Back To You, Pat Humor

November 10, 1991|By JEFFREY SHAFFER

"WELL, PAT, WE'RE DOWN TO THE FI-nal minute with the Steelheads leading 20 to 6, and I'd have to say the turning point was in the third quarter when the Gigantics failed to score on fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line. That really killed their momentum."

"True enough, Irv, but a lot of people would argue that the real key to this game happened earlier in the week, when Gigantics quarterback Steve Rubinski won a 'Mr. Peanut' lookalike contest and announced that he was leaving the team to pursue a modeling career. His abilities are sorely missed, and team morale has been negatively impacted."

"Actually, Pat, I think the crucial factor today was a decision made last spring, when the Steelheads revamped their staff and hired Coach Shockley. They're a totally different team under his leadership than the one we saw last year."

"And, Irv, you have to be doubly impressed when you remember that Coach Shockley had no NFL experience and had just been fired from Aloha State after several of his players were implicated in that bizarre 'sex-zombie' scandal. It was a tragic case of drugs, greed and unrestrained passion."

"Pat, just a quick reminder for our viewers: Tonight's Sunday Special Movie will feature a true account of that incredible incident and how it sent shock waves across college campuses all over America. Kate Jackson and Margot Kidder star in the network premiere of 'My Sweet, Strange Kahuna,' immediately following your local news, except on the West Coast."

"Irv, I think our cameras are getting a good shot across the stadium right now -- yes, there it is on the monitor. That's Seymour Champion, longtime owner of the Steelheads, enjoying the view from his luxury box, along with a familiar social companion, former U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, who, by the way, is intensely interested in football and sports physiology.

"And Irv, what I started to say was that earlier this week, Mr. Champion told me that in analyzing any game involving his team, we can't ignore the importance of Gen. Erich Ludendorff's final giant thrust along the Western Front of Europe in the summer of 1918."

"Pat, you raise an excellent point. As many fans may or may not be aware, Mr. Champion's grandfather was taken prisoner during that battle, and from his German captors he learned the traditional confectionery art known as 'Mousen-glage,' the delicate casting of fine chocolate into the shapes of tiny rodents. This talent was, of course, the basis for the Champion Candy fortune that enabled the family to buy the Steelheads in 1934."

"Irv, I understand we now have some news from our color analyst, Big John."

"Yo, Pat! I'm down here with nose guard Pookie Gibbons, who has played a heckuva game, guy's got blood all over his jersey, grass in his teeth. Butcha know, in the off-season the Pook is no slouch either, we're talkin' Ph.D. candidate in applied geology, and he just said that in lookin' at today's outcome we must keep in mind the fact that this whole area on which Champion Stadium is located was at one time a vast alluvial plain.

"Massive beds of sand and gravel were extensively quarried during the rapid industrial growth of this region, which later provided an excellent siting option for this sports complex, so you could reasonably say that this game wouldn'ta even been played here this afternoon except for that quirk of natural history. Back up to you, Pat."

"John, you have hit on something that has come back to me over and over during today's game, and it has to do with the whole issue of time in the geological sense. I think back to that incredible period of some 20 million years ago when the earth's entire population of dinosaurs was completely wiped out by a process or an event that still hasn't been explained. And I wonder, what would have happened if those creatures had survived, and progressed? Imagine football as it might have developed among a race of huge, lumbering, intelligent reptiles, and I think it's fair to say the game as we know it would have been totally different. Do you agree, John?"

"Aw, Pat, ya know it would have, I mean, jeez, you got a couple of big triceratops in the backfield can carry the ball, maybe a stegosaurus, you're talkin' eight, nine yards a crack easy, a whole different offensive game plan.

"And another thing, Pat, if we're gonna look at key events, heck, go back even further and let's think about the whole Big Bang idea. I mean, here's this ball of molten gas and dirt and all kinda stuff just sittin' there and then boom! It's flyin' away in all directions and who knows where it's all gonna end up, I mean we wouldn't even be here on the air if that stuff hadn'ta come together just right. Ya ever think about that?"

"John, you're right on the money, and I think anybody who's been listening would be hard pressed to disprove the old saying that this is indeed a game of inches. But we couldn't argue that point even if we want to, because the final gun just sounded. This one is history."

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