Written by Gene Mason
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Friday, 5 December 2008

image for ESPN's Chris Berman Interviews Obama and McCain During Monday Night Football

Berman: Good evening, Senator Obama and Senator McCain. Thank you so much for taking some of our--I mean your time to be with us this evening. We tossed a coin, and Senator Obama won, so we'll start with him. Senator Obama, what sort of changes do you plan to make to the NFL?

Obama: Chris, some teams are collecting far more wins than they need, while other teams have few wins, if any. I will initiate a win-sharing plan whereby, for example, the undefeated Tennessee Titans will give four of their victories to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Berman: But those are performance disincentives. Why should the players give 110% when they can get just as much for less effort?

Obama: All I'm doing is leveling the playing field, Chris.

Berman: By eliminating excellence?

Obama: Chris, I'm going to give the players plenty of incentive to stay in shape. I'm going to institute a weight cap on teams to reduce the carbon footprint we're creating with all of the air travel these games require. Also, all teams west of the Mississippi River will be required to move east of the river because of the greater fuel requirements for east-to-west travel against the jet stream.

Since Chicago is centrally located and therefore more convenient for fan travel, I'm going to allow the Bears to play all of their games at home.

Also, trans-fats will be banned at the training table. It's time for us to get serious about what other people are putting into their own bodies.

Berman: How will you implement all of these measures?

Obama: The National Football League, along with Major League Baseball, the NBA, and the NHL will be federalized and overseen by the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, which will become a cabinet level department headed by a Secretary of Fitness.

Berman: So that takes care of your health care plan for these guys, too, obviously. A millionaire breaks his leg and Joe Sixpack out there has to help pay for it. How is that fair?

Obama: We all have to make sacrifices in these tough times, Chris.

Berman: But again, Senator, whence excellence? If these players are federal employees, the coaches won't be able to cut them. What will a coach say after a loss or a poor performance? "Close enough for government work"?

Obama: The Secretary of Fitness will have broad powers to create more positions within the league, such as incentive coaches.

Berman: If a player's incentive has to come from someone else...oh, never mind. Who's going to pay for all of this?

Obama: When I say "Change We Need," I mean it literally, Chris.

Berman: So I assume you'll be amending that to "Change We'll Get" after you win?

Obama: You got it, Chris.

Berman: Do you have any plan for capturing Osama bin Laden?

Obama: Isn't he dead?

Berman: WHOOP!!! Nice footwork, Senator! That was supposed to be a trick question. Let's go now to Senator McCain. Senator McCain, what changes do you plan to make to the NFL?

McCain: Chris, I'm going to make the football field a safer place. I'm going to double the size of the officiating crews and create a lot more penalties and fines. The game officials will be given tasers, assault weapons, and armored personnel carriers.

I'm also putting surveillance cameras and extra police in the stands to ensure that the fans enjoy the games responsibly.

Berman: Are you sure that will make the game safer? It sounds like you might be escalating violence rather than controlling it.

McCain: Chris, we are at war. Our brave men and women in uniform are making sacrifices so you can vote tomorrow. This isn't the time to question the decisions of the man responsible for preserving our great democracy.

Berman: But why involve the federal government with policing the fans? Shouldn't that be left to the local authorities?

McCain: You're the media guy, Chris. In this age of reality shows, I shouldn't have to tell you that a few drunk rednecks getting beaten and tasered will drive up the ratings. It'll make great filler material during blowouts.

Berman: Do you have any specific measures in the area of discipline?

McCain: All player suspensions will be indefinite, and suspended players will be moved to undisclosed locations.

Instant replay and coaches' challenges will be eliminated, and any players or coaches who criticize officials' calls will be added to the no-fly list, effectively ending their careers.

Berman: Do you have any plans for moving teams like Senator Obama has mentioned?

McCain: As you know, Chris, if we don't fight 'em over there, we'll have to fight 'em over here, so I'm moving all the teams overseas and building new stadiums there.

Berman: Do you have any plan for capturing Osama bin Laden?

McCain: All the surveillance cameras and extra security personnel at the new stadiums will help us capture him if he decides to turn up at one of the games.

Berman: And what are you going to do after you capture him?

McCain: Start looking for Matt Leinart.

Berman: I see. How are you planning to implement all of these changes?

McCain: The NFL will be brought into the Defense Department, and all fines levied against players and coaches by the league will be collected by the Treasury Department. The league officials will be brought into the Department of Homeland Security. The TV networks--well, we already own your asses.

Berman: Who's going to pay for all of this?

McCain: Chris, the American people know we all have to make sacrifices. Building these new venues abroad will greatly benefit my buddies at, er, I mean everybody.

Berman: But how are fans going to get to the games if you move them out of the country?

McCain: Chris...

Berman: I know. We are at war. Thank you, Senator Obama and Senator McCain, for sharing our time, I mean your time, with us. Back to you, guys.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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