Dead Ball 

2013 heralds beginning of football’s end

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With all the recent controversies surrounding football—concussions, injuries, drugs, coaches collapsing on the sidelines, bullying, racism, suicides, an occasional murder, etc.—it seemed like a good time to go deep into the future and see what will be happening in America’s favorite sport. A hundred years is a nice round number, so I Googled “American football 2113,” and came up with several hundred thousand results. Wikipedia was first on the list, so I went ahead and clicked it.

Here are excerpts from the entry (I have assumed that readers are informed about the basics of the game, and so have omitted rules, scoring, formations and such elementary strategies as the forward pass, the blitz, the read option, the Statue of Liberty, the Hail Mary, the Utah shovel, the Salvador Dali and the Reverse Ligature):

American-style football, which is to be distinguished from international football (soccer), rugby and Australian rules football (which was finally laughed out of existence in the late 2070s), is no longer played by live human beings, though aged fans, whose median age is 134, still gather to watch “videos” of professional football games between such teams as the Washington Indigenous American Peoples, the Los Angeles Schwarzeneggers and the Texas Ted Cruzes.

Though still immensely popular during the reign of George Bush the Brainless, American football began to show signs of decline during the administration of Barack the Nigerian. In the year 2013, several incidents are thought to have started the ball rolling toward its eventual demise in the year 2092.

The NFL football season began auspiciously enough under the cloud of the murder indictment of tight end Aaron Hernandez of the New England Patriots (changed to Tea Party Patriots after all of New England defected to Canada after the election of Ted Cruz in 2024). Despite attempts of the National Football League to sweep severe brain injuries and widespread dementia under the rug, the public at large—but not demented football fans— called for something to be done about the rising incidence of concussions and brain trauma.

Perhaps one of the most notable events of 2013 was the curious case of Ricky Incognito and Jonathan Martin. Martin had left the Miami Dolphins (which later became the Thirsty Rubios), after a cafeteria incident in which he was shunned and humiliated by fellow Dolphins. Then, a phone message from teammate Incognito came to light, containing a racial slur and expressing a desire to defecate into Martin’s mouth. Other communications from Incognito contained gay slurs, which were a common staple of the homophobic NFL at the time.

There had always been an unacknowledged homoerotic subtext to American football, what with the constant ass-slapping, as well as the T-formation crouch of quarterback against the hindquarters of the center, who “snapped” the pigskin ovaloid sphere into the QB’s hands, which were snuggled suggestively against the perineum of the center. Subsequent events in the Incognito Affair brought to light Incognito’s own homoerotic attractions to the object of his bullying. Incognito blamed his involuntary gay crush on the massive amounts of human growth hormone (HGH) that he had ingested from his earliest days in football.

Many observers of the football phenomenon point to the universal use of HGH as a principal driver of the decline and death of football. Prior to the advent of HGH (and steroids), American football players averaged 200 pounds, with linemen sometimes weighing in at 250 pounds. With advanced technology and tacit assent of the NFL, players grew rapidly in the late 20th century, and achieved behemoth proportions as the 21st century wore on. The aforementioned Ricky Incognito, listed at 360 pounds, was a relatively small lineman, and his grotesquely swollen body was a tribute to the science of bulking up.

The rapid and unnatural increase in bulk (500 pounds or more) contributed to the huge increase in injuries to players of gargantuan and semi-gargantuan dimensions alike. Experts in skeletal kinetics blamed the epidemic of injuries, as well as rampant paralysis, on the conjunction of mass and speed.

Instant death on the playing field became common, and the great majority of the populace realized that America’s favorite sport was a barbaric enterprise exceeding even gladiatorial mayhem, bearbaiting and Vickian dog-fighting. For a while during the Protectorate of Liz Cheney, a hybrid of football and duck shooting found a paying audience. Finally, however, the great mass of Americans woke up to the fact that football was not a suitable entertainment for reasonable people.

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