The premise: Coming off a Super Bowl victory, the Patriots open the 2013 season with a blowout win. Unfortunately, they get into trouble for Spygate II. As punishment, Roger Goodell orders the Patriots to fire Bill Belichick and replace him with Emmitt Smith.
This is a weekly feature that will take a newspaper reporter's perspective and follow the 2013 New England Patriots as they traverse the 2013 NFL season under Emmitt's guidance. This page will be updated every Thursday during the real 2008 NFL season.
Emmitt Smith name head coach of the New England Patriots in 2013!
PATRIOTS WIN 11-4 AMID CONFUSION; VICK ARRESTED
By Brandon Walsh, Boston Beat Senior Writer Monday, Sept. 16, 2013
As fair-weather fans wearing Georgia Bulldog sweater vests filled a half-capacity Georgia Dome, no one suspected that they were about to witness the strangest game in NFL history.
About an hour prior to kickoff, Atlanta police arrested Michael Vick. Early Sunday morning, the police department received a tip that Vick was conducting illegal catfighting matches in his home.
"That Vick fellow had Persian cats, black cats and Tabby cats locked up in cages, and there were definite signs of catfighting going on," said lieutenant Carl Winslow. "It was a horrible sight. Some of the kittens didn't even have any toys to play with.
"We believe Vick will be rotting in jail for a long time. He'll definitely learn his lesson while playing tennis and mini-golf with other white-collar criminals," Winslow continued while scarfing down a box of powdered doughnuts. "We received the tip from PETA member Rosie O'Donnell, but we suspect she just wanted to eat the cats, so we're going to toss her in prison as well."
Without Vick, the Falcons didn't have many options at quarterback. Three years ago, Matt Ryan mysteriously disappeared just five days after Vick was released from prison for his initial dogfighting charge. When asked if he knew anything about Ryan's whereabouts in a 2010 press conference, Vick yelled, "I swear, he's not buried under my house in Virginia! I swear on my life!"
Backup quarterback Joey Harrington was unavailable because he had piano lessons.
Head coach Mike Smith still had D.J. Shockley in reserve, but decided to go with Ryan Leaf, who was attending the game. As Leaf was being escorted out of the stadium for fighting with the beer guy, Smith spotted the former San Diego Charger quarterback and asked him to play.
Meanwhile, the Patriots were having problems of their own. In his first game as any sort of NFL coach, Emmitt Smith couldn't figure out how to use the headset to get the plays into Tom Brady.
"I was tryin and tryin, but I could not find the doggone On button!" Emmitt exclaimed.
The Patriots were consequently whistled for 45 delay-of-game penalties, including a sequence where they had six in a row. Emmitt promised something like that would never happen again.
"I am confidence we will have these problem fixed on our next games," Emmitt said. "One of my assistance coaches said we need to plug the wire into those holes."
With the game knotted up 4-4 in the fourth quarter - yep, that's two safeties each - Atlanta had the ball on its own 10-yard line with 20 seconds remaining in regulation, and seemed content to take the game into overtime. However, Leaf audibled out of a quarterback kneel, took the snap, dropped back into the pocket, stared down his receiver, and launched a pass that was picked off by Patriots Pro Bowl corner Terrence Wheatley, who ran into the end zone for a pick-six.
As Mike Smith approached Leaf and asked him what he was doing, Leaf spat in his face, took his clipboard and tossed it into the stands.
The Patriots, meanwhile, weren't complaining.
"He threw it right to me, and I think he did it intentionally," Wheatley said. "I saw him wink at me before he tossed the pick. He probably wanted to lose on purpose because he's a douche bag."
Leaf didn't take too kindly to that remark.
"F*** that mother-f***ing a*****e!" Leaf screamed. "If I had known he'd rat me out, I mean, uhh... call me a bad name, I wouldn't have thrown to that f****r! Ha! Next time I'll try to win! See how he likes it then! What the f**k are you looking at!?"
Editor's Note: This is the end of the article; Leaf attacked Boston Beat reporter Brandon Walsh during the post-game press conference. Leaf has been suspended for four games.
CHRIS HENRY SUSPENDED FOR SUNDAY'S BENGALS-PATRIOTS GAME
By Andrea Zuckerman, Boston Beat Senior Writer Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013
When the Bengals take the field on Sunday, they won't have No. 2 receiver Chris Henry, who was suspended for the 17th time in his NFL career on Tuesday.
This time, Henry might not be coming back to the league. Henry is being accused of providing alcohol to an unborn baby.
According to several witnesses, Henry kidnapped a pregnant woman and took her to a hospital. He then forced her into a room, threw her on to a bed, grabbed an intravenous tube and stuck it into her stomach. Once the tube was inside, Henry allegedly pumped some tequila, rum and beer into the woman's belly.
Henry offered a statement to the media to the behest of his lawyers.
"Hey man, I was just tryin' to hook a girl up with some alcohol," Henry said. "But if she wants to get freaky or whatever, I'm down."
While Roger Goodell said he would kick Henry out of the league for good, a broken-down Marvin Lewis wasn't as optimistic.
"Every time that idiot gets into trouble, they always say they're going to kick him out of the league, but they never do," Lewis said. "And once he's re-instated, Mike Brown's going to promise that he won't re-sign him, but he eventually will. This has happened 10 times already. I'm prepared. I'm not even going to clean out Chris' locker."
Emmitt was pleased that the Bengals would be missing one of their starting receivers, but did not condone Henry's actions.
"I have not heard of Charles Henry before but I am happy he will not be on the fields when he play the Cincinnati Reds," Emmitt said. "As long as you are not killing anybody, getting anybody shot at, going to jail or giving liquor to a baby's momma's baby, then I do not have any issues. It is ilresponsible to do these."
Editor's Note: This is the end of the article; Andrea Zuckerman tried so hard to decipher what Emmitt's quote meant that her nose started gushing blood. She was taken to Boston Memorial Hospital, where she will undergo treatment for a brain aneurysm.