In a shocking revalation, NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, announced today that Super Bowl XLIII was rigged for the Steelers to win.
"Just as Faith Hill and Jennifer Hudson had previously recorded their performances and did not sing live before the game, the 'exhibition' that followed had also been carefully choreographed and rehearsed by both teams in the two weeks leading up to Sunday's big show, " he explained. "The Super Bowl has long been criticized as not living up to its hype. Rather than tone down the hype, the NFL decided to ramp up the game instead."
"Look, don't be so naive; everyone does it," he advised the astonished reporters. "We haven't had a live performance at the Super Bowl since Up With People stopped appearing."
"We let the season play out pretty much on its own, but when it comes down to the playoffs, we're not going to put ourselves in a position to be embarrassed," Goodell continued. "C'mon, the Cardinals were a great 'feel good' story for the media--Warner and the grocery store routine, Cinderella team going to the big dance--but, really, there was just no way we could ever let them be world champions. "
The stunned reporters sat in silence, unable to comprehend what they were being told. "Think about it. If the Steelers lose, our friends in the sports betting industry lose big and that's just not going to happen. Do you think it was just serendipity that the Rooneys backed Obama in the election and the President picked the Steelers "to win in a close one?"
"We looked at what Bud Selig and Major League Baseball did with getting the Tampa Bay Rays into the World Series and figured we could do the same with football. That underdog story never gets old and always brings in the fans. It gets markets that typically don't get much press and puts them in the spotlight for a while. It's just good business, but we're not going to let it get out of hand and give those teams a championship ring or anything."
"OK, here's something else you guys might as well know. Not only was Bruce Springsteen not singing live at halftime, that wasn't even Bruce Springsteen on stage. The guy is almost 60 years old. If a 60-year-old man would have slid on his knees into the camera like that, we would have had to get a crane to get him back on his feet! That was Bruce's 24-year old stunt double out there."
"Let me lay it all on the table for you. Very little of what goes on is 'chance' or 'fate' or, yes, even that 'will of the people' crap. Obama was picked to be president 5 years ago, even before the 2004 Democratic Convention. And that whole 2000 election fiasco between Bush and Gore--all scripted, right down to the hanging chads. It's great theater and it's that entertainment that keeps the masses occupied and content, instead of getting into trouble."
At this point, all the lights went out in the press room, there was the sound of a brief scuffle and when the lights came back on a few seconds later, Commissioner Goodell was no longer at the podium, effectively ending the news conference.
"Don't worry--it'll be great!"