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Writers' Strike Threatens Superbowl
PHOENIX, Ariz. (CAP) - It's already scuttled the Golden Globes and may do the same for the Oscars, and now the National Football League is saying the ongoing writers' strike may force it to cancel the annual Super Bowl broadcast.
"Somebody's got to write all that mid-game stat trivia," noted NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "You know, things like, Only two more fumbles to tie Roger Staubach's record of most fumbles in a Super Bowl, that kind of thing."
There's also the clever repartee between broadcasters like Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long. "Those jokes don't write themselves," noted Goodell. "No matter what they may sound like when you hear them on the air."
Also, it would technically violate union regulations for the coaches to make prepared remarks, such as that the team was taking it one day at a time, was giving 110 percent or that the other team wanted it more than theirs did. "And nobody wants to see what would happen if the coaches just talked off the cuff," said Goodell, citing the times Bill Parcells would try that, only to have to be hospitalized with an intravenous Lithium drip.
Rather than cancel the game altogether, Goodell says the current plan being considered calls for the Super Bowl to be played in private at an undisclosed location, and the winner announced during a press conference. The conference would include some details of the game, but no turns of phrase that would have to be written in advance; for instance, there will be no mention of "alligator arms" or whether anyone tight-roped down the sidelines, or discussion of whether or not defense wins championships.
"I think the whole thing stinks," said New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who most sportswriters are predicting will break Super Bowl records for most passing yards, most touchdown passes, most completions, highest completion percentage, longest pass and most winning smile. "What's the use of playing a game that nobody's going to see? I could be spending that time meeting new supermodels - um, I mean, playing with my son, James. Er, John."
Meanwhile, beyond the effects on the awards shows and the Super Bowl, some insiders are predicting that if the strike drags on long enough, it might even affect November's presidential election. "And nobody wants to see what would happen if the politicians just talked off the cuff," noted presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, citing the times George Bush has tried that, only to be hospitalized with a swollen brain.
As for the Super Bowl, even though the game might not be broadcast, the league is still planning a halftime show, said Goodell. "We're thinking of getting Justin Timberlake back to rip off Janet Jackson's top again," he said. "You just can't write crap like that."
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