winless after the first two preseason games. Do these games do what all of us real football fans know they do? Are they just warm ups for the real season? Are you impressed with how your team is doing? How is this team feeling after two big losses?"

Dudly - "The scores of these preseason games mean nothing to us. We are playing so many players and working out so many bugs of our new offense that the final outcome is not important. We know we are going to be good when the season starts in a couple weeks. We are just beginning to come together."

After the season opening 28-3 loss.
From Sparky Crammer, sports columnist for Sports Illustrated Of Shameful Stuff SSS:

"Why is your offense not producing? Who is to blame?"

Dudly - "No one is to blame, Sparky. We just have a couple kinks to work out. We had a lot of offense between the 20s, but we just could not get it going in the Red Zone. We will look over the film and we will get ready for next week. It's just the first week for God's sake."

Three weeks later, the Flamingos are now 0-3 with second and third week losses of 34-7 and 24-0.

From Dan "Gunner" Jones- local sports editor:

"No wins or even a close game after three weeks. Who is causing the problem? What has Coach Smythe been doing?"

Dudly - "We are working hard. Everyone including the Coach. We've had a couple injuries and that is slowing us down. It does not look too good right now, but all we need is a couple pieces of the puzzle to fit together and we will be a competitive team. Coach's new offense is a bit complicated for some of the guys, but I believe it is on the right track."

Two weeks later, the Flamingos win their first game, 13-10.
They lost the preceding week by another embarrassing 38-6 score. From national sports personality Jimmy "Wow" Deebarton:

"I am sure you are glad to get that monkey off your back. Can this team still make it to the Super Bowl?"

Dudly - "We know we are good and we knew we were going to win some games. Starting off with four straight losses was not good but now we have won this game against a tough team, we are going to use it to get us back on track all the way to the Super Bowl. That has been our goal since day one."

Five weeks later - four losses - the only non-losing week was their week off.
From Sparky Crammer:

"Obviously the season is over. Can you see any one thing that caused this team to become the league's laughingstock?"

Dudly-"Laughingstock. You are an %&%^$%^. I'm not answering any more questions from you."

Two weeks later - two more losses.
From Windbag: 

"It just seems like the defense cannot stop anyone and the offense is just worn out. What do you say? What is the coach saying? Do you guys listen to the sports radio call ins. The fans are getting really abusive."

Dudly - "I just can't explain it. I know the guys on defense try their hardest and are working hard but you can't win games when they are giving up 20-30 points a game. Offensively, I have not had enough time to see my receivers run the whole route. I need more time, but I know my boys up front are working hard every day to give me more protection. It's tough to pass when you are on your ass."

Reporters giggle. Dudly smiles. TV cameras roll. Cameras flash.

Two weeks later - two more losses.
From Gunner:

"What is it going to take to make this team a winner? The fans are getting impatient."

Dudly - "The game is just not fun anymore. I am thinking of retiring, and I've been playing only four years. Most of the guys are trying to stay positive but it is tough when the coaches are on our asses, the fans are booing. It's just not fun. I tell you this. No one wants to win more than me."

The next week - a 20-3 win over the league leading team in a nationally televised game. The bookmakers had the Flamingos as a 27 point underdog.
From Windbag:

"Is this the kind of game you have been waiting for? Can this one game make the season a good one and will it help you in getting ready for next season?"

Dudly - "Winning a game like this over a team like that is fun. I had fun out there. I know a lot of guys have a lot of pride and they are sick of losing. They just said let's win this one and show the entire country we aren't losers. With the way free agency is, all of us want to show we can still play even within a system that keeps losing. It will help our stock in the long run."

The next week, the Flamintos lose 20-0.
From Four Eyes:

"You promised the fans of this city a Super Bowl and they get a last place team. What is your response to that?"

"I have wanted to set the record straight since Day 1. I was misquoted and you know it. I never promised a Super Bowl. In this day and age with injuries and bad luck no one would be stupid enough to say something like that. I said our goal was to win the Super Bowl, and that was the goal of everybody on this team. I hate being misquoted."

The next week, the Flamingos go down 37-3. Dudly is injured.
From Sparky:

"What happened out there Dudly?"

"Well, Sparky, I tried to tough it out but I just had no mobility. I felt something give in last week's win but I just kept playing. I was just in the flow of the game. After the first couple minutes of this game, I knew it was a no go."

The final week - the Flamingos lose to finish the season at 2-14. Dudly returns after three weeks.
From Gunner:

"Is there anything you can take from this season?"

Dudly - "Of course, of course. The guys played hard all season. I think all of the injuries and distractions hurt this team. You can't win consistently with those kinds of problems. In the off season we are going to work hard and get together as a team. We will be a Super Bowl contender next year, and with the No. 1 pick and a little reshuffling, no one is going to take us lightly next year."

Season Epilogue -
After going 2-14, the Flamingos have the first pick and choose an All-American running back despite the fact that their offensive line gave up a league leading 32 sacks and their rushing yardage ranked last in the league. The entire coaching staff is fired and Clean Jean Baker, an ex-college coach with three national champions is brought in to turn the franchise around.

From Windbag:

"Coach, it looks like you will have an uphill climb to make this team competitive again. What are you going to do to give this city a winner? The fans really do deserve one."

Baker -"If everyone decides he wants to be a winner, he will be a winner and that is all I ask of all my players. If we all do that, we are going to win the Super Bowl."

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