“I can’t tell you how proud I am of this team. And neither can my assistant coaches. We’re speechless. Let me just say that we have fifty-three men in this locker room who can play the game of football. Whether it’s in the trenches or out on the perimeter, they understand the importance of winning their mano a mano battles. They don’t leave anything on the field. Our grounds crew appreciates that, by the way.
“Defensively, we played sideline to sideline all afternoon – right up until the final whistle. Our guys collapsed the pocket at will and didn’t let their receivers create separation. They put on a clinic today. Our offense took advantage of key matchups, controlled the tempo, methodically moved the chains, and kept their defense on the field. I thought everyone on both sides of the ball played excellent in space.
“And what about that crowd? We have the third best fans in all of sports. Last year, they were fifth, so I’m happy about their progress and how they continue to support our team each week – including my Tuesday night TV show on Channel 12. Could they hold up more signs and wear sillier hats? Of course. But I’m being picky. Their collective lung power cannot be overestimated. And thanks to the twelfth man, we didn’t even have to make half-time adjustments!
“Most people don’t realize how hard it is to win a National Football League game, even against a relative pushover like we whupped today by four touchdowns and a safety. When you face any team in this league, essentially you’re out to embarrass them. Part of you wants the person you line up against to lose his starting job or get released from his contract because of your performance. These are husbands and fathers and big brothers and lovers who are being threatened down after down, pooch punt after pooch punt, and penalty after penalty.
“Speaking of penalties, I believe we only committed one today. That’s not a fluke. It has been a focus for us ever since training camp. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Any player who commits a penalty has to review game film the next week in his underwear. I don’t think a single lineman – on offense or defense – has had a yellow flag thrown in their direction all year. They may act like a warrior on the field, but they definitely have a feminine side. Nobody wants their teammates to see three hundred pounds of flesh jiggle every time they move an inch.
“I thought the officials did a fantastic job today. Maybe we should’ve been called for pass interference a few times. I don’t disagree. But at least the refs were consistent. So I’m personally taking them to dinner at The Chop House tonight. You need to reward people who stick to their gut instincts, despite the criticism they know is coming. We don’t do enough of that in America. Besides, the officiating crew has almost come to expect being treated to The Chop House when they’re in town for a game. Who am I to mess with tradition?
“I want to give a special shout to Ernie Bellamy, who played his heart out. The stats will show he only gained forty yards on twelve carries, but just think how far this young man has come since joining the team two weeks ago. Fresh out of prison for blackmailing his handyman over a love affair gone sour, he comes in here when we’re down to just one healthy running back. You could say he’s running for his life. Literally. I was going to give him the game ball for offense, but I suspect it would end up on eBay.
“That’s a joke. Ernie is cherishing his freedom and is very appreciative of our faith in him. I told him after the game that if rushes for one hundred yards next week, we’ll remove his electronic ankle bracelet. That’s no joke.
“We have just one injury to report. Demetrius Haymaker went out with turf toe in the first half. What a shame to lose arguably the best three-technique lineman ever to play in this league. Especially since this was his first game back after recovering from genital herpes.
“Before I take questions, I just want to thank our Heavenly Father for allowing us to thrash our opponent today. He has been kind to us eight times so far this season and cruel to us only twice. That’s a better temperament than my earthly father ever had.
“On that note, let me throw it open to the press.”
Joe Fumo is a Milwaukee-area business writing consultant who has published two humorous fiction collections: “God’s Web Site” and “Things To Do This Week” (purchasable on Amazon.com) He has been a newspaper reporter, corporate newsletter editor and public relations account representative. Thus, the need to write silly pieces.