New, Enlightened NFL Offensive Playbook for 2013 Season

A secret NFL playbook that features no murder, steroids, brain damage, domestic violence, rape, religious zealotry, or animal cruelty.


Photo courtesy of the U.S. National Archives


We expect players to execute these plays with precision, toughness, discipline, and while refraining from committing major felonies.


Red 16 Power Double Right Square without Gang Rape

HB aligns along strong side location while the ‘U’ man lurks right. A young, slightly drunk cheerleader wanders across the field. Everyone acts like a fucking respectful goddamn human being. I mean Jesus H. Christ on a corn chip this is like Humanity 101.

Pistol Formation Non-Murderous Play-Action Pass

OL plays side guard to force man. C cuts off MLB. X, Z attack to coverage and count three zebra before button hook 3-5 yards out. QB pretends to shoot himself in the thigh with a loaded weapon he has hidden in his pants. RB arrests him. Stay focused: nobody murders, plots to murder, or pays a hired killer to murder. C stops play and decides that he should take better care of his children. “Am I doomed to repeat the same mistakes my father made?” he asks. Play resumes after he has finished crying.

No Animal Cruelty 2-3 Cutback Play Action

RB: “Hey what are you going to do with all the money in the multi-million dollar contract you just signed?”

QB: “Uh, I dunno, torture dogs and gamble.”

RB: “Maybe you should open a savings account instead.”

QB: “Thanks, that’s really sound advice.”

Following this exchange the QB rolls to the right, fakes a pass, hands the ball to the RB who takes it up the weak side. Later they invest in long-term IRAs together.

Flex Right Paradigm Shift

Team lines up according to heteronormativity, the most cisexual to the left, queer in the center, transgendered to the right. Quarterback signals that gender is a social construct. Each player then chooses one prop or article of clothing that problematizes our relationship to arbitrary gender signals, for example a skirt made of men’s ties or a mustache bra. Instead of padding, offensive linemen use Empathy Belly™ pregnancy simulators. Players run, dance, or skip in any direction they please, awarding themselves an arbitrary number of points based upon how comfortable they feel in their bodies. Those with low scores will be hugged relentlessly.

Free Safety Weak Side with No Brain Injuries

Play begins after OL shuffles to scrimmage line like Jim McMahon crossing his kitchen late at night, wondering who he is and singing “We’re not here to cause no trouble, where just here because… pickles…” Defense offers OL an injection of bovine scrotum, Greek yogurt slurry, and a mix of steroids that cause testicular atrophy and Hulk-like rages. OL suggests that, as an alternative, they should just agree to not cause brain damage with cheap shots to the head. Free safety goes to the deep zone on the weak side and jumps for the ball. The defense wraps him up and gently places him on the ground where they idle like lovers, sigh, and say “You know, there is no amount of money or social pressure that would cause me to willingly inflict brain damage upon myself or others.”

Green Right Tight No-Junk Zoom

HB and FB line up behind the QB and take quick shots of their tumescent penises (a.k.a. Favre rolls). Before texting their manhood to that one ESPN reporter, the QB reminds them that they are not teenagers anymore and maybe they should act with a little more maturity. The TE signals that such pornographic exchanges are really best done (if at all) in the context of an established intimate relationship. The HB and FB decide it would be hilarious if they texted the pics to each other’s mothers instead. Their mothers sigh, having seen it all before, and hope that someday their boys will grow up. The play is then run with the HB and FB having to ask at least two “get to know you” questions of the defense before tackling them.

Secular Double Wing TE Short Right

An offense of large, atheist linemen use diet, training, hard work, and determination to become elite athletes. They attempt to overwhelm the defense with their talent and strength. When they win, they credit their long hours of training, the love of their families, the wisdom of their coaches, and the friendship of their teammates and others. When they lose, they feel bad but know that this is just one game in a long, beautiful life. They are lucky enough to live in a mysterious universe that they cannot possibly claim to understand, but simply appreciate with a sense of awe. If they happen to win a Super Bowl and Wolf Blitzer asks them if they thank God for their win, they quote Carl Sagan in reply: “Life is but a momentary glimpse of the wonder of this astonishing universe, and it is sad to see so many dreaming it away on spiritual fantasy.” If Tim Tebow is present, he keeps it to himself.

New 2013 Season Defensive Plays:

  • Joe Namath AA Church Basement Fearless Inventory
  • Non-Jingoistic Spread Defense Without Air Force Flyover
  • Costas’ Toupee Thin-Spread Cover
  • Non-Homophobic Ass Grab (followed by genial chuckle)
  • Chris “Freebird” Berman Dated Rock n’Roll Reference
  • Judith Butler Lecture

Jonathan Gourlay is an editor at The Bygone Bureau and author of the ebook Nowhere Slow: Eleven Years on a Micronesian Island. He lives in the quiet corner of Connecticut where he is a vicarious goat herder. Follow him on Twitter.