“Inside the museums, infinity goes up on trial.”
– Bob Dylan
There once was a Louisiana cow that loved the NFL and, as this is a religious story, we shall call her a sacred cow although her given name was Elsie. All her life, Elsie had one goal – to become the official football of Super Bowl XLIV. In order to get her way, she promised to affect the results of the big game.
A pig, for some reason gets all the credit, but a football is made of cowhide, not pigskin. Specifically, the Super Bowl XLIV football is made out of Elsie the Cow’s hide.
Once Elsie promised to affect the outcome in a conspiratorial way, the grateful NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell slaughtered Elsie with his own hands and then he sewed her hide together with a shoelace while Michael Vick watched, and the two casually discussed a good steak tip rub (olive oil, brown sugar, chile powder, a bit of cumin, less cayenne pepper, and lots of garlic).
This all happened and I have the false memory to prove it, and this means that everything Elsie the cow said she would do in Super Bowl XLIV is certain to happen.
Elsie The Cow was a New Orleans Saints fan her entire life. She grew up on Archie Manning’s farm cheering for Archie Manning. She even owned a “Who Dat?” bag that she wore over her head for a decade. But she was also the cow that gave the milk that went on the cereal that Peyton Manning ate every morning when he was growing up.
So much like Archie Manning, you can see how Elsie the cow was conflicted when she learned her favorite quarterback would be playing against her favorite team in the Super Bowl.
For days, Elsie the Cow begged Archie Manning to take her to the Super Bowl. She sent text messages and tweeted him, but Archie said he was reluctantly bringing Eli instead. Elsie was determined not to miss this game for the world, even if it meant missing the world, so she arranged for a trip to New York – she flew coach – where she met with the commissioner, and every play of Super Bowl XLIV was planned in advance.
So with fresh blood still on his hands, the commissioner appeared at the Media Day podium to declare: “I guarantee this will be the greatest Super Bowl ever.” Yes, that’s whatzgonnahappen.
PRE-GAME: Queen Latifah sings “America The Beautiful”; Carrie Underwood sings the national anthem and General Larry Platt sings “Pants On The Ground”. America is honored.
COIN FLIP: Honorary coin flipper Brett Favre throws the coin up and it lands heads. I changed my mind, tails! I mean heads! No wait, he threw it to Tracy Porter it’s… Saints’ ball.
FIRST QUARTER: The Saints score after an eight-play 70-yard drive. The Colts follow it up with a seven-play 80-yard drive. And then when the opening kickoff happens, the game really gets exciting. The exciting part is that, unexpectedly, the defenses each come up with a couple of stops after the first two touchdowns. The Saints try to steal the ball and are unable, while Dwight Freeney works on the one-legged hop move. Drew Brees looks determined but frustrated. Conversely, Peyton Manning looks frustrated but determined. Saints 7, Colts 7
SECOND QUARTER: The football starts doing funny things, almost like there was a conspiracy. On the second play of the quarter, the ball hits Dallas Clark in the hands and then bounces up in the air, off of two Saints players, and lands back in his hands. It’s only an 8-yard gain for a first down, but it’s the beginning of a trend. Two more times in the quarter, when the Colts needed a first down, the bounce of the ball plays a part. Drew Brees throws for two touchdowns and Reggie Bush Barishnikovs (new football verb) his way down the sidelines for another. The Colts and their lucky football also score three touchdowns. Saints 28, Colts 28
HALTIME: Wearing “Who Dat?” shirts, The Who, just like on “Live at Leeds,” play a 15-minute version of “My Generation.” When the song ends, Roger Daltry announces, “We’re old.” Then Daltry and Pete Townsend commit on-stage hari kari. The crowd goes wild! Reviewers say it was cooler than beating up their instruments.
SUPER BOWL AD # 1 (15 seconds =$15 million billion)
SUPER BOWL AD #2 (SAME PRICE, CLASSIER ACTING CHOPS)
THIRD QUARTER: As the quarter begins, Archie Manning tells Phil Simms that just like Phil would surely would root for his New York Giants against any team quarterbacked by Chris Simms, he is really rooting for the Saints. “I didn’t have the heart to tell Peyton,” says Archie. “Yeah, that makes sense,” says Phil. By the time they are done conversing, each team has scored two more touchdowns. The Colts score legitimate touchdowns while the Saints are helped by the odd bounce of the ball. Saints 42, Colts 42
FOURTH QUARTER: With a mouthful of steak tips, Roger Goodell comments on what a great game he is watching and commences playing a drinking game with his own rules. Every time Archie Manning is shown on TV, the commissioner suspends a random player and then chugs scotch. Within a few minutes, half of the Cincinnati Bengals have been suspended and the commissioner is yelling “You’re suspended!” as if he was Donald Trump firing someone. As cameras across the world are focused on fans in New Orleans, one guy with a Polaroid camera is chronicling what’s happening in Indianapolis. In Miami, the turnovers start as if the football has a mind of its own. No one scores until the final drive when Peyton, on third and 15 from the Saints 38, scrambles for five yards instead of throwing across his body for a certain interception. That’s when Matt Stover, the last original Cleveland Brown Version 1.0 comes in and kicks a game winning field goal. Colts 45, Saints 42
POSTGAME: First question: “Congratulations, do you wish you tried to go undefeated?”
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