--The following article is written extremely tongue-in-cheek.--
NEW YORK -- Breaking news out of NFL headquarters in New York, where in a stunning move today, the league announced a one-team realignment.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, already limping into the 2009 season without longtime stars Derrick Brooks, Warrick Dunn, and Joey Galloway, were abruptly and unceremoniously moved into a new division.
Beginning immediately, the Bucs become the fifth member of what has long been thought to be football's toughest division, the NFC East. Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters, "We're really not big fans of symmetry, so the idea of eight perfect divisions with four teams each didn't make us jump up and down or anything."
It appears that new Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris will be faced with the difficulty of stopping elite quarterbacks like Tony Romo, Donovan McNabb, and Eli Manning, which in the words of Goodell, "should just rub in their faces how sad it is they don't have an elite quarterback of their own."
It is not known at press time if the rumor that Tampa Bay was willing to trade all four quarterbacks on its roster to the league office for a move to the AFC North and the rights to Brady Quinn is actually fact.
I have been trying to get through to the league offices all day for additional comment on this story, but to no avail. Instead, I got the following Twitter message:
"@TimCary TB realignment only effective for five gms, then order will be restored. Expecting 0-5 start for rebuilding yr. Some team had to do it."
Is it too late to start counting down to the release date of the 2010 schedule? Because with a new coach, new system, new team, and an insanely difficult first five-game stretch, the Bucs' 09 year seems to be over before it's even started.
EXCERPT OF OFFICIAL, ACTUAL TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS SCHEDULE (SERIOUSLY)
Week One: DALLAS
Week Three: NY GIANTS
Week Four: @Washington
Week Five: @ Philadelphia
(First NFC South game--Week Six)