Morris needs to cool down. That pitch is his first in over a year, and he shows that he’s more than a little rusty. He also has forgotten how debilitating a pitch can be; particularly when you’re ill-prepared. That’s okay, spontaneity has to count for something. In order to quiet his nerves, he switches on the antique analog radio on the shelf above his desk. There, the comforting voice of Hadley Codfaldt can be heard, broadcasting from the state-of-the-art studio just up the block, reaching half a billion people around the globe – when, of course, the satellites are working. Instantly, Morris feels the warmth of Hadley’s friendly voice, calming his frayed nerves and settling him down . . .

Hadley Berates the Federation: Let The Cheering Begin

We pick up Hadley as he builds to a “polite” rant.

Getting the Ol’ Fangs Out

“Our last caller spoke about the End Times Football Federation and the position it currently finds itself in. Well, if you ask me, they succeeded in bringing all this morass down on themselves. For decades the ETFF was top dog. No one could touch them. Now, with a prodigious litany of blunders, they are crumbling like a cheap house of cards, and losing market share faster than a spare tire punctured by a snake’s strong, long and venomous fangs.”

Anyone Been to Dubuque, Ireland?

“Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t help matters one iota that the league has expanded like maggots on a month-old flank steak. It’s bad enough the league has ballooned to 98 teams. And you know the owners aren’t going to stand pat on that. It’s one hundred or bust. They’ll probably stay with that number long enough that it takes to sniff out some new investors, then BLAMO, we’re into our next major market like Dubuque, Ireland – or wherever – you know what I’m talking about. Of course, we know it’s all about the international markets these days . . . and it’s all about the sacred Benjamins.

“As a sidebar, I think the uniforms have reflected the general downturn of creativity and enthusiasm, once the hallmark of the federation. When a single stripe down a helmet is considered revolutionary, you know you’ve basically sucked all the air out of the room.”

Those Wily Politicians are at It Again

“Which leads me to a very obvious and long overdue subject: the federation must allow fans to start cheering again. Now, I realize that the initial ruling was made with all good intentions. We didn’t want any of our star players to get their noses out of joint by being booed for their piss-poor performance on the field – excuse me, I meant to say less-than-desirable performance.

“If that weren’t bad enough, the politicians had to poke their noses under the tent and deem it a crime if you so much as barked the cheddar on your grandstand seat at one of these events. This gets me so riled up it makes me want to scream – which of course would not only get my banned from every stadium across this great and fruited plain – it would possibly get me thrown in jail.

“It also galls me to see the treatment these high-priced prima donnas get from their respective coaching staffs. You know how it goes . . . so-and-so throws an interception. Instead of being berated on the sidelines for yet another bonehead play, they are treated like royalty. Everyone, including the mascots and trainers, are bowing and scraping.”

Hurt Feelings in Montana? – Better Suck It Up

“Kudos to the defensive coordinator from the Montana foothills who let the linebacker know who was boss after that blown assignment the other night. Well, the fans couldn’t help themselves and actually started cheering when the coach went off on the player. Then, when the player broke into a crying jag, the whole stadium erupted.

“Their punishment? The owner made them do community service for the next four consecutive Saturdays, operating heavy-duty equipment in clearing land for a new shopping mall! I ask you, where is the justice in that? It just goes to show, we need to take matters into our own hands. If we could just stand up and boycott the federation that would go a long way in proving our point.

Not Feeling Your Shopping Mall

“I know . . . I know. We’re incapable of turning our backs on this grand tradition that we’ve become so mightily and insidiously attached to. Bottom line: we as fans need to reach an understanding with owners and federation officials. Maybe we could ease into cheering again a little at a time, for instance within the two-minute warning. Then expand from there. But if I’m forced to build a shopping mall for the lousy crime of making a little noise, you got a budding revolution on your hands, bucko – and I don’t care how many billions you’re worth. And another thing, who cares if our favorite players take to the airwaves and berate us fans all night? Are we that weak to let it get to us?

“But enough from me. Let’s go to the phones and see what our loyal callers have to say.”