NFL Television Ratings Down, Networks To Consider New Programming

The Lord Line

New York, November 1 – In a stunning development, due to declining ratings several television networks have started contemplating replacing NFL games with other regularly scheduled programming. And the switch might happen sooner rather than later.

The news breaks following some surprising Sunday night results that saw Game 5 of the World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians on FOX outperform NBC’s Football Night in America between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys by an overnight rating of 15.3 to 11.6. The whopping 32% difference marks the first time since 2013 that baseball outperformed football in a head to head matchup.

Now executives from the networks are scrambling to come up with alternative programming to stem the tide of an overly saturated football schedule. When asked to comment on the situation NBC spokesman Arthur Tillengast said that a change to the nightly schedule is nothing more than an attempt to diversify their primetime lineup and has little to do with the sinking ship that is professional football.

“We at NBC are in the idea business,” stated Tillengast “And even though we spent billions upon billions of dollars for the broadcast rights to the NFL that doesn’t mean that it can’t easily be replaced by a more popular alternative.”

Word leaked that due to the national appeal of the Chicago Cubs’ historic run to the World Series NBC has commissioned the development of several more Chicago based dramas to compliment the success of Chicago Fire including Chicago Earth and Chicago Wind. 

When asked what he believed was the main reason for declining football ratings Tillengast was evasive and did not want to comment on an earlier report that described how some network execs felt the correct way to handle Colin Kaepernick’s Star Spangled Banner protest was to show disgruntled fans that television believes in “true patriotism” by running primetime footage of different American flags from across the country.

The Lord Line: Rajon Rondo Vows To Never Shoot Again

Brooklyn, October 31 – In a stunning surprise for a professional basketball player, Rajon Rondo, the starting point guard for the Chicago Bulls, has vowed to never take another shot in the NBA. The announcement came following the Bulls (2-0) morning workout before their Halloween game against the Brooklyn Nets.

“This is not a trick,” began Rondo who along with Dwyane Wade, Robin Lopez, Michel Carter-Williams and some guy named Christiano Felicio represent a new era of basketball in Chicago. “Think of it instead as a treat for my teammates and the fans who must recognize the selflessness of my words and actions.”

When asked to comment on his point guard’s pronouncement, Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg said that Rondo should be “lauded” for his team first mentality.

“Look, Rajon is a winner. That’s why we brought him here to Chicago,” says the second year coach. “He understands his game better than anyone else which is why his decision to never shoot again shouldn’t shock any of us. Now, maybe it would make more sense if he weren’t passing up wide open fast break layups or if we had a legitimate 3-point shooter on the roster he could pass to but hey, at the end of the day you’ve got to respect the integrity of a veteran player who understands his weaknesses including a debilitating loss of confidence and jump shot technique.”

Asked to comment on his coach’s statement saying that the Bulls lack 3-point shooting, small forward and walking scarecrow Doug McDermott said, “Ok, Coach, I see how it is. In college they didn’t call me ‘Dougie McBuckets’ for nothing.”

 

The Lord Line: Tom Brady To Spend Bye Week At Trump National

 

Buffalo, October 28 – Tom Brady may not be willing to state publicly if he plans on voting for his friend Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential election but that has not stopped the New England Patriots’ star quarterback from making plans to stay at the Trump National Doral Miami during the teams’ bye week following their game vs. the Buffalo Bills this weekend. When asked about the upcoming vacation the normally tight lipped veteran appeared giddy at the prospects of more time away from football.

“Obviously I won’t comment on my 4 game suspension other than to say it was totally unfair and that Roger Goodell is the bastard spawn of Satan. But my time at home and sun bathing naked in Italy did offer a glimpse of what life is like without football which is why I am very much looking forward to another break.”

When asked specifically about his reasoning for choosing Trump National given the controversy surrounding Brady since being spotted with a “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker, the future Hall of Famer said that it was a business decision.

“Mr. Trump is a friend but Mr. Trump also owes me a substantial amount of money which I lent to him long before he announced his candidacy for president back when he was raising capital for a new line of bathroom fixtures called ‘Trump Toilets: Your Shit Is My Business’. Times being what they are, and with the Russian mafia being so stingy, I accepted a free week long stay in Miami instead.

When asked to comment on the Brady bye week situation, Buffalo Bills’ head coach, and fellow Trump supporter, said that he too had plans to spend his off week at a Trump Resort but then heard that the buffets “sucked” so he changed his plans and now he and his twin brother Rob will be riding a whiskey barrel over Niagara Falls.

Bill Belichick did not wish to comment on Tom Brady’s bromance with Donald Trump other than to say that Republicans are now “On to Paul Ryan’.

The Lord Line: Chicago Cubs to Retire Kyle Schwarber’s Number

Chicago Cubs To Retire Kyle Schwarber’s Number

Chicago, October 27 – In an unprecedented move for a baseball franchise that last won a World Series in 1908, the Chicago Cubs have decided to retire designated hitter Kyle Schwarber’s jersey number 12 in a pregame ceremony prior to tomorrow’s game 3 of the 2016 World Series vs. the Cleveland Indians. The announcement was made by the Chicago front office following their series tying 5-1 win in game 2, a victory keyed by a couple of clutch RBI singles from Schwarber.

“What Kyle has meant to this organization is indescribable,” says President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein. “We understand that it’s a relatively small sample size, less than 250 regular season at bats, but with what he has already accomplished this postseason and with the series shifting to Chicago for the first World Series games in Wrigley Field since 1945 the franchise felt that this was the perfect time to capitalize on the momentum.”

Cubs’ Manager Joe Maddon is also quick to praise Schwarber even if the slugger’s lack of a position could present a difficult decision.

“I can’t guarantee that Schwarbie will be in the lineup for game 3 because in all honesty he was a subpar defensive outfielder before he tore two knee ligaments. However, that being said, even at 23 years old it’s never too early to honor the accomplishments of one of the franchise’s greatest players alongside Hall of Famers like Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Ron Santo.”

For Kyle Schwarber, having his number retired by one of the most celebrated franchises in professional baseball makes all the work that went into his rehabilitation that much sweeter.

“As Fox Sports broadcasters have stated repeatedly, the blisters. The tracking of thousands of pitches. The fact that I was almost traded to the New York Yankees. It was all worth it for this moment right here. And who knows, we may even end up winning a World Series.”

One Direction Down

A morning mist envelops the mountain like a heavy, damp curtain of fear and doubt. The summit remains hidden, shrouded amongst clouds carrying secrets and solitude. I, alone with my thoughts, make my way towards the base where a carriage awaits, there to lift me towards my final destination. The first run of the day. Though I hope it will not be my last.

I am swept off my feet, seated now next to strangers. Unfamiliar faces wrapped in layers upon layers of fleece and intrigue. The real estate magnate from Manhattan. The house wife from Westchester. The college bro from Burlington. All walks of life intersecting on a ski lift.

Up up and away we fly. Past snow covered pines and bald faced boulders. The elements of nostalgia are all in place. Like a periodic table from my past with molecules and memories both noble and inert. I swore I’d return. But in that time away I’ve grown unsure. Older too. My courage and cartilage worn down by years of rigor and responsibility. How will my body respond? How will my mind adapt? To the contours of the trail and the limitation of my legs. Perhaps this was a mistake. Maybe I should have stayed in the lodge where it was safe and warm.

But it’s too late. Past the point of no return. As I near the top, the silence turns deafening. Only the sound of skiers below as they turn, twist and carve through the snow like butchers in search of a prime cut of powder. I exit down the ramp and ready myself for the descent. The trail map provides little comfort. From here there is only one direction. Down below, miniature homes and towns nestled safely together between the lakes and hills of the horizon. I exist in a model. A manufactured reality created by man and machine.

My eyes need help adjusting to the altitude. The vertical has me swaying and shifting as if I were standing at the bottom of a large swale of snow and ice. It’s now or never. With the tips of my skis tilting with trepidation I fill my lungs with cold mountain air one final time. I’ll breath again when I get to the bottom.

I start slow, form following functioning. I work my way past the crowd that has congregated at the trail head, obstructing my view of the marker. A black diamond. The most dangerous of shapes. I’m fully committed now, with each turn gaining speed and confidence. My legs burn but my body doesn’t break. I’m in control, until I wasn’t. A patch of ice hiding underneath the face of freshly groomed granules. One ski up, one ski down, for a split second I teeter on the edge of oblivion. With instincts intact I regain my balance. Survival. For the moment.

I allow myself a split second to soak in the surroundings. The tall pines awash in winter white. The early grey fog giving way to a deep blue sky. As the wind whips over my head and shoulders I make sure to appreciate the majesty of the moment. The thrill of the outdoors. The serene beauty of a ski slope. This is what I missed the most.

The bottom in sight, my first trip a success. I take a deep breath and look back at the trail behind. There’s more snow to be had, more skiing to be done. Back up the hill I must go. To the top, where there’s only one direction down.