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Sunday, 4 May 2008

image for New Iraq Charity Football Cup
Baghdad Bowl Erupts with Enthusiasm

{Dateline: anno Hegirae, 4 Jumada al-awwal 1429} Iraq's PM, Nouri al Maliki & a major religious leader, Muqtada al Sadr, have announced a compromise which will lead to massive unification within the war-torn, battle-weary nation. Preparations will soon begin to establish the Baghdad Bowl, an invitational series of soccer matches with huge cash prizes & the potential for fabulous team & individual player endorsements.

There will be 3 levels of play. Teams may enter only one. It is possible to win a match, yet be completely eliminated from competition, so League standings will be based solely on the scores of the matches. Cash winnings & booty may then be awarded to the families of the top team's players.

The first, or Premier League, will feature a sequence of "total elimination" rounds as each team will be armed with automatic weapons. "Last man standing" rules will apply as long as alive, even if unable to actually rise up.

The second, or Professional League, will be a double-elimination round. All the players will be armed with strap-on suicide bombs, which present the unfortunate drawback of a striker or defender having to destroy himself in order to harm one or more of the opposing players. Goal will have the option to choose from among a box of hand grenades, a 10-round semi-automatic shotgun, or a pickup load of C-4 explosive & remote cell-phone detonator--which might allow a goalkeeper to instantly become the "last man standing."

The third, or Senior Amateur League, will be an open double-elimination round of play with a loser's bracket that can lead a team back to the final. All players in this league will choose either a club or a bag of rocks for weaponry & goalkeepers will have the added option of choosing between a scimitar or cavalry cutlass.

The new, massive concrete stadium, built by a consortium of US & British construction firms, will feature a bullet-proof + explosion-resistant shield between the stands & the soccer pitch. Designed to offer seating for 200,000 with a partial shady dome, the South side will also offer a palatial complex of fabulous royal boxes--where international fans can sit in luxurious suites suitable for caliphs, emirs, sheiks, & sundry potentates (security by multi-national special operations teams). Each box will have the full services of 77 virgins, compliments of the Baghdad Bowl Board of Bashas.

Finally, off-premise gambling will be available throughout the nation with all bookmaking handled by governmental offices. After baksheesh, all net funds will go to religious education, apportioned as 65% Shia, 30% Sunni, & 5% infidel.

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

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