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 on 2014!
PATRIOTS KICK OFF 2014 SEASON AGAINST THE JETS
By Alex Rodriguez, Special to the NFL Bible Network Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014
A year ago today, Jets head coach Eric Mangini ratted out Bill Belichick for spying on his team for a second time, prompting NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to replace Belichick with former ESPN analyst Emmitt Smith.
Though the move was intended as a punishment, the Patriots would go on to win the AFC Championship. This offseason, Goodell made the move permanent; until Emmitt retires, he will be coaching New England no matter what transpires.
So here we are, a year later, and we're back at the scene of the crime. Patriots-Jets. Week 1.
Though this figures to be an intense divisional matchup, Mangini surprised the media by focusing on something else besides this game.
"I'm having my first-annual NFL Kickoff Slumber Party at my house Saturday night," Mangini exclaimed. "All of my cool friends are going to be there like Randy Moss, Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald. We're going to have pizza, ice cream cake and Nintendo Wii. I even told Shannon Sharpe that the party's next weekend so he doesn't come over and ruin things for me."
It's pretty clear that Mangini and Sharpe don't exactly have a mutual friendship, though the two are working together for the first time.
Remember, this is Mangini?s third year in his second term as the Jets coach. Mangini took over again once Rex Ryan got into trouble for ordering hookers for all of his players the night after a victory. The front office told the media they needed someone less risky than Ryan.
"Yeah, it's true that Shannon Sharpe is my offensive coordinator this year," Mangini vented. "I wanted someone cool to be my offensive coordinator, but my parents made me do it. They said I couldn't have my slumber party if Shannon wasn't my offensive coordinator. I just hope this doesn't ruin my chances with Erin Andrews..."
Sharpe, meanwhile, seemed excited at the prospect of working with his good buddy.
"OIGhj4 Ge wEgohoi RG roGirg RHG8h orGp gw e GFeojg," Sharpe said, though no one understood him.
What the media was expecting to hear from Mangini was an explanation for what was going on with his new star receiver Plaxico Burress.
Burress was arrested last weekend in New York for jaywalking without a license. New York district attorney Robert Morgenthau is once again trying to make an example of Burress; though the normal fine for jaywalking in the Big Apple is $25, Morgenthau wants to send Burress to prison for 50 years.
Unfortunately for Burress, his crappy lawyer was once again at a loss, unaware that he could call for a mistrial because Burress was not getting a fair trial.
"Derrrrr, I dunno what to do here derrrrrr," said Burress' attorney earlier in the week.
Without Burress in the lineup, things will be more difficult for New York's starting quarterback. Perhaps the greater question is who exactly will be under center for the Jets on Sunday. Mangini told the media he made his decision between Mark Sanchez and Brett Ratliff, but didn't want to announce it just yet.
"Why would I tell you guys this information now?" Mangini asked. "I'm going to announce my starting quarterback at my slumber party. That way all of my cool friends like Randy and Calvin will definitely come."
Meanwhile, Emmitt told reporters he was struggling to prepare for the Jets without knowing who their quarterback would be.
"I am at a lost," Emmitt said. "My new offensive coord... uhh... coordination Josh McDonald's printed out a quotation from the Webline that say, 'If you do has two quarterback, you do not has any quarterback.' Does that mean the New York Jet do not have a single quarterback on their roster?
"I am looking at their debt chart right now and I see three or four guys that have the letters Q and B next to their name," Emmitt continued. "If you put these two letter together, it make the phrase, 'Quarterback.' I am puzzle by it. Very puzzle indeed."
Stay tuned for breaking news when Mangini announces his quarterback. We'll have it here for you on the NFL Bible Network, where we report all the news - even if it's not true.
PATRIOTS WIN ON A TECHNICALITY; MANGINI ANNOYED
By Alex Rodriguez, Special to the NFL Bible Network Monday, Sept. 8, 2014
This looked like the game that would never end.
Kickoff was at 8:35 Eastern on Sunday night. The Patriots scored quickly, as Anthony Morelli inaccurately heaved the ball downfield toward newly acquired receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey. The pass never had a chance; the ball sailed into the upper deck of the stands in the back of the end zone. Even if it was on target, Heyward-Bey would have dropped it anyway.
Fortunately for the Patriots, beleaguered cornerback Lito Sheppard karate-chopped Heyward-Bey before the ball flew over their heads. Though the pass was obviously uncatchable, the official had no choice but to throw the flag; it was that blatant of a penalty.
The Patriots scored a touchdown on the next play with a Morelli sneak at the 1-yard line, though New England had to burn two timeouts so Emmitt could explain the situation to Morelli. We're still unclear whether Morelli misunderstood Emmitt or was simply too drunk to process the instructions in his alcohol-laced brain.
The Jets took the ensuing kickoff to their own 40. Eric Mangini did not announce his starting quarterback at his slumber party, so all Jet fans were wondering whom he'd go with. Unfortunately, Mangini didn't send either quarterback onto the field. Instead, 10 offensive players lined up and no one was under center to take the snap. The play clock expired, and the Jets were pushed back to the 35.
Forty seconds later, the Jets were on their own 30. Then the 25, then the 20, 15, 10, 5, 2.5, 1.25, and so on. Eventually, New York was so far inside its own 1-yard line that the officials didn't even bother moving the ball anymore.
As this was going on, Mangini was seen scowling on the sideline with a demeanor that would have made Oscar the Grouch proud. Mangini later told the media he was content to do this all night. Since the clock wasn't running, this could have gone on forever.
Fortunately for everyone at the game, Roger Goodell phoned in at a quarter of 1 a.m. He informed the officials that he just made a new rule saying that any team with 350 delay-of-game penalties in a single contest automatically has to forfeit. Because the Jets were already at 363 such infractions, they automatically lost the game.
So, why did Mangini refuse to name a starting quarterback? He answered all of the questions after the game.
"I planned on naming the starting quarterback at my slumber party, but no one showed up!" Mangini whined. "Shannon Sharpe showed up even though I told him the sleepover was next weekend. Shannon and I waited and waited and waited. No one came! It's all Shannon's fault!"
Mangini suddenly burst into tears.
"Now Erin Andrews will never go out with me!" Mangini whimpered. "She's going to think I'm a dork because I hung out with Shannon Sharpe! It's not fair! I hate my parents for making me be friends with him!"
"Gj ejgi wewog 4hg4gopgqfhqof ogh5h5 rejp f," Sharpe chimed in.
Emmitt, meanwhile, was relieved to win on a technicality.
"I am so confuse - do having two quarterback mean the same as no quarterback, even though you can point at the quarterback and count one and... uhh... the number after one?" Emmitt asked himself. "The importance of these matter is that we come away with a victory on a technication... uhh... technivation. And now we have to prepare for... techlitification. Sorry, technification."
On the other hand, new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was very pleased with the victory.
"O-M-G did you see those two offensive plays we had?" McDaniels asked to no one in particular, waving his hands like a crazed lunatic. "I like called such great plays and like we scored a touchdown on only two plays. It doesn't matter who is in our offense, I can put points on the board no matter what. McDaniels for the win, guys."
Asked about McDaniels' play-calling on the two offensive plays, Emmitt said he was pleased.
"Josh McDonald's is obviously a good offensive coord... uhh... coorderation and I am please for now," Emmitt revealed. "But we have only a li-bit of evident to work with. We need more evident. Not a li-bit more evident. We need a lot-bit more evident. And once we get a lot-bit more evident, we will know if Josh McDonald's is good enough to lead the Patriots to the Super Bowl championship where we can win uhh... Super Bowl championship."