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 EASILY DESPITE RESTING STARTERS
By Steve Sanders, Boston Beat Senior Writer Monday, Dec. 30, 2013
Coaches tend to have a different approach for Week 17 if they happen to be locked into their playoff position. Tony Dungy is known for resting his starters. Mike Tomlin yells at Santa Claus and tries to win at all cost. Boomer Esiason puts even more energy into bashing Dan Marino.
It was clear Emmitt was going for the former strategy during his Wednesday press conference.
"Playing the starters in Week 17, if someone get injuried, it can not only ruin their career, it can also ruin their next games... game," Emmitt stated.
Emmitt kept his word. No starter logged a single minute against the Broncos on Sunday. Despite that fact, New England still managed to win 28-0, thanks to backup Jeff Dugan's four touchdown runs. Dugan ran 77 times for 86 yards, including the quartet of 1-yard scores.
"This is the proudest day of my life," said offensive coordinator Brad Childress with a tear in his eye. "I've always dreamed of unleashing my 'Jeff Dugan Package.' It just goes to show that sometimes it's better to get the backup fullback involved early and often, instead of the star quarterback and receivers.
Unfortunately, doctors would later rule that Dugan's career could be over because of the fact that he received more carries today than in his entire tenure as a pro. Dugan tore both ACLs, MCLs, PCLs, labrums and pectoral muscles throughout the contest, yet Childress continued to utilize him.
"He's a tough warrior," Childress boasted. "I'm confident that he'll be ready for practice on Wednesday."
While New England improved to 13-3, Denver suffered its fifth consecutive 0-16 campaign. Head coach Rod Marinelli, who coincidentally has been head coach of the Broncos during that five-year stretch, seemed optimistic.
"We tried our best today, and that's all that matters to me," Marinelli said. "We gave it our all. We tried our best. But sometimes that's not good enough. We'll regroup over the summer so we can snap our 83-game losing streak."
Denver is not expected to make a coaching change; team owner Pat Bowlen recently gave Marinelli a huge contract extension this morning.
"Dude, I don't care if we go 0-5 billion," Bowlen said. "What's important is that Rod doesn't make crappy draft picks every year! Our 0-83 record is because of Mike Shanahan! Shanahan's to blame!"
The Broncos are also expected to retain Marinelli's daughter, who replaced her husband as the team's defensive coordinator. Marinelli's daughter, renowned for her bad taste in men, commanded a defense that surrendered 51 points per game this season.
AFC PLAYOFF PREVIEW
By Steve Sanders, Boston Beat Senior Writer Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014
At 13-3, the Patriots are the favorites to come out of the AFC. But what about the other five playoff teams looking to debacle Emmitt's new team? Here's a quick review of the other squads in the AFC bracket:
Indianapolis Colts: The Colts wrapped up the other first-round bye with a 12-4 record. Peyton Manning, playing in his 16th NFL season, says he's confident about his team's chances.
"Hi, I'm Peyton Manning," Manning said. "Tired of watching only four games each Sunday? Get DIRECTV. You can... oh, what? We're not doing DIRECTV? My bad. Hi, I'm Peyton Manning. Drink Gatorade. It's better than water if you... oh, not Gatorade either? I see. Hi, I'm Peyton Manning. Don't get stuck with an unwanted baby. Use Trojan condoms. Tom Brady didn't, and... oh, this is an interview for the playoffs? I see. Yeah, I'm confident we'll do well."
Oakland Raiders: When the Patriots beat the Raiders earlier in the season, no one in New England expected a possible rematch in the playoffs.
Well, meet Glandor.
Angry that yet another coach deceived him, Al Davis hired scientists to design the ultimate football player. A week later, Glandor lined up in the backfield.
At 14 feet, 10 inches, and 1,750 pounds, Glandor has proven impossible to tackle.
"Glandor... is a... great player..." Undead Al said. "Most importantly... he runs... a 0.8 40..."
Pittsburgh Steelers: With Santa Claus no longer allowed in Mike Tomlin's press conferences, the Easter Bunny decided to make an appearance. Big mistake.
Tomlin ordered the Easter Bunny to leave. When the rabbit wouldn't comply, Tomlin motioned him into a back room. Five minutes later, Tomlin came out of the room with blood all over his hands and shirt. The Easter Bunny was nowhere to be found.
Kansas City Chiefs: After a hot start, the Chiefs cooled off and eventually lost their divisional lead to the Raiders. But Herm Edwards and his 52 Tim Tebow clones aren't worried one bit. The reason? The return of general manager Tom Cruise.
Cruise left the team in November. According to the former actor, he had to help out in a war on Tau Epislon IV.
"The dragon people of Tau Epislon IV needed my help," Cruise said. "The flying cyclopses of Gamma Delta IX were invading. Luckily for the dragons, I showed up just in time. I used my light spear to get rid of all the flying cyclopses, and returned the rainbow egg to the Dragon Queen. Now, I'm here to help the Chiefs win the Super Bowl."
Despite all of Emmitt's magic this year, nothing he has done can compete with that.
New York Jets: In his second go-around with the Jets, Eric Mangini didn't seem too worried about being the No. 6 seed. Then again, Mangini didn't even talk about the playoffs.
"Guys, I'm too busy trying to figure out what to do for New Years to talk about football," Mangini said. "I was invited to Shannon Sharpe's, and I'm afraid my parents are going to make me go. But I'm hoping Randy Moss invites me to his house. He's having a big party, but he told me that there might not be enough room for me. I'm still holding out hope though."
With a first-round matchup against Glandor and the Raiders, something tells me Mangini should have greater things to worry about.