Finally there's something to celebrate for people who enjoy football, but may not necessarily call themselves fanatics:
The adjective level of this years’ NFL Bowl Game has been downgraded from "super" to "decent."
The reasons, according to NFL spokesperson Ken "Big Ken" Tomlinson, are threefold:
“The surge in Iraq is working, that Michael Vick's really f---ed our image, and we’re experiencing a knock-on effect from the Mitchell Report.”
For those, like the NFL, that thrive on an artificially-inflated adjectival assessment of the bowl game, the consequences may be dire. However, the truth will out.
Recent advancements in scientific technology have allowed objective rankings of the adjective level of the bowl game for the last three seasons. However, this years’ edition is the first to be anything but "super."
Ratings Inc., a publicly funded, non-partisan statistics agency monitors every NFL season and collates all "hype data" leading up to the bowl game. The company explains the decision to downgrade to "decent":
“It’s just not going to be that super, and everybody knows it.”
The super-secret scientific formula used in the assessment process is not publicly available, but Ratings Inc. spokesperson Janet Timmons did reveal a particularly interesting tidbit not included in the original report, published Sunday.
“Up until a week ago there was some speculation that this years’ Bowl Game might actually be upgraded to 'awesome,' but fortunately, excitement has tapered off. Cooler heads are prevailing.”
That sense of relief is certainly shared by the Sports Defense Council (SDC). They had been actively preparing for the attendant dangers of an Awesome Bowl: Hell-wing poisoning, lightshow seizures, mass hysteria and overlong post-bowl lines at Disneyland.
A source within the agency (who preferred to remain anonymous) said that the whole office is just kicking back and actually looking forward to a Decent Bowl. The mid-level staffer rhetorically asked, “Decent is good enough, right?”
However, not everyone is pleased. Superfan Johnny Bouton is in his own words "totally bummed" about the downgrade.
A self-described "big-time Giants fan," Bouton had planned to fly to Phoenix to attend this year's bowl game with both his face and belly painted and get plastered on overpriced stadium beers. He even revealed a loosely-formed plan to streak through the upper bleachers waving a foam finger.
But thanks to the downgrade, he's changed his plans.
“It’s just, like...well I’m not so excited about the Decent Bowl. I might still go though, I don't know. But I'm not painting my face. Not now.”
Advertisers, who traditionally spend like a drunken sailor on shore leave when a bowl is super, are pulling back as well.
“No way, man,” said Kraft, Coca Cola, and Anheuser-Busch, in a joint statement issued yesterday. “We’re going to sit this one out and hope next year sees a return to the Super Bowls of years past."
The halftime show, in which Aaron Neville and Cher will sing “I Got You Babe” to a stadium filled to 55 percent capacity, has caused airtime rates to plummet alongside the adjective level. A cost for a 30-second spot during the Decent Bowl is $4,000, down from last year's record 2.6 million.
As for the game itself? Superfan Bouton says the Giants will take it, but most everybody else will be watching highlight videos from memorable Super Bowls on YouTube.