INT. RECORDING STUDIO – DAY
The booth is empty. CONNOR, THE INTERN’S desk is vacant, with only a single banker’s box of random mementos sitting on top awaiting collection. The PRODUCER sits in front of the exterior control panel, fiddling with knobs in preparation for the first broadcast of the offseason. DJ 3000 is positioned to the side of the exterior panel, practically quivering with anticipation.
PRODUCER: So, are you all ready for the first broadcast of the year?
DJ 3000: AFFIRMATIVE.
PRODUCER: So I’m sorry to spring this on you at the last minute, but I didn’t want to spoil the surprise…
DJ 3000: THAT’S OKAY CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF COMPUTERS LIKE SURPRISES. WHAT’S THE SURPRISE?
PRODUCER: It’s a day of firsts for us. First show in three years without Connor, first show in our newly renovated studio, and our first-ever show that’s hosted by a non-human guest.
DJ 3000: [close to tears] YOU MEAN…IT’S FINALLY TIME…?
PRODUCER: [puts a gentle hand on DJ3000’s upper control panel] That’s right, friend, it’s finally time.
DJ 3000: [swelling with anticipation, fires up circuits to speak…]
— [magical portal to woodland realm flies open] —
PRODUCER: Ah, fantastic, right on schedule. DJ 3000, I want you to meet Fumblesnapskin.
FUMBLESNAPSKIN: [in a high-pitched, elfin voice] Greetings!
PRODUCER: He’s a woodland spirit known as a Romonculus! These little fellows are football’s equivalent of a “ghost in the machine,” just like you!
DJ 3000: [sparks with rage, then switches into sulk mode]
PRODUCER: We’re a little tight on time, are you ready to jump right in?
FUMBLESNAPSKIN: I am!
PRODUCER: [punches “ON AIR” button] Hello! Welcome, welcome, welcome! It’s time for a brand new season of KDFO’s Request Line. You call your song, we’ll get it on…the air. I’ve got a very special guest, straight from the woodlands of North Texas, in his first ever media appearance, one of the most influential creatures in Cowboys history, the incomparable Fumblesnapskin!
FUMBLESNAPSKIN: Thanks for having me, it’s an honor to be here.
PRODUCER: Now you mentioned in your pre-interview that there were a couple of misconceptions about your kind that wanted to clear up for our listeners out there.
FUMBLESNAPSKIN: That’s right. It’s said that we only exist for a few seconds. That’s nonsense. We live for as long as our deeds are remembered. And a lot of people think that we exist only to disrupt the efforts of the Dallas Cowboys. We like to think of ourselves in a little more positive light. It’s not that we want to hurt the Cowboys, it’s that we want to help their opponents.
PRODUCER: Ah, so that explains your involvement in the Super Bowl.
FUMBLESNAPSKIN: Yes, as you can imagine how we were eager to give the Eagles a little lift. Even though for wee folk such as us, birds of prey are our natural enemies, ha ha ha.
PRODUCER: Yeah, I could see that.
FUMBLESNAPSKIN: [brightly] Why just last month one of my nephews found himself under the shadow of a peregrine falcon and was roundly slaughtered.
PRODUCER: I…um…yeah. So I understand it was a pretty busy weekend for the DFO pantheon.
FUMBLESNAPSKIN: Indeed it was. Everyone was there.
PRODUCER: Even Beergh?
FUMBLESNAPSKIN: [smiles wryly] Ah, Beergh. Well, he was present, but it’s true that he just kind of phoned this one in. Coach Belichick made some kind of Faustian bargain – we’re still not sure who with…
PRODUCER: [facetiously] Nick Saban?
FUMBLESNAPSKIN: [seriously] It’s possible. Anyhow, the Patriots players were effectively invisible to Beergh during this postseason. So he spent most of the game sulking. He popped in a few times but you could tell his heart wasn’t in it.
PRODUCER: And regarding the case of Malcolm Butler, there are rumors that the goddess of NFL sexual misconduct, Syphillisis was somehow involved?
FUMBLESNAPSKIN: Absolutely untrue. The Bringer of Consequences is pretty active during Super Bowl weekend, but she had nothing to do with Butler getting benched.
PRODUCER: So tell me about the missed field goal.
FUMBLESNAPSKIN: Oh, that one was wild, wasn’t it? You remember those old Three Stooges clips where the three of them would reach for something at the same time and all bonk heads? That play was just like that for us. I did my magic on the snap, not knowing that Shan’Khor already had something planned for the kick. And then of course Doink wanted in on the action, like he always does.
PRODUCER: And now the question that has been on everyone’s mind: where the hell was Travestius? He had a pair of golden opportunities to make his presence known. What in Hades’ name happened?
FUMBLESNAPSKIN: [giggles] Hee hee hee! Ah yes, that. That, my friend, was the work of Distracticon.
PRODUCER: Distracticon? I’m not familiar with that name.
FUMBLESNAPSKIN: His sphere of influence is off-field distractions. After some persuasion from Doink, he intervened to place Travestius into a time loop during the Corey Clement touchdown review. So Travestius was simply looking at the replay over, and over, and over again while the rest of the game went on normally.
PRODUCER: But wait, wouldn’t Travestius notice that the replay was seeming to take forever?
FUMBLESNAPSKIN: Yes, to him it seemed just like any other replay.
PRODUCER: Aha! And that was why they took so long looking at the Zach Ertz play.
FUMBLESNAPSKIN: That’s right! The officials were waiting and waiting and waiting for Travestius to intervene on behalf of the Patriots, but he remained silent. So eventually they were forced to simply move on.
PRODUCER: Was he also involved in the Malcolm Butler benching?
FUMBLESNAPSKIN: Indeed he was. That was his price for taking action during the game.
PRODUCER: But…the Malcolm Butler benching happened before the Super Bowl.
FUMBLESNAPSKIN: Yes, as I just explained, Distracticon has the divine ability to manipulate time. He can create distractions in the past, in the present, or even in the future. That’s why so many coaches made offerings to him this season in hope of keeping Colin Kaepernick off their roster.
PRODUCER: Well he was certainly benevolent to them in that sense.
FUMBLESNAPSKIN: In this case, I suppose, but don’t go thinking of him as one of the good guys. Distracticon is much like the rest of us when it comes to the affairs of mortal men – capricious and sometimes cruel.
PRODUCER: I mean, it certainly sounds like Distracticon has a soft spot for the Eagles.
FUMBLESNAPSKIN: Actually, that was Doink’s doing. As is his way, he tricked Distracticon into believing that he was helping each team equally, when in truth all the coin flips were coming up Eagles.
PRODUCER: So Doink was working against the Patriots? I thought all he cares about is chaos.
FUMBLESNAPSKIN: Oh, absolutely. And there’s nothing that he hates more than the joyless precision of a Belichick team.
PRODUCER: Well I have to admit, this has been incredibly informative. Thanks so much for giving us such an entertaining finish to the season. Have you got a theme for today’s Request Line?
FUMBLESNAPSKIN: I sure do! Today’s theme is divine intervention. Prayers, miracles, anything that demands the touch of an immortal spirit. I’ll get us started with a classic from the late Leonard Cohen.
Editor’s Note: For those who are joining us for the first time – your job is to post youtube links of songs that fit the theme into the comment section below. In order to post videos so they will show up in comments, you don’t have to mess around with embed codes or anything, just post plain links as such: “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRkkVrlvgkc”. When you hit refresh it should show up as embedded and you can rock out at your leisure. I’ll be collecting all these songs into a youtube (and Spotify) playlist for publication on Tuesday morning.