One of the stranger events of the NFL season unfolded on Monday Night Football, as one of the first recorded instances of a pretend game took place on national television between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears.
On the first drive for the Packers, All Pro quarterback and suspected cyborg Aaron Rodgers was knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury. The Bears were already without starting quarterback Jay Cutler, who has been sidelined with what is reported to be a groin injury (but what most suspect to be issues related to his constant smoking on the field and sidelines of games).
With both starting quarterbacks out of the game, fans began to file out (undoubtedly preparing for a crazy night in the notorious Green Bay club scene) and the TV crews began packing it in. Jon Gruden began planning his nightly ritual of gazing at gametape of Peyton Manning.
Except, incredibly enough, both teams decided to keep playing. Apparently, no one had informed either head coach that when a team is playing their backup quarterback, the game does not count for the opposing team in national media rankings (which are, of course, the sole determination of what teams are contenders and what teams are not).
With both teams having lost their starting quarterback, the game immediately became meaningless.
"It was crazy," Packers defensive lineman B.J. Raji said after the game, "I was all like, 'Coach, don't you realize that without starting quarterbacks this is totally pointless? No one cares about the other 44 active players anymore coach. It's not 1985.' He just looked at me funny and sent me out to play defense. The guy is living in the past. Also, you know who is better than me? Tyson Jackson. I think it's important that people know that."
Bears running back Matt Forte was similarly disappointed. His frustration boiled over in the locker room, where he stood on an soapbox (it is unknown at present where he found a soapbox in an NFL locker room) and gave this powerful speech:
"I get ONE chance a year to party Green Bay style, and coach blows it by making me a finish a game that doesn't count. This is stupid. Next thing you know he's going to expect us to win more pretend games without a starting quarterback. Next time he wants me to take the field against anything less than Peyton Manning I'm sitting it out. I'm a professional, and it's an insult to ask me to play against quarterbacks who can't win the Super Bowl. I can only hope the national media shows its usual amount of intelligence and foresight and wipes this game off the map. In fact, I hope they don't even talk about it on ESPN. I bet one of the Manning brothers broke a nail, they can talk about that."
Arrowhead Pride attempted to question both head coaches regarding the clear lapse in judgment, but neither was available for comment. One team staffer was willing to offer his take on the situation, asking, "Who are you again, and how did you get into this locker room?"
Aaron Rodgers was unavailable for comment, as he was in power down mode following his injury. It didn't occur to Arrowhead Pride to talk to Jay Cutler, because really, no one cares what Jay Cutler thinks.
Roger Goodell's office was called to get the The Big Man's opinion but that call has not been returned. However, a statement was released early this morning:
"We regret what happened on Monday Night Football. Our office had never anticipated the possibility that both players that matter might be knocked out of a game. We were unprepared for this. For now, the game will be removed from the official record. The very mentioning of it will be grounds for death. The world will never know it existed. That's what Xerxes would do. At the very least, we'll have Richie Incognito move next door to you."
We can only assume that is the only official word we'll hear from the league office. Last night was a pretend game that never really happened. Don't you dare act as though you can make any determinations about either team. The game didn't matter. for your own safety, Arrowhead Pride advises you to say this over and over again, "games against backup quarterbacks don't count."
Roger Goodell will find you.