After playing feebly so far all season, all the players of Scottish Premier League team Heart of Midlothian F.C. announced that they were quitting football and switching to playing rollerball instead.
'We're just too tough and physical for football', their captain Michael Stewart said, 'so now we are devoting our energies to a sport that, although it still needs scoring points by getting a ball skillfully into the goal, it also needs plenty of headbutting, kung fu kicks, throwing people to the floor, and huge brawls that wouldn't disgrace a drunken amateur rugby team out on a stag night.'
But unfortunately for Stewart and his teammates the Hearts squad began playing rollerball during the second half of their SPL match against Hamilton Academicals, and although the Hamilton players didn't mind and soon also showed plenty of skill at that sport themselves, the SFA referee insisted on sticking to the rules of football.
So that when Stewart himself took a kick at an Accies player and then tried to throw him to the ground with the ball nowhere near them, in what was a perfectly fair rollerball challenge, the referee reached for his pocket and it was a straight red card for the Hearts captain.
'But this is rollerball now!', the Hearts captain yelled, 'what have I done wrong?!' And as he left the field he showed he'd already forgotten all about his football skills, when he took a wild kick at a water bottle and missed it and fell over. Meanwhile play continued with the players struggling to stick to the rules of football, but finally another Hearts defender sliced down a Hamilton striker as he tried to get past him, and became the second sending off.
And after that the game became farcical, with both teams trying to stick to football but itching to get back to the rollerball, so that even the referee became confused - and when a Hearts player was brought down by a scything illegal tackle for a clear penalty the ref also thought it was now rollerball, and just waved play on. The match finished with a 2-1 victory for the home side, but then heated arguments broke out between the players, managers and match officials.
'We wanted to play rollerball!', some were shouting as they left the field, 'but without the roller skates and on grass!' Others were squaring up to each other and pushing and shoving the referee, and by the time they got into the stand's tunnel the players thought that now they'd left the pitch they were no longer under the authority of that official, and so both teams then began one of the finest games of rollerball ever seen.
Underneath the stand and in the tunnel and the changing rooms battles were soon raging as players felled one another with drop kicks and judo moves and used head locks and bear hugs, though the ball had mysteriously vanished,
but the referee was still determined to keep it going as a football match, for the players had forgotten that even after a match they're still under SFA authority in the stand. And so he began dealing out red cards as quickly as English managers are sacked after World Cup semi-finals.
The final score was - Hamilton Academicals 7 (2 goals, 1 sending off, 1 booking, 1 fractured wrist, 2 fans) Heart of Midlothian 8 (1 goal, 4 sendings off, 2 cracked ribs, 1 crybaby captain). James McCaan was awarded the man of the match award.