After both the Super Dome in New Orleans and the Astrodome in Houston stepped up and offered shelter to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, the National Football League decided to offer its own form of aid.
NFL spokesperson Ken Cussion stated at a news conference at the NFL Hall of Fame that every stadium in the country would be made available to those devastated by the hurricane. "Ticket prices have gotten so out of control that the league owners decided to simply allow the tens of thousands of victims to become de facto season ticket holders. Nobody can afford to go to the games, anyway. Why not pad the attendance stats? lt'll look great on TV when the stadiums are full. That way teams like Detroit, who always start the season 0 and 9, won't look so pathetic playing in a half-empty stadium."
"Most of these people don't have jobs anymore," continued Mr. Cussion. "We'll put them to work so they can pay for the free hot dogs and cokes and, of course, the free games. We can let them sell programs, popcorn, cracker jacks, team t-shirts, or anything else we can think of. We'll teach them how to do face painting. And when the Raiders come to town, we'll give them clubs and let them work stadium security. Of course, if too many paying fans show up for the games, we may have to get creative, possible asking these other people to wear green and lay down on the field. We'll make sure that the players' football cleats aren't too sharp and we'll have plenty of bandaids on hand in case anyone gets spiked too badly."
Mr. Cussion added, "We'll let them mow the lawns. Did ya ever see the size of the lawn in a football stadium? Using a hand mower will probably take them the six days between games. They'll have a great time. We'll keep em so busy they won't have time to worry about what happened to their homes or towns or relatives they haven't heard from. Instead, they can work all week and cheer on their new ‘home teams' during the games."
In related news, the New Orleans Saints have been auditioning swimmers from the US Olympic Team. Team spokesman Jacque Strappe released the following statement: "Since the water level will probably be 4-5 feet for the next two months, the team's owners have decided to take advantage of the situation and secure ‘home field advantage' by hiring world class swimmers. Visiting teams won't stand a chance against us. Have you ever seen a 350 pound lineman try and swim? He might be able to float, but he'll never catch one of those guys who can swim the 50 in 25 seconds!" In response, the Miami Dolphins have petitioned the commissioner's office to allow them to hire Shamu, the Killer Whale (as a middle linebacker) and Flipper (as a wide receiver and punt returner) when they play the Saints in week 11.
-Ted Haxton Jr.