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Thoughtful Nation Questioning Whether Anyone Can Really 'Win' The Super Bowl

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NFL Vows To Fix Bottomless Pit On Levi’s Stadium Field Before Super Bowl

SANTA CLARA, CA—Following persistent safety concerns regarding the playing surface throughout the regular season, the NFL made firm assurances Friday to both the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers that the bottomless pit in the middle of the field at Levi’s Stadium will be fully repaired before Super Bowl 50.

Area Man Would Hate Cam Newton Even If He Was Different Minority

MURRAY, KY—Adamantly stressing that his disdain for the 26-year-old quarterback is not based on any racial prejudice toward African Americans, local 49-year-old Michael Willet told reporters Friday that he would hate Cam Newton even if the Carolina Panthers star was a different minority.

Rex, Rob Ryan Finally Get Bunk Beds They Always Wanted

BUFFALO, NY—Howling with excitement after seeing the brand-new furniture set in the corner of the bedroom they now share, Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan and his twin brother, recently hired Bills assistant head coach Rob Ryan, finally got the bunk beds they always wanted, sources confirmed Monday.

NCAA Investigating God For Giving Gifts To Athletes

INDIANAPOLIS—Amid a new scandal that many are already calling the most damaging in the history of collegiate sports, the NCAA announced Tuesday that it has launched an investigation into God, Divine Creator of Heaven and Earth, for allegedly giving gifts to student-athletes.

Defunct 4-Year-Old Sports Blog Still Lurking On Internet

FORT COLLINS, CO—Noting that the site devoted to the Colorado Rockies and their minor league affiliates had long ceased being updated without any explanation, sources confirmed Friday that local man Ben Gutowski’s defunct four-year-old sports blog, “The Rockies Report,” was still quietly lurking on the internet.

BCS Computer Takes Over Every Screen In Country During College Football National Championship Game

‘BCS Will Live Forever,’ Reads Text Suddenly Appearing On All Televisions, Computers, Phones Simultaneously

GLENDALE, AZ—Noting that all television feeds and online streams suddenly cut out simultaneously, sources confirmed that the BCS computer took over every single screen in the United States midway through Monday evening’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game between Alabama and Clemson.

Grizzly Bear Catches Spawning Michael Phelps In Jaws

KENAI, AK—Sitting on a rock atop the powerful, churning rapids, a grizzly bear reportedly caught Michael Phelps in its jaws Tuesday as the sexually mature Olympian leaped out of the water while swimming upstream to spawn.

Area Dad Thinks Refs Should Just Let Them Play Football

DOYLESTOWN, PA—Facetiously questioning how the game had suddenly become a non-contact sport, local father Aaron Harper confirmed his belief Thursday that referees officiating a Thanksgiving game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions should just let them play football out there.

Punter Just Praying Returner Doesn’t Make It All The Way To Him

JACKSONVILLE, FL—Growing increasingly nervous as he contemplated being the team’s last line of defense, Tennessee Titans punter Brett Kern was reportedly praying Thursday that Jacksonville Jaguars returner Rashad Greene wouldn’t make it all the way down the field to him.

Defensive Tackle’s Innocence Shattered By Play-Action Pass

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—Saying the eye-opening experience has forever altered his worldview, Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus admitted to reporters Friday that a play-action pass play by the New York Jets had totally shattered his youthful innocence.

Royals Prove Doubters Who Were Still Paying Attention Wrong

NEW YORK—Having capped off their championship run with a 7-2 victory over the New York Mets in Game 5 Sunday night, members of the Kansas City Royals expressed their delight at silencing the doubters who still happened to be paying any attention to the World Series.

Keys To The Matchup: Mets vs. Royals

The Mets face the Royals in this year’s Fall Classic, with the two teams battling for the chance to bring World Series glory back to either Kansas City or incredibly small pockets of New York. Onion Sports breaks down what each team must do to win.

The Mets face the Royals in this year’s Fall Classic, with the two teams battling for the chance to bring World Series glory back to either Kansas City or incredibly small pockets of New York. Onion Sports breaks down what each team must do to win.

No One In Gym Class Volleyball Game Willing To Set Ball

LITTLE ELM, TX—With neither team having completed more than two hits during a rally before sending the ball back over the net, sources confirmed Wednesday that no one in Jefferson High School’s third-period gym class was willing to set during a volleyball game.

Strongside/Weakside: Chase Utley

Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley has long been considered one of the best players in baseball, consistently making clean, solid contact with opponents’ fibulas. Is he any good?

Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley has long been considered one of the best players in baseball, consistently making clean, solid contact with opponents’ fibulas. Is he any good?

Jadeveon Clowney Succumbs To Battle With Ankle Sprain

HOUSTON—Noting that the 22-year-old was a “wonderful young man who will be immensely missed by all who knew him,” the Houston Texans announced Thursday that linebacker Jadeveon Clowney tragically succumbed to his battle with a right-ankle sprain.

Strongside/Weakside: Odell Beckham Jr.

Since bursting onto the scene in 2014, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has tormented opposing defenders with his dazzling one-handed punches. Is he any good?

Since bursting onto the scene in 2014, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has tormented opposing defenders with his dazzling one-handed punches. Is he any good?

WNBA MVP Devastated After Roommate Moves Out Without Any Warning

CHICAGO—Saying she is now desperately searching for any options that will prevent her from being evicted, Chicago Sky forward and 2015 WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne was reportedly left scrambling Thursday after her roommate moved out of their apartment without any warning whatsoever.

Strongside/Weakside: Chip Kelly

Known as one of the most innovative minds in football, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has implemented an offense that racks up huge numbers in the loss column. Is he any good?

Billy Crystal Tearfully Admits He’s Never Seen, Been To A Yankees Game

‘I Don’t Even Know What The Yankees Are,’ Crystal Says

NEW YORK—Admitting that he could simply no longer continue living a lie, veteran actor, comedian, and self-professed New York Yankees fanatic Billy Crystal tearfully confessed Thursday that he has never seen or attended a single Yankees game in his life, and indeed has absolutely no idea who or what the Yankees even are.

New LSU Stadium Shuttle Transports Tigers Fans Back To Woods

BATON ROUGE, LA—Saying that they hope to make traveling to and from football games more convenient and enjoyable, officials from the LSU athletic department announced Friday that the university will now offer a round-trip stadium shuttle bus to transport Tigers fans back to the woods.

Strongside/Weakside: Marcus Mariota

With an incredible four-touchdown performance to start his NFL career, rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota showed that he has what it takes to be the Tennessee Titans’ new silver lining. Is he any good?

With an incredible four-touchdown performance to start his NFL career, rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota showed that he has what it takes to be the Tennessee Titans’ new silver lining. Is he any good?

Giants Move Tom Coughlin To Assisted-Coaching Facility

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—Saying that they held off taking such a drastic step for as long as they could, officials from the New York Giants confirmed Wednesday that the team had made the difficult decision to move head coach Tom Coughlin into an assisted-coaching facility.

2015 NFL Season Preview

The 2015 NFL season is poised to be among the most memorable and eventful in league history, with several of the notable moments hopefully occurring on the field. Onion Sports breaks down everything you need to know before the season kicks off.

Jayson Werth Catches Foul Ball Without Spilling Beer

WASHINGTON—In an incredible play that drew cheers from the whole stadium, Washington Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth managed to catch a foul ball Tuesday night without spilling the beer he was holding in his other hand.

Strongside/Weakside: Serena Williams

Serena Williams is aiming to clinch a historic calendar Grand Slam at this year’s U.S. Open, forever enshrining her as the last American tennis player worth talking about. Is she any good?

Journeyman Fan Joins Sixth NFL Team In 5 Years

HELENA, MT—Continuing his lengthy trek around the league, sources confirmed Friday that 36-year-old journeyman fan Brian Ferretti has joined the Arizona Cardinals, his sixth team in the past five years.

Strongside/Weakside: Jose Mourinho

Having won titles in Spain, England, Italy, and Portugal, manager Jose Mourinho has cemented himself as one of the most successful megalomaniacs in soccer. Is he any good?

Having won titles in Spain, England, Italy, and Portugal, manager Jose Mourinho has cemented himself as one of the most successful megalomaniacs in soccer. Is he any good?

Highlights From NFL Training Camp

With preseason games underway and preparations intensifying across the league, the NFL has had no shortage of stories to keep fans occupied before the new season kicks off. Onion Sports breaks down the biggest moments from this summer’s training camp.
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Thoughtful Nation Questioning Whether Anyone Can Really 'Win' The Super Bowl

MIAMI—As the Super Bowl captures the country's attention, excitement over the NFL's championship game is muted somewhat by the persistent question of whether winning, or losing for that matter, holds any absolute value—a question that has many football fans pondering the meaning of the game itself.

"We always say that one football team 'wins' the Super Bowl and one football team 'loses' it, but when you think about it—really think about it outside the narrow framework of scoring points—is that an accurate assessment of what happens?" Wheeling, WV resident Matthew Holland said. "One team celebrates while another walks solemnly back into the tunnel, but why? Another football season will begin again soon, and in the fullness of time, another Super Bowl will be played as if nothing had happened. And in a way, nothing has."

Holland's ambivalence toward what he calls "the tenuous and ephemeral concept of victory" is representative of a large and growing movement in football fandom. Although Super Bowl parties are going ahead as scheduled, many are puzzled, and even resentful, saying that in the span of a lifetime nobody ever really wins or loses, a fact that, by natural deduction, would also include Super Bowl participants.

"Name one absolute thing that makes one team a Super Bowl winner and the other a loser besides the score," Colts fan Gary Lam said. "You can't. It's all relative. They both play in the same game for the same amount of time in the same sport after playing the same number of games. Any differences, such as how many times one team gets the ball to a certain area or propels it through the uprights, are relatively minor. Saying that scoring fewer points is what makes a loser is disingenuous."

"The Cowboys scored more points than the other team in quite a few Super Bowls, but they were huge losers," Lam added. "And still are."

The question of whether a Super Bowl could actually be won took root in the popular consciousness when ESPN analyst Chris Berman posited the idea while reviewing 2009 highlights during a regular-season broadcast of Sunday NFL Countdown. Berman, dictionary in hand, said that winning was defined not only as finishing first, as in a race, but as succeeding by striving or effort, or by overcoming an adversary.

Berman further theorized that these conflicting definitions muddy the idea that there can be a clear-cut Super Bowl winner, stating, "After much thought, I am left with the question: What if both teams are succeeding by striving? And what if both teams actually have conflicting concepts of what constitutes their opposition—not a mere football team, but an adversary physical, metaphysical, or perhaps even emotional? If we agree that this is the case, then each team may have its own unique definition of success independent of the other, a definition rendering any so-called 'final' score moot."

Berman's ideas grew in popularity as the segment spread through YouTube, gained momentum on various football message boards, and inspired long late-night conversations among millions of ardent football fans. Soon the nation began to consider the idea that the Super Bowl may not be the final, ultimate expression of football.

"All our lives, or at least from the time it was first played in 1967, we believed the Super Bowl was something to be won, but we never bothered to question, What if that's all wrong? What if that's all just hubristic bullshit?" said Robert Holcomb, owner and head bartender of Rob's Sports Dugout in Wantagh, NY. "So yeah, I'll open my bar and watch these people cheer for their team, but maybe for the first time, I won't know what they're really cheering for. In the end, aren't we all just a barely self-aware collection of atoms? Couldn't we all return to dust at any moment?"

Although many fans share Holcomb's misgivings, most say they will still watch the game this Sunday and will do their best not to let existential questions affect their enjoyment.

"I am going to watch the game for the tackling, running, and throwing, not because they are a means to an end, but simply because each action should be celebrated in and of itself," New Orleans resident David Menninger said. "After all, whether or not a Super Bowl can actually be won is a question that will never be answered to the satisfaction of all football fans."

"Except in the case of the Vikings," Menninger added. "If there's one thing we all know for sure, it's that those schmucks are never going to win the Super Bowl."

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