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The Malicious Commish

The Malicious Commish

Autumn 2019

She tugged at him in a vain attempt to keep him from getting out of bed. "I gotta get going Lollipop." So she watched him get dressed instead, wishing he was hers, knowing he never would be, and trying to convince herself that she was happy for the time they have. Still buttoning his shirt he bent over and kissed her. "I'll call ya."

Down two flights of stairs with the grace of an NFL running back and out the needlessly large door onto the street where his car was parked a couple blocks away, and … made it. Or not. More like a shadow than a man, something/someone sidled up beside him and mumbled, as if with a mouthguard inserted, "Number 37, Johnson. The penalty for adultery is a four game suspension. Consider yourself warned." It was as pleasant as a too-small condom and the last in a string of similar events that have given him cause to consider retirement this season more than ever before. 

Almost a year and a half has passed since Number 3, Winston was suspended for allegedly sexually assaulting an Uber driver, and looking back, it was shortly after that when things went from bad to freaky. 

In a continual effort to shift attention away from youthful stars retiring, aged stars calling to ban youth football and the fact that the sport is merely a shell of the great game it once was, the league persists in promoting NFL football as a family affair, complete with its own brand of morality. Morality that is as high above the law as a Bradshaw to Swanny bomb. Morality that is as punitive as a Nitschke tackle or an LT sack. Morality that is as misplaced as Number 15, Tebow on the diamond or Number 7, Kaepernick on the bench.

Shortly before the 2018 season kicked off, Mr. Commissioner - as he now insists on being called - announced his 'Verbal Moderation Platform', the crux of which is the elimination of foul language on the football field. A list of offending words and suggested replacements was distributed to teams and players, including such behemoth-appropriate exclamations as poopy, sugar, snap, beans, horsey and fudge

 


Presented as an Unsportsmanlike foul carrying a fifteen yard penalty, players around the league seemed amused at the thought of every player on the field being penalized and most made no effort to curb their normal output of vulgarities. Then the season began. And the flags flew. And flew. And the penalties were meted out. Again and again. And the games were disrupted clear into ruin - fourteen fiascos over with by dinner on Sunday, with the last two waiting for Number 80, Collinsworth and Number 82, Witten

By the second Sunday of the season the players had joined forces, again resulting in high entertainment but not necessarily much good football. At the game in Dallas, every time either quarterback included "red 45" in their signal call at the line, the players on both teams chortled out "BS" (or an equivalent), and the flags flew!

In Chicago, three pigs watched the Packers triumph over their rival from a pen on the sideline; one wearing dark glasses, one sporting a muzzle and the last styling some very expensive noise canceling headphones. In Jacksonville the players came out of the tunnel wearing oversuits of the purest white while leading a flock of lambs to their awaiting manger on the sideline. Of course the players still swore like football players once the games began, and with each official now carrying two or three penalty flags instead of just one, the field was often more yellow than green.

The whole nation was in an uproar as it looked like an entire NFL season was going to be a waste. And then in the third week, at the Silicon Civil War in Oakland, suddenly, there was a football game! The officials were stymied as exclamations of 'burnt buns' and 'ice cream' and 'daisies and posies' and 'cinnamon toast' filled the plastic-turf-smelling air, and both the Raiders and 9ers seemed to be on their best behavior. 

 

 

During a commercial break Number 9, Romo noticed that when the players removed their helmets on the sideline the swearing returned to normal. By the fifth week of the season most teams were employing the 'Clean It Up Word Modulator' developed by (the now quite wealthy) Stanford student Sophia Rodriguez. The device has swept the nation, as students, employees, parents and teachers have all found this tool to be invaluable when dealing with teachers and parents, bosses, kids and students. 

The pregame prayers didn't begin until the beginning of this 2019 season, apparently at least partially due to the Malicious Commish's frequent sleepovers at the White House. This change had been anticipated and opposed by many groups, including the one in four Americans that do not believe in a god, the Screen Actors Guild and the NFLPA.

But it was in-between seasons when things really curdled and the term 'Blank Check Paragraph' first emerged in reference to a portion of the NFL conduct policy that reads, "To assist in evaluating a potential violation, expert and independent advisors may be consulted by the Commissioner." Players began to report being followed, being monitored when in public, suffering erratic problems with their phones and unauthorized credit checks being run.

Meanwhile, more and more women were making themselves the news by alleging player misdeeds, usually being rewarded with a nice payday and a suspension for the oft-innocent player, without charges ever being filed or evidence ever being produced. He had grown weary of it and of thinking about it. He just wanted to go home, relax, see if maybe his wife was in the mood, and call it a day. 

A couple of glasses of wine and an old-school Barry White album later, he took her hand and headed to their nest. A voice boomed as if from within the walls, the ceiling, the floor, his head, "Number 37, Johnson. Missionary only during game week."

 

 
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