Sportsman's Daily

 

Critics Agree: Jets vs. Fins Has All the Makings of Komedy Klassik

Combined ineptitude promises to produce at least 45 minutes of soda-through-the-nose laughter – and at least 15 minutes of stunned silence

Gallagher

Rick Gallagher, Miami's assistant special teams coach, admits that he and the Dolphins staff have been unable to create or sustain the level of "mindless manic energy" that separates the bad teams from the comically inept ones.

MIAMI, FL (Sportsman’s Daily Wire Service) — Going into Sunday’s “contest,” both teams have combined for 20 losses and 2 wins. The 0-11 Dolphins have been nothing short of perfect in their sustained futility. The Jets, meanwhile, have somehow managed two wins, though, not surprisingly, one came at the expense of the Fins – a 31-28 squeaker in which the losing Dolphins outgained the Jets, 424-256.

“We will try to make it a football game,” said Jets Coach Eric Mangini, “though we don’t want to disappoint fans looking forward to an afternoon of farce and unscripted sight gags. Actually, we’re usually much more effective from a pure comedy standpoint when we go off-script and improvise – that’s where the magic happens.”

With five games yet to play, the Jets have already used just about every classic comic stratagem in the book, from mistaken identify (i.e., throwing the ball to the beer vendor in the third row and pretending to be shocked when it’s picked off), to hopeless haplessness (i.e., the time they were whistled for having 19 men on the field, which included two clowns in Jets helmets trailing an elephant with a loose stool).

“Not winning on a regular basis does make it easier to perform in otherwise hostile environments – not including the Meadowlands, which is always a tough room,” said David Bowens, Jets linebacker. “As soon as we take the field, everyone’s mood brightens. Fans, opposing players, they’re all waiting to see what kind of crazy shit we’re going to pull next – it’s like an Adam Sandler comedy out there, if Sandler blew assignments like a gay porn star and consistently overthrew his co-stars by thirty yards.”

While the Dolphins have also produced their share of comedy this season, their comic stylings tend to be several shades darker, as they continue their relentless pursuit of a perfect 0-16 season.

“Yes, ok, sure, our product has more of an edge to it,” said Vonnie Holliday, a defensive tackle for the Dolphins. “The Jets have two wins under their belt, they can afford to play to the cheap seats and resort to the silly sight gags they do. I’ll admit, sometimes it works – the time their center hiked a baked ham to the punter who spontaneously produced eating utensils and two sides – creamed spinach and spiced apples -- was a classic. You’ve got to give them credit. People don’t realize how much comedy and football have in common – both are very tough, though right now our comedy is more hard-hitting that our secondary, which is a problem.”

At a charity event, a visibly agitated Don Shula was asked about the Dolphins’ blooper reel of a season. “They’re a laughing stock, and I don’t see what’s so funny about that.”

On cue, a fan stuck out his foot as former Dolphin placekicker Garo Yepremian happened by, sending the diminutive “keeker of touchdowns” tumbling end-over-end (and wide-left).

“Now that,” admitted Shula, “is funny.”

Possibly the funniest aspect in all this is that the Dolphins are actually favored, though it’s unclear if they’re favored to win or get the game’s biggest belly laugh (or both). Players are busy preparing new material for Sunday’s sub-marquee showdown, and spending an inordinate amount of time breaking down film (we watched “Duck Soup” with the Jets’ linebackers, caught the opening of “Spaceballs” with the Dolphins’ receiver corps, and sampled some grainy footage from Eric Mangini’s private stash showing Bill Belichick performing impersonations at a New Jersey comedy club – his Jack Benny killed).

“As a performer you want your audience to laugh in the right places,” said Bowens. “But to tell you the truth, it’s not the laughs I’m worried about – it’s the stretches of stunned silence. It’s death. Being laughed off the field is one thing, and being booed off isn’t great…but complete indifference or worse, horror to the point of being unable to speak or throw things, like maybe a cooler or car battery? Now that’s hard to take.”

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