It’s half time at the Super Bowl and the Jaguars lead the Bears 27 to 10 despite totaling negative 52 offensive yards. I think it’s safe to say we’ve never seen a Super Bowl like this before. Let’s check in with sideline reporter Marc Sessler. What are you seeing from your viewpoint?
At times it has seemed like this game would never end. But let me suggest to you an alternative: this game has already ended. Not just the Super Bowl, but football as we know it. In its place stands a post-apocalyptic landscape echoing with the shrieks of Bears’ quarterback Mitch Trubisky—who speaks for all of us as he emits squeals of terror, shock, and anguish. When the Jaguars offense takes the field, these squeals are replaced by the cackles of the Bears’ defensive front as they repeatedly pounce upon the unprotected Aaron Rodgers like a pack of hyenas, ignoring the Jaguars ineffectual offensive line as if they were merely flies swarming around the carcass upon which they feast. The fading memories of the offensive fireworks of the regular season have been overshadowed by tonight’s hyper-pathetic offensive showings from both teams. Even the Bears’ one brilliant offensive play—a cannon launched by Trubisky with a triumphant shriek which flew unfettered into the eager hands and supercharged legs of Taylor Gabriel on his way to the rarefied earth of the end zone—now seems like a suspicious mirage in a desolate desert of overwhelming offensive ineptitude. The Bears decision to bench Mitch Trubisky for Chase Daniels and the Jaguars’ decision to kick a field goal on first down were a one-two punch which served as the death blow to the hopes of innocent youths everywhere grasping at the chance to find even a fleeting connection with their emotionally-distant fathers by cheering together over under-sauced wings and soggy nachos. Your father has stepped out for a pack of cigarettes. No children, daddy is not ever coming home.
OK Marc. Well it sounds like it looks pretty dark from down there. I see Jaguars coach Doug Marrone is there with you, perhaps he has something to say about the Jaguars plans for the second quarter?
“He doesn’t,” Sessler replied definitively. “I looked into his eyes. There’s nothing left there. Back to you, Colleen.”
“Turn around. I need to change,” Staley Da Bear told Vanessa as he unbuttoned his suit in the backseat of their taxi.
“I didn’t take you for being bashful,” Vanessa commented. She obliged and looked out the window into the snowy and still Chicago evening.
“I want the first time you see me topless to be special.” Staley pulled the navy 00 jersey over his bare hairy chest.
Beep! Staley’s speaker phone went to voice mail again. “Leave a message for Coach of the Year, Swagggy Nagy...that’s what the team calls me, ha ha ha. Beep!”
“Nobody’s going to pick up their phone during the Super Bowl,” Staley sighed.
“Do you know anyone there who’s not on the team?” Vanessa asked.
Staley shot his head up from tugging at a rollerblade he could barely fit onto his left paw. “Of course!” He pressed one of his special speed dial buttons. It only rang once.
“Hello, Patti?” Staley began. “Are you with Rihanna right now?”
As Maroon 5 finished a medley of replacement-level pop hits, Adam Levine raised his arms into the air and closed his eyes. The roar of the crowd infused into his expanding ego, and he felt as if he could tackle a bear.
The wait is over. The wait is over.
As the cheers grew louder, Levine failed to realize Rihanna had taken the stage. The growing cheers surged his ego to bewildering heights.
I pitch with a grenade. Swing away if you’re feeling brave.
There’s so much power in my name, if you pop off and you say it, stadium gon’ do the wave.
As the stadium did the wave, the ego-drunk Adam Levine hopped onto the stage with Rihanna and stumbled towards her, clearly intent in engaging her for an unrequited freak-dance performance. Honey-Bump’s finely-tuned ursine senses were able to pick up on his intentions far before anyone else in the stadium. With berries still dripping from her perfectly-proportioned maw, she leaped onto the field, reached the 50 yard line with inhuman speed, and intercepted the rabid pop star, knocking him off the stage and onto the turf. She rolled him onto his face and sat on his back, waiting patiently as he squirmed and his ego slowly deflated.
“It’s a good thing Levine isn’t playing quarterback tonight,” Tony Romo commented. “Because that is rough.”
It had been a risky decision to have Romo’s commentary continue through the halftime show, but one that was ultimately well-received. People just love to hear that man’s opinions.
“You know, this is actually a great metaphor for the game so far. Particularly the Jaguars offense facing the Bears defense. On one hand you, have perfectly passable mediocrity, represented of course by the Jags offense and Maroon 5, and that gets juxtaposed against transcendent brilliance in the Bears defense or Rihanna’s performance and Honey-Bump’s tackle.”
They have your playbook. They have your playbook.
Rihanna deviated from the album track lyrics on her second chorus.
Just jam the signal. Just jam the signal.
“You know, Rihanna makes a good point here with her improvised lyrics,” Romo noted. “Sometimes it does feel like the other team has your playbook. Like they’re right in your head. But you just have to block out the noise—jam the signal as she puts it—and maintain your focus and execute. That’s actually a great metaphor for quarterbacking.”
The razor-sharp Bears coaching staff instantly understood Rihanna’s thinly-veiled message. Eric Kush worked with their equipment manager to fashion a makeshift signal jammer out of three cellular phones and damp Gatorade powder.
Trubisky and Nagy discussed their offensive options given the Jaguars unfair advantage. They decided to stick to their two packages with the most plays and add unplanned motions to try to keep the kitties off-guard. Because of the signal jammer, Trubisky wouldn’t be able to receive play calls wirelessly, and since the Jaguars knew the Bears hand signals, it was decided the young quarterback would make most play-calling decisions on his own.
After the musical performances, the audience was treated to a holographic projection live from Soldier Field, where Staley Da Bear re-enacted Sarah Hughes’ 2002 long form Olympic figure skating performance—the last Gold Medal for the United States—wearing roller blades in the snow. The whole audience, even Tony Romo, was speechless until the end.
“All I have to see is that I’ve never seen a bear land a triple toe loop-triple loop to triple salchow-triple loop combination like that before. If that performance doesn’t turn momentum in favor of the Bears, I don’t know what will,” Romo finally commented.
The Bears’ limited offense worked as well as could be expected. Trubisky was able to take advantage of the mismatches Cohen, Burton, Shaheen, and Howard presented to linebackers, and they were able slowly grind out a touch down and a field goal prior to the 2-minute warning. Down 7, Trubisky executed a flawless two-minute drill landing them at the 6 yard line with a single second on the clock. Trubisky ran to the sideline during the time out.
“Coach Nagy. There’s something you should know. I’ve been secretly collaborating on making plays with a Bears analyst—Lester Wiltfong, Jr.—just to keep myself fresh and see what I can come up with without your help. We have a play I’ve shown the team: Hungry Bear Picnic, Grizzly Left. It’s perfect for a 5 to 7 yard gain and nobody’s ever seen it. I want to call it now.”
“Do it,” Nagy didn’t waste time. He sent his fledgling signal caller out onto the field knowing in his heart that Biscuit had what it took to win the game.
The Bears lined up ready to pounce. There was fire in their eyes. Charles Leno, Jr. stared deep into Calais Campbell’s soul, and Campbell could feel his life flashing before his eyes. Calais reeled and wobbled from the weight of Leno’s stare, and a yellow flag sailed onto the field.
“Neutral zone infraction, defense. 5 yard penalty.”
Trubisky looked to the sideline. Hungry Bear Picnic wouldn’t work this close. He caught Nagy’s gaze, and knew they were thinking the same thing. Spread ‘em out, and run it in. The Bears lined up quick for a shotgun snap. Trubisky handed to Howard, who pounded forward between Daniels and Whitehair. The Jaguars defensive line pushed back, and Jo Ho found himself driving with all his force against a wall, inches from the end zone. Trubisky charged from behind, pushing on Howard with his limited might, but the All Pro back didn’t move. As each millisecond passed, the risk of a forward progress whistle mounted.
Tarik Cohen, having broken off from his route and circled into the backfield, lowered his shoulder and surged into Trubisky’s back with all of his momentum. Biscuit lurched forward, pressing into Howard and breaking the last bit of the Jaguar’s will. Howard broke through the line and with him, the ball broke the plane. Touchdown, Bears.
There was no doubt in anyone’s mind the Bears were going for 2. If they’d played it safe and risked a Super Bowl tie, they wouldn’t have been the 2018 Bears. Nagy called a high-percentage running play, and the Bears lined up at the 2 yard line to decide the game. The play clock counted down.
Just before entering his stance Charles Leno Jr. looked at Trubisky, flashed a mischievous smile and shrugged. Trubisky laughed then nodded back to his blindside buddy.
“Hut Hut Hutty—” The whistle interrupted Mitch’s count as Leno launched forward before the snap.
“Offsides, offense. 5 yard penalty.”
The Bears quickly ran to the huddle. Trubisky didn’t hesitate to call the play. “Hungry Bear Picnic. Grizzly Left.”
Tarik Cohen lined up next to Trubisky, who stepped forward before the ball snapped—directly to Cohen. Cohen ran left, but quickly pitched the ball to Trey Burton. Mitch Trubisky ran out right towards the end zone.
“Oh my god,” Tony Romo commented. “Are they actually running the Philly Special? Is Trey Burton going to throw the game deciding touchdown two Super Bowls in a row?”
Burton cocked back his arm and passed the ball. It sailed to the left, hitting Howard just as he crossed into the end zone on a wide-open angle route. Two point conversion successful.
Navy and Orange confetti showered the field. The stadium erupted in joy. Jaguars fans threw off their jerseys and stole hats off the heads of their neighbors as the turned coat to join in on the unadulterated joy of cheering for the superior team.
The Bears circled in the middle of the field to do an enormous coordinated snow angel. Rihanna and Honey-Bump joined in the middle forming the two eyes of an enormous Bear face that was clearly identified on the overhead camera. The image remained after long after the players stood up and Honey-Bumped returned to finish her championship salmon feast. It would become iconic, immortalized on documentaries for years to come and forever associated with the birth of a football dynasty.
The Bears celebration party was everything expected and more. The disco ball measured 100 yards in diameter in honor of the length of a football field. Migos, T.I., Ludacris, Outkast, and Beezo and Strap all gave career performances, and the crowd was overjoyed by the revelation of the special guest—local group Shop Boyz, who dazzled with their one hit, “Party Like a Rock Star.” Mike Tirico could not stop dancing.
Special Agent Tillman stopped by to inform the Bears that the people behind their attempted Super Bowl sabatoge—a network of mafia bosses including Antonio Taleggiotesta behind bossbets.com—had been identified and apprehended.
Matt Nagy and one of his sons approached Tillman to see if the lad could get an autograph. The boy held out his regulation-sized football, which looked enormous in his small hands. Tillman smiled and punched the ball to the ground. The child cried.
“No, no, kiddo. Look,” Tillman tried to calm the boy, who reached down and picked up the ball. Tillman’s autograph was there, stretching across the bottom of the ball in perfect script. They boys eyes widened in amazement.
“How did you?”
“Government secrets, kid.” Tillman put on his sunglasses, and walked over to Staley and Vanessa.
Vanessa looked directly at Peanut without blinking. “I know I’ve done some bad things, and I will take what’s coming my way. But you should know that I’m out of the mafia now. I’m trying to start a new life with Staley.”
“You may know you’ve done bad things, but I don’t know anything about that.” Tillman winked. “What I do know is that you have a skill set that could be very valuable to the Bureau. You should give me a call sometime.” Tillman handed her a business card.
Vanessa was still staring at the tastefully-off-white promise of a new future when Pat O’Donnell tapped her shoulder.
“I want to apologize,” he said. “For having you put in a coma.”
“Apologize, are you kidding?” Vanessa smiled. “That was the best sleep of my life.”
Everyone laughed, cheered, then proceeded to the dance floor. The Shop Boyz were beginning their 11th encore of “Party Like a Rock Star.”
They didn’t know it, but this would be the first of countless annual Bears’ Super Bowl parties. The toughest obstacles these Bears would face would be how to comfortably wear a thumb ring.