CARL: This is Carl Drake, play-by-play commentator for NBS Broadcasting, and we are live at the Mega Bowl pregame festivities.

TOM: That’s right, Carl. This is Tom Hicks, color commentator for NBS Broadcasting, and we are seven hours into our pregame coverage, with only a further four to go.

CARL: The excitement is palpable, isn’t it? Just look at those streams of people finding their seats and purchasing concessions, and the gridlock outside as people try to find parking spots.

TOM: Right you are, Carl. Since NBS mandates this level of coverage despite there not being enough content to sustain it, our usual level of sports rhetoric, tissue-paper-thin as it is, has been stretched to the breaking point. I don’t know that there is anyone else we can ask for their uninformed opinions about the game, or any more sound bites we can unload about how this is a must-win game and that hustle, follow-through, and giving 110% will all be required.

CARL: Fair enough, Tom. I for one feel as if I am trapped in a nightmare from which I cannot wake. But, consider that this pregame coverage is just background noise for Mega Bowl parties as they warm up.

TOM: Right again as always, Carl. It doesn’t matter what we say, so long as the tenor and rhythm of our communication falls within acceptable inane sports patter levels. We can lay bare our darkest personal demons if we so wish, and the haze of conversation and alcohol that surrounds the watching of the Mega Bowl will serve to obfuscate the citizenry from the existential horror of our predicament.

CARL: Terrific idea and analysis, Tom. Speaking of which, have you seen the commercial NBS is airing about their Mega Bowl coverage?

TOM: How could I not, Carl? They have shown it every commercial break since the new year. The sight of that intercepted pass and that brutal sack, played over and over again, haunt my every waking hour.

CARL: Answer me this, then, Tom. How can they show previews from the game if it hasn’t happened yet?

TOM: I have always wondered that. My best guess is that it is our only glimpse into a shadow world of football cabals, where each game is played out in advance until the result is predetermined.

CARL: Why would you say someone would do that, Tom? Don’t the Illuminati have better things to do with their time?

TOM: Perhaps pulling the puppet strings of finance, industry, or government grows tiresome from time to time, and the Illuminated Ones relax by rigging football games, leaving those mysterious previews as breadcrumbs by which potential threats might be assessed and eliminated.

CARL: I’m quaking in my boots, Tom. Along the same lines, I’m told that the Mega Bowl will be reaching an audience of four hundred million people today, greater than the population of the United States.

TOM: That’s right, Carl. Somehow, the Mega Bowl has a 127% share of the viewing audience, a figure that would make my old statistics teacher hang himself from a bedsheet in his closet. I can only imagine the insane financial rewards that NBS must be reaping as well, and how many countries have a GDP lower than the amount of money that will be raked in today.

CARL: Tom, what do you make of the fact that America is more sports-crazy than ever, with those figures and their meteoric rises as proof, while at the same time we have never been more sedentary and obese as a nation?

TOM: Correct again, Carl. Our levels of sedentary lardassery are matched only by those of Saudi Arabia, and yet we elevate those few with athletic talent on our shoulders like the gladiators of old.

CARL: In fact, Tom, it seems that despite loving football more than ever, we have fewer people than ever capable of playing it outside of a next-gen game console. Wax poetic for us on where this trend will lead us to fill a few more seconds of otherwise dead airtime.

TOM: I predict that the nascent evolutionary divergence which has already begun will only intensify with the march of time. I foresee a separate race of sportsmen, bred from only the strongest generations of genetic stock of breeding farms where choice specimens are put out to stud with cheerleaders. Within a further few generations, the quivering lumps of manflesh which the average American will have become will be incapable of breeding with our new master race of athletes.

CARL: A chilling, Wellsian vision of things to come, Tom. Would you say at this point that it’s clear whether this master race will rebel against its sedentary masters, perhaps enslaving them?

TOM: A good question, Carl. Bitter historical experience has shown that, like Spartacus and his rebels, these latter-day gladiators will lack the central leadership for coherent rebellion and that their attempts to overthrow us for forcing them into servitude will be ruthlessly crushed. Blood will run in the streets, the moans of crucified quarterbacks along the interstate will echo for miles, and only the inevitable collapse of our stagnant and decadent society at the hands of a nimble new ideology will bring an end to the bloodshed.

CARL: For those of you just joining us, this is Carl Drake and Tom Hicks, bringing you coverage of the pregame festivities at the Mega Bowl, the one unifying factor that remains in an increasingly divided America. We’ll be back with more inane chatter after the break.

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