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NARRATOR: In the days of yore, that is to say, the past few weeks, four brave knights embarked on a quest to find the most sacred of treasures, the Lombardi Grail.

First was Sir Brady, the brave.

Second was Sir Favre, the pure.

Third was Sir Philip, the brash.

Fourth was Sir Eli, the not-quite-so-brave-as-Sir Brady.

Each of the knights went their separate ways.  Sir Favre rode north, through the dark forests of Wisconsin.  Suddenly, a vision appeared before him:

GOD: Fav-re.  Fav-re!  King of the Packers.  [FAVRE looks up and kneels]  Oh, don't grovel!  One thing I can't stand is people groveling.

FAVRE:  Sorry.

GOD:  And don't apologize!  Every time I try to talk to someone, it's sorry this and forgive me that and I'm not worthy... what are you doing now?!

FAVRE:  I'm averting my eyes, oh Lord.

GOD:  Well don't!  It's like those miserable psalms, they're so depressing.  Now knock it off!

FAVRE:  Yes, Lord!

GOD:  Right.  Fav-re, King of the Packers, you and your teammates shall have a task to make them an example in these AFC-dominant times.

FAVRE:  Good idea, oh Lord!

GOD:  COURSE IT'S A GOOD IDEA!  Behold, Fav-re-

FAVRE:  It's actually pronounced "Farv."

GOD:  DO NOT CORRECT YOUR LORD!  Behold, Favre, this is the holy Lombardi Trophy.  Look well, Favre, for it is your sacred task to seek this trophy...you know, again.  That is your purpose, Favre.  The quest for the Lombardi Trophy!

[the skies close]

JENNINGS:  A blessing!  A blessing from the Lord!

GRANT: God be praised!

NARRATOR: From that day forward, Sir Favre was a new man, playing football like a man divinely inspired.  Meanwhile, Sir Brady rode north, until he happened upon a castle of unimaginable delights:

GISELE: Hello.

BRIDGET: Hello.

BRADY:  Hello.  What is this place?

GISELE:  This is the Castle Anthrax.

BRADY:  Anthrax?

BRIDGET:  Yes, it's not a very good name, is it?  Oh, but we are nice.  And we will attend to your every, every need.

GISELE:  We are but four score young blondes and brunettes, all supermodels and actresses and singers.

BRIDGET:  It is a lonely life.  Bathing, dressing, undressing, knitting exciting underwear-oh, but you are wounded!

BRADY:  Oh, no, coach just always puts me on the injury report to be a prick.

GISELE: Nonsense, you must submit to a full examination.  Carrie!  Britney!  Jessica!

JESSICA:  Well, what, like, seems to be the, um, problem?

BRADY:  THEY'RE doctors?

BRIDGET:  They have a basic medical training.  They just worked wonders with Sir Romo.

NARRATOR:  At that, Sir Brady was wise to flee.  Elsewhere, Sir Philip rode west, to the sunny shores of San Diego.  In a nearby castle, football preparations were taking place.  King Fisher the Moustached was getting young Prince Young ready for his big day.

FISHER:  One day, lad, all this will be yours.

YOUNG: What, the curtains?

FISHER:  No, not the curtains, lad.  All that you can see!  Stretched over the hills and valleys of this stadium.  That'll be your fan base, son.

YOUNG:  But mother.

FISHER:  Coach, son, I'm coach.

YOUNG:  But coach.  I don't want fans.  I'd rather...

FISHER:  What?

YOUNG:  I'd rather...just... sing!  [music begins to play]

FISHER:  Stop that, stop that!  You're not going into a song while I'm in here.  Listen, Steve.

YOUNG:  Vince.

FISHER:  Vince.  We live in bloody Tennessee.  We need all the fans we can get.  Look, you're taking this team to the Super Bowl, so you'd better get used to the idea.  Guards!  Make sure Vince doesn't leave this room until he can throw a football.

CHOW:  Not to leave the room, even if he can throw a football.

[QB COACH CRAIG] JOHNSON: [hic]

FISHER:  No, no.  Until he can throw a football.

CHOW:  Until he can throw a football, we're not to enter the room.

FISHER:  No, no.  You stay in the room, and make sure he doesn't leave.

CHOW:  And you'll throw a football.

JOHNSON: [hic]

FISHER:  No, he throws a football.

CHOW:  He throws a football, yes.

FISHER:  Yes.

JOHNSON: [hic]

CHOW:  We don't need to do anything apart from just stop him from leaving the room before he can catch a football.

FISHER:  Throw a football.

CHOW:  Throw a football.

FISHER:  Is that clear?

CHOW:  Yes.  Oh!  If-if-if-we... if-if...oh... uh, if-

FISHER:  Look, it's quite simple.

JOHNSON: [hic]

FISHER: You keep him in here...

CHOW:  Oh, I remember!  Can he leave the room with us?

FISHER:  No, just keep him in here...

CHOW:  Well we'll keep him in here, obviously.  But if he had to leave, and we were with him-

FISHER:  No!  Just keep him in here...

CHOW:  Until he, or anyone else...

FISHER:  No, not anyone else, just him.

CHOW:  Just him...

FISHER:  Can throw a football.

CHOW:  Can throw a football.

FISHER:  All right?

CHOW:  All right, we'll stay here and make sure he doesn't leave.

FISHER:  Until he can throw a football.

CHOW:  What?

FISHER:  UNTIL HE CAN THROW A FOOTBALL.

CHOW:  The quarterback?

FISHER:  Yes, make sure-

CHOW:  Oh, of course!  I thought you meant Johnson.

JOHNSON:  [hic]

CHOW:  It seemed a bit daft to me, I mean, to coach him when he's a coach.

FISHER:  Is that quite clear?

CHOW:  Oh quite clear, no problem.

[CHOW and JOHNSON follow FISHER as he leaves.]

FISHER:  Where are you going?

CHOW:  We're coming with you.

FISHER:  You're fired. 

JOHNSON: [hic]

FISHER:  Oh, go get a glass of water.

NARRATOR:  Just then, in his own particular...uh...

BIG BEN 68: Idiom, sir?

NARRATOR:  Idiom!  Just then, in his own particular idiom, Sir Philip burst into the room, taking the castle by storm, killing everyone in sight, and taking steps to desecrate the corpses, and sending nasty letters saying "Nanny nanny boo boo" to all their fans and relatives.

Meanwhile, Sir Eli rode into the depths of Tampa Bay, where he was confronted by a terrible sight:

GRUDEN: Ni!

ELI:  Ow! Agh!

GARCIA:  Ni!

GALLOWAY:  Ni!

ELI:  Who are you?

GRUDEN:  We are the Bucs who say... ‘Ni!'

GARCIA:  Ni!

GALLOWAY:  Ni!

ELI:  No!  Not the Bucs who say ‘Ni!'

GRUDEN:  The same.

TOOMER:  Who are they?

GRUDEN:  We are the keepers of the secret words: ‘Ni!' ‘Peng!' and ‘Keeeeyshawn!'

RUUD:  Keeeeyshawn!

GARCIA:  Ni!

GALLOWAY:  Ni!

ELI: Those who hear them seldom live to tell the tale.  Well, what is it you want?

GRUDEN:  Ooh, don't say the word!

ELI: What word?  ‘Is?'

GRUDEN:  No, it's not ‘is.'  You wouldn't get very far in life not saying ‘is.'

ELI:  Well, what word?

GRUDEN:  I cannot, suffice to say, it is the word the Bucs of Ni cannot bear to hear!  Oh, I said it!  Oh, I said it again!  That's three ‘it's!

NARRATOR:  Under the heavy weight of saying ‘it' too much, the Buccaneers collapsed. 

ELI:  That was surprisingly easy.

NARRATOR:  Up in Foxboro, a scrappy group of knights with jaguars emblazoned on their helms, approached mighty Gilette Castle.

BELICHICK:  ‘Ello, daffy English Jag-you-ares, and monsieur Del Rio king who has the brain of a duck, you know.  I fart in your general direction!  Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries!  I wave my **** at your aunties.  You don't frighten us, Jacksonville Pig-dogs!  Go and boil your bottoms, sons of a silly person.  I burst my pimples at you and call your Super Bowl quest a silly thing.

DEL RIO:  Now this is your last chance, I've been more then reasonable.

BELICHICK:  Fetchez le Moss.

BRADY:  Quoi?

BELICHICK:  Fetchez le Moss.

NARRATOR:  And suddenly, the Jaguar knights were bombarded with all manner of weapons: Welkers, Stallworths, Maroneys... they were no match for the knights of Gilette Castle, and went home defeated.  Sir Eli continued south, accompanied by his favorite minstrels.

PLAXICO: [singing] Bravely bold Sir Eli, rode forth from Meadowlands.  He was not afraid to die, oh brave Sir Eli.  He was not afraid at all to be sacked in nasty ways.  Brave, brave brave, brave Sir Eli.  He was not in the least bit scared to be mashed into a pulp.  Or to have his eyes gouged out, and his elbows broken.  To have his kneecaps split and his body burned away, and his limbs all hacked and mangled, brave Sir Eli.  His head smashed in and his heart cut out, and his liver removed and his bowels unplugged, and his nostrils raped and his bottom burned off, and his peni-

ELI:  That's, uh, that's enough music for now, lads.  Looks like there's dirty work afoot.

NARRATOR:  Suddenly, Somewhat Brave Sir Eli was approached by a three-headed knight.

ROMO/BARBER/OWENS:  Halt!  Who art thou?

PLAXICO:  [singing] He is brave Sir Eli, brave Sir Eli...

ELI:  Shut up!  No-nobody, really, just passing through.

ROMO/BARBER/OWENS:  What is it you want?

PLAXICO:  [singing]  To fight...and...

ELI:  Shut UP!  Nothing, honestly, just to, you know, pass through...

ROMO: I'm afraid not.

ELI:  Well, actually, um, I am a New York Giant.

ROMO/BARBER/OWENS: You're a New York Giant?

BARBER:  In that case, we shall have to kill you.

OWENS:  Oh, I don't think so.

ROMO:  Well, what do I think?

BARBER:  I say kill him.

OWENS:  Well let's be nice to him.

ROMO:  Oh shut up.  And you-

BARBER:  Oh hurry up and get the sword out, I want to cut his head off?

ROMO:  Oh, cut your own head off.

OWENS:  Yes, do us all a favor.

ROMO:  You're lucky, you're not next to him.

BARBER: What do you mean?

ROMO:  You snore.

BARBER:  I don't!  Anyway, you've got bad breath.

ROMO:  Well, it's only because you don't brush my teeth.

OWENS:  Oh, let's stop b*tching and have tea.

BARBER:  Okay, we'll kill him first, and then have tea and biscuits.

OWENS:  Oh, not biscuits.

BARBER:  All right, not biscuits, but let's kill him anyway!

ROMO/BARBER/OWENS:  Right!

OWENS:  Where'd he go?

BARBER:  He buggered off.

ROMO:  The game's over.  Looks like we lost.

OWENS:  What the--?

NARRATOR: Sir Eli had escaped almost certain peril once again.  Meanwhile, Sir Favre approached some peasants playing with dirt.

FAVRE:  Old woman!

HASSELBECK:  Man.

FAVRE:  Man, sorry. 

HASSELBECK:  I'm thirty-two.

FAVRE:  Well you are bald.

HASSELBECK:  And you've got a gray beard.

ALEXANDER:  Matt!  There's some lovely filth down here!  Oh, how do you do?

FAVRE:  How do you do, good has-been.  I'm Favre, King of the Packers. 

ALEXANDER:  Who are the packers?

FAVRE:  Well, most of you used to be.  Your coach, your quarterback...

ALEXANDER:  I didn't know we had a coach.

HASSELBECK:  You're fooling yourself.  We're living in an autonomous collective.  A self-perpetuating autocracy, in which the West-Coast teams are blatantly ignored by the media-

ALEXANDER:  Oh there you go, bringing East Coast bias into it again.

HASSELBECK:  Well, that's what it's all about, if only people would-

FAVRE:  Please, please, good people.  I am in haste.  Can you direct me towards Glendale?

HASSELBECK:  What makes you think you're going to Glendale?

FAVRE:  The lady of the lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft a football from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Favre, was to throw said football.  That is why I'm your champion.

HASSELBECK:  Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing footballs is no basis for a system of champion determination.  Supreme Super Bowl representation derives from play on the gridiron, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

FAVRE:  Shut up.

HASSELBECK:  I mean, you can't expect to wield supreme NFC power just because some watery tart threw a pigskin at you.

FAVRE:  Shut up!

HASSELBECK:  I mean, if I went around, saying I was NFC champion, just because some moistened bint had lobbed an oblong spheroid at me, they'd put me away!

FAVRE:  Shut up, will you SHUT UP!  [thoroughly dismantles HASSELBECK, ALEXANDER, the 12th MAN and all of QWEST VILLAGE]

HASSELBECK:  Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.

FAVRE:  Bloody peasant.

NARRATOR:  Sir Philip rode to the forests of Indianapolis, where he approached the dreaded white knight, Sir Peyton Manning.

MANNING:  None shall pass.

PHILIP:  What?

MANNING:  None shall pass!

PHILIP:  I have no quarrel with you, good sir Manning, but I must win this game.

MANNING:  Then you shall die.

[they begin to fight.  MANNING cuts off PHILIP's arm, which had been wielding his mace, TOMLINSON]

MANNING:  Ha!  Now stand aside, worthy adversary!

PHILIP:  ‘Tis but a scratch!

MANNING:  A scratch?  Your arm's off!

PHILIP:  I've had worse.

MANNING:  You liar!

PHILIP:  Come on, you pansy.

 [they continue fighting.  MANNING cuts off PHILIP's other arm, which held his shield, GATES.  MANNING kneels.]

MANNING: We thank thee, Lord, that in thy- [PHILIP kicks him.]

PHILIP:  Have at you!

MANNING:  You are indeed, brave sir knight, but the fight is mine.

PHILIP:  Oh, had enough, eh?

MANNING:  Look, you stupid b*st*rd, you've got no arms left!

PHILIP:  Yes I have.

MANNING:  Look!

PHILIP:  It's just a flesh wound.

MANNING:  Look, stop that.

PHILIP:  Chicken!  Chicken!

MANNING:  I'll have your legs.  Right!  [chops off both PHILIP's legs]

PHILIP:  Right!  I'll do you for that?

MANNING:  You'll what?

PHILIP:  I'm invincible!

MANNING:  You're a loony.

NARRATOR:  Just then, Sir Volek the Underappreciated rushed in and pushed Manning into a gully from behind.

PHILIP:  Ha!  Take that, Mr. Defending Champion!

NARRATOR:  Sir Philip then hurled a barrage of taunts and micturated upon the defeated Manning.  Most of the obstacles in the way had been defeated.  Only the four knights remained to impede each other from seizing the Grail, er, Trophy.  Sir Brady and his men happened upon a wise enchanter.

BRADY:  What manner of man are you, who can summon up such great regular seasons without winning in the playoffs.

MARTY:  There are those who call me... Marty?

BRADY:  Greetings, Marty.

MARTY:  Greetings, Sir Brady.

BRADY:  You know my name?

MARTY:  I do.  You seek the Lombardi Trophy!

BRADY:  That is our quest.  You know much that is hidden, o Marty.

MARTY:  Quite.

BRADY:  Look, I know you're a busy man, but if you-

MARTY:  Yes, I can help you find the Lombardi Trophy... there is a city, a city called Glendale, Arizona, wherein, upon a field measuring 100 yards long plus two end zones, two will fight for the right to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

BRADY:  Oh, splendid.

MARTY:  But beware!  The way to Glendale is guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel that no team since November 18th has fought with it and lived!   Bones of fifty-three men lay strewn across its lair!  So, brave knights, if you do doubt your courage come no further, because death awaits you all, with nasty, big, pointy teeth!  There it is!

STALLWORTH:  What, behind the Chargers?

MARTY:  It IS the Chargers, you fool!

BRADY:  You silly sod!

MARONEY:  You had us worked up for nothing!

NARRATOR:  And that leads me into my prediction for this game, if you'll allow me to break character for a second.  There's no reason to think the Chargers can't do what the Steelers did two years ago; they fit the mold so far.  The Patriots have underestimated several teams on their way to perfection, and nearly lost on a few occasions.  It'll happen again this week.  But they have the Holy Handgrenade, also known as a game-winning pass from Brady to Moss to put them in the Super Bowl.  Chargers 24, Patriots 27.  Game MVP: Laurence Maroney - 22 rushes for 145 yds, TD.

Sir Favre and his men approached a rickety bridge.  They could see Glendale on the other side, and merely had to get across.  Their way was blocked by a fearsome Giant. 

GIANT:  Stop!  Who would cross the bridge of death must answer me these questions three, ‘ere the other side he see.

COUGHLIN:  Five, sir!

GIANT:  Five, then.

FAVRE:  Ask me the questions, bridgekeepeer, I'm not afraid.

GIANT:  What is your name?

FAVRE:  Sir Favre of the Green Bay Packers.

GIANT:  What is your favorite quest?

FAVRE:  I seek the Lombardi Trophy.

GIANT:  What is your favorite color?

FAVRE:  Green, followed closely by yellow.

GIANT:  How are you going to stop our pass rush?

FAVRE:  Same thing we did against the Seahawks and have been doing all season.  Quick passes to a spread offense, and a heavy dose of Ryan Grant - thanks for giving him to us, by the way.

GIANT:  How are you going to stop our offense?

FAVRE:  Pressure on Manning all game long, rough Plax up a little to make him a non-factor.

GIANT:  Fine, off you go.  [the GIANT allows SIR FAVRE to pass, throwing itself off the bridge into a chasm.]

NARRATOR:   Giants 16, Packers 31.  Game MVP: Brett Favre - 30 for 42 passing, 298 yds, 2 TDs.  So Sir Favre and the Packers went on to face Sir Brady and the Patriots. 

Let's all just hope this thing doesn't end with everyone getting arrested.

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