Dr. Toon: Summer 2010
A semi-tongue-in-cheek description of the show would actually read like this:
10-year- old Ish has learned that an otherworldly force has been stashed in all 32 NFL stadiums (apparently the otherworldly stashers can't count; there are only 31 stadiums. The Giants and Jets share digs). Ish faces off against the evil but misnamed Sudden Death: He should be called "Sudden Death Under Regular Season Rules," since the format is now different for the playoffs. During the playoffs, the villain would be called "Sudden Death if the Team Winning the Overtime Toss Kicks a Field Goal and the Subsequent Possession by the Opposing Team Results in a Field Goal." However, the villain can situationally be called Sudden Death if the Team Winning the Overtime Toss Scores a Touchdown on That Possession." Got it? Good.
Sudden Death etc. is aided by an evil legion of "Blitz Botz" (actually players arrested or under suspension for things like dog-fighting operations, involuntary manslaughter while driving drunk, dealing cases of "Purple Drank," attempted rape, illegal firearm possession, doping and/or domestic/interpersonal violence). Some of the Blitz Botz are, it should be noted, far more benign. They are simply holding out to have their contracts redone for much more cash even though there are still two or three years to go on the bloated originals. Others may be preparing to split during the free agency period even though Sudden Death has them under contact for the 2010 season. They tend to become locker room cancers.
Is it a good thing that Ish has the help of NFL coaches, some of whom are not on speaking terms with each other and half of whom are on the "hot seat" from intrusive owners and angry fans for not winning four Super Bowls in five years? Ish must hurry, since many of these same owners are clamoring for new stadiums built with municipal funds, so that that the onerous burden on the fans can be compounded by the selling of Personal Seat Licenses, which are prerequisite for obtaining season tickets. Hopefully, the all-powerful shards can then be placed in all-important luxury boxes. Otherwise, the owners might move the teams to other cities and leave the core shards lying out in open fields. Not good.
BTW: Can an otherworldly civilization actually hide the pieces of their shattered planet's core in an NFL stadium and not have anyone notice?
Peyton Manning: Who the hell left this glowing piece of alien rock in the whirlpool?
Reggie Wayne: Don't go near it, Peyton! It looks radioactive!
Joseph Addai: Holy Jesus! Call a bomb squad! Call anybody!
I also hope that the NFL players are committed to Ish and his quest, since they face a potential work stoppage and lockout during the 2011 season. At last glance, the NFLPA (the player's union) has ascertained something like "110% certainty" that there will be a labor stoppage and no pro football after this season. Core shards may need a long shelf life if Ish can't get the quest done in 2010. It is also hoped that none of the players tagged to appear as Ish's allies misbehave in the manner of a Blitz Bot during the season (as Plaxico Burress did); some episodes might have to be cut and we won't know what happened to the corresponding shard. Don't you need all 32 to make a planetary core?
Hey, it's still got to be better than Where's Huddles, right?
Don't get me wrong. I love the NFL. I have cheered for the same team since 1967, have the DirecTV Sunday ticket and have been known to parade around at work clad in the jersey of my team's quarterback during the playoff season. Yeah, I play fantasy football and can name the entire starting offensive lines for every team in the NFC East. I have exhibited fits of startling immaturity, during which I have called innocent players on the Dallas Cowboys names that their worst enemies would not utter. I'm a rabid fan. But I have my reservations.